What kind of anchor text are you using for your SEO? I was surprised to learn recently that many people are still using only exact match anchor text as part of their strategy. Since the latest round of Panda and Penguin updates, using exact match SEO will get you hammered by Google, so it’s time to move on. I’ve found six exact match anchor text alternatives that will give your SEO company the boost it needs to break onto the first page.
1. Long-tail Keywords
Long-tailed keywords are becoming the popular method. For an example, if you’re trying to rank for “used cars Boston”, you can use the long-tailed versions like “cheap used cars Boston MA” or “boston Massachusetts used cars.” This gives you another layer of variety fot your anchor text while still containing the exact match terms.
2. Bare URLs
Bare URLs are the simplest and most natural-appearing way to link, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have variety. www.wikimotivedv.wpengine.com, wikimotivedv.wpengine.com, and http://www.wikimotivedv.wpengine.com all mean the same thing, but are technically different anchor text.
3. Synonym Keywords
Synonym keywords are pretty straightforward. If you’re trying to rank for “cheap cars,” you can try variations like “discount cars”, “affordable cars”, “inexpensive cars” and so on.
4. Non-Descriptive Keywords
These are the least proven, but also carry very little risk. They are a good way to round out your link profile without drawing a penalty. A non-descriptive link is something like “read more” or “click here.” They may not be as powerful as some of the other techniques, but they are good for overall diversity.
5. Image Links
A properly optimized image can be a wonderful link for you. Make sure the filename and the alt text are both concise and relevant, and then make the image link to your page of choice. In this scenario, the alt text primarily plays the role of anchor text.
6. Branded Keywords
Branded keywords are under-utilized and a great way to add more diversity to your anchor text. To go back to our example of “used cars Boston,” you just add the dealership name in front of the text. For instance, “Joe’s used cars Boston” or “Joe Automotive for used cars Boston MA.”
No one anchor text strategy is enough. You need to vary your link profile and include a little from each of these 6 in order to have a well-rounded and successful SEO program.