Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to Make Anchor Text

What the heck is Anchor Text? 

Anchor text is the word or phrase you use for a link. When you click on a link, the words you click on are the anchor text.

What You Will Learn

Any words can be used as anchor text, but what you want to learn is how to choose anchor text that will maximize your blog's standing in search engines.

Basically, search engines rank your site based, in part, on the types of links that you have on your blog and the links other people have about your blog. Search engines take those words used in anchor text and associate them with your blog. The more frequently they appear, the higher the ranking.

When a person types in a search term related to your blog into, say, Google, you want your site to be as close to the top as possible. For me, when someone searches for "Cover Crazy review" (because maybe they're looking for a Cover Crazy post), I want my site to be one of the first that appears. And, lookie here:

My blog comes up as the number one and number two results. That means people searching for "Cover Crazy review" are more likely to go to my site.

So how can you accomplish this on your own site? Keep reading to find out how.

Let's Do This!

Bad Anchor Text:

Bad anchor text is text that has nothing to do with your site. If I wanted to direct you to Nina and Yiota's awesome blog, this would be a bad way for me to make my anchor text:

Check out the fantastic blog Splash of Our Worlds by clicking here!

"Here" has nothing to do with their blog, so while it's nice for things like word of mouth, this doesn't really do much for them in regard to search engines.

Likewise, if I'm running an event like, say, Busting the Newbie Blues, it wouldn't be very helpful for me to write something like this:  

Want to check out my new event Busting the Newbie Blues? Click here!

"Here" has nothing to do with my blog or my event.

Good Anchor Text:

Good anchor text relates to the blog in some way. If you're trying to decide what would make good anchor text, think about what you would type into a search engine to find your blog or one of your posts.

If I want to pimp my events, here's how I'd want to do it:

Check out my fantastic Spotlight on YA Gothic Fiction!

Join me for my Busting the Newbie Blues Event!

Are you a fan of Kiersten White? Check out my Paranormalcy book review!

See the difference? All of my anchor text relates to my blog in some way.

Now if I want to spread the blogger love and pimp a fellow blog, I'm also going to want to use smart anchor text. I want to help my fellow bloggers out as much as I can, so for Nina and Yiota, here's what I'd write:

Check out Nina and Yiota's fantastic blog Splash of Our Worlds!

And if I really want to go all out because, you know, I love their site, I'll link to their main page using their blog name as anchor text and then link to various pages on their site. Like so:

Splash of Our Worlds always keeps me updated with the latest movie, book, tv, music, and blogging news in their What's New Wednesday posts. And considering the gigantic rock I live under, you'd better believe I'm thankful to them for keeping me in the loop! If news isn't what you're looking for, then you can always find a great review to read. Aside from these posts, one of my favorite features is their Movies VS Books feature where they compare books to their film adaptations.

The more often your site is linked on other blogs using good anchor text, the higher your blog will rank in related search results. The way I figured it is if I'm mentioning a blog on my site, then it's probably because I love them to pieces so why not help boost their rankings a little?

I know sometimes there can be jealousy among bloggers, but really, another blog's success will never hurt you and it can only help you. If it weren't for those successful blogs, I probably never would have gotten into blogging, learned all the things I've learned about blogging and books, and met all of you wonderful bloggers. I'm pretty grateful!

But, back to the point, choosing smart anchor text is a great way to help boost your blog's rankings. Next week I'll show you some ways to put those links to even better use on your blog.

I hope you've found this post helpful!

If anyone has any other questions or requests for future How To posts, you can either ask them in the comments or email me. Please don't feel shy at all! 

I'm certainly not an expert, but I'll try my hardest to explain what I do know and research what I don't know.

Click here to read previous How To Posts 


  1. O_O

    ... okay, so I had no idea it worked this way. Good to know.

    Alright, I have a question: how do you get coloured or lined boxes around text? I've noticed you and other people will put the description of the book they are going to review in a box and they somehow place the cover in the corner of that box. Hopefully what I just said makes sense. Anyway, it's very visually appealing and I would be interested in learning how that's done. Thanks!

  2. Well, I'm an idiot. I always do the click "here" thing.

    *pencil eye*

    Now I know. TY! *runs off to find eye patch*

  3. Now, that's a good post. Thanks for feature us in it too.

    I always knew that's how it works, but when i write fast i'm forgetting what i have to do with the links. Thanks for reminding me!

  4. Ah, I never thought about this before!! I think you're gonna change the way I do things on my site forever hahah. Thanks Small :)

  5. This was indeed utterly helpful! You've got a great point and I have to remember to do that now!


    Asher K.

  6. This is awesome! I've been blogging for two years and I had no idea I had to anchor my links! Great post!

  7. I always love your tutorials :)

  8. For real this post was SO helpful! When I read the "here" no-no's it was literally *headdesk*...but your explanation and tips will get me going better. lol

  9. Aylee, I know exactly what you mean. I have a few How To posts scheduled already, but I’ve added the answer to your question in a post scheduled for Wednesday February 16th. If you want to know sooner than that, just shoot me an email and I’ll write you up some quick instructions. :) Thanks for the question!

    Missie, Aw, no stabbing in the eye!! I only learned this recently myself.

    Yiota, you’re welcome :) I like to spread the blog love.

    I’m glad you all found this post helpful! I think we’re all just figuring things out as we go along. :)

  10. I never knew about this before so this post was really helpful- thank you! I need to remember to do this now :)

    Thanks for your comments on my Queen's Daughter and Daughter Of Fire and Ice reviews. Also, Daugher Of Fire and Ice has a seqeul that came out this month called Sigrun's Secret.I think you'd enjoy both of them, they'd be great for the YA historical fiction challenge.

  11. Stephanie, I'm so glad you found my post helpful! Thank you for the heads up about Sigrun's Secret!

  12. I do this too! Great tip to pass on :)

  13. I never knew this - very insightful! :)


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