Guidelines For Creating Proper Link Text

Let me explain what I mean about creating proper link text. Link text is just that, the text that the actual link is made from. I'm sure you have seen links just like 'Continue' numerous times in your travels. While having link text like that isn't going to prevent search engines or people from going to those links, it's definitely not helping with the search engines idea of what that linked page is about.

What’s Wrong with Them?

What’s wrong is that the links don't actually describe the pages that they are linking to. When the search engines come upon that link in their spidering, they are going to assume that the destination that the link leads to is about a subject called 'Click Here'. While modern search engines are smart enough to get around this and still figure out what the destination page is about, the link is a definite missed opportunity!

Why Does That Matter?

It matters because the link in the eyes of the search engine has given weight to the phrase 'Click Here' for your websites destination page. The search engine then realizes that 'Click Here' is not correct and most likely just excludes the phrase from being weighted. So you end up getting credit for the link itself, but not any of the words in the link. You could have loaded up the link with some nice juicy keywords instead!

Better Examples

A good link to this particular article could be something like 'Creating Good Link Text'. That basically sums up what this content is about. I have used the link text to describe what the subject of this page is. A good rule of thumb is to create a link text that is between 1-4 words long that describes best what your destination page is about. The search engines will give weight to this page for the term 'creating good link text' and I can imagine someone typing that exact phrase into a search engine. Then since my page is linked with that exact term, this page is more likely to appear high in the search rankings!

Mix It Up

One thing you will want to avoid is using the exact same link text over and over for a particular page. This means if I were to go and submit this page to a bunch of link directories, asked people to link to this page, or linked to this page from some of my other websites. I would not want to just keep using the phrase 'creating good link text' over and over. A better idea would be to mix it up with different variations. For instance I could use 'link text', 'link naming', 'link naming strategies', or other similar names that said the same thing, but used different words.

Have the basics of link text covered? Then be sure to do some research on more advanced linking topics, such as tips on placing text around your links, how many links to put on a page, and what to do when you have to use a name as the link (such as for blog comments).

No comments: