Monday, January 17, 2011

Step 4. Link all of your various pages together using "anchor text" that matches your "key words."

Linking all of your web pages together is the way to get good placement in the search results for your name or your business name. You season your web pages with keywords in the heading and the body text, as well as in the HTML, and then you create hyperlinks linking all your pages together using anchor text in different combinations that matches your keywords. This practice is generally referred to as "Search Engine Optimization" or "SEO."

Keywords and Anchor Text

1. Keywords - The words people enter into a search box at a search engine that will cause the search engine to display your page among the search results.
If people search on your name or your business name, you want the search results to list your web sites first. So your name and/or your business name are your most important "keywords." Other keywords might include your address if you need to differentiate yourself from identically named entities. A web page should have your keywords used liberally in the body text and especially in the major headings.

The one thing you must not do is overdo it. Too much repetition of keywords in relation to the amount of text on a given page dilutes their power and can even be penalized. How much is too much? That is a difficult question to answer, but whatever you write has to make sense and can't be simply window-dressing for your key words.

Search engines place a higher value (in descending order) on text that uses the H1 and H2 HTML tags, larger fonts, bold, and plain text.

Keywords should also appear in the HTML code that supports your page but is not visible to visitors. The TITLE, KEYWORDS and DESCRIPTION "meta" tags are examined and evaluated by search engines in deciding what your page is supposed to be about. Here is an example of how such tags are used:
 
<html>
<head>
<title>Ken Padgett Home Page</title>
<meta name="KeyWords" content="Ken Padgett, Kenneth W Padgett, Kenneth William Padgett, 3134 Mercer Lane">
<meta name="DESCRIPTION" content="The biography of Ken Padgett">
 

2. Anchor Text - The text that is associated with a hyperlink.
When you or anyone else posts a link to your web page they can either add the link as plain text as in, http://kenpadgett.com; they can hyperlink the link text as in, http://kenpadgett.com; or they can hyperlink some descriptive text as in, Ken Padgett Biography. The most valuable type of links from an SEO standpoint are hyperlinked descriptive text that matches the keywords on the destination web page.

Search engines value links based on the value of the page where it finds the link and on how closely the anchor text represents the content of the destination page. A web page that has a lot of other pages linking to it has a higher value. But more important than the number of inbound links are the quality of those links. Links coming from a highly ranked pages are much more valuable than those coming from lower ranked pages.

You'll get the best results by having links containing different combinations of anchor text and coming from a wide variety of sources, including other web sites that you don't control as well as from web sites that you do control. You can post comments that include your link on other people's blogs if your comments are a legitimate contribution to the discussion. You can ask other people to link to your web pages, but the best way to get people to link to your web pages is to create some useful or interesting content that people would like to share with others.

Whether you get others to link to your pages or not, you will improve your visibility with the search engines by linking all of your web pages together.

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