What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is the clickable text that is within your content.  It is text that links to another page on or off your website.  SEO best practices say that your anchor text should be relevant to the page that you are linking out to.  

As a general rule of thumb, content management systems such as WordPress and Wix, usually default to turning the text blue when there is a hyperlink embedded on it. While you can change it, we suggest keeping it blue since that is what users are used to. 

What Is Keyword Rich Anchor Text?

Keyword rich anchor text is text that includes your targeted keywords within the link text.  Instead of saying “click here”, keyword rich anchor text might be something like “anchor text” if I wanted to link to this page. 

You don’t want to use exact match keywords every single time, but we will talk about that below.  

How Do I Create An HTML Link? 

<a href=”https://www.themarketingu.com”>The MarketingU Homepage</a>

In this example, the <a href=”https://www.themarketingu.com” > part tells Google what to link to. 

The >The MarketingU Homepage</a> is the part of the code that is the anchor text.  

Parts of an HTML Link

This would look like The MarketingU Homepage if used. 

You could also use a tool such as Anchor Text Creator to create your anchor text.  With this tool, you simply type in the keyword and the URL of the page that you are linking to, and it will automatically create the code for you. 

Anchor Text Best Practices

SEO-friendly anchor text should be relevant to the page that it is linking to.  Instead of using “click here” as your anchor text, make sure that it is something like the above (The MarketingU Homepage).  

If we were linking to our SEO For Dummies page that has over 50 of the most common SEO questions that we hear here at The MarketingU, we might use the anchor text “Search Engine Optimization” because it is relevant to what the page is about. 

Types of Anchor Text

You will also want to make sure that your anchor text sounds natural.  If you try to force your anchor text to be relevant, you will see a decrease in ranking due to the unnatural sounding text.  If users can’t figure out what you are saying, they will go to your competitor. 

To sum up the SEO anchor text best practices, you want it to be:

  • Relevant to the linked-to page
  • Not generic
  • SEO friendly text
  • Underlined and blue colored
  • Natural 

Types of Anchor Text

There are a few different types of anchor text:

  • Exact-match anchor text is text that exactly matches the title of the page that you are linking to.  
  • Partial-match anchor text is text that includes some variation of the title of the linked-to page. 
  • Branded anchor text is the text that includes your brand-name in it.  
  • Naked Link is anchor text that is just the URL of the page that you are linking to.  For example, www.themarketingu.com is considered naked anchor text.
  • Generic anchor text is when you just write “click here” or “get more info”.  These are generic phrases that don’t describe the page that you are linking to.

Anchor Text vs Hyperlink

Anchor text and hyperlinks are both elements of search engine optimization.  Anchor text is the actual text that appears on a page.  Hyperlinks are embedded in anchor text to link out to another page.  

You need a hyperlink in order for anchor text to be anchor text…otherwise it just text. 

Why is Relevant Anchor Text Important?

Anchor text in general is important because it allows Google to easily crawl your website without wasting time finding different pages. 

When we use relevant text, Google gets an idea of what the page that you are linking to is all about.  If you use the anchor text “SEO Best Practices” Google will assume that the page has something to do with SEO best practices.  It will help you to rank for that specific keyword if used repeatedly on various pages.

How Often to Use Anchor Text in a Page

To prevent your page from looking like spam, you will want to limit the number of times that  you are linking to other pages. Our rule of thumb at The MarketingU is to use 3-5 hyperlinks per 500 words.  If you use more than that, your page will begin to look like spam and may be penalized.  If you use less than that, you are not taking advantage of the opportunity to add hyperlinks in your text. 

How Long Should Anchor Text Be?

Anchor text should be as long as it sounds natural and is relevant.  This is usually anywhere between 3 and 6 words but it could certainly be longer or shorter. 

For example, if we were to link this entire sentence to a page, it might be a little too long and irrelevant.

“If you are looking for the SEO best practices, you might check out our SEO FAQ page.” 

However, if you just used the “SEO FAQ page” as your anchor text, that would be perfect. 

How to Find The Best Anchor Text

If you want to find the best anchor text that is available, you could use an SEO keyword tool such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, or UberSuggest.  All of these tools will help you to find keywords that are similar to the keyword that you are targeting. 

If you type in one of these keywords and click “also ranking for” or “having the same terms”, you will see keywords that are similar to the one that you are attempting to rank for. 

If you don’t want to pay for an SEO tool, you could also just start typing your phrase into Google.  

What Is Anchor Text and where to find examples

All of these phrases could be good as anchor text.  

We always suggest creating hub pages that house all of your relevant content. The reason that we do this is that it should be easy to find relevant anchor text and it makes it easier for users to find everything that they want to read. 

Anchor Text: Myth vs Reality

  • Myth 1: You should always use exact match keywords in your anchor text.
  • Reality 1: You should vary the type of anchor text that you use.  Sometimes, you will want to use exact match anchor text, while other times you will want to use partial-match anchor text.
  • Myth 2: Anchor text is hard to add to my content. 
  • Reality 2: Anchor text is super easy to add! If you are using WordPress, you should just need to highlight the text that you are going to use as anchor text and then click the link button.  From there, just input the URL of the linked-to page and click save.
  • Myth 3: There is a specific proportion of types of anchor texts that I should be using. 
  • Reality 3: The perfect proportion of types of anchor texts is the one that sounds natural in your text. While you do not want to ALWAYS use exact match or partial-match keywords as anchor text, you do want to use both at different times.  

In Conclusion

Anchor text is the part of a paragraph that links to another page on your site.  It is very easy to add whether you use a tool to create the code, decide to write the code yourself, or just simply use the hyperlink tool in your content management system. 

You can find your anchor text using tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, or UberSuggest.  How do you find your anchor text? Tell us below!

Matt Reif

Matt Reif is a digital marketing expert that specializes in search engine optimization.He graduated from Millersville University in 2018 and has been working in the digital marketing space ever since. He went from working for a large multinational company, to working for a small but industry leading marketing agency where he did search engine optimization for car dealerships.


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