A customer recently posted a question on our Semify forum about the best strategy for seo anchor text. Seo anchor text is a common point of confusion in this industry so we decided to make a video about it to answer the question for everyone! We believe that your anchor text should be diversified between your brand, generic text, and keyword targeted. And, it should come across as natural. Watch the five minute video to hear our discussion on seo anchor text.


Hello, and welcome to our SEO anchor text video. I'm Chad Hill and I have Adam Stetzer here with me today.

Hey. Good afternoon, Chad. We're talking about anchor text SEO strategy. A great topic. Well debated. And the rules seem to keep changing on us year after year. Particular 2012. We saw big updates from Google, Penguin, Panda.

And there were definitely some changes in what Google, specifically Matt Cutts, was telling us and then subsequently what people were testing in the algorithm and seeing in the results for the search. That it became a lot easier to over optimize by making your anchor text too targeted.

So I guess the question for today is what is a good SEO anchor text strategy and how can we guide folks looking to figure out what's their strategy should be for 2013?

Right. And as you said, Adam, it's sort of like that. You can read 10 different people talking about this and get 10 completely different answers. But I think that the overall idea is that you want it to be diversified. I think a nice rule of thumb could be 1/3, 1/3, 1/3.

So 1/3 that is your brand, 1/3 that's more generic, 1/3 that maybe is more keyword targeted. But the funny about that is that you really, in order to make that happen for real, that you need to probably not think so much about what is my specific ratio of anchor text. Because you want it to be natural, right?

Right. And so the message there is exactly what people seeking this video would hate to hear because they're looking for guidance on this and we're saying you should think about it a little less, right? So we're trying to be the mouthpiece for Google here. I think the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 is a nice rule of thumb.

So maybe that's where we could dig in a little bit. And it makes you think about who's creating your anchor text, which gets you into who's doing your content marketing, who's doing your link building, who's doing your PR, who's working on your brand? If you have one team doing all those things, it's probably a lot easier to get your arms around how that anchor text is naturally being created by these very natural marketing activities.

If you've outsourced seo to many different places, it's probably a little more confusing. You got an SEO team working on one side and a PR agency working on your brand over here. Some content marketers over here. So how should they think about that when they think about all the pieces of their marketing strategy?

Well, I think you hit the nail on the head there. It's really about what else is in your marketing strategy. Because there are other ways that you're getting your name out, typically when you're doing PR, you're working in social media, you're building the awareness of your brand. And that is, naturally, going to be creating links back to your website with your brand in it or your URL, which was a nice generic link. Maybe even a branded link as well.

So I think that really, again, without getting in and trying to calculate ratios you want to sit down and say, what am I doing on the web? And where does that lead to engagement and content that I might be publishing on the web. And just think about what are the links coming back from those look like.

So without, again, getting out a calculator I would say, look. I know I've got a social media program running. And I know that I have engagement in certain form because a lot of my audience is there. Those two things alone may be generating enough brand links back to your website and generic links back to your website that with your SEO campaign, your content marketing campaign, you might be able to be a little bit more targeted with those specific anchor text links back to your website.

But on the other hand, if all you're doing is content marketing, then that's where you want to say, OK. Well, I need to dial back how much anchor text I may be pushing back to my website with a specific target keyword and make it a little bit more general and generic. So I think those are the ways I would look at it.

I think that's interesting. And I know with our clients we've tried to give them some control over that to try to direct us in terms of when there is an option. And there isn't always go more toward a keyword focused anchor versus a branded focused anchor. And this comes up.

But I think you're at a point there as if you are looking at your numbers, are unhappy with your results, and you're starting to be concerned about anchor text ratios when you have good SEO anchor text, that might be your first signal that you're not doing enough work on your brand. That you're not doing enough outside of content marketing and SEO and link building and things that really do further your business and get you into discussions and get you-- even outside of anchor text-- just those company branded mentions, which we also know is in the algorithm.

That's probably, if you're seeking out this information on anchor text ratios, should be right behind it in terms of your consideration. You need to be really doing press releases about something that's very important for your business. It's not for link building. But really get the word out you should be thinking about other places where your brand could be expose, which will help round out that footprint and make all your concerns about anchor text ratios pretty much dissolve. And we've seen rankings come up when you do that.