Keyword Analysis Part 11 of 12
Welcome back to our series that is designed to guide you through finding the best keywords for your small business. If you missed it, here’s the link to read Part 1 Keyword Analysis: How Keywords Work.
As we work through this series have your business plan handy, we didn’t just put that together to sound “cool”. I want you to keep it handy and tweak it as you feel the information needs to be updated. If you haven’t had the opportunity to finish it yet, no worries, just do what you can when you can.
If you are just joining us now, and are wondering “What business plan?”. Our first series was dedicated to putting together a Simple Business Plan to market your small business online. There is a downloadable kit and a series of 7 articles to walk you through step-by-step. So, go check it out.
So, now that we have all taken care of, let’s carry on…
Using Keywords Offsite
Your website is not the only place to use your keywords. Offsite marketing is a huge part of driving traffic, and it’s important to use keywords wherever you can to help the search engines find and rank your site.
We’ve already talked about how Google “reads” the text on your page to determine what the page is about. But there’s an even more important indicator than what you say you’re about, and that’s what other people say you’re about. The way they do that is by linking to your site.
Search engines look at links as a kind of currency. The more links that point to your site from other sites, the richer your site is, and the higher it will rank in the search results. But the number of links doesn’t tell Google what your site is about. For that it looks at anchor text.
Anchor Text Defined
Anchor text is the visible part of a link. It’s the words that appear on the website, usually in blue and with an underline to indicate it’s a link.
In HTML, anchor text is written like this:
<a href=”http://www.google.com”>World’s Best Search Engine</a>
In this example, the phrase “World’s Best Search Engine” is the anchor text for a link to Google.
As we said above, the anchor text used tells the search engines what Site A thinks Site B is all about. So if Site A links to Google using the anchor text “World’s Best Search Engine,” then that must be what Google is – at least as far as search results are concerned. And if enough sites link to Google with that same keyword, pretty soon Google will be listed at the top of the search results whenever someone types that phrase into a search engine. Even if they type it into Yahoo!
In fact, that’s exactly what happened with Adobe and the keyword phrase “click here.” If you Google that phrase, you will find the download page for Adobe Reader in the number one spot, simply because there are millions of pages that say things like “You must have the free Adobe Acrobat to open this file. Click here to download your copy.” And of course, the anchor text is “click here.” Because of that, Google has decided that’s what Adobe’s download page is about.
That’s a pretty funny story, but it’s a great illustration of the power of anchor text and back links. If you want your site to be found on the Internet for a specific topic, using your keywords as anchor text is the most important thing you can do.
Link Building with Anchor Text
We’ve already talked about using keywords on your own site, but now I want to cover some ways you can use keywords on other people’s sites to improve your search rankings.
Very few webmasters will respond well if you shoot them an email saying, “Hey, will you link to my site using this keyword?” If you have a website, you might even be getting some emails that say that very thing, and you probably respond the way most webmasters do – by hitting the spam button.
How then, can you get other sites to pass on a little link love to you? Simple. You offer them something of value in return.
And by value, I don’t mean money. I mean content. You can write a guest post for a favorite (and relevant) blog. You can post useful comments on relevant blogs. You can answer questions on niche forums. You can write articles and distribute them via article directories.
When you offer these things to web owners, you often will get to also include a short paragraph about you and your business, and in that short paragraph you can include a link to your site.
For example, if you write a guest post for a popular fashion blog, your closing paragraph (called an author resource box or bio) might look like this:
Mary Marketer is in love with Jimmy Choo, can’t get enough Cosmo, and owns every episode of Sex in the City. Read her rants about the inadequacies in women’s plus size clothing on her blog, Fat Fashionista.
With an author resource box, you get to tell the world a little bit about who you are, what you do, AND you get to use that all important anchor text to link back to your site.
This same tactic works well for article marketing, too. The only difference is, articles are distributed to many directories, and (hopefully) picked up for use on other sites as well.
For blog comments and forum posts, the idea is the same, but the implementation is a little different.
Most forums offer the opportunity to include a “signature” in each of your posts. This is where you’ll write a shorter version of your author resource box, though you’ll still include your keywords as anchor text.
For blog commenting, however, you will generally only be allowed to use your name, or at most, the name of your website. Most bloggers will delete your comment as spam if you try to use keywords here. But that doesn’t mean that blog commenting is useless, just that you don’t get quite as much credit in the search results.
One final note about link building. Don’t neglect your own site. A page written around one keyword will likely be related to, or mention, another page on your site, so be sure to build links within your own site. And it should go without saying that those links should always be build using keywords as anchor text.
One simple way of keeping track is to maintain a spreadsheet with some basic information for every article or blog post you make, either on your own site or off. For example, make a note of the primary keyword for the post, the title, and the URL. Now, every time you make a new post to your blog, get out your list and use the information to link out to other, older posts and articles. Do this consistently, and it won’t be long until you have a huge network of posts and articles, all connected to each other, and all building on your keyword list.
It’s Homework Time! 🙂
If you haven’t finished your Business Plan, now is a good time to wrap it up. If you have, then your good for today! 🙂
When we start building your web site, I’ll show you a two great tools to make internal linking more easier.
The next part of is the last part in the keyword analysis. WOW, you’ll be ready to build your own website next!
If you have any comments, questions, or good-natured tidbits, share them below.
Thanks for reading!