Link exchanges still prove to be a popular way to gain direct traffic, create relationships with other webmasters, improve search engine rankings and create awareness of your site. There is one important factor you should always ensure you consider before exchanging links with another site though: is the site suitable and relevant to your audience?
Untargeted traffic is wasted traffic
Link exchanges can take a long time to arrange. You will often want to negotiate with the other webmaster to ensure the best possible placement for your link, along with the anchor text and any description you want to be used. Going through such a time consuming process when all you will be attracting is traffic that is uninterested in your site and its content is a huge waste of time.
Untargeted traffic is not at all useful. Sure, you may get one in a hundred visitors who have some vague interest in what your site is about – however, your time will be better spent going after link exchanges with sites that have a similar audience to your own. Untargeted traffic is not only a waste of time, it is also a waste of your server’s resources.
Why you need targeted traffic
Targeted traffic is essential to the success of any website. It is far better to receive 100 targeted visitors than 500 untargeted visitors. Targeted visitors will be interested in your site and what it has to offer. This will result in higher page views and more exploration of your site. You will also see a far better conversion rate of visitors to members – the lifeblood of any online community.
By aiming solely for targeted traffic, you are optimising your time and using it efficiently. Don’t be seduced into link exchanges with sites that have nothing in common to your own. Stick to websites that are relevant to your audience – not only will the links you are publishing on your site be more valuable to your own members, but the traffic you receive in return (even if smaller in number) will be far more valuable.
What factors do you consider when initiating a link exchange? Do you exchange links with any website you come across, or do you only target those of a similar size or subject? Share your link exchange strategy and/or thoughts on this article by leaving a comment below.