Many SEO professionals have asked me – is outbound linking well for SEO? Well, there is an ongoing debate about how you should do external linking on your website. A lot of people wonder if external linking hurts the SEO of their website. This week, I am going to help you understand if external linking is good for SEO or not.
Before we go into detail, we will see if external linking has any effect on SEO.
Does Outbound linking affect SEO?
outbound linking is one of those SEO protocols that often raise objections from clients. We see a lot of people mentioning their brand in your article. Some people think it is legitimate while some people cast a little bit of doubt whether it is legitimate or not. There is a great correlation between external links and ranking. Based on SEOmoz’s SEO ranking factor 2011, there was a 0.04 correlation between the number of external links on the page and rankings.
If we take aggregate with all the ranking factors, we will find that more links on the page are not really going to help you with ranking. But, when we consider it along with other SEO factors such as – high-quality content, inbound links, natural link profiles, strong SEO based markup, etc – external links don’t affect search engine rankings negatively.
As an SEO expert, one of my tasks is to look at which sites rank well for both long tail and short keywords, attempting to find recurring elements on the site. Doing such tasks not only gives you a good idea of SEO techniques used by popular sites but helps you put together the most beneficial ranking elements.
You will get an idea of — what it takes to get your own sites rank strongly by looking at the external linking policies of some of the popular sites online. Most of the reputed sites that tend to link out in the body of articles and rank well show that external links don’t negatively affect the ranking of your website.
However, this is not the most compelling argument that external linking is good for SEO. Though your site ranks well and has external links, we cannot say that external links don’t hurt your ranking. It could be possible that external linking was indeed a negative factor, but the weight of other SEO factors are causing the site to rank.
How many outbound links can I use?
You are linking to relevant and quality content by using the external link on your website. If you are using do-follow links to low quality hosting sites that host malware or sell counterfeit products, you can assume that it will have a negative impact on your website ranking.
On the contrary, when you look at outbound links from authoritative websites —- you will find a common theme — where they are linking to informative and high-quality content. This is, in fact, helping the users by expanding the area of discussion. This means, the links that come from authoritative or reputed pages are useful — and are not meant just to push you to buy a product or bolster another pages’ ranking for a specific term.
Another important thing you should know about external links is the number of outbound links. They should never be overwhelming than any given piece of content on a high-quality site. The text should not be stuffed with plenty of outbound links. They should be placed in a limited number at relevant places, resulting in a successful outbound linking.
From the above points, what we can say that external links should be made an element of your on-site content production. However, your users are interested in checking the details if it is relevant and adds value to the user. External linking should not be adopted just because it will help with ranking, but it should be adopted in a fair way so that it doesn’t hurt your ranking. External linking adds a lot of value to your content and should not be overlooked.
Despite the potential benefits it can bring, it is ignored by many people in the community. External links can bring additional traffic to your website and increase brand awareness. If you have got a website with less traffic and you wish to drive huge traffic to your website — placing external links in the content will likely send extra traffic to additional sources. As a result of which, you will be shown up in their analytics as referring site — increasing your brand awareness.
There is another really potential benefit of external linking. External linking helps webmasters track and see who is linking to them and how much traffic they get. By linking to other people’s sites, you increase the chances of linking them back to yours. A lot of SEOs does it and found it to be a good strategy. Before you vomit a bunch of external links, you should pay attention to the linking opportunities. You cannot execute an external linking strategy effectively without having a smart content marketing strategy. So, have a well-planned SEO and content marketing strategy.
What about do-follow and no-follow external links?
Many people have come to me with the doubt – whether they should add a no-follow attribute to external links or not. Well, if you are placing an external link to additional content on your site, it should be a do-follow link. Nofollow links are meant for those sites that you don’t trust. Hence, it should not be applied to external links in your content. Else, search engines won’t trust your site.
Hopefully, I gave a clear answer to the question “Is outbound linking well for SEO?” whatever is the reason behind using external links; you should make sure that they add something valuable to your content. External links should be used in such a way that they leave a positive impact, especially when it comes to traffic.
My only suggestion is – the quality of external links is much important than quantity. If you think you would enjoy having a cup of coffee with a blog or site owner, then it is ‘OK’ to link to that site.
Feel free to leave your comments about this post!
About The Author:
Akash Srivastava is an SEO Consultant. He helps people create or revise their SEO plan, implement it and monitors results. He regularly writes about SEO. He has been in this since 2011. He reads books in his spare time. You can hire him for the consultation only or to do everything.
