Once you’ve completed your competitor research and found some Google friendly link building opportunities, your next job will be to contact website owners to request your links via guest blogging, inclusion in a piece of content, or addition to a resource page.

The link request is probably one of the most crucial parts of link building. If done correctly, you will ultimately get your link. If not, then you will lose the opportunity. The following are some tips to make sure that you get the link you want by composing a great link request.

Use a Good Subject Line

The first impression that people will receive from your email will be made through the subject line. Consider a link request or guest blogging request as a part of a sales pitch – you want to make a good impression from the get go that lets the recipient know that you are contacting them with a great offer. This is about them, not about you. Craft your email’s subject line accordingly.

Address the Website Owner by Name

One of the things that turns off website owners right from the start in an email is a generic greeting that usually comes in the form of Hello Sir or Madam, Dear Webmaster, Hi Admin, and so forth. Take a moment to find the name of the person you are emailing before you do so. Some good places to find it include the following.

  • About Page – If there are multiple people listed, look for the person who is the webmaster or is the person responsible for the website.
  • Contact Us Page – Sometimes the clue might be in the email address (i.e., dave@domain.com).
  • Blog Posts – Look for the main author, not other guest posters.
  • Social Profiles – See a link to a LinkedIn Company profile? You may be able to find the owner’s name in the list of current employees.

If those spots don’t reveal the name, you can also try a Whois Lookup to see if the website owner’s name is publicly available. That’s also a good thing to try when you can’t find a contact us page or email address on the site.

Prove That You’re Familiar With Their Site

For starters, make sure whatever you are asking to place on a website, whether it is a link or a guest post, is relevant to the site’s audience. If it’s a site about home decor, you don’t want to request a link placement to a SEO firm. If it’s a blog about gardening, you don’t want to pitch a post about car hires.

Next, mention something specific about their site. Note that you enjoyed browsing through some of the sites on their resource page (Site A and Site B are your favorites) and then mention that you also have a similar resource that you would love for them to share. For guest posts, say that you really enjoyed a specific post on their site and would love to contribute something similar.

Talk About How Your Link Benefits Them

Now that you have showed the website owner that you have done your research, you are ready to pitch your link or guest post. Again, remember that the goal is to make it all about them. You want to say that the link you are suggesting for their resource page or content will not only tie in perfectly but also be beneficial to their audience. That your guest post will be informative and valuable to their readers.

Check Your Grammar

Especially when it comes to guest post requests, you want your grammar and spelling to be as close to perfect as possible in your email. No one wants to take a guest post from someone who can’t write an email correctly.

Steer Away From Too Much SEO Talk or Demands

Another deterring element in a link or guest post request is too much talk about the SEO side of things. You don’t want to put too much importance on whether you will receive a dofollow link or specific anchor text. You also don’t want to sound like you expect the website owner to do anything. You’re making a request – make it politely and let the website owner feel like you would be honored to work with them. That’s the best way to ensure your request will receive a positive reply!

Have any other tips about link and guest post requests? Share them in the comments!

Photo Credit: Nick See on Flickr