Are old school 'useful links' pages good for Likeonomics?

In the olden days millions of website owners included a Useful Links page on their site, full of handy links to interesting and relevant places. Then the practice faded away as people realised perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to artlessly send valuable visitors off-site.

But has the advent of Likeonomics, the new marketing theory from Ogilvy’s Rohit Bhargava which says it benefits businesses to be human, made Useful Links pages relevant again? If you want to give your brand a Likeonomics-focused boost, it might be a sensible way to help showcase your business’s human side.

Likeonomics – revealing your human side to boost business

A links page is probably most relevant to small businesses, whose owners have a higher personal profile than the owners of big corporates.

Take me. As a freelance writer I’m an individual selling my skills. An outbound links page seems like a cool way to get my personality across without creating a blog roll, which for a business site feels a bit too ‘in your face’.

Exercising common sense

Obviously you need to exercise common sense. If you’re a kitten-hating BNP member and rabid climate change sceptic who’s hell bent on riot, anarchy and chaos, you’re more likely to drive people away than win friends and influence people.  But a page of links to useful, relevant, fun websites can help you express who you are without resorting to overt trumpet blowing or an excess of self-aggrandising copy.

Bear in mind that Likeonomics isn’t about just looking the part. It’s based on genuine honesty, the real deal. So you’re missing the point if you fill your links page with friendly, appealing stuff when in actuality you’re nothing more than a greedy, amoral, hard-faced hard-sell whore with a customer service record Al Qaeda would be proud of.

If you can honestly position your business as responsible, kind, authentic, helpful, unselfish, engaging and generally delightful, a percentage of site visitors will respond positively. And in today’s wobbly economic climate, every little commercial advantage is worth having.

I’ll be setting up a useful links page later this week and will report back on whether it depresses response, has a positive effect or does absolutely bugger all for my visitor, responder and conversion rates, time spent on site and whatnot.

PS. Rohit’s book ‘Likeonomics’ is in the shops from 22nd May 2012.