I received this question from a reader recently: “What kind of strategy would you advise for the anchor text links in the resource box? I’m thinking of using a combination of the following:
* For some articles, I’ll use my keywords as anchor text.
* For other articles, I’ll use variations on my keywords.
* And for yet other articles I’ll use totally unrelated phrases such as “click here,” “my blog,” etc.
“What do you think of that plan?”
It is always a good idea to develop a link profile that looks as natural as possible. This reader is also right on track in thinking links that naturally occur would normally include keywords, some variations of keywords and some phrases that are totally unrelated, as well as linking his or her website URL.
Anchor text refers to the words that are hyperlinked in a resource box. Just browse through an article directory and look at the resource boxes. In some resource boxes, the link is formed by blue underlined words and, upon clicking those words, the reader is taken to the author’s website.
These types of links are extremely powerful at communicating information to Google. The words that are linked (the anchor text) tell Google what the website is about. If you have a website about dog training, for instance, and you use the words “dog training” as your anchor text, you are sending a strong message to Google that your website is about that topic.
When Google knows to associate your website with that topic, there is a much greater chance that when someone does a search for the term “dog training,” your web pages will show up in the results. Proper marketing will help ensure your site ranks well – as close to the No. 1 spot as possible for the most views.
Knowing this, some people are tempted to use the keyword “dog training” as the anchor text for all of their article submissions.
The problem with that approach is that linking the same phrase each time can send up red flags with Google. The link profile doesn’t look natural. Thus, your efforts may have the opposite effect of what you intended.
That’s where this reader’s question comes in: how can you have a healthy link profile – one that looks natural and not overdone?
The answer is to use a variety of anchor text, including all the options mentioned above. Here are a few more tips on how to use anchor text correctly in your resource box:
* Do keyword research and assemble a list of 10 or more keywords to alternate in your resource boxes. Do not link the same phrase each time. Swap them out.
* Using related variations of your keywords is OK. Take the example of “dog training,” you could also use “train a dog,” “dog trainers,” “teaching dogs,” etc.
* In some resource boxes, you can link any type of phrase not related to your keywords, such as “click here,” “my website,” etc.
* It is also fine to only link your website URL, as that would be a normally occurring type of link to your website.
The idea is to take an overall view of the impression you’re creating with the links you build. What you’re really trying to do is help Google figure out what your website is about while, at the same time, not overdoing search engine optimization.
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