To rank higher in Google you need two things:
- Stellar content
User experience plays a significant role and so does keyword research of course.
In this guide we will focus on content and backlinks though, especially backlinks.
Let’s start with content
Before you start writing I highly recommend you sign up for Surfer SEO.
This tool allows you to analyze the other pages ranking on the first page.
It will calculate the average word count of the competing pages which can be used as a guideline.
As well as the keywords your competitors are targeting.
The only thing it doesn’t do is provide guidance when it comes to rich snippets.
But here is a link to a FAQ schema plugin/guide that can help you with that.
That’s it already, sure it will take you some time but this is how you create stellar content!
Time to start building links
If your site is brand new you want to start by setting up some social profiles.
Think of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and so forth.
You can also think about submitting a press release to get more naked URL anchors in.
But let’s assume you’ve already done that, here are the links you should focus on:
Relevant forum posts
The downside of forums is that you need to create an account and have at least xx posts before they allow you to drop a link in a post.
You don’t want to get stuck with forum profile links either but there is a service for this.
It’s called Crowdo.net and they build 10 forum links for $99 for you.
I highly recommend you use this service.
Relevant blog comments
Most blog comments result in nofollow links.
Although these links don’t count for the full 100% Google still uses them to determine relevancy.
I suggest you do this yourself to make sure your comment gets approved and stays there.
Here are some footprints for you to use to find opportunities:
- WordPress – “mail address will not be published” “Powered by WordPress”
- Joomla – “Powered by Joomla!” “Write comment” “Website:”
- B2Evolution – “Your email address will not be revealed on this site.” “Leave a comment”
- Drupal – Powered by Drupal + “Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.”
- 4Images – “Powered by 4images” “Author:” “Comment”
- BlogEngine – “Powered By BlogEngine” “Add A Comment” “Name*”
- SquareSpace – site:*.squarespace.com “Post a New Comment”
- SharePoint – “Built using the SharePoint” “Comments”
- Geeklog – “Powered by Geeklog” “The following comments are owned”
- Plogger – “Powered by Plogger” “Post a comment:”
- Movable Type – “Powered by Movable Type” + “Post a comment” -movabletype.org
When you leave a comment use your author name as the anchor text.
Relevant niche directories
Web directories that are relevant to your niche still have a lot of value.
Here are some footprints to find them (add your niche at the end):
- “Powered by: php Link Directory”
- “powered by PHPLD”
- “Powered by WSN Links”
- “powered by PHP Weby”
- “Powered by cpLinks”
- “Powered by cpDynaLinks”
- “powered by BosDirectory”
- “Powered by Link manager LinkMan”
- “Powered by Gossamer Links”
- “Powered by K-Links”
- “Powered by In-Link”
- “Powered by eSyndiCat Directory Software”
- “Powered by: qlWebDS Pro”
- “Powered by Directory software by LBS”
- “powered by phpMyDirectory.com”
- “Powered by HubDir PHP directory script”
Source: Black Hat World
It’s a rather dated list so some footprints might not work, please test for yourself.
Easy to land guest posts
Did you know there are plenty of sites that accept guest posts without anything in return?
These sites have a number of footprints in common such as:
- “write for us” + your niche
- “work with us” + your niche
- “submit guest post” + your niche
ThemeCircle also compiled a list of 5000+ sites with such footprints that you can access here.
Niche edits / link insertions
You can scrape Google yourself, contact sites, and ask them to insert a link.
Unless you have something that’s really link worthy they often ask for compensation or a link in return.
That’s why we built our own link insertions database, click here to access!
Time to add some real power
Most of the above links are extremely valuable.
They are hyper relevant and as natural as it can get but they lack strength.
Here are four types of links to add that missing factor:
Resource page links
The reason these links are strong is because they are often only one click away from the homepage.
Do make sure to let them know why you should be part of their resource list.
Finding them should be easy with these footprints:
- intitle:resources inurl:resources.html + your niche
- intitle:resources inurl:links.html + your niche
- intitle:links inurl: resources.html + your niche
- inurl:.com/resources + your niche
- inurl:resources intitle:resources + your niche
Rented homepage links
The costs can add up quickly when you rent these links.
Especially if they come from legitimate sites.
I’ve seen many deals pass by and most site owners want $300+/year for a homepage link.
The competition in your niche and the amount you earn decides if it’s worth it for you.
Private homepage links
You can build your own network of sites on expired domains.
Do make sure each site is hosted on a unique hosting plan.
As for content, I highly recommend you restore the old content from the Wayback Machine.
Here is a tool to restore the site in full: https://archivarix.com/en/restore/
Google says that if a site changes significantly after a domain expires that it can reduce the linking power, hence restoring the old content is the best way to go.
Niche relevant guest posts
I mentioned guest posts before, but…
Websites that accept guest posts for free don’t always grant you a dofollow link.
Sometimes you only receive a link in the author bios.
What you want are contextual dofollow links instead.
In the last 18 months we built our own database of high-quality sites to guest post on.
It definitely costs a bit more but these are the holy grail when it comes to link building and you can never have too many of them.
The number of links you should built of each
This entirely depends on your niche but for starters I recommend:
- 2-3 social platforms
- 10 forum posts
- a dozen blog comments
- a handful of web directories
- 5-10 easy to land guest posts
- a dozen link insertions
- as many resource pages as you can find
- 5-10 niche relevant guest posts
That would be a total of approximately 60 links.
Sixty valueable links that results in a solid foundation.
This should definitely keep you busy for the first three months.
After that you should keep on adding link insertions and guest posts as those are your most valueable links.
In case your niche is competititve you might want to add rented homepage links or build your own private network.
The best of luck!