There is no doubt that link building is a key component of your off-page SEO strategy. More often than not however, many businesses struggle to determine the types of anchor text they should be using when building a backlink. As a result, many sites end up acquiring Google penalties for excessively using exact match anchor texts and over-optimizing for their keyword. In this guide, we will go through different anchor text formats you should include in your off-page SEO strategy to diversify your backlink profile, as well as how many of each you should be building for your main site pages you want to rank. With that being said, let us first quickly define what anchor text is.
What is Anchor Text?
Without overcomplicating matters, anchor text is quite simply the clickable text that is hyperlinked. An example of this would be something like the term Mississauga SEO. As you can see the word “Mississauga SEO” is the anchor text that is hyperlinked. Anchor text also informs Google what a page is about and helps search engines categorize certain webpages depending on their individual anchor text. With that said, there are a number of different anchor texts that can be used especially when building backlinks. In the next section we will be going through a number of different anchor text types that you should utilize in order to diversify your backlink profile.
What are the Different Types of Anchor Text?
When it comes to Anchor texts there are a few types. These types include the following:
- Exact Match
- Partial Match
- Title Match/Long Tail Match
- No Text
- Author Name
With that being said, let’s cover each of these anchor texts in more detail.
Anchor Text Type #1 – Exact Match
The first type of anchor text is no other than the exact match. Exact match anchor texts are essentially anchor texts that are the exact keyword a website is trying to rank for. For instance, if a website is trying to rank for the term “SEO Services” an example of an exact match anchor text would literally be, “SEO Services”.
Exact match anchor texts are great to use when they have been built on highly relevant and authoritative sites. Some best places to consider using exact match keywords would be for niche related guest posts and niche edits.
Exact match keywords are also more often than not abused and serve as the cause of many Google penalties. Make sure that if you do decide to use exact match anchor text, that you do so in moderation to avoid over-optimizing for your desired keyword.
Anchor Text Type #2 – Partial Match
In addition to Exact match, the next anchor text type are partial matches. Partial match anchor texts usually include the exact match keyword + an additional term. An example of what a partial match would look like using our previous example would be something like “SEO Services in Brampton”. As you can see, the term still includes the primary keyword “SEO Services” however, it also includes the words “in Brampton” which make it a partial match.
Partial matches, similarly to Exact match, are great to use for niche related guest posts, niche edits, and niche forums. The best thing about partial match keywords are that they still include your primary keyword and also allow you to integrate secondary keywords in the same anchor to help Google better identify the contents of the webpage that is being hyperlinked.
Anchor Text Type #3 – Branded
Now that we have covered keyword related anchor texts, we can now start taking a look at other anchor texts such as branded. Branded anchor texts, as the name implies, are anchor texts that are hyperlinked by the company/brand name. An example of a branded anchor text would be something like “Click Typhoon”. As you can see the anchor text is the name of the SEO Agency but the hyperlink can be built to any page.
Branded anchor texts are great to use almost in all scenarios as they are naturally always an option and easy to integrate contextually. Even if you are ranking for a specific keyword such as “SEO Services” it is still advised that you diversify and utilize branded anchor texts as part of your link building strategy.
Anchor Text Type #4 – Title Match/Long Tail Match
Moving on to the next anchor text type, we come across title match anchor texts. Title match anchor texts are essentially anchors that come across as a title. For example, assuming that your targeted keyword is “SEO Services”, a title match anchor text could look something like “The Top 10 SEO Services to Offer as a Digital Marketing Agency”.
Title Anchors are also often referred to as long tail anchors which as shown from the example above, usually consists of multiple strings of keywords. These are great to use in addition to the previous anchor texts to diversify your backlinks and are best used in niche relevant blog articles.
Anchor Text Type #5 – No Text or Image Anchors
Onto the next anchor text type we have is actually no text anchors. These anchors are essentially images that have been hyperlinked to another webpage. Images and infographics are great ways to score easy backlinks to your site, because people will always appreciate visual aids. If you can provide a visual aid that summarizes information easier and the key takeaways, you will find many websites will want to naturally use your infographic and image. This in turn, generates you easy and high quality backlinks from niche relevant sites.
Anchor Text Type #6 – Naked
No we don’t mean anything R-rated, naked anchor texts are essentially a fancier way of saying URL backlinks. These backlinks are great to build on forum sites, social media sites, and high authority/relevant profile sites.
Anchor Text Type #7 – Generic
The next backlink anchor text you can use are generic anchor texts. Generic anchor texts are quite simply hyperlinked text that usually falls under the following categories:
- Visit our website
- Click here
- Learn more
- Visit here
These anchor texts are ideal to include in your link building strategy as they help diversify from traditional keyword heavy based anchors and offer more natural link anchors in the eyes of Google. At the end of the day, it is critical that you utilize all of these anchors to ensure that your link building looks as natural as possible.
Anchor Text Type #8 – Author Name
Finally the last anchor text we are going to talk about are Author Name anchors. Author name anchors are as the name suggests, simply using your name as the anchor text. An example of this would be something like this:
Ali Gabre (this would be hyperlinked)
Although this isn’t going to be your go-to anchor, it is still important to include these in your link building strategy to ensure that you are making your link building natural, while at the same time, adding a personable element to your business.
At the end of the day people do business with other people, not corporations without a name or face.
How many backlinks of each Anchor Text Should I use?
So now that you know the different types of anchors you can use, now you might be wondering how you should go about the percentage breakdown? To keep things simple for you I have created a table outlining the best way to organize your backlinks based on anchor text based on my 5 years of experience in the industry.
|Anchor Text Type||% of backlink profile||Example of Anchor Text Type (SEO Services Example)|
|Exact Match||10%||SEO Services|
|Partial Match||10%||SEO Services in Brampton|
|Title/Long-Tail Match||15%||The Top 10 SEO Services to Offer as a Digital Marketing Agency|
|No Text / Image||2%||Relevant Image|
|Generic||15%||Visit Here, Click Here, Learn More|
|Author Name||3%||Ali Gabre|
In conclusion, link building is as we all know already a slow process. However, next time you link build be sure to keep these anchor text variations in mind in order to maximize the optimization of your backlink profile. Happy link building!
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