Anchor text is a hot topic amongst SEOs and link builders who continue to debate around the perfect formula for ranking success. Is it best to build ‘partial anchor text’? Should we aim for a bulk amount of exact match anchor text links? Or is it better to just build branded links and let the on page factors carry the relevance?
The truth is none of these approaches is the best way, but they all can be. There is a huge variation in the anchor text profiles of page 1 results for different phrases across different niches. Different industries and key phrases require different formulas, so it’s your job to ensure that you’re taking the right approach for your niche blogging, whether it is for a client, your company website or a personal blog.
The following process is really simple but will allow you to quickly identify exactly what the leading competition are doing and what you need to aim for before starting any link building campaign. It does require a PRO account with SEOMoz, but which self respecting SEO doesn’t have that already right?
Ok, here we go…
- Type in your target keyphrase
- Take the top result and put the URL into Open Site Explorer
- Click the Anchor Text tab
- Download the data
- Mark each anchor text as either ‘Branded’ or ‘Non-Branded’ and work out the percentage of each
- Rinse and Repeat for everyone in the top ten.
You’re then left with a great base of data for each site in the top ten to create graphs and see the trends for your particular search phrase. You can create bar graphs and see if the branded link profiles become more prominent higher in the SERPs. You can work out the average across the top ten get a good overview of the balance across page 1. It’s also useful to pick a few different phrases across an industry to see if the trend is industry wide or just for your particular phrase.
What this quick piece of analysis will ensure though, is that you don’t start a new link building campaign blindly. You won’t end up 6 months into a campaign wondering why your 100 exact match anchor text links haven’t got you on to page 1 when the top ten only have branded links. And nobody wants that…
Simple analysis, crucial takeaways. It’s what SEO’s all about!
Tom Mcloughlin optimises his heart out for The WebMarketing Group, SEO specialists in the UK whose focus is on measurable results for clients across many industries. If you’re a data hound like him, you might want to read more about their anchor text analysis and case studies over on the WMG blog. Tom also does a bit of travel blogging on the side…