A few miscellaneous techniques.|
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Having free and useful information makes this process a
piece of cake. People like to link other sites that are
going to make theirs look good.
- How to ask
Try to find the name of the webmaster and use it when
you contact him/her.
Open with some flattery, but be specific. How often have you
received spam that says "I've visited your site..." when they
quite blatantly haven't? That's a big turn-off. If you can make
an intelligent, complimentary comment about a point buried
deep within their site, you'll grab their attention and make
them warm to you immediately. You can take my word on this
because I'm permanently buried up to my ears in email, but I always
take notice of thank-you notes and I always reply to interesting
comments from people who have obviously spent some time on my site -
before you get any ideas, please note the lack of external links on
this site ;-)
Next, tell them that you've already given them a link on your
site, and give them the URL of the page. They will take a look,
so if you've given them a prominent link, maybe with a glowing review,
you'll get more brownie points.
Finally, tell them what your site has to offer. You've researched their
site and you know what their visitors' interests are, and the reason
you want to be linked from this site is because yours deals with
exactly the same, or very similar, topic (if not you shouldn't be
bothering). Therefore, you say something like "I have an article on
my site (give URL) that your visitors might find useful after they've
read your (whatever) section". You see, it doesn't necessarily have to be
your home page that gets the link, a link to one of your sub pages will
do just fine, the user will find their way straight to your home page
using your excellent site navigation, right?
Points to note: you don't even have to ask for the link directly, but
you could add "...maybe you'd like to link it?" to the end of the last
bit. Give them a reason to link you, don't just ask. All the above points
can, and should, be accomplished in three sentences. Keep it short
Now, put yourself in the webmaster's shoes. If you received a "request"
like this, would you give a link to that person? Of course you would!
- How not to ask
"Please visit my Web site at http://yoursite.com If you
link me I'll give you a link back."
They probably won't even visit.
- Who to ask
If you want to get traffic to your site, you need links
from busy sites with plenty of traffic to send you.
A good way of finding them is to go to a search engine and
type in one of your keywords and then go to the top
of the list. These sites are a good place to start asking.
You've probably had a good look around and know about the
best sites with topics similar to yours. You shouldn't see
these as "competitors" but opportunities for links.
The best sites with the most traffic have got to that
position because they're offering something valuable, which
means they're very choosy about the pages they give links
to, in fact most of them only link useful pages they've
found by themselves, a sort of "don't call us, we'll call
you" attitude. So don't even bother asking unless you have
plenty of free and useful information. Am I boring you with
- Who not to ask
Timmy's Bookmarks Home Page
Your Links Page
On the other side of the coin, if you're going to have a links
page think "quality" not "quantity". If you link every site under
the sun just to get reciprocal links then you're not doing your
readers any favours. Links should enhance your site for the user.
If you send them to low quality sites, that makes your site
low quality and your visitors won't come back again or recommend
your site to their friends.
Giving out your URL should be as natural as giving your
phone or fax number. It should appear on your headed
notepaper, business card, fax header, adverts in the Press
and you should even give it out to people who call you on
the phone. Even if they haven't got a computer you can bet
a friend or colleague of theirs has and they'll be curious
to find out what this strange thing is you've given them.
Feeling confident? If you think you have what it takes
content-wise, send a nomination of your site to the
E-zines. If they think you have something worthwhile
they'll put an article about your site, with a link, in one
issue. You'll get loads of hits for a short period, maybe a
week, so it's important that you have something to sell to
people over this short period.
is the longest-running and most popular
one. Don't forget to subscribe yourself, because they'll
never tell you if they include your site, you have to find
out for yourself.
Here's how to submit your site, in their words:
It's easier then you think. All you need to do is send us e-mail to
As usual, do remember that brevity is the soul of wit. So keep it
short, we get hundreds of submissions every week and the
longer they are the less likely it is that we'll look at them.
Standard press release length (a page or two) is fine, but don't
go beyond that.
The effort to results ratio of posting to newsgroups
is pretty small. If you're going to try it
you should be thick-skinned and have
plenty of time on your hands.
- Lurk first. Watch the group for about a week before you
- Re-post periodically, say every week.
- Choose the right newsgroups. Most are intolerant of
blatant marketing. A good place to start is
comp.infosystems.www.announce which gets a lot of
subscribers (and a lot of postings), and then look around
for groups related to your subject.
- It's vital to keep a close watch for feedback and
respond quickly. Post your reply and email the same message
to the person, just in case.
Placing a graphic next to the
right scroll bar (in the lower right-hand corner of the
first screen) generates a 228%
higher click-through rate than ones at the top of the page.
Graphics placed 1/3 of the way down the page, as
opposed to the top, generate 77% higher click-through
rates. Read all
So, if you've got something to sell, put the link at the
bottom right of the first screen.