This article was originally published on the Spectrum blog.
An extremely effective way to raise your organic search engine rankings and build a great online reputation is through anchor text, which is a visible, hyperlinked word or phrase (exactly like the one in this sentence) that takes you to another web page when clicked.
Google, Bing and other search engines use anchor text, also known as link text, to help determine the relevancy of the page it's linking to. It works this way because, ultimately, search engines want to deliver the freshest and most relevant results to their users and they see quality, accurate links as vote of confidence for your content.
Therefore, if a handful of pages on a trustworthy and reliable site use the above anchor text to link to the online reputation article behind it, it will help the article achieve higher search engine results for that key phrase. In this example, the phrase is "build a great online reputation," and although it links to an article on our own blog, it will still help increase organic results. Typically, however, it's best to get these links from other reputable sites. The best ways to influence others to promote or link back to you with anchor text is to:
1) Create great content.
If the content on you website and/or blog is moving, interesting or informative, people will be influenced to share it with others. Although you can't control whether the share will be through social media or via anchor text on their own website, it's a win-win situation that you should welcome and encourage. Nevertheless, you still want to be linked to by a reputable site -- after all, the web pages you're connected to can speak volumes about your reputation.
2) Build relationships.
Another great way to diversify your presence on the Internet through links is by simply building relationships with the administrators of blogs and websites that are pertinent to your business. For example, if you're a moving and storage provider, it would be ideal to partner with reality companies because their business goes hand-in-hand with your own. This can be done through guest blog posts, corresponding landing pages, etc. The best way to start down this path is to connect with other business owners via LinkedIn or the available contact information on their website. If your request to collaborate is delivered professionally and from a mutually-beneficial perspective, then there's a good chance you'll find success.
A word of caution:
Don't go overboard. Search engines are privy to the multitude of illegitimate methods people use to try and game their algorithm. Google, for example, who commands approximately two-thirds of the search engine market, will demote your content or even ban you from search engine results for anchor-texting too aggressively.