Writing by Brick Marketing in Link Building
The Google Penguin update has been around for a little while now. We’ve all come to terms with what has changed and understand that certain link building practices simply are no longer acceptable. Using keywords in anchor text throughout published content has always been recommended SEO practice. Instead of linking to meaningless words like “click here”, it actually told the search engine spider what that page was about. However, as time went on Google found that this practice was being abused and over-used, which is why Penguin is also considered to be a penalty for “over optimization”. What’s important to understand is that anchor text linking shouldn’t be eliminated from your SEO strategy entirely. Anchor text links are still OK as long as they are “natural”. Of course the absolute most natural way to do things would be to not have a plan at all. But as SEOs, we’re planners right? Here’s a step by step guide for keeping anchor text linking as “natural” as possible:
Step #1 – Keyword Research
The first step in an SEO strategy is to figure out what the best keywords are to target on each page of the site. Go through the keyword research process as usual by plugging relevant keywords into the tool and seeing what similar keywords are recommended. Create a master list for each page of your site.
Step #2 Keyword Selection
Go through the lists of keywords that you’ve found and pick out the 2-5 that you are going to target on the page based on search volume and relevancy.
Step #3 Create Lists
Once you’ve done your keyword research and selected which keywords are going to be targeted and used on the site, break it down even further into different lists. Create a master list that has a list of all of the keywords that came up in the research that were relevant for every page of the site. The next list should be of the keywords that you actually chose to target on the page. The third list should be of any extras that were not chosen to be used on the website but that are still relevant. These very well could be long tail keywords.
Step #4 Distribute Separate Lists
Depending on the size of your business there could be many different people or teams working on distributing content on behalf of your company. You may have an SEO team, content writers, social media experts, and a PR department. Give each of these teams a separate list of anchor text keywords with the pages that coincide with those keywords to be used naturally within any content that is created. Spreading it out like this ensures that a variety of keywords are being used for different tasks.
Step #5 Analyze
Using an SEO reporting tool, analyze the ratio of anchor text keywords that are being used on a regular basis to make sure that none of them are being “abused”. If it looks like some are being used too often, check back with your list to see which other keywords could be used in their place.