What Is Anchor Text Ratio

Without a doubt, one of the most important parts of my job is one of the first tasks in any SEO backlinking campaign. It's not talked about much cause it's just not sexy.  In fact it's the Hillary Clinton of SEO jobs.

But analysis of "Anchor Text Ratios" is the difference between ranking quickly and pissing your budget against the wall.

If you are already bored by this topic and some of you are, take a look at my back-linking round up for the business owner. 

Backlinks are essential but without proper anchor text research, you are wasting cash money that could be spent elsewhere.

What Is Anchor Text, Anchor Text Ratio & Why Should You Care?

Let's deal with the last question first

Getting your Anchor Text Ratio right means ranking quicker, ranking higher and ranking easier.

So that boils down to less work, less money spent and more money earner. Sounds pretty good right?

Now for the technical stuff.

Anchor Text Explained

Anchor text is the text used to link to your website. It tells Google and the other search engines what your site or page are all about. Let's take a look at a quick example from Majestic backlink checker.

So we can see here that the site that is ranking number one for the term "XXXXX" has ....

There are several different types of anchor text that you should be aware of.

Exact Match is anchor text that contains the exact word or phrase you want to rank for. 

HVAC San Diego – This would be exact match as it’s the exact term that the company want to rank for.

Partial Match is anchor text that contains the part of the word or phrase you want to rank for. 

San Diego Local HVAC Company – This is partial match because it has the important key words. The search phrase is very relevant to the company and would provide leads but the search volume on this is alot lower.

Naked URL is just as the name sounds, a naked link containing the URL to the site.

https://www.companynamehere.com/ – Naked URL links are just like this.

Branded Anchor Text helps you to establish your brand name. 

You Example Company Name – Branded links are simply the name of the company in the anchor text

Branded links are important and sometimes overlooked by SEOs.

Take a look at the screen shot of a branded search for our example  company below. 

This company has filed page one with the properties that show their great reputation. This is something every business should be aiming for. 

It also does a great job of keeping any negative feedback off page 1 and away from potential customers. ​

In this company name search we can see that they have done a great job at branding. Google knows about their social profiles and all of page 1 is taken up by their properties. 

Generic Anchor Text are links that have common words like 'here' or 'check this out'. These types of links are used all over the web and the power of a these kinds of links are often argued about. 

But to be clear, you and I don't care about internet arguments, we care about results. And to get results we need to give Google exactly what it wants and it's easy too.

Cause Google tells you what it wants.

And What's An Anchor Text Ratio?

Anchor Text Ratio is just the percentage of the different types of Anchor text. It's easier to visualise this.

This is a screenshot of Majestic which is a 'back-link checker'. Majestic tries to be like Google and has web-spiders that find all the links they can on the web. It puts these in a database and gives a snapshot of the links pointing to a site along with their anchor text.

In our example we can see that Google likes this site and we should try to emulate the anchor text ratio if we want to rank higher.

So for the DIY SEO business owner, here's how to do it.

The Quick & Dirty How To​ Find What Anchor Text Google Wants

Step 1 – Search for your target keyword in Google.
Step 2 – Open an account at Majestic(or AHREFS – don’t bother with MOZ)
Step 3 – Drop the URLS of the sites in position 1, 2 and 3 into the backlink checker.
Step 4 – Record the different ratios of anchor type.
Step 5 – Emulate these anchor text profiles and enjoy higher rankings.

Things You Should Know

Majestic, Ahrefs and MOZ are tiny private companies when compared to Google. They only index a small percentage of the links going to a site.

Good SEO's will often hide their links from these backlink checkers so it's difficult to see all a site's links.

A Longer Better & More Robust Way To Research Anchor Text Ratios

So to be clear this requires more time more effort and some Microsoft Excel Skills.

It is worth it though, for the simple fact that none of the backlink checkers give the whole picture of a sites backlinks.

​And by only analyzing the site in the top spot will not tell you what Google is looking for. You need to look at more of the sites on page one and then average the the ratios.

Does this take longer?

You Betcha It Takes Longer!​

Is it worth doing this SEO process for every Irish business and their site? For that you have to look at the strength of the competition and make a decision. 

But for those with a bit of moxie. Here's the quick DIY overview.​

The Not So Quick & Dirty How To​ Properly Research Anchor Text Ratios

Step 1 – Choose 1 of the top 5 sites for your keywords
Step 2 – Collect and merge all the backlink data you can for this site.
Step 3 – Remove duplicates. Checked if each link is indexed. Classify the link.
Step 4 – Calculate the ratios.
Step 5 – Repeat this for each of the top 5 sites.
Step 6 – Average the ratios for the 5 sites.
Step 7 – Now go build links.

There are several online services that try to do this. But my experience varies with them. 

InspyderSoftware provide a nice little program called Backlink Monitor, Whilst it wasn't really made for this task, I think it's more reliable. 

Final Note

Keyword research and anchor text research do not get the attention they deserve but in more competitive niches it can make a huge difference and make getting higher rankings much easier and quicker. 

This means a quicker ROI for the business owner and a happier customer for me.


About the Author

Foley has been helping businesses increase their revenue and boost their online presence for 4 years. He enjoys jogging, beer and tinkering with the web.