Okay, if you haven’t heard from Simplified and our Mental Health SEO Specialists, external links are greaaaat for SEO. Have we told you yet? Maybe a couple times?
The beauty behind valuable external links is that their presence makes Google trust you more. Providing references from your site to other credible sites boosts your site’s credibility, letting Google know that you know your stuff.
First off, what is an external link?
An external link has a multitude of names. We know, how confusing. External links can sometimes be referenced as outbound links, backlinks, or hyperlinks. You may also hear “internal link”, we’ll get to that.
An external link is a hyperlink that forwards the user to a different page.
So, if you have an external link to Webster Dictionary for a definition of some sort, once a user clicks that external link, they will be redirected to the Webster Dictionary page.
A couple things about external links:
- Internal links are also valuable for SEO. An internal link is when you are referencing another page on your own site. Whenever you use an internal link, you’re telling Google that you are competent in multiple things!
- External links can be placed in text, or within images! Most likely, you will want to stick an external link into the standard text.
- Simplified recommends that you have an external link pop up in a new tab. We recommend this because it leaves more time for the potential client to stay on your site.
Like I said before, external links are good for SEO. BUT, we want to make sure these links are credible. If they’re not credible, Google’s trust in your site will go down. It’s like a research paper, but for your site! How exciting.
When you’re considering credibility, consider these things:
1. Check the sources!
Does the site you’re linking to have it’s own research process? Does it reference a different research process? Are there any articles or studies or authors listed?
2. Double check the domain of the website
Domains say a lot about a site. In summary, .com, .net, .org, .gov, .edu are primarily credible domains. Secondly, io, .biz, .cn, .surf, are primarily not credible domains. Double check any information coming from these sites.
3. Screening Process for Submissions
Sometimes, websites have submissions available for tweaking information on the site. This is not inherently bad, but keep a look out on who is able to create submissions, and how many times. What does the screening process look like for them? Wikipedia is one of these tricky sites, allowing multiple submissions with a lack of screening. Sometimes, well-meaning users introduce inaccuracies. Double check any information coming from a site like this.
4. Search for information to back up what you’ve found
Verify a site’s legitimacy by comparing it to other sites. If you find a source that contradicts your original source, you may want to further investigate!
Great! If you’ve vetted your external link through this process, get that external link on your page for some SEO juice!
About the Author
Jewel is currently part of the Simplified team as a Mental Health Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting. She helps private practice owners find their ideal client by optimizing their websites and providing direct support to clients. Jewel loves the gratification when she sees a therapist’s data increasing and their phones buzzing. As a person who values mental health amongst other things, she loves knowing that Simplified’s services help therapists and patients find each other to improve mental health in the world.
Jewel is currently in her Master’s in Social Work program at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. She also interns every week at a Kansas City psychiatric hospital. When she has the time, she loves to read, volunteer, spend time with friends, and travel.