How to Request a Link Without Sounding Like a Spammer
As search engines continue to evolve, so does the field of search engine optimization. Although a technique may work extremely well for awhile, there are manySEO techniques that eventually become obsolete. For example, there was a point in time when a site could rank well if it was submitted to enough web directories. While there are still some quality web directories out there (which we will discuss in a future post), the major search engines have devalued the links from a large percentage of web directories.
Although many techniques do become obsolete, there are other SEO techniques that still work as well today as they did five years ago. One of the best examples of a technique that is still very effective is the link request. If you can get other bloggers and webmasters to provide a one-way link to your blog or website, you are gaining a very powerful boost to yourSEO efforts.
However, the problem is that most people don’t know how to properly ask for a link, and instead of getting a great one-way link from a trusted source, their request gets deleted or marked as spam by the recipient.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of your future link requests, here a handful of guidelines that you should always strive to follow:
Establish a Relationship: If possible, before you ask for a link, establish a relationship with the person you are planning to ask. While this may not work for a static website, it is usually quite easy with blogs (since the authors are much more active online). In addition to leaving interesting comments on their blog, you can also chat with a blogger through email or instant messaging. When you are communicating, really focus on a building a genuine online friendship with this person.
Remember that the Title Matters: I can’t count how many times I have received an email with a subject along the lines of “Link to Me” or “Go to My Website.” I receive these emails on a regular basis, and all of them are sent directly to my trash folder.
When you sit down to write your link request, remember that you need to come up with an interesting title. If you haven’t had previous contact with the person you are sending the request to, this step is especially important. What you come up with will depend on your specific situation, but titles that have worked for me in the past include “I was wondering about [insert the title of one of their blog posts or articles]” or “I have a question about [the name of their blog or website].”
Be Personal: Whether you have had previous contact with the recipient or not, you need to make your email personalized. In addition to using their name (instead of Dear Blogger or Webmaster), you should be open with your identity. This includes introducing yourself (if you haven’t had previous contact) and providing multiple contact details (website URL, phone number, etc).
Remember to Give and Take: When you send a link request, you are simply asking a blogger or webmaster to give you a free link. Therefore, to avoid being rude, you need to let them know what you are offering in return. Just like the second guideline in this list, what you have to offer will depend on the specific situation. However, one of the easiest ways to have something to offer is to write a piece of content that will benefit their audience, and then ask for them to link to that specific piece of content.
As an example, if you read a blog post that has a question at the end of it, you may want to do the necessary research to answer that question and then send a link request to the blogger letting them know that you published the answer to their question.