How to jumpstart your link popularity
by "spying" on your competitors

This article describes a simple technique you can use to increase your link popularity by running link popularity reports on your competitors. This technique shows you where your competition receives their traffic from and lets you quickly find the best possible sites to approach for a link. In many cases, it will also reveal your competition's best 'marketing tricks' - sites they sponsor or buy ads from and even their best affiliates and joint venture partners.

Locating qualified link prospects

Learning how to find the right sites to approach is essential to increasing your link popularity. Approaching the wrong sites can quickly sabotage your efforts - selecting the right ones can help pave the way to quickly and effectively increasing your link popularity.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult and time consuming to find the right types of sites to approach. First you need to find sites which are relevant to your site. These are sites whose content is related to yours or whose visitors are likely to be interested in your site. Of these, many may not link to external sites. Others may not feel that your site is relevant to theirs. Weeding out these types of sites can be very time consuming. Luckily, there is a better way...

Insider's Secret - running link popularity reports on competitors

How would you like to be handed a list of web sites which are relevant to your web site and have already demonstrated their 'link-friendliness' by linking to a site very similar to yours?

This 'magic list' is the list of web sites which already link to one of your competitors!

For example, let's say the webmaster of Papa John's Pizza wanted to engage in a comprehensive link promotion campaign. He could spend days trying to locate different sites which would be interested in linking to a pizza company web page. Or he could run a Link Popularity report on one of his competitors (Dominos.com or PizzaHut.com) and find thousands of web sites who are related to 'pizza' in some way because they already link to a national pizza company.

Why it works

The list of sites which link to your competitors is extremely targeted. Since each of these sites already links to a competitor of yours, it is highly likely that...

1. These sites are relevant to your site.

2. They are willing to link to external sites in your field.

With this report in hand, you can quickly visit each of the sites (to verify that it is a quality, relevant sites), then introduce yourself to their webmaster and ask to be included on their site. In most cases, you will want to write a personalized message and mention that you noticed that they already link to sites in your field. This highly selective, personalized approach is one of the best possible ways to increase your site's link popularity.

Why approaching the right sites is critical....

1. Approaching the right types of sites will greatly improve your link request response rate. Webmasters who have an interest in your field are much more likely to be interested in opening and reading your link request letter. The majority of ignored or deleted link request letters are cookie-cutter messages sent to poorly selected sites. By selecting only specific pages which already contain very similar links, you will greatly increase the chance that your message will be opened and viewed favorably.

2. Relevant sites are much more likely to link to you. Targeting the right sites is the best possible way to increase the number of links to your site. If done properly, finding the perfect sites to approach will be a win-win situation for both your site and the sites you contact. Assuming you have a good site, you will be doing webmasters a favor by pointing out an extremely relevant site which may be of interest to their visitors. These webmasters are much more likely to link to your site and in many cases will thank you for taking the time to contact them.

3. Once they link to you, the visitors they send you will be more interested in your content. Since they are coming from a relevant site, these visitors are more likely to be interested in your content. They may perceive your site in a better light and even be more likely to do business with you since your site has been recommended (linked to) by another trusted site (as opposed to found via a banner ad or sponsored listing). Depending on the recommending site and the description of the link, you may find that these special types of visitors are much more profitable than your average visitor.

4. Increasing the number of relevant links to your web site can dramatically increase your search engine rankings. The major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) reward sites which have high link popularity. However, just getting hundreds of random web sites to link to you will not help your search engine rankings. The relevance of the sites linking to you is extremely important. By focusing exclusively on gaining links from relevant web sites, you will be giving yourself a tremendous advantage over sites who take a more scattered, less effective approach.

Stay one step ahead of your competition: By analyzing who links to them, you can also determine...

1. Are they currently engaging in a link promotion campaign?
2. Are they purchasing banner advertisements or sponsoring related web sites?
3. Have they submitted their site to industry specific directories and resources?
4. Who their affiliates and joint venture partners are.

5 . Are their customer's complaining about them?

Use this information to gain new insight into your competition and give you ideas to increase your own on-line marketing efforts.

Conclusion

Being aware of who links to you competitors and using this information wisely can help you quickly build your link popularity. Sites which link to your competitors are far more likely to be relevant to your field, interested in your site and willing to link your site. Visiting and contacting these sites can dramatically increase traffic to your site and improve your search engine rankings.

 

Next: Run a Premium Linkpopularity Report on your competition...

 



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