In our previous article, we covered the basic theory of SEO and talked about ‘On Page’ factors. Off-Page is much more critical though. Picture it as a system that appoints votes. If another site places a link to your site then that site has given you a vote of confidence. It’s as if they’re promoting the value of the site.
There are 2 main bits to the link. The URL of the page being pointed at – And additionally the anchor text that’s been highlighted to click on. The particular page with that anchor text then receives one vote. That is, 1 vote for that website to move up the listings for the search phrase (keywords) in question.
This always works like this. There’s an irrevocable connection between the page pointed to and the anchor text. You can’t create a vote for a page without some highlighted anchor text. The listings would be chaotic without anchor texts. SE’s wouldn’t know what terms to list sites under without them. Let’s say that again – because it’s VERY important… Anchor texts are responsible for all the searches your site appears for.
Thus you’ll understand why highlighting ‘Click Here…’ creates no value in SEO terms. In this example, we created a vote for the phrase ‘Click HERE’. Can you think who’d search for ‘click here’? No-one of course.
So that explains why Anchor Text takes some thought and consideration. Since it stands for all the terms you want to be searched for. And by the way, if you DO Google “Click Here” you will always find the Adobe Reader download site at the top. Is that because it describes their site? Definitely not. But so many sites have a ‘Click HERE to download Adobe Reader’ link on them, that they’re number one for that phrase.
So to count a ‘vote’ for a web page, the Search Engines always go to the anchor text. Which is very logical. Google wants to emulate what a real human being is looking for and would like to find. The content of your page isn’t necessarily relevant. You’ll rank for the terms in the anchor text phrases that point to you. That’s irrefutable!
Unsurprisingly, there are other aspects as well… Because the SE’s also use the page title and wording of the page being pointed at to correlate the results. As well as a variety of other things. (To give you an idea, the spread of the sites linking to yours, and their relevancy to your site).
However, let’s be quite clear – the most important thing by far for SEO is a stuff-load of back links! Plus the back-links have to have the right anchor text phrases and be from many different and varied sites. How much authority a site has is also relevant… A back-link from Microsoft.com or Adobe.com would be worth a lot more than a back-link from a local hardware store!
Picking the keyword phrases that you want to rate for is an art in itself. (Research your competitors well before you plump for yours.) The main thing is – When someone is looking for your product, what words do they use for their search? When you know that, you know which keyword phrases and anchor text to use.
But these keywords can’t be just randomly chosen without thought, investigation and testing. The best results are sometimes quite unexpected. People have such diverse thoughts about how to express what they want. One person looking for a good night’s sleep might type in “Orthopaedic beds” or “New Mattress”. While someone else might automatically think to say ‘I need more sleep’.
It’s simply not worth relying on supposition. The importance of the investigation, testing and measuring of these phrases cannot be underestimated. They are fundamental to generating your leads on the internet. A comparison could be made with a Business Yellow Pages entry. If you’ve been entered as a Florist, but you’re actually an electrician, you’re not going to get anywhere. Successful SEO is the result of meticulous analysis of keyword research.