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30 Nov 2011

Link Building – The First 90 Days

November 30, 2011Link Building

Link Building The First 90 Days

Periodically we take on a client who has a brand new website. We also are asked by others about the best way to build backlinks for their brand new website. So in today’s post I will attempt to answer that question. Below are several link building methods that can be utilized for every new website in the first 90 days.

Social Media

The first thing you should do is set up accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.  Fill out the profiles with links to your site. In fact, if you have any staff, ask them all to do the same thing. Later we will use these social media platforms to help promote your content. If you have the time, you might use a service like Knowem to find and claim 100′s of social profiles that make sense for your particular business.  Most of these social profiles are not link building per se, but they can help create a social web around your site and strengthen the trust for your website.

Business Directories

Add your website to the top directories like JoeAnt, Yahoo!, Best of the Web, etc. In fact, you might check out this list of directories on SEOMoz. Submit to whatever high quality, relevant market directories that might be appropriate. It takes time and some money, but they still work. The search engines like to see links from directories that employ some level of editorial scrutiny. Which means many of the free directories that let anyone post to them are probably a waste of your time and energy.

Press Releases

Promoting your business on the web can be a great way to pull in backlinks and traffic. The purpose of the press or news release is to highlight interesting and newsworthy news about your company, products or services. Publishing SEO friendly press releases offers benefits to any business, and can be a powerful marketing tool.

A Blog

Create a blog on the same domain as your new website and set up social bookmarking buttons on it for platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon.  You will also want to set up an RSS feed to your social media platforms (mentioned above) so that each blog post is automatically fed to and published on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  Be sure to put together a content plan or editorial calendar. Try to produce 2-3 top-notch pieces of content every week. According to Hubspot, websites that have a blog and publish to it regularly will have two times as many backlinks when compared to websites that do not have a blog associated with them.

Article Distribution

This method has greatly changed over the last few years. Today, we recommend writing a unique, lengthy article and publishing it on one quality article site. By this we mean a site that lets you submit articles on specific topics and allows you to include a link in the author bio section. You might try distributing the same article to several of these article directory websites, but the best method is unique content on each site.  Below we will discuss guest blogging or guest articles, which is the higher quality approach.

Guest Blogging

The difference between “guest blogging/authoring” and article distribution boils down to the quality of the website you are targeting and the creating a relationship with that editor. Guest blogging is more work, but you generally will get much better links and traffic from this method compared to article distribution. Pick out a few high quality websites to submit your articles to for publishing in exchange for a link (in the content).  Remember to add links to other web properties too, to give the reader a better experience and to keep your link from being totally biased.

Blog and Forum Comments

You should get involved in your community. Every vertical market has bloggers and forums dedicated to that topic.  Find those places and participate. Leave insightful comments on those blogs and forums.  Often you will be able to link back to the appropriate page on your website. Most of the links may be no-followed, but don’t worry about that. We feel they still pass some link juice, and ideally they will drive some traffic to your website.

Keep in mind that the very best links are the one that actually bring traffic to your site. Almost all website owners are looking for more business, which starts with traffic to the site itself. While it is true backlinks will help your pages get ranked higher in the search engines, which should bring more traffic, why not go for the win-win and seek out links that will bring higher rankings and traffic too.

Do you have any other link building suggestions for a new website in its first 90 days?