Your job as a webmaster for your small business website is to make yourself an authority in your niche. There’s no better way to do that than to provide your website visitors with expert quality links regarding their questions. If that means linking out to your website, then be humble and make yourself the authority.
An authority website is one that answers a visitor’s question in the best way possible. Sometimes, the best way to answer questions is to provide a link.
That doesn’t mean you have to send your potential customers to your competition. Try to find resources that are third party resources, non-commercial or non-profit in nature. If you provide expert answers to real questions people have about niche-related topics, then people will notice that and be more likely to use your website the next time they have questions.
That’s why I say linking out is sometimes a good thing.
There are other reasons for linking out, too. One of those is the potential search engine benefits. The search engines know when people find a resource valuable by whether or not those searchers stay on the site for a long period of time or bounce out and find another website. If you come up in a search query and the searcher visits your site without returning to the search results, the search engines count that as a long click. The visitor stayed on your site. Even if they click from your site to another site, as far as the search engine is concerned, your site satisfied the searcher’s need for information. That’s good SEO.