Are website links important?
When you build your website, you’ll most likely create internal links and outbound links.
And if you have valuable information on your website, you may receive backlinks from other websites.
Internal links are important because they expose more of your content and help people navigate your website.
For example, someone reading a blog about links may not know that Hunter & Scribe also writes ebooks. So by linking to either our services offered or ebooks page, we can let you know about our other services.
You can also use internal links to entice someone browsing your website to sign up for your newsletter, offer them a promotion or a free trial.
(For example, email [email protected] to find out how we can help you with content marketing.)
Internal links are also important to search engines. If you don’t have a sitemap, the search engine bots may not crawl all your pages. But they will follow internal links, so those links can help the bots discover more of your website content.
Internal linking also helps search engines know which pages are important. For example, if you’re a financial adviser and you’re offering different investment products, each on their own page, a search engine may not know where to direct someone who makes a general query, like: “I need investment advice.” But if many of your blogs or other webpages link to a particular page, the search engine will most likely show that page’s meta description and URL in the search results, because it will assume it’s an important page.
Internal links can also consist of helpful redirects – like going back to the home page, to the next page or the top of the page.
Outbound links are links you place on your website that point to external websites. For example, an accountant could link to the websites of:
- The Australian Taxation Office
- The Fair Work Ombudsman
- Small Business Australia
Outbound links can also let you connect to other sites that offer complementary services. For example, a buyer’s agent could link to a mortgage broker’s site and the mortgage broker could in return link to the buyer’s agent site.
Outbound links can also give search engines insight into your content, if they’re all pointing to the same type of sites. For example, if you’re a mortgage broker and you created links to some of the main lenders you work with, search engines may correctly identify your website as being in the lending industry. (Although, your content should’ve already done that job.)
Outbound links’ main importance is customer service: they make it easy for someone to find additional information.
Two tips on outbound links:
- Set them to open in a new tab, so visitors don’t close your website when they click on your link
- Check them regularly to see if they are still valid and pointing to the right content
A backlink is a link from one website back to another. So if, say, an online accounting magazine published a link to your accountancy website, that magazine would be giving you a backlink.
Backlinks can originate from blogs, columns, website content or social media pages.
Backlinks are an important part of search engine optimisation (SEO), because they tell search engines how valuable and relevant your website is, and therefore how high up the rankings it should be listed.
For example, if a top Australian bank links to a mortgage broker, it would give that mortgage broker’s website an SEO boost. If customers trust the bank, they’ll trust the mortgage broker by association. Also, search engines will see that link as validation of the mortgage broker’s website and give it a higher ranking.
Not all backlinks count equally. Search engines place more value on backlinks from authoritative websites. So if you’re a mortgage broker, receiving a backlink from The Adviser may count more than receiving a backlink from a local real estate agent.
Your website will receive a boost if it receives backlinks from websites that have a higher ‘domain authority’ (or online credibility) than yours – but it may suffer if it receives many backlinks from websites with lower domain authorities.