Planning how to use an anchor text to entice visitors to click on your site requires a lot of thought and preparation. Right?
A good anchor text guides your audience on what to expect when they click on the link to the article meaning that you should never use poor text or unrelated text in your post. In this article, we will look at anchor text SEO tips for Singapore digital marketers.
What is Anchor Text and Does it Matter?
Anchor text comprises of visible characters that hyperlink display in a link. It usually appears as a blue underlined clickable text.
Here’s how it looks like in HTML.
In this example, the words in blue color are what we refer to as anchor text.
Anchor text matters a lot in search engine optimization. Besides, it’s one of the white hats practices advanced by Google right now. So you’re better off including an anchor text on your blog posts otherwise you’ll be penalized by Google for low-quality content or over-optimization.
Anchor Text Before and After Penguin
Google’s ranking factor – Penguin has increasingly become intelligent in the way it ranks sites. Google make frequent updates to this artificial intelligence system. Therefore, you must keep up with these changes to rank high.
Before Penguin update, you didn’t have to optimize your posts for anchor text. However, after the first Penguin update, Google found a way of “fighting webspam” to gain better ranking.
The use or no use of anchor text in content was another way Google determined if a website is using spam to rank. Consequently, you need to understand the importance of anchor text and how Penguin analyzes your content when link building to avoid penalties.
9 Different Effective Anchor Text for Optimizing Your Content
There are different kinds of anchor text variations that link your content internally and externally and also help you craft a natural anchor profile. Here, we’ll look into the four most effective types.
#1. Exact Match Anchors
Exact match anchors have the power to increase your ranking. It’s good practice to optimize your pages for specific keywords that you’d rank high for in search engines. For an exact keyword match, the anchor text should precisely match the exact keyword that you want to target in your article.
#2. Branded Anchors
Sample this exact match anchor with a 20% exact-match representation. In this example the correlation is average.
If you have a branded domain, you can choose to use it as the anchor text to link your pages. When using branded keywords, a combination of your company name works well.
#3. The Site Name
You can use your website’s name as anchor text. For example YourWebsite.com
#4. Phrase Match Anchors
With phrase match anchors you use a key phrase that is closely related to the main keyword. This graph shows us how it looks like with the real correlation.
#5. Partial Match Anchors
Unlike exact match, If you’re optimizing for a particular keyword with a partial-match, you’d have to use a slight variation of the keyword but in a more ‘natural’ way.
#.6 Generic Anchors
Generic anchors work best as calls-to-action. Try to avoid generic links that tell people to ‘click here’ or ‘read more’ since they are not that helpful in SEO. A generic anchor features no target keyword as shown in this example.
#7. LSI Anchors
LSI anchor is another way you can have slight variations of your main keyword. If you want to look up for LSI keywords, you’ll need to type in your target keyword on Google search. The words that you find at the bottom of the page are LSI anchors. This practice helps you to build a diverse anchor profile.
#8. Image Anchors
Image anchors are an excellent way of linking your campaigns visually to help users discover information on your site. Google sights that content that makes use of images can drive high-quality traffic to your site.
#9. Naked URL Anchor
Naked URL anchor refers to your website URL as it would appear in a browser
#10. No Anchor Strategy
The no anchor is a strategy used by many big brands and features no text. We still don’t know if this approach is beneficial for optimizing web pages.
Anchor Text: Pitfalls to Avoid
There are some things that every digital marketer should learn to avoid being penalized by Google.
The #1 thing every digital marketer should do is to keep page links relevant. In addition to this, avoid spamming your anchor text with generic anchor text and never use versions that are not related to link pages.
Stuffing your anchor text with keywords could get you penalized by Google. Keep away from generic anchor since it’s not an effective way of getting people to click on your site.
Since Google uses external anchors to understand what your page is all about, some digital marketers were able to manipulate how Google ranks pages by pointing non-relevant links to their web pages. However, this was possible before Penguin updates! So, as a good practice avoid over-reliance on anchor text.
If you don’t want web users to miss your site, make sure that your anchor text is underlined and has a contrasting color from the rest of the paragraph.
Another rule of the thumb is to avoid understaffing or overstaffing your anchor text with keywords. On the same note overuse of exact-match anchor will get you penalized as this is manipulative anchor text spamming. Therefore keep exact match anchor text between 1 percent and 5 percent.
The last pitfall to avoid is fooling web users who visit your website with links that don’t look like links.
There are many excellent building strategies that a digital marketer can use to increase the chances of getting relevant links by using anchor text.
What’s the winning formula for search engine ranking? The answer to this is – using extra keyword-rich anchor text links than your opponent.
Remedies For a Penalized Site
If your site gets a penalty from what Google refers to unlawful practices, you should not fret, and neither is it the end of the world.
