Congratulations! You’ve created your brand new niche site and filled it with compelling content you just know will be of interest to your target market. You’ve uploaded your site to your host and it’s live on the internet. Now all you have to do is wait for the traffic to arrive.
Ah. If only it were that simple. The truth is nobody’s going to find your site unless you promote it. If you’re lucky enough to have a large budget to play with, you can think about paying for advertising. But most of us have to start with a variety of free or low cost promotional methods – at least until our site begins to bring in some decent revenue.
Chief among these methods is getting your site to appear in the top position of a search engine results page. This is how most of your visitors are likely to discover your site. So how do you get your site into those top places?
Assuming you’ve carried out your keyword research and placed those keyword phrases within your site’s content – in other words, you’ve optimized your on-site SEO – the next stage in getting the search engines to recognize your site’s importance is to place links on other websites pointing to pages on your site. The number and quality of these backlinks help the search engines to determine the popularity and relevance of your site, rewarding you with a high position in the rankings. In other words, if you want your site to rank, you’ll need to build links.
In this article, I’m going to describe how to go about building links for a brand new niche site. I’ll discuss which types of links are best – and which to avoid – and recommend the best link building strategies to get a new site ranking at the top of the search engines as quickly as possible, and staying there.
Link Building Strategy
When you start to plan building links for your new niche site, it’s a good idea to think about your long term plan for the site. If you intend your site to be around for the long haul, it’s important to lay down some strong foundations. That means taking the time to build quality links and resisting any temptation to cut corners by acquiring cheap bulk link packages – a tactic that is only likely to get your site penalized by the search engines.
The other benefit of quality links is that you won’t need to create so many of them to obtain ranking benefits.
What do I mean by quality links? The two main factors that make up quality links are the text you use for your link, and the property on which your link appears. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.
This is any text link that points to your site. So, if your site was about golf tips, the text could read “improve your golf swing”, “learn golf tips” or anything similar. You could also have your exact URL as a link, such as “bestgolftips.com” as well as links that are simply generic, like “click here” or “read about it here”.
Your links will have the most effect if you vary the type of anchor text you use. A natural linking profile, and thus one least likely to get flagged by a search engine, typically consists of around 10% exact match text (best golf tips), 20% partial match (tips to improve your golf), 10 – 20% URL match (bestgolftips.com) and the remainder split between related text (e.g. choosing a putter) and no match (click here, read more etc.).
This is just a rough guide, but it’s important that you vary your text links – if you make them all exact match, for example, the pattern will look too unnatural and almost certainly raise suspicions.
As well as a diverse mix of text links, you’ll need a varied range of sources on which to place your links. These might consist of:
- Guest posts on related sites
- Social media
- Video submissions
- Forum posts
- Blog comments
- Web 2.0 properties
- Document sharing
- Q&A sites
- And various other sources.
There’s no hard and fast rule for the split between these sites, but, wherever possible, you should try to get your links on properties or pages that are relevant to the topic of your niche. Relevancy carries increasing weight with the search engine algorithms.
Let’s look at the process of link building in a bit more detail:
As I mentioned earlier, if you aim to build quality links on high authority properties, you won’t need to flood the internet with volume. You can concentrate on creating quality content that other sites will want to include on their pages, and being more selective when choosing properties on which to place your links.
Here are some suggestions for quality link building:
You simply leave a comment on a popular blog in your niche, including a link back to your site. This works best when you take the time to leave an appropriate comment, rather than just a generic “very interesting” remark. Those responses are likely to get deleted by the blog owner.
This follows on from blog comments. When you’ve left a number of valid comments on a blog, you can approach the publisher with a proposal for a guest post. That would give you the opportunity to expand your topic and increase your authority within the niche, as well as providing a natural vehicle for backlinks to your site.
You can search for relevant blogs in a number of ways. The simplest is to search for “your keyword” + “leave a comment” or “write for us”. But also scan through the results page for your main keywords and note the sites that appear. Many of these will be open to a reciprocal arrangement whereby you can trade content and links.
Web 2.0 Properties
This involves promoting your links on third party properties, such as setting up a lens on Squidoo.com and blogs on blogger.com and wordpress.com, each linking back to your site. The method works best if you create unique content for these properties. An advanced technique, once your niche site is established, is to reinforce the effect by building a number of links pointing to your Web 2.0 content. These are called “second tier links”.
If you can find a few quality web directories that specialize in your niche topic, it’s worth applying to have your site listed. These are highly targeted, and the top directories still carry authority with the search engines. You’ll probably have to submit your site to several directories, as not all of them will accept a new site straight away.
This used to be one of the best methods for obtaining quality links, but the search engines have recently devalued the benefits quite significantly. Now I’d recommend just using the top few directories such as: EzineArticles.com and GoArticles.com. The links you’ll get are of limited value, but if your article is good, you might pick up a syndication or two.
There are various other ways to build your link profile. Try submitting reports to document sharing sites, videos to YouTube, creating accounts at forums in your niche and setting up profiles in social media properties such as Facebook and Pinterest.
If you can get a handful (probably 10-20 links) from each of the main sources listed above, you’ll be off to a good start with your new niche site. But if you want your site to get to the top of the rankings – and stay there – you’ll have to keep building links. That means finding more sites and, importantly, creating regular new content. It’s this content that will open up new properties and bring new visitors to your site.
It’s an ongoing process and many niche site owners have to face the decision of how to maintain this promotion while also looking to expand their business. Some of the processes can be automated, although using software carries risks. For example, it’s easier for the search engines to detect the “footprint” of a software program, such as an auto-submission tool, and penalize the site accordingly. And creating quality content that’s good enough to attract links and visitors is best carried out manually by skilled writers and developers.
For these reasons, the best course of action for the ongoing promotion of a successful niche site is to take advantage of specialist service providers. Now this needn’t cost the earth – in fact, if you haven’t checked out the rates of hiring an offshore service lately, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.
These days, it’s perfectly feasible to hire a specialist professional to carry out all your site’s link building requirements, including content creation and promotion for less than a hundred bucks a month. In fact, what many multiple-site owners do is enlist the services of a dedicated part-time VA to work solely on their sites. For this, they’d spend less than $5 per hour and can count on getting professional results. When you consider the costs involved with employing staff and the attendant regulations, outsourcing all the promotional work seems like a no-brainer.
But even if you’re just starting with one site, paying $175 a month for an expert to take care of all your link building is worth serious consideration. You’ll know that the job is being carried out in the correct manner, and it would allow you the time to expand your business faster. That’s important if you want to build a thriving niche site empire.
- WeBuildLink.com are the experts at link building.
- BDHire.com can provide a professional VA at a cost-effective price for your growing business.
If you want to attract visitors to your new niche site, you’ll need to be featured high in the search engine rankings. For that, it’s important to have a long term link building strategy in place. In this article, I’ve discussed the types of links that matter in today’s market and looked at the process of building links for your new site.
I’ve explained how link building and the associated promotion of your site is an ongoing and long term process – one that all successful niche site owners need to address.
Finally, I’ve suggested a solution for outsourcing your link building to a professional service provider.
Whatever you decide, I wish you every success with your new niche site. Please feel free to contact us for any help or advice you need.