How to do link building for a new website. 4 strategies step by step.

how to do link building

So you are interested in how to do link building because you have just launched a new website or you’ve got a fairly new website that doesn’t rank well or much organic traffic.

Right ?

You want a guide to link building that works for you to either do this in house or outsource to the best seo expert you can trust.

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You know if you f**k up SEO and link building people’s businesses and mortgages are at stake.

Ask around a marketing agency or search engine optimisation agency and you find good SEO and link building is not cheap.

Cheap search engine optimisation and links from farms and Fivver are not good.

But before we delve into the 4 white hat link building strategies I use, let’s put link building into perspective.

SEO is not on page optimisation, SEO is 90% link building

You’ve done what you think is SEO by filling out the text on the page title and page description fields of your pages and firing off your xml sitemap to Google search console.

In my experience, many websites don’t even optimise their titles and descriptions.

Run your website through Screaming Frog and audit the titles, descriptions, h1 headers and word count.

If you look at the features pages of companies like WordPress, Magento, Shopify, SquareSpace, Adobe Muse and Business Catalyst they all say something like "We support SEO best practices like customisable H1, title, and meta tags".

Many business owners think that adding a page title and meta description to a web page their SEO work is done.

On Page SEO is dead !

The marketing director of Ahrefs posted a link to their blog post that on page optimisation was dead.

He caused a bit of controversy.

What his study really meant to say was just putting your keywords in your page title tag, page header and meta description tag won't help much in trying to rank high in Google.

Every research and study I've read points to backlinks being the number one factor in ranking web pages higher.

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What is link building ?

Links build from industry related, highly authoritative websites are the single most important search engine ranking factor in boosting a website's position in the search engines and increasing organic traffic.

Links are like votes or recommendations from other trusted websites.

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Why are links to your website important ?

Without high quality, relevant links from other websites to yours, your website will stand still in the search engine result pages.

Your web pages may also get overtaken by competitor websites who are proactively promoting their web pages, improving their page content and proactively building links.

link building boost organic search traffic

It’s a fact that links from other relevant websites are the NUMBER ONE REASON for higher rankings and more organic traffic from Google.

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Search Engine Ranking Factors

A search engine ranking study by SEMRush, Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, Backlinko and MarketMuse showed that the most important factor in ranking in the top 10 search engine page results was referring domains; in other words; backlinks.

  • Number of referring domains
  • Total external backlinks
  • URL length
  • Webpage link authority (Ahrefs URL Rating)

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Why is link building so difficult?

Most business owners do very little proactive link building and most web designers and web developers are too swamped designing and coding to do this type of work.

Search engine optimisation and link building is a specialised skill in its own right and those who are great at it focus solely on the discipline.

Next you need to understand why people who manage websites link to other websites or share content.

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Why do websites link to other websites ?

I recently wrote a blog post about making websites mobile friendly.

The first link on my page points to a Wikipedia article about responsive web design.

Adding that external link to a relevant resource or article helps to explain to Google what my web page is about.

And my website gives the other website a backlink.

What does a backlink look like ?

Look at this BBC News article written about a company fined for providing poor broadband service.

Hovering over the coloured text on a page shows a hyperlink.

This link goes to an external website; that’s a backlink for

The writer of this BBC article linked to a news article from the telecoms regulators; Ofcom.

Journalists generally have to cite the source of official news to back up their story.

Therefore Ofcom gets a backlink from the BBC.

Reasons why people share and link

Research done by Johan Berger highlighted the main reasons people share online.

  • It makes them look good.
  • It is highly useful.
  • It is awesome.
  • They remember it.

To over simplify, people link to other web pages because the page resource is useful and helpful.

So the reason you may struggle with link building is that you have not created page resources that other people will link to naturally or when prompted.

Some examples of resources websites link to.

  • For a sky diving company in New Zealand we advised their agency to create a guide to the weather in New Zealand; helpful for backpackers who are considering travelling to NZ.
  • A recruitment consultant client produces an annual salary guide which is a resource for industry journalists and bloggers to quote and reference.
  • We curated a list of 99 Video Marketing statistics which is a resource for other online marketers to use not only as part of their own business strategy but as a resource for their blog posts.

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What is link building worth to a business?

Building links to my own website results in around 60 new subscribers per month.

Nothing fantastic; plus online marketing is a super difficult sector.

But I've only been focused on marketing my own website for the last 6-9 months.

My business model is currently going through a period of transition.

I have transitioned from building websites to providing keyword research, content creation and link building services.

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One link building campaign that's worth £36,000 a year.

I have a client that earned £448 a month from 583 organic visits last month.

That's about 76 pence of revenue earned per visitor from Google.

