8 Best Practices for Anchor Text SEO Optimization
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Have you ever had someone tell you something that made absolutely no sense because there wasn’t enough context? It can be annoying at best when that happens and alarming at worst. The same thing goes for anchor text in SEO.
Anchor text is the text used to plug a link in. One of the easiest mistakes made with anchor text is just stuffing in the keywords and using those to place a link. This makes no sense and can annoy your readers, meaning you lose traffic rather than gaining it.
If you’re looking to know how to practice anchor text optimization, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about using anchor text for SEO as well as what mistakes you can avoid making.
Importance of Anchor Text for SEO
Anchor text is one of the best tools there is when it comes to SEO. Knowing how to use anchor text correctly boosts SEO rankings, bringing more value to your website.
Correct use of anchor text, as well as paying attention to anchor text ratios, increases website traffic. This helps you to increase your website authority. This means that the Google algorithm puts your page higher in the results because it trusts you to produce content that people want to see.
Once you’ve boosted the amount of website traffic you get, you can find other ways to make your site more profitable. For example, you can change ad providers to find a higher-paying one.
Learning how to use anchor text properly is the best thing you can do for your website. All you have to do to become a master at anchor text optimization is follow these simple steps.
1. Use Keywords Sparingly
When it comes to writing anchor text, you may be tempted to use as many keywords as you can. This is the exact opposite of what you should do.
Using as many keywords as possible is known as keyword stuffing. It’s easy to spot when keyword stuffing occurs, and it can lower your chances of optimization rather than increase them. Google recognizes irrelevant keywords and will push sites that use them down the list of results.
The best thing to do is be aware of your keywords. Make sure you use them but don’t stuff the article with them. The keywords should fit in naturally with the text around them, not stand out as a blatant attempt to increase your SEO.
Using keywords sparingly will let the algorithm know that your article is informative and credible. In addition, it will let anyone looking for information know the same. Internet users always prefer to click on a link that sounds both natural and knowledgeable.
Remember – don’t try so hard! If you can’t make all of your keywords fit naturally, it isn’t the end of the world.
2. Remember the Surrounding Text
Remembering the text surrounding your anchor text is another easy way to improve your use of anchor texts. When users are searching for something, they will typically look at the text before and after the anchor text to see if it’s useful. They rarely read an entire paragraph.
Internet users aren’t the only people paying attention to surrounding text. As part of its algorithm, Google has established a program that examines the text surrounding anchor words. The goal is to make sure that the article is as natural as possible.
In this case, remembering the surrounding text is easy. Paying attention to what you write will help it to be understandable and flow easier.
If it doesn’t make sense to you on your first time proofreading, then you’ll know you need to rewrite it. Internet users want to be able to understand an article on the first try. If they have to re-read it once or twice to understand, they may just choose to back out.
In addition, be careful with your anchor text itself. Don’t use an entire sentence as anchor text. Bots will count every word in the sentence when evaluating your page, and it creates a worse experience for your readers.
3. Prioritize Clarity, Not SEO
When you’re writing something for your site, it may be tempting to use keywords strictly to boost the SEO. For example, you may want to write “dentist Phoenix area”. This makes no sense to your readers and makes the text annoying – try using “dentists in the Phoenix area”.
This will not harm your SEO, and it will make your site easy to read and understand. Words connecting keywords to each other are known as stop words.
Common stop words can include like a, an, the, and, it, for, or, but, in, my, your, our, and their. These are all words necessary to help make your website make sense to other people. There are many more stop words, typically made of either articles or conjunctions.
When people are looking something up, they often omit these words from their search. So instead of focusing on content related to these words, search engine programs tend to omit them and focus in entirely on the keywords.
Stop words are needed for almost every type of anchor text. If a reader can’t understand your page’s content, it doesn’t matter how high your SEO rankings are. You will lose customer engagement.
