Posts Tagged ‘Search’

The Value of Incoming Links and Anchor Text

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

One of the best ways to optimize your website and increase your visibility is to have lots of incoming links—that is, lots of sites that link to your site.  The higher the number of incoming links you have, the higher you are ranked in search engines like Google.  Of course, it’s best that these sites are already ranked in Google and have a certain amount of popularity.  Think of it like you would the schoolyard politics of popularity: Let’s say you have 150 really unpopular friends in junior-highschool (follow me here), this doesn’t make you popular—you are judged in accordance with whom you hang with.  This is also true with Google’s ranking system.   If 150 unranked sites link to you, you have gained nothing.  However, if 10 really popular, highly-ranked sites link to you, Google assumes you have something of value to offer and they increase your ranking, and you gain more visibility.

But this is not why I decided to write on this subject. What I really want to talk about is anchor text and how you can leverage it to promote yourself online.

Whenever you add a link to your site (even within the pages of your own site) the words that people click on (the link) is called anchor text.  For example, if you use the word “here” as the clickable word (the link) that people click on to learn more, you are highlighting “here” as the notable subject.  I’m sure you have seen this – click HERE to learn more and then you physically click “here.”  This used to be common practice, especially for people leading visitors to pages within the same site.  The truth is, this is a missed opportunity to promote your subject and optimize your site for a viable term.  It is better to use words that describe what you are promoting.  What you really want to promote and optimize for is your company name, or maybe your book name, or your product name, or maybe a service you offer.

For example:  let’s say I want to promote my speaking service (which I do).  I could tell you to click here to learn more about my speaking topics OR I could say something like: Jeniffer Thompson is a professional speaker…. OR Jeniffer Thompson offers seminars on Internet Marketing for authors.

Because I have used a keyword phrase as my link (my anchor text) Google will index my site for that term.  And, if someone does a Google search for “seminars on Internet Marketing for authors,” they just might find my site—because Google now ranks my site for that term.  The more this term appears on my site—the more Google will view it as relevant content and the higher I will appear in the search engines for that term.

So, next time you are writing a blog post, remember this:  A blog post is a link. Strategically choose words that you want indexed in the search engines.  Of course, make sure it’s relevant to your topic or people will never take you seriously and ultimately, every time you write content for your site you should be speaking directly to your audience, not to a search engine.

That’s all for now.  I look forward to adding more tips weekly, so check back soon.

Oh, one more thing:  Jeniffer Thompson offers seminars on Internet Marketing for authors (hee hee)