SEO and Anchor Text

Written by | Date Updated: December 11, 2014

SEO Anchor TextIn yesterday’s article, we talked about SEO for Small Business and the one mistake often made by small businesses as they start down the path of search optimization: They optimize for their company name–which nobody knows about–instead of what they do, which are the terms which people actually use when searching.

For example, let’s say that we have a company named McMahon Consulting which focuses on office security in St. Louis, Missouri. This new company, not having much SEO know-how, inadvertently implements inbound links using the anchor text McMahon Consulting.

The link would look like this: McMahon Consulting (this link goes nowhere)
The HTML version of the link looks like this:

<a href="">McMahon Consulting</a>

In this instance, “McMahon Consulting” is the anchor text. Anchor text is a key element in SEO. Your site is returned in the search results based on what anchor text is used to link to your site.

Since all of their inbound links have anchor text that says “McMahon Consulting”, the company has risen in the rankings for the term McMahon Consulting. The problem? Nobody searches for this!

Learning this, McMahon Consulting may then have all of their inbound links use the anchor text “office security in St. Louis” as follows:

The link would look like this: office security in St. Louis (this link goes nowhere)
The HTML version of the link looks like this:

<a href="">office security in St. Louis</a>

This would also be the wrong approach!


If all inbound links to your site have the same anchor text, this is unnatural and Google will think that you are manipulating the search engines. Thus, you always want to have “varied” anchor text. For your website and all web pages that you promote, you should create a minimum of four inbound anchor text links. In the case of McMahon Consulting, they should have an inbound link portfolio similar to this:

<a href="">office security in St. Louis</a>
<a href="">St. Louis office security</a>
<a href="">secure office St. Louis</a>
<a href="">how to secure our office</a>

Of course, doing this for every web page that you create can be a bit of a logistical nightmare. However, we have built all of this into The SEO System so you don’t need to track or maintain any of these settings. We do it all for you.

You can try it now for free for 60 days! Visit our Search Engine Optimization homepage right now to begin your trial.

Want more juicy information about how you can go wrong with SEO? Check out The Seven Deadly Sins of SEO.

Richard Cummings

Director of SEO, Social Media, and Web Content Development at The SEO System
Richard Cummings has been practicing online marketing for many years and has setup and optimized hundreds of WordPress sites.He founded The SEO System to provide SEO, social media, and online marketing services and software to businesses.
Richard CummingsSEO and Anchor Text