What is External Linking? Do you often find yourself puzzled about how to improve your website’s search engine rankings? You’re not alone. In fact, studies show that 91% of web content gets zero organic traffic from Google.

This post dives into one powerful and commonly overlooked strategy – External Linking. Buckle in as we unearth the secrets behind successful external linking strategies for SEO success!

Key Takeaways

  • External linking is a powerful and often overlooked strategy for improving SEO rankings.
  • Benefits of external linking include improved credibility, higher search engine rankings, and increased backlinks.
  • Best practices for external linking include using relevant anchor text, linking to reputable sources, opening links in a new tab, checking links before adding them, adding relevant links to your content, and avoiding linking to competing websites.
  • Conducting regular link audits is essential for maintaining the effectiveness of your external linking strategy.
External Linking SEO

The Benefits of External Linking for SEO

External linking offers several key benefits for SEO, including improved credibility, higher search engine rankings, and increased backlinks.

Improved credibility

As an adept SEO copywriter, I can affirm that external linking is a powerful tool in the arsenal of any successful business owner or marketer. Establishing high-quality outbound links to authoritative websites significantly enhances the credibility of your site.

Search engines like Google view these connections as endorsements, signaling that your content provides value and is trustworthy. By incorporating this strategy into your SEO playbook, you’ll also increase visitors’ trust in your brand as they see you’re associated with industry leaders and reputable sources.

It’s a win-win situation – amplified credibility both for search engine algorithms and your audience.

Higher search engine rankings

One of the key benefits of external linking for SEO is that it can lead to higher search engine rankings. When you have relevant and high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites, search engines view your website as credible and trustworthy.

This, in turn, increases your visibility in search results and improves your chances of ranking higher.

By strategically incorporating external links into your content, you signal to search engines that your website is a valuable resource within your industry or niche. This helps search engines understand the relevance and importance of your content, which can ultimately boost your rankings.

To optimize this strategy, focus on using anchor text that includes relevant keywords related to the linked page or topic. This helps both users and search engines understand what they can expect by clicking on the link.

Additionally, make sure the links are pointing to reputable sources that provide value to your readers.

Increased backlinks

One of the major benefits of external linking for SEO is the opportunity to increase your backlinks. Backlinks are essentially links from other websites that point back to your own site.

When search engines see that many authoritative and relevant websites are linking to your content, they view it as a positive signal of trust and credibility. This can greatly enhance your website’s visibility in search engine rankings, making it more likely to appear on the first page of search results.

By strategically incorporating external links into your content, you can attract more high-quality backlinks and improve your overall SEO performance. So be sure to leverage this strategy effectively by linking to reputable sources within your industry or niche, using relevant keywords as anchor text, and avoiding any link schemes or practices that violate Google’s guidelines.

External Linking Best Practice

External Linking Best Practices

When implementing external linking for SEO, it is crucial to follow these best practices: use relevant anchor text, link to reputable sources, open external links in a new tab, check links before adding them, add links that are relevant to your content, and avoid linking to competing websites.

Use relevant anchor text

One crucial aspect of effective external linking for SEO success is using relevant anchor text. Anchor text refers to clickable words or phrases that are hyperlinked to another webpage.

When selecting anchor text, it’s essential to choose keywords or phrases that accurately describe the content of the linked page and provide context for both search engines and users.

By using relevant anchor text, you can signal to search engines what your linked page is about, helping them understand its relevance and potentially boosting your rankings in search results.

Additionally, relevant anchor text also improves user experience by providing clear expectations about the content they will find upon clicking.

To optimize your use of anchor text, consider incorporating important keywords that align with your overall SEO strategy. However, be cautious not to overdo it with exact match keyword anchors as this can be seen as spammy by search engines.

Aim for a balance between keyword optimization and natural-sounding language.

Link to reputable sources

One effective strategy for external linking is to link to reputable sources. When you include links to well-known and authoritative websites in your content, it not only adds credibility to your own website but also signals to search engines that you are providing valuable information.

By associating yourself with trustworthy sources, you increase the likelihood of being seen as a reliable and reputable source yourself. This can help improve your website’s search engine rankings and ultimately drive more organic traffic.

Remember, when selecting which sources to link to, choose those that are relevant to your content and have a strong reputation in their respective industries.

Open external links in a new tab

As a business owner/marketer, it’s essential to understand the significance of opening external links in a new tab for your website’s SEO success. When you open external links in a new tab, you ensure that users can easily navigate back to your site without losing their place.

This improves user experience and reduces bounce rates, which are crucial factors for search engine rankings. By keeping users on your site while also providing valuable external resources, you enhance credibility and increase the likelihood of them staying longer on your page.

So remember, always open external links in a new tab to optimize SEO and improve user engagement.

