It’s nearly 2022, and it’s hard to believe that this [still] needs to be said, but it does. BACKLINKS MATTER. Not just a little. A lot. And what matters more than the backlinks? The anchor text in that backlink. Yes, the search engines have gotten really good at understanding the text around your link, but well thought out anchor text is still better than a semantic guess by the search engines.
More often than not, backlinks to the site will use the company name or the name of the website (www.domainname.com) as the anchor text. And while that’s great for Branding purposes (and may make the CMO or the CEO feel good), it really isn’t needed. That’s because in most cases, companies already rank very high (if not first) for searches that incorporate their Brand. This is especially true for Companies that have their Brand name as part of the domain name. This is a real example of an anchor text word cloud based on inbound links from a former Client:
The first thing you’ll notice is that the name of the client – in this case, a rehabilitation and treatment facility in the UK – is the most predominant term in the cloud. That’s because, according to Majestic, over 38,000 of their 120,000 plus inbound links use the brand name as the anchor text.
The Right Way to do Anchor Text in Links
First off, don’t do the easy thing and go for links to the obvious target – like your home page. If you’re selling a product or a service, that’s not going to do you any good. Ask potential partners you’re reaching out to for links to pages further down in your site hierarchy. What we’d call deep links. In many cases, those aren’t linked directly to your home page. They’re the pages that are two or three levels down. But even if they are, they don’t get the benefit of the SEO juice that comes from that link on the home page. But more to the point, those are the pages that are going to drive revenue for you.
Don’t be afraid to use the words “click here” in your anchor text. Just remember that context matters, so if you’re going to use the link here as anchor text, make sure that the words around it clearly indicate to the user and the search engine what they’re likely to find on that page.
Don’t overlook the links you already have
Don’t get me wrong. A campaign to acquire new backlinks is a good and wonderful thing, but don’t forget the links you’ve already got. Use a tool like MOZ or SEMRush or Majestic to inventory the backlinks you already have. Many times, you can reach out to those websites and request that they change the anchor text in the link. That’s particularly true if the change you’re requesting isn’t going to affect the tone or meaning of the editorial content.
The bottom line is that links still matter and that the anchor text used in those links is still a big part of your website’s SEO.