Do You Really Know How to Use Anchor Text to Improve Your Rankings?


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Do You Really Know How to Use Anchor Text to Improve Your Rankings?

Shiver me timbers! In case you didn’t know, the term anchor text has nothing to do with ships, boats, or anything else sea or water related.

It’s not something that pirates say just before they get tied up to the kedge and thrown overboard for being a royal pain in the butt.

Nope.

It also isn’t something that sailors say when they want to get a girl back to their cabin while they’re still on shore leave.

Not by a long shot.

So what does the term anchor text really stand for?

Something quite different, actually.

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When you search via Google the phrase “anchor text”, a whole lot of different results will appear in front of your eyes. Some of them will be useful, and others – well, they’ll look just plain ol’ insane. Like they were written by a madman who walks around in a wooden barrel, shouting nonsense at the sky!

Metaphorically speaking, these pages will claim that if you don’t correctly use anchor texts in your posts, your website will basically explode. It will start to rain cats and dogs outside, and everyone you know and love will be immediately taken hostage by an evil alien overlord.

Ridiculous, right?

Yes, I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture. 

Even though anchor texts play an important role in your overall SEO strategy, they certainly don’t have the power to wreak such havoc on your life. At least, not in that kind of sense.

As with anything else you search in Google, you’ll come across controversial links that basically say that everything you read so far on that particular subject is lie, and that this is the only source that you’ll ever need to truly understand and learn whatever it is that you’re searching for.

It happens. That’s life.

Regardless what you search for in Google, you’ll always come across such results that cry wolf and push complete nonsense in front of people who are actually in need of real and intelligent information.

Despite the fact that some of the results you’ll find in SERP will say this, and others that, most of them will agree upon the same thing – rich anchor texts have the ability to really influence your rankings.

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That’s why we at AltusHost have decided to write about this particular subject on our blog and feed you, our dear and respected readers, with intel that will help you better understand everything you need to know about anchor texts:

So, What Are Anchor Texts Really About?

For those who are not familiar with this concept, an anchor text represents those sets of clickable words that are selected to link one page to another.

Their main job is to nicely tie in two web pages together while giving the users a glimpse of what to expect on the external (or internal) link that’s being presented to them.

It’s like a portal that website owners, web admins, and digital marketers use to bring additional value to a particular page by linking another credible source to the story that has the power to complete the picture in the visitor’s head about the concept that’s being laid down in front of him/her.

Anchor texts influence ratings. Search engines use anchor texts as indicators to help them learn more about a particular site and topic that’s covered on that linked page. Anchor texts feed them with necessary intel that helps the engines instantly understand for what kind of keywords and how should they rank a specific link in SERP.

That’s why anchor texts are extremely important for SEO. It has been proven by a lot of industry experts, anchor texts weigh heavily in Google’s algorithm.

Anyone who knows anything about how Google works, understands that SEO is all about generating links. If you want to rank high in SERP, you need to do your best to get as many links as possible to organically point back at your site.  altushost-anchor-text_3

Thanks to that, the whole process of learning how to create intelligent anchor texts cannot be ignored.

Even though this all sounds pretty straightforward, there’s no real rule behind using anchor texts. You can use one, two, three, four – as many words as you like to represent your link on a different page.

Naturally, this creates confusion. It creates questions in people’s heads that tend to keep them second-guessing their practices.  But let’s talk about that later. Let us first cover the essential and learn:

Types of Anchor Texts

Before I start to explain how to correctly use anchor texts on your pages, let’s first get this one thing out of the way – the types of anchor texts.

Depending on the purpose for which they’re created, there are a couple of major different types of anchor texts:

Exact Match – what you see is what you get. This type of anchor text is built around the exact keyword phrase for which we want to rank in our article.

Partial Match – a practice where the anchor text is built around the keyword phrase for which we want to rank in our article, but in an alternative or more descriptive manner. 

Branded Match – a practice when you link a specific brand name.

Rough URL – when you just place the URL next to the text. 

