So what is anchor text? Anchor text is another word for a hyperlinked keyword. The keyword used to link to another page is very important. This hyperlinked keyword is essentially describing to the search engines, and the user, what the topic of the destination URL is.
The keyword should be in line with the content of the page and should be coupled with proper optimization on the destination page for the same keyword used in the anchor text. So for the example on the screen, the Ipsum term should point to an Ipsum page that is optimized in the title tag, etc for the term “Ipsum”.
Let’s get into the best practices: First and foremost, we need to think about what is best for the user. This is always the best gauge for whether or not a particular linking tactic is going in the right direction.
What is the most effective way to funnel a user through the site to ultimately make a conversion? Overloading with links will not help, and too few links will not give the user enough paths to take, especially if they enter the site through the home page. It can also be distracting if a user’s reading experience is broken up by links. So to help you make the right linking decisions, here are some tips:
- For starters, use keyword rich anchor text only once on a page per destination URL – the search engines will only account for the first instance that the anchor text is utilized. If the keyword is already hyperlinked from your navigation (assuming your navigation is text based and spiderable), it is unnecessary for you to hyperlink to the page once more for SEO reasons. It is neither penalized nor rewarded.
- Do not link out of a page using the same keyword it is optimized for. For example, If you’re writing content for the category page Baby shower invitations which is also the term the page is optimized for, do not link out of that category page using the anchor text of baby shower invitations. Feel comfortable, though to link out to other very relevant pages, like a Baby Shower Planning Tips page.
- If you use anchor text in content, the search engine spiders read links and text differently. If you’ve hyperlinked a keyword in your content, you’ll need to use it in your text as well to reinforce the relevance toward that particular keyword. This type of interlinking between pages helps build clusters of pages that are connected by similar topics, making them all stronger candidates to rank for their main keywords.
- Using certain links in your navigation and links from the home page can be a powerful tool to pass along PageRank or link juice from one page to the next. It is the basis of what we call “healthy spiderability”. Going too far with an excessive number of links in your navigation or content can spread the strength of the page linking out too thin.
To summarize, the benefits to solid interlinking include:
- Creating better spiderability, which can be a factor in indexing more pages in Google’s Primary index
- Link Juice from authoritative pages can be passed effectively to sub pages, helping to strengthen the pages and create more thematic relevance between them
- For each page, carefully choosing which pages you’ll link to based on the maximizing the user experience will encourage proper click-trails through your site, giving a clear path to users to meet the goal of their search – and in the end, help you improve the rate at which search engine sourced visitors convert to new customers
If you need help with interlinking or Search engine optimization, give us a call! We offer free SEO audits for qualified websites as well. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s PPC Tuesday video.