Monday, September 05, 2005

Link Exchange - An important small business strategy

I have been struggling to understand how to fit this blog into my marketing strategy and today, trying to explain what blogging was all about to someone, it all became clear. It was inspirational author Richard Bach in his wonderful book Illusions who said "You teach best what you most need to learn.

I still find that I learn something new every day, infact it sometimes alarms me that every day I discover new things about which I know absolutely nothing. However the focus of this blog is Small Business Marketing Strategies so what I am going to do is recount my daily learning experiences as I try desperately to keep up with a world in which the only contstant remaining is that, "It will change tomorrow."

So my lesson today is about Link Exchange. This is a simple idea - You put a link to my web site on yours and I'll put a link to your web site on mine. Why would we do that? Well research shows that most people visit web sites as a result of a link from another web site. This is why Google adsense is so popular and successful. But surely you think, "If I have managed to get a visitor, the last thing I want to do is direct them somewhere else." The reality is that if someone is looking around on my links page it's a pretty good bet that they have not found what they were looking for on my site. f I am about to lose them why not refer them to someone who refers back - its all about co-operation rather than competition.

However there is an even more important reason for a Link Exchange program. Search engines look at how many incoming and outgoing links there are on your site in assessing how popular it is. The more links the better your ranking. They are also looking for relevance. Are the sites you are linked to relevant to the primary keywords on your site. So this a real area where synergy works - The best links I can have are with the people who I am most likely to compete with.

My lesson however was all about how to create those links on other peoples sites so that I benefit at least as much from the incoming traffic as I lose from the outgoing. It's too much to explain in detail here - but have a look at my Link Exchange page for full details about how to link with my site but also how to set up a Link Exchange program yourself.

My criteria for a successful Link Exchange program are
  • The url link is connected to associated primary Keywords for my site
  • The link has a short discriptive paragraph next to is laced with keywords
  • The link copy contains an incentive to visit me
  • I provide the exact HTML code for the way I want my link displayed
  • I help you to make your programme work well
  • The best recipricol links are to similar businesses
  • The links on my site open up in a new window so my site stays on the desktop
  • I organise the links pages well to make it attractive for people to link to me
  • The exchage is strictly like for like - its got to be a win win agreement

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