Anchor text is more than just keywords in a link. Anchor text is also a call to action. You want the user to click the link, right?
Don’t assume that just because you put a link in your text that it will be clicked. Not all links are clicked. There are number of factors that into whether or not a link is clicked.
If you have too many links on the page then you rest assured that not all of them will be clicked. Most people have better things to do than run through your entire list of links. You can count on some of them not getting clicked. But if the purpose is to provide an inbound link to another page and you don’t care if that link gets clicked, OK, no problem. But if you are building links to drive traffic then too many links on the page is a big deal.
Another thing to consider is where the links are placed on the page. Generally, near the beginning and at the end of content is best. If you bury your links in the middle of your content it can be effective as long as you don’t have too many links on the page and it’s visible. But keep in mind that readers who are interested in reading the page may not have an interest in being diverted.
One of the most important things, though, is the call to action: The text within the anchor text. If it is a strong call to action then placement may not matter, but link placement AND call to action together are the best combination. A good strong call to action at the end of a page of content can attract a large number of click-throughs, especially if your topic is popular and you are getting targeted traffic.
Yes, anchor text as call to action can be as important, or more important, than building links as inbound links.