If you are involved in building your brand online you have probably heard of links, and you may even have heard about anchor text.

Links are the paths that link websites together online, and anchor text is the visible, clickable words that the link itself appears as on a website.

For a website to be visible to Google, it needs to utilise links in order to give the website authority.


What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text can come in many different forms.  Here’s an easy example of anchor text.

Smarter Digital Marketing

And here’s another form of anchor test that points to the same link.

Online Marketing Agency

Both of these examples of anchor text point to the same website:


The difference is the first is a brand name anchor text and the second is a keyword phrase.  Even the last link in the form of the URL is technically an anchor text form.


Anchor TypeUseAnchor Text Example
Exact Keyword5%online marketing
Phrases20%find an online marketing firm
Brand Name10%Smarter Digital Marketing
Branded25%Smarter Digital Marketing are an experienced SEO firm
Brand And Keyword15%online marketing from Smarter Digital Marketing
Other Terms15%click here, read more, have a look



What Does Anchor Text Do?

Links and anchor text plays a huge role in how your website ranks on search engines.

Google for example can see the anchor text and the page it is linking to, and will use this information as an indicator of how relevant a site is in response to a search query.

If you have a number of other websites with anchors and links pointing to a specific website, all using similar anchor text keywords, Google will see this as an indicator that the site in question should rank highly for those search terms.

For example, if you create a link to a page with the anchor text web design Glasgow, Google will consider this website as a good search result for a search term using the same key phrase ‘web design Glasgow.’

The more links a website has, the more Google will favour it for search queries in that area.


The Problem for Companies

The problem arises when marketing agencies who are building links get lazy with their anchor text diversity.

If the same anchor text is used too much, google will pick up on it and view it as an attempt to manipulate search results.

This will ultimately result in the site being penalised and it will reduce their search result ranking.

This is the unfortunate reality for many companies that employ the services of SEO agencies.

SEO firms are sadly taking shortcuts in their practices that hurt the online reputation of their clients.

This is why it is very important to diversify the anchor text phrases and words that are being used.

smarter seo

Expert SEO Means Diversity

Experienced SEO companies know that diversity is the key to building successful links and maintaining strong digital marketing campaigns.

Proper SEO works with Google.

Lazy SEO works around Google.

SEO companies should be employing a variety of techniques when it comes to building links for their clients.


7 Types Of Anchor Text


1.      Exact Keyword – 5% of Links

This is most commonly overused anchor text, and interestingly enough, it is the one that marketers should be using the least.

An example of an exact keyword anchor would be ‘online marketing’ which would be used when trying to rank for the same phrase ‘online marketing.’

2.      Phrases – 20% Of Links

Phrase based anchor text is one of the best ways to build links without appearing spammy.

An example might be ‘find an experienced online marketing company in Glasgow’ which still includes the keywords ‘online marketing’ but in a less obvious way.

3.      Brand Name – 10% Of Links

This is a great way to use a diverse form of anchor text while boosting brand recognition.

It consists of only the brand name itself as the anchor.

This example is simply ‘Smarter Digital Marketing’ which can be used in the same sentence as the keyword for extra relevance, for example, ‘an online marketing company such as Smarter Digital Marketing.’

smarter links

4.      Branded – 25% Of Links

Branded anchor text consists of both the brand name and relevant phrase in the anchor.

The example here is ‘Smarter Digital Marketing are an experienced SEO company.’

5.      Brand and Keyword – 15% Of Links

This variant uses the brand name and keyword in the anchor, and care should be taken to ensure this is done naturally.

An example is ‘online marketing from Smarter Digital Marketing.’

6.      Other Terms – 15% Of Links

This consists of all other forms of anchors that are not brand names or keywords.

Examples include ‘read more’ ‘click here’ or ‘on this website.’

7.      URL – 10% Of Links

This is simply the URL of the website as the anchor text.

This is perfectly acceptable and should be utilised but not too much.