We all know you need to have links to make your business website work the way it’s supposed to. But marketers often debate which links matter most, along with how they should be used.
Do you know which links in your business website are the most valuable? Let’s take a look at the biggest categories…
Business owners and digital marketing experts love inbound links (those pointed at your website from other websites) because they help with search visibility. The higher profile another page has, the better an incoming link from that page. And, not only do inbound links impress Google, but if they are coming from the right sources, they can actually direct targeted traffic to your page. Add it all together and you have a way to generate new sales opportunities.
Some marketers would say outbound links don’t have any value on your website. That’s not necessarily true. While you don’t necessarily need (or even want) to send visitors away from your website, there are times when it can help you to sell. For instance, if you are trying to highlight an independent site with verified third-party reviews, a link to positive media coverage about your business, or a study that backed up your claims, then a link might be helpful.
Embedded Internal Links
Internal contextual links take viewers from one part of your website to another. For instance, they may lead from one blog post to another that’s on a related topic, or to a piece of content (like a white paper) that goes deeper into a specific issue. These types of links are often underrated. On one hand, they can help make your site easier for search engines to read. And on the other, they help potential buyers to better understand your products and services before they come to a final decision.
Navigational links often fall into the background of a website, and don’t get a lot of thought or attention. However, it’s crucial that they be visible, clear, and easy to understand. When they have all of those qualities, it’s easy for someone to make their way from one section of your website to another. When they don’t, you’ll find that lots of users will become frustrated and leave your pages without ever converting into leads or customers.
The Bottom Line on Link Value
So, let’s get back to the question at hand: which types of links are most valuable on your business website? The answer, of course, is “all of them.” It’s all about context. You should always be looking for inbound links to boost your visibility. Once customers arrive on your website, you will rely on internal links—both embedded links and navigational prompts—to move through your content and see what makes your business special. And, you may even use the occasional outbound link to direct them towards a specific resource or piece of social proof.
To focus too narrowly on a specific type of link misses the magic that comes with having the right mix. So, if you want the best in usability, search engine visibility, and conversion rate optimization, use these link types appropriately when you design your website and put content together.
Looking to Navigate the Digital Marketing Maze?
The most common reason business owners fail to succeed in online marketing is they try to do everything alone. That spirit of self-reliance serves them well when they’re starting companies, but isn’t so great when trying to figure out the intricacies of web design, online security, search engine optimization, social media messaging, and content marketing.