Did you know that 93% of people begin their online experience by using a search engine?
Typing a query into Google is the most common way for people to get information online. That’s why your business needs to rank as highly as possible in the results for related queries. About 9 in 10 people don’t click past the first page of Google, so this is the only way to be visible.
Anchor text ratios are one of the most important facets of search engine optimization (SEO). Read on for an anchor text definition and to get more information about the benefits of a good anchor text ratio.
What Is Anchor Text?
When optimizing your page for SEO, it’s critical that you include something called backlinks. Backlinks are hyperlinks to other websites that you insert into the body of a text. These link-building efforts direct traffic to other areas of the web and establish connections between your website and linked pages.
Backlinks to reputable, high-quality, and relevant websites show search engine crawlers that you’re reliable and relevant. As a result, they’ll think that your page is the best for audiences to see and boost your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). Backlinks also allow for faster indexing, more referral traffic, and professional connections with related businesses.
“Anchor text” refers to the words that you tether your backlink to. This 3-5 word phrase is that users will click on to redirect to the linked webpage. It is called “anchor text” because it literally anchors two separate web locations together.
Anchor Text Ratios: A Quick Definition
There are many different types of anchor text that you can tether backlinks to. Anchor text ratios are the distribution of anchor texts in your SEO-optimized post. It’s critical that you have natural backlink distribution so that Google crawlers don’t peg you as having unnatural paid link building.
Google penalizes those who use paid link-building strategies by shoving them down in SERPs. This is because anti-spam AI detects them as being either harmful or spam. If you have an unnatural backlink profile, it can ruin your SEO campaign before you even get it off the ground.
Types of Anchor Text
To distribute different types of anchor text across your webpage, you’ll need to first understand the many types of anchor text that you can use.
Up until recently, exact match anchor text was considered the best way to rank. These phrases exactly match your primary keyword (PKW). For example, if your keyword is “backlink software”, you’ll tether your link to the phrase “backlink software.”
However, Google crawlers began to notice this phenomenon and penalize pages that used it. That’s why partial match anchor text– anchor text that includes other words as well as the PKW- is popular today. If your keyword is “backlink software”, you’ll tether the link to “best backlink software for SMBs.”
You can also incorporate phrase match anchor text that links from a phrase that you want to rank for (in addition to the PKW). This doesn’t need to incorporate your PKW- you can use secondary keywords (SKWs) in this phrase instead. Your hypothetical backlink software company may use a phrase like “definition of backlinks in SEO.”
Generic anchor text is when you incorporate your backlink into a call to action (CTA). Examples of this are “click here” or “sign up.” Generally, you should only use these in blog post conclusions.
Branded anchor text is simply the name of your brand. If your backlink software company is called “Beck’s Backlink Inc.,” your anchor text would simply be that. This will generally make up the majority of your anchor text ratio on non-blog areas of your webpage.
The final core type of anchor text, naked anchor text, is simply the URL of the backlink. This is not usually a good way to go since it looks clunky in the body of the text. It’s off-putting to both human users and Google’s indexing bots.
Choosing Appropriate Anchor Text Ratios for Your Home Page
The correct anchor text ratio for each area of your website will depend on the page that your backlinks are on. Your website’s landing page (or home page) is one of the most important places to focus on when developing a good anchor text ratio. This isn’t just the first thing that web users will see but also usually is the place that Google crawlers begin the indexing process.
Anywhere between 80% and 95% of your home page anchor text should fall into the ‘branded anchor text’ category. You can also include naked anchor text within this statistic, but it looks clunkier on the user end.
The reason for this is that you want to capture the attention of those looking for your brand. If you include this anchor text within your homepage, you’re sure to rank for your own brand name. Additionally, since your brand name likely is relevant to your services, branded anchors also might serve as partial match anchor text in some cases.
About 10% of your links on the page should actively be partial match anchor text. Phrase match anchors also can fall into this category.
Only a maximum of 5% should be exact match anchor text. This ensures that you do not get detected as spam immediately when Google crawlers start to scour your home page.
Choosing Appropriate Anchor Text Ratios for Inner Pages
Inner pages (such as about pages, company history, and contact forms) will have a very different anchor text profile. While the home page builds brand trust with Google, inner pages build relevance with crawlers. They also serve as a hub where human users can learn more about your website.
Blog posts also count as inner pages when it comes to SEO. It’s important to remember this because you want relevent blog posts to rank for specific queries. Their goal should be to answer a specific question, so partial-match and phrase-related keywords are a good way to engage relevant search engine users.
50% to 60% of your inner page anchor text should be partial match anchor text. Your inner pages will rank higher for these keywords. Users will see relevant pages within your website and be able to get started without even clicking on your home page.
Exact match keywords can constitute up to 10% of your inner page anchor text.
Unlike home pages, only 35% to 45% of your anchor text should be branded or naked. You’re looking to rank inner pages for queries rather than simply showing Google crawlers who you are.
Tips for Optimizing Anchor Text SEO Effectiveness
The best way to optimize your anchor text ratio is by hiring experts to do it for you. Professionals have the knowledge and tools required to assess backlink performance and determine what PKWs are helping you rank. We then can determine what anchor texts can specifically boost your rankings and drive traffic.
Keep Structure Consistent
It’s important that you keep anchor text relevant to the backlinks tethered to them. This is primarily because users will become confused and annoyed as to why they’re seeing content unrelated to what they’re looking for. They never would want to come back to your blog because they no longer would view you as an authority.
However, Google also will see that your backlinks are irrelevant to both your keywords and your content. You won’t build any authority within your market. Crawlers will shove you into the dregs of SERPs because your content will appear inconsistent, irrelevant, and unreputable.
Assess and Reassess Anchor Texts
You will need to track the ways that you use anchor text on your website so that you can learn how they affect your SEO campaign. There are several tools online that can help you do this. You fill in details about the content you have on your website as well as about the anchor texts you use within it.
The tools will then showcase your distribution of anchor texts across your content. You’ll learn the precise ratios that are currently on your webpage. You also will have the chance to see which anchor texts are helping you rank and which ones human users click on.
This will let you know how you can optimize anchor texts in the future. Make sure to audit your backlinks every few months so that you can make the most of your SEO.
Get Started on Your Next SEO Campaign
While executing appropriate anchor text ratios can be a challenge, understanding them already puts you ahead of the game. Now that you know how to optimize your anchor text for SEO success, it’s time to enlist a professional to help you.
We’re committed to helping you get noticed by Google crawlers so that you can market your business to real consumers. That’s why we’re excited to come up with an SEO plan that works for your specific business. Start your free trial of SEOJet today to get anchor text ratios and related services ASAP.