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What Are External Links and How To Use Them

What Are External Links & How to Use Them

External links are an important part of the search engine optimization process, especially if you want Google to see you as an authority site. Many searchers scroll right past the paid ads, meaning showing up in the organic results is your best bet for getting noticed. Learn more about external linking, why it is important, and how you can do it effectively.

Side note: if you end up liking this post, check out our post What Is SEO Content Writing? 4 Essential Tips To Get You Started.


Difference Between External and Internal Links

External links are links you utilize on your own website that connect to different websites all over the internet. These links should link to pages that have a similar topic as yours or otherwise relate to your business in some way. The pages you link to could be other bloggers or small businesses, or they could be the websites for large corporations. For example, if you run a pet blog, you may link to other pet blogs, celebrity dogs’ social media pages, or big names in the pet industry. Creating external links builds a stronger reputation for both yourself and the other websites that you link to.

Internal links work much the same way, except that the you’re links are created by you. When you build an internal link, you are linking to a URL within your own website that provides more information on the subject you’re talking about. Keeping with the pet blog example, imagine you write a blog about the types of treats your dog can have at Independence Day celebrations, but you wrote a similar blog post about Christmas treats. You can throwback to the Christmas blog via your Independence Day blog, providing an informational link and building your own search engine results rankings in the process.


External Links per Page

The results indicated that external links are not helpful if you only use one or two for a long page, very helpful if you use roughly one external link every 250 or 400 words, and less useful when you begin to stuff too many external links into your content as Google then determines you’re trying to game its system.

The idea is that you don’t overdo it with the external links. As you’re hyperlinking to your favorite fellow bloggers or pet websites, it is important to ensure you are only doing so when necessary and when it is providing truly factual information.


Building External Links for SEO

When creating external links to help you with your search engine optimization and results page rankings, there are several factors to consider. Linking to just any website won’t help you as many sites won’t offer any value to your own. External links help to rank your pages, SEO is more than the content on a page or website. You want to ensure that the pages you are linking to and from have good trustworthiness and are going to help boost your page. Linking to a shady page that will have a negative impact on your ranking. 

Start by searching for trustworthy domains that are popular and have excellent reviews. Regardless of how large or popular the site you link to externally is, you’ll need to ensure it is relevant to your content. If your website is about healthy cooking, linking to content about fitness in the post is not likely to provide any merit for your blog or for the external website. The anchor text matters also, don’t use anchor text that has nothing to do with the page content or the keywords. Remember, the quality of your content and the content of the page you’re linking to is truly even more important than the popularity of either page.


Are External Links Good for SEO?

To have a well rounded and successful SEO strategy, external links are essential. Many experts in the field believe that linking to other websites from your own has many benefits. Linking to other sites creates tracible traffic. The owners of the site you just linked to may notice and link back to you, or talk about your service or products within their posts. Another benefit of linking to others sites is that it helps the Google algorithms to better track your own website and is more likely to give you with higher search rankings.

Just as stated before, when you link to other websites, especially smaller ones, they are more likely to create links back to your content as well. Natural link-building creates a better community of content for small business owners, and beyond. Beyond that, it encourages participation. External linking is more likely to help you get noticed on social media via comments, readership, and more.

One thing you should consider when working with SEO is to simply hire a professional SEO company to take care of it for you! If you are on the fence, take a look at our post on How To Choose The Best SEO Company to help you find the right company for your business!

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or on any web sites linked to from this page. This blog article was written by Melanie P in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect the opinion(s) of WebCitz, LLC.