3 Reasons Outbound Links Matter

By Karen Layman, aka Karen SEO image on screen

If you’re familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you are aware of how important inbound links (links that point back to your own site and content) are to your SEO approach. But, were you aware that outbound links are also important to your SEO? Outbound links are links that point from your site to external websites. Here are a few reasons why outbound links matter:

1. Outbound Links Can Establish Trust

When you link to an external site, doing so establishes credibility for your content. It’s similar to citing sources. Linking to outside sites is a way of showing your content is accurate and trustworthy.

It also proves that you have done your research and due diligence, which shows others you are trustworthy and shows search engines that your content is authoritative. These things help build trust in your site and users will think of you as another reputable site, too. If you link to a spammy site, this will reflect poorly on you. Your users will immediately associate you with spam, too.

When you mention a statistic or quote someone else, try linking to that original source. That way, people can see that source for themselves if they want. When it comes to outbound marketing, it’s an easy way to earn a reputation for being honest and trustworthy.

2. They Can Help Build Relationships

When you’re linking to external sites, it’s a way of highlighting that site. It gives that site visibility and clicks. These factors are really important to SEO and can help with rankings. If you link to an external site, the possibility that the favor is returned is possible. Building these relationships with other brands or companies is beneficial for both of you.

It also can lead to higher engagement with your content. Whatever site you linked to may share your content, or comment or weigh in on it. It’s an easy way to reach out to other sites and is a great way for both parties to benefit from one piece of content.

Be sure you’re only linking to relevant content. It might be tempting to try to add extra outbound links, but overdoing it or linking to irrelevant content could actually hurt you in the long run. Overdoing links, over optimizing, or engaging in spammy practices are a few common SEO mistakes to avoid.

3. Outbound Links Can Boost Your Visibility

Along with projecting authority of your content and building trust, outbound links help strengthen your topic signal to search engines. If your page links to an external source, it can potentially help your site outperform a site that does not have outbound links.

This isn’t necessarily guaranteed, but it may help your rankings. It simply could be the trust that ranks your site higher. The more trustworthy site links your content has, the more authoritative search engines will rank your site. And the more authoritative a search engine finds your site to be, the higher your rankings may be.

Having outbound links is a great way to get your content noticed. Much like linking to external sites can help build relationships, it’s great to put your content out on the web.

These are just a few reasons why outbound links matter. SEO is important to your website, so learning the basics and following SEO best practices will help your content shine!

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