How To Stop Your Reciprocal Linking Campaign Failing More Than Tim Henman At A Grand Slam

Richard Adams Every day I receive between 5 and 20 reciprocal link requests. Of those, maybe 2 a week actually get acted upon. And I’m not alone.

Every day hundreds of link exchange emails fail to get the desired result. And I don’t just mean a polite «thanks but no thanks» reply from the webmasters you’re contacting. I mean your mails get totally deleted and you never hear from the people you’ve contacted ever again. Why? Because you’re not playing by the rules. What a waste of everyone’s time. Yours in sending out the emails. And everyone elses for having to read and delete them. So here are the 10 undeniable, unbending rules to get your link requests opened, read and responded to. 1) Is Your Site Related? Ensure you only request reciprocal links from closely related sites. That is – make sure the theme of the site that you want to exchange links with is similar to yours. If you have a site about mountain biking then exchanging links with a site about mountain bikes, tandems, the Tour De France etc. would all be related, whilst sites about viagra, casinos or mp3 players wouldn’t. 2) Does Your Site Offer A High Quality User Experience? Owners of high traffic sites do so for a reason – they offer a quality site and market it well. They don’t want to send their visitors to poor quality sites, and they don’t want someone piggybacking off their marketing. So create a high quality site from the outset or give up now. 3) Do They Already Link To Other Sites? The easiest sites to exchange links with are those that already have similar links in place. Sites that don’t have such a thing in place often have a reason – they don’t link to other sites. So target sites that already link to sites like yours for the best results. 4) What Is Your PageRank? When a site links to yours they risk losing Page Rank and visitors to your site. That’s a bitter pill to swallow so aim to target sites with a similar PR and Alexa ranking. If you came to me with a PR of zero and an Alexa rank of 5 million I wouldn’t even bother replying to your email. 5) How Many Competing Links Are There On Your Site? If you bury webmasters links among 50 or 100 other links on your page they’ll derive very little, if any, benefit from the arrangement.

Worse, your links page may be seen as a link farm and get deleted from the search engines altogether and this can also affect anyone who links to your site. So build numerous small pages with less than 25 links (ideally even fewer) on each page. 6) Have You Added Their Link Yet? Don’t ever ask for a link without adding their link first. Add it as a sign of how serious you are and how much you want to exchange links with them. Then tell them where you’ve linked to them so they can check it out for themselves. 7) Who Is Your Email Addressed To? Larger websites may have a range of different email addresses for different purposes. If this is the case, try to find the address for the webmaster or webmistress, who is the best candidate for your correspondence. The Billing Department probably couldn’t care less about your link.
8)Do You Personalize Your Emails? Look like a pro by personlizing your emails. Yes, it takes more time, but you’ll get far better results. So use the person’s name if you know it (or can find it out), mention their website address and make any other comments you can to make it clear that you’ve actually visited their site and are emailing them in person rather than letting some software send out thousands of requests at once. 9) What Is Your Email Subject Line? Aim to get your email opened but don’t try to deceive the people you’re contacting. Use personalization again if possible, and use simple subjects making it clear your intentions such as «Bob – link exchange offer for YourSite.com» 10) Do You Provide A Reason To Link? Don’t just ask them to link to you. Tell them why your site is so good. Include a testimonial. Mention which bits of your site are unique, or most popular with your visitors or you’re most proud of. Do your best to make the impression that if one of their visitors comes to your site, they’ll be impressed.

It will make the webmaster you’re contacting look good in the eyes of his or her visitors.

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