Successful Strategies Begin with the Reader
HTML and link building are hot items on everyone’s search engine optimization list, which makes anchor text absolutely sizzling. Why?
Search engines use anchor text as a key indicator of relevance, user experience, and the website’s authority in order to determine how the page is ranked. Expert Authors and webmasters looking for a quick boost may misinterpret this information by unnaturally repeating the same anchor text without considering relevance or user experience.
Whether it’s anchor text (or any other HTML items), you must first ask yourself:
Does it benefit the reader?
Everything you do or don’t do should be for your audience. Sporadically inserting bolded keywords and anchor text because you hope it will help you boost your rank is poor quality and not for the benefit of your audience. However, if you choose to use HTML to help the reader easily skim for what they need, such as bolded headers or a relevant link with natural anchor text in your Resource Box, then you’re talking natural SEO language. Always aim to benefit your audience.
In addition to benefit, relevance determines the “natural” order and “evolution” of the Internet, which makes it absolutely crucial to link building. Authenticity, quality, and transparency – whether it’s in articles, videos, products or even website navigation – will always win over cheap SEO tricks. These elements are critical to the power that relevance in the natural hands of humans can achieve. Coordinated with reader-benefited content, relevant anchor text and links will enhance your efforts.
While that’s fresh on your mind, let’s discuss anchor text more in-depth and a few best practices.
What is anchor text?
Anchor text is the link label or link title that is visible and clickable in a hyperlink.
<a target=”_new” href=”INSERT URL”>INSERT LINK TITLE</a>
<a target=”_new” href=”http://your-company-name.com/”>Your Company Name</a>
<a target=”_new” href=”http://your-company-name.com/”>http://your-company-name.com/</a>
In the examples above, “http://your-company-name.com/” and “Your Company Name” are link titles.
Should you use a URL or text for the link title in your articles?
The quick answer: one of each.
The long answer: Your readers benefit from context; a URL may not provide the transparency they require to click on a link. A descriptive text-based link title provides them the context and relevance they need to click-through. On the other hand, your articles should be ready for publishers. You may recall any links in the body of your published articles are automatically converted to “nofollow.” Hence, your self-serving links should be limited to your Resource Box so they continue to garner traffic and provide proper attribution. By using the combination of one URL link title and one text-based link title, you have prepared your article for easy syndication and you still provide relevant information that benefits readers.
For text-based link titles, what text should you use?
Here’s where it gets super complicated and where many Expert Authors get in trouble. Many expert authors will simply use keywords in the link title that are irrelevant to either the article or the linked website – sometimes even both.
Here are some anchor text best practices to bear in mind when you choose your text:
- Relevance: Always use specific and descriptive anchor text that is relevant to the linked URL’s page.
- Location: Place your text-based anchor before your URL anchor.
- Distribution: Don’t use the same text over and over again, either within the same article or across multiple articles. Natural and contextual variation is essential.
- Brand: When relevant, use keywords associated with your brand, such as your company name, website, etc.
- Contextual: Mix in non-descriptive words, such as “Click Here,” and place these near relevant keywords.
A great indicator of whether your anchor text is working is if you see growth in the traffic to your quality website and your website experiences a lower bounce rate. This means you’ve met your primary objective: benefit the reader.
For more information on maintaining your credibility with great anchor text, click here.