The question of external links came up Friday at Social Media Breakfast and was raised again in the comments of my blog post on lessons from my presentation. There is a difference of opinion on how valuable it is to create links that take readers away from your site.
Go for it. And here’s why.
Valuable external links are good for SEO
Karma exists on the web
We all love free publicity. Which is basically what a link to our sites do for us. So gain karma points by linking to a site that has valuable information for your audience. Both they site owner and readers will appreciate it.
Hopefully someone will reciprocate by linking to your website. Hey, there’s another inbound link to you. But if someone links to you, only link back if you’re comfortable that you are comfortable doing so. Paybacks are nice but still should be earned.
Valuable external links enhance your brand
One of the goals to blogging is to establish your reputation as an expert by sharing information. It also involves recognizing other people know things you don’t. So link to them and share that knowledge with your audience.
This will enhance your reputation and make it easier to convert readers into customers.
External links save time
This is why links were invented. Instead of explaining every concept or point, link to another source. If your readers need the background, let them investigate on their time. You still gain the benefit of being known as the one who has the information.
Maybe you should keep your links in house
OK, external links won’t solve all your problems. Repurposing your content across the Web and social media will do more for your SEO than external linking.
Of course you don’t want to link to a competitor.
But if your brand stands for sharing information and knowledge, you’re going to want to link.
What’s your linking strategy?
Are you linking to other web sites and sources of information? Share your insights in the comments.