Stuffing your posts full of links is a good thing! The Internet is founded on linked content and your site should be no different. People like clicking through links and the more you have to great resources that are relevant to your readership then the more they will like your site.
This article discusses the pros and cons of having new pages open in a new window or in the current window.
New Page vs Same Page – What’s the Difference?
So what are we talking about here exactly?
- Opening in a new page means that when a reader clicks on one of your external links a new browser window opens up and the page can be seen in this new window. The existing page is still open in the original browser window. On a modern browser this normally means the page will open in a new tab.
- Alternatively you might want your links to open up on the same page, this means your site’s page will be replaced by the page your link leads to.
Why Should You Care?
As always there are two sides to every argument. You might want your blogs external links to open up in a new window because this means your site’s page is still open and hopefully they will come back to your site. You might be concerned that the site’s you link to are much better than your own and so once the visitor leaves – they won’t come back!
Well, if your site is good enough and interesting enough then hopefully they won’t forget it instantly. If they do navigate straight off somewhere else then this is a sign your site isn’t really up to scratch and to be honest it won’t really matter what choice you make. Visitors won’t keep coming back to a rubbish site no matter what tricks you use.
Should I Have External Links Opening in the Same Window?
I would say yes it is better to have these external sites open in the current browsing window – and you’ll notice that this is how it works here at Blogercise. Yes, there is a danger you might lose the reader to another site but here are some reasons why I think it is worth this risk:
- Your readers know how to work a browser. Browsers have had a back button since day one and we all know what to do if we want to go back to a site we were just on. We could even look in our browser’s history if we got too lost. Readers expect links to work in a particular way and if you keep forcing new windows on them you’ll just annoy them until they never come back.
- Give your readers the choice. Most modern mouse have a 3rd button (normally if you press the wheel) which will open the link in a new window if they chose. They can also right click and “open in new tab” if they wish. Let them have the choice – user experience should come first.
- Trust in your content. If your site is genuinely useful, and if you practise good Blogercise then it will be, then engaged readers will want to come back to your site. Make sure you have mechanisms in place to “capture” the customer – an email list, RSS feed, or Social network.
- Look at your site goals. Often your goal will actually be to get people onto your site and off to another one as quickly as possible. This funnelling of traffic is usually where bloggers make their money.
My sites always open links in the current window.