Visit any one of your favorite blogs or e-magazines and you’ll see a list of other sites they recommend. (This feature is typically referred to as the blogroll, but the creative minds of the Internets have now branched out to other endearing terms, such as Link Love or Best Buddies).
Your company needs to do this.
You don’t need to list direct competitors’ websites (in case that wasn’t obvious already!) but you want to focus on enhancing the experience of your customers by providing as much as you can to make their lives easier.
There are two primary types of links you should select and add to your site:
1. Complementary Products
Let’s say you’re a handmade bar soap retailer. Think about some of the issues your customers have with bar soaps, namely the gooey mess that the soap leaves on the soap dish, or the difficulty of lathering when the soap is almost all used. Do you know of any other sites that sell accessories and gadgets to alleviate these issues? If so, why not help your customers by informing them about these sites, just like a friend would? Just make sure the other sites don’t sell soaps, especially ones that are perceivably better than yours! Be smart about it.
2. Educational Resources
This is extremely important. Let’s say your soap company is all about how pure it is, and is derived from cruelty-free ingredients and practices. Now let’s say someone doesn’t believe you. Would your rather a dubious customer click on one of the links you verified and substantiated, or would you rather send them off into the scary world of the internet rife with false, misleading information to figure it out for themselves?
In today’s world of pull marketing, putting customers’ convenience first makes all the difference. While you ultimately cannot control what they read, where they click or what they buy, you can certainly encourage them to stay on your site and trust you to help them.
And who knows, perhaps these other sites will thank you by linking you as well, which we know comes with a whole other array of benefits!