Part 2 of 2 Parts
Read Part 1 – Click here!
We shamelessly and consistently contact other quality Website owners with an invitation to link to our site provided that have a reciprocal links page. If we really like the site we will add their link to our site first, then send a personal e-mail to the site owner telling them something we like about their site so they will know we have visited their site and are not just randomly sending the e-mail to everyone. Personalize this e-mail with the site owner’s name if you can. We then give them several benefits to linking to our site and ask them for a reciprocal link.
Include html code in your e-mail so all they have to do is cut and paste the link to one of their web pages or refer them to a special page on your site that explains your reciprocal links trade plan. This page should include text link examples, a photo image, small banners, “cut and paste” html code and detailed link instructions to make it as easy as possible for them to link to you.
Webmasters know the value of having the appropriate keywords written into the html code of each page on their Websites. In the “link invitation” e-mail we send, we also tell them that we will add their name and website into the keywords on the page on our site where their link appears.
There are two advantages to doing this:
1. This gives them additional exposure to the top ten search engines we submit to, and
2. it will often result in Web surfers finding our site while looking for them.
If there is no response and we feel the site is good, we will keep it linked anyway.
We also check the keywords of other similar sites that may fit on our links criteria for keywords that might help us move up in the search engine rankings.
Most sites will respond favorably provided you have a site that has content that their visitors may find interesting. So, there’s another “shameless clue.” Add content. Lots of it. This is another key ingredient to being a NetShaker and an Internet success.
Unfortunately, a lot of Websites that we might consider link candidates are only about their service or product and have little or no content. Content is king. No-one can beat a site that offers quality content.
We have also had success by putting up special pages on CelebrateLove.com that dedicate space to causes we like. I have had asthma and allergies most of my life, my sister is a breast cancer survivor and my mother died of Alzheimer’s Disease. May is “National Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month,” October is “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and November is “National Alzheimer’s Disease Month” and “National Family Caregivers Month.”
For each of these months we post an “attention grabber” on our home page with a link that leads to several pages of info about each topic. We then submit these pages to the top ten search engines with appropriate keywords.
Holidays are also an attention grabber. People are always looking for sites that have information about their favorite holiday. Even though a holiday link may have little to do with our relationship site – with the exception of Valentine’s Day – our holiday links bring us lots of visitors who venture on to other parts of our site.
Always look for tie-ins. Example: November (Thanksgiving) and December (Christmas) are months that typically bring to mind family and friends. It is often a difficult time for people who have lost a loved one through death, divorce or separation. Each of these holiday sections are linked to relationship books and several articles: “Rx for the Holiday Blues” and “A Sure Cure for a Hangover.” We list 14 holiday links on our site, each with lots of information about that holiday and links to other holiday sites. The next step is to offer to trade links with other similar holiday sites.
If a Website has content we will gladly grant permission to reprint any of our many relationship articles (with no editing) provided they will add a copyright notice, brief bio, e-mail and a link back to our site. In addition, since I have written three relationship books, and one business relationships book, I include the URL to each book on Amazon.com and suggest that they apply for an affiliate program and offer my books for sale on their site. Shameless, eh?
May I share a pet Internet peeve? There is nothing worse than finding a site you would like to link with and then have to spend your valuable time looking for a contact e-mail, address or phone number.
Tip: Put your contact information on “every” page on your site!
Other keys to our shameless Internet promotion is to join affiliate programs. By way of example, if you have a book for sale on your site, Amazon.com might be a good choice. When your visitors click on a book title or cover and buy it from Amazon.com, Amazon will pay you a small commission.
We offer a book store that lists hundreds of books on various topics, videos and CDs. All are linked to Amazon.com. Many are linked to related articles pages and special interest sections on our site.
NOTE: Some will argue that Amazon.com takes advantage of authors by allowing used books to be posted on the main page of your book on Amazon.com. So what? To me, the idea is to keep the information of your book circulating to help the most people and if you sell a “new” book in the process, that’s a bonus. To not put your book on Amazon.com is to cut off your nose to spite your face. If you really think that you will hurt Amazon.com by withholding your book. . . you are wrong! Who you hurt is yourself and the customer who could not find your book on Amazon.com.
Affiliate programs are an effective Web marketing tool and a natural fit with the nature of the Web since they make value flow along with the links. A delicately placed affiliate text link or small banner on the right page can help greatly to support your site financially. The most profitable affiliate programs are those that are closely related to the genre of your site and are personally recommended by you. Generally speaking, a text link recommendation works best.
One more thing: make sure your site is easy to navigate. When it comes to navigation, it’s okay to be repetitious with your internal links. You must also make sure that every linked page on your site starts with an element that confirms where the visitor has arrived.
Provide lots of links – in prominent places – on each page to encourage your visitors to move between the related areas without getting lost. If you achieve this, your visitors will have the maximum opportunity to eventually gather the information that came to see.
Use these internal links to cross sell. If you have posted an information page about dogs, be sure to include several links to the best selling dog books in your affiliate program.
Broken links and malfunctioning site features cost you page impressions, customers and respect. Broken links are bad for your business. They drive customers away. Net users rate broken links as the second-biggest problem online, right behind slow-loading pages (source: a Web usability study by the Georgia Institute of Technology).
NOTE: As of January 16, 2011, I have more than 3,000 pages with thousands of internal and extenal links on the Internet on my five Websites. It would take more time than I have to check for link rot (broken links) each week. What is YOUR time worth? Search the Internet for a company that will send you a weekly report that tells you everything you need to know to fix any links that might have gone south. They are not free, AND it’s worth it!
Maintaining the integrity of your site is critical to building a captive audience of repeat visitors. If your site does not function correctly, you are likely to lose the visitors you have worked so hard to attract.
No matter what you do, errors will creep in your web pages when you develop them. Finding broken links is a time-consuming, tedious task. Be your own “link police” or at least wise enough to hire an outside Internet company to automatically give you a weekly report of “link rot,” or broken links.
I cannot stress the importance of collaboration and the use of effective reciprocal linking strategies with similar sites enough. They are the hidden power of the Internet. It’s the first rule of building your Website presence.
There are two benefits to exchanging links.
1. The immediate increase in traffic to your website from referral partners, and
2. the ongoing funnel of new, prequalified prospects it brings to your door step.
Give some serious thought to the economics of collaboration. When we work together to support each other, everyone benefits.
Link long and prosper!
Read Part 1
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com
NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.
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