Links are an enormous part of the success of your SEO efforts and the overall traffic from organic searches to your site. However, there are several issues related to links to your site, such as anchor text, that you need to pay attention to. One of great importance is the text that surrounds your links- it’s just as important as your internal links with anchor text.
It is common to have a link in the footer/sidebar of someone else’s web site. Your goal is to have the links promote you as a trustworthy site that offers something of value to the client. But in order to avoid appearing as nothing more than a list of paid links, you need to find out what the surrounding text is around those locations. The links to your web site should be surrounded by text- as if the other site is “talking about” your website and thus “pointing” to it.
Here is an example list of links:
– SEO Moz
– Fort Collins Web Marketing
– iPoint Technologies
The links above are not really the “ideal” type of links. Sure, they all include keywords related to search engines, but let’s take a look at the next paragraph of text:
“There are several SEO companies that have been around for a very long time such as SEOMoz. SEOMoz has inspired many others to follow in their footsteps such as Fort Collins Web Marketing. Fort Collins Web Marketing is owned by a website design firm called iPoint Technologies, which has been in the industry for over 10 years.”
The text surrounding the links above provides context that is relevant to the paragraph. Because of this, search engines tend to “like” those links better than if the link were in a list. While there are other factors involved (whether or not the links appear on a sidebar, footer, or somewhere lower on the site) it is widely preferred to have your link surrounded by text.
*You should explore the text that surrounds your links if you already have links to your web site, or if you are analyzing your current ones. If the text surround your links is off-topic or you are unsatisfied with the content, you may be able to talk with the web site owner and get it changed.