Recently I decided to start compiling a series of search engine optimization tips. Each search engine optimization tip will be very specific, should not take a long time to fix (or to check to see if you are following the search engine optimization best practices), and will be rather “short and sweet” and directly to the point.
If you are following along with my search engine optimization tips, I have talked previously about having keyword in your urls, linking to your home page, the meta keywords tag, the keywords on your web page, the meta description tag, and your web page’s title tag. All of these “search engine optimization tips” are things I look at when analyzing a site or optimizing it for the search engines. Keep in mind, though, that this is only the beginning. There are a lot more search engine optimization tips coming.
For search engine optimization tip number seven, I thought I would take a look at the anchor text of your internal links. The anchor text, according to Wikipedia, is “The anchor text or link label is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink.” Some search engines look very heavily at the anchor text that is used to help them determine what a page is about; and that has an effect on the page’s search engine rankings.
In the case of Google, it is my belief that they look at the internal anchor text that you use; but they pay more attention to the anchor text that is located on other web sites (sites that you are not directly associated with). For this search engine optimization tip, however, I am going to focus on your site’s internal anchor text. We do not know exactly how much weight is given to internal anchor text by Google, Yahoo!, or MSN, but we need to make sure that our web sites are “optimized” internally.
Take a look at your web site’s internal navigation. On many pages of the vizioninteractive.com site, we have a section where we have text links to certain web pages. For example, we use the anchor text to describe what that web page is about. In our Products section, we link to Content Management System, Website Analytics, and email marketing. Those are only a few of our “products” that Vizion Interactive offers. Certainly there are other pages on the site, and it is our goal to describe the content of those pages in the anchor text that we use.
The anchor text of your internal links should describe what can be found on those web pages. Furthermore, it a good practice to make sure that you use the keyword phrase that you’re targeting on those web pages. For example, if you look at our Website Analytics, web page you will see that not only do we use that phrase in the anchor text to point to that page we use the phrase in the page’s title tag and so forth. Too many times I see web sites that use a product name in their anchor text. For example, rather than use the anchor text of “red widgets” to point to a page about red widgets, a company might use their product name “redwidgetosis” or some other product name. Someone who has never heard of that product won’t necessarily associate “redwidetosis” with “red widgets”. Don’t make it difficult for the search engines to understand it, as well.