What Is External Linking in Digital Marketing?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is External Linking?
External linking is a fundamental concept of the internet's hierarchical structure, where one web page links to another external website. These links are often referred to as 'external links' or 'outbound links' and play a significant role in sharing relevant information or resources with your audience. They are a key component of any digital marketing strategy due to their impact on SEO.
External links point from your website to a different domain. This is contrasted against internal links, which connect different pages within the same site. The quantity and quality of these external links can directly impact a site’s Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA), which are metrics used by search engines to determine site’s relevance and reliability.
High-quality external links can improve your site's visibility on search engines, such as Google, by signaling that your site is a trustworthy and relevant source of information, thus boosting your search engine rankings.
External Linking's Role in Digital Marketing
External linking can play a critical role in digital marketing by enhancing your website's SEO, fostering a sense of community, and establishing authority. Primarily, it allows you to pass 'link juice' or authority to other sites, indicating your website’s trustworthiness to search engines and improving your page ranking.
Furthermore, external linking helps create a web of relations with other businesses in your industry. When your content is linked to highly-reputed companies or sources, it can increase your site’s credibility in front of both users and search engines. This helps in managing a positive online reputation and brand awareness.
Also, external linking can benefit your user experience. By providing additional resources to your audience, you can enrich their browsing experience and boost their engagement, leading to increased dwell time, reduced bounce rate, and potentially, more conversions.
External Linking Examples
Effective external linking can be observed in various forms within the digital marketing landscape. One common example would be blogging. Bloggers frequently link to credible sources or studies to support their points, providing useful information while enhancing their content's credibility.
E-commerce sites often use external links to direct users to product manufacturers or certification organizations. This can bolster trust among customers and increase the likelihood of purchases. Similarly, news sites make use of external links to cite original sources, adding authenticity to their articles.
Moreover, educational websites frequently use outbound links to provide reference materials or additional resources. By doing this, they offer more value to their users, improving the dwell time on their site, thereby positively impacting their SEO efforts.