SEO is a fundamental skill in a digital marketing expert’s arsenal. It might not be crucial to know the more technical aspects, but a good understanding should be imperative. Optimizing a website for organic search shouldn’t just be the responsibility of one or two people; anyone that contributes content should have input and responsibility for SEO. Given the importance of online visibility, working knowledge of SEO is becoming increasingly important. Many businesses that don’t have the resources in-house choose to outsource their SEO to a digital marketing agency that offers search engine marketing as part of their services. However, larger businesses are more likely to hire somebody in-house who comes with an arsenal of digital marketing knowledge, including SEO. If you consider yourselves as a beginner and have been meaning to learn the fundamentals of on-page SEO, then this article is a good place to start your journey.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of optimizing a website, and its content so it can be easily found and indexed by search engines. Using this indexed content means the search engines can provide users with the most relevant websites when they make search queries. Ideally, if a website or single webpage has good enough SEO, then it will rank top in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for the searches that it’s most relevant to.
How to Make Your Website More Visible in Search Engines
The following on-page SEO techniques can help make your website more accessible to search engines and help it rank higher in the SERPs. On-page SEO is the optimization you can control to make your website more visible to search engines.
Those are conflicting opinions when it comes to what the optimal headline length is for SEO. The best thing to do when it comes to writing headlines is to keep them concise so they can grab users’ attention. There is an often-cited rule that dictates that your headlines shouldn’t be longer than 65 characters which are about the length of a headline that Google will feature on the SERPs. But, this also includes your company or website’s name, so if you want your brand to appear after the headline, then you need to write something a little shorter than 65 characters.
Anchor text refers to the text where you add an internal or external link to a piece of content. Adding descriptive anchor text helps search engines to better understand the context of a webpage’s content. It’s also really helpful for users. Some SEO professionals advise varying anchor text wording as many pages linking to a single page using the same anchor might be regarded as suspicious by the search engines.
An XML sitemap is a document that is hosted on your website’s server that lists every page. It’s a way for business owners and marketers to let the search engines know when new pages have been added, or existing content has been updated. This is really helpful if your website consists of pages that aren’t found easily by search engines. If you have a WordPress website, then you don’t have to do a thing as the CMS automatically generates the XML sitemap and submits it to search engines on your behalf.
Linking to internal on your own website is a brilliant way of indicating that your website has value to the search engines and helps you to rank for certain keywords. However, trying to avoid using too much internal linking as readers will presume that your content is just a link building exercise, and this will reduce trust.
User-friendly navigation is all about creating a naturally flowing website. Make it easy for users to move around your website so they can easily navigate back and forth. When a visitor arrives on your website, you want them to work out how to navigate it quickly. The navigation of your website explains who you are and helps guide visitors through the journey you want them to make. Your top-level pages should provide high-level information. As they go through the journey and deeper into the structure of your website, the information should become more specific.
Prevent and remove spam from the comments sections of your website. It’s still extremely common for people to fill these sections with content that contains spam that links back to irrelevant websites. One thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to set the links in your comment sections to “no follow” so that search engines ignore the links.
About The Author:
Lloyd Parkinson is a Content Marketing Executive at Revive.Digital. Lloyd has experience writing content for the purpose of marketing on behalf of B2B and B2C organizations ranging from legal services, insurance brokers, financial services, all the way to the music and entertainment industry. He conducts research and writes about an extensive number of topics. Lloyd aims to educate his readers through his creative writing by providing them with informative and valuable content. He seeks to simplify complex topics for general readers as well as writing technical content for the well informed.
For a business to stand out on the online platform, proper website optimization is of utmost importance. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you with this task. However, proper implementation of SEO techniques is essential for it to make an impact.
Comprising of on-page and off-page SEO factors, SEO can help you to improve your site’s overall performance and functionality. It can help improve your brand’s visibility leading to more organic traffic. More importantly, it can help your site to rank on the top for targeted keywords, which can help boosts your site’s conversion.
If you are new to the SEO world, then it is important to know which SEO factors you need to avoid, as redundant SEO techniques can do more harm than good. Thus, listed below are a few SEO mistakes that you need to steer clear from.
✔ Keyword Stuffing: This black-hat SEO method refers to stuffing your web pages or blog posts with target keywords that is more often than not out of context. This leads to poor user experience, and in the long run, can get your site penalized by Google.
✔ No ALT Tag for Images: Also known as ‘alt description,’ ALT tags are used for images as a text alternative for search engines. Since search engine robots can’t interpret images, they are not able to index them, which affects your site traffic. Thus, if you want search engines to better crawl and index your website, then make sure to add ALT tags for all images.
✔ Boring Content: Be it any online marketing campaign (SEO, social media or PPC), content plays an important role. If your site’s content is not interesting or relevant, it will lead to a higher bounce rate. As such, to improve customer engagement and reduce bounce rate, writing high-quality and interesting content is essential. Also, update your site’s older content for better traction.
✔ Website Not Responsive: According to the recent Google update, it is mandatory for all websites to be mobile-friendly. With the rise in the number of smartphone users, Google wants websites to offer superior browsing experience to all users, irrespective of the device being used. Thus, if your site is not responsive, you are not only losing potential customers but it also negatively impacts your site’s ranking on SERPs.
