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We're a web design company that have created several websites for clients, all of which have a back link to our own website. I was just wondering the best strategy for this:

  1. Should the keywords be in the title, alt and link text? E.g <a href="domain.com" title="keyword">Keyword</a>?
  2. Should we make the keyword the same on all the client web sites?
  3. Should we incorporate our company name as the link text?

Are there any other general things I should follow?

UPDATE: Currently we have "designed & built by Company". Are we better off having something like "graphic design & web design by Company"?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The alt attribute is not valid to use with the <a> tag so you can remove that completely.

You only need to put the title attribute if you need to explain further what the link is for. That's probably not necessary in your case since I am sure that link will be self explanatory (I am assuming it is preceded by wording similar to "Designed By"). If you use it, it should not be the same text as the anchor text. That's unnecessary and unhelpful.

Using the same content in the link, which is probably your company name, is fine and won't be problematic. It also helps to make sure you rank #1 for your company which is always a plus. You may want to consider expanding the anchor text to include keywords like "website design by" or "website developed by" to help you rank better for search terms containing those phrases or something similar. However the competition for those phrases is so high that it isn't realistic to expect to rank well for those terms in this lifetime.

update

Yes.

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I've updated my question, would something like that be better? –  Rob Sep 14 '11 at 8:27
    
I've updated my answer (quite simply, too) –  John Conde Sep 14 '11 at 13:14
    
One point to note: If a user with a screen reader or other assistive technology views the page, it will often read out something like "Link: Graphic Design and Web Development by Acme Corp, Title: Graphic Design and Web Development by Acme Corp, URL:example.com"; - and anyone hovering their mouse over the link will also see the pop-up repeating the text. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Sep 16 '11 at 13:00

I have found that although you may not rank nationally for those terms, adding your city name does help you to rank locally.

The Top Website Design Marketing Company In Boca Raton, Florida add your company name here > 1st Page Web Designer

Tip: add a line of matching text to the body of your website! Example: "The Top Website Design Marketing Company In Boca Raton, Florida"

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I am reposting so you can see the code <a href="http:1stpagewebdesigner.com">The Top Website Design Marketing Company In Boca Raton, Florida</a> 1st Page Web Designer –  John Grover Sep 13 '11 at 19:32
    
I've updated my question, would something like that be better? –  Rob Sep 14 '11 at 8:28

There are many people asking this question over the net and I've answered this question a few times to other web designers in my local area.

Avoid Site Wides and Non-Relevant Links

Typically any form of back linking that has nothing to do with your niche is less than desirable in this day and age thanks to Penguin and Panda, Website designers should seek relevant links and should move away from having site wide links such as 'Designed by Web Design Company' because thanks to other industry's site wides, and even just one link from an non-relevant page can go against your company.

Strengthening your Keywords that Matter

If you want to strengthen your rankings then if you want to rank better for Web Design topics then you want links coming from actual other web design company's, blogs etc - There are lot's of web design show case sites and many communitys that hold far more weight than most if not all of your clients will provide, such as:

  • Dribbble
  • UI Parade
  • Creattica

Believe in Branding and Mouth to Mouth PR

Personally I believe in branding, having just a designed by blah in the footer without a link will generate some leads if the site is busy - it doesn't need to be a link. Also if you have a good brand and do a superb job then word mouth to mouth will generate more leads than that little backlink at the bottom of the page.

Bait Links

Also if you want relevant links you can publish some of your thinnest work or provide UI Goodies, jQuery Scripts etc and your find that people in the same field will link to your side if your Goodies are good enough....

Oh and remember Google isn't the only way to generate leads :)

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