Outbound Links: Why Using Them Benefits Your SEO Efforts
Historically speaking, search engine optimization (SEO) companies have spent countless hours building inbound links for their clients to help them develop higher natural search rankings.
It's no secret that link building has forever been (and remains today) an essential strategy for achieving higher rankings, but one aspect about linking that often goes overlooked is the SEO value of linking to outside sources from your own website.
It's a natural tendency for SEOs (and companies that do their own SEO in-house) to focus 100 percent on self-serving inbound and internal (cross-linking) linking, but the truth of the matter is it's beneficial to include outbound links to other sites for a variety of reasons that benefit your SEO strategy.
Here are some things you'll want to consider when thinking about whether to use outbound links in your web content:
Outbound Links Provide Further Resources for Site Visitors
No matter what your company would like to think, there are certainly other knowledgeable and reputable voices within your industry that could further educate your site visitors on subjects posted about on your site.
If you give readers the information they're looking for on your site, and then further that by providing links to websites that support or supplement your content to enhance the visitor's experience, you've gained a follower who will be a repeat visitor to your site. It's also far more likely that the user will share your content socially, which has a significant impact on how well your content ranks organically.
It Boosts Your Credibility With Visitors (and Google!)
As mentioned above, providing your site visitors with outbound links to other resources has an impact on their user experience and your site's credibility with them.
Moreover, outbound links to reputable, high-quality resources are also crawled and factored in by Google to determine the overall value (and rankings) for your web pages. The more legit you are, the more legit you appear to Google, and the better off you're going to be organically speaking.
Be Mindful of Where You're Linking To
The Internet is truly a living, evolving landscape. Things change – ALL the time. So if you're providing outbound links to build more credibility for your organic SEO efforts, you'll definitely want to check up on those links from time to time to see if they're still relevant.
Check and make sure the web page you've provided a link to is still operational and still has the same topical content that made you link to it in the first place. Also be mindful about the reputation that the website you've linked to has. Make sure they're not facing any penalties from the search engines, and that they aren't linking to adult or gambling websites, as that can negatively impact the credibility you're trying to build for your site.
Outbound linking is a powerful on many levels from improving the value of your website for users and helping them to get the information they're searching for, but also has a direct impact on how well your site is valued (and ranked) by the search engines.
About the author
Chris Everett is an organic SEO consultant and the Principal of Captivate Search Marketing in Atlanta, Georgia. Chris specializes in local and organic search marketing services with a focus on small businesses. To find out more about Chris or his company, connect with him on Google+