Few strategies have been known to work when you want to recover from a penalty. Remember a penalized site can be removed entirely from Google index. Sometimes it can be affected by an algorithmic spam action.
Depending on the severity of the penalty, you can decide to employ different tactics to tackle the problem at hand.
Sample these strategies that you can use for a penalized site;
File a Spam report with Google – Google will prioritize spam reports based on user impact, so there are chances you can get back your website on the index
Delete keyword rich anchors from low-quality sources – If by chance you made a mistake of building your backlinks from spammy sites, you need to delete them or disavow if you have no other option. Ensure that you don’t remove helpful sites when eliminating spammy sites.
Anchor Text Diluting – A majority of penalized domains use anchor text diluting technique to rebuild after a penalty. With this strategy, you can build unoptimized backlinks on your web pages with naked link anchors. You can also use strong and relevant backlinks to create a better anchor profile., however, they are very costly.
Another way you can anchor text dilute is by creating local citations for quality link unoptimized anchors. Additionally, you can populate social media platforms with your profile for NoFollow and Follow unoptimized anchors.
Creating and distributing high-quality press releases with the mainstream media will help you to get unoptimized anchors and build trust on your site.
Anchor-text diluting works for many penalized domains since it provides brilliant ways of building diversity in your link profile.
301 Penalty Recovery – First you need to find a high-quality expired website that is relevant to yours with naked link anchors and 301 redirect the domain to your penalized site for solid metrics. You can also start a new website and pick all the authority branded backlinks from your penalized site if it has any.
Disavow – We recommend you disavow as a rest resort in fighting harmful backlinks. Monitor Backlinks feature a fast, efficient disavow tool that helps you to spot backlink patterns and lets you filter spammy links for a deny list which you can quickly submit to Google.
Anchor Text SEO Best Practices
- Make Your Backlink Anchor Text Diverse
When you employ one keyword anchor in your pages, you are prone to penalty. Diverse backlinks create a genetic profile that keeps your site from being penalized.
- Avoid Spammy Backlink Profiles
Whenever you get a new link, make sure that it’s not low-quality otherwise you risk a penalty for spammy sites. Regularly monitor your backlinks checking which ones are working for you and the ones that are hurting you.
In addition to monitoring the backlinks, check the anchor text that your new links are using and how it affects your ranking.
- Use Diverse Anchor Text in Your Website
Google can penalize a spammy internal linking. Spammy internal linking takes place when you use the anchor text for internal links in your site. Avoid this at all cost.
- Don’t Use Exact Match Anchor Only
The use of exact match anchor only in your website can be a powerful tool for high ranking but is also a dangerous territory to venture. You have to be tactical to know when to use this tool especially when guest posting, you may add a backlink for an exact match.
Optimizing for anchor text alone in your pages may not work if you’re looking into ranking high. There are many other factors that you need to consider among them – relevancy.
Backlinks that are not relevant from low-quality sites will demolish all your SEO efforts and hurt your rank. If you want to stay safe from penalties, adjust the anchor text in relevant backlinks.
Should You Build Keyword-Rich Anchors for SEO Optimization?
The answer is NO.
Here are the reasons as to why every digital marketer should not focus on building keyword-rich anchors right now.
Insignificant Responsibility for Sending Total Page Traffic
Keyword-Rich Links that feature the primary target keyword have a nominal responsibility of sending less than 13% of your total page traffic. You see, after the introduction of Hummingbird Google placed more emphasis on natural-language queries from web users. For this reason, pages that optimize for target keywords also rank for long-tail keyword variations.
The following screenshot is an excellent example of how organic US traffic finds emails using Ahrefs Site Explorer.
If you want to rank for exact match anchor, don’t focus all your energy on optimizing for one target keyword.
The Jeopardy of Building Keyword-rich Anchors
Digital marketers who optimize for keyword anchors risk jeopardising their site from penalties by Google. It’s uncommon practice for people to naturally link to your page using exact match keyword anchor text.
There’s also a danger of building links with spammy sites like PBNs.
Successful marketers engage in practices that Google algorithms correlate and rank sites for when it comes to SEO.
Besides the potential flaws, anchor text plays a dominant role when it comes to linking for relevancy for high ranking and quality traffic.
Anchor text will remain a significant ranking factor in SEO and a powerful tool that web users and search engines utilize to determine whether a page is worth visiting or not. Remember that Google has an intelligent system that spots spammy, unnatural links so keep an eye on the anchor text that you optimize for ranking in your web pages.
Following the practices we’ve mentioned above, you’ll be able to pinpoint a problem anchor text and how it affects your ranking and also to avoid a penalty from Google.
Besides, using anchor text only as a strategy to rank is not recommended. Many other factors come into play for SEO ranking that a digital marketer in Singapore should know. We suggest that you keep your anchor text as natural and relevant as possible to your pages for effective SEO, better ranking and increased traffic all the time.