How to Cope When Your Anchor Text is a Drag

One of the most important aspects of online content is connecting your anchor text to your desired URL. It’s a key player in determining what your company or content will rank for in the SERPs and when used correctly will make readers click through to your page. Bloggers use anchor text to keep readers on their site while companies use it to drive traffic and position their brand.

Anchor Text for Beginners

shutterstock_136938689Anchor text, or the hyperlinked word(s), is strategically chosen to first fit the content and second to link to a quality resource and/or 3rd party affiliation. Suppose you are given the anchor text www.ihaveareallyreallyreallyreallylongurl.com . Anchor text like that poses a challenge because it lacks subtleness. Full length URL anchor texts stick out like sore thumbs and while that may seem ideal for companies wishing to broadcast their site, it sends a red flag to editors and is awkward for readers. Oftentimes, anchor texts are forced into the copy as well.

Anchor text plays a major in multiple departments at CopyPress. Identification of good vs. bad anchor text can determine the ease of both writing and placement.

Anchor Text for Writers

Depending on what the assigned keywords are, adding anchor text is either the easiest or most frustrating part of a writer’s job. Look at the three examples below:

Difficult Anchor Text

To call it a “Magic Address Book,” as the Smartr team does, might be overstating the point. But this app certainly does more than the notepads gathering dust in your drawers, and its minimal data usage works well with plans like the ones you’ll find on http://———-/plans.

This article was originally about the Smartr app, and an entire paragraph was built specifically to establish a connection between the app and data plans. Another way to make a full length URL anchor text seem more natural in an article is by adding another useful resource link nearby. By also linking to the Smartr app, it’s feasible for a publisher to see the relationship between the data usage plan link and an app link.

Average Anchor Text

New York City is home to several major tourist attractions, including its famous Times Square, which is lit up by revelers every New Year’s Eve, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Museum of Modern Art. New York City holds a special place in every American’s heart after the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center. Visiting the 9-11 Memorial is an emotional, yet rewarding experience for any traveler.

Here, the link appears within the content and provides an excellent resource for the reader. When people want to learn more about the 9-11 Memorial, they will click on the URL.

Easy Anchor Text

There are plenty of things to do in Chicago, and trying the city’s world famous, Chicago-style pizza should be near the top of your agenda. Millennium Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and Wrigley Field are also worth a visit while you’re visiting this fine city, known for its easy, laid-back lifestyle.

These are ideal anchor texts because they are not advocating a specific site or highlighting a certain brand. Also, people are more likely to search for “things to do in Chicago” than exact phrases like Wrigley Field and Lincoln Park Zoo.

Writing with predetermined anchor text often creates a catch-22 for writers. Should they write the article and then go in and reword paragraphs to add anchor text, or should they write out the article with anchor text and then edit for flow? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

shutterstock_138389804Anchor Text for Connectors

Connectors are the last line of defense before content is released to the hands of a publisher. Along with checking for typos and grammar errors, read the article for flow and the use of Anchor text.

Use this guide/checklist when you’re faced with a difficult anchor text to place:

  • Include other resource links nearby the difficult anchor text.
  • Make sure the content around the anchor text makes sense and connects to the article.
  • Establish a strong relationship with an editor or publisher when placing an article with a difficult text. You want to build on your connection with the publisher before supplying him or her with a difficult assignment to place.
  • See if there are compromises. Sometimes publishers are ok with full-length URL anchor texts, but would like to remove the “http” and other small formatting edits.
  • Be confident that your anchor text assignment is an essential resource for readers. If you craft content to fit your anchor text, more than likely a publisher will understand why it’s added. Don’t be afraid to explain why it makes sense.

Hopefully this article will get you on your way to creating and placing successful anchor text. If you’re still stuck on how to naturally incorporate anchor text into your writing, ask me in the comments or just keep reading.

About the author

Jeremy Juhasz