12:52 on Thu, 24 Sep 2009 | SEO | 2 Comments
Welcome, dear readers to another instalment of Pete’s SEO corner. So far, we’ve covered optimising your site with title tags, content and exact match domains. In this article, we will be examining links – why you need them, and how you can make them work for you.
Why Links are Important
Google works on the belief that sites with more links are more popular and authoritative and are thus more likely to rank higher. The theory comes from the fact that if you find a useful resource on the web, you are likely to link to it from your own website.
One thing you can do to make your links pack more punch is to make sure your link has keyword targeted anchor text. This is the crucial factor in determining what keywords Google ranks your site for.
Keyword Targeted Links
For example, a link which points to your felt tip pen site, CoolFeltz at http://www.coolfeltz.com will pass link juice and benefit your site but in order to get the full benefit of the link the anchor text should be a keyword which your site is targeting.
Anchor text is the link text you use for a link so the following code:
<a href=”http://www.coolfeltz.com”>Felt tip pens</a>
has the anchor text “Felt tip pens” which Google will count when ranking your site for that term.
There are many sites with a decent amount of good links pointing to them but still do not rank highly for their terms. On closer inspection of their link profile, many of their links are not keyword optimised, only having the domain name as the anchor text.
Make links look natural
One thing Google wants to see is that the anchor text in your links to the site looks natural. By natural, I mean that if you have 1000 links pointing to your site and they all contain the anchor text “felt tip pens” then Google is likely to see this as an unnatural link profile
So, even though you may be targeting the keywords “felt tip pens”, “felt tip pen”, “black pen” and “marker pen” to your homepage you should also use anchor text for keywords you may not actively be targeting. A good tactic to use is to include the long-tail terms that don’t garner you much traffic, but are rich in variety.
Internal linking within your site will also benefit your site. You can increase the relevance of internal pages by changing non-descriptive links such as "click here" or "read more" to containing anchor text that is relevant to the following page.
As well as providing benefits for search engines, there are advantages for the user as well. Studying how people interact with web pages shows they scan read and the eye is naturally drawn to hyperlinks. Accurately labelled hyperlinks can help your users quickly identify which page it is they are looking for.
Good luck and happy linking!