Designing a Reciprocal Link Campaign can be a tricky endeavor. As a webmaster, you must choose your linking partners wisely. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself one question: “Will this be a valuable resource to my readers?” If you view it as a legitimate, valuable website, chances are Google will too.
Below you will find 7 tips for avoiding the major pitfalls new web developers often encounter.
1.) Do not link to sites that are irrelevant to yours. Search engines only view relevant reciprocal links as a means of improving your Page Ranking.
2.) Avoid sites that have a “Links Page” that is hard to find. Some sites don’t even connect their home page to the links page. If this is the case, you probably will not benefit from the exchange.
3.) Avoid sites that contain more than 25 to 50 links per page. Your link will be hard to find, plus the site has the potential to be viewed as an FFA site. Better safe than sorry.
4.) Do not link to sites with directories that are haphazardly arranged with no categorization. Again, it could be a “Link Farm;” plus your site’s address will be hard to find.
5.) Make sure you only link to sites that you deem worthy of your readers’ time. Avoid sites that don’t contain valuable information. The best way to gain readership is by offering a valuable resource!
6.) Avoid sites that have poor linking strategies and/or are connected to “Link Farms.” You don’t want to be lumped into a category with sites like these.
7.) Avoid linking to a lot of sites with a low PR. A few are ok, but generally aim for sites with a higher PR than yours.
Once you have found websites that you want to exchange links with, start networking! Email other webmasters and tell them all of the reasons their readers will benefit from reading your site. Show them that their site will be prominently displayed in a small organized directory on your page as well.
Send a pre-made html link to your site so that it’s a simple cut-and-paste job for them. If the exchange appears to be too time consuming, most webmasters will overlook your request. Most importantly, show politeness and courtesy in your emails. You will be surprised at how many people respond to your inquiry when asked appropriately.
If you still have trouble finding reciprocal links, try creating contests on your own site. Offer a small prize, or simply a prominently displayed link on your homepage. If your site distributes a newsletter, offer free advertising for participating link partners.
If you find a site you really like, write a short review about it and display the site’s link. It will be hard for a webmaster to pass up the opportunity to brag about a good review. Get creative! The more web developers you talk to, the more possibilities there are for increasing your link popularity. The key is, be patient, and be persistent. Even if you only acquire one third of the links you pursue, your efforts will be well-rewarded.