Generic – I personally hate this type of anchor text. It’s unimaginative, and it usually doesn’t work. It’s when people link such cheap phrases as “click here”, “read more”, “this post’, “this article”, etc.

Synonym – well, this is pretty self-explanatory. When you use another word, similar to your targeted keyword (or just a part of it).

Author – when your name, or the person who wrote the text, is the anchor.

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So, now that we got that in the clear, let’s dig in a bit deeper.

Google Penguin Pities the Fool

Like I said, there’s no real rule to using anchor texts in your writing. However, since old-school SEO marketers were famous for doing everything and anything to manipulate Google into giving them better rankings, the guys behind the world’s most popular search engine got tired of being played as fools, so they’ve decided to put an end to this ridiculous spammy behavior.  

That’s why, back in 2012, they’ve launched an updated version of Google Penguin that detects spam in search results.

This update instantly pulverized every site and publisher that’s being overly aggressive with its exact match anchor text links. Naturally, people started to freak out and completely clean their sites and links of every little thing that could be seen as garbage in Google’s eyes.

Even though it didn’t really change all that much, this update got people trippin’, which immediately got a lot of website owners and admins to abandon their black hat SEO tricks, and focus on developing a clean white hat strategy for their online business.

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What Does This All Mean? Should You Still Focus On Anchor Texts, And If So, How?

I’m going go on a limb here and say that anchor texts still count. At least from my angle. Judging by some of my recent results, I still strongly believe that anchor texts continue to influence ratings for the better. Even those exact match ones, if they serve the right purpose and actually feed your links with additional information that’s valuable to your reader.

I think, as same as everything else concerning SEO, you need to focus on relevance here. You need to make sure that your anchor text aren’t manipulative to the reader and engines. If they truly boost your linked post with additional information – I believe you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.

At least that’s what I can say from my very own experience.

But don’t just take my word for it. I’ve read a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of content from various type of experts on this particular subject, and judging by all the case studies I found on credible source like MOZ and Search Engine Journal, It’s possible to positively influence site rankings using significantly few exact match anchored links if they are from highly relevant pages on relevant sites. Next to that, it’s still possible to rank for difficult queries quite quickly, even though you have a young domain.

Also, in order to naturally use anchor texts to your advantage, you should focus on making your anchor texts a variation of your brand name and website URL. They’re the ones that bring in the best results.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have anything to add or ask on this subject, feel free to write your thoughts in your comments section below.


That’s it for now,
See you soon again!

5 Key Steps to Optimizing Your Blog Posts for Search Engines

Search engine optimization is extremely important for every inbound marketer and there are quite a lot of tactics to be implemented in order to increase search engine visibility and boost one’s online presence. Due to a number of SEO practices that are considered essential for online success, many inbound marketers often find themselves in quite a conundrum when it comes to taking the right steps towards implementing the right tactics for letting search engines know about their business.

Make no mistake, it can be confusing at times, especially if you are a newbie and have no idea where to start, let alone how to boost your online visibility and attract new leads. You are not alone in this, as a number of business owners don’t quite understand what SEO means and how big of an impact it can have on their business.

Have no fear, because you’ve come to the right place, where you can learn how to get started on improving SEO for your blog and gaining the upper hand among your competitors. Read on to learn about the key steps towards optimizing your every blog post for search engines in order to ensure your website is visible to your target customers and that it attracts quality leads and conversions.

Focus on 1-2 Keywords per Blog Post

Keywords Optimization For Blogs

Trying to incorporate as many keywords as possible into your every blog post is never a good choice for optimizing your content. For starters, your content would not seem to have a natural flow and it would come off as forced. It would seem as if you are trying hard to sell your content without even thinking about making it relevant to your readers.

If you do that, not only will your readers find your content irrelevant and unuseful, but search engines will also see your content as stuffed with keywords only for the main purpose of increasing your ranking in organic search.

