When it comes to link building, anchor text is really important. So is domain authority. Often the types of links you'll be able to build will force you to sacrifice one or the other. You can create an infographic that gets a lot of unique, authoritative domains to link at your site with suboptimal anchor text, or you might be able to use some article directory submission sites to get great anchor text from low-value link sources.
Ideally you would do both at the same time, and get great links from authoritative sources with exactly the anchor text you want. We'll walk through a few relatively simple ways that you can do just that.
1. Guest Posts
Guest posts are probably the most powerful example of how you can get a link on an authoritative domain (and even on an authoritative page) with precisely the anchor text you want. The process is also a very "pure" way to build links as you're giving something (a piece of content) in exchange for the link. This also often means that:
- You can get your content hosted on a powerful domain
- That the domain will have its own syndication and will attract its own links
- And that you'll be permitted to create a link with great anchor text
Not every blog will allow you to use exactly the anchor text you want, but using services and tools like My Blog Guest and the Ontolo link building tool set you'll be able to find a lot of great targets, and you can then vet which are a bit more liberal with guest posting anchor text than others.
2. Ask Employees for Links
Depending on the size and focus of your company, many of your employees may have blogs, personal sites, or other link sources that you can push some of your link building efforts off to (be sure to give them good instructions). Nepotistic links are often an outstanding way to get links from quality sources that allow you to manipulate anchor text as you like.
We've talked about using testimonials to get great links before, and it's a tactic that's definitely deserving of a spot on this list. This is another example of nepotistic link opportunities that can often offer you a great link on a trusted site, and like guest posts you're trading something (your testimonial) for the link. Here are some good examples of the types of vendors who could make sense here:
- Contractors – We’ve worked with two freelance copy writers on the MadeUpCompany.com site and other marketing collateral. They have their own sites where they promote their services. We reached out to them and offered testimonials in exchange for a link.
- Consultants – Are you using a specialist who consults on some aspect of the company or other? Are they doing good work? Do they have a website? Offer them a testimonial!
- Hardware Providers – If you’ve bought a product from a company, you could take a second to shoot them an email saying you’re happy with it and would love to give them a testimonial for the site.
- Customers You Think Would Help – If there’s someone who’s very enthusiastic about our offering and you think that they wouldn’t mind linking to us from their site, this might be an opportunity.
4. Target Keywords in Your Meatier Content & Free Tools
The Free Keyword Tool drives a significant amount of traffic not only because it's a great utility, but also because the tool's name includes a high-volume keyword and the tool itself ranks highly for that term. By naming your cornerstone content strategically, you can attract quality links interested in pointing to your great content or free tools and get the ideal anchor text to those sources. Sometimes this means sacrificing somewhat on the link-baity title front, but it can pay dividends if the links you do attract contain exactly the anchor text you're after.
5. Internal Links
Internal linking is one of the most overlooked means of getting targeted links from trusted pages (your own domain!). It's not as sexy as "link baits" but it can be just as powerful in helping you to actually rank, drive traffic, and increase leads and sales. Here are some great resources to help you learn more about optimized internal linking:
- How I Got Hundreds of Deep Links from a PR 5 Website
- How to Find and Drain Link Juice
- The SEO Guide to Information Architecture
The bottom line is that tactics that allow you to develop quality links with targeted anchor text is an outstanding opportunity to accomplish two things with one tactic and build links that will last regardless of which way the Google algorithms blow.
About The Author
This is a guest post from Tom Demers. Tom is a co-founder and managing partner at Measured SEM Search Engine Marketing Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that offers general SEO & PPC services as well a variety of specific content marketing and link building services for a variety of companies, including motion sensors lights companies. You can follow Tom on Twitter or contact him via email at tom at measuredsem dot com.