Anchor text is extremely important when building a link profile. Some may disagree, but there are a few things that make anchor text almost as important as the site you are linking from. The main reasons why you need to pay careful attention to your anchor text is because of rank and Google penalty.
One way is through the use of LSI anchor text which is what I will be discussing in this article.
Anchor text still matters for ranking. It helps Google determine what that page is for and is a strong ranking signal. However, if you do not do it correctly, it could lead to a Google penalty. An example would be linking from the same anchor text to the same page on your website. That is why varying your anchor text is an important step in achieving link diversity.
Link Diversity and Anchor Text Variations
This means that your backlinks are coming from different domain extensions, different domain authorities, are a mixture of nofollow and dofollow, come from different anchor texts, etc.
Why do you need link diversity?
Google can tell if you are building links. One way it does so is by looking at your link profile. When people link to you naturally, you will have links from all over the place, which is good. On the other hand, it sends a bad signal to Google if all your links come from the exact same anchor text or all from high authority domains.
While I want to focus solely on anchor text at the moment, make sure to use all methods to obtain a diverse link profile. It is one of the only ways to help keep you off Google’s naughty list.
Here is how you do it.
Here is an example.
Let’s say you want a backlink to a specific page on your website about “digital marketing.” The page is a guide that contains tips on how to increase your website presence and provides various methods you can implement with little or no money. Here are two anchor text variations you may want to start with:
Long-tail: “ways to increase your web presence with digital marketing”
Exact match: “digital marketing tips”
For each one of the above, you can then vary the anchor text each time you link from a new web property. For example, here are two variations of the above:
Variation of long-tail: “digital marketing and how it increases your web presence”
Exact match: “digital marketing advice”
This is a basic way to vary your anchor text and help stay out of a Google penalty. So why are LSI keywords important? Well, I am going to show you how to vary your anchor text while staying true for the term you want to rank for.
LSI Keywords and Anchor Text
Before we get into LSI anchor text, we need to understand what the term means. LSI is an acronym for latent semantic indexing, a method used by Google to determine similar keywords.
This is more than just finding something “we” think is similar. This is Google telling us what “is” similar based on the searching habits of its users. Let’s use the term “car parts” as an example.
When someone searches the term “car parts,” Google knows based on latent semantic indexing that people are likely looking for “discount car parts” or “aftermarket car parts.” As such, it will return pages that meet these search terms, even if you are only searching the term “car parts.”
Why is this important?
Instead of just picking a few variations of anchor text, use LSI keywords for your anchor text. This way the backlink will be leading to a page Google will rank for all terms, while at the same time seeing that your anchor text is not the exact same (which would be a sure sign of unnatural link building).
Finding LSI Keywords
Now that you know what they are and the benefits of using them in your anchor text, let’s learn how to find them. There are a few online tools that will help you locate LSI keywords such as LSI Graph; however, I prefer to find them manually without using a specific tool.
One way to do this is with Google’s auto suggest. When you start to type a keyword in the search box, Google will show you suggested terms. These are LSI keywords you can use for your anchor text. Using the example of “digital marketing,” you will see the terms “digital marketing definition” and “digital marketing course” as suggested phrases.
Another way to find LSI keywords is to enter your search term in Google and then go to the bottom of the page. You will find suggested phrases listed under the “suggested searches.” These are perfect to use as your LSI anchor text.
Final Thought on Using LSI Keywords for Anchor Text
I will try to sum this up as logically as I can. Basically, you need to vary your anchor text when it comes to backlinks. Failing to do so will tell Google that you are building links instead of getting them naturally.
Since you will be varying your anchor text anyway, why not use the variations that Google says are similar to the ones you are already using? You will get the benefit of leading people to you based on the search terms Google says are similar, while at the same time avoiding a Google penalty.
Do you have any methods for anchor text variation other than LSI keywords? Do you have a method for finding LSI keywords not discussed herein?
Read more about using LSI keywords for anchor text and other methods for increasing your search presence in my book Link Juice.