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Ensure each page of your link directory has a link back to your home page. Once again reason for this is to do with how search engines will rank your directory pages, so make sure these links are in place.
Don't be obsessed at linking only to web sites that have a good ranking with search engines. Look first at whether site has anything to offer your visitors. If it has poor or unrelated content don't link to it. If it has good related content that compliments your own content but has zero or low page rank, consider linking to it. Later on you may be glad you provided a link, when it's page rank improves.
Don't use link directory software that doesn't automatically check links to your web site are still present on other sites. Doing link checking manually can be tedious and you have to remember to do it. Software that you can set a schedule to check links and automatically send out emails to webmasters when links are not found will save you a lot of time. Link management software that will automatically suspend links and delete them if they are repeatedly not found is an added bonus.
Don't use standard templates that come with any link manager, link directory management software. You need to modify these templates to match look and design of your own web site. This requires you know something about editing a web page using an HTML editor. Also don't use standard email templates, personalize them in some way, even if it's only to add your name.
Don't assume you're finished once you've set up your link directory and done all things I've said. You must test and retest every aspect to ensure everything is working properly, before visitors arrive.
This means making an add a link request, as if you were a visitor to your own web site. Setting up test links and making sure these links are being checked by software so it detects when links are removed or defective. Making sure it sends out email notices correctly and check formatting is correct when they are received. You should also check you can make backups of your link directory database and be able to restore it in event of a problem.
Tony Simpson, Has been doing Web Site Design, Promotion and Optimization for 5 years. He provides advice, product reviews and products at Web Page Add Ons to Make Automation of Your Web Site Work for You.