Posted Friday, July 16, 2004
How to easily set up a reciprocal linking strategy
Reciprocal linking is the art of getting other websites to link to yours. Done properly, it's a powerful mar- keting tool that can improve your search engine rankings and bring you highly qualified traffic. If you can get enough websites to link to yours it can help you greatly with what's known as "link popularity," which is one of the criteria used by most of the major search engines when ranking websites. Theoretically, the better your popularity,the higher you rank.
Your first step should be to set up a page on your site that will hold the link swaps you're going to arrange. Some people call these pages "links" or "fav links" or sometimes "related links."
What I hear from many site owners is "if I link out won't I be sending my traffic away?" The answer is yes... and no. When choosing sites to link to, choose related sites that complement what you do but don't directly compete with you -- instead of linking to your competitors.
A smart tip to keep in mind when adding these sites to your webpage is to set them up so they'll open in a new window. This way, your site will remain open in the background, making it easy for your visitors to return.
Now I'm not going to kid you about this: The hardest part in swapping links is finding the sites you wish to link to, contacting the webmaster, then adding the link. Even after all of this is said and done you'll still need to monitor the sites who've agreed to swap with you to make sure they're living up to their end of the bargain.
The good news is there are online programs and software that make all of this work a whole lot easier.
If you'd like to completely outsource the job, Links- Manager is for you. No software to install on your end at all. Even though your actual links page will reside on their server they do allow you to customize the look to blend with your existing website. It constantly monitors all links on your link page to verify that none of the reciprocal links you've arranged have been dropped. The cost is 9.95 a month, but if you refer one sign up a month your service will be free.
2) Link-Spy: (http://www.Link-Spy.com)
With Link Spy you use their site to keep track of all of your links. To set up your own free account just visit the site and fill in the short form. Then log in and begin adding the url's of all of the sites that are suppose to be linking back to yours. Make sure you enter the exact page not just a root url. For example, 'www.mcpromotions.com' would not be good if the links page was located at 'www.mcpromotions.com/links.htm' They do all of the monitoring and notify you by email when someone has dropped your link.
This service hand tailors a linkage campaign specifically for your website. They find the links in your niche market and guarantee to increase your traffic in only 30 days or less. Take advantage of the free link popularity consultation offered to see if it's right for you. A minimum of 50 link requests is required, with Campaigns starting as low as 00. That breaks down to a per link request cost of 0.00 a link.
4) Zeus: (http://www.Cyber-Robotics.com)
Easy to use, this Internet robot builds a link directory and creates reciprocal links for your website all on its own. Well, ok, you have to help a little bit. The software sends personalized reciprocal link requests under your supervision, after you visit the sites and approve the ones you want to include in your directory. There are two versions available: Pro for 99.00 or a free sponsored version that is limited.
5) LinkTrader: (http://www.freeclassifiedlinks.com/linktrader.html)
This handy piece of free software allows you to enter in the url's of all the sites that are suppose to be linking to you and run a live report. After LinkTrader scans the sites in your list it generates a report of the sites that do and don't have your link. An optional email can be sent to each site asking why they have removed your link if you like.
6) LinkCrafter: (http://linkcrafter.bannermation.com/)
This free piece of Windows software will automatically find pages related to yours, creates link to them, and notify their owners that you have done so. This software was given ZD Net's 5 star rating.
Gathering reciprocal links for your website is a powerful promotional tool that you should be utilizing in order to increase your traffic and improve your link popularity. By adding only relevant links that relate to your site's topic you'll also be adding an additional value for your visitors as well. Popularity was important in High School and on the Internet it's no different. If you use it to your advantage you'll be one of the most popular sites on the web in no time at all.....and that you can count on.
About the Author
Merle is an internet marketer, promotion consultant and ezine publisher. Visit her sites at (http://www.mcpromotions.com/), (http://www.merlesworld.com/) and (http://www.ezineadauction.com/).