Getting the most out of any SEO strategy inherently means getting the most out of every single link. Back links do a great job building authority and credibility in the eyes of the search engines, but it’s the anchor text itself that has the potential to ‘unlock’ the true value of every link.
The problem is that as is the case with SEO in general, anchor text best practices are in a constant state of evolution. Nevertheless, you need to remain up to speed with the state of play right now, to stand any chance of maintaining a competitive edge.
Anchor Text and Google Penguin
Way back in April 2012, Google Penguin had an enormous impact on search queries on a global basis. Nevertheless,Google has nonetheless rolled out no less than FIVE major updates to its Penguin algorithm in the meantime. All of which means that every DIY web master and leading SEO company in Bangalore a like has had no choice but to roll with the punches. It’s just that some have pulled it off more successfully than others.
In some instances, attempting to improve SERP rankings by way of gray-hat anchor text strategies may have worked initially, but ultimately resulted in penalties being handed out. In other instances,hard-fought efforts that previously bore little fruit suddenly began to pay off.
The simple fact of the matter is that when it comes to satisfying the needs of each update respectively, all you need to do is ensure you follow the rules set out by Google itself. Trying to curry favor by hacking the system usually ends up having the exact opposite effect.
Best Practices for Anchor Text Optimization
So with this in mind, what kinds of best practices should you be following to make the most of your chosen anchor text from a 2018 perspective? And for that matter, what bad habits should you be getting out of as quickly as possible?
Keep it Natural
Well, the first and most important rule is that of keeping things natural and relevant at all times. The anchor text you use should be every bit as valuable and relevant as every other item of textual content on your website. Not simply thrown in there for the purposes of benefiting your SEO, while compromising the quality of your text in the process. These days, Google is more than capable of taking context into account and won’t hesitate to hand penalties out to those who use unnatural anchor text.
You need to ensure that your anchor text is optimized, but there’s a line that must be drawn. The major search engines generally do not take kindly to the kind of anchor text that’s forced full of keywords and has clearly been manipulated, simply for the sake of earning as many points as possible. The same also goes for repetition using the same anchor text in every post, rather than any number of variations thereof, isn’t a good way of gaining Google’s good graces.
Get into Guest Blogging
Guest blogging has the potential to be pure gold when it comes to a wider link-building and SEO strategy on the whole. These days, mere mentions of your company are sufficient for major search engines like Google to take notice – with or without links. Meaning that if you get into guest blogging and handle your anchor text strategically, you could be looking at limitless benefit from all angles.
Don’t Link to Low-grade Sites
At one end of the scale, links to and from authoritative websites can work wonders for your wider SEO strategy. At the opposite end of the scale, the same is true in reverse. Those who you associate yourself with regardless of the direction of the link – have the potential to do a number on your credibility and SERP rankings as a result. If unsure as to the quality or credibility of the website in question,it is better not to bother at all than to take risks with your reputation.
Focus Anchors on Deep-level Pages
Believe it or not, it isn’t always advisable to focus your effort entirely or even predominantly on top-level pages. From primary product pages to landing pages to home pages, campaigns that focus entirely on these types of links are interpreted as inauthentic and forced by the major search engines.
Instead, therefore, it can be useful to focus your efforts on pages at a deeper level within your website, just as long as they are relevant and of sufficient quality. Just ensure that these deep-level pages make it quick and easy for the user to click through to your primary pages.
Position Each Anchor Strategically
Last but not least, research suggests that the vast majority of Internet users don’t take the time to ‘read’ the information they are presented with. Instead, they simply skim over the text and rarely tend to concentrate beyond the first few paragraphs, headings and subheadings.
Hence, in theory, it simply represents common sense to ensure your anchors are positioned strategically in these higher-impact areas of your pages. Doing so might not guarantee clicks, but can certainly reduce the likelihood of your links going overlooked entirely.