Before you start building links, you need to have some criteria for the type of links you want to build. Some of the variables SEOs focus on when building links include:
- The domain authority, domain reputation or domain strength of the website
- The geophysical location of the website (i.e. where the site is hosted)
- The industry/niche of the website
- Organic traffic and total traffic on the website
- The social media presence of the website
You can go for any combination of these criteria (and/or go for additional factors) depending on your requirements. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the five link building strategies for new websites.
1. Search for websites in your niche that accept submissions
This is the oldest method of finding websites to build links and it still works to this day. Let’s suppose you are working on a website for a small bed and breakfast. People can visit the website, book rooms, make payments, and leave reviews online. This falls in the tourism and hospitality industry, and is a location basedbusiness, so you are looking for websites that do bed and breakfast reviews, lifestyle websites, and tourism websites.
Go online, search for ‘tourism magazine’and include “write for us” in your search. You can modify your search for location by adding a location based keyword as well. For example, you can search for ‘tourism magazine Ohio’and add the ‘write for us’ modifier to get to the magazines that are accepting submissions.
Once you have shortlisted a few websites, visit them and see what kind of content they publish, and pitch them ideas accordingly. In the example we used, you can also go with tourism and hospitality blogs, bed and breakfast review sites, vacation journals and many different versions of the search query along with the ‘write for us’ modifier.
2. Pitch story ideas to journalists, bloggers, and vloggers
Journalists, bloggers, and vloggers are always looking for the next story. If there is something interesting about your company, you should start contacting journalists on HARO and similar platforms and start pitching them story ideas. The story ideas should fall in the same category as the kind of stories the journalist usually does, so do your homework and read up.
Let’s consider the example of a tech startup that consists of a small team working on a project to bring it to life. Now search your local business publications, and see which journalist works on stories from the IT industry, specifically, stories related to small teams. Read a few of their stories and pitch them ideas of your own. It could be something about the financial aspects of the business or about the product itself.
Similarly, there are bloggers that specialize in your niche and most probably there are vloggers on Instagram and YouTube that make videos on topics that directly relate to your industry. Reach out to them with ideas that add value to their channel, may be offer to work in collaboration, and ask for a link.
3. Tap into your competitors’ link profiles
Since this article is about new websites, we will assume that your competitors have already been in the game for a while and they have been building links longer than you. Use a tool like Rank Genie (or any other tool) to see your competitor’s link profile.
We recommend going after four or five competitors for this. Using online SEO tools, you can find all the websites linking to competitor 1, competitor 2 and so on. Once you have a list of all websites linking to five of your competitors, create a shorter list of all websites that accept submissions and start creating content.
4. Tap into Medium, LinkedIn, and Social Media
You can publish articles on Medium or LinkedIn and link back to your website all day long. However, those links are automatically turned into no-follow links by these platforms. That being said, these platforms have a ton of traffic and these no-follow links can add a lot of value to your link profile if a decent amount of people read those articles and click on your links. Similarly, you can use your social media presence to build links that lead back to your site. These will most likely be no-follow links by default but will add value to your SEO efforts in the form of likes, shares, and traffic if you have a decent following online.
5. Tap into your Business Network
Your website has a target audience, and you want their undivided attention. You want them to know you by name, to search for you by name, and see your website in the top search results when they search for products or services you offer. There are multiple websites vying for your target market’s attention, but not all of them are your competitors. In fact, if you can differentiate between competitor and ally, you can tap into your ally network to build links.
Let’s explore this topic with an example. Think of a video game developer. They make action/adventure video games for PC and consoles, and every other game developer out there is their competitor. However, not every website about gaming is their competitor. Even though they would want to rank higher for certain keywords, and game review websites, game news websites, gamer platforms etc. may be competing for the same real estate, they can prove to be a useful source of backlinks. They are targeting the same audience, but they are not selling the same products and services as you. To summarize, an ally is someone who is after the same target market as you but does not offer the same services/products, so there is room in the consumer’s life for both you and them. Reaching out to them with guest post ideas can prove to be fruitful.
About the Author
Andrew Wilson is an SEO analyst at Rank Genie. He loves to watch movies, listen to podcasts, and plan about launching his own podcast. He has helped the Rank Genie team shape their rank tracker and make it one of the most easy-to-use and SEO friendly tracker out there. You can find his blogs on www.RankGenie.com