We all know that internal linking, or linking to other pages in your own website design, is important for SEO. It aids search engine crawlers and indexing your site, and the more internal links you have, the more good search engines believe that page is to your site (and the greater its chances of getting highlighted in search).
External links can also assist you improve your SEO and ranking. Many firms, agencies, and small businesses, on the other hand, are still cautious to link to other sites from their own pages for fear of losing users or search equity.
Barrier #1 to Outbound Linking
The concern of losing search equity reveals a basic misunderstanding of how SEO connections function.
The Legend of Hose
Many people imagine links as hoses via which search equity flows. Users bestow searched value on a site by visiting/engaging with it, and that searched equity flows to other pages/sites via links, according to this conceptual model. The problem with this approach to links is that you treat search equity as a finite resource, believing that every time you link to another site, you are “losing” searched value (this is false).
A More Effective Mental Model
Consider a link to be a recommendation. By connecting to some other site, one site is suggesting it to its users.
Let’s take that metaphor a step further by imagining the following scenario: Let’s say a friend approaches you and asks for your opinion on someone to hire. Take a look at the following two outcomes:
- You give them two excellent candidates as suggestions.
- You give them recommendations for all 523 of the people on your phone contact list.
In the first case, your friend most likely considered you to be quite helpful and would seek your assistance again. In the second scenario, your friend was probably not impressed, and they are unlikely to seek assistance from you again.
Search engines are comparable in this regard. They will consider a site useful if it links to high-quality, credible resources, and they will encourage that usefulness in search.
To recap, there are three major reasons why outbound links are beneficial to businesses of all sizes.
- You are judged by the company you keep by search engines (especially Google). Being affiliated with other sites that are well-known for being respectable on relevant topics might help your reputation.
- Users like to have data curated for them rather than having to look for it on their own. Link to the most references in your field when you want to get the opportunity. A visitor will be more likely to bookmark or publish your article if you do this.
- Linking demonstrates that you are aware of the most relevant resources. You can use this to show Google that you recognized authoritative information when you see it.
Barrier #2 to Outbound Linking
The fear of losing converting users to other sites is the second significant obstacle that most businesses have when it comes to outbound linking.
The Issue of Lost Traffic
It’s true, as Google points out, that connecting to another website diverts some traffic away from your own page.
The advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
External links on most sites are set to open in a new tab for visitors, limiting the likelihood of the user getting drawn away from the site completely. Furthermore, users who are still in the research stage are less likely to convert during their session in the first place.
Each page on the website is an opportunity to demonstrate your experience and breadth of knowledge about the topic, space, or industry through your content, as part of your broader SEO strategy. When you employ outbound links to mention other authority sites, it increases user trust in your website and sends content services to search engines. Outbound linking improves the SEO health of your website and lowers bad SEO habits like and returns in this way.
In addition, putting an outbound link to a site you find useful is a way of extending your hand for possible collaboration. This is a great approach to start networking with bloggers, writers, and companies in the same specialty, geography, or related industry. If you’re a local business, recommending or suggesting other local businesses might even assist search engines better realize your page for local searches. In a sense, you’re requesting that Webmasters link your page to that of other similar sites and their SEO efforts/attributes (like location or authority).
How to Choose Outbound Linking Sites
First and foremost, only employ resources that will benefit your user (informational value, entertainment value, etc).
Where is the best place to learn how to rank in Google? Google is a search engine. Perform a preliminary search using your top keywords to determine what Google believes is worth promoting right now.
Checking the Authority of a Website
You can use a Domain Authority (DA) checker if you already know about some sites and want to see how authoritative they are. DA is a statistics that ranks websites on a scale of one to one hundred. The higher the score, the better the domain authority of the website, indicating that it is a good contender for an outbound link.
Another wonderful place to start is Individualized, where you can check the backlink profile of any site that is already ranking well for your target keyword(s) or that is already linked to an authoritative source using their site explorer. As a beginning point, look for sites with a high Site Rating (SR).
Site Selection Considerations
- When choosing backlinks, keep the following questions in mind:
- What one-to-three pages can I use to back up my arguments or give relevant information?
- Which other pages do a good job of covering the subject?
- Do these pages have a high domain authority or a high domain rating?
