Anchor Text for SEO

Anchor Text for SEO

Anchor Text is the words that you link to a website. The words that you click on to get to another site. Anchor text DOES matter and I’ll cover the proper way to use anchor text below. First let’s cover the basics.

Anchor Text for SEO - What it is, Types and How to Optimize for SEO

What is Anchor Text?

e.g. Please check out Great Gaming Blog. OR I created this blog using WordPress.

In the examples above, the blue words, “Great Gaming Blog” and “Wordpress” are the anchor text. Anchor text is blue and bolded in most website unless the owner has modified it.

What Does It Look Like in HTML?

In HTML, the anchor text is the words between the > and the </a> as shown below.

Anchor Text in HTML

Related: How to Understand Basic HTML

Different Types of Anchor Text

1. Exact-Match – keywords match what page is about. e.g. “puppy training” for a page on puppy training

2. Partial-Match – keywords closely match what page is about. e.g. “puppy training tips” for a page on puppy training

3. Branded – keywords match a brand name. e.g. “Wordpress” for the WordPress page.

4. Naked Link – the URL as anchor text. e.g. “” for the page

5. Generic – generic words that don’t have to do with the page. e.g. “Click Here” or “Check it Out!” or “More Details” for any page

6. Images – When you make an image a link, whatever the alt tag for the image is, is considered the anchor text.

Why Does Anchor Text Matter?

Anchor Text is used by search engines to help determine what websites are about which in turn helps them decide for what searches they should show that website as a result. So basically if you run a puppy training website you want people to link to you using words that have to do with puppy training or your brand or URL. Unfortunately you cannot really help what other people do. However you can make sure anchor text is done correctly on YOUR websites.

The main tip you want to remember is moderation. Google likes websites/blogs that are natural. If all your links are exact-matches or are all a naked link they will think your site is spammy because it looks like you are trying to game the system. The purpose of SEO is to help guide the search engines, not to fully control how they see your website.

So you want to make sure you use a combination of all the anchor text types with the exception of the generic terms. When you use terms like click here, you aren’t telling search engines anything about the site you are linking to. This hurts them but it also hurts you. Google likes to see a website with internal and external links and they want you to have RELEVANT links. They can’t see if you are linking to pages relevant to your topic without proper anchor text.

e.g. You run a puppy training site. If you have some links in your website/blog to other sites with anchor text “click here”, “see for more details” and “check this out,” then Google doesn’t know if you are linking to relevant sites or not. Your links would be better to be “train your puppy”, “” and “Petsmart.”

Main Takeaways

Anchor Text is the words that are linked to another website. They are usually blue and clicking them will bring you to another site.

You want anchor text to be relevant. Choose words that make sense to the site you are linking too.

Make sure you add relevant alt tags to images, especially if they are linked somewhere.

Don’t use generic anchor text like click here.

Don’t stuff your anchor text with keywords, use all one type of anchor text or do anything else that seems unnatural.

Kathleen Garber-Bailey

Kathleen is a blogaholic and social media enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. She is a SAHM of five and a Girl Guide leader in addition to her multiple online endeavours.

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7 thoughts on “Anchor Text for SEO
  1. Jennifer

    I love this post! I know so many bloggers who don't even know what SEO is. That's a huge handicap for them.

  2. Audrey

    This is such great information! EVERYONE who has a website should read this. I know SO MANY people who don't even know what it is.

  3. valmgMomKnowsItAll

    SEO can be so tricky even to an experienced bloggers, it's very confusing for many new bloggers. This is a nice, simple explanation of something that is very important.

  4. diane

    Thanks for the tips. The whole Google/SEO thing confuses me some days but I am trying to learn as much as I can. Most days it sounds like Greek to me but this was very easy to understand!


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