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Using Link Text Management to Go Vertical

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 15:03

(The Following is a post by Ken Lyons )

How to create a diversity dashboard

Varying your link anchor text is an effective method for ranking on a wide variety of search queries. And the more keyword variations you rank for, the more verticals you penetrate, the more traffic you can drive to your website. But diversifying link text isn't as simple as it sounds. Aimlessly varying link text without a plan in place is counterproductive.

To be truly effective, you should engage in link text management, which includes:

  • Identifying relevant yet popular keyword variations to target
  • Organizing those keyword variants into actionable clusters
  • Tracking your link text efforts, including anchor text variety and frequency

Having wrestled with these issues, I'd like to share some tips and techniques I've developed to create a link text management system. Also, I'm going to introduce you to a new free tool that helps to streamline link text management, by finding and organizing relevant keyword variations into actionable groups for you.

New tools from WordStream

Finding Keyword Variants and Creating Clusters

To start varying your link anchor text intelligently (be it for internal or inbound links), you first need to develop a portfolio of keyword variants. These variations should be diverse yet closely related to your root keywords and include modifiers, gerunds, plurals and stemming alternatives. Now, there are a number of free keyword suggestion tools out there that can help you come up with keyword variants, like our (WordStream) Free Keyword Tool for example. Trouble is, these tools are one dimensional: they spit out keywords and do nothing else.

For link building, particularly for creating varied anchor text, the ideal tool would take keyword suggestion to the next level, by not only discovering new keywords but by also segmenting those terms into narrow groups. With that in mind, we went and created The Keyword Niche Finder, a (new) free tool which both discovers and clusters keywords variants into semantically-related groups.

Let's take a look at how it works. Imagine you run an online pet store and you already rank pretty well for your core terms, yet you want to drive even more traffic to your website. You can accomplish this by building links to your content with varied anchor text that target new search verticals and niches. 

Using The Keyword Niche Finder, you could type in some of the products you sell, like “dog toys,” for example. The tool then detects your themes, discovers new keyword suggestions, groups them semantically and orders the groups hierarchically. Note that any groups created can easily be deleted if the suggestions don’t match your needs or goals.

Keyword Niche Finder

As a result, your “dog toys” query has returned a slew of diverse, yet tightly-organized groups of keywords, which contain very granular variants that you can use to inform your link text varying efforts. You can then have your groups emailed to you in a .CSV file, which allows you to move to the next step of text management: creating a link text dashboard.

Creating a Link Text Dashboard

To better manage your text varying efforts, I recommend you create a link text dashboard. By mapping your link text and text frequency to corresponding content pages on your website, you’re implementing a highly-organized text management system to chart and monitor your text varying efforts.
Here’s an example of a link text dashboard I’ve created in Excel. I’ve populated it with the “dog toy” groups and keyword variations I received from the Keyword Niche Finder from my online pet store example above.

Creating the dashboard

With this link text dashboard, I leave nothing to chance. I’m continually mapping my anchor text targets to each individual page of content on my website, and tracking text variant frequency with precision. Doing so gives me a clear picture of which keyword variants I’m using and how often I’m using them in my link building efforts.

By practicing this level of link text organization, I gain valuable insight into the quantity of link text occurrences needed to achieve my ranking objectives per variation, which also informs my future efforts. In addition, I have a record of my text link frequency should I happen to trigger any over-optimization penalties. As a result, my link text management system allows me to be better positioned to penetrate more search verticals, maximize link text effectiveness and rank on a wider variety of search queries, creating additional “pull” and new conversion paths for my website.


About the Author – Ken Lyons is a member of the SEO Dojo and Marketing Manager at WordStream, a provider of SEO and PPC tools for keyword research. You can follow him on Twitter and check out the WordStream Internet Marketing Blog where he’s a frequent contributor.



0 # Dana Lookadoo 2009-12-17 16:52
Great tutorial post, Ken! I held onto the following takeaways:

1) I'm going to create a text link dashboard!
2) Thou shalt "leave nothing to chance."
3) Map, track & practice link organization.

And you didn't say the following, but from my cursory usage, my conclusions are that the Keyword Niche Finder ROCKS!
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0 # ken lyons 2009-12-18 12:21
hey, dana.

glad you liked the post and found it useful.

thanks for the tweet n' sphinn too!

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0 # Miguel Salcido 2009-12-18 01:23
This was a great post and I have read many recently about long tail. This has renewed my lost interest in long tail.

Another good strategy is to scour your analytics for all of the long tail that is currently bringing you traffic and/or conversions. Pull those terms, group them, find URLs to target, add the long tail text to the page if you can, and build links using long tail as anchor text.

This is EXTREMELY effective for ecommerce as you can imagine.
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0 # ken lyons 2009-12-18 12:22

yeah, we're big on targeting the long tail of search at WordStream, especially in hyper competitive verticals or if you have a new site sans authority and trust.

thanks for commenting.

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0 # Jen 2009-12-18 17:15
I've actually been playing with the Keywords Tool this morning and I like it a lot. I have always been a big fan of long-tail because I believe that users are getting smarter about searching. Even the causal user is starting to see that more descriptive search phrases bring better search results. We can only expect to see more of that.
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0 # ken lyons 2009-12-19 17:30
hey, jen.

thanks for commenting and so glad you're digging our tools. they're great for long tail discovery.

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0 # Premium 2009-12-22 09:03
I agree and the most important thing in my opinion is to stay natural. Every filter and red flag Google has comes from being unnatural.
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0 # Ann| link building service 2010-01-05 09:08
Another good strategy is to scour your analytics for all of the long tail that is currently bringing you traffic and/or conversions. Pull those terms, group them, find URLs to target, add the long tail text to the page if you can, and build links using long tail as anchor text.
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0 # Ryan Pitylak 2010-01-08 06:05
Do you think it's better to group content by placing all of those keywords on 1 page, or create a group of pages where each page contains 1+ keywords?
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0 # Calvin 2010-02-04 05:59
The is a great way to increase anchor text diversity, thanks for the post. I found an equally interesting post on the subject here
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