Everyone knows the great feeling you get when you land your first high-quality backlink. Unfortunately, when it comes to getting them, it’s not always easy.
However, there ARE people who’ve mastered the art of link building. They actually know what it takes to get first page rankings and a tonne of targeted traffic to their site. I decided to gather 21 of the best SEO Pro’s and ask them one question:
What’s your #1 tip when setting up a link building campaign for new websites?
Let me tell you, the insights I received from these 21 SEO pros was nothing short of amazing.
I’ve listed all of their link building tips below.
Matt Diggity — DiggityMarketing.com
“Analysis. I do a thorough analysis of what the site needs – including the volume of links, the type of links, and the anchor text required to make the profile look natural. Many SEO’s like to jump in the car and start driving full speed. I like to get the map out first.”
Charles Floate — CharlesFloate.co.uk
“With a new site, it’s important to build the solid foundation for the site. Don’t go hitting inner pages with the majority of links before you’ve built out the foundations of the site – Things like citations (Even if you’re doing an affiliate site) and social profiles.
Once you’ve built out your foundation (Generally it takes a month or 2) you want to make sure that any link signals you’re sending at the site are going to be of the highest quality. Things like super niche relevant guest posts, links from big authority sites and keeping the anchor text choices branded, even at inner pages. This gives you the best chance from the beginning, because it keeps your link profile clean and strong.”
Ryan Stewart — Webris.org
“My best tip is to find natural link placements.
When you have a new site, you don’t want to jam it with low quality, unnatural links. The best way to find out what a natural link is to use a competitive research tool like Ahrefs and look at your competitor links.
Try and find which sites are linking to them naturally and reverse engineer their strategy. After you’ve built a nice link profile and gained Google’s trust, you can get more aggressive with your tactics.”
P.S. Ryan has a fantastic intro guide to SEO that is definitely worth reading.
Tim Soulo — Ahrefs.com
“Since I like to do SEO the “white hat” way, my first thoughts with setting up a link building campaign for a new website would be:
I mean if there’s nothing special about your website and it’s not better than the websites that you’re competing with in any way – you’re going to struggle to build links to it. But if you invest your time/effort/resources into creating something awesome on your website that people would love to talk about and reference – you’ll soon find out that a lot of links are appearing naturally.
Don’t get me wrong, links don’t magically appear out of thin air. So you’ll still have to hustle hard to get them. But when your website is full of linkable assets that deserve to be linked to, your job will become a hundred times easier.”
Jason Acride — Kaiserthesaige.com
“The best way to build and earn links for a new website is to create enough reasons for people to link to the website.
1. Do you have research-driven content in place that you can leverage through outreach?
If not, build long-form content assets that appeal to a broad audience. Validate the content if it’s really worth linking to by asking for feedback from other content publishers in your space (mention them as well in your writing to entice industry influencers to share your piece of content).
Promote your content through outreach, and seek opportunities for linking through:
2. Can you rank for low-competition industry-specific terms/jargons/statistics that content creators will most-likely link to instead of just describing/explaining it in their own writings?
Identify informational search queries you can easily rank for (especially in ranking for featured snippets). It’s one of the best ways to consistently earn links to your site without doing outreach.
3. Are you providing products/services that you can confidently say are better or unique in some way compared to your competitors?
If yes, find brand mentions or reviews of your competitors, and ask if they’ll consider linking to you (since you’re offering something that could be better than what they’ve previously linked to).”
Nick Eubanks — From the Future
“For new sites focus on the easiest links; brand name and naked URL’s.
Don’t worry about getting links from authority sites – just go stand up all your brand profiles and have all the links point to your homepage. The focus here is on building your baseline of trust as step one.”
Marie Haynes — MarieHaynes.com
“Google is getting really good at figuring out which links to count. A recently updated Google patent talks about how Google can decide which links to pass PageRank through based on how trustworthy they are. I feel that the vast majority of links that are made by SEOs these days are not helping towards rankings at all.
Anything that scales easily is probably not a good link. But, if you can publish unique research, create a product that produces buzz, or do something amazing in your community that gets legitimate press, these are the kinds of links that can move the needle.”
Ian Clearly — Razorsocial.com
“You have to earn links and one of the best ways of earning links is producing the best piece of content on the web related to a topic you want to rank for.
Instead of publishing lots of content produce less content but higher quality. Then find a relevant audience and reach out to that audience about your post.
For example, I recently wrote a really good article about finding influencers. I still have a monitoring tool (brand24) tracking mentions of ‘Finding influencers’ and daily I find new blog posts that mention this topic. I reach out that day and ask them to link to my content and because it’s very good, I get a lot of good quality links. So build great content and use email outreach to reach out to promote that content.”
