We all have done link exchanges before. Swap a couple of links here for a couple of links there. But how effective have they really been for us? Chances are not as much as they could be. We’re so concerned with getting the SEO benefits of the incoming link that a lot of the time we forget about keeping the users in mind. Everyone knows that you want links from relevant sites, but why not link to relevant parts of your site?
I believe that the most common mistake made in link building is linking to your homepage. Sometimes this may be the best landing page, but nine times out of ten it’s not. Think about the subject of the site you’re getting that inbound link from and what their users are interested in. Is a generic home page link going to be the most helpful to them? Maybe not. Maybe you should have that link pointing to a specific page, category, or post.
For example, say I solicited a link from a webmaster blog that catered to the new and inexperienced. In this case, I think that it would not only be more beneficial but more enticing for those users to visit my site through a link pointing to my “Promotion 101: The Basics” article or my “Usability and Accessibility” category which contains many easy advice posts for new webmasters, instead of a standard front page link.
Basically, just spend a moment thinking about which part of your site would be most likely to keep users engaged and on your site. If I’m getting a link from a blog dedicated to forum owners, then it would make a lot more sense for the link to point to my “Forum Promotion” category, because I know that that is what my audience for that link is interested in. The point is to make the least amount of work for them. If they land on my homepage and have to look around for what they’re interested in, they might leave. But if I give it to them right off the bat, they’re more likely stay, read, and become repeat visitors. Keep it simple and straightforward for your users!