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A Guide to Internal and External Links

When you use links on your website, you improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) and elevate the overall quality of your content. However, to get the best results, you should know the difference between internal and external links. This article covers this difference, as well as best practices for using both.

What are Internal and External Links?

Internal and external links look identical in your website content. The difference is that an internal link is a hyperlink that takes the reader to another page on your website. An external link takes them to an external website.

There are also backlinks. These are links from other websites back to pages on your website.

All About Internal Links

When you post an internal link on a web page, that encourages visitors to stay on your site longer. Visitors will also engage with more pages during a visit than they might have otherwise. This design can lead to improved SEO. More importantly, when you link to relevant internal links, you improve the user experience.

When to Use Internal Links

There are several situations in which you can improve content with internal links. One of the most common uses is to link to a relevant product or service page when you mention it in your content.

You may also link to blog posts or other pages on your site that cover similar topics. It’s also helpful to provide internal links to tools, help text, and additional useful information.

All About External Links

When you use external links, you can improve user experience as well as site authority. However, the key to this is to link only to high authority websites. That means avoiding sites that are spammy, have questionable credentials, or are focused on selling products or services. It also helps to link to popular pages.

When to Use External Links

One of the best ways to use external links is to add proof or authority to claims you make on your site. For example, you might quote a statistic from an academic study and provide a link to that study on your website.

You can also link to case studies, in-depth explanations, tools, or any other content you think might improve the reader’s understanding and engagement.

Don’t External Links Encourage People to Leave My Site?

Yes, but don’t let that stop you from using them. First, you can take steps to ensure that links open in a new tab. This approach lets users view new information while still staying on your page. Also, remember that Google doesn’t penalize you for external links as long as they are relevant. Overall, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

Technical Considerations

There are some technical things to keep in mind when you use links. For example, you can choose to use NoFollow or DoFollow links. This distinction doesn’t impact the links on your page, but it does impact whether the site you link to gets an SEO benefit.

You should also take steps to track the internal and external links you use. When a web page is moved or deleted, you could end up with a broken link on your web page. Fortunately, there are tools that help you track and repair broken links.

Are you interested in using links to improve your content and user experience? We’d love to help. Contact Net Profit Marketing for more information.

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