4. Target Anchor Text and Links
If you have a specific target anchor text you need to use, remember that you should never put an external link in that text. The only exception to this rule is when you are working on writing a guest post. Otherwise, any target anchor text should only be paired with backlinks.
Backlinks are internal links to various parts of your website. They are an important tool to boost your SEO rankings, but it’s easy to use a backlink improperly.
When building your backlinks, you need to be aware of the words you are using and the links you are using. Anything you write must be specifically chosen to be high quality.
When choosing your target anchor text, consider using keywords that aren’t commonly needed, but are still searched for regularly. This will help you to stand out when someone does an internet search using those keywords.
5. Vary Your Anchor Types
There are many different types of anchor text. Some of these types are more spammy than they are useful. However, you must use a variety of anchor text types to make your website stand out more.
Exact match text is the most significant for SEO, where you use the exact keywords someone will be searching for. These work as the core keywords and what the page is supposed to target.
Partial match anchor text covers keywords for a specific page, but without narrowing it down to an exact match. Similarly, related anchor text uses a variation of the keywords needed. Both of these are necessary to keep your link profile distinct and avoid being too spammy.
Random anchor text is a generic phrase that does not use the keyword. Some link analysis systems place random anchor text and generic anchor text in the same category.
Generic anchor text relies on context clues for the reader to realize what it is about. It may come off as spam, but this is actually a powerful choice. Generic anchor text is often a direct call to action such as “click here” or “see more”.
Lastly, naked link text is just the link itself placed into the article, with no text. These are most commonly seen when someone has a list of references at the end of their article.
Varying your anchor types not only makes your website stand out, but it also makes everything look more natural. It also helps make links feel useful and tempting to click on, rather than something the reader tries to ignore.
6. Avoid Over Optimizing
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much optimization. This occurs commonly with links and websites. However, anchor text optimization is such a large part of SEO that over-optimization is more common than you would think.
Over-optimized anchor text is easy to identify. There will be too many keywords, too many internal links in one place, text that’s irrelevant to the attached link, and/or a huge amount of links with the same anchor text. You can often tell when anchor text optimization has gone too far just by skimming the page.
Luckily, over-optimization is as easy a problem to fix as it is to create. The biggest thing you can do to avoid it is to avoid using the same anchor text over and over again.
Refrain from adding more than one or two natural keywords to a piece of anchor text. This prevents keyword stuffing and makes the anchor text look better. In addition, make sure the anchor text is always relevant to its link.
Finally, avoid using too many links. Use internal links when you need them, not just at every opportunity.
7. Pay Attention to Links
One of the most crucial things you can do for your SEO rankings is to always, always pay attention to the links you choose. Whether internal or external, your links must be carefully chosen.
Internal links need to be relevant to the topic at hand. If they aren’t relevant, the backlink comes off as clunky and makes the page harder to read. Make sure they have useful information or omit them from your page.
External links need to be verified. When it comes to external links, it’s far too easy to link to spam or misinformation. This does you far more harm than good because it shows readers and algorithm bots alike that your website is not a trustworthy place to get information.
To prevent this, always make sure that a link is credible. Look for obvious signs of spam, such as keyword stuffing or words that don’t make sense.
Paying attention to your links can save you trouble, whether it’s with your SEO rankings or saving you from rewriting entire pages at a time.
8. Quality Guest Posts
The final tip for anchor text optimization is the use of quality guest posts. Whether you hire someone to write a guest post for you or you choose to write a guest post for someone else, it will benefit you in the end.
Make sure that you hire and write for high-authority blogs alone. Doing this will boost your credibility, as you can borrow some of their credibility.
A high-quality guest post will include anchor text that works as a backlink to your blog and is perfectly chosen for the situation. If done right, it boosts the exposure of your brand and helps you gain a social media following.
Guest posting also helps you to build bonds with other blogs and websites. This means that you’re doing all the networking you need and getting backlinks to your website at the same time.
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