Search engine optimization is built on hundreds of different variables, controls, and factors.
From keyword optimization to image tags, there are hundreds of different parts of your website’s design, both on-page and off-page, that help the major search engines decide where it ranks.
Thankfully, a lot of these factors are controllable, either directly through web coding or more indirectly through link manipulation and controlled link building.
However, one factor that’s often passed over is the anchor text. An absolutely essential part of search engine optimization, the anchor test is simply the text that appears as part of any text link.
For example, a link to Google could be branded ‘Google’, leading the URL to become associated with that search term. Another example would be a lengthy domain name, which is related to picture frames, being shortened to just ‘picture frames’ when seen as an on-page link.
These anchor text terms are especially important for search engine marketers looking to increase their traffic through keyword optimization. While one part of on-page SEO is designing pages to return as results for specific keywords, another off-page aspect is incorpating the right keywords into your external links.
Whenever a page is linked to / from another website, there’s anchor text that’s tied to it. By controlling (or at least attempting to control) this anchor text, you can create a keyword tie that’s permanently linking your domain address to a certain link term.
Here’s a literal, and completely truthful, example of how this system can be used to your advantage. A couple of years ago, an online finance website (that shall remain nameless) set about designing an SEO strategy built on social bookmarking websites and social media link traffic. They were looking to advertise credit card affiliate programs on their website, which naturally lead them to using ‘credit card’ as part of their link anchor text.
The company designed a fake news article describing a boy stealing a credit card, and buying a long list of inappropriate items with it. Of course, social media websites ate the story up, with amused readers providing thousands of links back to the original website. This is no unusual occurrence, or at least the last part isn’t. Social bookmarking services generate hundreds of links all the time.
What made this example unusual is that it was entirely a hoax, and that the payoff wasn’t in direct sales, but in linking power.
Every one of those text links had the term ‘credit card’ in the anchor text.
What thousands of social bookmarking members had been part of was one of the biggest link building hoaxes of all time. The company rocketed through the search engines and started ranking way up near the top of the results, all for a very competitive keyword and all because of an innovative anchor text strategy.
So next time you’re trying to optimize anchor text links, think outside the box. While there are great results in running the same course as everyone else, the real benefits kick in when you can look outside the system, see the benefits of running a non-conventional campaign, and mastering anchor text for social linking.
Angela’s backlinks are a great start to any back-linking strategy.