How often do you click on a hyperlink? If you’re not familiar with the term, you probably already know what it is. Sometimes called a ‘live link’, hypertext, or a ‘hot link’, a hyperlink is word or phrase in online content that, when clicked, takes you to another web page with related content. They can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your content marketing.

Here are my top 5 reasons for including hyperlinks in your content.

1. Credibility
Think of it as a new age footnote, whenever you’re naming a source, citing a reference, or referring to another publication, a hyperlink lets you do it in the body of your content. It takes you out of the ‘they say’ mode and lets you explicitly show you’ve done your homework.

Example: A tough job market presents challenges to both skilled and unskilled workers.

2. Increases page views
By referencing other articles on your website or blog, a hyperlink has the ability to keep readers on your site for longer. Make no mistake, those “Related articles” notes at the bottom of every article are hyperlinked to another page on the same site. With Google taking note of page views, routing readers to another page is a smart idea.

Example: Read my post, Do-it-Yourself SEO, for more ideas on how to improve SEO.

3. Improves SEO
We hear a lot of talk about the importance of the coveted back link, when another site links to your website. Don’t discount the power of a forward link. When you link out to credible sources, Google takes note and rewards you for it.

Example: A recent article from the Content Marketing Institute contains more information on this topic.

4. Assists the Call to Action
When you add a hyperlink into your ‘call to action’ mix, the chances of a conversion improve. People are lazy creatures. Hyperlinking to your contact page, your subscription form or a landing page on your website nudges those prospects along the path of conversion.

Example: Subscribe here to have new posts from the Global Copywriting Blog delivered by email.

5. Usability
If you want something done, do it yourself, right? Apply that to hyperlinks. It’s so much easier for the reader to verify your reference material, find related content or answer a call to action when you’ve given them something to click on.

Example: Contact me if you have any questions.

The Take-Away
People like to ‘do’ things when they get to a site. Give them a hyperlink to click on and reap the benefits at the same time. It’s simple to add them with modern CMS editors. Regular use of hyperlinks will improve your SEO and make life easier for your readers.

When do you include hyperlinks in your content?

Image credit: Hyperlink by DAE-SoftChalk is Fun, on Flickr