When it comes to external links, what is the best way to produce solid long-lasting SEO benefits?
First, let’s clarify what is meant by “external links.” Are we talking about links to point out from your website or links to are offsite and point in? Both could be considered external links.
Outbound Links Best Practices
Outbound links are not bad, but you do want to keep them to a minimum. For every outbound link you have on your website you are leaking link juice – and traffic.
Suppose that your PageRank is a 10 and you have 10 links on a single page, nine of them pointing to other pages on your website and 1 pointing offsite. That PageRank link juice will be distributed evenly among all of your links. So you’ll effectively be distributing 1 PageRank of link juice to each page you link to from that page with 10 links, including the offsite page. Take away that outbound link and your PageRank link juice goes up for each of the other 9 links.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you should never link out from your website. You might do so if it benefits your site visitors. However, you should open such links in a separate tab or window so that you don’t send visitors off of your website completely. You can do this by adding a target=”new” or target=”blank” attribute to your link html code.
Inbound External Links Best Practices
Keeping in mind the PageRank link juice principle outlined above, you want most of your external links to be inbound links – those links on other domains that point inward to your website. By ensuring you have more inbound links than outbound links, you will see to it that your authority ranking stays positive and increases as you continue your inbound link building campaign.
So how do you get these inbound links? There are several ways to build these links so that your website reaps the value.
- Seek out external links from high PageRank websites
- Ensure your inbound links include relevant anchor text
- Use title attributes on your links whenever appropriate
- Hold your outbound links per page to a minimum
- Seek out older domains to build your inbound links from
- Diversify your link portfolio so that you have links from a variety of website types and niches
- Build link bait on your website to encourage website owners to link to your site unsolicitedly
- Submit your web pages to the top social bookmarking websites
- Engage with people in your niche through social media
There are a lot of ways to build inbound external links to your website. Some things you should keep in mind – dangers, if you will – is to stay away from the following practices: buying links, building too many links too fast, attracting link partners that engage in malware distribution, wares, spam, or other black hat activities.
External links can be great tools for increasing your website’s SEO value if it is done correctly. If done incorrectly, it can be a real pain.