Why is Anchor Text important?

By CorexpandCX on June 22, 2011

Anchor text is the word(s) on a webpage that are hyperlinked within a sentence. 

For example, in this sentence;

Visit the FAQ section to learn about PunchOut Catalogs.

The anchor text of the sentence is the keyword phrase “punchout catalogs”. Notice that clicking the anchor text leads (hyperlinks) to a blog post about punchout catalogs.

So, why is anchor text important?

Search engines want to find the most relevant content as fast as possible. The scanning tools that search engines use to find and index content (called spiders) follow hyperlinks to new content.  They decide on what content is important by the keywords that are in the anchor text.  

So which do you think is more relevant to the search engine spider?

Sentence 1:  Visit the FAQ section to learn about Punchout Catalogs.

Sentence 2: Visit the FAQ section to learn about Punchout Catalogs.

Sentence 1 is the winner!  

The most common argument that I get against using anchor text is “readers need a “click here” or action word to know where to click.”  This is a myth.  Studies have shown that readers are statistically more likely to click on a word or phrase that is relevant to what they’re looking for rather than a standard “click here” or “select here”.

So there’s a double advantage to making sure to use anchor text in your websites and blog posts.

1)      Search engine value

2)      Reader value

There is also a third value point:  internal link value. 

You want to hyperlink keyword specific anchor text to pages in your website or blog that talk about that specific keyword.  This lets the search engines know that you’re leading the reader to a value added page about that keyword.

The search engines give that page extra value points because of it.  The more your page is valuable the higher that page will rank in the search engines.

Posted in SEO and Web Design Tips