Friday, May 29, 2009

Anchor text strategy: how does it work?

One more important part of your linkbuilding strategy, closely related to your Keyword Strategy, is the Anchor Text of your inbound links. This is where your Keyword Strategy meets your Linkbuilding strategy. When talking about Keyword Strategy you have to choose with which keywords you want to position your website by taking into account basically three main criteria: Keyword search volume, keyword relevance and competition for the keyword. That’s the first step in any SEO strategy, once that’s decided, you can boost your search engine rankings for those selected keywords by using those same keywords as anchor text in the inbound links you get to your site. Why is that? Why does it work this way? When you enter a keyword string on Google’s search box, one of the things Google does is to look on its index how many links it has with that same keyword string and where do they point to. If lots of links with an anchor text similar or equal to what you entered in the search box point to the same URL, that page will show up on top results.

Let me explain again with a simple example. There are two websites that do exactly the same, both sell Cotton T-Shirts. Both are perfectly well optimized in Search Engine terms. Both have the same tags, age and number of inbound links. There are only two differences between both websites: their URL and the anchor text of their inbound links. One is called www.cottont-shirts.com and the other one is called www.555.com . Other things being equal when someone enters the keyword “Cotton T-shirts” in Google’s Search box, the website www.cottont-shirts.com would have to appear first, because as we explained before, it helps a lot that the keywords entered into the search box are contained in your URL. But is there a possibility that 555 could come up higher in the rankings? Could it beat cotton-shirts.com ? The answer is yes, if one is managing correctly the anchor text of its inbound links and the other not. Let’s imagine both sites have 20 inbound links, but their anchor texts are different.


The newbies and not so smart guys at www.cottont-shirts.com had the following text in all of it inbound links:

- “For the best deals in Cotton T-Shirts click here to visit our store

o The link points to the URL www.cottont-shirts.com, but the anchor text is “Click here to visit our store


On the other hand, the SEO savvy guys at 555.com had the following text for its inbound links:

- “You’ll find the best Cotton T-Shirts at 555. To visit our store click on the following link: Cotton T-Shirts

o The link points to the URL http://www.555.com , but the anchor text is “Cotton T-Shirts


What will be the end result of this hypothetical example? When you type the words “Cotton T-Shirts” into Google’s search box Google will check its index and Think: “I have 20 different links with the Keywords Aluminum Furniture that point to the website www.555.com and none pointing to www.cottont-shirts.com . Therefore for these specific combination of words the website 555.com is more relevant (and will appear higher in the ranks), even though cottont-shirts.com contains the searched keywords on its URL.

This is where your Keyword Strategy meets your Linkbuilding strategy. You use the keywords you selected at the beginning, to be your anchor text in your inbound links and this is how you’ll improve dramatically you rankings on Search Engines. The more inbound links (with higher PR better) with a given anchor text that matches your selected keywords the better results you’ll have.

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