How link checkers can help your SEO efforts
The objective of SEO strategies is to increase your website’s visibility to search engines. Among the strategies employed by SEO experts and content marketers is to use outbound links. But if those links are broken, or direct the visitor to an irrelevant page, the SEO value is destroyed. In fact, poor outbound links can have an adverse effect on your search engine ranking. And as the internet (and the pages on it) is a moving beast, good SEO policies include checking outbound links.
In this article, you’ll learn the five best outbound link checkers to use to ensure your outbound links aren’t damaging your page rankings.
Why do you need outbound links?
Studies have shown that outbound links have a positive effect on a webpage’s search rankings. For example, marketing firm Reboot conducted a study in 2016 to test the hypotheses that Google’s search algorithms use outbound links to determine the authority of a web page.
In its study, Reboot created 10 new websites. Each targeted the same keyword, but half included outbound links to high-quality sources. Each site that contained those outbound links ranked higher than the sites without those links.
What is important when creating outbound links?
While outbound links are important, they must achieve two things:
- First, they must link to authority pages.
- Second, the link must take the visitor to a page that increases their experience. In other words, the linked page must be relevant to the reader (and not simply the headline).
Why do you need to check outbound links?
Web content is constantly changing. Its like a beast that morphs every second of every day. Companies update their webpages every day, and sometimes several times a day. The only way to ensure that your external links remain a positive factor for your ranking is to ensure that your outbound links continue to hit this moving target. This means checking them regularly.
How can you check your outbound links?
For very small websites, it is possible to check links manually. Simply open the page, and click on the outbound links. If they direct you to the intended page, then the link is good. You should also check that the page is still relevant, and that its content hasn’t changed. The larger your website, and the more content pages you add (for example, blogs), the more difficult and time-consuming this process becomes.
Fortunately, there are outbound link checkers that do this checking for you. Here are five of the best available (in no particular order!):
1. Google Webmaster Tools
When you run your website through Google’s Webmaster Tool, its analytics test your site’s outbound links. You’ll need a Google account to run the analysis, which tells you of broken links, and describes issues encountered by your links.
2. The W3C Link Checker
This tool alerts you to issues with outbound links, and provides suggestions on the actions needed to correct those links that are no longer working as intended. A word of warning when using this tool: set parameters, or else it will keep working, digging deep into your website.
3. Link Sleuth, from Xenu
Simply enter your website’s URL, and let Link Sleuth scan your website for broken links. It also checks images, scripts, and backgrounds. In addition, Link Sleuth will check for duplicate content, missing alt text, site structure, etc. All in all, a great analytical tool.
4. SEOChat’s Site Link Analyzer
The Site Link Analyzer from SEOChat checks internal and outbound links, showing anchor text and no-follow details.
DeepCrawl does what its name says, delving deep into your website and checking its SEO attributes, including outbound links. It helps you check and remove links to malware infected sites, fix broken links, and remove unnecessary redirections. It also provides status reports on the relevance of outbound links, allowing you to adjust your linking strategy accordingly.
Outbound link tips you must follow!
Outbound links should increase your site visibility, and help your website’s ranking on search engines. But broken and irrelevant links can quickly harm your ranking, make visitors’ experiences poor, and destroy all the hard work you’ve put into your content creation. When using outbound links, remember these four tips:
- Never rely on the headline as being evidence of page content. Read the page you are linking to, and ensure that information will add value to your visitors.
- Ensure that the linked page adds something to your content, and is something that visitors will want to read.
- Avoid keyword stuffing on anchor text. Google is penalising keyword stuffers, and instead examining context and content.
- Always set links to open in a new window. This mean that your website visitors will remain on your site longer.
Our services take a website from cradle to grave, from initial design to content creation and marketing, and ensuring that it remains relevant and highly rated by search engines for its targeted keywords.
To discover how our services can help your website grow your authority and customer base, contact SSI Design today.