December 15, 2021 Azka Munir

Improving SEO by Using Anchor Text Correctly

Link building is one of the essential factors for ranking your site on SERPs. Though you may not know that giving those links the right anchor text matters too.

Optimizing your anchor text according to SEO basics will protect your site from penalization and gather more traffic. In fact, if you skip optimizing them from the beginning, you may never see any traffic.

This article discusses how you should be writing your anchor text so that you gain enough visitors to your website.


What is an Anchor Text?

An anchor text is primarily the words you use to link internally or externally on your webpage.

It serves as an “anchor” linking you from one destination to another.

They are not only for links but also for downloads in the form of PDFs and Google Drive files.

anchor text types

They serve the purpose of informing the visitor about what the link entails.

Hence, they are the promise you give to your reader letting them know what is on the other side of the link.

For instance, if you link about the results of a survey i.e. 68 percent of participants…, then your readers expect the report to be behind the link.

Other than that, it also informs the algorithm of search engines about your content.

The algorithms check if you are not spamming your content with links and understanding the relevance of those links.

Thus, an anchor text is equally important as the link the text carries.

These are further divided into several types.

Let’s find out about them below!


Exact Match

In this case, the anchor text is the exact keyword of the webpage you are linking to.

For instance, copywriting practices links a page with the same focus keyword.

In the past, using exact match keywords meant that your page will do well.

However recent updates in Google Panda and Google Penguin started penalizing sites that over-optimized with exact matches.

Around 3.1 percent of sites were hurt by the over-optimization penalty by Google.

Hence, by any means, you should not be overusing them and choose other forms of anchor texts too.

Partial Match

If an exact match links to the exact keyword, a partial match attaches more generic words with the keyword and then links it.

It is the best of both worlds scenario whereby you can link the keyword without coming off as spammy and search engines can detect it while not assuming you are manipulating the algorithm.

For instance, using:

take action cta


These refer to when the text does not point towards any specific keyword.

You will have to look at the surrounding context to understand what the link entails.

It is widely used in the form of a call to action (CTA).

They are actually quite powerful in directing attention towards the link.

These include:

  • Read more
  • This page
  • Click here
  • Download here

However, do not use them in excess.

The generic text can get repetitive and boring pretty fast.


Random text is usually used for external linking.

The text really does not relate to the keyword in any way.

Hence, you can link it to any words.

An extensive article, new rules, etc, random text can be anything, really.

chart of types of anchor text.

Other Types of Anchor Text


Branded refers to the text that includes your brand name.

If you write about popular authors, CEO, journalists in your brand, search engines also see that as branded text.

For instance, branded text for Mrakfiniti will be linking to the homepage.


These are related to the keywords but do not contain the exact keyword.

Hence, they may be similar to a partial match except that they do not contain the keyword precisely.

It diversifies your link profile.

Moreover, it helps the search engine crawlers to identify what your link is about.

For instance, writing about “New algorithm changes” targeting the keyword Google Panda updates.


There is no text but simply a link.

A clickable URL from the address bar is simply copy-pasted.

This usually works in the form of references for images or text sources.

They are definitely unpretty and you may find them distracting while reading.

Therefore, insert them at the end while using footnotes.


A long-tail anchor usually entails the keyword alongside, relevant, generic, branded and descriptive words.

Writers may even link an entire sentence or a subheading.

This would include examples like:

Images- Alt Text

The anchor text for images is the alt text.

The search engines read the alt text the same way they register the anchor text.

They also improve your SEO for Google Images.

Most importantly it provides an opportunity for people using screen readers to understand the image making it concise and accurate.

Other than that, you can also use brand and keywords together.

For instance, Digital Marketing by Markfinti.

You can mention the keyword alongside the brand.


Best Practices for Using Anchor Text

Now that you know what different types of anchor texts you can include in your content, let’s find out how you can use them to improve your SEO.

These practices allow the search engines to crawl your page and understand what the links represent.

2d display of link building

Stay Relevant

Your anchor text should relate to the topic and the page you are linking to.

Exact matches can get rather spammy.

The link relevancy of topic A with topic B is important.

If it is highly relevant both pages A and B can rank higher if people search for their keywords.

Hence, links that have anchor text relevant to the source page send a stronger relevance link.

Keeping the text relevant to the target page and staying within the topic is important.

This way the search engines can identify what the web pages are all about and whether they should rank your web pages higher in relation to those terms.

However, if you use random texts without relevancy then that can make it look like nothing more than clickbait.

In which case, you may lose your visitor’s trust.

What’s worse Google can penalize your site if that link looks manipulative.

Hence, there should be relevancy between the links and their anchor texts on both pages.

stats on links

Stuffing  and Using a Variety of Anchor Text

If the anchor texts of the inbound links on the site are similar then it may look like they are not acquired naturally.

Hence, you should not stuff with the same anchor text for the link every time.

Exact matches are good to be used sometimes.

It is better to naturally write using a partial match supporting the context of the article.

Plus do not use the same anchor text for internal links on your articles either.

Google senses this as spammy behavior and can end up penalizing your site.

The same goes for external links too as that could represent over-optimization.

On the other hand, you should go for choosing a variety of anchor texts.

Around 30 to 40 percent of your article should have partial matches.

About 20 to 30 percent can be generic, random, exact matches and naked anchors.

The remaining can be your branded anchors around 30 to 40 percent.

However, this ratio is different for everyone.

You do not necessarily need to follow a template.

Your brand and naked links can be up to 80 percent and relevant or exact matches up to 10 or 5 percent respectively.

Hence, it depends on your niche and what your competitors are going for.

Plus, the anchor text should be succinct.

Describe the content in a concise way without being vague.

While keeping in mind what words to use that will make the visitors click the link.

Incorporate Image Alt Tags

Do not forget alt tags as they are not only the anchor text for your images but also help the visually impaired understand the image and its context.

Other than that, they have a prominent role in SEO.

They also help the bots in Google to understand what an image represents when they crawl the page.

As a result, your alt tags should be very descriptive, explaining the picture in detail while also including the keyword.

However, do not stuff the alt tags with the keywords.

If you are using 7 pages about 3 or 4 should have the keyword in the alt tag.

But they should be naturally placed without any keyword stuffing.

semrush table of links and texts

Keep the Surrounding Text in Mind

When writing the anchor text, keep in mind what words you will use that will generate the click.

However, for that, the wordings of the link are not the only important thing.

Rather, a visitor will also read the surrounding text to decide whether they should click on the link.

Plus, this allows you to gather what the link will be about.

It generates trust in the visitor that it will be a reliable link rather than spam.

Hence, the link text should be relevant and useful to the visitor.

Not only your visitors but search engines like Google do the same too.

They can scan the entire sentence surrounding the link to make sense of it.

Therefore, keep the entire sentence in mind while adding a link to your article.

Also, avoid getting and giving toxic backlinks.

Instead to get good authority links you may try guest blogging to improve your SEO.

Finally, the appropriate use of an anchor text can become a ranking signal for Google.

It can tell Google what your page is about and positively affect your SEO bringing your website up on SERPs.

Thus, next time you write an article, choose your anchor text wisely by keeping their types and practices in mind.

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