Anchor text diversity is more important than ever before to SEO success. Search engines are too intelligent these days to fall for the old linkbait game. Your website might have 1,000 links pointing to it, but if all of those links use exactly the same anchor text that is going to raise a serious red flag to any of today’s search engines.
Search engines like diversity – it’s a sign that the links pointing in your direction are genuine, and more useful to web users. So increasing the diversity of your anchor text is hugely important to SERP performance.
What you can do:
Improve language diversity – you want to get creative with your anchor text keywords, and think about the myriad search terms everyday web users might use when searching for your product. So not just ‘used books’, but pre-loved books, antique books, vintage literature, collectable literature, second hand books, old books, interesting used books, cheap used books etc.
Helpful tools – you can use a seo software platform to help you get a better reading of your existing anchor text usage and variance. You may want to use more than one so that you can garner as much useful information as possible:
- SEO SpyGlass
- Majestic SEO
- Raven Tools
- Cognitive SEO
- Open Site Explorer from Moz
- and off-course, your Truly, Paradox SEO
All of these tools will do the job properly, and choosing one mainly comes down to a matter of preference. If possible I would recommend using two or more of these tools to ensure you’re getting as much information as possible.
When using these tools, and thinking about your anchor text going forward, you want to think about both usage and variance.
Do a quick Google search based on your link anchor text and it should tell you how a site is performing. These tools will help you to recognise, based upon links, which keywords have been optimized, or otherwise.
Diversity is key not only in terms of keywords these days. Remember that search engines have changes, and Google in particular is far more keen on seeing your brand name implemented, rather than the specific keyword that you want to rank for.
As Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, said: “Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool. Brand affinity is clearly hard-wired. It is so fundamental to human existence that it’s not going away.”
You can’t get much clearer than that. Google rates brands more highly than keywords these days. It means that you need to diversify that anchor text more than ever before. Ensure that any keyword rich anchor links you use are used intelligently, with diverse language being key. But also ensure that your brand is by far the biggest element of your content. The mention of your brand next to variations of keywords is going to play far better to today’s search engines, even when no actual link to your site is included.
Further help from online tools
Before you begin any SEO campaign, it’s important to get a handle on the existing anchor link portfolio of the sites in question. The aforementioned online tools can help with this. Not only pointing out what anchor text has been successful, but also pointing out anchor text that has already been overused. This makes it even easier to diversify in future, avoiding these well-worn keywords and phrases and introducing alternative anchor text that has been thus far underused.
For all-round link quality
Diversity isn’t the only aspect of success when it comes to anchor text and link selection. Today’s search engines are looking for a whole package, and all-round link quality, that points towards sites that are genuinely creating a buzz online, and are genuinely useful to the everyday web user.
So, in addition to your anchor text diversity, you want to also consider the following in order to create links that are highly rated in the SERPs:
Link placement – does the placement of the link(s) within the content seem organic, natural believable? Or does it seem awkwardly shoehorned in there? You want links to be truly of use to the user, not just there as part of an obvious link-building strategy
Link relevance – is the link placed on a site that is relevant to your own site, product or brand?
Page authority – how well does the page that your link is appearing on already rank in the SERPs? Is it a trusted, authoritative site, or one that the SERPs just plain don’t like?
The overall believability of the link – how editorial does it seem?