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Etiquette when contacting sites for a reciprocal link

In one of my previous blogs I wrote about link building and its value for the search engine optimisation of a website. Relevant links are a very important part of the search engine optimisation as they bring inbound links to the website.

Once we have found a valuable link and added it to our links page, it’s time to contact the website administrator and ask for a reciprocal link.

There are a few things to remember before doing that.

First of all, find the correct contact details. The obvious place to go is the contact page. In the case of link building though, check the website’s links page first. Some websites place contact details for getting in touch about the links exchange in here and your email will reach the addressee faster if you consult the links page first.

If those details are not to be found on there, go to the contact page then. And again, try to find the most relevant contact. Some websites put more than one email address depending on the nature of the enquiry. Always choose the one that’s the most relevant.

Once the contact details are found, put the right title of your enquiry. Do not change it if the title appears automatically but never leave it blank. Depending on the content of the email, you might want to put “We have linked to…”, “Links exchange reminder” or “Your link will be removed shortly” in the subject field.

In the first case, place the name of the company. The addressee of the message will see that the email hasn’t been sent automatically, that it was a human being who found their details and contacted them. This is very important as most automated messages are deleted without being read.

Place the “Links exchange reminder” title in the second email you send later to the same company (if they do not respond to the first). You may wish to send a third reminder, but be wary of pestering.

The content of the message plays a crucial role in the links exchange process. Make sure it’s not too long as people get discouraged by seeing long chunk of text and simply won’t read it. Your message should be relatively short but still contain all the important information.

The best thing to do is to make a plan of what you want to say. Explain briefly the reason for the email. Explain that the links exchange will benefit both companies by building inbound links. It is also worth mentioning that your company offers related products/services but is not competitive. It’s handy to place the link to your site’s links page so that the addressee can click on it and check their link is actually there. Always include your linking details: title, description & URL. If this is the second or third email, mention that you emailed about the links swap some time before but didn’t get a reply.

At the end of the message ask for a reply, whether they will be reciprocating the link or not. If you’re emailing for the final time, say you will remove the link if it is not reciprocated, and always give a deadline.
Try to keep the links exchange emails simple, short and always use professional and courteous language.
It’s worth keeping all link communication in relevant client folders for future reference.

About The Author: Agnieszka Wach is the administrator and receptionist for WNW Design, and also assists the SEO team with website optimisation. You can email her at or phone her on 01395 542569. You can also follow WNW Design on Facebook.



Good day Agnieszka,
Thank you very much for writing about link building. It is something that I have only recently started to pursue, and I am looking forward to reaping the benefits. Thank you for such a clear cut example of how to ask for reciprocal leads respectfully and effectively. It is something I have been searching for.

– Diane Craig
President, Corporate Class Inc