7 Steps To A Powerful, Useful Reciprocal Links Directory

by : Charles Kangethe

The Problem

No matter how good your product or service is, if you are not receiving targeted visitors to your site or if your web site is not well ranked by the Search engines you will not sell much.

A solid, reciprocal linking strategy, properly executed will deliver both targeted visitors and improve your web site rank for your chosen keywords and all for 'no money down.'

Step #1 - Specific Keyword Search

It is important that your chosen keyword phrases are as specific as possible.

Scott Buresh of says this about keywords and using 'geographic', 'adjective' and 'noun' modifiers to make them specific.

'Modifiers are used for two main reasons: to increase the percentage of ideal prospects in the traffic the phrase attracts, and to find terms that are easier to target on search engines. Adding the right type of modifiers to your search engine key phrases will increase your chances of success.'

This step involves effort and a capacity to brainstorm because you need a minimum of 100 keyword phrases for good results. Good search engine optimisers build lists of 300 specific or more keyword phrases.

The following resources will be of use as you build your keyword phrase list

* Overture Suggestion Tool -

* Good Keywords by Softnik Technologies -

* Use a search engine to research 'Keyword Phrases' and learn more practical details on this critical task.

Step #2 - Suitable Link Partners

Your ideal link partners are web sites based on

* High quality content - Ideally the material (articles, reviews, reports, e-books etc) should be original, fresh and informative to visitors.

* Tight web site themes - The content addresses a specific business, product or service type.

* Tight directory themes - A link to the link directory should be prominently shown on main pages and the directory must be tightly themed and not just a 'link farm' of general, non-related web sites.

* Complimentary themes - While you may not want direct competitors to feature in your directory, complimentary sites that fulfil the above features will provide great value to your visitors.

Step # 3 - Find and Review Link Partners

Now, find web sites who may be 'good' link partners.

Using a search engine or directory, go through each keyword phrase in your list and visit as many of the web sites that are returned as you can.

Evaluate each site on the basis of the criteria set in step #2.

Decide on the categories you want in your directory.

For an Internet marketing business these would typically be 'Affiliate Programs', 'Business Promotion', 'Income Opportunities' an so on.

Qualifying web sites, may of course fall into more than one category depending on their business, product or service offerings.

With this information you can now make another list of :

* Qualifying web sites for inclusion. * Relevant e-mail address to which link requests must be addressed.

* Web site URL and a short description of the web site and what it offers.

* Make a note of 'special' features on the web site which you can usefully put in your e-mail to *prove* you have actually visited the site. This goes a long way to countering SPAM problems.

Step # 4 - Build Your Partner Link Directory.

Build your Partner Link's directory using a separate HTML page for each distinct category.

Add the URL link and comment for each qualified site into the relevant category page(s).

Make your directory pleasurable to visit, where visitors find information quickly and easily.

Ensure ithe directory is easily found and reached from your main web pages.

Step 5 - e-Mail The Webmaster

Using the e-mail addresses, write to each Webmaster you have linked to.

Tell them :

* The URL address of the page where their link can be found

* Your own web site link information (URL and descriptive comments)

Finish by asking for a reciprocal link in their directory.

Make the e-mail personal and you might like to use the *special* feature note you made to help your request achieve success.

Step #6 - Maintain Your Directory

A partner directory is a work in constant progress.

It must change quickly to reflect obsolete, dead, new, and modified links and web sites.

This maintains it's usefulness to your visitors.

Depending on size, verifying the links may be more than you can achieve easily by your own efforts. Offer prizes to visitors who find and inform you of links that are no longer useful.

Maintenance also means giving added prominence to entries for other webmasters who respond to your mail and tell you that they have added your link and web site information to their own directories.

You can add a small graphic next to each Partner link making it stand out from the other web sites that have not provided a reciprocal links.

Remember your directory exists to provide useful content to your visitors. Do not immediately remove a non reciprocating web site, if it adds value to your visitors.

Step #7 - Repeat

Go through the six steps above regularly and over a period of 3 to 6 months you should notice a significant and sustained rise in targeted traffic from complimentary sites as well as a rise in search engine rankings for your specific keyword phrases.


Building a useful, tightly themed, Partner Link directory is a 'No cost' traffic and ranking builder.

Will you devote 15 minutes to this today, and into the future ?

(c) 2004 Charles Kangethe