Now that you’ve finished your linkbuilding campaign, what do you do?
- Respond to the people who gave you links. This can just be a “thank you” if they’ve sent you a simple announcement letting you know they’ve added your link, it can be a link back to them if that’s appropriate, or it can be the beginning of a worthwhile online networking effort. Negotiations, such as offers to provide a link if some condition is met, also deserve a response, even if it’s just “I don’t have authority to do this, but I’ll pass it on to the owner. Thank you for your response.” If I’m linkbuilding for a really valuable site, though, I’ll usually respond initially with why I think my client should have the fee or reciprocal requirement or whatever it is waived, and sometimes I get that for them.
- Respond — sometimes — to the people who didn’t give you links. You can always thank people for considering you if they email to tell you that you’re not getting a link. If you don’t hear from them at all, you could sometimes ask again. I would do this only if I really think that the link I’m suggesting would be good for both sites, and that it might be possible that they’ve overlooked or forgotten my request. I wouldn’t send the identical thing over again. This is a case where I might say something like,
“I noticed that your list of companies offering baby equipment rentals doesn’t include Baby Smart Travel. We’d love to be listed. If you’ve decided against listing us, we’d like to know why so we can correct the problem. Thank you so much for your time, both in reading my emails and in keeping up your very useful parenting site. I know that it’s hard work, and your readers appreciate it.”
I’ve also sometimes responded with things like,
“Thank you for your response to my link request. It’s true that our company does sell things, and is therefore a commercial site, but I hope you noticed our knowledge base. It includes 84 pages of free information that I think your readers would find valuable. if you’ve already seen it and decided that we’re not for you, then thank you very much for considering our site.”
You’ll notice that these responses are really obviously written by a human being. That’s essential. We all hate spam, and people who get lots of link requests really hate spam. One last point here: if you get hurt and offended by rejections, give this task to someone else. I love it when I get responses saying how valuable the site I suggested is, and thanking me for recommending it, but I’m not going to pretend that’s the most frequent reaction.
- Ask for updates or changes when appropriate. If someone is giving you a link, then they agree that your site is worth linking to. If your phone number or URL changes, it’s completely appropriate to let them know. If they’ve linked to you with an image, which doesn’t do you nearly as much good, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’d mind using a snippet of code which you conveniently send to them. I’ve even been asked to change the anchor text I’ve used in links — a request like that is a little over the top for me, but I made the change, and I didn’t mind, so if you’re more aggressive than I, you might try it.
There you go: a successful linkbuilding campaign concluded. You should see some results in a couple of weeks, in the form of improved ranking and traffic.