Anchor text, sometimes referred to as clickable text, is an important part of a hyperlink-coding that connects an image or words to another webpage or part of a page. A hyperlink contains a website address that is not visible to web surfers as well as the anchor text, which is visible and shows the viewer where the link leads. For example, in wiseGEEK®, the word wiseGEEK® is the anchor text. When this is included in a webpage's code, the viewer of the hyperlink doesn't see the website address; he only sees and clicks on the word wiseGEEK®. Displaying only the text keeps websites uncomplicated and easy to read.
Anchor text is not only useful for helping web surfers to click on a link and go to the appropriate website or page, but it is also helpful for boosting a website's search engine ranking. For example, by using targeted keywords in the anchor text, webmasters can achieve higher rankings in search engines, which translates into more traffic to their websites. In fact, many search engine optimization experts believe that the appropriate use of anchor text is one of the most important factors in getting high search engine ranking.
Many people use instructional words for their anchor text. For example, you might see phrases like "click here" or "join now" or "contact us." While these words may grab the internet user's attention, they really don't do much to boost search engine ranking. Instead, a webmaster may have better results with using keywords related to his or her niche. For example, a person who has a search engine optimization website might do well to use "SEO services" rather than something like "click here now."
Some search engine optimization experts have the creation of anchor text down to a science; they don't just choose phrases off the top of their heads or even take words from the content on a website. Instead, they use specialized keyword-research tools to figure out what people are perusing the search engines for and create clickable text that uses those keywords. They even figure out how much competition exists for particular keywords and attempt to choose those that provide less competition. For example, if searching for one keyword or keyword phrase causes hundreds of thousands of websites to show up on search engine results pages, an optimization expert may choose to use a less competitive, but still widely searched for, keyword or keyphrase instead. Using this strategy, he or she may be able to gain higher rankings in the search engines.