What Is Anchor Text? and How to optimize it?

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If you are familiar with SEO concepts then you know how internal links play an essential role in ranking. The internal links are a very important section of the anchor text. So you must pay attention to the anchor text when you are trying to improve your ranking in the SERP. Here you discover what is anchor text, how it works, and the best strategies to optimize anchor texts. Let’s dive into the topic.

What Is an Anchor Text?

Anchor text is clickable and visible text in a hyperlink. This helps the users to navigate from one page to another page. It may be the combination of letters or words. It is standout from other text in a different color or stylish font. 

In the best SEO practice, you can use related keywords or phrases as anchor text. It passes the positive signal to the search engines and gives the idea to users as to what is the page about.

Importance of Anchor Text in SEO

If you give relevant and descriptive anchor text that will help to improve your ranking and enhance the user experience.

The primary purpose of anchor text is to give the data of keywords to Google’s algorithms system for better ranking. Using this data they verify the content relevancy with particular keywords or phrases. 

From the user’s point of view, a descriptive keyword gives the idea of what is the page about. This helps them to make the decisions of which link they want to click. User experience is one of the ranking signals of Google’s algorithm.

Other reasons are it increases the relevancy of the keyword to that page and boosts the traffic from a higher traffic-driven page to other pages.

How do anchor texts work for SEO? 

In this process, we can give the hyperlink to the keyword or phrase as visible and clickable text. You can the HTML code or a content management system like WordPress to provide the hyperlink. 

When a search engine crawls your web page it understands the context of the hyperlink webpage by anchor text. It analyzes the relevancy of the terms and phrases to the particular URL to understand the context of the page. That’s why we recommend that the anchor text be related and descriptive to the targeted URL.

In addition, if the search query of the user matches the anchor text there is a high chance that the page has to rank. So the anchor text will be the ranking signal here. And one more piece of advice is to avoid over-optimized your anchor text, it may cause a penalty from Google’s search engine.

Types of Anchor Texts

There are — types of anchor text used to optimize your hyperlinks:

Branded Anchor Text

A brand name used an anchor text with or without additional words. This one mainly targeted the source or home page.


Exact Match Anchor Text

This refers to the anchor match with the exact keyword which you try to rank your targeted page.


Phrase match anchor text

When additional keywords are added before or after the primary keyword that is known as phrase match keywords.


Partial match anchor text

When the anchor text has contained a portion of the keyword or variations of the primary keyword, is known as partial match anchor text.


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Naked Link

This is used the targeted URL as an anchor text, which is used below the article for reference purposes.


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Generic or Natural Anchor text

A generic keyword is used without any primary or related keywords. This one understands by reading the surrounding text.


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Images are used in the anchor text. Alt text of the image work as the anchor text. If the image doesn’t load, the anchor text is still able to click.

How to Improve the Anchor Text in SEO?

Optimizing with 3- 4 Keywords

When you are doing the anchor text optimization for a particular page, you may use 3 to 4 keywords. It must contain the main primary and secondary keywords. Because primary keywords have a high monthly search volume and secondary-related keywords drive additional traffic to your site.

It fits both internal and external link strategies for better ranking. And make sure that all the keywords you choose must be relevant to the page. Then only a reader or the search engine knows the context of the page.

Keep Anchor in Short

We are concentrating to give the anchor text as descriptive. But we should care about the length of the keyword. Google’s search engine typically ignores the words after a certain length. This lead to affect the context of the targeted URL.

So we are suggested to use the descriptive anchor text with a maximum of 8 words or (50-60 characters). This is the best way of optimizing and passing the positive signal to the search engine.

Use Relevant keywords

Most of us make the mistake of using the exact keywords for anchor text optimization. But this leads the over keyword optimization, which would affect the targeted page by ranking penalty. So try to use the relevant, partial match, phrase match, and secondary keywords for optimization.

And also try to avoid the usage of the general text link “click here” or “read more” as an anchor text.

Take care of the Surrounding text

Another best practice for giving anchor text is you must pay attention to the surrounding words of an anchor text. Google’s algorithm always analyzes the surrounding text of the anchor text which helps to rank the URL.

When an anchor text is surrounded by associated and semantic keywords it helps the search engine and the user to understand the context of the targeted page. This is known as “annotation text” which is documented by some SEO experts like the late Bill Slawski. So when you work on anchor text read the content and then give.

Anchor text optimizing Tools

You can make your optimization process easy, with the help of some tools. Here we suggest some tools for anchor text distribution checkers.

Small SEO Tools

This tool analyzes the links within your website and generates a report with detailed insights. Small SEO Tools were available for free. This has the anchor text, domain no, backlinks no, and first and last seen crawling in the report.

SEO SpyGlass

SEO Spyglass provides the analysis of anchor texts and associated links. This is for your site and your competitors. It gives insights into which anchor gives more referral traffic and how the links would affect your ranking. It is also available for free.


It is also one of the popular tools in the SEO industry. From the backlinks anchor reports, you can get the list of the anchors that point to your website. It has the unique feature of an “empty anchor”. This report additionally shows the metrics of referring domains, outbound domains, competitors, referring IPs, and index pages. 

In Short

Finally, we understand the importance and contribution of anchor text in the ranking. So always try to optimize your anchor text. Also, remind this don’t go for over-optimization. Using the perfect strategy and improving your site ranking in Google’s SERP.
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  • Ramya Gurusaamy

    About the author: A Digital marketing expert with hands-on experience in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, Content writing, PPC, social media, and WordPress. Above all, My hobby is poetry aficionado. My favorite books are "The power of your subconscious mind" and "Do Epic shit".

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