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Anchor Text - what is it and why is it a vital part of your link-building strategy?

Link buildingFebruary 5th 2010

Link-building is one of the fundamental principles of online marketing and PR. I thought it would be useful to highlight a couple of areas where it’s useful to know the basics.

1. Inbound links and the text

Firstly, any inbound link from an external site should be properly anchored in order to get the most value from it i.e. the text you link with, with something that is relevant to your site/page.

For example, PKR Communications is an online media and marketing company for the overseas property and tourism industries. What I try and do is get people to link to my home page with the anchor text “online media and marketing company for the overseas property and tourism industries” which means when a spider crawls through an external site, the link is so much more valuable than just a www.pkrcommunications.com and a click here etc…

2. How can you get people to use the text that you want them to use?

Well, one of the best ways to do this is to put up a “Link to us” page on your site with specific link/anchor text relevant to different areas on your site.

As I’m already talking about this site, I generally try and get people to link to my homepage but if I was trying to optimise a specific product, I’d get people to link to another page. Sites like Google will weigh up the relevance of an internal page and if it’s more appropriate to the term that has been searched for, then the more relevant the page and links are, the more likely it is to return your page a relevant search term.

I'll give you an example, I’m going to promote an FTP product to many of my property developer contacts and I’d try and ensure that any inbound links were optimised to what people were searching for online and was relevant to my page e.g. “FTP for overseas property developers and estate agents”. (Link to page)

You should also suggest the anchor text in the initial email conversations to avoid having to get the other person to change things when they've already done it.

3. Display advertising

Display advertising doesn’t help you in the search engines. You can of course put ALT Text on images but when you buy ads on a website, you should ensure you get a followed link from them on a relevant (and popular page) so you can get some search engine value.

4. So to sum up

  1. Always use relevant link text on your links
  2. Provide people with example text or a link to us page
  3. If you buy ads on a website, make sure you get added value from a followed link


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