Many Web sites offer a resource library for visitors—an area filled with articles covering relevant topics to the industry with which the site is connected. The articles may cover how to do something, or they may define an aspect of the industry, but they do not usually directly sell the company's products or services.
Benefits of a Resource Library
While it's true that a resource library, on the surface, exists to benefit site visitors, it doesn't end there; it also provides benefits that can have a direct impact on any business.
First, they spread goodwill among a business's prospect base—and its non-prospect base. Visitors see the site as offering free information about important subject matter, and that makes it a more attractive site to return to in the future, when a purchase will be made or a service established.
Second, with a solid resource library, the site puts itself in a great position to organically attract important inbound links. Outside sites will notice the offerings of important and unbiased information and link to individual articles or to the resource library as a whole—boosting traffic and rankings overall.
Third, if the articles in the section are optimized properly, they will also boost rankings for popular and competitive keyphrases, driving additional targeted traffic to the site. The traffic may enter the site at the articles, but visitors are then likely to click for further information about the site itself.
A Common Objection
The most common objection a search engine optimization company hears when recommending that a site add a resource library is "I want to sell my product, not educate." However, that is shortsighted.