One of the key components of a search engine ranking is the number of quality pages that link back to your pages. Gaining organic links can be slow and relies on the goodwill of visitors to your site. One search engine optimization strategy is to request links from sites associated with your industry. Overall the best approach to link building is taking a blended and natural approach. While I do not recommend link exchange as a major part of link building, from time to time it may make sense as a small part of your overall link growth. When client’s ask me about this I normally say link exchanging is something that used to work well 4 years ago, but is not as effective these days.
There is no shame in requesting links with other websites that you have established a solid business relationship with. In fact it makes good business sense. If, for example, you sell printer ink cartridges, it would make sense to contact printer sellers, paper sellers and other allied businesses requesting a link to your pages – perhaps in exchange for a link from one of your pages. Because these businesses relate to your business and you have established a relationship with them means the search engine optimization value of these links is far greater than many of the organic links you may receive.
Requesting a link can be a fairly straightforward process. However Eric Ward wrote a telling post on Search Engine Land called the ‘Link Building Kiss Of Death‘ which details some of the right and wrong ways to send link requests. The post provides a good insight in how to enhance your search engine optimization link building program through link requests.
One paragraph struck a particular chord that I think should be taken further, if it is on a slightly different tangent. The basic premise of the article is that most web site owners, when looking for contact details, simply stick with admin@ or contact@ email addresses – addresses he labels the ‘kiss of death’. The paragraph stated:
Where this is leading is that it was apparent to me that whoever was in charge of this client’s link building at the keyboard level was lazy. That or not as sophisticated as they want to believe.
To extend on this paragraphs note, if you can do some research to find more direct or personal email addresses then you are more likely to first, have your email read and secondly, have someone act on it. The key is finding out who would be the best person to send the email to. But if you have a business relationship with a company, it makes it that much easier.
You could send the email to the site or business owner, however I believe this could also be a ‘kiss of death’ email. Link building is not just a SEO strategy, it can also be a marketing strategy. Where ever possible the two individuals who are ‘in a position of influence’ are the web page caretaker and the individual responsible for marketing.
Finding out who these people are and addressing your emails directly to them will result in far more success than just emailing admin@ or contact@. How do you find this information? Two possible avenues; do a site search to see if the details are listed; or pick up the phone and ask for the people responsible – talk to them and get their email addresses. Chances are they will respect you more for taking the time to contact them directly.
If you can spend a little longer planning your link request campaign you will find the results far more rewarding and the search engine optimization benefits far outweighing a quick email to admin, or filling in an online contact form…or give a call to your contact and set up the link!