What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text, in simple terms, is the clickable text within a hyperlink that guides users from one page to another. It may seem like a small detail, but in reality, it plays a pivotal role in both SEO (search engine optimization) and user experience. In our experience, adopting the right approach for anchor text optimization can boost your website’s rankings on Google and ensure a seamless navigation experience for your visitors.

In the early days, keyword-rich anchor text was the go-to strategy for securing top search engine rankings. However, with Google’s ever-evolving algorithms, such practices have been rendered obsolete. Instead, we now focus on crafting anchor text that is relevant, concise, and informative. Gone are the days of exact match keyword anchors; now, it’s all about striking a balance between keyword variation and natural language.

When curating your anchor text, Google values relevance and context. Align the anchor text with the content of the linked page, as it not only aids search engines in understanding your website’s structure but also provides valuable information to your users. Don’t stuff keywords into your anchor text; rather, let it be a clear and enticing signpost that leads readers to precisely what they expect.

Different Types of Anchor Text

“Exact Match”

“Looking for SEO Company in Bangkok ”

“How do Facebook Ads work”

“How much for Website Design Bangkok”

A direct hit with the keyword we’re targeting. While this approach worked wonders in the past, we’ve learned that overusing it now can send red flags to Google. So, always opt for natural variations where possible.

“Partial Match”

“Best SEO services in Bangkok”

“Explaining Facebook advertising”

“Pricing for web design in Bangkok”

Offering a bit more leeway in terms of keywords. It allows us to include related terms while maintaining relevance. Strike a balance to maintain a healthy flow and avoid appearing spammy.



“Check out Phoenix Media’s services”

“Contact Phoenix Media for SEO support”

“See how Phoenix Media can improve your conversions”

This anchor text comes into play when showcasing our own brand. This one is self explanatory. But remember, subtlety is key in order to not sound overly promotional.



“Learn more”

“Visit this link”

“Continue reading”

This anchor text demands caution. It’s easy to fall into the trap of using mundane phrases like “click here,” but be sure to resist that temptation and craft more descriptive and enticing options.



Image Anchor Text-min
Advertising Banners are a good way to bring links through images.

In case we intend to transform that image into a clickable link, we can enclose it within a pair of anchor tags. A creative way to leverage anchor text. Remember to add alt text to describe the image and enrich the user experience.



When you use a straightforward URL as the anchor text. Reserve this for moments when simplicity is best.

Our Best Practices for Crafting Effective Anchor Text

Crafting effective anchor text is a crucial aspect of mastering SEO and optimizing your website’s performance. Here we share our best practices to help you create effective anchor text.

Relevance is the foundation of successful anchor text optimization. When selecting the words for your hyperlinks, always ensure they accurately reflect the content they lead to. Relevant anchor text not only helps search engines understand your page’s context but also entices users to click on the link, thus reducing bounce rates and increasing engagement.

Diversification is another key principle to bear in mind. While it might be tempting to rely heavily on exact-match keyword-rich anchors, we’ve found that mixing up your anchor text types yields better results. Internal links, which connect different pages within your website, can often use exact match anchors since Google understands you control the website.

However, the approach is different when it comes to external backlinks – links from other websites to yours. For these external backlinks, a variety of anchor text should be employed.

Example of anchor text distribution
Most SEO tools will be able to show the Anchor text distribution for your website.

Using a variety of anchor text, such as branded, partial match, and related keywords, not only adds depth to your content but also avoids triggering Google penalties for over-optimization.

Conciseness and clarity go hand in hand when crafting effective anchor text. Keeping the text succinct, ideally within five words or less, ensures that it looks natural and doesn’t overwhelm the reader. Additionally, providing a clear context about the destination page in your anchor text can greatly improve user experience, as they’ll know what to expect when clicking the link.

Google’s perspective on anchor text is also important to keep in focus. The search giant has emphasized the importance of descriptive and succinct anchor text that provides valuable context to users. Adhering to these guidelines not only aligns with SEO best practices but also creates a seamless browsing experience for your audience.

Refrain from using generic anchors like “click here” or “read more.” Such anchors lack informative value and may hinder user engagement. Alternatively, opt for unique and descriptive text that enhances your readers’ understanding of the linked content.

Also, avoid excessive internal linking, as it can raise red flags for both users and search engines. When your website contains an overwhelming number of links going to and from the same pages, it may come across as unnatural and manipulative. This can lead to a negative impact on your site’s credibility and search engine rankings.

Instead, focus on creating a cohesive and well-organized linking structure that enhances user navigation and adds value to their browsing journey. Opt for relevant and contextually appropriate anchor text to provide users with a clear understanding of where each link will lead them rather than over optimized anchor text. By doing so, you build trust with both your audience and search engines, positioning your website as a reliable and authoritative source in your industry.

Always keep an eye on your anchor text performance and be open to making adjustments. Regularly analyze the impact of your chosen anchor text on your site’s traffic and rankings. Monitoring and adapting your anchor text strategy ensures continuous improvement and optimization.

If you are looking for some help or advice on link optimization or SEO in general, contact Phoenix Media today for a free consultation.


  • Published on : Thursday August 10, 2023

About the author

As the managing partner for Phoenix Media, Rob brings over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing and running successful agencies in the UK, Australia and Thailand. Starting in a sales role he has covered all aspects of the agency from sales and service to technical ad operations. Reach him directly on rob@phoenixmedia.co.th

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