Creating Useful Links from Your Site

Provide visitors with links to other sites similar to yours or a meta-index of links that would be of interest to your target market (Figure 3.3). If you are a supplier of skates and accessories and you cater to hockey players, you might

Shop provides useful links

develop a list and links to all the hockey rinks in your area. If your target market is figure skaters, you might have a list and links to all the figure skating clubs in your area.

Do not put outbound links on your home page. Place them down a level or two after the visitors have seen all the information you want them to see before you provide the links away from your site.

Links can be incorporated in two ways. The first is where clicking the link loads the new page in the same browser window. (It replaces the content of your page with the content of the linked page.) The second and preferred method
is to have the link open a new browser window. (Your page stays where it is and the content from the linked page opens up in the new browser window.) This is preferred because once visitors are finished with the new page, they can close the new browser window and your page is still there in the “old” browser window. Try exchanging links with others so you receive a link from their site to your site. As long as the links are of value to your visitors, people will come back to use your resource.

You might consider asking visitors if they are interested in being notified when you update your list of links or just make updates to your site in general. By offering this, if they choose to participate, you have the opportunity to send people an email message and remind them about your site while presenting them with new information about what might be going on with your site.