Website 101: Anchor Text Done Right

Website 101: Anchor Text Done Right

Any users who’ve clicked their way through pages of online content has had first-hand dealings with anchor text. These are the words in big, bold blue (or possibly other color) – the verbal link you slide your cursor over to perform the all-important CLICK. Given the significance of clicks in a wide range of online endeavors, brand marketers labor night and day to ensure they get their fair share.

Clicks, however, don’t happen automatically or by magic. To trigger this user action, anchor text must have a built-in persuasive quality – something in the wording that prompts the click. Thus, the chosen text must be spot-on.

What makes good, clickable anchor text? First, brand marketers should steer clear of overt directions or commands. Case in point: phrases such as ‘click here’ or its numerous variations. Instead, use relevant keywords as anchor text. These verbal signposts alert visitors to the informational bonanza coming their way should they perform the desired click. Furthermore, keywords signal the search engines about the nature of your website content.

Brand marketers also should strive to economize on anchor text – sprinkle the verbiage throughout content so that it is both natural and germane to the topic at hand. This strategy is far more rewarding than over-stuffing paragraphs with the same anchor text, over and over to an absurd degree. Keyword cramming not only repels readers – it drives away search engines.

Related to this limited use strategy is the variety factor. Rather than repeat the same key-worded anchor text, vary the phrasing somewhat to create different keyword structures. Some instances of anchor text might be the exact keywords, while others could feature this verbiage with supporting or modifying text. Use of brand name as anchor text also helps to provide necessary variety. Bear in mind, this textural differentiation isn’t solely to make verbiage more interesting. Varied anchor text also sits well with search engines and likely will improve the overall score of your site.

If you have any questions or comments about anchor text, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.