Anchor text is the text that appears as the wording of a web link.
Anchor text also provides a context for the link itself which search engines use to build up their picture of what the page being linked to is all about.
So instead of having something that looks like:
Visit http://www.smithandjones.com/product-range/exclusive-product/special-offer.html to see our special offer on waterproof umbrellas.
You could instead have:
Find out more about our range of cheap waterproof umbrellas here.
Clicking either link would take you to the same place, but the anchor text in the second option is both nicer to look at and says exactly what the link is about.
Better Anchor Text For Better SEO
When the search engine spiders find and follow this link which says it is about cheap waterproof umbrellas, it will help increase the association of that phrase with the page concerned in the search engines analysis.
So it can be helpful for search engine purposes to have anchor text related to the keyword phrase that the page being linked to is focussed on and otherwise optimized for.
If several links from different pages and other sites have similar anchor text, then this further bolsters the association of that phrase with the page involved by the search engines.
Similar not Identical Anchor Text
Note the word similar in that last sentence though. It would look somewhat unnatural if say 100 out 100 links back to a page all had exactly the same anchor text. It would be more natural to see a mix of closely related terms, along with some plain links for the url itself rather like the first example above.
Relevant Anchor Text
It would also look odd if the link with anchor text was itself on a page with content that was totally unrelated to the anchor text and the page being linked to.
Using the ‘cheap waterproof umbrellas’ example again, if this link was on a page about motorbikes, then this might look unusual to the search engines.
You can use the insert html link button in WordPress to define the anchor text for a link, or use the html code for a weblink and anchor text which is :
<a href="http://www.webpagedestination.com/page-file-path">anchor text goes here
Sensible use of keyword optimized anchor text for links to the page, both from other pages and posts on the same site and even more so from related external sites, is a key part of effective SEO (search engine optimization).
So, a good link building strategy will pay attention to the correct use of anchor text.