Ajay Paghdal — OutreachMama.com
“It’s no secret that new domains need quality backlinks in order to rank faster.
Question is: How do you score quality links when no one has heard of you yet?
That’s easy: The first thing you should do is create one linkable asset on your website.
It should be 5000+ words, covering a topic that has a high search volume, and is beautifully designed.
This might take some upfront time and money, but the return will make up for it because once you start doing outreach for your first round of links, webmasters will be much more likely to link to you – considering your content actually rocks.
Besides that, focus on getting at least 100 branded links to your homepage, and you’ll be well on your way!”
Aaron Wall — SEOBook.com
“Try to come up with an idea that differentiates your site from everything else in the market. It helps if you can fill in one of the following sorts of ideas:
Michael Pozdnev — iwannabeablogger.com
“I’m a great believer in natural link building.
However, when your site is new, you still need to make a small push in this direction.
My best strategy is online friends.
Those people who share your interests. Professionals, who often and continuously write for different publications. Journalists and bloggers.
To find your future online friends, use my Blogger Outreach BFF Commenter Technique.
It was this technique that helped me make friends with more than 200 amazing people. My friends helped me to get an average of 160 comments, 5k social shares (and more than 300 links to my blog) on each of my blog posts.
First, make friends with them. Help them. Find out what they are interested in, what they read. Try to be noticed and remembered before writing to them and asking for a link.
When you ask your old friend something, he will certainly help you, right?
When you have a list of at least 50 such friends, just let them know that you wrote the article. Believe me, they know what to do 🙂 “
Sam Hurley — Optim-eyez.co.uk
“Before ANYTHING else, it’s vital to ensure technical SEO is in place, and the new site is 1) Conversion optimized (and speedy to load), while 2) Providing an exceptional user / customer experience.
There really is no point in link building to increase organic visibility + traffic, if your house isn’t in order first!
All your hard work will probably go to waste.
In terms of link building for a new site:
1. Produce Linkable Assets — In other words, exceptionally amazing content pieces that are so damn good, they will attract links all on their own.
(Of course, you’re not just going to rely on this happening on its own). Owning evergreen content assets makes link building infinitely easier, simply because people have something worthwhile to link to.
You can try:
2. Build Relationships (& Nurture Them) — A respectable Social Media Presence + Strong Relationships = Links (often without needing to ask).
Combine the power of personal branding with relationship-building to maximize your chances of authoritative mentions on top publications… Which ends up becoming a domino effect. (As below.)
The more you talk to people, the more doors open — If you have an interesting story and/or content, these people naturally want to talk about you and link to you.
Check out this snapshot of organic link accumulation to my originally ‘single-page’ website, which simply displayed an email subscribe form!!
This two-pronged link-building strategy is awesome for immediate and long-term growth.
If it’s a client link building campaign: Encourage them to build their own personal brand/s, too!”
Adam Steele — Loganix.net
“Link building campaigns nowadays often mean outreach, and outreach can get super spendy without you even realizing it. So much so, that buying links from someone with existing connections may be more cost effective, short-term. So before you get going, make sure you have a goal (cost per link, total links to be acquired, etc.) and a way to measure it (time tracking).
I usually set mine at $100 cost per link, and 5 links per month, per client. For a brand new campaign, this may take a couple of months to hit. Every month we measure against our goals and are able to determine whether it is worthwhile continuing.
Also, keep in mind, every niche is different. So while I may set a $100 cost per link goal for food-related links, I may double that for legal-related links. Usually the more saturated, or more money there is in a niche, the more work you’ll have to do.”
Mark Preston — MarkPrestonSEO.com
“You have spent many months creating your new website and the day has come to go live. The heart is pumping, and you are feeling excited. You then spend day after day looking at your Analytics data to see a flat line.
It is a very common scenario that many new websites fail for the pure reason that hardly anyone is seeing them.
What has this got to do with setting up a link building campaign? I hear you say.
In my logical thinking mind, I really don’t get why people chase links for the sole purpose of increasing their rankings on the search engines. This may come as a shock, but I never build links to get ranked. I build links to drive new business and those links not only drive a ton of referral visitors to the websites I work on but indirectly has a positive effect on your website rankings.
Just imagine if every link you secured also sent a constant flow of visitors to your website!
My number one tip when setting up a link building campaign for a new site would always be to ask yourself one single question:
Does this link have the potential to drive new business?
If the answer is yes, then you are sure that it is also a related link that is going to get clicked on so the value of that link becomes stronger over time.
