4 Reasons Why You Should Use Outbound Links

You should be aware that Inbound Links are extremely important for your website and blog –
those that come from other reputable websites, of course. You may not be aware that Outbound
Links can also have a place within your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Here’s why.

1. Higher ranking.
Google’s mission has always been to provide the “most relevant” websites for any search. Your site can become most relevant for a topic by providing a well-rounded presentation: not just your piece of the topic, but links to all pieces. As Matt Cutts (Google’s most famous blogger) said, “In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.”

2. Increased trust.
Yes, you are an expert in your field. You want to establish that fact with your visitors who are not yet familiar with you. Unless you wrote the textbook in that field, backing up some of your premises with links to other well-known sources can be quite beneficial.

3. Building relationships.
Linking to influential blogs and websites can also get your site noticed by them, and could result in a link back if you are providing good content on your side. In this age of social networking, don’t forget that it can extend to your website. That also means you want to review your own logs to find who is linking to you, and return the favor if you like what you see on their site.

4. Expectation.
It is, after all, the web! Your visitors expect you to provide links. They will appreciate your giving them well thought-out resources.

So instead of fearing that your visitors will leave your site if you include Outbound Links, or worse, that you will lose that infamous “link juice,” know that judicious use of Outbound Links can be very beneficial. Naturally, you are not going to link to your competition. But do link to those in industries/areas that support what you are doing. For example, think of a beauty salon and a company that sells hair color products; or an auto body shop and a car rental agency. We link out to all of our clients in our portfolio.

Be sure that your links are to other relevant and trusted sites. Those with .edu or .gov TLDs are
always good choices, although you don’t need to limit yourself to those. Definitely use keywords
for your anchor text (what the visitors will click on) just as you want for your Inbound Links.
Don’t use “click here”!

Finally, don’t just link out for the sake of linking out! Remember to always provide value.
Linking to sites with “low authority” or those located in bad neighborhoods can hurt you.