Everyone who is trying to improve their web site’s ranking wants backlinks. This is an essential ingredient to your web site promotion strategy. Some happen because the right person (a webmaster) stumbled across your web site and likes your content. But you can get many more links on other web sites pointing to yours – if only you ask them. One-way links (where they link to your page but you don’t have to link back) are much more valuable to your web site promotion than link exchanges, and they often take the same amount of effort to obtain. Search engines rate these more heavily when evaluating your web site. These free backlinks can be obtained by politely asking the webmaster to make the addition of your web site resource.
Only if a webmaster requests a link exchange do I consider doing such. The web site promotion strategy I normally use is to start by asking for what I really want.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
Above all, courtesy and personal touch is a must with these emails. Don’t make these requests appear too cold or canned. Don’t be insistent or prideful.
GOOD WEB SITES TO REQUEST A FREE BACKLINK FROM:
Many times when you send out a request – even a polite one, you may get ignored. To minimize this scenario, use the following web site promotion trick: Find out who has given backlinks to your competitors. Then ask these webmasters to link to your web site. There are a few different tools out there that can help you with this. I would recommend using the backlink checker from Submit Express http://www.submitexpress.com/linkpop/. You can also use it to monitor your web site, since you will seldom be notified if they do follow your suggestion and put in a link to your site. A good backlink checker is an essential tool for any webmaster interested in web site promotion.
FINDING WHO TO CONTACT:
Most web sites have a contact page or an email link to the webmaster. Search around. (The following is assuming the web site you are researching is http://www.yourwebsiteurl.com )
Next try going to “info.txt” file (yourwebsiteurl.com/info.txt). This is an info page on the web site that many webmasters have. Also, try looking at Alexa information for their website. Many web sites have information on who to contact in their Alexa account. Here is the format: info.alexa.com/data/details?url=http://www.yourwebsiteurl.com/ If you still cannot find it, you could always make an educated guess. Many web sites follow email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org pattern for the webmaster.
Also look for a “add your link” section or page. This may be on a links page or it may be elsewhere. If a web site has an established procedure for asking for backlinks you will always want to follow them. That is a courtesy they will expect.
WRITING THE EMAIL:
The subject of the email should make them want to read your email. Don’t misrepresent the email purpose by pretending to be a long lost friend or say “Lottery Winner”. No one likes to be duped. You may want to put a brief comment such as “I love your web site! May I ask you a question?”. You want to attract their interest in a courteous manner and not look like you are being sneaky.
THE BODY OF THE EMAIL:
The first part of your email body should complement their web site somehow. Make this a couple of sentences. This is the most tailored part of the email. It also keeps your email from being thrown out automatically. Those who get a preview of the top 2-3 lines of an email will see a complement – and may to read further. If they don’t read it, your web site promotion efforts will not work.
Then, you should let them know how you found their site (what search engine and what keywords you used). Many webmasters find this to be valuable information, since it tells them what is working for their own web site promotion.
THEN you should politely request the honor of a link to your web site. (Or you may suggest your website as an additional resource . . . if your website has good resources or tools.) TIP: Not all those you contact will understand the term backlink. Just use the term “link”. And especially don’t mention the phrase “free backlinks”. You don’t want to imply that they could or should charge for them.
When you email other webmasters asking for backlinks, you should include the following:
- The URL of where you want the link to go to
- The suggested text for the link. This would be what you want the link to look like to visitors on that web site. Make sure that it encourages people to visit your web site and appropriately represents what your site is about. Having a keyword phrase in here is good – if you think the webmaster will go for this.
- A suggested description for the link. They may use this next to the link or in the title attribute of the link.
- The suggested HTML for the link.
- The page you would like the link to be on. Normally this would be a relevant page to your product or service. Sometimes it is in their list of links on a separate links page. Only rarely will this be the home page.
The last part should thank them for their time and encourage them to contact you if they have any questions. This is a must! They did you the favor of reading the email.
In your signature, put your full name, your email address and your title (such as Webmaster).
Ideally, I would recommend sending out the emails as you find the web sites. This keeps you from forgetting losing interest in that site. Have fun with your web site promotion!