What Is Anchor Text and What Are Anchor Text Types?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 11, 2022 | Published May 14, 2022

Updated July 11, 2022

Published May 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies use anchor texts when linking their context to external or internal resources. This requires the links and tags associated with the secondary resource. By knowing more about anchor texts, companies can improve their web traffic, leads, and sales. In this article, we answer "What is anchor text?" explore why anchor texts are important, review the types of anchor texts, and provide best practices for using SEO in anchor texts.

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What is anchor text?

If you want to know more about the content on websites, it's beneficial to know the answer to, "What is anchor text?" These texts refer to words and phrases that consumers can use to obtain additional web resources. The links in anchor text typically direct users to other website pages and can link to external links. You can use these texts to increase web traffic to other areas of your website or to provide users with more information. When you hyperlink texts, software typically highlights those texts, words, or phrases.

These can also be image tags, which allow you to send users to a linked source when they select images. These texts are important because they provide a call-to-action that influences consumer decisions. For example, you can encourage them to call representatives or visit sales pages. Anchor texts also replace naked anchors, which refer to URLs written out in phrases to increase the visual appeal of webpages.

Why is anchor text essential?

Anchor text is critical because it can provide users with additional resources or encourage them to take an action, like contacting a representative or visiting a sales page. Anchor texts can replace naked anchors, which are the URLs of linked sites written in text form, to make a webpage more visually appealing to users. Improving your website's user experience can encourage visitors to stay longer, which can increase web sales. An effective anchor text can also improve a website's performance in search engine algorithms by establishing the relevance of keywords used in the content of companies.

Anchor text types

Here's a list of the types of anchor texts to consider:

Generic anchor text

Generic anchor text provides a link with a general direction, like "Read more" or "Click here." You can use generic anchor texts to emphasize a call to action or link to a second page of content. For example, on a sales page, you can use a generic anchor text to direct users to the page describing different products or services. When using generic anchor texts, you may want to use keywords more effectively, like in your main title, meta description, or tags.

Branded anchor text

Branded anchor text has the same name as the website, organization, or person associated with the link. You can use a person's name if the link leads to a blog or personal website, or a brand name if you want to link it to a company site. Branded anchor texts can provide name recognition and allow readers to understand to whom or what you link. For example, in a blog post on a legal services website, you can use a branded link to direct readers to the founder's biographical page or the organization's main site.

Exact match anchor text

To use exact match anchor text, it's beneficial to use the linked website's target keywords as the anchor for your link. An organization can list its target keywords in a style guide, or you can discover them in the code of the destination page. You can find a webpage's keywords by right-clicking the page and selecting the option to view the page source. Once can review the source code, you can search for keywords using a page search or "Ctrl + F." Using exact match anchor text can create a direct link between your site and your linked resource in a search engine's algorithm.

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Partial match anchor text

Partial match anchor text takes a website's target keywords and uses them in a phrase with other words. It creates a link between your site and the resource in search engines, while also allowing you to customize the link and integrate it into your content. You can use a partial match to provide additional information for your readers about the resource, which can help them decide whether to click the link. For example, if the page you linked to has dog grooming as a keyword, you may want to create a partial match anchor that describes how consumers can groom their dog.

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Related keywords or keyword variations

This anchor text method uses synonyms or variations of keywords as the anchor text for links. It allows you to vary your language and expand your keyword list in search. For example, if you want to link to a page with editing tips as a keyword, your anchor text can describe strategies to revise your writing. Using related words for the anchor text can add more potential keywords to your page, which can increase the chances your page appears in search. It can also provide variation in your content, which can appeal to your readers.

Image alt text

If you create a link through a picture, logo or button, you can customize the image's alternative, or alt, text to create an anchor for the link. Alt-text is a description of an image on a webpage that can appear when users hover over the image with their cursor or use an accessibility tool that reads captions. You can include keywords, phrases, or variations in an alt text, which becomes the anchor text for that link. For example, you can use an alt text anchor for a website's logo that brings users back to the main page.

Best practices for SEO in anchor texts

Here's a list of the best practices for implementing SEO in the company's anchor texts:

Use a combination of different anchor text types

You can benefit from using a combination of different types of anchor texts to help you naturally include links to your page and its content. For example, if you want to use an exact word match, a partial word match, and a generic anchor text in a single page, this can direct your visitors to both internal and external sources. Visitors of websites can experience increased appeal to the website or company because it can encourage them to explore different components of the website or to learn more about reliable, external links.

Using a combination of anchor text types also allows you to improve the website's ranking in search engines because their algorithm prioritizes websites that include information and webpages relevant to searches. Search engines also can't read images, so combining image alt text with other anchor texts allows search engines to identify keywords associated with the image or video posted to the website.

Use rich anchor text strategically

Rich anchor text requires the inclusion of desirable, targeted keywords in company content. When including these keywords, you typically want to consider which results you want to rank higher for in search engines, and how you can implement search engine optimization to rank higher for them. Rich anchor text typically includes either an exact or a partial keyword match that website visitors search within a website or within search engines. Using these anchor texts allows companies to appear higher in website rankings on search engines when used properly.

This requires consideration of how often you implement rich anchor texts because keyword stuffing can reduce the website's ranking in search engines. Keyword stuffing occurs when search engine algorithms identify a large number of keywords within a text. You may want to consider using keywords in alt text, meta descriptions, and titles. You can then include keywords in the website's anchor text when appropriate.

Use concise language

It's beneficial to consider the language you use when creating anchor texts and incorporating keywords or search engine optimization in those texts. To create more concise anchor texts, you may want to consider how you can include critical information with fewer words and less repetition. For example, if you want to link the website to an article, you can include the name of the article as the anchor text and remove both the name of the author and the publishing company.

This is because visitors are likely to search for keywords associated with the title of the article rather than the author. By linking concisely, you can limit the amount of text that you connect to a link, which can improve your site's visual appeal and the user's subsequent browsing experience. Using concise anchor text can also help ensure that the link provides accurate information for your site's SEO.

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