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How to Start a Successful Swap Links Campaign

Introduction
Starting a successful swap links campaign is the single best thing you can do to create an ever increasing flow of new, quality traffic to your website.  Link swapping is a cost effective, smart way to gain new visitors to your homepage and has been called "the best way to increase traffic to your website."  Why?  Because of a few reasons:  Think about it.  Web surfers who view a website's links pages are doing so purposefully.  They are truly interested in finding other sites to visit.  This is important to know, because someone who clicks on your link from another site wants to come to your site.  They aren't being tricked into coming to your homepage through fancy Javascript, fake buttons or controls, or advertisements.  They clicked the link!  Also, starting and marinating a reciprocal links campaign is inexpensive compared to other forms of internet promotion, like placing banner ads or paying for higher search engine placement.  Don't forget, traditional forms of internet promotion eventually expire - a paid banner ad slot only runs so long, and has a finite life.

Here's what you can do to get your reciprocal linking campaign up-and-running:

Step One - Get LinksManager.com
You may not know it now, but when your links pages are getting 10-20 new submissions a day, you'll be thankful you have LinksManager.com to take all of the hassle out of link page management.  If you are spending your entire day adding new links, searching for and deleting dead links, scouring the web looking for you reciprocal link on other websites, and rotating your links pages, you won't have time for more important things, like filling orders, customer service, and finishing work at a reasonable hour so you can spend time with your kids/wife/dog/girlfriend/boyfriend.

Step Two - Maximize Your LinksManager.com Account
LinksManager's default settings for cosmetics, outgoing emails, and link preferences are fine for the average user.  But, if you really want to get your swap links campaign moving, take the time to maximize your LinksManager account.  Three important areas should be focused on:

Cosmetics - To really impress your links page visitors and potential swap links partners, it is important to have your links pages visually match the rest of your website.  LinksManager's Cosmetic Controls allow you to fully customize the way your links pages look.  Take the time to familiarize yourself with LinksManager's header and footer controls, links menu, and links page cosmetic controls.  Don't want to spend the time on this?  No problem!  LinksManager offers free cosmetics integrations, where we set up your account to exactly match the rest of your website's colors, layout, and fonts.  Simply send us a Support Request through your Control Panel, and we'll get started on your free cosmetics integration immediately.  Integrations usually take less than 30 minutes, and require no interventions on your part.

FTP - To achieve the link popularity your domain needs, make sure to fill out the secure FTP Upload Controls from within your LinksManager Control Panel.  These easy to use controls allow you to have your links pages stored on your web server, under your domain, and at the exact location of your choice.

Email Notifications - LinksManager's outgoing email notifications are the emails sent automatically from your account to your swap link partners when specific events occur.  These events might be when a webmaster adds or modifies a link, when a link is deleted, or when LinksManager finds a link is not reciprocating.  The default text seen in these emails is useful, but really just a starting point for a more comprehensive notice.  By adding information such as where a webmaster can find banners for your site, how a webmaster can modify their link, and LinksManager referral links, you can make your swap links partners work for you!  We've detailed what we believe should be in each email notification below:

  • Link Submitted Email - Include custom banner HTML code for reciprocating your link, and your LinksManager referral URL so you can earn free service.

  • Link Approved Email - Include the URL of your Modify Links page, the webmaster's login information so they can modify their link, and your LinksManager referral URL so you can earn free service.

  • Reciprocal Link Reminder Email - Include custom banner HTML code for reciprocating your link, the URL of your Modify Links page, the webmaster's login information so they can modify their link, and your LinksManager referral URL so you can earn free service.

  • Active Reciprocal Link Reminder Email - Include custom banner HTML code for reciprocating your link, the URL of your Modify Links page, the webmaster's login information so they can modify their link, and your LinksManager referral URL so you can earn free service.

  • Link Modified Email - Include custom banner HTML code for reciprocating your link, the URL of your Modify Links page, the webmaster's login information so they can modify their link, and your LinksManager referral URL so you can earn free service.

  • Link Deleted Email - Include the URL of your Add Links page so the webmaster can resubmit their link again, the webmaster's site name, URL, and description they added the first time they submitted their link, and your LinksManager referral URL so you can earn free service.

By expanding upon the default email notification text, you can prevent emails from webmasters asking questions like, "how do I modify my link?", "how do I reciprocate your link?", and "what's my login password?"  In addition, adding your LinksManager referral URL to each of your email notifications increases the chances you will earn free LinksManager service!

Link Submitted Successfully Page Top Text - This is the text seen by webmasters who have just submitted a new link for your approval.  In a sense, it is an on-screen version of the Link Submitted Email.  Since this is the first thing a swap links partner sees after submittng a new link, take the time to customize the text in this control and make sure webmasters know how and why to reciprocate your link.

