There’s a definite user experience battle between people who think that websites should default to opening links in new tabs versus opening links in the same tab.
So what’s our stance? Learn what we think and why in this video from one of our founders, Erik Dietrich, below. Also, be sure to check out our Youtube Channel for more informative videos like this one.
This is a pretty straightforward topic, so let’s just get into it. Just to let you know, we’re talking about this in terms of having a blog and a site with WordPress as the CMS. Similar concepts probably apply if you have a different CMS though.
Why Does This Question Matter?
Why is this even a question in the first place? Why would you want to open external links or have your site open external links in another tab instead of just doing it in the same tab? Let’s break this down.
SEO Has Something to Do With This
The first reason is because of the user experience. If a reader is in the middle of your blog post, they probably don’t want to leave your page every time they click a link.
And this also plays into your SEO ranking. If someone is reading your post (and you’re opening links in the same tab), they’re going to stay on your page until they get as far as the first link. As a result, they won’t get as far into the page, they’re not staying there as long, etc.
So if instead, they’re opening a new tab from your page, that is a better ranking factor, because they’re staying on your page for a longer amount of time. And in general, they’re also probably not going to be as distracted and they’re going to continue reading. Opening links in an external tab does help with search engine optimization ranking.
This Also Has Something to Do With Marketing
Another reason you might want to do this is just from a general marketing perspective. You want people to spend as much time on it as humanly possible on the site you built. They’re looking at your brand when they’re on your site.
So you want to give them no excuses really to leave the site. Or at least don’t encourage them to leave (opening links in the same tab encourages them to leave almost immediately).
Set your site to have external links open a new tab, and that quick action can do your site wonders!