It is true that you cannot avoid external links if you want a high-position ranking for your content. External linking is a crucial part of SEO strategy for digital marketers or any content owner to know about. If you are any one among these, then this article is for you.
External or internal links are among the most essential top-ranking factors for Google. It is evident from the fact that a large part of search engine optimization is about getting valuable links to and from your site, it is essential for you to know about their importance and the best practices for you to get the most out of it.
Let us start by knowing what exactly they are.
What are External Links?
When creating content, it is a common practice to refer to different sources in order to understand the subject and accumulate data. There will be instances where it is important to cite or quote information. This is where external linking becomes essential.
Links present in one domain that take the users to other domains are known as external links. Simply put, an external link or a backlink is a hyperlink when clicked will take a reader from one site to another. Since it is external to the host domain, it is known as an external link.
The Importance of External Links
It is amazing how adding external links to web pages is crucial to search engine rankings. Some points to establish this statement are:
Higher relevance and visibility
Search engines are designed to show the most relevant content on the search engine results pages (SERPs). External links attached to your website pages, help the search engines to understand the relevance of your content to a particular niche.
When you are adding links that are trustworthy and reputable, automatically the credibility of your content goes up. Moreover, if you have added some valuable external links, it will establish an authority to your website which finally would boost site popularity and rankings.
High-quality external links added to your page help in determining the usefulness of your content. They also help in improving the quality of the content. It is expected that high-quality pages will only recommend other high-quality content and thus good external links can help you to rank higher by improving SEO.
When you are linking other websites, they get to know that you have linked them. Chances are they might return the favor and link you back to their website as well. If this happens, this means better opportunities for you to get more quality backlinks.
This will help you to establish credible connections in the industry and thus increase your worth.
Added value to user experience
Speaking of user experience, we as users find it a useful and good experience when the content we are reading is linked to some other valuable content. Likewise, when your content is linked to related content, it adds value to your site’s user experience and thus boosts its importance to search engines.
Boosts organic traffic
Whenever you are linking to other sites, it is more likely that they would return the favor by linking back to your site. So, we can say that external links and backlinking are great ways to make connections and increase your site’s visibility. This way you can draw in more organic traffic to your site.
7 External Linking Best Practices for SEO
Yes, there are some best practices that you can implement on your web pages for external linking and get better results. Here are some strong points for you to consider while doing some external linking.
1. Use relevant links
Relevant links that support the content of your web page, are highly profitable to boost your business. While adding links to your page, do not just add random links to it. Using relevant links that direct readers to pages that have similar content to yours, makes them good external links.
This helps the search engines understand the relevance of your content and also its popularity. This in turn gives your web page a higher SERP ranking.
2. Link to credible sources
When adding external links, you must choose links that land on reputable and authoritative content pages. It not only helps to build trust among your audiences but also increases your SERP rankings. If your page is linked to a non-trustworthy site or some low-quality content, then you may lose your credibility and lower rankings.
3. Elaborate anchor text
An anchor text for a web page is used both for internal and external linking. The clickable text will lead the user to the page with the full content.
According to Google, you can create better anchor texts by making them highly descriptive to the extent that gives a brief idea about your webpage content. Anchor texts that have more variations of keywords in them are much more likely to rank higher.
4. Helpful links
There is no end to the number of external links you can add to your page. However, too many external or internal links may overwhelm your audiences or lower your credibility. Your primary motto must be to provide the best user experience rather than unmindful linking techniques. This will retain your existing readers, attract more, and eventually increase your SERP rankings.
5. Do not link to competitor sites
It will not leave you a good impression if your page links to sites competing for the exact keywords. You may lose your audiences and it may negatively affect your rankings. Instead, you can try providing links to sites that add value to your content and provide some utility to your readers.
6. Perform a regular link audit
A regular audit of the content at regular intervals helps you to recognize any broken or outdated links present in the content. Such broken or outdated links may harm your site’s user experience and lower your content standing.
So, if you want to retain your readers and maintain your site’s reputation, performing regular link audits is necessary.
7. Avoid excessive outgoing links
Too much of anything is not considered ‘healthy’ for anything. Likewise, if you put too many links on your web page, it is more likely to annoy your readers as opposed to the idea that more links will attract more traffic.
How Does External Linking Affect SEO?
To start with this question, first, you need to understand that both internal and external linking are important parts of SEO that hold a considerable amount of value for attracting organic traffic.
External links are there to help you build trust amongst your peers and establish brand authority. It has been widely accepted that external links are very essential metrics for higher rankings.
This blog here has discussed some essential points to consider about external linking. For digital marketers, these points are essential to extract the most of external linking practices. Now that you know why and how external links are helpful to your site, you must just get hold of some quality links to attach to your content. These links shall provide more resources to your readers while establishing content authority.
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