5 Ways To Get The Best Links For New Websites

Confession: I almost slapped Ryan Jones the other week at SMX West. “I don’t have to build links,” he said. “We put out a new product or announcement, and bam: There’s 10,000 links.”

Unfortunately, he’s right — even if the slap would have been justified. If you do SEO for a big brand, like Ryan, you typically don’t have to put effort into link building. They already have an established following of fans, critics and media just waiting to talk about them.

But for the rest of us, us commoners if you will, we don’t get to enjoy such a luxury. When you’re a new website with no established clout, no established authority, and no gaggle of swooning fanboys (or angered skeptics) waiting with baited breath over your every move, links are your lifeblood. So where should you start?

Guest Blogging

I cannot stress enough how important it is to guest blog for links, especially if no one knows who you are. Get the right topic on the right blog, and the results can be pretty astronomical. You get the link juice, sure, but you also get traffic, brand awareness, and potentially even conversions.

One guest blog post brought us 72% more traffic.

As I mentioned last month, I swear by guest blogging communities like Blogger Link Up and My Blog Guest. Instead of you finding the opportunities, they come to you. Blog owners will send out a query on the type of post that they’re looking for, and you can respond if you’re a good fit.

Offline To Online Relationships

If you’re new to the online realm, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re new to the offline world.

The first place I go when building links for a new client is finding any partnerships, relationships, or even just friends they’ve worked with or built offline. Then, parlay that connection online. People are much more likely to link to you when they already know who you are and can vouch for the work you do.

Forums & Online Communities

Whoever your target audience is, they’re probably already hanging out somewhere online. You need to be there.

Find these online communities, forums or discussion groups and join them. You can use these search queries to find these forums or discussion groups:

  • inurl: + keyword + forums, discussions or groups
  • intitle: + keyword + forums, discussions or groups

Word of the wise: Establish your credibility first. If you go in there firing out links and praise, it’s like saying “I’m Erin. Marry me?” Take some time first to get to know people there: ask questions, answer questions, tell your story, whatever. Just build the relationship first. And when you do post a link, don’t let that be your last post.

Go Local

Every community has a local chamber of commerce. Join it. You get a great link and great exposure to other networking opportunities. If you live in a bigger city, there are also directories specifically to list local businesses in that area.

Also, target your local press. Local journalists are craving for content to write about, so if you’re doing something within the community, let the media know about it.

Whether it’s your staff doing a day of community outreach, helping a local charity or nonprofit organization, or just doing something really cool, people will write about it. We got press coverage and a link just because we hired 24 people over half a year. Whatever you’re doing, let people know.

Give Stuff Away

I don’t know where you stand on the link bait debate, but frankly: I dig it. The whole point of link building is to create things that people like and want to link to. (Of course, don’t do something for the sole reason of going viral.) And what people like is to get free stuff. Host a giveaway or contest that is related to your business (don’t just giveaway an iPad ) which will put you in touch with people in your target audience.

What are some other good links to get for new websites?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Link Week Column


About The Author: is an experienced digital strategist, content developer and search marketer. She's currently the SEO Manager for The Home Depot and has previously worked agency-side for mid-sized business and Fortune 500 companies. She speaks regularly on digital strategy, content development and inbound marketing at conferences nationwide. Follow her on Twitter @erinever.

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  • abeens

    Going local and online communities, really helps

  • http://www.facebook.com/vanrysdam Peter VanRysdam

    No Erin, I won’t marry you. Pushy. But I will link to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=747437128 Tabita Green

    Great list for websites that are just starting up. Related to the “Give Stuff Away” would be the concept of creating super valuable content/tools like eBooks, website analysis tools, white papers, tutorials, videos, and other cool content to which people are more likely to link. Also, I don’t think it’s ever too early to start your own blog (assuming you can write) and create linkable content like “Top Ten” lists and “Best Of” type posts. 

  • Jody Raines

    Agreeing with @facebook-747437128:disqus – a great source for inbound links are creating useful lists that are relevant to your customer base.  All great ideas and I’d add social media engagement to the list. 

  • Clayton Pritchard

    What’s the best way to begin guest blogging? I’d love to do it for the brand awareness and links, but also just because I love helping out others whenever possible. :)

  • http://www.livinginthailand.net/ Neale

    Devoting 30+ minutes a day to google reader has helped me a lot, no magic just consistency.

  • http://twitter.com/TextBroker Textbroker

    Check out blogs about your topic and contact them with why you would be a great guest for them. Additionally, there’s a free service called Blogger Link Up that consolidates guest post opportunities three times a week.

  • liquidsilvermarketing

    Really helpful advice, It’s fairly simple to build links for sites with an established brand and online footprint, this article provides some good ideas for new sites from what I’ve seen most people don’t write too much about best pratice for new site launch’s thanks

  • RobinsGeorge

    Great points there. Very often, a problem faced by new website owners is the lack of time they can spend on link building, especially when they have to do many things with a smaller team (or just one person in some cases).

    Directory submission is still a good way to build links, provided the directories you select are good and even better if they are from the same niche as your site.

  • CarinaJonker

    Thanks for the tip! I’m taking a look at Blogger Link Up and My blog guest right away!

  • http://twitter.com/DittoUK Michelle Symonds

    I agree that high quality directories are still a good source of links but guest blogging will provide  a more relevant link from within text related to your site and often the whole blog is relevant to your site. It will also help build up more natural relationships with real people and provide further posting (and, of course linking) opportunities.

    Thanks Erin for the original post – those guest blogging communities were new to me..

  • http://www.verticalmeasures.com Chris von Nieda

    Thanks for the article Erin. I had not heard of Blogger Link Up and thought I would give it a try to obtain some guest posts for my blog. I also bookmarked this for future link building ideas.

  • http://twitter.com/billsebald Bill Sebald

    Right in line with what Google sees as good links - 

    For new sites I especially like to get active in comments that use CommentLuv if I’m optimizing a site that qualifies.  Usually find a lot of followable links that way.

  • http://www.askforeman.com/ Stephen Foreman

    Some very valid points here. Link building can be a very slow and laborious task, it’s interesting that a lot of link farms have actually had to give refunds after being totally wiped off the SERPS by Google recently.

  • http://twitter.com/adrianoarwin Arwin Adriano

    Thanks for the tip. I also find commenting with other blogs as good source of backlinks but I prefer doing it in a natural way of engaging your thoughts and ideas instead of just leaving nonsense comment.

  • alanfas

    Hi Erin, I never had Guest blogging before now I will try with this because its really hard to get traffic for new websites..But Erin I will follow your 5 steps!!


  • http://www.webcaptain.com/ Las Vegas Web Designer

    Fantastic, excellent approach of implement your idea.anyway, once a again a great help and worth a bookmark and Keep posting.

  • http://www.investonabudget.com/ Steve P

     New Blogger here. Thanks for the pointers. I’m going to have to work on some of them.

  • Nguyễn Văn Lực

    thanks you  I’m going to have to work on some of them.

  • Stuart Hammill

    Fantastic Info Erin, on my way over to blogger link up to (fingers crossed) dip my toe in the guest blogg pool. Thanks again and Im single btw ;D

  • http://twitter.com/RyanJones Ryan Jones

    How did I just find this post? Thanks for the mention – and for not slapping me.  This is great info too.


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