If you just started implementing your SEO strategy, you must have heard about the importance of quality backlinks in your rankings. However, that’s not all you need to care about. Anchor text diversity is another extremely important thing to pay attention to.
Similarly to how domain authority and topical relevance of the sites that link to you affect your rankings, backlink’s anchor text can also have both positive and negative impact on your SEO. Google is constantly upgrading its’ algorithm, and it considers this aspect of linking more and more.
And that’s why you should start monitoring all of your backlinks. If you aren’t doing it already, of course. It doesn’t matter if the link is earned or achieved by reaching out. You have to make sure that it helps you rather than causing harm.
Therefore, if you want to swim all the way to the top of the SERPs there are a few things you should know. Here’s how Google views anchor text and what practices to use to make it.
What Exactly is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the clickable text in the article or below it, otherwise known as the hyperlink. When it comes to Google, it relies on the text of the hyperlink and the words surrounding it to understand the subject matter of the page that link leads to.
However, there are a few different types of anchor text. And each and every one of them brings a different value to your backlink profile. So, when you start accumulating backlinks make sure to learn to differentiate types of anchor texts. This way you can ensure to always have a good variety of them.
Types of Anchor Text
As we already mentioned, there are a few types of anchor text that may appear in your backlink profile. We’ll list only the most important and the most common ones. Simply because we don’t want to burden you with the things you don’t need to know. But, if you want to learn more and go in-depth, be sure to check out our article on types of anchor texts.
- Branded – Links that contain your brand name
- Exact Match – Links containing the exact keyword
- Partial Match – Variation of keyword
- Phrase Match – Links that have the keyword phrase you want to rank for
- Generic – Click here or info links
- Naked URL – Consisting only of the URL
Important Points On Using Anchor Texts
Linking is not simple, and no one tries to make you believe that it is. But, there are some principles when it comes to using anchor texts that are useful for pretty much any application. No matter if we’re talking about the linking you do or the links you get and accumulate from across the web.
Relevance Is The Key
The most powerful backlinks come with the most relevant anchor texts. There are a few reasons why this is. Mainly because relevant anchor text doesn’t just communicate well with Google, but it also allows for a better user experience.
Users won’t be happy if they click on a link and don’t find what they thought they will. Even if we’re talking about non-specific and generic lines like read this is. Therefore, don’t forget about the importance of relevance besides concentrating on the anchor text diversity.
Keep It Short
Try not to overcomplicate with anchor text. The best idea is to keep it as brief as possible. You want your link to truthfully describe the site it leads to and to interest users in clicking on it. Make sure to keep everything as natural as you can as Google’s crawlers can determine when something makes sense and when it doesn’t.
Don’t Use Too Many Exact Keywords
In the past times, webmasters used to simply pack the anchor text with exact keywords to boost the rankings. And it worked well as your website would rocket to the top of SERPs in no time. However, link building strategies are a little bit different in 2020.
Nowadays, Google knows pretty much every tactic for anchor text manipulation, so you can’t really trick it. With the last update, BERT, the algorithm was enabled to contextualize natural language surrounding the link. So, no black-hat building techniques can or should be used.
What this means for you is that you have to focus on variety. You can’t rely on the same keyword and expect it to look natural.
How Anchor Text Diversity is Good for your Backlink Profile
As you probably figured out by now, the diversity of anchor text always has a very positive impact on SEO performance. This is something that we from Link Department and everyone else from the SEO community agree on, so it’s not a small thing.
Therefore, make reviewing backlinks to make sure that they’re not coming from low quality or spammy sites part of your website maintenance. Use your inbound links to create the diversity we’re talking about.
When it comes to proportions and quantity of anchor types, there’s no uniform answer. However, there are some realistic benchmarks that you should strive to.
- 30-40% – partial match anchors
- 30-40% – branded anchors
- 20-40% – others (generic, naked, exact match, random…)
Get a Backlink Analyzer
A backlink analyzer is a tool that can give you not only the much-needed insights about the quality of your links, but it can also analyze the anchor text types. There’s a wide variety of choices here. You can go for one of many free versions that are available, or go a step further and purchase a premium version. They essentially do the same job, but the paid versions do have more things to play with.
Use this tool to compare your anchor text diversity to your competition’s results. Harness the power of this data and shape the types of keywords and their variations on how it suits you the most. If you do this regularly, you’ll rank higher and you won’t spend a lot of time on it.