Therefore, you should always focus on including one or two keywords per blog post, since that way, you can clearly focus on your main goal and make sure you communicate the right message to your readers. As a result, you will improve your readers’ user experience, which will positively impact your SEO ranking.

Using long-tail keywords is perhaps the best way to go, since it will help you attract just the right type of blog visitors, that is, attract the right type of traffic. Again, one or two are more than enough for a single blog post, as that way, you can optimize your every post for those particular keywords and bring in quality leads.

Note that it is crucial that you include your keywords into your headline, the body of your post, the headers, the URL and the meta description of your blog post. These four places for your keywords are essential for optimizing your content for search engines, so you need to make sure you follow those rules, since search engines will definitely rank you higher in SERPs and you will significantly increase your conversion rates.

Optimize Your Meta Descriptions

Meta Description Optimization for Blogs

Meta descriptions help the readers determine whether or not they will actually click on the link above the description to read the content, as it provides them with additional information about the content they searched for.

Therefore, if you provide them with relevant information in your meta descriptions that concisely explains what your blog posts are about, not only will your readers be compelled to click through, but Google will also find your posts more relevant and rank you higher in SERPs.

You should not forget to include your keywords into your meta descriptions, since they will make your meta descriptions more effective, as well as further help you with SEO, as they are the representatives of your blog posts that help the readers make the connection between the terms they searched for and the results of their queries.

Optimize Your Images

Image Optimization for SEO

Since you are running a blog, you are certainly aware of the importance of implementing relevant and visually appealing images in your every blog post. They further engage the readers and improve their user experience, which helps you improve your SEO  and gain a better ranking in the SERPs.

However, search engines cannot actually “see” those images, can they? How, then, can they index them to rank your website?

Search engines actually look for images with alt text, which lets them know what a particular image is all about, thus they can more easily be found in searches. Images with alt text can also improve the user experience, because, when a particular image cannot be displayed, the alt text is displayed inside the image container.

Alt text is an image description that is added to an image tag in HTML and it should look like this:

<img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”image.jpg” alt=”image-description” title=”image tooltip”>

You may not think that optimizing your images by including alt text is going to greatly improve your ranking and you may be right, because it will certainly not have as much impact on your ranking as the other aforementioned steps, but you can be sure that it is definitely worth the time, no matter how small of an impact on your ranking it has – the impact will still be seen.

Add Internal Links to Your Content

Internal Linking for Blogs

Internal links can help search engines determine the relevance of your content, not to mention that they can provide your readers with additional information about the topic of your every blog post.

Therefore, whenever you think some of your other blog posts, your other web pages or, for instance, your eBook can provide your readers with an additional information that they would find relevant and helpful, you should include the links of your other internal resources in your content.

Not only will implementing internal links help you improve user experience, but it will also present your other relevant web pages to search engines, thus helping you improve your SEO ranking.

Nevertheless, it goes without saying that you should always add internal links naturally and only when they offer additional relevant information to your readers. Never force them into your content, but use them only when they can actually help your readers learn more about the topics you write about.

Optimize Your Blog for Mobile Devices

Mobile Device Optimization

It is no longer merely an option to have a mobile-friendly website, since Google will penalize you if your website is not optimized for mobile devices. Therefore, make sure you make your website mobile-friendly and include all the elements of a responsive web design; not only will that provide mobile users with a seamless mobile experience, thus improving your site’s user experience, but it will also help you in terms of SEO and search engine rankings.

Since Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites over those which are not optimized for mobile devices, your ranking in search engines can be increased significantly by having a responsive website. When your website is responsive, the pages on your blog will have one URL instead of two different ones, which will further help Google recognize the value of your blog posts and rank them accordingly.

Conclusion

When you start optimizing your blog posts for search engines, you cannot expect immediate results, because building up search authority definitely takes time. However, if you publish new blog posts on a regular basis and remain consistent in making them relevant and user-friendly, you will be on the right track towards increasing your search engine visibility and bringing in traffic that will result in quality leads for the long haul.

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