3 Link Exchange Methods

Link exchange is one of the many Internet marketing strategies aimed at:

1. Boosting Traffic
2. Increasing search engine ranking
3. Enhancing content
4. Taking advantage of Free Advertising on the Internet

It involves a website owner (link partner) placing a link to your website on his (an inbound link for you) and you placing a link to his website on yours (an outbound link from your site) It's a fact: The more inbound links you have, the higher your website will appear in search engine results pages.

The link may be on a dedicated links page, in the actual content of the website or as a banner ad / text ad somewhere on the website.

1 - A Dedicated Links Page

On a links page you can have one place for all your outbound links and one place to refer potential link partners. It can be easily managed using your Content Management System.

One thing to remember with a links page is not to accumulate too many link partners ? your visitors will be overwhelmed with the bombardment of choice and possibly avoid having to choose; while a potential link partner might feel that his link will not be noticed amongst your other link partners. This is called "Link Farming" and is something to avoid.

2 - In The Body Of Your Textual Content

When having the link in the body of the actual text content, you are essentially recommending that the visitor visit that website, even if the visitor isn't conscious of it. Thus, this type of link exchange is highly attractive to a potential link partner. Of course, this is not easy for every kind of business ? it might be easier for a magazine business to offer content to offer linking space, than it would for an accounting firm.

Some website owners may even pay you to include a link to their website in the body of your text content, not only because it is such an effective advertisement, but it also improves their keyword rankings in search engines (if the words you use in your content that link to the website owners site are considered keywords). Good example: About.com publishes articles with links to websites in their content.

3 - A Banner Exchange or Text Ad Exchange

A banner is a graphic, usually animated, that serves to entice the visitor to visit your website.

A banner can be above-the-line (visible without having to scroll down) or below-the-line (you need to scroll down to see the banner). If you are not willing to pay a website to display your website banner, you may consider approaching a website to exchange banners with.

A text ad is a verbal advertisement linked to your website and also serves tp enticing the visitor to visit your website. It is not as eye-catching as a banner, but from a search engine optimisation perspective, you can enhance your search engine rankings by linking using keywords in your link.

An important aspect of reciprocal linking is trust ? you trust that your link partner will reciprocate and that if he does, the link will be there in the future.

Choosing A Potential Link Partner

Here are two decisive factors you should consider when selecting link partners:

1. Competitive or Complementary?

Are you selling the same product or service, or can this potential link partner add value to the product / service you offer, thereby allowing you to indirectly increase customer satisfaction?

Of course, you should not link to a website that is totally unrelated to your content or your product, as this does not help you or your link partner

If you believe you have a winning product that your competitors can not beat, you might exchange links with them to prove to your website visitors that you are the best, by allowing them to compare ? this is obviously a more risky tactic as you may not only be losing customers, but actually giving them to your competitors.

2. Quality Of The Website

What is you're perceived credibility of the potential link partner?

Are they worthy of being featured on your website? Can they help you offer more satisfaction to your website visitors?

John Simms is an Internet Marketer for Eiledon Solutions, a website development & design company in Cape Town, South Africa. Visit the website for more info.

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