Exact match anchor text is an important concept to understand regarding SEO. It is the practice of using a keyword phrase that matches the content of the linked page to improve search engine rankings. In this article, we will discuss what exact match anchor text means, why it’s important, and the best practices for optimizing your anchor text strategy for SEO gains.
- Exact match anchor text is when the words of the anchor text match a targeted keyword or phrase exactly.
- It can be beneficial for SEO as it helps search engines understand what content is about, but too much exact-match anchor text can be seen as spammy by search engines and should be used strategically to maximize potential benefits while avoiding potential penalties from Google.
- Examples of exact match anchors include “dog grooming tips” linking to a page about dog grooming tips, “best running shoes for flat feet” linking to a page about best running shoes for people with flat feet, etc.
- The benefits of using them include increased visibility in SERPs and improved ranking; risks associated with overusing them are over-optimization penalties, unnatural link profile and loss of trustworthiness among visitors resulting in fewer conversions or sales.
- Key Takeaways:
- What Does Exact Match Anchor Text Mean?
- Examples of Exact Match Anchor Text
- Benefits Of Using Exact Match Anchors
- Risks Of Using Exact Match Anchors
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ending Summary
What Does Exact Match Anchor Text Mean?
Exact match anchor text is when the words of the anchor text match the exact keyword phrase you are targeting and trying to rank the page for.
This type of anchor text can be beneficial for SEO because it helps search engines understand what your content is about, which can help improve your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
However, too much exact-match anchor text can be seen as spammy by search engines, so using other types of anchor texts, like branded and partial anchors, is recommended to keep your backlink profile looking healthy.
Overall, exact match anchor texts should be used strategically to maximize their potential benefits while avoiding potential penalties from search engines such as Google.
Examples of Exact Match Anchor Text
Some examples of exact match anchor text when link building include:
- “dog grooming tips” linking to a page about dog grooming tips
- “best running shoes for flat feet” linking to a page about the best running shoes for people with flat feet
- “how to make a delicious chocolate cake” linking to a recipe for chocolate cake
- “how to fix a leaking faucet” links to a page with instructions on how to fix a leaking faucet
- “cheap airfare to Hawaii” linking to a page with deals and discounts on airfare to Hawaii
- “best yoga classes in New York City” linking to a page that lists the top yoga studios in New York City
- “types of insurance for small business” linking to a page that explains the different types of insurance available to small businesses
- “how to train for a marathon” linking to a page with a training plan and tips for running a marathon
- “organic gardening for beginners” links to a page that provides information and advice for people new to organic gardening.
Benefits Of Using Exact Match Anchors
Exact match anchors can be a great way to optimize your SEO efforts. Here are some of the key benefits of using exact match anchors when link building:
- Increased visibility: Exact match anchor text helps search engines understand the context of the page you are linking to, which can help boost your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Improved ranking: Using exact match anchor text can help improve your ranking for specific keywords, as it signals to search engines that you are targeting those terms.
- Increased click-through rate: Exact match anchor text can also increase the click-through rate from SERPs, as users will be more likely to click on links with relevant keywords.
- Brand recognition: Exact match anchor text can also help build brand recognition, as users will recognize your brand when they see it associated with relevant keywords in SERPs.
- Improved user experience: Finally, using exact match anchor text can help improve the user experience, as it provides users with more information about the link’s destination, aka what they’ll find when they click on a link.
Risks Of Using Exact Match Anchors
When doing SEO, there are several risks associated with using exact match anchors. Here is a list of the most common risks:
- Over-optimization penalties: Using too many exact match anchor texts can lead to an over-optimization penalty from Google, resulting in a drop in rankings and traffic.
- Unnatural link profile: Having too many exact match anchor texts in your link profile may look unnatural to search engines and could result in a penalty within the Google algorithm.
- Loss of trustworthiness: Excessive use of exact match anchor text may make your website appear untrustworthy to visitors, resulting in fewer conversions and sales.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to exact match anchor text within the practice of Search Engine Optimization:
1) What’s The Ideal Ratio of Exact Match Versus Non-Exact Match Anchors?
This isn’t an easy question to answer for many reasons, and like most everything in SEO, the answer is: it depends.
Some SEOs like to say 80% of all anchor text should be branded or generic anchors, while the remaining 20% can be split between partial and exact match anchors.
What we recommend doing is looking at these ideal ratios on a case-by-case basis evaluating the backlink profiles of competing pages ranking for your target keyword, and basing your decisions on this data.
2) Do Exact Match Anchors Actually Work For Ranking In SEO?
Exact match anchors can be beneficial for SEO ranking, as they provide a signal to search engines that the linked page is relevant to the keyword or phrase used in the anchor text. And yes, they do work extremely well for helping rank your webpage for a target term.
However, it is important to use exact match anchors in moderation and not overuse them. Too many exact match anchors can be seen as a sign of link building and may result in penalties from search engines.
It is best practice to use a variety of anchor texts, including partial matches, brand names, and generic terms such as “click here” or “read more”. Additionally, using natural language when creating links will help ensure that your content looks more authentic and less like an attempt at manipulating rankings.
3) Is Too Many Exact Match Anchors Only Risky On External Links Versus Internal Links?
Too many exact match anchors can be risky for both internal and external links. When used in excess, this can appear to be unnatural anchor text and manipulative to search engines, which may result in a penalty or decrease in rankings.
Internal links should also be varied with a partial match anchor text or generic anchor text to ensure that the link profile looks natural. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the anchor text is relevant to the page being linked to, as irrelevant anchor text can also lead to ranking issues.
Exact match anchor text benefits your SEO strategy. Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is exact match anchor text?” you know it’s smart to mix it with other anchor text types, such as partial or generic terms.
By following these exact match guidelines, you will be on your way to optimizing your website for better rankings and improved user experience.