Check links before adding them

Before adding any external links to your content, it is crucial to perform a thorough check to ensure their reliability and relevance. By taking the time to verify the quality of these links, you can protect your website’s credibility and enhance its SEO performance. Here are some key reasons why you should make it a habit to check links before adding them:

  1. Maintain link quality: When linking to external sources, it is essential to ensure that the websites you’re linking to are reliable and trustworthy. By checking the links beforehand, you can avoid associating your brand with low-quality or spammy sites.
  2. Enhance user experience: Broken or redirecting links can frustrate your audience and negatively impact their browsing experience on your website. By checking for broken links or URL redirects, you can provide a seamless user experience and keep visitors engaged.
  3. Optimize keyword relevance: When verifying external links, pay attention to the anchor text used by those websites. Ensure that the anchor text aligns with the keywords in your content to enhance its relevance for search engines.
  4. Stay up-to-date: Websites may change their content or delete pages over time, leading to broken links on your site if they aren’t regularly checked. By performing regular link checks, you can identify any outdated or broken links and update them accordingly.
  5. Avoid penalties from search engines: Search engines like Google penalize websites with excessively broken or irrelevant outbound links. By taking the time to check each link before adding it, you can help maintain a healthy link profile and avoid potential penalties.

Add links that are relevant to your content

One crucial aspect of external linking for SEO success is to add links that are relevant to your content. This means including links that provide additional value and information related to the topic you are discussing.

By incorporating these relevant links, you not only enhance the user experience but also signal to search engines that your content is comprehensive and authoritative. When selecting external links, consider websites with high-quality and trustworthy information in your industry or niche.

This will further boost the credibility of your own content while providing valuable resources for your audience. Remember, relevance is key when it comes to effective external linking strategies for improved SEO performance.

Avoid linking to competing websites

I always advise businesses to be cautious when it comes to linking to competing websites. While external links are a great way to improve your SEO, linking directly to your competitors can potentially harm your own rankings.

By sending traffic and link juice their way, you’re essentially boosting their visibility in search results. Instead, focus on linking to reputable sources that add value and credibility to your content without diverting attention away from your own website.

This strategy not only keeps visitors engaged on your site but also helps establish yourself as an authoritative source of information within your industry.

External Linking Audit

Conducting a Link Audit

As a business owner or marketer, it’s crucial to regularly conduct a link audit to ensure the health and effectiveness of your external links. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Analyze your existing external links using tools like Google Search Console or Moz’s Link Explorer. Look for any broken or dead links that need to be fixed or removed.
  2. Evaluate the quality of your backlinks by checking domain authority, relevance, and credibility. Remove any low-quality links that could negatively impact your SEO efforts.
  3. Check the anchor text used in your external links. Make sure it is descriptive and relevant to the destination page, as this helps search engines understand the context and improves keyword optimization.
  4. Assess the relevance of the websites you are linking to. Ensure they are reputable sources that align with your industry or topic.
  5. Review how many outbound links you have on each page and avoid overwhelming visitors with excessive linking. Keep it focused and purposeful, only including links that enhance the user experience.
  6. Look out for any link schemes or practices that violate search engine guidelines, such as buying or exchanging backlinks, cloaking, or using hidden text.
  7. Regularly monitor and update your link profile to maintain a healthy backlink profile over time.

Building a Successful External Linking Strategy

To build a successful external linking strategy, it is crucial to link to relevant sources and authoritative websites, optimize anchor text for search engine visibility, avoid participating in link schemes or practices such as cloaking, regularly conduct an audit of your site’s external links using tools like Google Search Console or Moz’s Link Explorer, and share helpful links that add value to your content.

Link to relevant sources and authoritative websites

When creating external links for your website, it’s important to ensure that you are linking to relevant sources and authoritative websites. This not only helps to establish the credibility of your own content, but it also provides value to your readers by giving them access to additional high-quality information. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Choose sources that are directly related to the topic you’re discussing. Linking to irrelevant sources can confuse your audience and dilute the overall relevance of your content.
  • Look for authoritative websites within your industry or niche. These could be reputable news outlets, well-known experts, or respected organizations. By linking to these sources, you show that you have done a thorough research and provided valuable insights.
  • Avoid linking solely to popular websites without considering their relevance or authority. While high-traffic sites might seem attractive, if they do not offer valuable information related to your content, it’s better to skip them.
  • Keep an eye out for recently published studies, reports, or surveys from reputable institutions. These types of sources lend credibility to your own content and can help support any claims or arguments you make.
  • Remember that linking should add value for your readers. Make sure the linked content enhances their understanding of the topic or provides additional resources they might find useful.

Optimize anchor text

One crucial aspect of external linking in your SEO strategy is optimizing anchor text. Anchor text refers to clickable words or phrases that are hyperlinked to another webpage.

Optimizing anchor text involves choosing relevant keywords or phrases that accurately describe the linked content.

