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Anchor’s away – is Anchor Text still important for SEO?

Anchor text

So I have just been working on a client’s wonderful website. It’s beautifully designed by a fellow agency ‘Koala’! I genuinely love what they have done, it’s very classy, ideal for my client’s business. The challenge I found, was that the minimal look and feel of the home page, with just a single paragraph of text, with little in the way of keywords, made the page difficult to optimise. But hey, that’s part of my role here at First Web Design, and I do like a challenge. Now usually, I would advise a client to include more text, and increase the use of keywords – but, and it’s a big BUT.. in this instance, I just felt the design worked so well that I felt reluctant to suggest disturbing it’s beauty. And here comes the other BUT – but what use is a beautiful website if it can’t be found? And this is hardly disputable. Now it may be that as we continue to work together, we shall find ways to increase the level of content, just enough to reach a healthy balance (keyword density) to make the change to the look and feel of the homepage worthwhile. There would no doubt have to be a compromise. But for now, and really what this post is all about, is in the first instance: how can we make a page that has limited content, more search engine friendly?

So digging around in the SEO toolkit, I pulled out the faithful anchor!

Now for those of you that don’t know, anchor text is basically text that is hyperlinked (links to another page, or website) – basic stuff, right. Now internal and external links are all an essential part of SEO, but even better, and more useful and effective, if the text was in fact a keyword or key phrase. Search engines, would see the highlighted (in terms of it’s relevance) and hyperlinked text and the content of the page that it links to. Basically, giving the keyword (and therefore service) added kudos!

So back to this beautiful website, with it’s minimal content and search engine friendliness (or lack there of)… Within the paragraph of text, I was able to take a rather generic search term ‘fitting service’ and add specific service text, in this case ’tiling’ & ‘bathroom fitting service’ and applied a hyperlink to these services.. alas the anchor was cast! There were also simple H2 headers (Floor Tiles, Wall Tiles & Bathrooms) with a button underneath taking the site visitor to those pages, however, as we were short on content and other SEO opportunities on this page (other than adding alt text to images), applied hyperlinks to these headers also – H2 headers AND hyperlinked.. wow, that’s SEO on steroids!

SEO

So in a nutshell – if you’re going to use hyperlinks for SEO, make sure, where possible, they are on keywords and search terms that you wish to be found by – just be wary of competing links – if you’re adding a hyperlink to a keyword or key phrase that you wish the page you’re linking from to be found by , then the two pages will be competing with one another! Something to bear in mind!

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Trevor Piggott

Trevor Piggott

Trevor Piggott is the founder and Managing Director of First Web Design Ltd. He has been a web designer & SEO expert for over 20 years. Formerly an associate architect at the second largest IT outsourcing company CSC (now DXC technology), where he worked for Airbus (Toulouse), and New Media Tutor at Business for People, Huntingdon, Cambs. He lives in Holywell, with his wife who is a GP, and his identical twin boys.

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