Millions of people today have business or personal websites or online blogs (weblogs), that promote organizations and companies, or showcase thoughts, opinion, and commentary on any number of subjects. You may have a company website at your organization or place of worship, or a personal site or blog – even an online community page like Facebook. While the online revolution is changing everything from entertainment to advertising to news, we often forget the marketing and promotional value of website links. Most of us know about links from key words within articles that connect the reader to other sites for more information. Fewer understand “recommended links” – in other words, links to recommended websites and blogs from which your readers would benefit.
For instance, many sites have a “blog roll” of recommended websites that would benefit readers and help them find similar information of value. This isn’t new, and as a result, we often forget how effective it can be. As Christians, we need to create more recommended links from our own sites that would help guide our readers to important resources for building their faith, and discussing important ideas. Don’t think of your website as just a destination, think of it as a road sign – helping people find their way on the continuing journey of faith. Remember that people don’t really read a site the way they read a book. Most people are surfing – glancing at pages, and scanning for tidbits of information. As a result, they’re always looking for new connections, trying to find links to sites that continue in the direction they’re moving.
That’s why we need to think about our links seriously, and understand how important they can be to helping people find the right information, and helping us focus more attention on significant websites. Plus, if we all used our sites to point people in the direction of some key Christian sites, it would raise their ranking in online directories, and generate more attention from the secular culture.
The Internet is quickly becoming a medium of discovery for everyone, and it’s moving further away from the concept of search (which has been the central focus up to last year). This concept of discovery is deep and goes to the core of human nature and touches the evolution and future direction of the Internet.
So if you have a website – from a church or corporate site to a blog or online community page, find websites and blogs that would help your readers, and add those as permanent links from your site to theirs. Help people find solid information about issues you care about.
And when you do it, don’t forget to link to me – at philcooke.com!