When a new website launches, it lacks something in particular that is particularly crucial for an excellent performance in search engine rankings, that being links. In an ideal world, links would come into your site naturally thanks to fantastic, useful content. At best, this takes time, and at worst, the fact that nobody can find you in the first place means you get no links, and no links mean that you never rise in the rankings.
Officially, any links that are built anything other than organically are frowned upon, but that does not really help us with the vicious circle outlined above. We, therefore, need to take things into our own hands on occasion while being as ethical and organic as possible.
1. Submit Your Site to Web Directories
Web directories do not have the same reputation among people as they once did, and most people that want to find a website will use a search engine. Nevertheless, any link is better than nothing when you’re just starting out, and it is one more way for search engines to find your site even if there may not be many users. Do not go overboard with these directories – the likes of Best of the Web and the Yahoo Directory are often enough to achieve the desired results.
2. Consider Press Releases
Like article directories, press releases have devalued in importance slightly over time, and while the main sites like PRWeb and PRNewswire are still authoritative, links from these sites do not carry the importance that they once did. Nevertheless, they can be great to increase link numbers and, if your story is genuinely newsworthy, it may result in more backlinks than you might have expected.
3. Regularly Add More Content
While you may not rise to the top of search rankings quickly, there are still words and phrases out there where competition is weak or non-existent. The more content you have, the more likely you are to match a given search query, either intentionally or completely by accident. If you show up to a specific user and solve a problem, there’s every chance they may endorse your content in the future.
Unlike directories and press releases, social links carry plenty of weight in rankings as they make any site look relevant. There is nothing wrong with getting those social links underway yourself with dedicated accounts for your website, and if you’re lucky, your content may go viral, causing a tidal wave of new traffic to your site.
5. Leverage Local Search where Relevant
If you run websites that aim to gather users from around the world and convert them, then the local search is unlikely to enhance your business. However, if you operate a product or service website in conjunction with a physical location, you can focus on increasing your rankings among local visitors. Claim local listings for your business, focus on local keywords and repeat the strategies covering directories and press releases outlined above but with a clear focus on localised links.
6. Quality of Links Trumps Quantity
As mentioned, we want to focus on ethical link building that either is completely natural or at least appears to be. Not all links are equal, and while it is not difficult to place links with vaguely relevant comments on hundreds of blogs, it is not always a superior use of time or money. They can give your site a nudge up the rankings in the future, but you require a degree of trust beforehand. Focus on building the links that convey this trust first and work on making them as authoritative as they possibly can be.
7. Create External Pages to Link Inwards
If you are happy to go the way of less organic link building, you may consider a technique commonly known as Web 2.0 building. This involves building sites on free resources that appear to be standalone websites. They do not need to be large, but they will leverage some of the authority of the main site to point links in your direction.
8. Reach Out for Links
Back in the realm of ethical link building, you should consider reaching out to relevant sites to ask for a link. Direct competitors are rarely a good idea for obvious reasons, but information sites and anyone that you genuinely feel would benefit from the context or additional info your site provides should be a good candidate. Some responses will involve a request for payment, and the decision of whether to proceed is basically down to you. It is not organic as such, but it can be justified in that search engines are unlikely to find out whether a link was paid for or not.
9. Write Guest Blogs
This is unlikely to be the first time you have seen guest blogs suggested, but it is important enough that it must be included here, even if only for the sake of completeness. This works so well because it results in a link and payment is rarely required. Instead, the post itself, if deemed relevant and high-quality enough, will be sufficient to make both sides happy. In providing the article yourself, you also have full control over link placement and anchor text.
10. Patience is a Virtue
Unless you actually own a search engine, there is no hard and fast way to control how they view your site, where they rank it or whether they even visit your website in the first place. With a new website, patience is absolutely crucial, as is the willingness to keep plugging away even when results are not immediate. This extends specifically to link building, as a massive influx of links in a short period, especially on a young site, is often a sign of spamming or manipulation. In these cases, your efforts can be detrimental to your goals rather than aiding them. Work hard to boost your presence, but keep it natural.