So as you can see, taking advantage of the ability to fully customize your links pages using LinksManager is an important step to getting the most out of your account.  Maximizing your LinksManager account means more links reciprocated in a faster time, with less emails coming in from your swap links partners.

Step Three - Consider your Link Categories
Take a good look at your link categories.  Ask yourself, "could any webmaster potentially add their link to my website?"  Chances are, the answer is "no".  You can't cover every link category and satisfy every website, but are your current link categories too limiting?  The more varied your link categories are, the more websites that could potentially be swap links partners.  Wouldn't it be terrible if a wildly popular website with a great links page wanted to trade links with you, but decided not to, because you didn't have a link category that their link would fit into?  An example: If you run an online car parts business, you might have the following link categories:

  • Other Car Parts Companies' Websites

  • Online Repair Manuals

Having only a few link categories doesn't allow for a wide range of reciprocal linking partners.  Thinking creatively might yield the following link categories for the same car parts business:

  • Other Car Parts Companies' Websites

  • Online Repair Manuals

  • Travel by Car

  • Maps

  • Hotels

  • Car Sales

  • Car Fan Clubs

  • Car Care

  • Car Audio

  • Other Car-Related Websites

  • Non-Car-Related Websites

Thinking "out-of-the-box" when considering your link categories can mean an increased number of swap links partners, and more traffic driven to your website.  Also, make sure to add a "catch all" link category (like "Other Websites") to allow any other site to add a link if you don't have a link category to better fit it in.  Over time, you will get ideas for new link categories by watching the links that get submitted.  Add new categories when needed, and remove link categories that never get any links in them.  With LinksManager.com, you have the power!

Step Four - Write an Effective Link Exchange Request Letter/Mailer
A link exchange request letter is the email sent by you to the webmaster of another website asking for a link swap.  An effective swap links request letter should be concise yet detailed.  The email's subject line should ask for the link swap initially, with the specifics spelled out in the body of the email.  Include the relevant links and contact information.  A good link exchange request letter might read:

From: webmaster@mysite.com
To: webmaster@yoursite.com
Subject: Swap Links?

Dear Webmaster:

I am the webmaster of http://mysite.com and have a popular links page at http://linksmanager.com/mysite.  I am emailing to ask if you were interested in swapping links with us.  We would be happy to reciprocate your link quickly, adding your website name, website description text, and your website's logo or graphic to our links pages.

If you are interested, please add your link to: http://linksmanager.com/mysite/add_link.html.  You will be given instructions on how to reciprocate our link after you submit your link to us.

Thanks, and we look forward to swapping links with you!

Webmaster Bob
webmaster@mysite.com
http://mysite.com

As you can read, an effective request link exchange letter is short, and gets to the point.  The longer the email, the greater chance of that webmaster clicking the Delete button in their email program.  Don't bother including the instructions on how to reciprocate your link.  That information is given to the webmaster after they submit their link.

Learn more about customizing your Link Exchange Request Mailer by clicking this link.

Step Five - Search for Link Swap Partners
There are two ways to find link swap partners.  The traditional way is to search the net for websites that are related or similar to yours, but do not directly compete with your website for business.  Searching for these sites is fairly easy.  First, write down 10 keywords used for searching that relate to your website.  The best idea, is to use one search engine at a time, and search using each of the keywords.  You can either collect website names and email addresses in a text file or spreadsheet, and send your swap links letters at a later date; or simply send the swap link request email as you visit each website.  If you spend 30 minutes a day searching for sites to swap links with, and sending each of them your swap links letter, you will quickly start seeing the new links come in.  Some of the better search engines include Google, Yahoo, AOLSearch, AltaVista, HotBot, Ask Jeeves, Lycos, and LookSmart.  You might also try searching in the search engines for telltale text that denotes a website that swaps links.  Sample keyword phrases might be "add link" or "submit link" or "link to us."

The easiest way to find link swap partners is to use the free service at LinkPartners.comLinkPartners is a free categorized directory of websites that trade reciprocal links with other sites.  LinkPartners.com allows any webmaster to swap links with other quality sites and increase website traffic and increase link popularity for their own site.  Only quality sites with good linking strategy that actively exchange links are included in the LinkPartners directory.  Furthermore, LinksManager.com account owners have added functionality and can initiate link swap requests with a single mouse click.

Conclusion
The benefits of a successful swap links campaign far outweigh the few hours of time you'll need to invest in setting up its foundations.  Unfortunately, searching for swap links partners is still a manual process, but it won't be that way for long as a LinksManager customer.  Considering the low cost of setup and maintenance of a reciprocal link campaign, and the increases in your website's traffic, you'll soon learn why and it has been called "the best way to increase traffic to your website."  Happy linking!

Demos and Screenshots



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Reciprocal and Dead Link Checker
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