This post is by guest author, Marsha Robinett. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Anchor text simply defined, is the visible part of the link
. It 'tells' your visitors useful information about the content of the page you are linking to. It also tells search engines what the page is about. Used well, anchor text will boost your rankings in search engines and make your site more user friendly.
With that in mind...
when you use the words 'click here' as the words people are going to click on, you are telling your visitors (search engines included) the page is about 'click here'.
So, we now know that anchor text is the visible part of the link
and gives users descriptive information about the content of the links destination...but what does it really look like and how should you use it?
When I post a new still life drawing on my blog and link back to my website, instead of using the web address http://marsharobinett.com
, the anchor text could look like this, MarshaRobinett.com
, (much cleaner) [Editor's Note: Marsha Robinett, Artist
would be an even better way to do it].
Now, lets see what it looks like when you add key words into your anchor text.
For example...I could say, "Please visit my website
to see more of my work" (website is NOT a keyword unless you design websites). So, how about this, "Please visit my website to see more of my carbon pencil still life drawings
." I've just told the viewer exactly what they will see using a 'key word filled phrase' for SEO. This is way better than the old "click here".
Generally speaking, readers are more likely to click on anchor text as opposed to a long drawn out url or 'click here'...partly due to curiosity and partly because it looks cleaner and more professional.
Internal anchor text, (linking previously posted information)
, increases the likelihood of your readers staying on your website or blog longer. When possible, use some key words from the title or words that relate to the article you are linking to. You have no control over how other people will link to you, but you can do much to optimize the pages on your site by using good key word anchor text and deep linking back to yourself.
Still not convinced?
Consider this...Screen readers, used by the visually impaired, have the ability to read out only the hyperlinks on a page as a quick method of navigation.
What if your visitor prints your page...'click here' now is mute. They have nothing to even reference, nothing to tell them what 'click here' is about. Therefore, that link and that information, is lost.
Appropriate descriptive anchor text is important
and working in a few key words will just raise the bar, adding 'juice' for the search engines. You are linking anyway or should be, so why not do it in a manner that will make your pages more people friendly and your site more attractive to the search engines. Anchor text, when done right will make a difference.