Here is an example, let’s say that your business is selling organic dog food to dog owners in Arizona and you are creating a title for your home page. From your keyword research you have deduced that the following six keyphrases are the most searched for and are the ones for which you will need to optimize your home page.
dog food, dog kibble, natural dog food, natural dog kibble, organic dog food, organic dog kibble
The word frequency is as follows:
<title>Natural Organic Dog Food and Dog Kibble Phoenix Arizona</title>
Which makes sense and is 55 characters.
These are links coming from other websites to yours. They are the second most important factor in SEO after the title element. Certainly in terms of the time involved inbound links will be the area where most of your effort in SEO will be expended.
There are five main aspects to consider when obtaining inbound links:
- The anchor text
- The linking page (the page on which the link is situated)
- The linking site (the site which contains the page the link is on)
- The linked page (the page on your site that is linked to)
- Acquisition or link building (how to get them)
The anchor text.
The anchor text is the text that users will click on to reach your site and appears like this in the html of the linked page:
<a href=”http://www.yourdomain.com”>This is the anchor text</a>
and on that page it will look like this:
It is essential that the anchor text should contain the keywords that you have optimized the linked page for, in various combinations. If we take the example used in the Title Element post where our keywords were dog,
food, kibble, natural, and organic, then these would be used in the anchor text of links to that page as well as the full title Natural Organic Dog Food and Dog Kibble Phoenix Arizona. The idea is to avoid exactly the same anchor text for every inbound link but also to ensure that every link contains either your title or keywords.
Inbound links are such an important aspect to ranking high in the SERPs that site owners are tempted into using any means possible to obtain them. Google says in their Webmaster Guidelines “Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank”. They really do mean it and quite correctly refer to abusers as ‘spammers’ who are diluting the quality of their search results. Algorithmic spam detection has been implemented by all the popular search engines and improves day by day.
As the search engines become better and better at spam detection the bottom line is to avoid obtaining links from networks of colluding sites or participating in linking schemes of any kind. At best the links will be of little or no value and at worst your site could suffer an outright ban.
The linked page.
The linked to page should contain text that is semantically or topically related to the linking page. For example a link from a page on the topic of the nutritional analysis of dog food to a page on your site about how to break your dog of separation anxiety would be meaningless unless you included a body of text that related the nutritional analysis of organic natural dog food to reduced incidences of separation anxiety.
Acquisition or link building.
With all these constraints you may be wondering how you are ever going to find the sites which will provide you with strong links? There are two aspects to this question, how to identify the sites and then having done that how to persuade the site owner to link to your site.
Identifying candidate sites. Finding the strong links that your competitors have obtained is a good place to start. Record the top 10 or 20 sites in the SERPs for your keywords and find the inbound links to those sites.Most professional SEOs have software to do this kind of analysis for them (We use IBP by Axandra) but you can do it manually like this if you are methodical and spend sufficient time.
Let’s say for example that the keyphrase for which you are seeking inbound links is dog food. Google dog food and record all the sites in the first page of the SERPs. The first site is www.petfooddirect.com.
Now enter linkdomain:petfooddirect.com -site:petfooddirect.com into Yahoo Search
This will give you a list of all the inbound links that Yahoo knows about for the site. (we are using Yahoo search here because the Google link: operator
only shows a sample of the links that it knows about.
These will all be possible candidates for linking to you but won’t tell you which the important ones are. If you repeat the process for all the sites on the first page of the SERPs and transfer the results to columns in an Excel spreadsheet you could perhaps write a macro to determine those links which are most common to all the sites. The sites that link to two or more of your competitors are the important ones.
That's why programs like IBP from Axandra are so helpfuly (but not cheap).
Obtaining the link. This is also a time consuming process and it is tempting to send a template email requesting a link to the site owner or webmaster. Resist the temptation because invariably 99.9% of such emails are never looked at or even considered. The best approach is to communicate by telephone in a very friendly way or to send a personalized email. Whichever you choose your success rate will depend on how much planning and effort you put into the communication and of course the links you require the most are the ones where you should put the maximum effort.
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