The importance of anchor text with respect to a linking strategy cannot be overstated.
Anchor text is the blue, underlined, clickable text which takes you from the search engine page to the web page you want to go to (and it points to). There have been many controversies over the importance of this little blue line, but Google has expressed its intention of reducing its effects on SEO. Until that happens, it is key to make ample use of all it has to offer.
Backlinks are a huge part of the search engine algorithm. When initiating a linking campaign, it is vital that external sites link using the appropriate keywords and terms in the anchor text.
Almost always, linking candidates will use the company name as anchor text. This does not provide any type of description of the target company’s products or services. Sure, it may be great for branding purposes, but it isn’t usually needed. In most cases, companies already rank very high (if not first) for searches that incorporate their brand.
Here is an example using fictional company “Acme Plumbing Supplies”:
Most people will link simply using the term “Acme”. This is all right, but it does not describe the company’s products or services, nor does it provide any context. By adding the word “plumbing” or term “plumbing supplies” (i.e. “Acme Plumbing” or “Acme Plumbing Supplies”), you may be able to drive additional traffic that may not have otherwise attained the corporate site.
Well, plainly speaking, you will simply have added relevant content to the link in question, Google recognized that and your site was ranked higher than before.
You actually don’t have to load your site with keywords pertaining to your business for it to be highly ranked by the search engines. All you have to do is put the right keyword (the one that best describes what you do, what you sell, what you offer) in the right place, and that is in anchor text!
But be subtle about it, for Christ’s sake!
If you put only one exact key word into the anchor text, it will be glaringly obvious what you are doing, and you don’t want that. What you need to do is disguise it in natural text – don’t just throw a bunch of words that have something to do with your business in one place, but write a full sentence that a human being can actually read and understand (don’t worry, the algorithms will, too). Once you do this right, they can do their job.