Lee Odden

5 Link Building Tips for New Websites

link building

Despite the constantly evolving nature of search engines and ranking methods, inbound links continue be a significant influence on website rankings. The higher quality the link, the more authority that link passes on.

Sites that have been live and active on the web for many years attract a substantial number of links when well promoted. But, what about those sites that are brand new? How should they go about getting quality links right off the bat?

Here is a list of 5 link building tactics for new websites to get them off on the right foot:

  1. Links from Local Organizations – If your company is registered with the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce, the links from these sites can be very relevant for geographically specific terms and topics. Also, locate other local businesses and organizations that maintain lists of businesses to request a link from.
  2. Optimized Press Releases – Your business  just launched or you have compelling news to announce – why not tell the world about it? There are many great press release distribution services available that will not only increase your brand visibility, but also earn you inbound links. Press releases that get picked up will often mention and link to the company being mentioned. Press releases that are copied whole, as content to blogs and information web sites will frequently retain any embedded links within the press release.  However, the links in press releases hosted with wire services are commonly short term or devalued.  See this past post for tips on press release optimization and distribution.
  3. Reputable Directory Submissions – While some online directories have gotten a bad rap or have become irrelevant, certain directories can still pack a punch when done right.  A few of these directories include Yahoo! Directory and Best of the Web. Also, if your business services a specific geographic area, find some good local directories to submit to, such as Google Local or use a service like GetListed.  Optimizing and including your site in local data sources, search engines and directories can help boost your local search visibility.
  4. Charity and Non-Profit Links – Does your company’s business model include philanthropy? When you make charitable contributions to organizations and non-profits, find out if it has a “Donors” list on its website and suggest a link.
  5. Blog Based Link Building – If you’re thinking of starting a blog for your company, be sure to network online with complimentary blogs. Share industry news, original ideas and useful tips and you’ll attract links, often times, without asking. Link to other blogs in your industry, and reference fellow industry bloggers.  They’ll notice and may link back.  Links that come as a result of sharing useful blog content with others can attract traffic in the short term and boost search engine rankings overall. Just look at our own TopRank Online Marketing Blog with over 700,000 inbound links as an example.

When starting a link building campaign for new website, keep in mind relevancy and authority, because nothing beats a first impression. Whether the first external sites that link to your site make a difference in how search engines undstand and rank your web site may be up for debate, but the value of association on consumers that click, visit and share is  unmistakable. Focus on attracting links that add value to web site visitors and best represent your most important keywords at the same time.

What link building tips for new websites do you have?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Pretty good article. Simple and concrete. Maybe worth adding letting the domain rest a little before using it… I’ve read that sitting the domain for a month or two make things easier in search engines when you finally start feeding it with content.

  2. Mind giving me just a few of those 700,000 links? 😉

    Great post!


  3. These are some useful tips for a beginner. I would recommend trying some of the free submission sites like DirectoryCritic.com

  4. There are some really good helpful tips for link building for a new website. If all these points were implimented to a new website, how long before you would expect to see results?

  5. Love the info about press releases. There are a lot of free ones out there that really do work. Check them out before you pay an arm and a leg for a simple press release.

  6. Nice article with really good tips. I wasn’t aware of the press release you can do at all. Since I’m new at this I’m always looking for good information in simple english to learn all I can to make a good blog and get it out there. I’m going to check out the rest of your articles and sign up for more great posts. Rate 5 star!

  7. cool this has been helpfull, never using press releases.
    Do people leaving comments on your blog increase your SEO?
    I have comments turned off on my blogs thanks to spammers, but should i leave comments turned on?

  8. Link building as a part of SEO campaign is getting more and more important. With the advent of more websites, and different tools, it is getting even more complex than a tough mathematical formula. The post came up some really good tips. The challenge though has always been retaining them and implementing, especially with too many experts commenting on different approaches. Will do our best here 🙂

  9. Great checklist which beginners as well as advanced blogggers should follow to ensure that their content is noted by the search engines and placed before people searching for that content. For newcomers, it is important to remember that search engines reference “individual pages/posts” and not websites or blogs. the takeaway is to make it a point to submit each page and post individually with its own url. Ensure though that each page or post links back to the site/blog index page and other pages through relevant anchor texts.

  10. Thanks for the tips. There are a couple of things I can start doing right away with one of my new sites.

  11. Very helpful post for new sites. I hadn’t thought of #4.

    Further to #1 – if local search is important to your business, also try Google Maps.

    See my guest blog post on this topic:

  12. There is nothing like an article that is straight and to the point. This has some really great tips!

    Thank you for sharing.


  13. I think Press Releases are a excellent way to get your name out there on the internet. I never thought about the BBB or the Chamber of Commerce, But that sounds like a good tip.

    Thanks for the info.
    Click on my name and check out my blog
    I have just created a forum. So take a look

    Have a great day,

  14. Another great way to build backlinks is being active and posting in forums.

  15. does anyone have any recommendations for press release sites?

    • Brian,

      For paid press release sites, I like to use PRWeb. You can apply SEO features to your release and I like the reporting functions. See my post on this here:

      For free press release sites, there are hundreds, but these are the ones I have used:
      Free-press-release-center.info ($2.99 includes links)

      Last time I checked, these free services meet the following:
      Google page rank of 4 or higher
      Listed in Google News (search for “site:sitename.com”)
      Traffic – 300,000+ on Alexa.com
      Cost – free but also have upgrades

      • Avatar Anthony Bloch says

        I’ve used the following free press release services:
        1)PRLog.org is my favorite service. My press releases have hit Google in a short periods of time.
        PR Log.org also allows you to include links within the release.

