Reputation matters when doing business face-to-face, and it matters a great deal for your website. Potential customers will judge your business website by its appearance, by the well-written content that educates them, and by the helpful links to high-quality, professional resources that you share.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “I have worked hard to get people to visit my website so why would I want to give outbound links that cause them to leave my site?” Visitors to a small business website are sometimes scarce, and most visitors to your website will be on your site for only a few seconds. Isn’t it better that when they leave they go to a valuable outbound link that you thoughtfully curated for them?
If your customer discovers valuable content through your website, they will associate that discovery with you. The time you take to carefully curate valuable links on your website is well spent. It is one very effective way of proving your ability. People respect experts. They have instant authority. Authority builds trust.
When you take time to find valuable outbound links and share them with your potential customers, you are demonstrating generosity. Generosity builds trust. Trust lets people transact with you. Let me warn you though, don’t just share resources on your website to generate trust and thus make money. If you take that approach, you will likely run out of gas before the money comes in. It is better to focus on being helpful. If you do that well, business will come to you.
How Outbound Links Help with SEO
In addition to demonstrating generosity and building trust, outbound links help search engines discover what sort of neighborhood your website comes from. We judge one another’s character in part by the company we choose to keep. If your website consistently links to high-quality content relevant to your business, this will enhance your site’s reputation. If you link to low-quality resources or websites that have engaged in questionable practices like trading reciprocal links or selling links, then your website’s reputation will be hurt because it is from a “bad neighborhood.”
Avoiding bad neighborhoods when looking for resources to share with your potential customers is really quite easy. If the website has high-quality content that adds value, it will most likely be safe for an outbound link. A simple rule will help you stay out of trouble: think about what will help your website visitors when you link. If it is helpful, share it.
A Quick Tip
If you own a small business that serves a local community, linking to community websites such as newspapers and chambers of commerce may help Google confirm your location and rank your website more effectively for searches that include your community’s name.
I hope you enjoyed this post on outbound links. I urge you to curate valuable resources on the web and share them with your website’s visitors. Be generous!
What’s Coming Soon
The keywords you choose to include in link anchor text when you link to your own pages can have a profound impact on your search engine rankings. I may write a bit about that in a future post.
What else do you want me to write about? Email me or comment below, and I’ll write a post on the topic you are curious about.