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Sent hundreds of link exchange requests but never heard back

Response rates vary depending on the websites you select for link exchange, the standing of your own site and some other factors. Generally, newer websites with a low PageRank, low traffic and a small number of backlinks are harder to get approved for link exchange. The number of interested webmasters tends to increase as a site gets more popular on the web.

There are some things you can do to increase the number of link partners at any stage of your site promotion campaign.

Finetune your search settings

  • Think of site owners from an adjacent niche who might want to refer their visitors to your site. If you sell prescription eyeglasses, you could team up with sites dealing in eyeglasses cases and accessories as well as local eye doctors. Or if you promote a sports club, you could establish valuble link partnerships with websites specializing in sports nutrition, footwear, clothes, lingerie, body care products and so on.
  • Don't use your own target keywords when searching for partners - they'll bring you the list of direct competitors. It doesn't mean that you should totally give up on fellow businesses. If you are promoting a local business, you could consider partnerships with businesses from other areas. This way, a seafood restaurant from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina could offer its web visitors links to other great seafood restaurants outside of its service area.
  • If you are aiming for pure link exchange, consider only those sites that are equipped with some kind of link directories. Sites that don't do link exchange are rather unlikely to respond (you'll need to approach them with a review they could link to or offer them an interesting article with a quick reference to your site, for example). You can use the Find sites with link submission forms search option or enable the Interested partners filter for keyword search.

Take time to review potential partners

Open each site in a browser to make sure it's a proper place for a link. Stay away from bogus sites and link farms. Multiple links from sites of questionable quality can put your own reputation (and rankings) at risk.

Set reasonable expectations to partners. All of us want the most juicy links but so do other webmasters. A site with the PageRank of 1 is likely to be approved for link exchange by similar sites that have only started gaining PR. Well-established sites whose PageRank is over 4 may be considering partnerships of similar value. It doesn't mean that a new site can't get links from authoritative resources. It sure can! However, these links will be probably obtained by other means (more personal & creative), not straighforward link exhange.

Keep your link directory straight

A look at your link directory should make people want to get listed there.

  • Replace the default introduction with your own words.
  • Create several categories for links that spring from the topic of your site. 
  • Distribute links logically among the categories.
  • Make sure the pages are nicely formatted. Remove errors and broken links.

Link to your partners before asking them to link back

Your link exchange requests should state clearly that you've already done your part. This will show potential partners that you are serious about your offer. Quite a reason to accept it.

Make your link invitations look trustworthy

Your link exchange email is the first piece of information about your company people get. So it should create a good impression from the very start.

  • Use an eye-catching subject (gives your emails changes to get noticed... and opened).
  • Customize the defaul text to give your messages a personal touch.
  • Sign the e-mails using your full name and position within the company.
  • Send the emails from a mail account registered on a company domain (your.name@company-name.com).

Please check out our concise link-building guide for more tips about link exchange. If you are in for 1-way links, this blog post can be of use (quite an old one but still true). And here's a totally new one - Re-Discovering SEO PowerSuite’s LinkAssistant: 15 Ingenious Ways to Use the Good Old SEO Tool (highly recommended).

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Created On: 10 July 2012 12:12 PM