This is a guest contribution from Adam Grunwerg.
The world of SEO and blogging is kind of limited in that most people will tell you the same things: “build high quality content and do personal outreach in order to receive natural authority backlinks”.
For example, this awesome resource from PointBlankSEO.com is genuinely one of the best articles and tools I’ve ever read for link building strategies in 2013. It offers hundreds of tips for building white hat links such as PR, competitions, tools, interviews and tests.
However, I still feel this misses the point.
It focuses entirely on link building tactics, rather than how you can increase the perceived value of your content to users – namely by linking away from your blog.
Why? Well here are 6 great reasons to link out.
1. Useful Resource for Readers
The best bloggers will routinely link out to content on a regular basis because it provides readers with more information about a particular subject. For instance, if someone is looking for charts or tools not hosted on your site then it makes sense to link out for your reader’s benefit.
You can even include a cloaked affiliate link if you’re interested in getting credit for the referral (although transparency about affiliate links is always recommended)
2. Creating a “Top List” of the Best Resources or Products
Creating lists such as “13 Tools and Services that I use Everyday” or the “Top 5 Affiliate Blogs” are extremely popular among readers. By linking out to the best resources, you can improve your relationships with other bloggers and websites. It’s a bit like re-tweeting some else’s status – it’s a way of supporting great content and becoming known to the author.
3. Give Credit to External Research and Statistics
Backing up your articles with research and statistics from external resources helps add credibility and value to your content. If you use someone else’s statistic or surveys in a piece then you should also ensure you quote or link to the original source.
Many bloggers and newspapers will routinely look to interview industry experts in order to get better insight and quotes for their story. If you want to add value to your website this way then you need to build some solid contacts, engage in B2B relationships and use PR enquiry services such as HARO and Response Source (both of these services are free to use).
5. Publish Charts, Infographics and Aggregate Data on your Site
Using visual chart and infographics can make it much easier to get a point across to your readers. If you publish someone else’s infographic, you should give credit to the original source as they’ve taken the time and cost to research, produce and distribute it.
6. Improving your SEO, Usability and Panda Score
The best websites will link out to high quality sources for their articles and it’s great for SEO and website rankings. While incoming links are more important (from a ranking point of view) outbound links, to valuable content, is good for your readers and that’s what gets rewarded long term. Too many blogs are scared of linking out in order to preserve their own Page Rank but they’re actually missing out on the other rewards.
Linking away from your blog can increase the value of your own content; help build real relationships with other bloggers; and in many cases it’s just the right thing to do (a bit like when you use someone else’s images).
If you’re scared of losing traffic to other websites through external links then you can always use the target=”_blank” HTML tag in order to force open the link in a new window, or you can use cloaked affiliate links to be compensated for the referral.
Now it’s over to you. How much link love do you send away from your blog?
Adam Grunwerg is an Internet marketing specialist who runs his own consultancy at http://www.searchable.co.uk. He writes extensively about marketing, PR, blogging and affiliate marketing.