A recent study found that outgoing links on a website can have a positive effect on its search rankings. Of course, building quality links to a website is a common search engine optimisation strategy, but it’s also important to build outgoing links strategically.
There’s a lot to keep in mind when you link to outside sources on your website. For marketing, lead generation and branding purposes, it’s best to keep outgoing links to a minimum. However, these links do have their place and the following guidelines can help you use them effectively.
Link to Authoritative Sites
The study specifically states that the results were found when links were made to authoritative sites. When you add links to your website, only link to pages that have high-quality content and are respected in their industry. If you can, try to find sites that have high search rankings themselves.
Have a Good Reason for each Link
Even though these outgoing links can bring benefits, have a good reason for each link you add to your website. Cite sources, refer people to helpful resources or link to business partners. Frequent linking and links that have no true value won’t do much to help your online marketing efforts.
Choose your Pages Wisely
Choose pages for outgoing links wisely. Keep in mind that you don’t want to send potential customers away from product pages, landing pages or even your home page. Good candidates for outgoing links include blog posts, resource pages and press releases.
Link too Frequently
Linking too frequently from your website will make it harder for you to reach your own goals. It will send your site traffic to other pages and make your website look less professional and trustworthy. This kind of linking could even make your site appear spammy to search engines, which could hurt its search rankings.
Distract from Calls to Action
Too many links or links in the wrong places will distract your market from your calls to action. For example, if you ask people to make a purchase on a product page that’s also full of outgoing links, you risk sending people away before they can buy your product.
You also risk making your call to action blend in with the rest of the content and links, rendering it much less powerful than it would be if it stood out on a page with few other links or options.
Align yourself with Low-Quality Sites
While linking to authoritative sites is important for achieving high SEO rankings, linking to low-quality sites may not help you get the same results. But, there’s another reason you should avoid low-quality sites: branding. Linking to high-quality, professional sites will help you maintain your own brand, positive reputation and relationship with your market.
As you build outgoing links on your website, keep these guidelines in mind so you can earn higher search rankings, maintain your brand and entice site visitors to respond to calls to action.