SEO & Content Marketing

How to build links to new websites – a quick guide to link building

Written by Ann Stanley on 25th November 2011

link building guide for new websites

Following on from our earlier post on How To Set-Up Your First Business Website, we thought it might be a good idea to share a few useful tips on how to build links to your new website once it is built.

Link building is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to both promoting your business online and improving your site’s authority and position in the search engine results. Because of the massive role it plays, many webmasters try to abuse the link building process with ‘black-hat’ techniques designed to ‘trick’ the search engines into ranking their site higher than it really deserves to be. Therefore Google and Bing are on the look-out for any of these bad practices and will penalise any site they feel is trying to ‘game’ their ranking algorithm. It is important for brand new sites in particular to avoid these pit-falls and to build a natural-looking link profile to avoid getting penalised straight away by the search engines. In this post I will outline a few tips on how to build links naturally to your new site.

Build links by promoting your new site/business with press releases

Press releases are a great way to build natural links as they provide blogs and news sites with something to write about. Building a new site or starting up a brand new business is a great excuse to write a press release which can be submitted to a number of free or ‘paid-for’ online press release submission sites.

As well as building links to your site, press releases are a great way to promote your business and increase that all important brand awareness.

Stick to related directory sites

A general rule of thumb in link building is that if a link is easy to get, it probably isn’t worth getting. There are myriad ways of building links to websites, one of the easiest being to submit your site to a host of free online directories. For those keen on building a lot of links to a new site quickly, it can be tempting to submit to as many directories as humanly possible. The problem is your link profile will then be full of ‘easy-to-get’ links which the search engines will easily spot as ‘unnatural’.

Search engines put a lot more value into links that come to you naturally from other sites as these are seen as a ‘vote of confidence’ from that site. If your link profile is full of links you have obviously obtained yourself, search engines will know you are attempting to engineer your site’s authority too much.

Saying that, directories can be a good way of building links to a new site – just make sure you stick to directories related to your business or location. If, like us, you are a business in Leicester then sign up to local business directories like the one at the ThisisLeicestershire site. If you are a registered member of a trade body like the Chamber of Commerce or something similar they may have an online directory of members you can get a link from.

Build links by committing to create great content

Everyone who has ever looked for link building tips online will be familiar with the concept – if you create great content then related sites will link to you. What a lot of advice neglects to tell you though is that this requires a long term commitment. It’s not enough to put one infographic or useful ‘Top 10’ article on your site and wait for the links to come rolling in. If you have a new site, you have to regularly update it with content that is useful, valuable and shareable.

The best way to do this is to install a blog on your site (we normally recommend WordPress.org) and dedicate either your own time or a budget to pay for writers to create regular blog posts.

A common reaction to this advice we get from clients is that they quickly run out of things to write about – but there are ways around this. First of all, there is a range of ‘stock’ blog posts you can always tap into when you’re low on inspiration. ‘How To’ articles and ‘Top 10’ lists are a great way to get some simple but relevant content onto your blog. Depending on your industry, there may also be a steady stream of news and events you can write about as well. You can also check out other sites in your niche and see what their blogs are writing about – which may sound like copying but really you’re just looking for inspiration.

It may sound daunting, but when you start thinking about it you may be surprised at how many ideas you start coming up with – and remember, there’s no absolute way to create good content, as long as it’s useful to your customers and visitors you can let your creativity flow!

Build links by guest posting on related blogs

Once you’ve got your own blog up and running you can start using your great content elsewhere to build links. Many bloggers are on the look-out for great content to post on their site, so why not help them out by suggesting they post your content – which includes a link back to your own site?

There are lots of ways to find guest blogging opportunities. MyBlogGuest.com is a community that can put you together with a blog owner looking for content. You can also find them yourself in Google using the following ‘search operator’:

inurl:”guest post” [keyword]

Replace the [keyword] bit with a search term relevant to your site and then the results on Google will show you blogs that have previously accepted guest posts related to your business – so they may be willing to accept yours too. Once you’ve found what you think may be a good site, get in touch with them and offer your content.

As well as being able to place your own links on the content, guest posting is a great way to build a network of relevant sites and blogs you can use in the future to promote your business and build links.

There are many more ways to build links to a new site that I couldn’t fit onto this post, so if you want some further advice on how to build links, feel free to email me at [email protected], or visit our link building page and find out more about our services.

Posted by Luke Glassford

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