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Link Exchange Program: Get Started Building Your Link Popularity!

Every website needs a link exchange program. Every week, set aside time to work on your link exchange program to build up the quality and number of your text links out on other websites within your niche market.

Why not exchange banners? Search engines are fueled by text. Key words and links are what you are creating out on other websites. Website visitors do indeed check link pages and your text link on quality sites will generate some degree of traffic for you. You may like the look of your banner but when it comes to creating a strong link exchange program - build your website description with good key words and strong title with your URL.

What should your link exchange information look like?

A link exchange program starts with your own unique text ad under 200 characters full of your key words, don't need sentences, put most important key words early in the text ad, check spelling, no "ALL CAPS" set up in this order:

Title

Description

URL

Your title - A descriptive title for your website, not necessarily your domain name but the name you are branding your site with. There are very strong websites that use a title that describes the site rather than the domain name, again, using strong key words. Others have opted to use a title that starts with a number or letter "A" so that on another website - their text link will appear early in the page.

Website Description - Use Overture's Keyword Selector Tool to refine your text for your website description. The more thought and planning you put into your title and description, the more powerful your link exchange will have on search engines.

Categorizing your own text link - To save time and energy, think about what categories your text link would work on (i.e. work at home recourses, parenting, home decor, time management - the theme of your website) because some sites will want you choose the category that your website will fit in!

Once you have designed your own link description, you are ready to set up your own link exchange program for your website. As you will be asking other website owners to put your link information on their "links" or "resource" page, you need to set up your own page for you to place their link exchange information. This is called reciprocal link exchange.

Reciprocal Link Exchange - In essence, you are "swapping links". It is an even trade. Your text link on one of their links pages with your URL pointing to your homepage and you place their text link information on your links page while setting up their link to connect with their homepage (index page).

Before you can offer a reciprocal link exchange with another webmaster, you will often need to show them you have already put their link information on your website.

Designate at least one page for your link exchange program. As your link exchanges grow, you will expand your pages into different categories. Make sure your link exchange program is linked to your main page and every page of your website. Alphabetize and categorize your listing of reciprocal links.

Just starting your link exchange program?

Have your page all set up for links from other websites plus have the information others need to exchange links with you.

Once you have designed your own link information and a resource page to put up the links information from your link partners, it is time to start asking other website owners to put Your Link Information on their own links page.

Choosing your link partners for reciprocal link exchange

Think niche. Your website has a theme, a specialty- a marketing niche. Choose link exchanges with websites that have similar themes. If your website is about handmade candles then focus on websites that offer handmade, handcrafted products. Explore websites with candle accessories, home decor, gifts and aromatherapy.

Websites that offer what you believe your visitors would enjoy are where you focus your link exchanges. Choose sites that are complementary to your own, not competitive. The more closely related the subject of your link partner's site, the more relevant your own link description will be to their visitors and to search engines.

Page Rank - the higher the page rank of the site that you exchange links with, the more impact on search engines. That does not mean that you should not exchange links with websites that only have a page rank of 3 or higher but the majority of your link exchanges should be with websites ranking well with top search engines.

Test your own link popularity - you have already exchanged links with some websites and now you want to know if it's helping you with search engines. I found UpTimeBot usefully for getting a handle on what's happening with your link exchange program.

Its disheartening that Google is slow to catch up with your link exchanges but be persistent in your weekly time to set up quality reciprocal link exchanges.

The other major search engines will help you with traffic and link popularity until Google does it's own bit. Persistence with your link exchange program does pay off!

In the end, Google DOES catch all the hard work and you will start getting the traffic and page rank your website deserves!

Tammy Ames works daily online building WAHM Work at Home Connections and helping other work at home families market on the internet. Tammy publishes a weekly online newsletter Work at Home Connections Ezine. Subscribe to spend time each weekly learning to succeed online.

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