Paul Cookson said, “Websites promote you 24/7; No employee will do that.” And Mr Cookson speaks the truth. However, when your website is very difficult to navigate, your website will do the opposite of promoting you.
There are a good number of things that you can do to make your website easier to navigate, including dividing your categories clearly, making all navigation elements clickable and ensuring your search feature is working. Another way to improve your site’s navigation is through anchor links.
Navigation through anchor links
What are anchor links?
An anchor link can be defined as a web link that allows users to jump to a specific point on a website page. They are invisible position markers that you can place anywhere on your website to help your users move around your site easier. You can choose to place your anchor links in the header, footer or a specific paragraph or button on your site – you have endless options!
When a user clicks on an anchor link, it will take them exactly to where they want to be whether that is back to the top or down to the bottom of the page or to your FAQ page. Anchor links can be used in one of two ways on your site:
- Link elements such as buttons, images or lines of text to an anchor link.
- Create a floating anchor menu that follows your visitors as they scroll through your website.
Best practices for putting together anchor links
There are a few best practices that you should adhere to when putting together anchor links.
Be natural as well as versatile
Every section of a website (this includes links and their affiliated anchor text) needs to deliver tangible value to the users of the site. Links must be inserted only where website users expect to see them so that they can become informed about something that is valuable to them.
With Google’s algorithms becoming cleverer every year, avoid many repetitive and keyword-based anchors in your website’s anchor text cloud. If you do not do this, more than likely you’ll get a penalty.
Avoid over-optimising your website
An anchor text cloud, which is spammy and keyword based, is a huge red flag to the search engine giant. This is because it shows blunt manipulation with backlinks. This again will result in penalties.
Try to keep your anchor text natural through the process of spreading it across your inbound links in the right proportions.
Make sure that your anchors are relevant to your content
As long as Google realises what is put on a website page, it will not have any difficulties in figuring out if a specific anchor text or link is related to a website page’s content.
If you put an internal link with irrelevant anchor text on your own website, this is likely to harm your search ranking. The is true for backlinks with irrelevant anchor text.
The value of anchor links
There are many benefits to using anchor links, including:
- They make navigation on your website that much easier
- They improve the user experience
- They save users time as they don’t have to scroll through websites and skim read to find what they are looking for – they can skip straight to the element they want
- Anchor links are especially valuable for mobile sites
Even though anchor links add a lot of value to a website, you must take extra care when you use them. Broken links or having too many anchor links can frustrate your users, and you can lose out on valuable engagement and even sales. What is your view on anchor links? We’d love to hear from you.
As the digital world becomes increasingly crowded so the requirement to optimise your website becomes more vital. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Web Analytics must not be seen as a luxury in today’s climate. We argue that it is an absolute necessity. DSM’s course will instruct you in what it takes for your website to reach the number one spot on search engine results pages (SERPs). If you have a passion for digital marketing, statistics and website technical knowledge then this course is for you!
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