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Link Building Etiquette : The Value of the Connection

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.

Category SEO
SEJ STAFF Loren Baker Founder at Foundation Digital

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ...

Link Building Etiquette : The Value of the Connection

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