What Are External Links? How To Use Them Correctly
Why does the government build bridges around the city? To make the city interconnected!
The logic is the same here for external links.
Consider external links as the bridge of the web. They help to navigate from one page to another.
Without having external links, how could websites stay connected with each other?
Apart from their role in connecting the web, they are immensely helpful for SEO.
Top SEO practitioners count on external links to improve their ranking and drive traffic to their websites.
When it comes to Google, external links act as trust signals, especially when they are coming from high-authority websites.
Do you know how external links operate and the significance of external links?
If not, they do not need to worry! You’re not alone.
We have designed this article to address all your doubts related to external links and the right way to use them.
Let’s dive in!
What Are External Links?
Let’s take an example – imagine you have a website related to pet products. Now one of your friends has a website from the niche. And they link to your website. Now you got an external link.
In simple words, if someone else’s website links to yours, that’s an external link to your site. Likewise, if you link out to someone else’s site, that’s an external link as well.
Accumulating more external links from prominent websites builds your credibility. That, in turn, portrays that your website is worth linking to.
Signs Of A Great External Link
The internet is overloaded with a plethora of links. But you should remember that not every that you come across is not worth considering.
A Good Link Has The Following Characteristics:
- Relevance is the key to external links. It doesn’t make sense if a gaming niche’s website links to a cryptocurrency website.
- Another important factor you should check is domain authority. Domain authority reflects the credibility and trustworthiness of a website. The higher the DA, the better it will be for your SEO efforts.
- The anchor text should align with the website’s content.
- Make sure you get external links from a high-traffic, non-spammy website.
Significance Of External Links In SEO
External links are responsible for creating a perspective about the way people see your website or talk about it.
Let’s explore the benefits of external links for SEO:
1. Ranking Factor
Though there is a lot of discussion around this topic, even today, external links are one of the important ranking factors.
This is because external links act as a trust signal for Google. Google considered it as an endorsement from highly authoritative websites.
2. Exposure And Traffic
External links bring new traffic to your website. People start exploring your content. And if you provide valuable content, eventually, you’ll end up acquiring a steady flow of traffic.
3. Brand Awareness
When people read your posts, they will see that you are knowledgeable about the subject and passionate about it. This will help build trust with your readers and make them more likely to visit your website and purchase your products or services.
4. Expand Your Personal Network
Years ago, it was difficult to connect with bloggers and influencers. But today, things are different. You can easily connect with guest bloggers and influencers to expand your business. Nowadays, websites accept guest posts to boost and foster their reach.
External Link Best Practices
To reap the benefit of ranking higher with external links, you must know how to leverage external links for optimum results.
1. Relevant Links
If you’re building external links just because experts suggest the same, then you’re not doing it the right way. As already mentioned in this article, the stepping stone to garnering any external link is checking its relevance.
Here you should put yourself in the shoes of your readers and make sure that they get relevant content.
Google does not want you to build links mindlessly. For deciding the ranking of your website, Google always considers the relevance of the content that is pointed to your website.
Therefore linking to a website that is from the same niche is the winner here.
Another factor you should also consider about the reputation of the external source. Always connect to link-worthy and credible websites. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing the trust of your audience. That, in turn, negatively impacts your ranking.
2. Number Of External Links You Need
When it comes to external linking, what is the ideal number of external links you should have?
Look, no one can answer this question as there is no uniform answer to this question. If you ask this question to multiple people, you’ll see different versions from them.
This is a subjective question, and there is no hard and fast rule for the same.
It’s not a good idea to bombard your content with 100s of links. On the contrary, 1-2 links will not work as well.
Think like a reader. Analyze your content and figure out how many links can go with the content without hampering its flow.
Ask These Questions:
- Do your links distract the readers?
- Does it look like spam?
- Are you over-utilizing external links just for the sake of doing it?
Always remember that disrupting the reading flow will lead to a higher bounce rate of your website.
3. Writing Relevant Anchor Text
Anchor text is the prompt text that appears in a hyperlink. Anchor texts help navigate users to another page.
Using relevant anchor text, you can help search engines understand the context of the page you are linking to and improve your website’s ranking in search engine results.
When writing anchor text, it is important to ensure that the words you use accurately describe the page you are linking to. In simpler terms, you should provide context through your anchor text.
It is also important to avoid using generic words like “click here” or “read more” as anchor text.
These words do not provide any context to search engines and can hurt your website’s ranking. Instead, use words that accurately describe the page you are linking to.
- Being On Point: Try to indicate what the source you’re linking to features. It would be great if you were descriptive with your anchor text.
- Long Or Short? Optimizing the length of your anchor text is another important aspect of this topic. As with the number of links, there’s no magic formula for the lengths of the anchor text. Keeping it visually comprehensible and nondisruptive to the user experience is crucial. If you feel it’s necessary to include the whole phrase in the anchor text and it doesn’t look disturbing, go for it.
- Easily Recognizable: Besides the default blue color or underlining, websites mark links in various ways. If it matches your site’s visual style, consider using another color.
- Consistency Is Key: On top of everything we’ve mentioned, it’s important to maintain link behavior and appearance consistency. If you underline external links, don’t make exceptions; if you vote for short anchor texts, don’t randomly use unnecessarily long ones.
4. High-Quality Sources
Abstain from linking to low-quality websites. Now when we coin the term ‘low-quality source, you might have a lot of questions in your mind.
What Separates A High-Quality Source From A Low-Quality Source?
- The first step is to check the author’s bio. Check whether the author has relevant experience in the specific niche. Also, have a look at the author’s social media profile to know more about their expertise. A high-quality website comes with highly experienced specialized writers.
- Does that website consist of spammy links? If yes, then it is a low-quality, less authoritative website.
- Quality content is a common trait of high-quality websites. Prominent websites always share valuable content to educate their user. They do not write for search engines; they write for the well-being of the user.
- The simplest way to check the quality of your external source is by checking its domain authority (DA). Quality websites always stand out with their DA metric.
- Finally, you should think of considering its backlink profile. A quality website always attracts links from high-quality sources. Before accumulating any external links, always overhauls the websites that are linking to your source website.
Final Step – Ready To Start
At this point, you go into detailed insights about external links. Now it’s time to take some action.
Here comes the question – How to find external links?
Below Are The Top 3 Ways Through Which You Can Build External Links:
- With a robust database, Ahrefs can help you to find relevant link opportunities.
- You can also build link-building strategies for your business.
- Another way is to outsource link-building opportunities.
Consider these points as your stepping stone for attracting external links. We hope you found this article valuable.
If you have more doubts, don’t hesitate. We are just an email away.