Link requests. Ah – those of us in the Internet marketing or website administration world have all seen them many times before.
They typically look like this:
|Dear site owner,I was looking at your web site and think we should link to each other. If you are interested, please add the following code to your HTML:[HTML CODE HERE]
The above method of link building might have worked in the late nineties (the era in which keyword stuffing worked as well), this just doesn’t cut it anymore.
People simply do not have the time to go through these generic emails, let alone, take time to contact their manager to get approval to add the link. There is just no value for them.
This is what this blog post is about: creating value. After all, that’s all that link building is. Don’t believe me? Just continue reading:
What is “How to Win Friends & Influence People”?
If you haven’t already read, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie (a requirement for all WebMechanix employees), I highly suggest that you click this link and purchase the book. This book was published in 1937, but the central concepts are timeless, and in some ways matter more today than ever before.
Truly mastering these concepts will make you an all-star link-building ninja, not to mention a good person in general.
Enough with the hype; let’s start looking a just a few of the concepts and see how they are related to link building and asking for links.
Begin with praise and honest appreciation. What better way to start a link request (can we stop using this term?) partnership, than to compliment them or give them your admiration?
This sounds simple, but make sure you put some time and effort into this exercise.
There are over a thousand things that you can do to show that you’re appreciative of their services/website/location/title/company news, of the person that you’re trying to reach out and build a relationship with (you are not writing seo content here – build a relationship!)
For example, if you’re reaching out to the webmaster and have noticed that some things on the website have changed, praise them for it! It takes a lot of hard work to maintain a website and a little acclaim and appreciation is well deserved to anybody who has spent their time and energy on it.
By doing this, the webmaster is going to be more likely to continue reading you email and feel generally more positive with anything that you are about to ask them to do.
If you want to get really sexyâ€¦ don’t ask for a link right away! Do not. Do not. Do not! If you do this, then the webmaster/person that you are trying to contact will feel so happy that you contacted them to just give them a compliment â€“ you’re not even asking them for anything. They will feel appreciated; and wouldn’t you? Do this extra step, forge relationships, and you will see your response rate double.
Ask questions instead of directly giving orders. This goes hand in hand with making people feel appreciated.
With this tactic, the whole idea is that you want the other person to feel that they are the one that thinks of the idea.
You let them have a sense of ownership of the idea. People feel appreciated and valued. By asking questions, instead of giving orders, link requests and link building can easily become easier. Just scroll down to see how I used it with this particular link that I was trying to build.
Example of How This Method Worked For Me:
In the example below, I reached out to a conference center that holds a lot of executive meetings. I thought that it might be useful for our client, an executive chauffeur company, to have a link on their website.
That way when event planners are booking the center, they will have the opportunity to book their transportation. Check out how I managed to get this sexy link onto their website:
|My First E-mail:Subject: You Have a Beautiful Conference Center!Good afternoon Gail,
Just reaching out to say how lovely your conference center is. The way that (NAME OF THE CONFERENCE CENTER) is designed fully services any professional related event.
A driver of ours recently had the opportunity to pick up an executive from the airport and drop them off at your center and he was telling me all about his experience. He was telling me about how organized everything on the event was and that everything was ran smoothly.
Just wanted to thank you for all of the hard and dedicated work that you do the conference center! You’ll be surprised how many events that we have driven our clients to and they didn’t have a place to drop off the guests. Thank you!
I just finished adding your website to a new section on our website where we list different resources for business planners.
You can check it out here:
(Link to where I linked to them)
Let me know if you would like me to change anything.
Hope you have a great day!
|Gail’s E-mail Back To Me:Hello Yanni,What a wonderful compliment! Thank you for this.
(Kind of bland but I’ve got the communicational ties open for a second e-mail)
|My Second E-mail:Gail,Not a problem! Just making sure the right person gets the compliment.
Quick question, I was wondering if you could help us out a little too?
Do you think it would be helpful if we listed some transportations services for the conference center, so that when business planners are planning an event it will be easy for them to find?
It would be great if we could mention (our client) on the transportation page or the directions page.
This might be helpful to some event planners.
What do you think?
|Gail’s E-mail Back To Me:Hello Yanni,I will pass this along to my HQS for their consideration – it would be a nice addition to our website information.
A week later, I received confirmation and the new section was on the website. It took a little bit of work, but it was completely worth it.
Closing Thoughts About Requesting Links
No matter how good you are at the central concepts of “Digitally Winning Friends and Influencing People”, none of this will work unless you sincerely mean it.
Take some time to gain an appreciation for the person that you are trying to contact.
Remember you want them to help you, so act like you deserve it. Additionally, none of this will work unless you have relevant content.
Don’t spend your time trying to acquire links that are irrelevant to your website. Make sure you are spending the bulk of your time on relatively major link building efforts; do not waste your own time or any one else’s.
Till next time, I tip my white hat to you.