Specialists in Internet Web Sites Since 1995
Online Marketing for Book and Publishing Web Sites:
Step 3, Strategic Linking
© 2001 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.
linking starts with research. We look for sites complementary to the site we
are marketing, then we ask the Webmaster of each site to link to our site.
These incoming links help to increase our traffic directly, because a
percentage of visitors to those sites will visit our site. The incoming links
will also increase our traffic indirectly, because many search engines use link
popularity as one measure of the importance of a site.
Researching Potential Link Sites
If we were marketing the Matilija Press site at
would start by searching out listings of publishers. Of course, that would be
only the first step in our research, because we want to develop linking
partners for each of the books published by Matilija Press. For each book, we
look for sites targeted at the book's target market. For Matilija Press, we
could start by researching sites appropriate for the book, The Mainland
Luau: How to Capture the Flavor of Hawaii in Your Own Backyard. Potential
sites for Mainland Luau would include Hawaiian sites, cooking sites,
exotic food sites, travel sites, and even pork sites. Before sending the link
request, we confirm that the potential link partner site does include one or
more pages of links, and we note the best of those pages for our link. By
finding the best page for the link to our site, we are confirming that the site
has a links page, and we are simplifying our request to the site's Webmaster.
These two actions on our part will increase the likelihood of receiving an
incoming link from the site.
Writing the E-mail Request
In our e-mail request we state who we are and why a link would be
appropriate. We ask for the link, state exactly where we think the link should
be, and why our site is worthy of the link. Here is a sample e-mail for
Subject: please add a listing for
I was admiring your site at http://www.XYZ.com. You have a fabulous
collection of information on Hawaiian food. Since my book outlines the steps to
follow when preparing a luau, I'm hoping that you will add a link on your link
page at http://www.XYZ.com/foodlinks.htm to the book page for The Mainland
Luau: How to Capture the Flavor of Hawaii in Your Own Backyard. The URL is
This 80-page book is a complete and easy-to-follow guide to presenting a
Hawaiian luau no matter where you live. It features 8 different methods of
roasting a whole pig and offers decorating tips, fresh-flower lei-making
instructions, recipes and even a Hawaiian language lesson. What they're saying
about The Mainland Luau: "This is a wonderful volume, abundant with
excellent information and outstanding recipes." Kay Sullivan, Kay's
Treasured Kookbooks. Thank you for considering MatilijaPress.com.
Patricia Fry mailto: PLFry@aol.com
Note that the main body of the e-mail remains the same for each request, but
we must customize each e-mail to specifically address each recipient.
If we are willing to include a links page on our site, we can offer to swap
links with each of the sites we contact. It's easy and persuasive to start by
adding a link to the other site on our own links page. When we take the second
step of writing the e-mail requesting a link from them, we state that we have
already added a link to their site.
Link Requests are time-consuming. If we want to be successful, we must
carefully research the potential link sites and address each Webmaster
individually. In addition, strategic linking should carried out for the life of
our site. We should spend time every week searching for appropriate sites, then
asking each for a link to our site.
All of this work will pay off after six to nine months. Our site's traffic
will increase, and the visitors will be people interested in the book.
Strategic linking is vital to marketing a site.
~ Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is an Information Architect
who publishes both in print and online. Contact her at
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