Welcome back to my ongoing series on SEO, in this post, SEO Tips and Tricks; Using Anchor Text I cover more of the Google best practices you need to learn and apply, as obtained directly from Google.
I firmly believe that if you, even as a beginner in this arena take these tips to heart as you work with your website and apply the science, you will begin to see the positive results within your niche, fairly quickly.
Today’s post SEO Tips and Tricks; Using Anchor Text, of the series will be covering; Anchor Text, Image Optimization and your Images “alt” attribute.
Poor Anchor Text Can Sink Your Ship
First off let me explain what Anchor Text is, and then I will discuss how it is best used.
According to our friends at Wiki, Anchor Text is the Clickable Portion of text that you use, that will comfortably guide your reader to the enhanced portion(s) of information that you wish to use to convey to them.
SEO Tips and Tricks; Using Anchor Text
This link is also referred to as a HyperLink and it most often appears in browsers in blue. For a more detailed explanation of HyperLinks this source from Chicago is quite helpful.
Here in SEO Tips and Tricks; Using Anchor Text I will use the simplest terms. Let’s say your niche is purebred dogs; as you begin to write you will start to see your thoughts develop on the page.
As you re-read what you have written you will begin to see perfect places where you may very naturally place helpful links for your readers that may require some more insight about something specific.
Within your purebred dog niche, let’s say you are writing about the upcoming “139th Westminster Dog Show”, February of 2015.
Please bear in mind that I am aware the show is over this year and now sadly there was “Death of a Dog” drama in the news as well.
Regardless that, as you mention the name of the actual show as opposed to anything leading up to or after the fact, then the name of the dog show becomes the focal point of interest of your piece, that is your ideal Anchor Text Link position, as I did to make my point with a link to the upcoming show above.
Good Anchor Text Helps Your SEO
Not only will your readers more than likely understand where the link goes, but from an SEO perspective as Google and the other search engine’s algorithms continue to evolve they are able to understand your sites set up much more easily.
The Google Bots can with AI more fully understand, based on the reading of your text, and thus reward you with better SERP.
Here is an example of how the Westminster Kennel Club site is using their anchor text, this page is under 2015 Dog Show then under Hotels & Transportation;
New York City Hotels
The Westminster Kennel Club has arranged for special rates during our annual dog show.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE 2015 HOTEL LISTING (pdf)
In SEO Tips and Tricks; Using Anchor Text I will show you that in the past short sweet and direct, “Click Here” was fine, but within the world of the actual Westminster Dog Show they have virtually NO competition to worry about.
You and I probably will not have the luxury of adapting our websites to something that has been a Globally renowned and revered institution for more than a century.
We must use an entirely different approach for most all of us are still just the New Kids in Town online, so to be friendly to our readers and respectful of their intellect while at the same time keeping GoogleBot happy with your site you will wish to try something a bit more like this;
New York City Hotels
The Westminster Kennel Club has “Arranged for Special Rates” during our annual dog show, for our member’s convenience.
We hope you have found this information helpful, and you enjoy your stay in New York City.
Note that instead of having to say “Click Here”, which sounds so duh, do this, don’t do this, as you are reading you should weave your Anchor Text naturally into the flow of the informational passage, the link will be easily seen and more naturally and readily clicked upon.
One other tip regarding Anchor Text and working with Google is to recognize that Google Likes Anchor Text links to external websites, but Google Loves Anchor Text links to internal locations within your website.
The more internal links you have set up with Anchor Text within reason the happier Google is with its ability to find important information on your site that it may return to its searchers helping it to fulfill its mission once again.
You get better SERP and Google actually appreciates sites that appreciate and use their own quality content to answer questions.
So Be Descriptive & Be Concise
Some more tips from SEO Tips and Tricks; Using Anchor Text as you write, use concise text to paint an idea to the reader’s mind’s eye that will effortlessly relay the path you wish your readers to follow.
Make sure that you use formatting of the HyperLink in a fashion so that they are easy to read in prose, yet letting the reader know it is a clickable link.
If it blends in too much a reader may actually miss something of great importance to understanding and benefiting from what you are writing about.
Optimizing Images for GoogleBots
On most any website you will find imagery of some sort. It may be a metaphoric tie into something written, perhaps as an example of something, it may be a moving .gif image or any number of attempts to convey certain thought’s to the reader.
Most common browsers on the market today will certainly support viewing of the basic types of “eye-candy” such as; .bmp, .gif, .jpeg and what I use the most .png formats.
For a simple credible explanation of these different file formats and usage, I turned to the University at Wake Forest. When working with images it is important to have organized file and alt attributes.
You want to keep your images as organized as possible with the use of standard recognizable filenames. It is also recommended to keep all of your image files in a common location or single directory.
The “alt” Attribute Do Not Ignore It
When it comes to imagery and working with search engines the bots are at your mercy to be able to report what they find accurately. The Tag that Google, Bing, Yahoo and the others look for with images online is the “alt” or alternate attribute tag of an image.
Within a search of most anything, if an image is to be displayed, and for whatever the reason, traffic online, limited bandwidth anything, Google will display a blank or graphic image and use the “alt” text you supplied when you published. Because Google is not quite to the level of being able to view images in a cognitive fashion yet, it must rely on the “alt” text field for its information. When choosing file and “alt” names try to be as Brief, Yet Descriptive as possible.
Google Say’s NO!
Whatever you do don’t fall into the trap of using lame common names for your images like “image.png” or “1.png” etc. That tells neither you nor Google anything helpful and as your site grows you will really be sorry for your inability to associate the names with the exact images you may need.
Also by the same token, you do not want to be using extremely lengthy file names either. Lastly in filenames don’t go trying to stuff keywords into them, or copying and pasting whole sentences or image links in.
As you get more involved with writing and working with images you will soon realize that your images much like the Anchor Text above may be great places for clickable internal or external links to more information or a sales funnel of some sort.
It almost, I think requires a level of empathy. I try to place myself into my reader’s eyes & mind and make each post as informative yet pleasurable to digest as possible.
For Sites with Many Images
I hope as you read through my post SEO Tips and Tricks; Gary’s Perspective #5 that it has helped open your eyes as to what Google is looking for when it comes to “Eye-Candy”
If you happen to have a website that is involved with or requires you to have a huge number of various types of imagery; Google Highly Recommends that you take the time to create and upload them to an Image Sitemap from inside your WordPress dashboard with your SEO plugin or using Google Webmaster Tools.
This goes back to the importance of navigation within your website and also helps on the web with Google Image Search. Ultimately this will all have a positive influence on your SEO and Google SERP.
SEO Tips and Tricks; Using Anchor Text
I hope this information in SEO Tips and Tricks; Using Anchor Text has been informative for you, in my next in this series of SEO Tips and Tricks; Use Your Heading Tags Wisely, I will be discussing how Google works with and advises you on Heading Tags, the Robots.txt file and what you need to know about Spam and using the rel=”nofollow” attribute.
If you have made it this far reading, thanks very much for your time.
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