When most people think about link campaigns, they have solicited links in mind. They have heard about the process of contacting strangers and wheedling and cajoling a link out of them. If it sounds like hard work, you’re right, but it can pay big dividends, both in terms of visitors following the links to your site and raising your search rankings.. Those benefits are yours, however, only through careful selection of the sites to link to yours. Here are the kinds of questions you’ve got to ask yourself before soliciting a link from another site:
Does the site contain credible, well-written information?
Most experts would have phrased this question “Does this site have a Google PageRank of at least 5″? But that’s not the way to think about it. Having a high PageRank can be very good if the content is being maintained and continues to be well written and credible. But sites change. A site you think is very good that search engines have not yet discovered, now might be the best time to request a link – it might never be easier to get. (Maybe you can pass along some tips for search marketing that will help the site gain the search engine’s attention – after they link to you!) You know the subject matter of your site’s content – trust your own judgment on whether a site is high quality.
Does the site’s content relate to yours in a strong way?
There is no use getting links from a local accountant to your digital camera page, even if he loves your cameras. Mmm K? Your visitors would not place any stock in an accountant’s recommendation, so why should a search engine. They just aren’t built that way.
Are the visitors to the site the kinds of visitors you want at your site?
If not, why would you want them to visit your site? Remember, you are not looking for higher rankings or more referrals – you want more conversions. That’s the goal. Make sure the links you solicit drive qualified traffic to your site. Plenty of such sites are out there, so spend your time soliciting them.
Is the site a competitor of yours?
You need to think broadly about this question. A consulting firm probably wouldn’t want to link to a software company whose product performs one of their services. Don’t waste time requesting links that you won’t ever get.
You need to ask yourself these questions before adding any potential partner to your list of prospects.