Anchor text refers to the text that is highlighted and underlined on a website that points to another website. For an image, the anchor text is contained in the alt tag, which is visible in the HTML.
Many sites have inbound links with general and non-descriptive text. This is no fault of yours, it’s just that the referring site did not understand the SEO value in pointing to you correctly.
Let’s look at an example of good and poor anchor text:
Poor anchor text
“Pear Analytics has software to help manage search engine optimization with a variety of plans and pricing.”
Better anchor text
“Pear Analytics, a company that builds search engine optimization software, offers a variety of plans and pricing.”
In the poor example, the site is pointing to us with our brand name. In reality, most sites will not have difficulty in ranking high for their company or brand name. If this link was from an especially good source, it would be a waste of inbound link potential. An even worse example of inbound link anchor text is “click here.”
In the better example, the site is linking to us with much a more precise and descript key phrase. This helps the search engine determine what the page is about, and the more inbound links with that exact anchor text, the higher we will eventually rank for that word or phrase.
SiteJuice offers an extensive analysis of your inbound links, ranking them from best to worst. You can easily see the anchor text pointing to you, and target text changes on the more valuable links.