How to Use Anchor Text
Here’s the low-down on anchor text to help you provide a great user experience, maintain your credibility, and drive traffic to your blog or website.
Anchor text is the text that appears highlighted in a hypertext (active) link. Clicking on the anchor text opens the target web page. The text may be a URL, a word, or a phrase. For instance:
“Submit your high-quality, original articles to EzineArticles for more exposure, credibility, and traffic back to your website.”
In this example, “EzineArticles” is the anchor text, the target is http://EzineArticles.com/.
Seems simple enough, right? Yes and no.
Like your title, your anchor text and its context is a promise to your reader. By clicking on your links, the reader is taking a leap of faith that you will take them where they want and expect to go. Don’t disappoint your readers.
Here are three Resource Box scenarios to illustrate good and bad anchor text in action.
Note: In the following examples, the underlined text indicates the scenario’s link. Each example is a fictitious website and therefore is not an active link.
Scenario #1 – Misleading Anchor Text
An article titled “A Guide to Surviving a Shark Attack” delivers great survival tips as a result of a shark attack. The Resource Box:
“You can click here to know more.”
Expectation: To be taken to additional shark survival tips or more survival tips in general.
Reality: The anchor text links to a site selling purses.
Result: Author loses the reader’s trust.
Scenario #2 – Mismatched URLs
An article titled “Can Zinc Be Used to Cure Acne?” delivers a provocative argument for the medicinal use of zinc and other homeopathic methods to cure acne. The Resource Box:
“Zoe Auteur is an expert on homeopathic methods. For more tips on acne cures and zinc, visit zincacnecure.com”
Expectation: To be taken to a page with more information on acne cures and zinc.
Reality: The reader is directed to http://some-other-website.com that discusses search engine optimization, not zincacnecure.com.
Result: Author loses credibility.
Scenario #3 – Descriptive and Relevant Anchor Text
An article titled “Top Secret Bayou Tips to Cajun Cooking” delivers quality, informative insights into Cajun cooking using Louisiana Bayou methods. The Resource Box:
“Bill Ecrivain owns and manages Toucan’s Bayou Kitchen, Louisiana’s premiere Cajun-Bayou restaurant. Visit http://toucans-bayou-kitchen.com for more Cajun cooking tips!
Expectation: To be taken to Bill Ecrivain’s website featuring his restaurant and more Cajun cooking tips.
Reality: The reader is taken to a website featuring Bill Ecrivain’s tips, videos, and more on the art of Cajun cooking in the Louisiana Bayou.
Result: Author builds the reader’s trust, gains credibility, and the reader subscribes to various newsletters and videos.
Bear these scenarios in mind next time you’re optimizing your anchor text. Strive to create the best possible user experience by always delivering quality, relevant content from your article’s title to your anchor text.