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Website Promotion

1. Search Engine Submission 
2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
3. Reciprocal Linking
4. Banner Exchange Programs

5. Posting to Forums

6. Writing Articles for E-Zines
7. Ineffective and Unethical Promotion Methods

3. Reciprocal Linking (Link Exchange)

Reciprocal linking (i.e., link swapping)  can a powerful tool to increase traffic to your website.  There are two ways that reciprocal linkage can bring more visitors to your site: (1) directly through the referrals to your site from your partner sites and (2) by increasing your ranking in search engine results. 

Since many search engines, such Google, Alta Vista, and Lycos factor link popularity heavily into their ranking algorithms, it would be to your advantage to have as many sites link to yours as possible.  However, not just any link will do.  When it comes to link popularity, the search engines are smart enough to know which links are relevant and which are not.  A good link from a popular quality site is worth more than a hundred from "free-for-all" link pages. Therefore, you cannot circumvent the arduous task of securing links from qualified sites by mass-submitting to  "free-for-all" link pages.

The first step in swapping links is to find sites whose contents are similar to yours. A good place to start is Google.  Do a keyword search on Google (or any other search engine of your preference) and visit each site from the results. Spend some time on the site to decide whether or not to swap links with them.  Sometimes, this can be tricky.  One question you might ask yourself is, does the site in question complement or compete with yours?  Then, write them a short e-mail proposing to swap links with them.  A good way to get a "yes" is to ask for permission (although you don't need one!) to link to their site. Chances are (if they don't mistake your e-mail for spam and delete it first), they'll enthusiastically say "Yes!" and offer to do the same. Don't spend too much time drafting an elaborate request as many people will not even read your e-mail, let alone reply to you.  A short request such as the one below will suffice:

Dear Webmaster,

I came across your  site and found the content very (put your complimentary adjectives here). As the webmaster of (www.yoursite.com), I wonder if it would be okay for me to provide a link to your site from (page containing the link).  If you don't mind, I also appreciate your linking back to my site.  Since many search engines now consider link popularity as a crucial factor in ranking search results, I think it would be mutually beneficial for us to provide reciprocal linking to each other's site.

Thanks in advance!

Regards,
Your Name

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