✔ Web Browser Testing: Likewise web-browser testing is also important. Since different users use different browsers to surf the internet, by checking your site’s compatibility with browsers, you are ensuring your site is easily accessible to all, and at all times.
SEO can make or break your website. It is for this reason, implementing the best SEO practices is important. Thus, check out the infographic below to know what are the top SEO mistakes you need to fix right away. Plus, for more information on how to fix these mistakes effectively, you can read this entire guide.
Take a look!
25+ Common SEO Mistakes That Are Killing Your Website[Infographic] by the team at HostingClues
Viewers showing interest in your services are the potential buyers. These people have provided some contact information to the company to be reached out for getting more details about the offerings. Such potential customers are also known as business leads.
The leads are a crucial asset for sales. Through the correct marketing strategy, you can convert leads into buyers. If you have a sales team, passing the information of these potential customers to them is another option.
The process of collecting such leads is called Lead Generation. You can see this as a method to assemble important information about your future consumers. It will let you know:
The interests of your target audience
Products you can sell to them
Ways to turn them into end-users
With the changes in the marketing techniques, it is now possible to make use of social media sites to generate leads effectively. If done correctly, it will actually give low-cost, and more fruitful results than cold-calling or plain emailing.
According to Hubspot, 9 out of 10 decision-makers simply do not respond to cold-calls anymore. Whereas more than half of the number of marketers stated by spending as little as 6 hours per week for social media marketing gave them better results than other marketing methods.
This article will help you learn to get leads with social media marketing.
4 methods to get leads from social channels
#1. Limited access to useful content
This is one of the most effective methods of lead generation. Sharing gated content on social media means providing links to picture, videos, blogs or other kinds of information with limited access.
To uncover the hidden information, the viewers are asked to provide certain personal details. These can include a contact number, email id, occupation, educational information, age, etc. If the information you are offering is of value to the audience, they would not mind sharing such details in exchange for access.
As you can see, the site is asking for an email id to send the free report. This is a very subtle way to ask for an email id that the viewers would not have provided otherwise.
Similarly, different approaches can be adopted to get a hold of the details you need to take a step forward in lead generation.
But be sure that you be specific and ask for only the information that will benefit your sales team. Moreover, take care that this content is targeted to only your target audience. Or you will end up with piles of information that is not usable.
You will waste time in sorting out the useless information later.
So, choose the audience before you market the gated content.
#2. Conduct Contests
In recent times, various brands are relying on contests to better sell their products, make themselves recognizable and earn trust and credibility among customers. Most of these contests are carried out on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Among several advantages of social media contests including increasing followers, brand awareness, building trust, and attracting new buyers the last is an important one.
With the help of this tool, gathering information will be hassle-free. In addition to this, promoting new products can be done too.
For the contest to get you more sales lead you must take care that the prizes are relevant to your niche. If you are a digital marketing agency, you can reward the winners by giving them free service for the first month or a discount for your service.
However, if you offer physical products, the winners can be prized with your product or a discount coupon for your products. It is up to you to decide. But avoid giving away a generic prize that your company doesn’t offer.
This contest on Myntra that rewarded the winners with Nike goodies for the best sports story is an apt illustration for product-specific contests. Myntra is an online fashion brand selling apparel, shoes, and other wearable accessories this works best for targeting people looking for sportswear.
Remember that your end goal here is to get sales leads and not just brand awareness.
So, filter out the audience that is in need of your offerings. As they can be easily convinced to buy from you. Employ the most suitable competition from the various categories available.
In sweepstake competition, the contestants need to provide some details in exchange for the prizes that are randomly given away. It is a great tool in getting lead generation data for sales.
#3. Targeted ads on social media
Filtering the audience according to demographics is as important as the content of the post. This can help people to become aware of nearby shops or required services.
It is obvious that Indian buyers would not want to know about cake shops in America (it would be crazy to travel across the globe for a piece of cake!)
Targeting helps to advertise only to the most relevant audience based on location, age, gender, marital status, financial status, education, religion, and other such traits. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide customized targeting options to make your marketing more efficacious.
This is a targeted Facebook ad for a mobile application providing resources for the Islamic Rituals. Thus, countries with a majority of the Islamic population, and those with relevant interests in the above the age of 18 years have been set as a target audience. Also, users who have already liked the page have been excluded to avoid repetition of the same promotion.
By learning from this sample, you can filter the viewers for social media ads for your business. This will assure you a greater percentage of sales leads and lower bounce rates. (Bounce rate is when a potential customer visits your website but does not stay to check other pages or make a purchase).
