BigCommerce helps growing businesses, enterprise brands, and everything in-between sell more online.

What is Anchor Text? (Updated for 2019)

Definition: Anchor text is the clickable portion of an on-page hyperlink that describes the link and sets user expectations. Anchor text helps search engines derive meaning and context from hyperlinks, making them an important factor in SEO — with negative repercussions for webmasters who abuse.

The hyperlink Ecommerce platform for growing businesses appears as follows in HTML:

Ecommerce platform for growing businesses

User-friendly Content Management Systems enable hyperlinks to be added without configuring a page's HTML.

Anchor Text and SEO

Internal and inbound links have a significant impact on a website's organic search value and performance. Anchor text provides direction on the context of a link, influencing the value it adds to the recipient domain.

  • Internal links help a search engine find a website's content, assess its internal importance, and connect the dots between related subjects. Internal links comprise both navigation and body text.

  • Inbound links are seen as "votes" that validate a page. The strength (or "authority") of a linking domain plays a crucial role in determining the value of a link. Another important factor is anchor text, which provides context.

For example - if an ecommerce product page earns several inbound links to a shoe sale page with anchor text similar to "Buy Nike Air IV on sale," search engines may rank the page higher for relevant searches. The same principle applies to internal links, but these carry much less value.

While relevant anchor text is encouraged, it's important to be cautious of over-optimization. The abuse of inbound and internal links led Google and other search engines to penalize websites that have excess links of repeat, highly-relevant anchor text.

How to select anchor text

Effective anchor text should be done with users in mind. If anchor text succinctly describes or teases the hyperlink, it is likely incorporating relevant keywords and benefits a site's SEO. Anchor text directly corresponds to click through rate

Conversely, ambiguous or generic anchor texts can lead to customer frustration and significantly diminish a link's CTR. For example, a link to a product page showcasing stereo systems that is generically labeled "great deals" does not provide enough context — to users or search engines.

Anchor text comes in three general varieties:

  • Branded - Incorporates a brand name in the anchor text, i.e. a link to the BigCommerce homepage. A standalone brand anchor is still relevant for any hyperlink that points to a company website, but could be expanded to describe a specific page. For example, Visit BigCommerce Enterprise to register for a product demo today.

  • **Descriptive:**Concisely summarizes the subject, purpose, or information provided from a link. Google's search algorithm incorporates over 200 signals in its ranking algorithm.

  • "Naked" Link - The anchor text and URl are one and the same, i.e.

Try to avoid:

  • **Generic:**Call-to-action anchors, i.e. click here to go back to the Big Commerce main page. Click here, learn more, and other nondescript anchors do not provide context to fully maximize a link's SEO value and appeal to users.

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