Are you struggling to find links to your websites?
Chances are you’re not alone.
Link building is one of the fundamental elements of search engine optimization. Every webmaster is searching for links relevant to their site. The more links they obtain, the better their content ranks in the search engine results.
The problem being encountered is finding links can be difficult.
At one time, people linked to websites because they liked the content or felt there was a value in doing so.
Now, profile links, article marketing, guest blogging, blog commenting and forums are proven tactics used to obtain links. Everyone is using them because they are readily available and links are easily obtained.
No one is disputing the effectiveness of these techniques for obtaining links. However, the ongoing debate around the value of these links to improve rankings has intensified in recent months since the Google Panda algorithmic updates.
If the effectiveness of these techniques is debatable, how do you go about getting quality links?
Have you ever heard of prospecting?
Prospecting is a method of “cold calling” or “cold emailing” where you contact other website operators and ask them for a link.
What? Ask for a link? You think I’m crazy right? Are you scared of someone saying no?
Prospecting for links is an effective way to obtain high quality links from sites directly related to your own. However, you have to ensure your site appears professional, doesn’t contain questionable content and will potentially enhance readers that may visit from the linking website.
Not every site will provide you with a link but if you follow these simple guidelines, prospecting for links can provide some gems.
- Send a personalized message
People will recognize a form letter. A personalized message allows website owners to recognize the message was written just for them and helps establish the basis of a relationship.
- Tie your message to their needs
Don’t talk about your website, your services or your solutions. Focus on their issues, concerns, problems and challenges. It shows you have a legitimate interest in the other site and enhances any relationship that may be formed.
- Keep the message short
You may only have a few seconds to capture the attention of the reader. Most people decided within 20 seconds whether to delete an email, forward it to someone else or respond. Most people will use the preview window of their email system as well. Long messages lose their effectiveness.
- Start a conversation
Your goal is to engage the other website owner in a conversation and see if they would be interested in linking to a resource on your website. It gives you the opportunity to show how the link would be beneficial to their readers.
Not every prospecting email is going to result in a link. Don’t be discouraged by rejection. There is still some benefit to making the initial contact.
You have drawn attention to your website and the products and services that you offer. You have also started the basis of a relationship that may grow into something much more substantial in the future.
Remember, many websites receive multiple requests for links daily. Don’t be too hasty but if you haven’t heard back in several days, you can follow up with a reminder thanking them for their time. This may prompt them to re-read your earlier email and respond.
Is prospecting for links an effective way of obtaining links?
Well, in the time few hours I’ve sat and wrote this article, I was successful at obtaining 5 relevant links to one of my new websites. Would you call that effective?