Making the Most of Linkbacks

Dec 3 22:00 2001 Marc McDonald Print This Article

... all ... these days are aware of the fact ... ... with other sites is an ... method ... ... fact, if you go about it the right way, you can builda

Virtually all Webmasters these days are aware of the fact that
exchanging linkbacks with other sites is an excellent method for
building traffic.

In fact,Guest Posting if you go about it the right way, you can build
a sizable audience for your Web site (even if you don't
have much luck in achieving good positioning in the search engines).
I've had a good amount of success in building traffic to
my sites over the years, and linkbacks have been a key
component of that success.

There's a number of tips and tricks I've learned over the
years about the best way to benefit from linkbacks with
other sites. These include:

1. Make it as easy as possible for other Web site owners
to link you. One way I've tried to achieve this over the
years is by creating a page that has ready-to-use "cut
and paste" HTML linkback code that Webmasters can grab and
add to their pages, if they want to link one of my sites.
In fact, I have no problems at all with linkback partners
who wish to directly link to a button or banner image that resides
on my server.

The way I see it, if someone is willing to link a site of mine,
then I'm certainly willing to pay for the necessary bandwidth.
If you require people to actually grab a button or banner
from your site and upload it to their site in order to link
to you, then you're only adding another step.
This may not seem significant. But I've found it can be for
many site owners, particularly newbies. The fact is, most
successful Web site owners tend to busy and pressed for time.
Anything you can do to save them an extra step is significant
and, over the long run, will result in more linkbacks.

Another advantage of offering ready-to-use "cut and paste"
HTML linkback coding is that you may find that a lot of Webmasters
will link your site, simply because they like what you're
offering. If you run a useful, worthwhile site, you'll find
that a lot of other site owners will link you and not even ask
for anything in return.

2. Forget full-sized banners. It's hardly news that the banner
ad market is pretty dead these days. That goes for banner
linkbacks, as well. (Although some people refer to small
buttons or icons as "banners," the term properly refers to
images that are usually around 468-by-60 pixels in size).
The fact is, these days, banners get very few clicks, for the
most part. In fact, I've found that a well-worded text link
can actually draw more clicks than a full-sized banner these
days. And, what's more, a text link doesn't impact a site's
all-important load time, unlike a full-sized banner.
Besides text links, I find that 88X31 pixel buttons also perform
well in linkback deals, particularly if you have an
eye-catching design. Animated buttons tend to get more clicks than
static buttons. But nevertheless, I always offer potential linkback
partners a choice of several designs, both static and animated.
If you offer linkback partners a choice of designs, you'll increase
the odds that they'll be willing to display your button.

3. Piggyback on other sites' search engine success.
Spend some time at the major search engines. Type in the most likely
keywords that you think people would use to locate your site. Then
take a look at the sites at the top of the search results.
It's possible that your site will never achieve top search engine
placement for a given set of ideal keywords.
But don't fret: although you may not have direct control over the search
engines, you can benefit from the sites that are well-placed. I've
had a good deal of luck over the years, working out linkbacks with sites
with excellent search engine placement on desirable keyword(s). The
fact is, if you can't be the top site in a given search, you can
have the next best thing: to be linked prominently on that particular site.

4. Closely monitor your site's referral statistics.
When you work out various linkback deals with other sites, it's
important to keep tabs on how many clicks these sites are sending you.
Ideally, both sites in a link trade will send each other an equal
number of clicks. Of course, it rarely works out that way. But the
fact is, you should keep tabs on linkback traffic and make sure that
your link partner is sending you a fair number of clicks.

5. Look for sites to linkback with who likely draw an audience that
would be interested in what you offer, as well.
When you consider doing a link trade, you shouldn't simply focus on
the traffic your link partner is drawing. What is more important is
how likely that site's audience is going to be interested in what you
offer, as well.
One thing I do is to always spend some time browsing around a potential
linkback partner's site. The question I always ask myself is: "Would a
typical visitor to this site likely be interested in what my site has
to offer, as well?"
It pays to spend some time, exploring any sites that you work out linkback
deals with. Even if a linkback partner is steering you loads of traffic,
your all-important credibility will suffer if you're sending your visitors
to a linkback partner who has content that's inappropriate for your audience.

6. Pick linkback partners with potential.
I think this method is often overlooked by Webmasters who do link trades.
To me, a suitable link partner is someone who runs a useful, credible
site that I know my visitors will enjoy and benefit from. But the ideal
link partner I look for is someone who runs an outstanding site that hasn't
yet found an audience, for whatever reason. Perhaps the site is too new
to have built an audience. Or maybe the site owner excels at content,
but has poor promotion skills.
Sites that fall into this category make for ideal link partners. If you're the
first site to send significant traffic to them, it's something that they'll
always remember (and always be grateful for). What's more, if they have
a worthwhile site, it's usually only a matter of time before they do build
a sizable audience, which, of course, will benefit you over the long run.

7. Regard your linkback partners as more than just a link.
The most valuable asset you can build as a Web site owner is your partnerships
and relationships with other site owners. Over the years, I've built up a
sizable network of Webmaster friends and partners who've played a key role
in the success of my sites. I began my relationship with most of these folks
via a simple link trade deal.
In many cases, what started out as simple link trades have evolved into
valuable business and Web partnerships. As a result, I've cultivated a
network of valuable, trustworthy contacts, who I can depend on and share
useful advice with.

If you follow these steps, you'll be able to make the most of linkbacks in
building your site. Using linkbacks effectively is the single most potent
technique for building an audience for your site.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Marc McDonald
Marc McDonald

Marc McDonald is a former journalist and editor with the Fort
Worth Star-Telegram and the creator of TheFreeSite.com
as well as several other popular Web sites that have received
extensive media exposure from CNN's "Headline News," the BBC,
Fox News, ZDTV, CBS Radio, the Washington Post, and many more.
Visit the TheFreeSite.com at: http://www.thefreesite.com
and AAAPostcards at: http://www.aaapostcards.com

View More Articles