Link Partnerships – making them work

by Ron Kunitzky February 17th, 2009 

I often receive emails with requests to trade links at my company site;

It's amazing as to the types of 'Link Partnership' requests that I get on a daily, if not weekly basis. Anything from Insurance sites to Real Estate sites to Auction sites and Travel sites that have mostly nothing to do with any of the content or proposition that I offer or blog about.

Clearly these people don't get it. Isn't the point of link building to increase visibility in search engines and directories with internet users that actually might be looking for what it is that you have to offer? At least I thought that is what it was about.

I understand the importance of trading links and partnering with others sites and agree that it's a great way to build awareness and drive traffic, yet what kind of traffic are you trying to drive? What should you be offering up to your visitors, members, users or customers and where should a link to your site be placed exactly? This is a strategic and time consuming process and can only work if done the right way.

If you are thinking of building Link Partnerships, then follow the following 5 STEP process:

STEP 1: Develop some criteria (Brand, Offering, Reputation, Traffic, etc...) for your sites and other sites
STEP 2: Evaluate the market based on your criteria
STEP 3: Select sites that will likely want to partner with you based on your proposition, traffic and other key metrics
STEP 4: Take the time to prospect them and to strategically discuss opportunities
STEP 5: Be realistic in your negotiations for placement and strike the right balance

Mass link building efforts will not pay off in the end, as they may drive some traffic as of improved SEO rankings, but they will not ultimately drive quality traffic with users who will want to spend time on your site and visit your site regularly and engage with your brand and offering. Getting an endorsement from the right site takes time, smarts and the ability to execute and ensuring that ongoing maintenance occurs to keep the search engines like Google correctly spidering you and your partner sites. It requires various skill sets from messaging to business development to account management and you need to be 'Partner Friendly' to begin with. It's worth pursuing if you have all that going for you.

Ron Kunitzky

Ron Kunitzky, an expert in strategic business affiliations and partnerships is the founder of Geyser Marketing Group, and has successfully brokered partnership marketing programs for companies as varied as Coastal Contacts, Dell Computer, NASDAQ, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

Geyser Marketing Group

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5 Responses to “Link Partnerships – making them work”

  1. What link partnership strategies would you suggest for new sites. My business is two months old and so I cannot be too picky when building link relationships. I do choose companies that my readers might find useful but other then that I don't have much leverage. What would you advise?


  2. Hi Ron,

    Well done article! We must be having the same experiences. I just wrote a very short rant for a real estate site about the link exchange requests I was receiving:

    It amazes me that somebody trying to sell baby diapers at the retail level would want to try to convince me that my real estate social media crowd would be interested.

  3. Belajar Blog says:

    Hi Ron,

    Having read your article reminds me an article about SEO's myths. ( Sorry, I cant remember the link )
    It says that one of these myths is: "Our blog must be focus on a certain topic."

    I just don't think that's right, and your article seems agree with me.

    Or.. am I wrong??

  4. Ron Kunitzky says:

    Hi Joanna,

    You are on the right track. Choose companies that offer complimentary services to that of your offering. If you offer web design, then try and form Link Partnerships with other types of Online Marketing Firms, for example.You can also try linking to community or association sites for new entrepreneurs who might be looking to launch a website in the near future. You can join that community and association and promote them in turn.

  5. Ron Kunitzky says:

    I think it's important to have an ongoing theme with your 'company blog' – something that your readers can expect you to be blogging about. It doesn't need to be 'topic' specific, but your posts should run along the lines of your overall theme because it will help to position you as an authority in your field and have people return regularly to see what you have to say. Just try and keep the paraphrasing and references to other people and their thoughts to a minimal, because blog readers are typically looking for original, thought provoking content.

    With regards to a 'personal blog', it's less of a factor because it might just be an outlet to discuss what is on your mind and that can range from anything from last nights dinner to where you are traveling to next week, for example.