Posted Thursday, October 14, 2004
Whether you're new to the internet or a seasoned online marketer, developing a plan to increase the number of reciprocal links back to your website can help you bring more highly targeted traffic to your website as well as improve your ranking in the search engines.
Link popularity is becoming an increasing important criteria for better search engine ranking. So the better your popularity, the better your ranking. You may be thinking that you'll loose traffic to your website if you link to other websites. Sure, that can and will happen, but you should gain as many or more NEW visitors that you not have otherwise visited your site.
Keep in mind that in addition to more visitors via linking that another big benefit here is a potential increase in your websites' Search Engine positioning. As an online business owner you realize that their are a variety of advertising and web promotiontechniques you have available to you. Linking to other websites is a well know but little used tool that can produce significant traffic for your website as long as it is done properly.
Understanding how to link to other sites is as important as any advertising you do. The time and energy you put into developing links to your business can pay off for weeks, months, even years to come!
**First Rule of Linking**
"Know Thy Self" or at least know what you want to accomplish on line, whether it's selling products or services of your own or as an affiliate, distributing or disseminating information on the Internet or even just having your own personal webpages.
Unfortunately what I see all of the time are people who end up jumping around from one program, or provider or afiiliate program after the other without any focus on what exactly they want to accomplish, other than make money online, etc.
Now, not later, is the time to look into exactly what you want your website focus to be. Decide what primary category(s) your website will fit into and what secondary or peripheral sites will compliment it. Once you've decided your focus you'll be well on your way to using reciprocal linking strategies successfully.
**Second Rule of Linking**
"Know What Kind of Websites Will Compliment Yours". There's been a lot written about how to choose websites to link to. But I think the one thing that can often be overlooked is the fact that people all around the world have diverse interests and although they may be looking for specific information, etc on one day doesn't eliminate them from clicking on a link to a website that is totally different from what they wanted to look at yesterday. They may not be targeted to your website but their interest brought them to you.
You would be surprised to find the information you may be searching for on a website that compliments yours but does not directly compete with you. It happens all of the time. This is where your list of primary and secondary categories for your website will help you decide what webmasters you want to contact to set a reciprocal link with.
**Third Rule of Linking"
"Know who is Linking to Your Website". You can do this very easily by going online to (www.linkpopularity.com) It's FREE. There's no strings attached and it's quick and easy. Usually it doesn't take more than 2-3 minutes to check your website links. You may find that you have several links back to you that you didn't know about, some you like and maybe one or two you don't. The next thing you might want to do to help you narrow your focus is to view a comparison of your site's link popularity to your competitors and other popular websites at (http://126.96.36.199/publinkpop/).
**Enough With The Rules Already**
Before you go contacting webmasters, now would be a good time to set up your Main Links page on your website. On this page you are going to describe how a webmaster can add their link to your Links Pages. You can call this Favorite Links, Personal Links or something similar. Basically anything that lets visitors know you have a Quality links page available.
Your Main Links Page should have several categories for visitors to choose from. Each category should link to a separate page on your site where the category links can be viewed. Remember to set each link so that it opens in a new window when a visitor clicks on it because you don't want them leaving your site altogether and forget where they started out from.
On this page you'll invite your visitors to apply for the privelege of linking to you. Why should they have to apply? Because you want to screen their website to be sure it doesn't directly compete with yours and that it also compliments yours in some way. You can see my links page at (www.cashway.com) . Just click on the Resource Links at the top of the page.
You also want to indicate to your visitors that a reciprocal link back from their website is a requirement for obtaining a link on this page. Those who are serious about Reciprocal Linking will understand and be willing to place a link on their page.
Why not just use a FFA website and link to 1,000's or millions of webpages?
FFA pages play a small role in your advertising but they shouldn't be included in a Reciprocal Linking strategy because people rarely see the FFA sites or their messages and the Search Engines don't recognize them in their criteria for determining link popularity. It's best to stay away from them as a way to develop reciprocal links for your website.
Again the best webmasters to contact are the ones whose websites compliment yours in some way. How do you find the sites and contact the webmasters?
The simplest way is to go to one of the major search engines, enter in the terms that describes websites you want to link to and let the search engine bring up the lists for you. You can get several hundred email address just by visiting these sites and contacting the webmaster.
It is always best to send a short email to the webmaster introducing yourself and stating the reason you're contacting them. You may want to give the information for them to add your link to their Link Page or simply start a dialog to see if there is a mutual interest in linking.
For best results I like to find websites that compliment mine, then add them to an appropriate link page and then send the website owner a personal email telling them I liked their site, have added it to my Quality Links page and ask if they would link back to my website. I also like to tell them of some of the benefits of Reciprocal Linking and even go as far as helping them set up their own page if they don't have a good quality links page. Some willlink back to you and some won't. If they don't simply delete the link.
Implementing a reciprocal linking strategy does take time and effort, but it is easily manageable. Combined with an overall web promotion strategy it can be a powerful way for you to develop relevant, targeted traffic to your web pages as well as help to increase your websites overall position in the search engines.
For more information on promoting your website and increasing your traffic visit (www.cashway.com) for Free Resources, links and web promotion techniques.
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