Link Building Etiquette : The Value of the Connection

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Yesterday I was reviewing the statistics behind one of our link building campaigns which consists of contacting sites & publishers for links in their resource pages, articles or linking areas and the approval to denial ratio based upon responses from those publishers. Surprisingly, almost as many publishers responded with a no or sorry message as responded with a positive message.

Now, it may be easy to just forget those publishers who responded to say no, and concentrate on obtaining the links on the sites which responded with a yes, but each of these email responses is not just a no, in fact, its just the beginning. These emails are warm and trusted connections with these publishers because even though they may have said no, we cannot include the link or sorry, we cannot link to you because we’re linking to your competitor, there are still ways to bring value from these connections which will help with your website marketing.

Here are some ideas I try when responding to an email when someone is not interested in placing a link :

  • Banners and Sponsorships : They may not be interested in providing a text link because of the Google linking scare (there are a lot of uneducated webmasters out there) but since I only target topically or vertically relevant sites for my linking campaigns, these sites would more than likely be useful in sending paid advertising to the clients, so I usually ask about placing a banner on their site and their site traffic.
  • Affiliate Deals : So, if their traffic is not enough to consider banner advertising for on a CPM or PPC basis, then I would send them information on joining the client’s affiliate programs. If the publisher becomes an affiliate, chances are that publisher will drive some sales for the client over the upcoming years. So if this happens, it’s a winning situation because the client wins on he sales end and the time we’ve put into the site research for linking is not wasted.
  • Do They Own Other Sites? : Whether I receive a negative or positive response, I usually follow up to ask the publisher which other sites they own, letting them know that I represent multiple sites and there may be other accounts we can work on with that same publisher. We already have their ear, the trick is getting the most juice you can out of the low hanging fruit. Who knows? They may own multiple vertically targeted sites we can use for current or future clients for their link building, advertising or whatever.
  • Value the Response : Hey, this person took the time to reply back to me and I like their site, so why not Stumble it or vote for the site on some other social platform. Sometimes I’ll be sure to Stumble a site before I respond back to the owner and say “Well, that’s too bad, but I really like your site and even submitted it to StumbleUpon. Are you sure there’s no way we can work something out?” or something like that.

The morale to the story is, don’t let those connections with publishers fade away. Even if they show no interest in the beginning, once you’ve made a deeper connection or helped them out a bit, the end result could be more beneficial than just building a link, you could be building a strong and fruitful relationship.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • http://www.dramatictraffic.com Nick

    Great post. I’m constantly telling my team the same thing. If someone is willing to respond, regardless if it is positive or negative, they’re still taking the time to respond. The trick is to gauge that response and find a way to work with the person so that everyone can benefit.

  • http://knol.google.com/k/moose/seo-knol-group/56p4t4e0ve75/2# SEO Knol Group

    100% agree that creating interaction is the first step in sometimes a multi-step successful linkbuilding strategy.

  • http://www.dotcomsecrets.com Internet Marketing Joy

    I agree..it is a must to have connection with the people you are promoting your links to.

  • dave

    can i have a link from this site?

  • bob

    No

  • http://www.dashotels.net Budget Hotels In Delhi

    thanx for share

  • http://www.simplytopuk.com Adam Leaf

    Heyy this is great stuff, I’ve just started my own website selling t-shirts, and I’ll use this to promote it, thanks.

    http://www.simplytopuk.com

    “Bringing you quality night out t-shirts”

    FREE worldwide delivery.

  • http://www.codeplatter.com Software Dovelopment Company

    i am thankful to your post.
    really helpful info.

    From
    http://www.qacampus.com
    Outsource software testing
    http://www.crestech.in

  • http://hibbittsconsulting.com Rich

    Excellent post. I’m still fairly new to the whole SEO side of things, and your idea is a good one.

  • http://www.letor.ca Dmitry

    Great article.
    I’d like to use this opportunity to mention our website as well:

    http://www.letor.ca

    We specialize in custom IT solutions.

  • http://www.TheMediaZoo.com Vince

    Great stuff…I’m new to the seo world. Can you tell me more about ” their traffic is not enough to consider banner advertising ” We are a website video company and I like the banners. should I try for links or banners?
    Thanks, Vince, TheMediaZoo.com

  • http://www.evoloop.biz Fathhi

    Excellent attitude.. must adopt.. thanks for sharing

  • http://www.regular87.com Nick Miller

    I think it was Robert Allen that once said “no does not mean no, it means I need more information to proceed” thanks for the post!
    Also I wanted to share my website since it would appear you allow linking from this page http://www.regular87.com

  • http://www.regular87.com Nick Miller

    BTW if anyone has an a website that would complement http://www.regular87.com please contact me for a link swap links@regular87.com

  • http://www.chermside.com/ Ian

    Great Article! I am now going to approach my projects differently

  • http://www.kickassmediaproductions.com Chris Crawford

    We do online marketing and promotion for small business and this is the kind of information that more people need to see.

  • http://www.TeeZeria.com Paul Mayer

    Great article! I just starting the link building process on my tshirt website and this helps my mindset in approaching future partner sites. If anyone is interested in swapping links or just doing a one way link please don’t hesistate to ask.

  • http://www.naperdesign.com Christian

    Hey, why not? Everyone else is… http://www.naperdesign.com

    Yep! I’d jump off of the bridge as well…

  • http://www.protechservices.com Frank

    Nice post. Makes perfect sence. A win-win proposal will really take root.

  • dmanville

    I've been looking for specifics on approaches for links. Have bookmarked this for whenever I need reminding of my etiquette. Thanks heaps

  • http://www.domainnameninja.com/ Domain Name Ninja

    Good Stuff. A bit old when I found it, but still valid nonetheless. Thanks.

  • http://webspotmedia.com Ben Bruner

    Search Engine Optimization is a vital part of any company that is looking to generate business online. Building backlinks online is similar to networking and making business connections in the real world. If you can start making connections with the right 'websites' and get them to refer business to you (“put a link on their website”), then that can be exactly what your business needs to start generating business and showing higher in search engine result pages.

  • http://webspotmedia.com Ben Bruner

    Search Engine Optimization is a vital part of any company that is looking to generate business online. Building backlinks online is similar to networking and making business connections in the real world. If you can start making connections with the right 'websites' and get them to refer business to you (“put a link on their website”), then that can be exactly what your business needs to start generating business and showing higher in search engine result pages.