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4. Closely monitor your site's referral statistics. When you work out various linkback deals with other sites, it's important to keep tabs on how many clicks these sites are sending you. Ideally, both sites in a link trade will send each other an equal number of clicks. Of course, it rarely works out that way. But fact is, you should keep tabs on linkback traffic and make sure that your link partner is sending you a fair number of clicks.
5. Look for sites to linkback with who likely draw an audience that would be interested in what you offer, as well. When you consider doing a link trade, you shouldn't simply focus on traffic your link partner is drawing. What is more important is how likely that site's audience is going to be interested in what you offer, as well. One thing I do is to always spend some time browsing around a potential linkback partner's site. The question I always ask myself is: "Would a typical visitor to this site likely be interested in what my site has to offer, as well?" It pays to spend some time, exploring any sites that you work out linkback deals with. Even if a linkback partner is steering you loads of traffic, your all-important credibility will suffer if you're sending your visitors to a linkback partner who has content that's inappropriate for your audience.
6. Pick linkback partners with potential. I think this method is often overlooked by Webmasters who do link trades. To me, a suitable link partner is someone who runs a useful, credible site that I know my visitors will enjoy and benefit from. But ideal link partner I look for is someone who runs an outstanding site that hasn't yet found an audience, for whatever reason. Perhaps site is too new to have built an audience. Or maybe site owner excels at content, but has poor promotion skills. Sites that fall into this category make for ideal link partners. If you're first site to send significant traffic to them, it's something that they'll always remember (and always be grateful for). What's more, if they have a worthwhile site, it's usually only a matter of time before they do build a sizable audience, which, of course, will benefit you over long run.
7. Regard your linkback partners as more than just a link. The most valuable asset you can build as a Web site owner is your partnerships and relationships with other site owners. Over years, I've built up a sizable network of Webmaster friends and partners who've played a key role in success of my sites. I began my relationship with most of these folks via a simple link trade deal. In many cases, what started out as simple link trades have evolved into valuable business and Web partnerships. As a result, I've cultivated a network of valuable, trustworthy contacts, who I can depend on and share useful advice with.
If you follow these steps, you'll be able to make most of linkbacks in building your site. Using linkbacks effectively is single most potent technique for building an audience for your site.
Marc McDonald is a former journalist and editor with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the creator of TheFreeSite.com as well as several other popular Web sites that have received extensive media exposure from CNN's "Headline News," the BBC, Fox News, ZDTV, CBS Radio, the Washington Post, and many more. Visit the TheFreeSite.com at: http://www.thefreesite.com and AAAPostcards at: http://www.aaapostcards.com