Is your master gardener or other extension horticulture website linked to the national eXtension website for gardens, lawns, and landscapes and/or extension master gardeners? If not, here are three good reasons why you should consider it:
- They are excellent websites! – The eXtension gardens, lawns, and landscapes page has some of the nation’s best-of-the-best extension resources, a huge database of frequently asked questions, and a well used “Ask the Expert” utility. The national master gardener website has handy information like national program statistics, a directory of state programs, and instructions on how to view and/or use the national extension master gardener photo pool.
- Direct non-local traffic somewhere else – Since master gardeners began using the World Wide Web to share information, we have been contacted by people from far away lands. To direct non-local search engine traffic to better suited colleagues located elsewhere, you can use prominently placed statements like these: “Do you have gardening questions but are not from (your state/county name here)? Try the national site at www.eXtension.org/horticulture.” “Would you like to become a master gardener but do not live in (your state/county name here)? Get in touch with your local program at www.eXtension.org/mastergardeners.”
- Direct local traffic to your site through greater search engine power – If more websites link to http://www.extension.org//horticulture and www.eXtension.org/mastergardener, the sites will be more notably displayed on search engines. These eXtension websites have utilities that can connect you with users in your local area, unlike most national commercial gardening websites. Increasing the search engine prominence of these national websites increases the chance of local non-extension users finding YOU for the first time, instead of a big box store or chemical manufacturer.
For these and other reasons, please consider appropriate links from your master gardener or other horticulture website to one or both of these national eXtension resources.
Best, Bill Hoffman