The Basics of Asking for a Reciprocal Link
Asking another webmaster for a reciprocal link is standard practice on the Internet. Webmasters have been asking other webmasters for reciprocal links since the beginnings of the Internet. The very nature of the web is linking websites to one another. It is of even higher importance, now that AltaVista and others have changed their ranking algorithms.
If a webmaster considers your email spam, then he can report you. If your emails are unique, without commercials, and are personalized with unique personal information about the webmaster's web site that you are emailing, then it would be hard to call your email spam.
All webmasters must be responsible in their asking for reciprocal links. This includes following simple rules and guidelines in choosing web sites to include in your link directory.
Organizing a Tightly-Themed Vertical Link Directory
Your Link Directory's Themes must match the Themes of your web site. You must not let your zeal to email, and perhaps get a reciprocal link overpower your need to create a true web resource. You don't want to create a directory that includes all the knowledge of mankind and also sounds like a soft drink. You should be happy with organizing a tightly Themed Vertical Link Directory. Be the best in your area, linking only sites that relate to you.
A smaller, tightly-themed Link Directory will grow much faster than a diluted, loosely-themed, large bulky one. Your web site's traffic will quickly increase, not only with visitors from your Reciprocal Link partners but will also increase from Search Engine visitors, once their robots quickly find your Link Directory pages through your Link Partners!
Email General Guidelines
DO NOT commercialize your email in any way.
This message should only be a few lines, and not a long narrative with rules and guidelines. Save that for your information on your link directory. Use a unique email reciprocal link message.
It is possible for webmasters to receive the same basic message from another webmaster. Each reciprocal link request MUST look different by being fresh and original.
Do not use Let's Trade Links as your subject. Let's trade Links is probably the most used email subject line on the Internet today, as there are thousands of webmasters using this phrase. If you keep this subject line, then you are sending the same one as everyone else. It will not be accepted or worse, it will look like spam.
Personalize every email message
Before you can send a reciprocal link request, you need to explore their web site to decide if you want to include them in your link directory. You need to also use some thought in who you send a message to. A super large web site will probably not trade links with you in the beginning, perhaps you should save those for later. If you cannot find a links page, they are not going to trade links either. Think before sending email.
I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Bell is Manager, Online Marketing, at http://www.wspromotion.com, a leading Search Engine Optimization services firm and Advertising Agency.