It's no secret that one of the best ways to get traffic online is to trade links with other related websites. Not only does this help you get targeted traffic, but it helps with your search engine optimization as well.
Well, there's a right way to link exchange and a wrong way, if you want the most out of your linking, then be sure to follow these 7 steps:
1. Develop a spreadsheet file (in Excel) and create the following columns:
Website PR (we'll talk about how to figure this out in a minute)
Response to Contact 1
Response to Contact 2
Response to Contact 3
2. Finding a Website's PR:
Go to Google and download the free toolbar. This toolbar has a feature on it that will tell you the PR for any website you visit. If you plan on optimizing your website for search engines, this tool is a MUST.
3. Choosing websites to link to:
Go to any search engine and start typing in keywords for which you'd like to rank highly. Visit each website and add them to your excel file. Once you hit 50 websites, spend some time contacting them. We recommend contacting each website personally and not using any automated software (it's very easy to see when someone uses software). There are many programs out there that will do a mass link exchange mailing, but we strongly advise you NOT to use them (at least in the beginning). These programs can get you in a lot of trouble with SPAM laws. Also, if each email is personal, you are MUCH more likely to get a link back.
4. Write your contact email:
ake sure to address the email to someone specific. Always insert some details that you enjoyed about the site. It's evidence that you actually visited the site and made a conscious decision to link to it. Briefly introduce your website, and send them the URL of your link to their site. Finally, ask for a link back to your site. TIP: Give them specific directions on how to link back to you, what keywords to use, and what URL to link to. It always helps to give them the exact HTML coding that they would need.
5. Respond to replies:
If you get an acceptance of your offer: Thank them, and add them to a separate Excel file. This will become a list of people you will constantly stay in touch with (to submit articles, free viral reports, etc.). Register the reply in your "Reply to Contact 1" section. This way you will know NOT to send a follow-up email. If the person rejects your offer: Add that note to your Excel file so that you don't contact them again. A good technique is to highlight that entire row with a red highlighter so there's no danger of a mistake. If you get no reply: Follow step 6.
6. Send follow-up e-mails:
Wait one week to follow-up with those who have not replied. This is the second contact. In this e-mail, state that you wrote to them the prior week. Rephrase the email to keep it fresh. Wait for replies, then repeat Step 5. Do not contact a "no-reply" website a third time unless you have a very good reason to.
7. Find more web sites:
After finishing your initial batch of 50, repeat the process for another 50. Once you begin getting incoming links, you will slowly start seeing similar "link exchange requests" coming to you. This will decrease your leg work. There you have it, those are the 7 simple steps to starting an effective link exchanging campaign.
Remember, a small percentage actually accept and respond, that's OK.
** The trick to getting lots of links is to send lots of requests so make this a daily habit.