Building a Web on the Web: What Your Business Needs to Know About External Links

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

How external links are an important arrow in your Internet marketing quiver.

You’ve made the leap from brick-and-mortar to having an online presence, or maybe your business is based in cyberspace. Either way, you know by now how important today’s website is for sales and marketing.

In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the CEO or a sole proprietor, your website is your business card and the primary way that people find out about the goods and services you’ve got to sell.

It’s a great idea to know how the oil you put in the engine of your car helps it to run smoothly and gets you to where you need to go. Understanding how external links work to fuel the online engine of your website is just as critical to business success.

You also need to remember these external links are part of a broader Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy but still incredibility important on their own.

Consider the fact that industry insiders like the American Marketing Association have said that as the search engines get more sophisticated in the way they rank pages , business needs to have a more experienced approach to advertising online.

Translation? At least in part, this means your content needs to have more depth than before and the strategy behind these links needs to be carefully mapped out.   

Related Article: Design It Yourself: Website Platforms To Make You Shine

Link Building to Content Development

John King is the CEO and co-founder at PlacementSEO. The services listed on his site range from link building to content development and even competitor research. They offer a good overview of the multifaceted approach the modern business needs to take to be successful.

Fair enough, you might say. I’m sold on the need for link building generally and external links specifically but I need to know more about it before I sign on the dotted line and hire a company. The first step is learning something about links what they do, which ones help and what kinds can actually hurt your chances of getting the better page rankings that are the real end goal of the process.

Link Election  

If you think about the whole idea in terms of an election, the idea becomes more focused. Any SEO expert that is credible and trustworthy will tell you any link building quiver needs to contain several arrows and external links should be one of the priorities.

Cyber Bridges

Remember the search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) rank your website’s popularity by the quality of the links as well as some other factors. Having these cyber-bridges join to other websites relevant to the products and services you sell is like a third party vote affirming your credibility.

It’s a sad fact of any election there are always those people who don’t want to play by the rules, and that’s why these external links are one of SEO experts preferred choices since they are one of the hardest metrics to manipulate. When you’re choosing the kind of links you want to set, think of these as secure ballot boxes with a lock and key.

It’s important for any politician to have a good running mate and that includes any web-based company that’s looking at using link building to attain the high office of good page rankings. Trustworthiness is a major factor in choosing the right links. Of course, there are more than a few Internet marketing firms to choose from and, like in politics itself, transparency is one of the golden rules.

SEO Audit

Looking for a company that’s confident, has experience and is willing to show you what they can do is essential. Any firm you choose should have a complete team that looks after all of your needs from complete onsite optimization to backlink building. Companies like Youth Noise even offer a free SEO audit so you can see where you stand and what needs to be done.

There are a few other things to consider in making sure these external links are giving you the SEO juice you need.

  • Popularity: What metaphor that links (excuse the pun) politics and external links would be complete without some discussion of that fundamental principle of both? While some search engines favored using traffic to the website as a factor in determining this, external links have come along more recently as a more stable way to measure popularity. Look at this metric when deciding what sites to link to.
  • Relevancy is another important factor.  If you’re a plumbing shop and you link to a flower store just because you know the owner, don’t expect any real SEO juice. The anchor text here is usually written by human hands and needs to mirror the content of the page the link is being set to. Remember like begets like and you should choose only those links that make sense.
  • Anchor Text needs to be short, sweet and applicable. It needs to be relevant to the target page. In other words, the anchor text “plumbing ideas” should link to something like new faucets for the washroom and not a government site based on travel.

Staying on top of the changes for a successful internet marketing toolbox can be overwhelming without some expert guidance. At the moment, Google is making 500 changes a year to the algorithms that affect online marketing. That means that while external links might not always be one of the biggest drivers for page rankings, they will always be important when you’re looking to build a web on the web.

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