In this post, which completes this short series about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), we will look in more detail at two core elements of any effective search engine optimisation strategy:
a) Link building
b) Anchor text
Link Building is generally a very time-consuming and tedious task, but it is essential if you want to improve your search engine ranking.
What is a Link?
Links have been described as ‘The Highway of The Web’ and they provide the means for us to navigate through the internet to find what we are looking for.
Links, particularly the names given to links, should provide both web visitors and the search engines with an indication of what the page at the end of the link is about. We say ‘should’ because many links in common use on websites today give absolutely no indication of what the destination page will be about – for example how often do you see links on web pages that simply say ‘click here’? Click where!!
It is important to remember that most people who use the web do not read all the content on a webpage, most of us skim over the content looking for something of interest or a link to where they might go to find something of interest. For this reason you need to add context to the link text used so that it describes the topic or theme of the page you are going to take your visitors to.
Not all Links are equal
Some links will add more ‘credibility’ to you than others. A link to your site from another website or directory that is relevant to the landing page theme will carry more weight than a link from a non relevant site. Google for example will give you no credit for a link from a non-relevant website.
Links which use the same words as the URL (file name) of the landing page will also be more highly rewarded by the search engines. You should therefore ensure that the person creating the link to you makes the link directly to the most relevant page in your website and not your Home page. This is important. By way of example, let’s say another complimentary business agrees to create a link to our website. We are an internet marketing consultancy and have many pages in our website. The business giving us the link is a graphic design company and they have agreed to give us a link promoting our SEO services. It is vital that their link is direct to our SEO page and not our main home page. This is also more likely to be more relevant for the site visitor and thus can help with conversion.
The power of anchor text:
We will now look at another example, in keeping with today’s big ‘Royal Occasion’ here in the UK let’s say you have a wedding dress business. You have a link from a relevant site which has a good search engine ranking – an ‘authority’ site.
The authority site links to your website through a hyperlink that is labelled ‘wedding dresses’. You also have entries in various directories and have links from your blog site that also link to the same wedding dresses page with the same link text. This is telling Google and the other search engines that other people are linking to your web page and they will view this as a recommendation, which is what you want!
The idea is to get as many related incoming links using the same anchor text (the keywords ‘wedding dresses’) as possible in order to improve your search engine ranking position.
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