As most webmasters have probably noticed, link building via link exchange is making a strong come back. I have a number of sites that are receiving link exchange requests almost every day now. I think SEO experts are seeing great value in diversifying their link portfolio, and link trades are making up a good portion of that portfolio.
I asked a couple of our best link traders if they’d share some advice on link building through link exchanges. These link builders are averaging a 25% conversion rate on link trades and are completing a boat load of links each month.
Aubrey cranked out 77 reciprocal and triangle link trades last month with a 25% conversion rate. All trades targeted industry-relevant websites.
On looking for trades:
1. Start at a relevant site and use their links pages to find partners. This is a lot easier than always looking through a search engine for people to link to, and it gives you quite a list.
2. Bookmark! If you find a site that has good resources, make sure you keep a note of that page. This way you don’t forget it if you wanted to trade with them or their partners. This works best if you keep different bookmark lists for each site that you own.
1. Trade with a variety of websites. Sites that are related, sites that are slightly related, or even sites that aren’t related but are willing to link to you. As long as their sending page checks out good (indexed with no robots or nofollows, etc), there is no reason to pass up a link from an indexed page.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for a trade other than a reciprocal. Even if they have a reciprocal form, sometimes a simple personal email will do the trick and you will both be able to benefit from a triangle or a parallel trade. The worst they can say is no, or, “I only accept reciprocals” , in which case it’s still a good deal.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for a different page than the one that they put you link on. Gently explain your reasons, and let them know that you are giving them a quality page and that you would love to arrange the trade in a way that will benefit both partners equally.
4 Ask the webmaster if they have any additional sites they would like to trade with or include in a trade.
5 Ignore page rank for the most part. It’s still important, but it’s always changing. A webmaster may require for your site to have a certain page rank before they link back to you. Example: webmaster wants a PR 2 for a page that doesn’t have any page rank. Solution: Don’t back down from requesting the trade. Email them and let them know that since both partners pages are of good quality, a link back from your site will benefit them with or without having to have pagerank.
6 Pay attention to Cashed, Indexed, and make sure the site doesn’t have any robots blocking spiders from following your link. Also make sure you check for nofollows, noindex and frames. Remember, Pagerank is just the icing on the cake if it is present.
7 If your link is removed, email the webmaster and ask why. You never know, they could have had their site hacked or had a crash where all the links got taken down.
On being a nice link partner:
1. Watch the way you word things so they don’t come across rude. Always be polite!
2. Don’t let your link be “out of sight, out of mind”. Reply to emails in a timely manner. The person on the other end will appreciate knowing that they are important to you, and if you are good at a fast reply you have a better chance of getting the link accepted.
3. Learn to be good at accepting criticism of your site or methods of trading. If someone emails you about exchanging links and they are rude, just either don’t email them back or email them and kindly thank them for their consideration and let them know that you will trade with them in the future if they are ever interested.
Margo completed a whopping 143 reciprocal, triangle and parallel link trades last month. She had a 41% conversion rate on on reciprocal trades and 25% on triangles.
Having a tool like LavaLinx to simply cut and paste makes it very easy and saves a lot of time.
Having dynamic sending pages also makes it easy, because I can create a trade and immediately submit it! I know the link is on the page and the trade partner can see their link is up ! I don’t have to keep some kind of list to go back and check with partner b to see if their link has been installed yet, so I can finally ask for a link exchange.
Always respond politely, and usually briefly, to webmasters seeking link partners if you want to keep their business. You never know who may have more sites to trade with, and they will offer them if they like working with you and they like the way their link looks on your pages.
Follow their lead in emails-if they are super friendly, be friendly back, if they are more formal, follow suit.
Check any possible site-some stick within their own specialty, but many have specific pages dedicated to other subjects of interest to their customers.
Marci completed 113 reciprocal, triangle and parallel link exchanges last month. She had a 40% conversion rate on reciprocals and 20% on triangle and parallel trades. All trades were made with relevant websites with SEO value.
Marci has also begun work on her own website, where anyone can create their own Personalized Greeting Cards, and looks forward to success on that site.
Advice for link trading:
- Everytime you come across a potential link partner, check the cheating tactics (robots.txt, nofollows, noindex, iframe, frameset) and check to make sure the page is indexed in Google before proposing a link exchange.
- Keep URL’s as bookmarks of previous link partners, then go to their partners’ sites and ask for exchanges with them as well.
- Any follow-up email with the webmaster or link manager, try to use proper vocabulary and make sure to be nice, even if they weren’t very nice to begin with.
- Try to be honest and up-front with anyone you’re doing a link trade with (example: letting them know your company is honest and will never try to cheat them out of the exchange).
- Thank them for their time and consideration.
- If they don’t understand something, take the time to write it out to help explain things better, and ask if they still feel confused.
- Try to place their link on a relevant page within your site (we’ve had great success lately within our blog posts) so they will have the best benefit out of the exchange as well.
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