When it comes to optimizing anchor text, it’s important to choose keywords that are not only relevant to your own content but also align with the linked page’s topic. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about “tips for social media marketing,” you can have anchor text such as “social media marketing strategies” or “effective social media tips.” This helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your links, ultimately boosting your website’s visibility in search engine rankings.

Remember, when optimizing anchor text, avoid stuffing too many exact match keywords into every link as this can be perceived by search engines as spammy behavior. It’s best to aim for a natural flow of keywords within relevant and descriptive anchor text phrases.

Avoid link schemes

As a business owner or marketer, it’s essential to steer clear of link schemes when implementing your external linking strategy. Link schemes are tactics designed to manipulate search engine rankings by artificially inflating the number of backlinks to a website.

These can include buying or exchanging links, participating in link farms, or using automated programs to generate links. However, search engines like Google have become increasingly sophisticated at identifying and penalizing websites that engage in these practices.

Instead, focus on building high-quality backlinks through ethical means such as creating valuable content that naturally attracts links from reputable sources and authoritative websites within your industry.

Audit your site’s external links

Auditing your site’s external links is an essential step in optimizing your SEO strategy. It allows you to assess the quality of the links and ensure they are benefiting your website. Here’s how to audit your site’s external links:

  1. Review all external links: Take a thorough look at all the outbound links on your website. Use tools like Google Search Console or Moz’s Link Explorer to analyze the backlinks pointing to your site.
  2. Check for broken links: Broken or dead links can negatively impact your SEO efforts. Use online tools or plugins to identify any broken external links on your website. Replace them with active and relevant ones.
  3. Evaluate link relevance: Ensure that the external links you have included are relevant to your content and add value to the user experience. Make sure they complement the information provided on your webpage.
  4. Assess link authority: Linking to reputable and high-quality websites strengthens the credibility of your own site. Verify the authority of external sources by checking their domain authority scores using tools such as Moz’s Link Explorer.
  5. Optimize anchor text: Anchor text plays a crucial role in SEO as it provides context for both users and search engines about where the link leads. Use descriptive anchor text that accurately reflects the content on the linked page.
  6. Remove irrelevant or low-quality links: If you find any external links that are irrelevant, low-quality, or potentially harmful (e.g., spammy websites), remove them immediately as they can tarnish your website’s reputation.
  7. Consider link diversity: Aim for a diverse range of external domains linking to your website instead of relying heavily on a few sources. This helps search engines view your site as more authoritative and trustworthy.
  8. Pay attention to link placement: The position of external links within your content matters for user experience and SEO purposes. Ensure they are appropriately placed within relevant paragraphs and avoid cluttering.
  9. Regularly monitor and update: External link auditing should be an ongoing process. Continuously monitor and update your site’s external links to maintain their quality and relevance.

Share helpful links

I believe that sharing helpful links is an essential aspect of any successful external linking strategy. By providing your audience with valuable resources and information, you not only establish yourself as an authority in your industry but also enhance the user experience on your website.

When I share helpful links, I ensure they are relevant to the content at hand and come from reputable sources. This way, I can provide my readers with additional insights and perspectives while building trust and credibility for my own site.

Ultimately, sharing helpful links is a win-win situation for both my audience and my SEO efforts.


In conclusion, implementing effective external linking strategies is crucial for SEO success. By carefully selecting relevant anchor text, linking to reputable sources, and conducting regular link audits, businesses can improve their website’s credibility and search engine rankings.

Remember to avoid link schemes and prioritize quality over quantity in building backlinks. With a well-executed external linking strategy, businesses can maximize their SEO efforts and drive organic growth for their website.


1. What is the importance of external linking for SEO success?

External linking plays a crucial role in SEO success as it helps search engines understand the relevance and authority of your website by establishing connections with other trusted and relevant websites.

2. How can I find high-quality websites to link externally?

To find high-quality websites for external linking, you can conduct thorough research, look for reputable industry directories or associations, analyze competitor backlinks, utilize online tools such as Moz’s Link Explorer, or even reach out to influencers or experts in your field for potential collaborations.

3. Are there any best practices to follow when implementing external links on my website?

Yes, there are several best practices for implementing external links on your website. These include ensuring that the linked page is relevant and authoritative, using descriptive anchor text that accurately reflects the content being linked to, avoiding excessive linking (keep it natural), regularly checking and updating broken or outdated links, and monitoring the performance of your external links through analytics tools.

4. Should I prioritize quantity or quality when it comes to external linking?

While both quantity and quality are important factors in external linking strategies, prioritizing quality should be your main focus. It is better to have a few highly valuable and relevant backlinks from authoritative sources than numerous low-quality links that may harm your reputation with search engines. Quality links help establish credibility and improve rankings more effectively in the long run.


Steven Goh is a seasoned digital marketer dedicated to empowering businesses to thrive online. With years of experience, he shares valuable insights and practical guidance to help entrepreneurs achieve remarkable results. Join Steven on the journey to digital success and unlock your business's true potential.

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