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When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the grunt work that gets everyone frustrated is link building:  no one wants to give them out yet everyone needs them.  How do you go about getting other websites to link to yours?  Here are some great tips for persuading webmasters to link to you:

Complementary NOT Competitive

The best types of links are those from websites that have a similar audience or participate in the same industry.  While Nike my not be able to get a link on Adidas’ website they could probably get a link from the website of a health club.  Businesses that are a close match to yours tend to speak to the same audience.  Not only will a link be seen as a close match by search engines (and valued more highly) but the relevant content will probably get you a few more conversions as well.

Offer Something of Value

If you’re requesting a link on another webmaster’s site, be prepared to offer something in return.  Whether it’s a link back to their site, an article review, free services or money … people don’t generally tend to give away something for nothing.

Research before Contact

If you’re able to show some insight into someone else’s work it’ll make you stand out from the crowd.  Go through their website, go through their back-links, do searches on the company.  For example, if you were doing a search on a company and came across a glowing review of that product, be sure to mention it in the email you send it.  It shows that you actually took the time to understand the other webmaster’s business which goes a long way in any linking relationship

Personalize Your Message

Phone contact tends to be more personal and lends a bit of credibility to your cause. If you must email out, attempt to personalize the message by addressing them by name and (as mentioned previously) something that relates to that business’ website.  If you feel the time crunch and have to resort to mass emails, be very certain you don’t dump everyone’s name in the “To” line.  Either send them out one by one or use the BCC line (blank carbon copy) so your recipients won’t see who else you wrote to.  I can remember an instance at one company I used to work for where another company put everyone’s name in the “To” line.  The end result?  Every email on that list was scavenged and used as leads for our mail-outs.

The moral of the story is to be genuine.  Be honest about who you are, what your intentions are and, more importantly, how you can benefit the other person.  Taking that extra bit of time will most likely bring positive results.


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