- Are these pages run by bloggers or domain owners who work in comparable or related niches?
- Are these pages getting a lot of traffic and social shares from other people in my niche?
- Do I consider these websites to be trustworthy sources of information?
These questions can assist you in determining whether or not another site is a good fit for a link.
The sites with the highest domain authority are the most useful to link to. Google places a premium on indicators like authority and organic traffic (OT). For example, if you’re producing a page for your chiropractic business on post-car accident back issues, referring to Mayo Clinic research could be beneficial because you’re supporting up your position with a reliable source of medical knowledge. The monarchs of information on Bing are sites ending in.gov and.edu. Because they’re frequently linked with government agencies, research, and institutions, this is the case.
If a particular issue is trending in the news, connecting to a site with lower domain authority but which is the dominant source of coverage for that topic can help you gain on the trend while it is still fresh in your readers’ minds.
Using Your Own Earned Media as a Link
Linking to other websites that have highlighted or profiled your product or your own site is a fantastic way to link to outbound material while simultaneously increasing your own momentum. Any type of earned media, such as a mention in a news article, a guest blog post, or an interview on someone else’s podcast, allows you to gain from the other person’s link to your website while also allowing you to write a recap for your own site to link to theirs.
A approach like this tells search engines that you’ve “showing up” as a trusted link by a lot of other people in your niche over time. This is also a significantly more natural approach of increasing traffic and SEO traction than obsolete spamming methods such as link farms and linking parties.
To promote media coverage, some websites develop a dedicated section for news or press.
Outbound linking aids in the security of inbound links.
You’re more likely to become a hub for outbound connections from other people if you develop high-quality content with your own page. By establishing your website as a valuable resource and a home for high-quality information, you’ll be able to add outbound connections to other useful websites in the future. As more people link to your material, your site may receive some backlinks of its own. Link-building becomes a cycle at that point, and it’s much easier to build on your own achievements.
Content strategy is one of the methods we mentioned before in this post. Alternatively, you might create a page that links to all of the greatest resources on a certain topic and assists readers in swiftly navigating those resources by offering either brief commentating or high-level structure. A post like “The 10 Best Places to Visit When Traveling to Arlington, VA” or “The 20 Best Resources for Getting Started with Inbound Marketing” is a good example of this.
Avoiding the “Strategy” of Outbound Links
Avoid personal blogger networks’ two-way backlinking methods. These are referred to as “connecting parties” on occasion. Google has begun punishing attempts to exploit the system by sharing connections between blogs in recent upgrades. (These inconsistencies are referred to as “link schemes.”)
Are you concerned about the security of your website? You must be fine if you haven’t done any of the following things:
- Excessive link exchanges: This is what we were discussing in the previous paragraph. If you participate in “link to me and I’ll link to you” schemes, Google will pursue you. You also should avoid working with a page, influencer, blogger, or other entity that isn’t relevant to your business. Google is keeping an eye on your content to see if it’s relevant. As a result, if your link is placed on a website that makes no sense, Google will notify you. A link to an automotive shop, for example, should not appear on a bakery’s blog pages.
- Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns: Some firms believe they can get away with using the same article multiple times in the hopes of gaining a few links. Google will not be fooled by reworking a few words here and there.
- Exchange of products or services in exchange for links: If you sent someone a “free” goods in exchange for a link, Google will know. If you do this, make sure it looks natural and complements your brand.
The greatest method to earn Google’s approval is to generate original, relevant material that your audience will enjoy. Regardless of what you’ve heard, good content pays off. Keep in mind that you’re playing for the long haul.
Outbound linking should always be done without getting engaged in any scams, putting outbound links in consumer content, and links in adverts, according to a July 2019 edition of #AskGoogleWebmasters.
The easiest method to establish yourself as a reliable source in your industry is to produce high-quality content on a regular basis. Following and commenting on the content of other authors and bloggers in your niche will help you create relationships with them, which can lead to future link-building chances.
Your SEO efforts should be focused on pages that aren’t yet ranking on Page 1 for the keywords you’re targeting. Once you’ve figured out what’s working on your page, try out your new SEO skills on a low-performing page and see what you can do to enhance it. You can then monitor whether you’re able to improve your page’s ranks. We have a fantastic post on how to write outstanding on-page content.