How to Get High Quality Inbound Links

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The amount of quality inbound links to your site is one of the most important criteria used by search engines to rank your pages. Therefore, a well conducted link exchange campaign is one of the most effective Internet marketing strategies you can follow.

Remember that to search engines not all links are created equal: some links are more important and will have more value than others. The best links are those from high quality, highly ranked pages with a topic related to your site.

These are the steps you must follow for a successful link exchange campaign:

  1. Create a Links page on your site, where you can place links to all the sites that link to you. Make sure to provide clear instructions on how to link to you, including the exact HTML code you want your link partners to use.

  2. Download the Google toolbar: The Google toolbar is an addition to your Internet Explorer browser that will display the Page Rank of every page you visit. Page Rank is Google's way of telling you if a page is important and ranks well. If a page is related to the topic of your site and has a high Page Rank, you definetely want them to link to you. To download the Google toolbar, go to http://toolbar.google.com and follow the instructions.

  3. Go to the major search engines and search for your target keywords (the words you think people will use to find sites like yours). Click on each of the results and see if the site:
a. Is complementary (non-competitive) with your site
b. Has a good Page Rank
c. Has a links page.
If it does, put it on your list of selected sites.
  1. Write to the webmasters of the selected sites and ask them for a link exchange, following these guidelines:

    1. Place a link to them on your own site before contacting them.

    2. Start your letter by explaining the nature of your site, how does it relate to theirs, and how both would benefit from the exchange.

    3. Give them the URL of your links page, so they can see their link and make sure that their link information is OK. The fact that they see their link on your site will make them more inclined to reciprocate.

    4. Give them the exact HTML code that they should use to link to you. By all means, include your main keywords in the link text since that will give you a boost with the search engines. For example, if you own a pet supplies store called Petmart, and assuming that your main keywords are "pet supply store", it is better to make the link text: Petmart - The Pet Supply Super Store, instead of just Petmart.

  2. Keep track of what you're doing: maintain a spreadsheet where you can write down the name of each target site, their webmaster's email address, their URL, the URL of their links page, the date you first contacted them, and the date when they finally placed the link to your site. If you don't see your link after a couple of weeks, send them a reminder. If you don't get a response in another week, remove the link you originally placed on your site and move on.

Another way to find suitable link partners is by finding out who is linking to your competitors. You can use a free tool like the one in http://www.bcentral.com/products/link_finder.asp. Just type the URL of your competitor and you will get a list of sites that link to them. Write to the webmasters of those sites and ask for a link.


Publication Date: Sunday 2nd November, 2003
Author: Mario Sanchez View profile

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