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External links in SEO
If you work in marketing or as a content creator, you’ve probably read up on the value of both internal and external links when producing high-quality content for search engine optimization.
Of course, both internal and external links are crucial to SEO. In addition to enhancing your search engine rankings, external links help you establish credibility and trust with your audience.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to add external links to your articles and how to get them onto your website. We’ll also discuss best practices for using external links.
What is an External link?
Hyperlinks that target a domain other than the one the link is on are known as external links. Simply defined, an external link to your site is one that leads to yours from another website.
Use descriptive keywords that represent the same topic or keywords that the target website is attempting to rank for in your anchor text. The same keyword text shouldn’t be used repeatedly because doing so could set off spam detectors. As a substitute, aim for a variety of anchor text that improves context and usability for your users, as well as for search engines.
External Links vs. Internal Links in SEO
Internal links are clickable images that point to other pages on your website. The source domain and target domain are identical in the case of internal links. On websites, common forms of internal links include:
- Links to key sites on your website are in the navigation/menu bar.
- Links leading to other blog posts
- Links to “related products” or “related posts” on the pages of products or blog entries
The principle underlying the importance of internal linkages is straightforward: For crawlers, internal links offer a clear path. By directing visitors to new page pathways, they aid in extending a user’s stay on your website and convey to Google that the user is happy with the information you are offering.
- Give users hints on where they can find more information on a certain topic to aid in website navigation.
- By emphasizing which pages are most significant by their link prominence and frequency, you may define the website’s design and hierarchy.
- Distribute the site’s ranking power by once more emphasizing the significance of a connected page.
In contrast, external connections are those where the source domain and the target domain are different. They are links that either direct users away from your website or, conversely, direct them to it from another website. Think of these as books cited from school; you want to demonstrate that you obtained your information from the most reliable sources possible.
“External links” refers to both inbound (links that lead to your site) and outbound (links that lead away from it) links.
Advantages of External Links
While some of them have already been mentioned in our discussion on the significance of external linking for SEO, let’s look at all the advantages of both outbound links and backlinks.
Rise in web traffic
There are a few instances where external links might enhance web traffic, including when:
- A reader reads a post and clicks on a link to your page to find out more information.
- Your website receiving links from other websites is a clear indication to search engines that it is valuable and deserving of indexing. You benefit from higher rankings as a result, and as your website’s ranking rises, you’ll probably notice an increase in traffic.
The quantity and caliber of links going to your website are among the most significant elements that search engines consider when ranking websites. You may boost your website’s SEO and place higher on search engine results pages by constructing high-quality connections from reliable websites.
Additionally, Google interprets links to high-quality pages as evidence of the creation of quality information, which they want to share.
Additionally, readers gain extra value from external links because they have access to well-researched content and additional sources for their research. Also, Google values content that is valuable to readers.
Opportunities for networking and connections
To stay connected and forge new relationships within your area, writing guest articles, asking for guest posts, and connecting to other websites can all be very effective strategies.
External links from and to websites in your sector are crucial. It’s not a strong indication that your vacation agency is a respectable one that Google should trust if all of your backlinks come from food producers.
It also moves in the other direction. Google may not understand your area of expertise if you just link to websites that are unrelated to your content. Google favors content clusters made up of several blog posts.
So, in the cluster model, you pick a single “pillar” page that serves as the central core of information for an overall topic rather than writing about a diverse range of topics and treating each article as an equally essential individual piece.
You can tell search engines a few things by grouping your information into content clusters:
- What subjects are you an authority on and an expert in?
- What subjects are you a reliable source of information for?
- Your blog is structured, and the postings are related to one another. You write content because it is pertinent to your website and your viewers, not just because it will rank well.
Therefore, if you frequently link to blogs and websites that have nothing to do with the goods or services you offer, they may not only benefit you but also degrade your rankings.
How to Include External Links in Your Articles
Employ precise anchor text.
The text you use as an anchor to link to another website is called anchor text. Use anchor language that appropriately conveys the content of the target page when referring to external websites. The anchor text should be keyword-rich. As an illustration, I’ve just linked the term “anchor text” up there to a post explaining what it is.
Additionally, you want to confirm that the external links you receive serve the same purpose. We don’t want someone linking to our “How to Start a Blog in 2023 for Beginners” with the irrelevant anchor phrase “blog” or “article.”
How can one be added? Depending on the word processor or website you’re using, you might have to highlight the anchor text first before linking to it. After that, you can often choose a link icon to include a link. For instance, on WordPress, it appears as follows:
Limit the number of external links you use.
If there are too many links, it might be more than one external link per sentence or even too many links in a single paragraph. Why? One issue is UI and UX: it is more difficult for users to click on links (internal or external) that are clustered together within a few lines.
Even though it appears straightforward, the user experience is poor. Avoiding SEO penalties is the second justification. Your SEO efforts may suffer if there are too many external links, which may resemble spam or link networks.
Ensure that every external link opens in a new tab or window.
This implies that even if a visitor clicks on one of your links, they won’t leave your website. This improves the user experience while also lowering bounce rates.
Link to high-quality websites only.
Only links to websites that are pertinent to your content and have a respectable domain authority should be used.
Using an SEO tool, you can examine the domain authority of other websites. My favorite method of viewing domain authority on Growth Bar is through the Chrome Extension, which gives me SEO insights whenever I’m on Google.
How to get other websites to link to yours
Make excellent material.
You should put the utmost emphasis on producing excellent content. This refers to articles that are well-written, interesting, and instructive and that your target audience will find valuable.
This link-building practice is the most helpful of all. When you create excellent content, people will naturally want to share it with others, which will boost the search engine rating of your website.
You can also write Google-ranking articles while developing your domain authority by producing optimized content. Need support? Attempt GrowthBar.
GrowthBar was created by marketers for marketers to produce content that ranks that was generated by AI. You can generate optimized content in minutes, and with its keyword research, keyword rank tracking, and competitor analysis features, you now have a complete SEO tool at your disposal.
Promote the information.
Sharing your material on your email list, on social media, and in press releases can help build legitimate backlinks to your website. It is more likely that someone will link back to your post if more people see it.
Social media can be used to establish connections with other bloggers and website owners that may result in links and referral traffic.
Make guest blog postings.
Another excellent method for obtaining links to your website is through guest articles. You frequently either link back directly to your website or to items you’ve produced when you guest post for other media. This offers numerous options for linking and introducing your name and business to new people.
External linking has been and will continue to be a key component of SEO tactics. Google promotes utilizing external linking best practices with improved ranks, regardless of whether you’re increasing the number of connections to your site or including outbound links in your content.