In response to a reader asking for more information on relevant anchor tags, I’ve developed this small blog post on one of the basic components of search engine optimization (SEO). Relevant anchor tags are an important aspect of SEO and when used effectively as part of a systematic link building campaign, they can boost the traffic for a website by bringing organic search traffic from the major search engines.
Anchor tags are prompts presented to the user signifying a link to another website or resource. Anchor tags provide the search engines with an indication as to the type of content being linked to. Search engines places more importance on the words or phrases used in creating links and for that reason, it is important to request and/or use relevant anchor tags when link building.
Websites generally occupy a niche which is usually identified by a series of keywords and keyword phrases. Ranking well for these relevant keywords means a higher chance of converting traffic into sources of revenue. For this reason link building using quality one-way links from sites with relevant content and using anchor tags containing relevant keywords is important.
For example, if a site occupies a niche that involves “hockey” it would make sense to find links from sites that directly involve hockey. Links coming from sites involving hockey would be more relevant than links coming from sites involving “video games”. Links from other sports related sites may also be deemed more relevant than links from sites on “ceiling tile”.
When requesting or obtaining links from relevant sites, it is also important to use keywords or keyword phrases as part of the anchor tags for those links. Thus from our previous example, links should contain relevant tags such as “hockey” or “ice hockey”. Each link containing a particular relevant anchor tag would be seen as a vote of confidence that the linked site would be about “hockey” or “ice hockey”.
The search engines would use the number of links containing the relevant achor tag as an indication that the content linked to was about hockey. The more links containing this anchor tag, the higher the ranking for that particular keyword or keyword phrase.
Using incorrect or irrelevant anchor tags would mean that a site could technically rank for keywords that mean nothing to the readers and lowers the chance of converting visitors into a source of revenue.
As part of the link building process, it is also possible to specify a link title as one of the attributes. This title will appear as a user places the mouse over a particular link. This can also be used to provide an indication as to the type of content being linked to from a site. It can also provide additional SEO benefits when link building and should contain relevant keyword or keyword phrases where appropriate.
While it is important to use relevant anchor tags as part of your link building campaign, keep in mind that these are not the only factors that determine how well a site will rank for particular keywords or keyword phrases. The number and quality of the the links obtained will also influence ranking. Plus, there are many other universal search indicators that will influence how well a page ranks in the search engines.
For beginner SEOs, concentrate on using relevant anchor tags and build links from sites with relevant content. It is a basic rule that you should adhere to in your optimization efforts for your site.