How to Ask for Links

link requests

Your website will benefit by having links from other websites. Read more about this concept at my earlier post, “Linkbuilding: Getting That Natural Look.”

You can get links naturally by having great content. You can buy links honestly, in the form of advertising. You can place links yourself, in a variety of ways. Still, if you’re doing serious linkbuilding, you will have to ask people for them at some point.

How can you do this successfully?

Let’s take a moment to define “success.” Getting 25% of the links you ask for is considered a success in the industry. This is just speaking generally, though. If you only ask for links when you’re really sure you deserve a yes, your success rate will be higher. If you send out mass emails asking for links from everyone whose address you were able to get by any means, your rate will be lower.

Today, I’m thinking about that middle ground. We’re going to suppose that you’ve gotten links from all the really obvious people, and are moving on to the ones who might not have thought of linking to you. You need to persuade them a little.

Here’s how:

  • Remember it’s not about you. Here’s a link request I received:

Dear Webmaster, We have visited your site and found it quite impressive. We are dealing with a site which is based on the same theme of yours and looking for high quality related sites who can give me link backs. My site is having a PR of 3 and if you will give me a link back then definitely our site will also get benefited.This would be a win situation for both of us and I would really appreciate if you add my site with this information: Computer Technician / IT Support / IT Services. The TechServicesGuide is a completely free services that requires no obligation. A strategic provider of IT services is hard to find. There are no comprehensive IT directories available. We have the tools to help you on your way and the experience working with tech providers.Thanks & Regards, Administrator.

If this were a friend of mine saying, “Hey, I have a new site and I really need links. It’s kind of related to yours, so can you give me a hand and link to me?” I’d do my best to help out. This is not a friend. This is someone who decided not to use my name or even his or her own name, and yet the focus of the request is definitely on my doing this person a favor.

Instead, focus your request on how a link would benefit the visitors to the site you want a link from. I’m not convinced by this email that my visitors are panting to have an introduction to a computer tech guy in Australia, so I didn’t give this person a link. I did go look at the site, and I did respond, but that’s just in case there was a human being involved in this email — by no means a sure thing.

  • Visit the website you want a link from. I’m sort of embarrassed to say this, because it should be obvious, but it’s clearly not, based on the kinds of requests I get. A recent example was directed toward one of my clients (on my email address for their company). It came from a direct competitor, and opened with a description of their services in terms suggesting that my clients would be unfamiliar with the services the writer provided, but might care to pass along any of their customers who needed these arcane things done. That kind of thing is actually insulting.

Instead, visit the website, get to know it, and mention in your email the specific things you noticed about the site that make you think that their visitors would find your link useful and beneficial.

  • Follow normal rules of courtesy. Make the effort to find the name of the person you’re writing to. Share your own name. If they respond to you, thank them. You know, the kinds of things that distinguish real emails from spam.

If you know a little bit about linkbuilding, you may be thinking that this is a time-consuming way to go about it. Yes, it is. However, if you know a lot about linkbuilding, you know that this is the way to get valuable links.

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