Implementing an Inbound Link Marketing Campaign

When putting together your inbound link marketing campaign, try for at least 50 inbound links, which you request by e-mail or submit by hand. The more links the merrier, as long as they're from valid sites. Follow these steps:

  1. Start your search for inbound links.

    Enter one of your keywords in a search engine such as Google to see which sites appear at the top of its results. Then run an inbound link check for the top two or three sites to see a list of possible targets.

  2. Run a report on inbound link popularity on several of your competitors to get ideas.

  3. Research the sources of free links as well as other search engines, business directories, and meta indexes.

    You can research links while your site is under development, but don’t make any requests until the site is live.

  4. Visit every site to ensure that it’s relevant and that your target audience would visit.

    This way, any referred traffic is prequalified.

  5. Look for directions such as Add your URL to see whether to request a link by e-mail or fill out a form on the target site.

    You might need to look at the footer or site index to find out how to add your link.

  6. When you’re ready, start your link requests.

    Blind-copy 30 or so e-mail requests to save time, using a message such as the one in the nearby sidebar, “A sample link-request e-mail message.” Insert your website name and link request in the Subject line. If you're willing to offer a reciprocal link or if you already have a good Google PageRank or a significant amount of traffic, add that information to your message.

  7. Submit onsite requests manually.

    Some sites ask only for a site’s URL; others ask for a page title, description, keywords, contact information, or more.

  8. Do your follow-up homework. Check your e-mail for responses from websites.

    Some responses ask you to confirm that you're a real person by asking you to click a link or e-mail back. Others might request reciprocal links before they post yours. Only a small fraction of your link requests is likely to respond.

  9. After six to eight weeks, check to see which links have posted. Make a second polite request and check again after another two months.

    If a site still hasn't posted your link after two months, find a substitute.

Unless you request otherwise, most inbound sites link to your home page. If your site is segmented by target market or product, segment your requests for inbound links to match. Provide the URL for the correct internal page rather than for your home page.

Most sites post your link on their own Links or Resources pages. From a search engine point of view, links from other content pages usually carry greater value.

Link campaigns involve a lot of detail. To keep track, create a spreadsheet to track your efforts, with columns for these details:

  • Site name

  • Appearance URL

  • Submission URL or e-mail address

  • Date of submission

  • URL of page you asked others to link to

  • Whether a reciprocal link or payment is needed

  • Date the link was checked

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