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How to Create an Effective Link Using Anchor Text

When most people think of a link, they usually imagine a clickable web address like http://www.jellysites.com. However, what people often overlook are the links that contain words like "click here" or "affordable small business websites". The truth is, there are two parts to a link--where the link goes when clicked (ie the action), and what text is displayed to the user (ie anchor text). The anchor text is what you see and the action (or link) is behind the scenes and is embedded in the HTML of the page. An example looks like this, <a href="http://www.jellysites.com">click me</a> where "click me" can be any text.

When placing your link on other websites (in other words, creating incoming links to your site), it's best to use keywords for the anchor text rather than simply using the web address. For humans, keywords are a bit more reassuring than an obscure web address. But just as importantly, search engines tie those keywords to your website. For example, "affordable small business websites" is more descriptive than "http://www.jellysites.com". The search engines are going to associate "affordable small business websites" with the website that the link goes to (http://www.jellysites.com). As a result, when someone does a search for affordable small business websites, www.jellysites.com will have a higher organic placement than using the web address as the anchor text.

It should be mentioned that anchor text doesn't have to be text. It can be an image or combination of text and image. However, since search engine spiders can't read text that's in an image, it's best to use text.

As mentioned in Using Incoming Links to Boost Search Rankings, it's extremely helpful to populate the World Wide Web with links back to your website. Here's an example that you can use when submitting your link:

<a href="http://www.yourdomain.com" title="Click for more information about affordable small business websites">Affordable Small Business Websites</a>

Note: the "title" attribute is what displays when you roll over a link. It's not required, but gives your visitors a little more information about the link.

It's also a good idea to vary the anchor text you use on other websites. This gives you more opportunities to use different keywords. What's more, if you use the same anchor text everywhere, it could alert search engines that perhaps you are using an automated service to post your links on other sites, which has a negative effect.

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Categories: SEO
 

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