#4. Social Listening
When you are active on social media, you will be constantly getting likes, comments, and shares on the posts. Monitoring this feedback along with mentions of your brand name, specific tags, and keywords are essential for social media marketing.
This activity of monitoring mentions of the brand-specific words on social networks is known as social listening. It helps you to analyze the results. Gain more insight into the posts that work best and create more opportunities for attracting fresh buyers.
Wisely quoted by Frank Tyger, “Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble”. It is always better to listen before you speak. Hence, social listening will help you in rectifying errors along with avoiding future mishaps.
You can alter your marketing plan or modify the products itself. Making the aim to be the most useful to the end-users. You can earn reliability and eventually become a favorite. Enabling you to enhance your profits. And increasing the footfalls without the expensive traditional marketing approaches.
48% of potential buyers make a purchase when the brands are responsive as per Sprout Social. So, it would be best if you can immediately respond to the comments on social media handles.
Tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and HubSpot can assist you in social listening.
In a nutshell, social media marketing is a productive way to amplify your business leads and get more profit. Not only more effective but social networking is also a pocket-friendly medium to earn fresh buyers.
Share with us some of your social media contests or other content that helped you in getting a high number of business leads.
Krunal Soni is the founder and CEO of Thrillax Private Limited, a digital marketing company. He holds expertise in diverse fields. His 15+ year spree in this field has earned him clients, and their faith in his tactics. His intelligent strategies have put Thrillax among the leaders of Digital Marketing as per the Clutch report of 2019. A systematic approach, transparent processes and friendly mentoring have allowed him to prioritize and manage a work-life balance.
Advertising has never proven to be a debt to a business unless performed in the right manner. In recent years, the only thing which changed is the medium of advertising. Social Media Marketing (SMM) has come out to be the most effective way of marketing not only because it is cost effective but it reaches more quality customers.
There’s no point that one considers other media over SMM. There are many social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and many more. Spending some quick bucks and inviting visitors to your site by placing ads can be very effective and boost the business in no time.
All you need is to place an ad that is creative enough to drive the visitor to your site at the moment he sees it. That is only you need to do, sit back and wait for your small business to transform into a big one.
Importance of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is very important and also a helpful aid for small businesses to let them survive in front of big brands and competitors, who captivate a hoard of customers.
Although there are plentiful advantages of SMM over any other media, still there are some which overrule it from other media.
1. Economical and Cost-effective marketing
SMM is not a free way of advertising your business but also not an expensive way too. Perhaps, it can save a lot of capital in this sector of marketing, which is the foremost demand in the initialization of a new and small business. Targeting at least two or more social media can also give you a remarkable profit in business. All it needs is a quality platform that can provide a great audience who can understand your business.
2. Create your Brand
After having a business setup, one of your first wishes would be to let people know about your business and the services offered by you. It not only creates awareness of your brand to people but also people belonging particular a particular area or of selective age, gender and some ads are filtered to the people having a selective area of interests too.
3. Keep an eye on your competitors
What can be better than a business which allows you to look over your competitor’s next step?
Looking at the work and the steps of your competitors are one of the important steps in business as it requires time and a brief concern over the scenario. There are some integration and tools which allow you to look over your competitor’s keywords and business. Which can be used to generalize strategies for future investments and planning.
4. Get more Website Traffic
It is obvious, that if you have a small business and willing to spread it you must have a great website. By placing ads on social media platforms and also on search engines can do your business to rise above the other businesses, Which will eventually get more traffic or potential customers to your website.
5. Build Relationships with the customer
Business is not only for making money, but it also refers to make along with good relationships and brand name. Maintaining a good relationship will also create a good brand name in front of customers.
A good relationship often requires the trust between the customer and the seller which requires time and also better door-to-door customer service provided to the customer which encourages him to transfer his experience with friends and acquaintances.
Whether a business is small or big, it is necessary to have a brisk consumer support facility along with cooperative staff to maintain good relations with the customer and also to work according to their feedback.
If you have a small business and want to expand your business in your area along with some observable profit, then Social Media Marketing can be a boon to your business. It is the most economical way of advertising your business over other media. Which in-turn saves money and can be used in another area of business.
Social Media Marketing not only attracts the quality of customers who are searching for a particular product to your website but also it helps your ranking above your competitors which is one of the beneficial features of these platforms provided to small at an initial phase of a business. Although, it can be utilized afterward as it is necessary at the early stages to make people know about the services provided by you.
Apart from huge profits, it also makes people aware of your brand and generates brand value. The name of a brand is also highlighted when a business maintains better relationships with its customers. It is very hard for a business to survive if there is communication between both parties.
About the Author:
Naveen is the marketing head at MightyThemes by profession and a blogger by passion. He loves to write about WordPress, Joomla, Digital Marketing and Blogging. Apart from this, in his spare time, he loves to play games, watch Netflix and do product research. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter.
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