Building Your Website Links or Resources Page
Linking to other sites is a standard convention and you should participate. Often this page today is called a Resources Page instead of a links page. Knowing why will help you know how you should do this as well.
Outbound Links in General
Your links page is not the only place where it is appropriate to link to an outside (external to your website) resource.
When it makes sense to do so, you should link from any of your content pages to resources outside of your website. When it helps explain your content and is of value to your site visitors, you should provide the link.
Open External Links in a New Window
We suggest that you follow this simple linking rule:
When you are linking to an internal (on your own site) resource, have the link open in the same browser window.
When you are linking to an external (off of your website) resources, have the link open in a new window.
Internal Link Return: If your site has been properly created and distributed (as pajezy themes ALWAYS mandate), your visitor will have no problem returning to the page they have left. They can simply use the back button on their browser or the main navigation to return.
External Link Return: In most browsers, this link will open a new TAB in the browser and it is easy for them to click back on the tab they left (your site). In some cases, it will open a new browser window (session), and usually on top. This they will close to return to your site.
Why You Should Provide Links Out
You don't have to link to direct competitors!
First thing to consider is this: you don't have to link to direct competitors. We work with small business owners and we are not suggesting that you send your site visitors to competitors!
An external link does NOT mean that you have to lose the opportunity for a sale. You should link to authority resources and you can find them without linking to direct competition.
To Aid Your Website Users
If your website users are hungry for more information, participate by linking them to helpful resources.
Your website (properly developed) is designed with your target(s) in mind. If you don't understand what is meant by target, get in touch with A1 Small Business Marketing.
Your goal is to provide great content for your target, and sometimes this great content is found elsewhere. You may want to pull a snippet from an external resource (with permission) and then link out to that resource for more details.
To Promote Your Referral Partners
You say, "I want to effectively market my small business." One of the best ways to do this is to create your own referrals group. Find businesses in complimentary industries or those that provide complimentary products or services to you own and draft a formal (not necessarily complicated) referrals group. These groups are sometimes referred to as power partners.
Meet with some regularity (at least monthly) to discuss how you can better refer business to one another and come up with a strategy to implement on your websites as well.
To Positively Effect Your Search Engine Rank
Linking away from your site ... sends people away from your site! It doesn't sound smart to do this, but it is when done properly.
You are probably NOT the ultimate authority in your field. Having ZERO external links certainly makes your site look suspicious. One SEO research company has computed that good external links amounts potentially to 4% of the Google algorithm for organic serps.
Outbound linking certainly doesn't HURT your own SEO, it actually helps. Even without the data provided above, this is a common-sense conclusion.
And, as explained (and illustrated) above, you can link out to authority pages WITHOUT linking to competitors who may potentially win the business of your referrals!
Your Links Page or Resources Page
Your links page or resources page should link out to local governmental agencies that your website visitors may need or agencies directly related to your business.
Your links page or resources page should link out to your official membership groups or professional affiliations that you hold. Link them here even though you may have them listed on your about page as well.
It is also quite common to link to popular area attractions.
Request links back as a courtesy from all of those that you link to. You'lll be able to get some links to your site as well this way.
Complex Linking Strategies
SEO said to linking, "You've come a long way, Baby!". In order to continue to provide relevant results (the results that users want), search engine algorithms are in a state of flux. They are NOT STATIC.
Linking is not simply for providing great content to your website visitors, it is a method for increasing your rank in the most important search engines. Authoritative, inbound links are the single biggest part of the algorithm of all of the major search engines.
This section is focused upon links out. If you want to use links to raise your rank in the search engine's organic search engine results pages, then you must create and maintain an effective in-bound linking strategy.