You know that the inbound link building of a long term search engine optimization strategy is important. You know that anchor text is important. But how do you find out which anchor text is the most important?
All in all, a general mix of anchor text is best. You don’t want all of your inbound links to say the same thing. But how do you determine which links and which anchor text will serve you best? It’s called keyword research.
There are various methods for conducting keyword research. Here are some of the more popular ways that you can find the right anchor text for your website:
- Keyword Research Tool – There are a number of keyword research tools and you should use at least one of them. The drawback to many keyword research tools is they don’t tell you what keywords are best for you. Even if you can ascertain some value for your keywords from the tool, that value is an estimate for the keyword’s general value and not for the specific value that it will bring to your website.
- Referrer Logs – Look at your referrer logs and see what keywords people are finding your site with. Are they searching for words and phrases that you didn’t think about and finding you? Are those keywords and phrases important to you? If not, you might need to re-optimize your website. But if those keywords and phrases are a good match for your site and niche then you may hit gold with some of those pages. Check to see if those high traffic pages and the popular words and phrases in your referrer logs will make good anchor text.
- Moment of Opportunity – Sometimes, the popularity of search terms can’t be predicted. A current event may catapult a certain topic into the spotlight and all of a sudden people start searching for it. If you see a spike in certain search terms that fit your niche then you can use those search terms as anchor text to lead people back to your website. Just be sure that you act fast and you answer their questions once they arrive on your site.
- Supply-Side Optimization – You can create your own important search terms. If you are carving out a new niche or providing information on a topic that no one else is touching on then there may not be keywords and phrases already in use that will work for you. Perform some searches for the keywords that you are trying to target. If nothing comes up you can create the search field for those words and phrases.
- Pay Per Click Advertising – PPC is perhaps the most underutilized keyword research tool there is. But its effectiveness is astounding. It does cost, which is why many companies don’t use it for research. Pick a keyword, run an ad, and see what kind of response you get. Does your keyword get a lot of click throughs? Is it profitable? If so, use it as anchor text.
- Competitive Research – Find out what the competition is doing. Are they capitalizing on words and phrases you aren’t using? Don’t be afraid to learn from the other guy.
These six methods of keyword research can often turn up gems of profit for your anchor text. What other ways do you have of determining strong anchor text for you inbound links?