We all know that links to your home performance website improve your SEO, that link-building is a critical SEO exercise, and that good internal linking strategies can help certain pages perform for targeted keywords. But external links, done well, can also be an SEO benefit, counterintuitive as this may be.
Isn't External Linking Bad?
Not necessarily. While there are a potential problems that it can create (sending visitors off your site and losing the traffic, interrupting readers just when you've hooked them into your content), there are ways to minimize these risks (below).
Properly executed, good external links will enhance the user experience of your website (which is good for SEO in and of itself), while sending signals to search engines about the content on the page that you're linking from and what it relates to. You just need to proceed with a little caution.
How to Create Good External Links:
- Link to authoritative sites
- Set your links to open in a new tab or window to avoid losing visitors
- Use good anchor text
- Link to relevant pages, rather than generic home pages (e.g., link to a specific and relevant page on Wikipedia rather than the Wikipedia home page)
- Only link when the page you're linking to is relevant. (Don't just link to facebook.com because you use the word "facebook" in your content).
- Only link when the page you're linking to contains information that isn't on your page (or provides a different angle or perspective).
- If you have the option of linking to a page on your site instead of another site (say, the page on your site about energy audits rather than the Wikipedia page about energy audits), do it.