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The Power of Linking

You can also conduct a search using “directory of link exchanges”, “reciprocal linking”, “banner exchanges” etc., to find sites that might be willing to trade links themselves, or provide a list of other willing sites.

Many of your requests for a link will probably meet with a negative or no response. The reason why is simple. It’s back to the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) principle, the most basic of motivators in the human psyche. If you approach a well established site to link to you, there has to be a good reason for them to do so.

I have received a number of emails simply stating “link to me –”. That kind of promotional strategy gets you nowhere.

Here are a few hints and tips for site owners as to how you can persuade an established site to link to yours.

1. Most Important! Be Polite.

When you send your email for a linking request, make sure that the tone of it is extremely courteous and not demanding.

If English is your second language, run your request note by someone who is familiar with the complexities of the language. The way you word your note is the most important factor as to whether another web master will even bother with taking the time to take a look at your site.

2. Grammar and Spelling

Your request note is your official representation. If you don’t take the time to spell correctly, other web masters may believe that your site will be of the same quality, and discard your request immediately.

3. Ensure your site is complete.

No one will link to a half finished site.

4. Respect that many web masters are busy people

Don’t expect an answer straight away and harass the site owner with countless follow up emails. Leave it for at least two weeks before your second contact and ensure that the second note is equally as polite as the first.

5. Read the site

Ensure you take a good look over the site you wish to link to you. Be familiar with it’s content and mention some of the content in your request for linkage. Identify the common theme between the sites. If the site has a “Submit your URL” page, use it. Be sure to read the guidelines for submission carefully.

6. Appeal to the web masters WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) motivator.

Experienced site owners can pick a new web master or site a mile off, so don’t misrepresent your site or it’s traffic levels if you propose a reciprocal (swap) links agreement. Point the web master to a section of your site where you provide content or tools that are original and would be of use to their site’s visitors.