Why the Right “Anchor Text” is Crucial to Your SEO

In the world of search engine optimization, nothing beats having a lot of links to your website from other sites. When Google sees all these links, they know your website is worthy of ranking higher in a search. It’s “social proof” that other people find your website valuable.

But there’s a catch …

On all those other websites, each link will have some kind of label. That is, there will be some text that is clickable and which links to your site. This is called “anchor text”, and what it says is crucial to successful SEO.

The trick is making sure the anchor text includes your keyword phrase, and not something vague like “click here.” You want the link to tell readers and the search engines what your site is about.

Let’s look at an example.

Say you sell bronze plaques that are used for signs and awards. If I were building links for your company, I would have those links say “bronze plaques,” “bronze signs,” “award plaques,” “engraved plaques,” or something similar. It would depend on exactly what search phrase we’re trying to rank for. And we may use different terms to link to different pages on your website.

What about your company name? Well, consider that you’re typically trying to rank for a phrase people will search on that has to do with what you sell. Typically, this is not your company name.

Case in point: One client of mine that offers home automation was using their company name as the anchor text in their back links. It was not surprising that they weren’t ranking well for the search term “home automation,” even though that phrase appeared all over their website.

When we changed the text in the back links from the company name to “home automation” they quickly started to rank for that — simply because Google saw that a lot of other websites were acknowledging that the website was indeed about home automation.

The lesson is that the links back to your website should contain relevant search phrases — anchor text in these links should clearly indicate what your site is about, both to users and to the search engines. Taking care of this one little detail can make a world of difference in search engine optimization.