It is impossible to understate the importance of quality content when it comes to SEO performance.  Quality content is what Google and the other search engines are looking to index highly in their rankings. Remember, these companies are businesses trying to build and protect their reputation; they only want the best content featured prominently in their results.

Anchor Text

Content is also what helps you to build your link portfolio. Quality content with links drives traffic to other websites, including your own, if you have something worth linking to. The recent Google Penguin update has left webmasters and SEO agencies with many questions when it comes to linking, particular in terms of when anchor text makes linking look unnatural.

However, link building is not dead. What Google Penguin does mean is that we all need to be cleverer with regard to how we link build and use anchor text.

Types of Anchor Text

Getting it right is actually reasonably straightforward. Anchor text linking is only likely to go wrong if you’re pursuing a link building strategy that calls for using the same anchor text repeatedly. There is no better way to show Google you’re unnaturally linking than by doing this.

How can you link?

Use the URL

Although many dismiss this as the thing that novices do, it is actually the most natural link you can have, a simple posting of the website URL.

For example, you could write, “For guest blogging opportunities, visit http://www.myblogguest.com

Branded Anchor Text

Again, you’re not going to set any alarm bells ringing with Google if you follow this strategy; you’re just posting your company name, after all.

An example of this might be, “Visit Search Engine Land for the latest news and opinion from the SEO industry.”

A Call to Action

These can be difficult to make effective when it comes to anchor text, as “click here” or “contact us now” don’t add much value when it comes to SEO, although it will make it easier for people to move straight to your site having just read an article or a guest post, for example.

Keyword Anchor Text

This is where you need to be careful, and it is where many websites came unstuck with Google Penguin. The best way to use keyword anchor text is to envisage how someone who you don’t know might link to your site. Come up with a list of 10-20 anchor text examples that you can use, and whenever you link to yourself, use a different one.

Use SEO tools such as Majestic SEO to review your anchor text links to ensure you’re not going too far in some cases.

Branded and Keywords in Anchor Text

If your industry fits perfectly alongside your company name, then that is a great opportunity to have branded anchor text featuring keywords, too.

For example, “Sports Direct football shirts are available now.”

No Keywords

Rather than use a specific anchor text that might not fit particular keywords or your brand, you can always just insert what you’re linking to so that your anchor text appears natural and makes sense to the reader.

“This blog post from Search Engine Journal shares tips for enriching online content,” would be such an example.

Be Smart With Anchor Text

When you’re manually link building, ensure all of these examples of anchor text linking are featured in your strategy. This will ensure your link portfolio appears natural, and your high quality content gets the attention it deserves.

Robert is a digital marketing expert who regularly writes features related to SEO, social media, and web development. In his spare time, Robert enjoys playing sports and spending time with his family.

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