Link building has always been an important part of Search Engine Optimization (or more commonly known as S.E.O.). And S.E.O has always been a crucial aspect for websites especially business ones.
The aspect of link building to help push web page rankings has been around for very long. Even with the recent search engine algorithm shift towards the importance of fresh content on a website, backlinks still continues to play a significant influence on a web page’s rankings.
But it isn’t so much as getting as much websites linking back to yours nowadays. Search engines have grown smarter, and having sheer volume of links isn’t enough. It is not that straightforward and it is not that simple, well not anymore anyway.
Now the source of your backlink matters more than ever. So each backlink has its own value, and the more relevant the source is, the more valuable that backlink is to your website.
In short, you have to be picky in where you decide to place your backlink on. Link exchanges are a great place to start. The hard part is actually getting the other person to WANT to exchange their link with you. I will not sugar-coat it, there will be rejections.
So your approach is important and here steps which can help you increase your success rate:
Personalize Your Proposal
Do some study and research on who you are sending your proposal for the link exchange to. Refer to the person that you plan to exchange links with using their name in the e-mail. Not many people will do this and this will certainly make you stand out and gives a very good first impression.
When you personalize your e-mail, it makes them feel more important and it shows that you see them more than just someone who you want to exchange links with. So don’t make your e-mail sound like a carbon copy. If don’t care about them, then they won’t care about you as well.
It’s okay to inject your own personality into the e-mail to avoid sounding like a robot. But at the same time you must maintain some form of professionalism because since you do not really know the person behind the e-mail, it’s easy to overstep boundaries. It’s always safer to maintain some form of professionalism from the start (or the entire time of the process, depending on the person.)
And remember to provide a link to your site as well, do not wait for it to be asked so they can immediately check out your website and then determine if they do want to follow through on the link exchange.
Don’t Beat Around The Bush
Once you are able to obtain the contact details website owners (usually e-mail) please remember to watch your tone and offer the proposal of the exchange of links in a nice and respectful manner.
State in your proposal what you like about the site and why you would want to exchange links with his or her site in particular. Try to be brief as well because it’s not unusual for website owner’s (especially established ones) to be receiving tons of e-mail each and every day.
Therefore by getting to the point quickly, the website owner doesn’t have to skim through your content and fully understands the intended action behind the e-mail.
Look for people whom you have engaged before in one way or another. It’s always a good idea to approach people who you have engaged before, it could through leaving a comment on their website, a previous e-mail encounter, or participating in discussions in niche-related forums.
People are more likely to accept your proposal for the link exchange if you are someone that they are familiar with. Therefore, that is why it is important for new businesses or websites to start networking with like-minded or people who are dabbling in the same industry/niche as soon as possible. It is never too early to start but it is never too late either.
New Vs Old
There are pros and cons to approaching both new and old websites with a link exchange proposal.
With an older and more established site, it’s easier to determine if the website is worth exchanging links with because you can already check out the large amount of content, activity, and traffic that the site is receiving.
For a new site however, it can hard to determine so.
But a link exchange proposal will most likely be accepted by newer sites because a new is rarely picky. However it is recommended that you first monitor those newer blogs before you approach them with the proposal.
You can never tell what their site is going to become unless you give them some time to do so.
If the direction they are heading is indeed a favorable one, then it’s time to make your move.
But the best practice here is to find websites which are active. I am talking about sites with frequent and fresh updated content, high user activity, hits, traffic, and interaction and such. Sites like these really are golden which make your backlink very valuable to have on.
Links pointing back to your site are only valuable if the site they are on have a similar theme or niche as yours. It doesn’t matter if it is a forum, video site, or even e-commerce sites, if their content is related to your niche, then it are perfectly alright.
You could even go on niche-related forums and ask for a link exchange yourself. But please do manually check out the websites of those who are taking up on your offer beforehand. Do not blindly accept or say yes to jut any proposal that comes your way.
Also, do not go overboard on the link exchange as acquiring too many at a time will only raise a red flag to the search engines.
Rejection is a common thing especially in business. Like the saying goes, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.” Don’t dwell on it, there are plenty of other websites out there and chances are you will find ones that bigger and better even. You can always try the same people again when you finally have a more established website that has grown over time.
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