Stop chasing links just to get ranked.”
Aris Santos — NinjaOutreach.com
“Look at your competitor’s backlinks and analyze them.
You’ll find yourself a goldmine of qualified leads by doing just that and it’s a tactic that you can easily scale.
In fact, this is one of two tactics we’ve used (the other being guest posting) when we were in the early days of NinjaOutreach.
I wrote a guide/case study around this strategy some time ago and if you’re keen to get started with competitor link building, do check out this guide here: https://ninjaoutreach.com/competitor-link-building-guide/“
Dmitry Dragilev — Justreachout.io
“One of the best tactics for your link building campaign is writing guest posts on targeted publications.
Guest posting is often seen as a means to an end when you’re hyper-focused on link building. The advantages of guest posting are clear.
It’s great because it gives you exposure to new audiences and helps you build your reputation. You can also use your posts to link to a targeted asset in your author CTA and capture high-quality leads.
Contributing to a top publication with a nice domain authority can bring you long-term traffic if you’re ranking for major keywords.
Lastly, this is a repeatable approach, over time you can publish tons of posts. This doesn’t just add value to the content but helps you flex your writing skills in the process, something we all need. If you’d like to learn more, I’ve gone into detail in this piece, 11 Winning Tactics to Market Your Product.”
Matthew Woodward — MatthewWoodward.co.uk
“My top tip…. No two link building campaigns are the same!
You need to consider what type of site you have, what your goals are and the target pages you want to link to. Each of these will affect which strategies you use and how you tailor them.
For example what makes link building for e-commerce different than link building for a local store or a media site?
First, an e-commerce business needs links pointing to every section of its store, including the category and product pages.
But secondly you have to make an extra effort because it’s much harder for ecommerce stores to attract links than content driven sites.
Lastly you need to remember Google releases new changes into its search algorithm, so the link building strategies that work today stop working as time goes by. So each time you do a link building campaign you need to consider any updates from Google.”
Adam Connell — BloggingWizard.com
“Whenever I get started on a link building campaign, I make sure I build it on a solid foundation.
Most people throw a campaign together with a list of websites and a shonky outreach email template.
…They hit send and wonder why their conversions suck.
So, when I say build a campaign on a solid foundation, what I mean is this:
Properly plan out your campaign first.
Really think about how you write your outreach email and avoid using a template you found on the web (use a framework instead).
Your email needs to be compelling. Just a random email asking someone who doesn’t know you to help you out for free isn’t going to cut it.
Then, get your list of target sites together and actually vet them to make sure they’re relevant.
If you pitch an article about survival tips to a marketing blog – it’s going to be obvious you’re running a scaled outreach campaign with no thought about who you’re sending emails to.
On a good day, that means your email gets ignored.
Worst case scenario, a load of people report your email as spam. If that happens enough, it’ll impact email delivery.”
Zac Johnson — Blogging.org
“Content creation and link building are extremely important, but most people are doing it wrong.
Instead of creating a ton of new content and publishing daily, more site owners need to focus on creating 2,000+ words of pillar content that they can continually link back and reference to time and time again.
This will definitely help with the long-term value and SEO of the article. At the same time, make sure your content is really good and provides value. This will also make the outreach and reference building process a whole lot easier too.
Take a look at any of the top websites and blogs in the world today, and you will see this is the transition they are making.”
Jeff Sauer — Jeffalytics.com
“Honestly, I don’t execute link building campaigns, so I am probably not the best person to ask. But what I have found while building thousands of links without really trying is that the best links come from content that fits four criteria:
1) It’s timely.
2) It’s exceptional.
3) It’s unique.
4) It takes a stand.
So if you are looking to build links, my recommendation is to create content that is linkable.”
Tommy Mcdonald — SerpLogic.com
“Always remember to have a “natural” approach. It’s important to always step back and think like Google when mapping out a link building strategy for a new website. If a local business suddenly acquires links from Forbes, Huffington Post, and Inc. within days of going live it could set off a red flag. Unless they are a hot new startup that is trending in the press, securing top links immediately isn’t exactly natural.
Make sure to acquire at a natural pace in the beginning and be very diversified in the types of links you build. Focus on local directory listings, social media profile links, and go after high-quality links like the Better Business Bureau and industry-specific organizations that the business belongs to. These are natural links a new business would acquire and gives you a nice safe base to build from then.”
A HUGE thanks goes out to all the expert contributors. This is an epic collection of useful link building tips.
Now I want to turn it over to you:
What’s your #1 Link Building Tip for a new site? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.