Much like networking in the real world, it’s important to make your presence known on the net. Whilst it’s no substiture for earned inbound links, link exchanges can play a meaningful role in any website promotion process. Exchange links with website in the same niche as yours, or in related topics can really benefit your site in terms of search engine ranking. The below tips link should give you a basic understanding of link exchanges can benefit you:
1) Exchange links with sites in the same niche as yours
Google and co like to be about to present relevant content to visitors. What better way to prove to them that your site is relevant then to be linked to by a series of sites in the same niche as yours.
2) Attempt to exchange links with authority sites
Of course this won’t be achieved overnight. In fact, if you have a new or not so popular site, approaching a site with high in the raking for your keywords of choice will likely not even gain a reply. If you can build your site popularity over time though, this may eventually appear to your to-do list.
3) Scan the top 30 or 40 listings in google for keyword terms you wish to rank well for. These sites may be worth approaching
Similiar to the previous point, but if you’re approaching sites on the top 30 or 40 it may allow you to get a foot in the door ranking wise. From here at least you have a base to build from.
4) Try to exchange links with sites of similiar popularity to your own (check out alexa and extreme tracking if available)
Whilst you’re attempting to work on SEO do not simply discount sites on SEO value alone. It may be useful to you in the short term to approach sites of similiar worth as it should filter some visitors your way. SEO work is a long term project so it occasionally helps to feel that you are moving forward in a short term sense too.
I would suggest that site wide link exchanges are not always the way to go. If a link is sitewide it is not naturally occuring (like a link within an article for instance. Excessive sitewide links may could against you with google and co. I would instead suggest that you either go the route of exchanging links on index pages, or set up a link partner page.