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Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:59 PM
I've been fairly pleased with the progress my site has made both in terms of serps and backlinks considering the limited time I've had to commit to it. Less pleased with realized income to date, but it's slowly growing which is fine. I've managed a broad number of 1st page and even top 3 placements for smaller more specific searches, and am doing surprisingly well with some of the more generic searches thanks in large part to your good advice. I haven't made a huge effort in link building w/ the exception of a few obvious authority sites and directories. I'm going to try to make a real effort to contact several sites I've identified with link requests after the 1st of the year.
I know this has to be covered somewhere here on the HRF, probably many times, but most threads in this section are of the "is this bad" nature. I know what to avoid, but I haven't read much on how to be effective in your link requests.
In other words ... how do you go about making a proper introduction, and requesting a link with the greatest likelihood of being taken seriously? I can write a quality letter of introduction that very specifically relates the site I'm contacting and their visitors to what I have to offer. But if my letter gets trapped in a SPAM filter, or the webmaster is just overwhelmed w/ bogus link requests, it's headed for the dumper without a second thought.
Any insights into getting your message in front of someone most effectively? If you are legitimately relevant, and making a legitimate request, can you overcome being lumped in with the onslaught of crap requests? What works for you?
References to old threads or articles are more than welcome.
PS - I did just reread the pinned [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5941]Link Building Articles[/url], and Debra's is especially helpful in this area, though I suspect SPAM and filtering is a much more integral part of everyone's life today than it was when that was written.
Posted 20 December 2005 - 09:00 AM
A real-live on a piece of paper letter, addressed by hand, will probably at least get a reading. Plus, it shows that you really are interested and have taken the time and trouble to write/print/mail the letter, as opposed to just pressing a "send" button in your e-mail software.
Most people are sophisticated and/or cynical enough nowadays to understand that e-mails that appear to be "personalized" can be created through scripting, so e-mail -- even individually-written, highly personalized e-mail -- doesn't necessarily carry the same "weight" as a real-live letter. Yeah, you can "mass personalize" with mail merge and a printer, but the fact that you saw fit to drop some actual money on a stamp makes an impression.
I mean, anybody can send a zillion e-mails seeking links.
So, send something that isn't an e-mail, like a letter. Maybe try a phone call. Or a note jotted by hand on the back of a post card. In any case, you'll probably get better responses if you also offer some kind of incentive (preferably something more attractive than simply a link back from your site), but it could be that simply being different in how you ask could be enough.
IMHO, the "trick" -- if there is a trick -- is to make your request stand out: through using an unusual delivery mechanism and/or offering a good incentive. The better job you do of making your request different (in a "better" sort of way) than the average, the more likely you are of at least getting a fair hearing.
The only sure-fire way I know to avoid e-mail filters is to use some method other than e-mail to communicate the message.
Posted 20 December 2005 - 10:42 AM
Still, a worthwhile idea, but I think I'd probably use that as a followup letter if my first contact didn't bear fruit.
I should have mentioned, that I do know some of these sites offer a form for link requests, and probably the most critical issue is to read and see if they have a preferred format, method, etc. But assuming they don't ...
I suppose it's possible I could set up a discount code or something as an incentive for them or their visitors, but it seems that would become more of a sales letter than a link request. I could send them a sample, but that would get expensive pretty quickly.
Posted 20 December 2005 - 11:25 AM
2. Avon Spring Specials
3. Dinner's on me ...
4. 30% Discount on Eyewear!
5. Holiday Bonanza
6. Save up to 70% off at Overstock, 40% at Amazon, and more
-- I'm betting you'd open #3
-- if the subject line looks like it's coming from a friend it's more likely to be opened first.
Honestly, If I received these 6 emails, if I opened any (doubtful) I'd choose #6, or maybe #4 if I was in the market for glasses (which I should be) ... they're all obviously SPAM, and one is obviously manipulative ... the very one she recommends.
She goes on to list several other "personalized" subject lines, most of which have appeared in SPAM emails I've received. This is such an obvious and overused manipulative "trick" which almost never has any relation to their respective emails, that I find them totally insulting and they are the FIRST to be deleted.
Back to the question at hand ... any other ideas you all could offer?
(I could be breaking [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?act=boardrules]Forum Rules[/url] here with direct references & paraphrased quotes, I don't meant to ... feel free to edit if I've crossed the line)
Edited by arlen, 20 December 2005 - 12:32 PM.
Posted 20 December 2005 - 04:47 PM
What's in it for them?
If you are emailing hobby or community interest sites, pointing out an article or application or specific reference information that their readers might find helpful can be very effective in getting inbound links. Or offer them a special deal to pass along to their readers.
If you are emailing a blog or news source, send them something new and noteworthy that would be interesting to their readers.
If you are emailing another retail site, how does your merchandise complement theirs? Are you willing to recommend their products on your site in exchange for them recommending yours?
If you are contacting specialty sites like parent communities or small business groups, what do you have to offer?
You can get a big bang for the buck by offering "deals" and getting in with the many, many deal sites out there who are always looking for the latest promotions, from free shipping to buy 1 get 1 free, you can expect a lot of traffic.
Posted 20 December 2005 - 11:22 PM
My concerns were mostly that as it's at least my impression that 99.999% of link requests get deleted without ever being read, or deleted as soon as they're identified as a link request, it seems like a heck of a lot of work if only a very small percent will even make it in front of the webmaster I'm contacting.
I'd kinda hoped to hear some insight like ... "the requests I receive that I do take the time to consider have a few things in common." Or, "this kind of subject line would probably catch my attention." In general terms of course.
Link building necessarily means sending unsolicited emails, letters, etc. -- I hate spam, everyone else hates spam, and I continue read comments like "the odd request that gets past my filter" or "I won't even open them." ... I had just hoped to avoid some pitfalls and get the most from my efforts.
Torka's suggestion has at least the benefit of not getting caught by a spam filter, but as I said earlier, would probably be a backup approach to failed first or second contact attempts.
Appreciate the advice though, you brought up a few ideas I'd not thought of.
Edited by arlen, 21 December 2005 - 09:28 AM.
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