The Importance of Anchor Text in Link Building

Link building is one of those things that you will have to be doing for your website these days if you have any hope of beating your competition. The fact of the matter is that the internet has become extremely popular these days and there are tonnes of websites that are all in competition with each when it comes to ranking for particular keywords. This means that you are going to have to step up your game in order to get your website noticed as more than likely, all of your competitors are buildings links too.

Now, when it comes to building these links to your website from external sources, one of the things that will really help you in your rankings is anchor text. Anchor text is basically the clickable part of a click that will lead you to your website. A lot of the time when links are built, you will find that links pointing to your website will not have anchor text that incorporates your keywords. This is where good SEO comes in.

 

Why is anchor text important?

Clicking a link with the anchor text 'Click here'

Google and other search engines including Bing and Yahoo, judge your website on a variety of factors and one of these factors is the links coming in to your website from external sources. This is something that is a big factor when it comes to ranking so building links to your website is a big priority when you are looking to rank.

As we have mentioned, these links have a clickable area that can be made up of any text possible. For example, you might be able to click the words ‘Fishing Store’ from a source to lead you to a fishing website. The words that actually make up a link are extremely important as Google and other search engines analyse this text to see what your website is actually about.

The reason that they do this is because it is very difficult to artificially manipulate the anchor text of a high quality link, so if you have relevant keywords in that link, Google and other search engines are going to see that you mean business.

 

Optimising anchor text links

An Example of Optimising Anchor Text

Just like you have been told to include keywords in your websites content, you need to do this for your anchor text too as much as you can. For example, if you have a website design company and you are looking to rank for the keyword ‘web design company’, it would make sense to try and get links that incorporate these keywords into their anchor text.

This seems pretty simple right? Well it isn’t as its a lot more complicated than this. First of all, it will be difficult to get websites to link to you at all a lot of the time, never mind with the keywords that you want as the anchor text! And second of all, Google is clever and if you have too many links with exact keyword anchor text, they will see that you are trying to manipulate the SERP’s and will more than likely penalise you. So what should you do?

 

Differentiating your anchor text in links

We have already discussed that Google is pretty clever which means that if you have 10,000 links pointing to your website with the anchor text ‘web design company’, they will see that something is wrong. This is a big problem and the answer to the problem is actually trying to differentiate your anchor text in links.

When you are trying to rank your website in the search engines, you will more than likely have a number of different keywords that you want to rank for. For example, you might have ‘web design company’, ‘website designer’, ‘website development company’. The best thing that you can do is to try and build links that incorporate these different keywords.

This means that instead of having 10,000 links with ‘web design company’ as the anchor text, you will instead have a variety of different phrases in your anchor text links. You might even want to come up with a few more less obvious anchor text ideas such as ‘Click here for my website design portfolio’. As you can see, the anchor text link would still have ‘website design’ in the link, but it would have other things too, which will show Google that your links are a bit more natural.

 

Anchor text when it comes to multiple page links

For some strange reason, SEO’s often try and get multiple links on the same page of certain websites for different keywords. For example, SEO’s might manage to get three links on a one page with different anchor texts.

Although it might seem like this would be three times as useful, it isn’t. Google admitted a while ago that they actually only take into account the first anchor text they see in a page of HTML for a particular link when it comes to ranking. This means that the other efforts that you have achieved further down the page with other anchor text will be basically useless. This is something that you should remember as you don’t need to be wasting your time on this.

 

Embedding images with links

Example of image with Anchor Text

One of the techniques that is used for gaining links is having an image that links to your website. This is a perfectly good link building technique, but if you are using this technique, you will see that there isn’t really any anchor text.

This is where the ‘alt’ tag of your image HTML comes in handy. When using an image as a link, you should make your alt tag into the anchor text for the link. A good way to vary the anchor text in these links is to have two or three different images, each with different alt tags. This will make your link building appear more natural.

 

Conclusion

Google and other search engines put a lot of importance on anchor text in links so it is something that you should try and control as much as you can. Obviously, this won’t be all of the time, so this will make your link building profile pretty natural a lot of the time anyway. However, you should make an effort not to use the same anchor text repeatedly.

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