Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want my team to just do your marketing for you, click here.

Should You Use Outbound Links?

A graphic saying "should you use outbound links?"

How often do you include links in your content? Did you know there are different types of links for different purposes?

Inbound links are the ones that point to your website from another site. Outbound links are the ones that you create on your website and point to other websites. So, why would you want to use them?

What Are Outbound Links?

Outbound links are links that you create on your website and point to other websites. They are also called “external links.” They are often used to provide your readers with more information on the topic you’re discussing, or to cite sources that you’ve used in your research.

The primary benefit of outbound links is building page authority and trust with your readers. For example, if you put out a statistic, the reader is naturally going to be curious if the stat is true or what it was based on. Putting an outbound link to a credible source instantly removes that concern, and by proxy, makes your piece more trustworthy. So, if you’re not using outbound links, you’re missing out on an important opportunity to improve your SEO.

While smartly-placed outbound links have their place in your content for SEO benefits, there are times they also should be in your site navigation as well. For example, if your blog is on a different URL than your main side, you can put outbound links to the blogroll as a part of your navigation. There are other situations where they are needed as well, for example, if sending the reader to another platform is a part of your conversion funnel. A good example here is booking a meeting through a third-party platform like Calendly. The key here is to make sure you differentiate this in the nav, so the user isn’t surprised.

A chain link being lifted up.

Outbound vs. Inbound Links

Inbound links, also known as backlinks, are the ones that point to your website from another site, preferably a credible one. Outbound links are the ones that you create on your website and point to other websites, typically as sources or for a deeper dive into a topic you may not cover.

Inbound links are generally considered more valuable than outbound links because they show that other websites are linking to yours, which means that they think your website is important and trustworthy. However, outbound links can still be valuable if they are high-quality and relevant.

Your link building strategy should include both outbound links optimization and inbound use cases.

Can Outbound Links Help SEO?

In short, yes! Outbound links can help improve your website’s SEO in several ways.

First, as we mentioned earlier, they show Google that your website is relevant and trustworthy. If you’re linking to high-quality, relevant websites, it shows Google that you know what you’re talking about.

Second, outbound links optimization helps improve click-through rates. If you’re linking to a relevant website, people are more likely to click on the link and visit the site. This, in turn, can help improve your SEO because Google tracks how long people spend on your website and how many people are clicking on your links.

Third, outbound links can help build relationships with other websites. If you’re regularly linking to another website, they may start linking back to you, which can help improve your SEO.

Finally, outbound links help increase web traffic. If people are clicking on your links and visiting other websites, it can help increase the number of people who visit your website.

When Are Outbound Links Useful?

Outbound links are most useful when they are high-quality and relevant. A high-quality outbound link is a link to a website that is trustworthy and has a good reputation. A relevant outbound link is a link to a website that is related to the topic you’re discussing.

It’s important to only link to websites that you trust, as linking to a low-quality or irrelevant website can damage your own reputation. When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and not include an outbound link than to include one that could damage your credibility.

Knowing how to determine if a link is good or bad is key to a successful link building strategy. Here are some signs that a link may be of low quality:

  • Low domain authority
  • Insecure link
  • No follow links
  • Irrelevant or harmful links
  • Link spam

How to Use Outbound Links

Now that you know the benefits of outbound links and when they are useful, let’s take a look at how to use them.

One of the best ways to use outbound links is to link to sources that you’ve used in your research. This shows your readers that you’ve done your homework and that you’re not just making things up. It also helps build trust between you and your readers.

Below is an example of how I used an outbound link to back up the stat I used to prove my point.

An example of an outbound link through Neil Patel's blog.

When you’re linking to sources, it’s important to use high-quality websites that are relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about furniture, you might link to HGTV or Ikea. If you’re writing about sports, you might link to ESPN or Fox Sports. Each of these websites offers backlink quality that can greatly improve your overall web presence on the SERPs.

In addition to linking to sources, you can also use outbound links to provide your readers with more information on a topic. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about content marketing, you might link to a blog post about SEO. This helps you provide your readers with more information on the topic and shows that you’re an expert in your field.

Finally, you can use outbound links to promote other content that you’ve created. For example, if you have a blog post about social media marketing, you might link to a case study about how you increased traffic to your website using social media. This helps you promote your other content and gives your readers more information about how to improve their own marketing efforts.

Best Practices For Outbound Links

Now that you know the benefits of outbound links and when they are useful, let’s take a look at some best practices for using them.

  • Use keyword-rich anchor text: The anchor text is the text that appears when someone hovers over a link. When adding outbound links to your website, be sure to use keyword-rich anchor text. This will help improve your SEO by telling Google what the link is about.
  • Add outbound links sparingly: As we mentioned earlier, too many outbound links can make your website look spammy. When adding outbound links to your website, be sure to add them only when appropriate versus feeling you have to put in as many as possible.
  • Choose quality over quantity: It’s better to have a few high-quality outbound links than a large number of low-quality outbound links.
  • Use outbound links in your site navigation and throughout your content. When you’re writing an article or blog post, be sure to include outbound links to relevant websites. This will help improve your SEO and provide value to your readers. If you have a blog with a separate URL, you can add the outbound links to your blogroll on your navigation.
  • Follow an internal linking guide: Be sure you are linking the correct words, also known as anchor text, to ensure the links provide value and make sense to Google on the back end.

FAQs

What are outbound links?

Outbound links are links that point to other websites. They are often used to provide readers with more information on a topic or to promote other content that you’ve created.

Should I use outbound links?

Yes! Outbound links are a great way to improve your SEO and provide value to your readers. Just be sure to use them sparingly in each piece of content and choose quality over quantity.

How can outbound links help my overall strategy?

Outbound links are a key part of any content strategy. They help improve your SEO, promote other content you’ve created, and provide value to your readers. 

How can I optimize my outbound linking strategy?

There are a few things you can do to optimize your outbound link strategy. First, be sure to use keyword-rich anchor text. This will help improve your SEO by telling Google what the link is about. Second, add outbound links sparingly. Too many outbound links can make your website look spammy. Finally, choose quality over quantity. It’s better to have a few high-quality outbound links than a large number of low-quality outbound links. 

Conclusion

Outbound links are an important part of any content strategy. They’re a tool that keeps your content sharp, supported, and relevant. Check out these tips if you want to enhance your link building strategy and start building up your brand authority.

I know marketers are busy and it may feel like there is never enough time, but these resources can help. If you’re not using outbound links, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to improve your SEO and provide value to your readers.

Do you click on outbound links when you read an article?

Consulting with Neil Patel

See How My Agency Can Drive More Traffic to Your Website

  • SEO - unlock more SEO traffic. See real results.
  • Content Marketing - our team creates epic content that will get shared, get links, and attract traffic.
  • Paid Media - effective paid strategies with clear ROI.

Book a Call

Share