Linking Text in Directories, Articles and Within Your Site

Linking Text in Directories, Articles and Within Your Site

This is one of the top three or four most important things to learn in search engine optimization (SEO).

We address the concept of keyword or key phrase elsewhere. For now, let’s just define those terms as what people might type into a search engine query if they want to find a page on a site like yours (with your products, your services, your content, etc.).  Thus, you want to rank high in the search results for those keywords or phrases.

It is the job of search engines to provide their users with the most relevant results for the queries of those users.  To do that, the magicians who make the search engines put together complicated formulas by which to assess every page on the Internet (billions, perhaps trillions of them). 

Notice that I wrote «page,» not site.  The search engines evaluate each page separately.  You and I think of our sites as systemic wholes, and we need to do so.  Search engines do not «think» in that some way.  Often our visitors don’t think that way either.  Indeed, if you came to this page to learn about linking text, you may not visit any other page on this site, even though there is valuable information on a variety of topics pertinent to an e-commerce practitioner.

The search engines need to know what a given page addresses.  It has several ways to figure that out.  One of the most important methods, however, is by examining all of the links that (if clicked) would take someone to the page under investigation.  It looks at the words that are included in the hyperlink.  It thinks of those words as a title for the page that they point to. 

So when you input a title into your listing on a web directory site, you are actually providing one name for the page that it links (usually your home page).  The search engine looks at a lot of other information, to in order to confirm its assumption or to refute it.

In placing an article onto an article directory, you want to be careful what your hyperlink text is, because that is giving a name to the page to which it links.  You probably don’t want to name your web page «Click here,» for example.  You might want to name it «learn piano.»

So, help out those search engines!  Wherever you put linking text, make sure that it is an accurate, mini-description of the page to which it points and that it is a key phrase for which you want to rank.  That’s true of Internet directory listings, article directory resource boxes, in your site’s menu text and any internal links you provide on any of your pages.

I’m going to provide a couple accurate examples for you, and then I’ll show you what the html looks like for the second of those examples.

Example 1:  A directory listing for this site

Start an E-commerce Business

We provide information, resources and services for all online businesses.  We focus particularly upon start-up companies.

Example 2:  A resource box for an article in an article directory.

The author, an experienced Internet marketer, writes extensively about how to start an e-commerce business.

The html code for example 2 looks like this:

<p>The author, an experienced Internet marketer, writes extensively about how to <a href=»»> start an e-commerce business</a>.</p>