external links

While it’s true that it’s possible to grow your business using social media, your website provides excellent opportunities for growing your business as well. One way is by utilizing external links.

When you use external links on your website correctly, you create a community, a neighborhood of addresses. And the best part is, you can choose who to include in your neighborhood.

Of course, that means you will have to choose wisely. Because you will be judged, by both search engines and your readers, on the quality of the community you have assembled.

Here is why you want to utilize external links on your website, and how to do so most effectively.

Why You Should Use External Links?

There are two distinct ways that you can directly benefit by using external links, and they both have the same result: more visitors to your website, which means more potential customers.

Reciprocity

Most good websites, which are the only kind you should be linking to, have webmasters who regularly check to see who is linking to them. If you are providing content, products, or services that will be useful to your readers, then it is possible those websites will link back to you at some point.

Some of their readers could then become yours, and your customers, as well. Super SEO resource MOZ calls this “automatic outreach”.

Search Engines

The purpose of search engines is to give users what they are looking for. According to Hochman Consultants, “When you have few to no outbound links, the search engines may consider your site to be an inferior resource.”

On the other hand, if you go beyond useful text, and offer links to useful resources, your content could possibly achieve authority status. That could have others linking back to you. The end result is a higher page ranking.

How to Use External Links Effectively?

Using external links incorrectly can actually be worse than not using them at all. But it’s not rocket science. Just keep a few things in mind:

  • Don’t have a page on your websites with just links. Search engines don’t like that, they want to see some context. Don’t even throw too many into a short amount of text. Link judiciously.
  • Always link only to relevant websites. Linking to something completely off-topic is a huge red flag to search engines.
  • Try to link to authority sites whenever possible, acknowledged experts, and trade associations. Do not EVER link to spammy, low-quality sites.
  • Link to relevant anchor text, such as the name of a person, website name, or relevant term. Don’t link to words like “click here”.
  • If you are worried about your readers not coming back to you after following a link, then just make sure the link automatically opens in a new window.

Though you may not see results quickly, using external links regularly can increase the page ranking of your website significantly over time. That means more visitors and, hopefully, many more customers!

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