Getting People to Link to You - Link Love, How to (and How Not to) Get It

Getting links to your pages and sites is important both for getting new customers and for search engine optimization (SEO). But many people go about asking for links in a way that ends up being annoying or even rude. While adding a link is not difficult, you are asking for a favor. Being rude or annoying is not a successful strategy for getting that favor or the link.

The following guidelines should help you get more links to your site and make good connections to other Web developers.

1. If you're proposing an exchange, you should link first. Many developers will write saying "I'll link to you if you link to me." But in this situation, you clearly want the link more than they do. It comes across better if you offer to help them before you ask for something.

2. Don't imply you are doing them a favor by exchanging links. Even if your site is much better placed than theirs, you're asking them for help. Asking someone to do work for you isn't a favor.

3. Your link to them won't improve their ranking. Yes, getting good external links will help search engine ranking. But chances are the site you're trying to get a link from is already better placed than yours. So linking to you helps you, but you linking to them doesn't improve their ranks significantly.

4. Do your homework. If you're going to request a link, find out if they post external links. Do they post links to sites like yours? Do they have link request guidelines? On my site, if you want to link your Web design firm, you need to fill out my Web designers site listing form, otherwise, I won't link to your firm.

5. Link to them first. If your site starts sending them traffic, they'll notice and check out your site. If your site is something useful, they'll link to you - without you even asking.

6. You don't need to notify your link subjects of your links. Sending an email is overkill - as once your site starts sending traffic, the link or links will be obvious.

7. If you must send an email, be polite. Try to put yourself in their shoes - does your email come across demanding or annoying? Remember that you're asking them for a favor. And be direct about what you want.