Most people think that it is unwise to link to other websites because they are afraid that they will lose link value to the site they are linking to and that the internal links will therefore be worth less and thus they will come out lower in the search results for their important keywords. When I am asked to optimize a website for SEO, I often encounter this problem. Often no other websites are linked, which in the eyes of Google seems rather selfish. A regular website with good information will always consult various sources and give credits to the original source.
Where can I link to?
Of course it is not wise to link to all kinds of obscure places on the internet or to sources that have nothing to do with the subject of your site. However, it is good to link to high quality websites that are strongly related to the topic of the article. The article must in turn connect well with the topic of the website. It is always better to focus a website on 1 specific topic. That way, it becomes a lot easier to get high in Google for the important keywords in this niche. The fact is that external links can certainly contribute to better results in the search engine as Google will associate your website with these high quality sources and you will be seen as more credible when you consult and refer to high quality sources.
Give first, then receive
When you link from your website to other websites, this can ensure that you also get links back. When you see that you regularly link from your articles to other relevant websites, you will also be more inclined to link back to your website without any cost. Outbound links can therefore also contribute to obtaining high quality links! In addition, it ensures that your articles are substantiated by the source citation which ensures a better user experience and it will also lower the bounce rate which is an important on-page seo indicator for Google.
When you show your website visitors that they can find a lot of qualitative information on your website, they will also come back sooner, which therefore ensures a repeat visit. The more good information you provide, the longer your visitors linger and the more they allow you business. Of course you can strategically pitch your services if this matches the information you provide.
Some tips for a good outbound link strategy
- When linking out to other sites make sure you open the outbound links in a new window. This will keep the page of your website open and this will ensure that the bounce rate on your website remains low. You can do this by adding this tag to the html code of the link target = “_ blank”. Your link may then look like this: <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_building” target=”_blank”> Link building </a>
You can practice here!
- Link only to high quality sites
- Make sure that the design fits perfectly with the niche your website focuses on!
- In WordPress (and many other CMS systems) you can set your websites to “ping” if you link out. Some websites have the ping enabled so that links appear at the bottom of the article to websites that link to that article. So you immediately get a backlink!
- Make sure your links have a striking color that fits well with your site color palette. Blue is the most common color and research also shows that this is the color that is most clicked. Make sure the link is “follow” and not “noffolow“.
- Your link may then look like this: <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_building”> Link building </a> As you can see you don’t need to add the tag rel = “follow”. If you want to make your link nofollow, you must add a tag, namely rel = “nofollow”, but with a follow link you don’t have to because a link is already follow by default. Here you can practice giving a nofollow or a dofollow tag.
- For outgoing links it is possible to add an icon indicating that it is an outgoing link. This way your website reader will not be surprised when they are redirected to another website. Below you can see some examples of such an icon. For WordPress there are several plugins available with which you can treat external links differently and, for example, add such an external icon or, for example, give a follow or noffolow.
There are many SEO experts who recommend using little or no external links. However, I believe that outbound links add to the user experience and are a good way to show Google which sites you want to be associated with. In addition, crediting the original source is simply a good way to improve your credibility and reward the author for good insights. When you link out, you also put yourself on the map with the person who receives the link because that website owner will also check his backlinks every so often and will also take a look at your website. Perhaps you also get something out of it in that way.