Anchor Text in SEO
If you want your website and page to rank highly on various search engines, it is important to know the different factors that search engines such as Google consider when ranking. With this information, you can then work on your SEO strategy in order to come up with something that will help you rank higher and increase your traffic. One of the integral factors in SEO is anchor text.
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the clickable text in a link. It is often in blue and underlines but this can be changed through HTML. The clickable part of the hyperlink leads you to the linked website or page. There are various types of anchor texts that are considered in SEO by search engines.
Types of Anchor Texts
- Naked Text:
This is an anchor text that contains the exact URL of the site and page you are linking to. For example, the anchor text would be ‘www.cheapshoes.com’ if that was the name of the site you are linking to.
- Branded Text:
A branded anchor text is one which is the name of a brand. For those who have branded domains such as moz.com, the anchor text would be ‘Moz’ as it is a brand. This type of anchor text holds more weight than its counterparts
The generic anchor text, as the name suggests, is general. It is usually a call to action and uses phrases such as ‘click here’, ‘read more’ and ‘go here’. Using generic anchor texts is safe because you reduce the chances of over-optimizing your page or website.
- Exact Match:
Exact match anchor texts contain the keyword that you are optimizing for the page. These should be used carefully because it is very easy to over-optimize your page and get penalized for the same. They should be used only when it is absolutely necessary.
- Partial Match
Partial match anchor texts, on the other hand, contain LSI keywords and other versions or forms of the keyword. They are not as volatile as the exact match keywords but should also be used sparingly.
Anchor Text Density
Now that you know what anchor text is and the different types of anchor texts that you can use in your site, you must consider how to use each of the texts. With Google’s Penguin algorithm, you can easily be penalized for over-optimizing your page as it appears spammy on the program. You need to balance out the types of anchor texts that you use. The best way to do this is not to randomly place these anchor texts but to have an anchor text strategy sheet. It can be as simple as an excel workbook. This way, you can include more of generic and brand anchor texts, capitalize on the partial match anchor texts and only use exact match anchor texts when necessary and for weighty links such as from authority sites.
At the end of the day, keeping track of the anchor text density will be beneficial for on-page ranking as well as site-wide ranking. It will help you avoid penalization.Learn more
Maximizing Keyword Use in SEO
Keywords are the backbone of search engine result page rankings. It is impossible to talk about search engine optimization and not dwell on keywords. It is important to know what they are and how to use them effectively in boosting your site-wide as well as on-page rankings.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are the words that online users use on the search bar whenever they are looking for content. In fact, the only way you can search for something on Google is by using keywords. It so happens that there are other people like you all over the world who are also using the same words to look for what you are looking for. So, whether it is ‘car’ or ‘vintage convertible cars’, these search terms are instrumental in the search process.
Importance of Keywords
Keywords are important in SEO. They help to signal search engines about the type of content that you are churning out. These keywords are also important because they help readers and visitors to find your page or your website in the midst of everything that is available online. To go a step further, optimizing your page and website for certain keywords will help you to rank higher in search engine results that are related to what you have to offer. This ultimately boosts your traffic as well.
Types of Keywords
There are two main types of keywords. These are:
- Short-Tail Keywords
These keywords are short and brief. ‘Car’, ‘sofa’, ‘clothes’ and ‘shoes’ are all keywords. They are short and to the point. However, they can also be very vague as you cannot point out exactly what someone is looking for from just one vague and general word. If the search is on ‘shoes’ the person could be looking for cheap or affordable shoes, designer shoes, shoes on sale or any other thing. While these keywords boost your traffic, they are also highly competitive and might not serve the purpose as there are bigger ‘giants’ out there who have already optimized for the keyword. A good example is Clarks. It would be hard to compete with such a company when optimizing for ‘shoes.’
- Long-Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are much longer and more specific than short tail keywords. In the example above, instead of optimizing for ‘shoes,’ the long tail keyword would opt for a more specific description such as ‘cheap shoes in Miami’. It might be counter-intuitive to optimize for long tail keywords but it is actually a smart move. They are less competitive and thus easier to use in boosting rankings.
You cannot use keywords in isolation. You must also consider the type of content that you have on your site. In this case, you have two options. You can either do a research to find out which keyword is most popular with your target demographic then center your content around the keyword. The second option is to come up with content and then find keywords that naturally fit in. the latter is a more effective move as it allows you to optimize for keywords and still attract visitors with high quality content.
For a long time, reciprocal links have remained at the forefront of most inbound linking strategies. This is going to have to change. Google now discounts all reciprocal links. The algorithm has been altered to identify the exchange of links by two parties for the purpose of increasing their number of inbound links.
The concept of reciprocal linking defies Google’s original intention with the algorithm. Quality content should attract links. The exchange of links is nothing more than a mutual agreement to unjustifiably promote others’ content with the end goal of promoting your own. Google doesn’t particularly like this (see Link Schemes).
Some even claim that Google is now able to identify three-way linking schemes (i.e. website A links to website B, who links to website C, who links back to A). Whether this is true or not is hard to say. One thing is for certain though: inbound linking strategies should NOT be centered around reciprocal linking. This manufactured form of link creation is not well-received and is ultimately a waste of time. Instead, focus on creating unique, high-quality content in a given niche. The links will ensue.