Don’t Go Overboard! How to use Anchor Links to Shore Up Your SEO Strategy

Are You Using Anchor Links Effectively on the Online Seas?How many nautical puns is too many for a blog post title? How many anchor links will weigh down your marketing content? These aren’t Zen puzzles, no, these are real questions that drive marketing agencies as SEO strategy continues to change after Google’s algorithm shifts.

(Well, okay. The answer to the first question is “four.”)

It’s obvious that content marketers have had to think long and hard about their strategies and how to avoid looking outdated or “spammy,” now that Google consistently values unique, credible content. As you assign batches of content to your SEO blog writing team, consider the following before writing your keyword and link requirements:

  • Variety. Are you requiring writers to use the exact same anchor link over and over? Instead, consider offering several slightly different phrases in order to keep your links organic. In addition, advise your writers to work the anchor text into a longer sentence and vary where the linked text appears. If your anchor links consistently fall at the beginning or end of the sentences, your content will appear less engaging and personal.
  • Relevance. Once you’ve varied your anchor text, think about the links themselves. Are you sending your readers to relevant pages or simply linking for the sake of linking? Google’s Penguin algorithm specifically looks to eliminate excessive linking, so choose with care.
  • Brand Name. Anchor text links are a great opportunity to put focus on the brand or company you’re trying to highlight. By using anchor links more sparingly, you can afford to show your hand a bit more and use the company or brand name in the anchor text or the phrase immediately surrounding the anchor text. Your transparency can translate to greater brand recognition and more positive brand associations.
  • Co-Citations. While a solid anchor link strategy is still essential, word on the SEO street is that co-citations are becoming the go-to strategy for savvy content marketers. To receive a coveted co-citation, your goal is to get that content noticed and shared by others in your field or industry. While this is certainly a different mode of thinking from traditional linking, it’s still within the normal purview of the marketing master. Continue to push your writers to create interesting, original content that brings fresh insight into the field, and the co-citations should follow.

Caitlin C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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