When you surf the Internet, you always use links to go from one website to another. However, when you are on a website.
How can you tell if a link is external or internal?
In this article, you will learn about external links, as well as how to add an external link icon on your WordPress site, so your own visitors will be able to know where they are going.
An external link is a hyperlink on your website that directs the visitor to another website. It is the opposite of an internal link, which is when you link from one page on your website to another page on the same site.
Both external and internal links are good for your site, in terms of search engine optimization.
External links have two purposes:
You can use external links to your affiliate marketing programs, or simply to refer to related content.
When you link to other websites, especially if there is data you need to back up, you are validating that information. Just make sure the sites you link to externally are reputable and trustworthy.
When you link to other trusted websites, you show others that you are a person of integrity and worth their time, whether it’s reading your articles, sharing your posts, subscribing to your newsletter, or buying your products or services.
An external link icon is a type of small image that can be placed next to a link to an external site. To the visitor, when they see the icon, they will recognize that the link goes to an external website.
A great example of the external link icon is its use on Wikipedia. The screenshot in this article comes from the References area of the WordPress Wikipedia page. Each of those links directs to a website other than Wikipedia.
When you add an external link icon on your WordPress site, it’s not about website conversion, it’s about web accessibility.
This is a smart way for your visitors not to encounter something unexpected, such as being sent away from your website without a warning. It also allows your visitors the choice of whether they can leave or stay on your website, or if they have to use their device in a way to open the link in a new window, without losing the page they are currently reading.
Go to the Plugins section and click the Add New button. Look for External Links. You will want to choose the first option. Although it says “External Links”, it is WP External Links.
Although there are other settings, these are the most important ones for external links:
Open external links
In the Open external links settings, you can choose whether you want to allow visitors to leave the site or have the link open in a new window. Although the plugin offers some additional options, it’s best to choose to have it open in the same window or open in a new window. However, with web accessibility, if you are concerned about that, it is best to select the option to open the link in the same window, which means your visitor will leave your website.
Set follow or nofollow
The WP External Links plugin allows you to set your links to follow or nofollow. A nofollow link is labeled with rel=”nofollow” and does not result in any link juice from Google. It is not necessarily bad to use a nofollow link, and you don’t have to add it to all external links. However, in some cases, such as link ads on your site, you may want to add a nofollow tag.
Also add the rel attribute
A rel attribute shows the relationship of the link to your site. For example, if you have any sponsored links, you would add a rel=”sponsored” to your links. WP External Links gives you a few rel attribute options to choose from.
With the WP External Links plugin, you can choose to display an icon from Font Awesome, Dashicons, or a normal external link image (the square with an arrow pointing to the top right). With Font Awesome and Dashicons, you can choose different types of icons, but it is important to note that you should try to choose one that is relevant to the link, and not confuse your visitors. In addition to being able to choose the icon, you can choose which side of the link it will be on, whether on the left or on the right.
The WP External Links plugin has other options for internal links, and even has options to exclude any links that you don’t want to display the icon.
Whether or not adding an external link icon on your WordPress site, right next to all your links that direct users away from your site, is a great option to consider. Your visitors will appreciate you more for it, if you decide to implement the external link icon.
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