Building quality website traffic is arguably one of the most difficult
parts of webmastering. This is however superseded by something much more difficult, building ABUNDANT quality website traffic.
If you've ever read a website promotion article, you've heard the deep
secret of the great successes, and that's reciprocal linking. Just contact a webmaster with a website that has a similar topic as yours does, put each other's links on your sites, and you're golden, right? WRONG!
The truth is that the majority of reciprocal link trades are very
ineffective for all involved. Why are they ineffective? Simply because they aren't enough. Not enough by far.
Now don't get me wrong the fact that you are using reciprocal links to
increase your traffic means that you're on the right track, you just need to work on your methods.
How can you make a reciprocal link trade more effective? Don't Just link with sites of a similar topic as yours, "network" with them. By this I don't mean you should go running out and buy a new domain, and try to compete with C|Net. You can network your traffic and content by providing links to each other's content areas (linking past the main page).
It is also a good idea to place each other in a very visible place on
each other's site. If all you plan on doing is pushing a bunch of buttons out of the field of vision on the bottom of the page, then you've increased the load time of your site without providing benefit for either party.
Speaking of "button links", while they might look pretty, they do not, for the most part, have a click rate that even resembles the click rate of a text link with a good description.
What more do you need to know? Well, it would be nice to say that this type of arrangement is easy to setup, but nothing about being a webmaster is easy. To accomplish the successful content networking of two or more sites it will take more than the standard:
I like your site, I feel that we could benefit each other by exchanging
You will need to work with the other parties involved on a much more
frequent basis. Make sure to explain why content linking helps to promote interest in each other's content. You should also make sure the other parties are willing to make updates, as your content is bound to change.
The most important step in this is to make sure that the site that you are contacting COMPLEMENTS your site, it should not COMPETE with it. Be choosy about who you link with, and limit your link partners. Four or five high quality content partners will far outweigh a dozen buttons, or text links with no descriptions.
Discussion - Traffic Bartering & Exchanging