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I recently read a blog post by Derek Halpern at DIY Themes headlined What’s Stopping You From Creating Insanely Great Small Business Resources Pages? He talks about why he thinks they’re valuable and expresses his frustration with clients who neglect or decline to create one.

Given I drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago and just finished crafting a small business SEO resources page for my own site, I can think of at least 11 reasons why you might want to follow suit.

  1. First and foremost, it helps your customers. Visitors come to your site for a reason. Often that reason has something to do with their needing information to help solve a problem. A small business resources page is the perfect place to share highly-relevant, bite-sized collections of need-to-know industry information. Think about what your visitors need and organize your suggestions around that.
  2. Speaking of needing helpful information, I’m going to assume that some proportion of your website’s visitors arrive via search. They have typed keywords into a search engine and your page came up as a search result. Resource pages tend to be keyword rich. They open new pathways to your website’s content and can drive more traffic to your website. 
  3. Third, it builds goodwill. When you post links to helpful information created by others, you are acknowledging their expertise and skill. You are suggesting others visit their site. The vast majority of existing websites are set up so that they get notified when someone posts a link to their content. They notice. They might even return the favor, if not now, then in the future.
  4. Lay people (and experts) love free tips and advice. A resource page filled with hand-picked, helpful insider information acts as link, bookmark, and social bait. It not only attracts visitors, it encourages them to link to, bookmark and share your page content because they know it’ll save them and others a whole lot of time in the future – time they would have spent culling through endless other, perhaps far less valuable suggestions.
  5. The more links, bookmarks and social mentions your page has, the higher it will rank in search results.
  6. Resource pages are an excellent way to re-purpose existing content. When you reuse existing content it gains more exposure. The more exposure it gets, the higher the return on your investment.
  7. Providing helpful, easy-to-find and well-organized collections of top-notch industry tools and advice helps build trust, influence and authority for you and your website.
  8. Authoritative websites rank higher in search results.
  9. Helpful collections are sticky. When visiting your website for the first time, a visitor might find content referenced on your resources page that they weren’t necessarily looking for, but still find entertaining or useful. A sticky website is one that encourages visitors to stick around, view other pages, or return again later.
  10. Sticky websites tell search engines that your content is relevant and helpful. Sticky websites rank higher in search results.
  11. Lastly, and this is a personal bonus as far as I’m concerned, you’ll use a well-crafted resource page yourself. I can’t tell you how often I refer back to my own resources page or suggest it to clients in need. I have bookmarked it, linked to it, and shared it with others.

Derek Halpern’s article concludes with a quick, 7-step how-to process for creating a resource page. Marketo has an even more exhaustive how-to article with some excellent examples and helpful reader commentary at the end.

At the end of the day, just remember – a resource page is for your audience. If you are building something that will help them, it is worthwhile. If you are building something to satisfy a publishing quota, don’t bother.