Why do we link from our website to another website? Have you ever considered how important this is to your website if you do it? It must be done right and with a singular purpose. A friend of mine has his own business. He built his website as a marketing tool. That is, to get customers: To build his business and enlarge his customer base. To tell people of his services and at the end of it all make money. Isn’t that the reason why people or businesses have a web presence?
After I reviewed his website, I told him that the site was there just to be there. There was nothing distinguishing about the site. He said it was not finished. Darn right it wasn’t. It was useless; it was generic; it was not compelling, and most of all it did not demand action or give any reason why anyone should call him and not the competition. There was no value proposition. It did not even work well. He had a lot of work to do.
I was a harsh on my friend. I don’t even do some of the things I accuse him of not doing. However, my excuse to myself is that I just need to get back into the groove of writing and post to this blog. But I know what to do to make a website work. Hire a professional. Better yet, learn how to do it right yourself. That is what I told my friend. Professional or learn. So back to why adding a link can be detrimental to your site if you don’t know how to use it effectively.
On the site, he had one external link that worked. So I asked him, why the link, and why this particular site. I forgot what answer he gave me. But it was an industry site. And that may have been the reason. So I said you can’t do that. You don’t want people leaving your site. Have you considered your target audience, who your website is trying to reach? Who are you marketing to? Naturally, his answer was yes. But you linked to an industry site, to their main landing page. It is professionally done. Your visitor might not come back to your site. Even more discouraging, the industry site may have links to recommended contractors.
I told him, the reason you link to another site is to bolster your site, and enhance your credibility. That site is offering your site something that you can’t offer on your own. You are showing that you are a good resource, and you are backing up your service or product offerings. Other than that, don’t link to another site.
The site he linked to is Cisco. I asked him, what it is about Cisco do you want your potential customers to know? That you are Cisco certified? Other ways of doing that. So I said to him, if you are installing a particular Cisco device that improves your customer ability to accomplish a task, link to that product, and that product alone inside the Cisco website. But only after you have described the device and what it does and how it will improve your customer’s business. Then let the link to the device on the Cisco website, backup your claims. Your singular purpose is to give your customer the reason to buy you, not to link to an industry website. They know which industry you’re in already.