How To Build Link Popularity
Building your link popularity is an important part of marketing your website. The more links pointing to your website from different sources, the more traffic that you will get. Also, increasing your incoming links will boost your page rank because search engines give more weight to a website when it is linked to by other quality sites.
The first place to begin building your reputable back-links is by submitting to the Open Directory Project and subject specific search engines and directories. Next, you can begin working on getting links from other websites in your industry that compliment your website.
Preparing your site for reciprocal linking
Before you start working on increasing your link popularity, you should make sure that you have quality content on your website first. If you provide good information that will benefit visitors, other website owners will be more likely to link to your site.
Getting other websites to post a link to your website usually requires that you offer a reciprocal link to their website in return. You can post these reciprocal links in a resource directory or links page on your website.
A note on ethics: If you do build a resource directory or links page on your website, make sure that visitors can find it. There is nothing more irritating than having someone post a link to your website, with no way for visitors to access the page that the link is on. If you don't have a link to your related resources on your home page, at least consider adding it at the bottom of all your other pages. Remember, you are supposed to be providing the reciprocal links as a service to your visitors. Make sure that they have a way to access them.
Exchange links with sites that will benefit your visitors
Even though exchanging links is a good way to build your link popularity, you should look at it as a way of providing even more service to your visitors. You can't possibly meet all of your visitor's needs, so why not give them resources to help them to find what they are looking.
By linking to high-quality sites in your field, you will gain credibility with your visitors. This in turn will make them more likely to visit your site again. You should be selective about who you link to because your out-going links are a reflection of your website, both to your visitors and the search engines. When building your link popularity, a limited number of high quality links is much better than a large number of low quality links.
How to find websites to help build your link popularity
Think about what other information your visitors would be interested in that you don't offer on your website. For example, if you have a website that focuses on cat supplies, complimentary topics of interest might be cat diseases, cat breeds, cat names, etc. Make a list of related topics and do a search on the internet. Most of the websites listed on the first few pages of search results will likely have a high page rank. These sites are worth checking out for possible link partners to increase your link popularity.
Another option is to use a reciprocal linking service such as Value Exchange. This free link exchange program gives you a way to find pre-qualified valuable websites that are willing to exchange links with other websites. You will need to have a least 20 pages on your website before you consider using this service. Here is more info about Value Exchange.
How to get other websites to link to your website
After finding complimentary websites that you would like to exchange links with, go through the various sections of each website. Do they offer good information? Do they post related resources? Would you be proud to send your visitors to this site? If so, you can consider contacting the webmaster about exchanging links.
If you feel that this related website offers great information, you can post a link to their website before you ever contact them. This is seen as a compliment, and many webmasters will be more prone to post a link to your website in return.
After adding a link to their site, send the webmaster an email stating that you have posted a link to their site (along with the page that it is on) asking them if they would consider linking to your site. It helps to outline the benefits of the link exchange, such as increasing traffic and building the link popularity of both of your sites. Offer a brief description of what your website has to offer and how it relates to their website. You can then add what you liked about their website (along with the URL of their site), and how you feel that visitors to both of your sites could benefit from the exchange of links.
What to include in your link request
When you write your email to the site owner about exchanging links, you should include your linking information, along with the page that you would like the information to appear on. If the webmaster thinks that your website is worth linking to, this information saves time for both you and the other webmaster.
What you include in your linking information is important. Goggle places a lot of emphasis on the text of the links that point to your site. Therefore, you should include your most important keywords or keyword phrase in your title. Below is the main information that you will need to provide the webmaster so that your link can be added to their resource page:
Appearances count with link exchange requests
Your website is your business, so you want your request to come across as professional. Be polite in your letter, and always use the spell-check feature before your hit the send button. End your email by mentioning that you look forward to the link exchange and let them know that they can contact you with questions. Include your name and email address so that they can get in touch.
After you send the email, wait at least a week for a response. Website owners and webmasters are busy people, so they may not get back with you right away. You can send reminder email after a week, but that's it. Anything more would be considered spam.
If they do link back to your website, send a thank you note. This is a courtesy and helps promote your image. If you don't hear back from them, it means that they don't want to exchange links with you. Don't take it personally, just move on to other websites that relate to your industry to help build your link popularity.
Continue to build your link popularity
Even though a link exchange program will take time on your part, your website will benefit from your efforts. If you spend a little time each week on building your link popularity, you will be amazed at how fast your efforts will snowball. Overtime, you will see increased traffic to your website, both from the websites that link to you and from your increased exposure in the search engines.
I suggest reading "Make Your Links Work: The 80-20 Keep-It-Real Guide To Linking". This is a free pdf book that outlines how getting incoming links should fit into the big picture of promoting your website, along with the ways to build your link popularity in the most time-efficient manner.
In our next lesson, we will discuss using pay per click advertising to market and promote your website.