How to Write Better Anchor Text

by on 09/23/2009 in SEO Tips

Anchor text is the clickable text that a user will see as a link. The anchor tag looks like this <a href=””>How to Write Better Anchor Text</a>.

It’s very important the anchor text accurately describes the content on the external or internal link pages. If I was referring to an article on link building, my anchor text would look like the following – One Way Link Building.

The anchor text tells users and search engines like Google something about the page you’re linking to. Links on your page may be internal – pointing to other pages on your site or external – leading to content on other sites.

The better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for search engines like Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is all about.

Anchor Text Best Practices

Be descriptive – The anchor text you use for a link should describe the article or webpage it’s linking to. There are many webmasters including myself that make the common mistake by using anchor tags that are commonly known as “click here”, “download”, “page”, “go here”, etc. Avoid using generic text as these are used too often and you will be competing with many websites.

Other things to Avoid:

  • using text that has no relation to the content of the page linked to
  • using the page’s URL as the anchor text in most cases

How to write concise anchor text – Be short, but descriptive – usually two words or a short phrase is best. Writing long anchor text or sentences will not provide any benefit to the end user or Google. Write an anchor text as if you were searching by using a phrase. In most cases, this will help your pages be found in search results.

Links should be formatted so they’re easy to spot – Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text links. If you are using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and your links look like regular text, change your CSS so that your link decoration is underline.

Use anchor text for internal links – You may usually think about linking to external websites, but internal linking has advantages when it comes to Google Pagerank. Any link within the site that is optimized for a specific purpose is another link that passes value (which may not always be the case with external links providing backlinks to your site).

Anchor away!

13 Responses to “How to Write Better Anchor Text”

  1. Kikolani

    Sep 23rd, 2009

    This is a very important lesson. I remember I did a keyword density of my site once and the strongest words on the page were the default anchor text for Thesis excerpts like “Read the Full Article.” Certainly not the keywords I was aiming for!

    ~ Kristi
    .-= Kikolani´s last blog ..WordPress Thesis Theme Customization Part Three B: Posts & Social Bookmarking =-.

  2. Frank J

    Sep 23rd, 2009


    That’s why I spell it out to never use generic text for anchor text.

  3. I’ve been keeping my eyes out for a clear, concise post about anchor text that I could link to whenever I mention it. Thanks for providing it. I’ve saved the URL and will add it wherever the opportunity arises.

    I reviewed this post on StumbleUpon (thanks to SEMLabls) and noticed that StumbleUpon doesn’t like the font you’re using so I had to edit the quote marks and apostrophes in the excerpt I used. You might want to switch to one that SU likes better so your reviews there won’t be garbled.
    .-= Internet Strategist @GrowMap´s last blog ..Social Networking is NOT Chat =-.

    • Frank J

      Sep 24th, 2009

      I appreciate the heads up and will look into the font issue. This is the first time hearing about it.

  4. Hicham

    Sep 23rd, 2009


    ‘Anchor Text’ still the defacto of SEO until something new appear in the air yet you still see many new bloggers are not aware about it. Hopefuly who read will implement!
    .-= Hicham´s last blog ..You’ve got Tag #001 =-.

    • Frank J

      Sep 24th, 2009


      It’s very important and a great way to improve on page SEO!

  5. Custom Blog Design

    Sep 23rd, 2009

    The anchor text in backlinks play pretty much a simlar role as the page title is in on-page search engine optimization. The anchor text announce the topic of the page linked to. Although the value and number of backlinks will increase your Google PageRank, the anchor text will deternine your ranking in search engine results.
    .-= Custom Blog Design´s last blog ..Upgrading to WordPress 2.8 Problems =-.

    • Frank J

      Sep 24th, 2009

      Great comment and well explained. Anchor away!

  6. Beljenje

    Sep 24th, 2009

    Goods tips on anchor text. I’ve heard some speculations that Google like’s it when you write ‘click here’ for external links, since “that’s how the usual folks would have done it” but I’m don’t agree with this. Internal anchor text links are very valuable, nice to see you pointed that out.

  7. Thanks Frank, this is something I need to focus on more. Appreciate the breakdown, very helpful.
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..11 High Powered Personal Achievement Principles =-.

    • Frank J

      Sep 25th, 2009


      It’s always my pleasure to help. Thanks for the comment!

  8. a_usman

    Sep 26th, 2009

    thanks for this tip, as my blog is related to technology and I often do the same mistake.

    I will now focus on this

    • Frank J

      Sep 27th, 2009

      Nice blog you have and I am glad we can share tips on how to improve SEO.