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Craft a Great Link Request Letter in 8 Steps

August 19th, 2009 | | Link Building

We have discussed previously that you should focus on link quality rather than link quantity. This means that you need to find relevant sites with positive PageRank and eloquently request links from their site to yours. Crafting a great link request letter can help you gain those valuable links and improve your website’s PageRank.

First of all, how do you know which sites will provide high quality links that are relevant to your content? If you can answer, “yes” to these questions when evaluating sites that are candidates for link quests, then you’re on to something good:

  1. Does the site your reviewing have content that is relevant to terms for which you’re trying to get ranked?
  2. Is this site in a good link neighborhood? Does this site have quality links pointing to them? (Tip: You can use Yahoo! SiteExplorer to review the link profile of any site you’re looking to target.)
  3. Does the site your reviewing have a positive PageRank?

If the site you’re thinking of requesting a link from passes this test, then it’s time to send that ever-important link request letter. However, this is a very delicate matter since most website administrators are inundated with anything else other than responding to your request. So, you better make the letter good. But how?

Basically, you want to write a letter that is personable, straightforward, and not annoying. Here are 8 tactics you can use to write a successful link request letter.

Use a relevant subject line for your email: Whose inbox isn’t always overflowing? Think about how you sort through your inbox. You probably sort out the spam and irrelevant messages first. And then you probably delete messages that are from strangers with vague subject lines. This is where you can get your foot in the door. Go ahead and state something to the effect of “Link Request” within your subject line. Web administrators will appreciate you not wasting their time.

Make it personable: The days of the form letter are gone (were they ever here?). You should absolutely include the name of their website, and preferably address the letter to the name of the website owner or administrator. You should also include information about you, your name, company information, details about your website, etc.

Give all the necessary information: You should directly state the terms that you want to rank for, the anchor text you’d like to use, as well as the exact URL that you’d like within the link. The less effort the administrator/site owner has to toward inserting a link, the better chances of successful. This doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you or your site, let’s just face it – everyone is busy. So, make it easy for them to put the link on their site!

Explain the benefits of the link: This is another way to make your letter personalized. You need to explain how a link to your site will benefit this website’s audience. This is where you have to do a little selling. You need to tout why your website is awesome and why your target website’s audience will also think your site is awesome too.

Don’t request a link trade: The days of requesting reciprocal links are over. If you ask for a link from a website, you don’t have to guarantee that you’ll put a link on your site to theirs (you can if you want). Just be honest and ask that they link to your site.

Don’t send out a mass email: This is rather obvious. If you follow the tasks above, you really can’t sent out a mass email. But either way, don’t try to spam lots sites looking for links. That goes against what we’re trying to do here!

Keep it short: We’re keeping this letter personal, straightforward, easy to digest, and short! Don’t write a novel. The site own/administrator wants to get to the gist of your letter quickly. If you drone on and on, they’ll lose interest and hit delete. So, keep it as short as possible.

Say thank you: Thank the site owner/administrator upfront for their time and consideration. Remember, we’re making this personal.

These tactics will help you make your link request letter feel more personal and relevant, and that will help you gain their attention.

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