Improve your link text by avoiding competing links

The Yoast SEO plugin provides you with a lot of feedback regarding SEO. One of the things the plugin checks is if the links in your text contain the focus keyphrase of the page. If they do, it gives you a warning, because adding the focus keyphrase in links is bad practice. In this article, we provide information on how to improve your link text.

What is a competing link?

A link is considered a competing link when its link text, also called anchor text, contains the focus keyphrase of the page you are optimizing.

Let’s consider an example. Say you have written an article about potato chips, so your focus keyphrase is ‘potato chips.’ If you then use a link with the anchor text ‘potato chips’ in that same post, that link is considered a competing link.

The focus keyphrase doesn’t have to match exactly. If you’re using synonyms of the focus keyphrase in your link text, this is also considered a competing link. In the example above, a link with the anchor text ‘crisps’ is a competing link as well. If you have Yoast SEO Premium, the check will also look for the synonyms of your keyphrase.

So, what do you do if Yoast SEO warns you that you have competing links in your text? Follow the tips below, and hopefully, you won’t have to see that warning!

How to write link texts

Writing, in general, should have a natural flow. The same is true for link texts. When adding links, make sure they fit well with the rest of the text. Look at it like this. If you are struggling to squeeze in a link in a sentence, the link probably doesn’t belong there. It’s better to put it somewhere else, and avoid making your texts unnatural and difficult to read. So, while links are important for SEO, you should make sure that they don’t get in the way of the message you want to convey.

A good practice for writing link texts is matching the text of the link with the content of the page you are linking to. When a reader sees the linked text, they should immediately know what to expect if they click on it. Take a look at the text in the image below.

The links in this example blend in seamlessly with the rest of the text. Moreover, you know precisely what to expect if you click on a link. For example, the link text “content analysis in the Yoast SEO plugin” clearly leads to a post explaining the Yoast SEO content analysis features. How about the link text “meta description.” The sentence the link belongs to is about optimizing your text. So, you would expect that the link leads to a post about optimizing meta descriptions. And that’s what it does.

In the example above, the link texts are used responsibly. That is very important. You should not try to trick your readers with links. For instance, if your link text says “potato chips,” it would be bad practice to have that link take the reader to a car dealership page.

Lastly, make it evident to the reader that the link text is clickable. You can do that by using a different color for the link, underline it, or both.