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Industrial Web Design Practices – External Links

External LinksDo you have external links on your website?   Some sites are full of links to other sites.  Others use them sparingly.  I’m not a fan of external links on an industrial website. Let me explain.

Your Visitors

When a web visitor lands on your website, they are temporarily yours—all yours. You have a captive audience.  So, before you add an external link to another website, especially someone else’s, ask yourself this one question:
Is this link important enough that I’m willing to give my captive audience to another site?

 NO to External Links

Then provide the important information on your page so you can meet their needs.  Keep them on your site as long as possible.

YES to External Links

If the answer is YES and the external link is that important, then, by all means, go ahead and add it.  Your customers will appreciate that you provided them with a way to find what they need.  It is similar to a recommendation.
But follow a simple rule when creating the link.
Make sure you program the external link to open in a new window or tab when linking to a website other than your own.

Why?

This will make the browser open to a new tab and when they close the window they opened, they will not be closing your entire site.

Monthly Checks

If you do have external links it’s a good idea to do a once a month check and click on those links to make sure they still work. You may be a distributor for a certain product that one of your manufacturers sells.  Instead of linking to their home page, link directly to that specific product page. When the manufacturer updates their website they may change the domain extension for that product so the link you have on your website does not work.  Checking once per month helps to keep all links active.   Another option, you can use a plugin like Wordfence on the website that sends you an alert when you have a dead link.

52 Tips To Turn Your Website Into A Sales MachineWant More Tips

I cover these tips and more in my book, 52 Tips To Turn Your Website Into a Sales Machine.  Scroll to the bottom of the screen to order.