Google Love Part 1: Importance of Outbound Links
During one of our recent Breakfast Blogging Club (BBC) meetings, I covered the basics on inserting links within your blog post. If you’re visiting for the 1st time, please excuse me if this post seems too basic for you. We try to be as inclusive as possible with our material, and we’re finding BBC members are at different places on the blogging learning curve – from beginners to intermediate; and they’re traveling at different speeds, too – from slow & steady to Mach 5 with their hair on fire!
Having said that…here we go.
An outbound link in a blog post usually looks like that blue, underlined word or phrase that takes you somewhere when you click on it. That “somewhere” can be another website, a relevant article, video, podcast, or another blog site, and even a specific blog post.
By creating a hyperlink within your post, you connect the reader to an additional source of information. You add value to their search for information and thereby enhance your credibility and expertise. You’re seen as a helpful resource. And that’s a good feeling, isn’t it?
4 Steps to Creating an Outbound Link
[These are based on WordPress, which is what we use for our Breakfast Blogging site. I have no idea how Blogger works, or TypePad, or any other blog platform. I’d be willing to guess that it’s similar. If you have something to add for those programs on outbound linking, then by all means, please comment and let us know – or reference your own favorite post on the topic.]
After writing your post and polishing it up, look for opportunities to link as I mentioned above. For example, back on January 13th, I wrote a post titled, “Starting the Breakfast Blogging Club.” I referenced a friend of mine who started blogging a few years ago. Wanting to share some Google Love, I created a link back to her blog. Here’s how I did it…
Step 1: While still in edit mode for my post, I found and highlighted the word or phrase that I wanted. (TIP: Don’t do a “click here.” There’s search optimization magic happening here and you don’t want to waste it.)
Step 2: Then I clicked on the link button up in the menu bar. It looks like a link in a chain, with a broken one next to it. It’s not active until words or phrases are highlighted.
Step 3: Fill out the Insert/Edit Link form that pops up. Here are the four fields defined.
Link URL – The Link URL is the web address of where you want to point to. I like to erase the pre-populated http:// in favor of a straight copy and paste of the exact URL I’m pointing to. To do this, I open up a new browser window and pull up the exact location of where I’m pointing to so I can copy the URL exactly.
Target – You want to choose “Open link in a new window.” This ensures that when someone clicks on the link, their browser opens a new window to pull it up. Otherwise it would send people off your site, and you don’t want that.
Title – This is what you see as you hover the mouse over the link. It can be the same name as the URL, or something else that describes the destination.
Class – I confess, I don’t really know what this is for, and haven’t experimented with it yet. I leave it alone and it doesn’t seem to hurt anything. If you know how to use this, then feel free to comment and let me know. I’m still learning, too.
Step 4: Click Insert.
That’s it. You’re done with the outbound link. Now be sure to click Save Draft or Update Post to save your work.
When you’re finished, be sure to go back to your blog post and test the link and make sure it works properly.
Did you know you can go back to previous posts you’ve done and add outbound links? Yep. So take this opportunity to go do that now. Share some Love.
Next up – Google Love Part 2: Importance of Inbound Links