Among other things, Google’s Penguin update went after sites that didn’t diversify their anchor text list. This meant the majority of the inbound links to their site were using the same anchor text phrases time and time again (like if 70% of the links pointing to this site said “SEO blog.”) It’s very important that site owners diversify their anchor text usage for a few reasons. First off, you don’t want to give the search engines the impression that you are only trying to rank for one keyword, it looks like spam. Secondly, you want your site to rank for multiple variations of the keywords you are actively targeting so the widest audience can find your site. Remember, no two people search the same way so if you only focus on one keyword as you anchor text you’re missing out on a lot of potential!
Here are three ways site owners can diversify their anchor text naturally:
1. Create multiple boilerplates for press releases.
Online PR is a great source of quality links, but many companies fail to fully utilize their online press releases for SEO and link building. A good rule of thumb is to get one link for every 100 words in the body of the release (including one full http link). This will help build quality links to both your homepage and several internal pages without making it look like you are stuffing your press release full of links. Obviously the links and anchor text will change based on the message of the press release, but there is one more way you can help diversify your anchor text—having several unique boilerplates that you rotate through.
Think about it—the company boilerplate goes on every single press release you send out (both offline and online) and it is usually the same few sentences across the board. This means it’s the same anchor text and links every time. If you created three or four versions of your boilerplate and rotated them through your press releases you’d be able to target more keywords with different anchor text and different links. This is a great way to ensure that all your priority keywords are getting equal attention.
2. Change up your author bio every time.
Whether you write as a guest blogger for one other site every other month or 10 sites every two weeks, author bios are another great source of quality links. Just like you want to change up the PR boilerplate, tweak your author bios every time (when you can) and target a mix of long-tail and broad keywords, as well as a good amount of branded anchor text. Some sites might create a stagnant author profile that you can’t change, but others will incorporate the author bio right into the blog post itself, giving you the opportunity to add two or three links with the anchor text of your choice. Be sure you change it up every time!
3. Pick from your anchor text list randomly.
In order to keep track of all the keywords you’re using as anchor text, I recommend creating a master document (like an Excel spreadsheet) that lists the anchor text and where on your site it should link to. Any time you write a piece of content, be it for your own blog or another site, pull from that anchor text list randomly to keep things diverse. For instance, let’s say I wanted to add a link to this post to a page on the Brick Marketing site. Since this post is about diversifying anchor text (which is part of link building) it makes perfect sense to link to the white hat link building page of the Brick Marketing site. But I don’t always have to use “white hat link building” as my anchor text. I can use “link building,” “link building services,” “white hat link building services,” “link building for SEO,” and so forth. Let’s say I have 10 or so keywords I want to use for link building—any time I need anchor text I just open my list and pull one at random (just make sure it makes sense in the context of the post/sentence).