In a word, yes. Allow me to clarify by saying that anchor text is the actual word or words you use to link to other web pages (whether your own or external ones). That means anchor text can only be a text link (so images don’t count); text links are found primarily in the navigation and copy of a web page. Although image links do not have anchor text, they can have alt tags which, arguably, hold some search engine clout. But that’s a topic for another time.
How do web users read web sites?
You might ask yourself – what does this have to do with anchor text? Well, a lot actually. You’ll see below that users look for links to click on when scanning pages. This is important to note because adding descriptive, keyword rich links will help your users in their decision to click or not!
Navigation Anchor Text
Navigation and copy anchor text, while both anchor text, must be treated differently. First of all, many SEOs believe that anchor text in the navigation holds more weight than that in the copy. Therefore, you want to place your richest keywords there.
That being said, links still need to be user-friendly before search engine friendly and therefore be titled intuitively. In other words, you want the links in your navigation to make sense – many are standard (like About Us and Contact). Finally, there is an issue of space – so be sure the links in your navigation are short and sweet – you do not have the ability to even think about keyword stuffing here!
Copy Anchor Text
The fact of the matter is that while you do not want too many links within your copy, a good smattering is nice. Even more importantly are the keywords you use for the links – they should be natural. When writing, I tend to write everything first, noting where I want to place links. Afterward, I’ll go through and choose the best set of words to use as links. That way, I’m not consciously choosing which words to use for links. At the same time, if no good words present themselves, I’ll add in good keyword rich anchor text.
Like navigation anchor text, those in the copy must still be titled intuitively. However, let’s get away from the “click here” or “contact us” links, shall we? When indexed by search engines, those don’t help anyone! Take the opportunity to increase your visibility with a link like “Find out how to increase your Search Engine Visibility” or “Contact flyte for a free Search Engine Optimization consultation”.
Please don’t misunderstand me. Entire sentences should typically NOT be anchor text. However, the important words should be!
So…how do we know anchor text is important?
Well, for one thing, Google has even been reporting the matter for over a year now in their Webmaster Tools. Plus, since Google holds their PageRank algorithm in such high esteem, we’ve learned that anchor text that is also important. When asking for links, it is always good to suggest which keywords and phrases to use.
For help with deciding which anchor text you should use, contact flyte.