Anchor Links: How they work

You want to give visitors of your page a way to go directly from headings in a table of contents to the corresponding paragraph? If so, an anchor link is the ideal solution. You can find out how to set and link to it here.

An anchor link is a link that leads to an anchor. It is particularly popular for tables of contents. When a user clicks on a heading in the table of contents, they are taken directly to the corresponding section. The advantages: less tedious scrolling and a better user experience.

How do I set an anchor in HTML?

To place an anchor or a jump mark on an H2 heading, use the code:

<h2 id=”“anchor”>heading</h2>

You can freely choose the anchor text, and for “heading” enter the title of the heading. Of course, you can also replace the h2 with an h1 or h3.

Now you have set an anchor. Then you need to create an anchor link.

How do I link to the anchor in HTML?

In most cases, the anchor link should refer to an anchor in the same document. To do so, you use this in the link:

<a href=”“#anchor”>name</a>

For the anchor name, enter the title of your anchor, and for name, enter the clickable text, for example the heading in your table of contents.

However, you can not only refer to anchors in the same document, but also to those in external documents.

For this, enter the name of the document:

<a href=”“document.html#anchor”>link</a>

How do I create anchor links in WordPress?

To create anchor links in WordPress, you can proceed according to the principle described above and use the Editor in text mode (HTML). Even easier is using a plugin that automatically creates anchor links for headers.

Tip: There are also plugins that ensure that the jump from the anchor to the target is less abrupt. A smooth “transition” is more pleasant for page visitors.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of anchor links?

Many website operators do not bother with anchor links. This can be a mistake. Depending on the context, they have various advantages:

Better user experience:

A key advantage of anchor links is particularly useful for longer content. Users can jump directly to the sections that interest them most – whether to a chapter, a footnote or back to the top of the page. They save time and don’t have to search or scroll for a long time.

More attention for search results:

Anchors or jump marks sometimes appear in the Google SERPs. These attract attention and give searchers the opportunity to jump immediately to the part of the document that they find particularly interesting.

Easy section sharing:

Finally, anchors open up new possibilities for sharing individual sections on social media or other channels.

To summarise, anchor links improve usability, which in turn can have an impact on the ranking of your page.

There is also a potential disadvantage: Anchor links may lead to users spending less time on your page because they immediately find what they are looking for. However, we believe that this risk should not deter you from using anchors.