Too often, site owners make the mistake of making changes and marketing decisions based on how they think search engines will react.
I’ve been guilty of this in the past. Almost everyone has.
When you put a link in an article, it shouldn’t be just because you read that Google rewards content that links out to authority sites. Instead, it should be because it adds value for your visitor.
If you include the right links, you can let users customize their own experience, which is always a positive thing.
There’s one more thing we need to talk about…
I’ll make this as simple as possible. Always link to the most valuable resource for your visitors, whether it’s on your site or someone else’s.
Note that other articles on your site often hold the most value if they are highly relevant because the reader is already familiar with your work and likes it enough to read the current article.
Internal links have the obvious benefit of increasing the number of pages a visitor will see on your site. A new site won’t have much valuable content to link to, but a site that’s been creating content for years will have tons of related content that can be linked to in each post.
External links, as I mentioned earlier, might help you appear more trusted to search engines. That’s a small potential benefit.
The real benefit is that if you link to a great resource, your visitor will associate that with you. This leads to more trust and more loyal readers. This is why it might not be the best strategy to link to the first resource you find on Google. Dig a bit deeper to find something really valuable.
Finally, remember that each separate link won’t be clicked very frequently (usually 1-10%). But all of those links add up. If you added 10 extra internal links to a post, you’ll likely get an extra 10-20% pageviews on average from a visitor.
That’s a big difference. Imagine going from your regular 10,000 page views per month to 11,000 or 12,000, just from one simple change?