Many times as an SEO consultant, a client will come to me with a business website that has numerous high quality links and still doesn’t see the results they are looking for with regards to SEO. When this issue arises, one of the first things a look for is to see if the site has key word rich content. If content is not the issue, it is more than likely an anchor text issue. In this article I will address what anchor text is and how it can be applied to improve the overall ranking of any particular website. I will also cover how a website can track ones anchor text.
Anchor text, in a nutshell, is the text attached to a link that points to your site. Google, Yahoo and other major search engines place a lot of weight on not just links but also on what exactly is made-up of the actual link. Many people attach links to such words as “click here” or “homepage”. Unfortunately, according to Google’s search algorithm or ranking formula, you are now getting credit for the term “click here” and not “Cheap Widgets” or whatever keyword or phrase you are optimizing for. When link building, it is important to fully understand what keywords you are trying to optimize for and include them in the links you build. When issuing press releases, news articles, and blog entries, make sure you are including your specific anchor text with all links pointing to your site.
For sites that don’t have a lot of links, directory submissions are a great way to build text links with the anchor text you deem necessary. Many directories that are considered “SEO friendly” allow you to choose any type of anchor text you see fit. A great resource to find these “SEO Friendly” directories is a site called info.vilesilencer. They list hundreds of “SEO friendly” Directories that you can submit to.
Tracking your website’s anchor text can sometimes be tricky. I recommend using some of the free anchor text trackers that can be found online. Google Webmaster Tools has a very good section devoted to showing the number of links each one of your pages has and the text link that Google recognizes. There is also a great site called Back Link Watch.
Another important factor when considering anchor text is to look at your website’s internal anchor text. When creating a link to one of you other pages on your website, it is very important to include the keywords in your link that you are optimizing for on your other page. For example if you are selling iPod batteries on one of your site’s sub pages, your anchor text should be iPod batteries. A great place to include all of your pages anchor text is your website’s sitemap.
In conclusion Anchor text needs to be considered in all SEO campaigns. Although is just a small piece of the SEO puzzle it make a world of difference when it is used correctly.