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An SEO Must - Use Your Anchor Text!

Aug 31, 2007
For those website owners who are new to the world of search engine optimization, I have something important to tell you. It is critical that you not only get lots of quality, one-way relevant links to your website, but that you carefully choose the text in those links. The text that is used in the hyperlinks on articles, blogs, forums and other pages is known as "anchor text".

This anchor text is used by Google and most other search engines in determining the relevance of your site content for any particular search term. You can spend hours a day getting backlinks from article directories, forums, blog posts and web directories. This should help your Google PageRank, but it will not bring you targeted search traffic unless you use anchor text that is relevant to your site content and to searches done by your target audience.

As a directory owner myself, I see it all the time. The most commonly used anchor text chosen by article authors is "click here". While this is useful for human visitors who can click the active hyperlink to enter your site, it does nothing to improve your page ranking in the search results. Instead of using this bland, generic anchor text, you can use a phrase that best describes your product or service. The phrase should also be something that a Google user is likely to enter in a search for your product/service.

Let's say you want to promote your home improvement blog, so you submit articles to free article directories. In the Author's Resource Box, you include a catchy promotional phrase along with three active links to your site. In one of these links you could use the anchor text "home improvement blog" to point to your home page. You could use the second and third links to promote important pages in your site like product sales pages. So you could use the anchor text "discount deck fasteners" and "bathroom vanities" to link to your product pages.

If you consistently use these three anchor text phrases, you will improve your ranking in the search engine results pages for these phrases. As you can imagine, there is a lot of competition out there for many hot phrases. Try to choose a phrase that fits the content of your site and that isn't too general (like "blog") or too specific (like "learn how to install your own swimming pool").

So now the question is, "What anchor text should I use for my site?" Google Webmaster Central has added excellent new statistics tools that let you see in detail what searches are performed, what keywords are used, your average position in searches, and much more. All of this is free once you sign up.

You can, and should, also use your own server statistics to see what searches people are using to get to your site. There are also third-party services such as WordTracker that estimate total daily searches for particular keywords and phrases. Once you have chosen your anchor text, it is important to monitor your position in the search rankings and also your site traffic to see what the changes are.

Now you know what anchor text is, and why it is vital in any website promotional campaign. By simply changing the text you use in your backlinks, you can have a considerable impact on your website traffic from search engines. By monitoring your rankings in the search engine results, you can fine-tune your anchor text and watch your site soar to the top of the rankings.
About the Author
Click on the links to learn more about submitting to a free article directory, using anchor text or website promotion.
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