Generate free business leads from this list of small business ideas

We have been discussing a whole list of small business ideas to generate leads. As in real life, networking is a major source of business. On the internet it is called "link sharing".

In our day to day lives referrals from trusted people save us time, money and generally improve our health related fitness. A referral means that you have been "already screened" by someone the potential customer knows. When my son tore his ACL during soccer season, we called friends, both medical and lay people for referrals. Immediately we had a list of 5 orthopedic surgeons all highly qualified with stellar reputations. Starting from scratch we could have searched from a list of over one hundred surgeons from the state medical association. No doubt other doctors were as equally qualified and experienced but ultimately my son decided on the doctor who had played sports in college and who suggested the most aggressive rehab schedule.

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Sharing of links is a website referral and networking system. However, the "linking" must be done properly. Remember, web pages are written primarily to help people but are topic driven by key phrases highly ranked by search engines.

Let's look at why linking to high quality relevant web sites should be on your important list of small business ideas.

In the real world Eagle Woods' customers are not vegetarians and prefer not to eat food with artificial ingredients. A referral from a soda manufacturer like SUPER-JOLT, in the local newspaper would undoubtedly confuse our customers seeking pure natural meats. Likewise the search engines would track traffic from the JOLT website and find it has little or no traffic. Ditto from our website to the SUPER-JOLT website.

If you are in the mortgage business do you wish to be linked to a mortuary business? Of course not. This is just plain common sense.

However, testimonials from people who work in different industries are fine. Any user of a product is seen as adding value to the website.

Search engines are mimicking people search behavior. We typically begin our searches with broad categories like "smoked meat", or "auto insurance males", and gradually surf our way to a specific answer and website. Logically your links must be part of this pattern. Common sense human behavior rules.

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It is best to have a few link sharing arrangements with high quality companies then to have many links with poor ones. Number two on this list of small business ideas to generate leads is also a common sense procedure. Call the owner of the website and discuss how websites will be described and presented on each others site.

For example, go to most websites and you will see an icon labeled "Links", "Friends", "Resources". Don't have your website listed like this on another site.

I understand the example above is from a government website but the results for you, if your site was listed here, would be dismal. You would get no response, no economic value, just a warm and fuzzy feeling. Search engines at best would be neutral in their rankings, at worst your ranking would be lowered.

See a strong inbound link for Eagle Wood from Local Harvest.

Here is a strong outbound link from Eagle Wood to an underwater photographer showing how shrimper nets allow turtles to escape capture. Scroll halfway down the page to the paragraph describing the Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD). Notice the natural flow of paragraph incorporating the underwater photographs.

Treat shared links as you treat your own pages. Write clear, concise text introducing the link in a consultative manner. Ask for this in return. The worst case is that you write the web page for the other website owner.

The list of small business ideas here is geared toward real life customers. Clear, concise content, solving real world problems is the best method to have a high sustainable lead program. You tailor this content for search engines by focusing your web page on key phrases related to your customers needs which have historically high search demand. Linking must be in a logical common sense manner adding to the visitor's experience to help solve her problem.

Take the common sense approach to managing your website as you do your business.

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