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Smart Linking for Artists: Using Anchor Text to Increase Traffic to your Art

Today’s article is on optimizing the anchor text of each link within your art blog or portfolio. When done right, anchor text optimization helps a lot with search engine rankings—In fact, I’d say it’s one of the most important things you can do.

I strongly recommend reading at least a few of my other SEO articles for artists and art website owners, especially Understanding Inbound Links for Artists and Deep Linking Techniques for Art Bloggers.

Once you’re familiar with those, let’s get started.

What is anchor text?

Anchor text is simply the word or phrase that makes up the visible part of a link. Sometimes it’s the name of the website, like EmptyEasel.com, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, here’s the actual html code behind this link, Art Website:

<a href=”http://emptyeasel.com”>Art Website</a>

It’s still leading to EmptyEasel’s home page, but with different anchor text.

There are three main parts to every link—the opening tag (which includes the destination url), the anchor text (in this case, “Art Website”) and the closing tag: </a>. While you can’t mess around too much with the opening and closing tags, what you use for the anchor text is entirely up to you.

How should artists use anchor text?

Scroll up and look at the three links near the beginning of this article. In each case I used anchor text with very specific, descriptive words—and that’s exactly what you need to do as well.

Avoid generic anchor text like, “click here” or “follow this link.” Instead use keywords that relate to the article or web page that you’re linking to, which usually means picking words out of the title of the page.

How will this increase search engine traffic?

Search engines are getting incredibly smart—smart enough to give greater value to web pages that have inbound links with relevant anchor text. By linking intelligently (using specific keywords in your anchor text) you’ll rank higher for those keywords while giving the search engines a much better idea of what that page is about.

Now, you can’t always dictate how other people link to you, but you can certainly optimize all of your navigational links and cross-links within your own website.

My advice? If you have an art blog or online portfolio, go through it with a fine-tooth comb and make sure all your links have appropriate, descriptive anchor text. You might be surprised, but for a medium-sized blog with a few hundred posts it can really make a difference in the amount of traffic you get.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

As I mentioned on Sunday, today's article contains another one of my SEO tips for artists looking to boost their rankings in the search engines. All it takes is the ability to highlight keywords in a text editor or blogging program and then click bold or italicize.

Emphasizing keywords. . . read more

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