        2)PressExposure.com – This service is ok but takes awhile for your release to be distributed to Google.
        Like PressLog.org you can include links to your website or webpage.

        You can also select the keywords of your choice.

  16. There are two other good tactics that I feel are worth mentioning:
    1 – Badges / partners: if your website offers information about other “partner” websites (e.g: a directory, an e-commerce site…), make sure you exploit all linking potential from your partners’websites. This can be done in a form of a badge, that you partner can stick on her webpage, and which links back to her page on your website.

    2 – Exportable content: widgets / rss feeds if they offer good value, can be taken from your website and be displayed in other’s websites. They will link back to your site, passing on link juice!

  17. These are some really helpful tips. Having a blog and sharing industry news and helpful information can be a great way to get links to your website as well as added it to directories. The more you get links to your new website the more chance you have got of your website being found quicker by the search engines. Thanks for sharing these tips they have helped a lot.

  18. Dana – nicely done! My advice to any new site is to include options on your pages that allow for your site’s visitors to help those pages get shared, bookmarked, etc. It’s so simple to do, yet many sites don’t include those options. It’s silly to work so hard getting people to a site/page, and then not give those same people the ability to help take that page/URL and do something with it.

  19. Some good tips, not perfect for every new site as 1 and 4 are the hardest to do. The rest though are great and definatly what people should do for a new site.

    Brian – 24/7Press release (http://www.24-7pressrelease.com)
    PRWeb (http://www.prweb.com) are two good press release sites, a bit expensive depending on budget but then again there is always article syndication.

  20. Great list for newbies — and good reminders for old hands.

    Luis’ suggestion of participating in forums is another great recommendation. Not only does it help with backlinks but with branding as well (*and* you might even pick up a couple good tips from other participants!).

    Another possibility is to check with any professional organizations or associations that your company belongs to. Many of these publicly list their members and provide links to member sites (sometimes for a fee, although usually a nominal one).

    Lastly, a sort of combination of Nos. 1, 2 and 4: Get involved with your local schools — many have vocational programs that would really benefit from participation (i.e. donations not of money, but of time in the form of class presentations, mentoring or shadowing) from local businesses.

    Part of this is self-serving, since you can ask the school to mention your participation on an appropriate page (with a link to your site) *and* you can suggest (or submit) the story to local newspapers and general press release sites.

    In the end, though, it’s simply a great way to help students, schools and the future of your community.

  21. Avatar Christina319 says

    Found this from Twitter… Another great way to find readers.

  22. Great post. Link building is definitely on the mind of many new bloggers and website owners out there.

    700,000 links, that is quite a number.

  23. great advices ! That’s right that when you start an activity it’s not easy to have good inbound links.

  24. Avatar Steve Howe says

    Writing articles on your topic with a link to your website in the bio section is a great way for building links. Submit articles to sites such as ttp://ezinearticles.com/.

    Also answer questions and link to your site at sites such as http://www.answerbag.com and http://answers.yahoo.com/. I think yahoo’s are no follow but the answers themselves do get listed in google and yahoo results.

  25. Nice post! I like the idea on the press releases and also the company blog. I’ll have to give it a go and see what happens.

    Take Care,

    Nate Johnson

  26. Excellent info. Link building for new website owners is one of the most frustrating parts of the job. This will give them a great start.

  27. Yeah, if you can find popular forums that are related to your industry they can also be useful. As long as you don’t just spam them.

  28. I have a question. Is there any program that automatically connect mine with other blogs’ write-ups in similar topics by using trackback?

  29. Amazing how fast people forget the fundamentals in the swarm of Web 2.0

    You must be doing something right, look at all those comments!

  30. If you have an account on a social networking site like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. you can easily get a link to your site from there. While it’s true that most of their content is locked up behind your password and Google can’t read it, if you have a link to your site on your profile page and select “make it available to everyone”, you have a public link to your website from some of the highest ranking sites there are today.

  31. Great post and great tips – especially reaching out offline to acquire online links that reflect your offline behaviour.

  32. Avatar Steen Seo Öhman says

    Great post

    I normally try to use all the tools you suggest. But when im working on Danish websites in danish, then the tools get more limited.

    Most of the directories are grey hat operations, where you maybe dont want to be listed in the long run.

  33. Avatar Stephanie Valentine says

    Great fundamentals of link building. Always good to go back and revisit the basics. Thank you for this reminder post. I’m sending a bunch of my web buddies over here to take a look. Finding the right locations to trade links and submit content is very important. Reputable is right!

  34. Thanks for the tips! There’s a few ideas here that I didn’t consider such as linking with local businesses.

  35. These are great tips! Thanks for the advice!

  36. Great tips. It’s especially important to remember that sites you link to must be relevant to the content on your site or search engines such as Google will discount your site because of the link instead of counting it as a more credible site.

  37. Great post. Link building is definitely on the mind of many new bloggers and website owners out there.
    Thank you

  38. Avatar Bram Bolt says

    Nice Post ! I’m using a company blog for my cliënts. I think that there is more optimalisation in linkbuiling to that blog.

  39. I think the 700,000 links are also related to the HARD WORK you guys put into your content.

    Exceptional content is link bait in and of itself – but there's no real shortcut to that (that I know of) – or is there?!

  40. Great post!
    Jerome Nickerson

  41. Great post!
    Jerome Nickerson