Incoming links offer your business website two main benefits. Incoming links increase your website traffic which of course means your conversions and sales increase. Incoming links also increase your search engine ranking because search engine spiders from all the search engines including MSN, Yahoo, and Google, all use incoming links as part of their ranking and indexing algorithm.
One of the best and most popular ways to increase incoming links is to exchange links with other relevant and trustworthy businesses. Relevancy and trustworthiness are both important not only to maintain and increase your own website credibility but also with search engine rankings. Links which come from websites which are relevant and trustworthy have more weight than non-relevant links.
So what is a relevant link? It’s a link which compliments or supplements your own business. It doesn’t compete with it. For example if you sell mattresses then a link from a bedding company or a pillow company would be relevant. A link from a company that makes ice cream isn’t.
So now the big question…how do you exchange links with a relevant site?
The first possibility is to contact the webmaster directly and ask if they will exchange links with you. Make sure to follow through if they do link to you and check occasionally to make sure they’ve followed through with their end of the deal. It’s unprofessional to remove links after agreeing to however it does happen.
Another way to exchange links is to offer a link to us button on your website. Visitors can click on this button and receive html code for a variety of link types including text and banner. Make sure webmasters have a way to contact you to let you know they’ve linked to you so you can reciprocate.
If you’re approaching a webmaster to request a link exchange make sure you’ve done your homework and understand not only their website business but also the benefit of linking to you. There needs to be a strong benefit for someone to link to you. Present it so they understand what’s in it for them. This is accomplished by understanding your target audience and theirs. Be sure to also provide relevant data including daily website visitors and any visitor demographic information which may be applicable.
When exchanging links it is also important to agree about where a link will be placed. If you link to another website on your home page and they link to you on a page buried deep within their website then the exchange isn’t equal. That may be an equitable exchange if their deep pages receive as much traffic as your home page. It’s definitely an issue to address up front.
When handled correctly, link exchanges are a good way to increase your website traffic. Do your research, approach webmasters with a professional and thorough presentation, and follow through on your end of the agreement.