A poor performance; but he has admitted that he neglected SEO.

So, I found him an opportunity from the keyword research I did.

This keyword has a high monthly search volume and low keyword difficulty.

Ahrefs keyword explorer tool shows the difficulty and search volume of a keyword.

Should he create a great page resource around this topic, his page will need about 15 links to rank in the top 10 search results.

Ranking his page in the top 10 in Google would earn about 4200 visits per month.

Based on his current organic search conversion rate that’s about £36,000 in additional revenue per annum.

So a few week of time and investment is worth £36,000 in product revenue per annum for this client's business.

  • Sounds good.
  • Do keyword research.
  • Create a valuable page resource.
  • Do a link building campaign.
  • Earn the links.
  • More organic traffic, more revenue.
  • Repeat.

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Go to and look at the organic search of a page and you can estimate what a top 10 ranking is worth to a business.

Enter a search term into Ahrefs keyword explorer tool, scroll to the foot of the page and look at the traffic for each page.

Look at the organic traffic for that page, multiple that number by an industry average conversion rate and multiple that by the average product revenue and you have a revenue value for being in the top 10 search results.

And the number one reason a page appears in the top 10 results is backlinks.

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The average cost of a backlink

Ahrefs recently did a backlink survey and estimated that the average cost of buying a backlink was $352.

These links were from websites with a similar domain authority to my website.

So, the 10 backlinks I built would cost $3520 if I paid websites for these links.

You don’t get backlinks, you earn them

You do not 'get' backlinks.

You are not entitled to links from other website.

They do not know you.

They may not trust you.

Other website owners are far too busy with their own business and priorities to care about what you want.

You have to change your mindset about link building.

If you do a search on Reddit for SEO you'll often see questions such as "how do I get backlinks" and the like.

When I started doing link building and interacting via email with real website owners and content creators, my mindset changed.

I was invading their email space; unannounced.

I became more humble.

I realised the way they could link to me was to be helpful.

I realised doing broken link building I had to be helpful and resourceful.

I had to earn the link.

You just cannot email a bunch of people that you've never spoken to before and tell them they have a broken link hoping just update it with your website link.

The minute you change your mindset from 'get' to 'earn' you will realise you earn backlinks by being a helpful and useful resource.

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Citation Link Building

The first link building strategy is called citation link building and I’m going to give you a summary of the steps since the full guide is listed here.

Citations are the foundations required before you build other links.

Google look at these citations as signals that you are a real business and website.

You need to provide them with your NAP - name, address, postcode or zipcode and of course, your website address.

And these details need to be provided exactly the same to all citation sources.

  1. Enter your company name and postcode/zip into moz local to check if you have or are missing any citations.
  2. Go to Central Index and supply them with your company name and post/zipcode and website address.
  3. Go to about section of Facebook Page and add your company name, address, post/zipcode and telephone number.
  4. Go to BrightLocal, select and find relevant industry citations and directory submissions to add your website to.
  5. Go to and create a business listing and add your company name, address, post/zipcode, phone number and web address.
  6. Go to Bing Local and add company name, address post/zipcode, phone number and web address.
citation link building infographic

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Broken Link Building

I published a 4,000 word step by step guide to earning links with the broken link building strategy.

Since a page already has lots of links pointing to it, it’s our job to find a page that has a 404 page not found message; in other words it does not existing on their website anymore.

The page could be broken or not exist for numerous reasons; their loss, our gain.

Here’s a summary of the steps to broken link building.

  1. Find a page on another website that has a 404 error with hundreds of other websites link to.
  2. Look at the broken page in and see if you could recreate it or create a better or more up to date version of the page.
  3. Create and publish your updated version of their broken page on your website.
  4. Find the websites who still link to that broken page and filter the list of websites so you only have a list of websites with higher domain authority than yours.
  5. Find the email addresses of the people who wrote page or manage the website.
  6. Write and send them an email message informing them they have broken link on their website.
  7. When they reply to your offer to find broken link offer your page as a replacement link.
broken link building infographic

What some SEO experts said about our broken link building results.

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Social Influencer Link Building

Thousands of people in your industry reside on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Social networks are a way to reach them with your content.

I’ve naturally earned links this way.

I don’t have to do blogger outreach and there's little relationship building.

But you can’t push your products and services down their throat.

You must create content that makes them look good, feel good, support their point of view or quite simply provide a super helpful resource for your industry peers.

So here’s the step by step guide to using social influencer link building.

  1. Create a page resource that’s useful or helpful for people in your industry.
  2. You can find out what’s previously been popular, shared and linked to with Ahrefs content explorer or with Buzzsumo.
  3. Create post and pay $40 to Quuu Promote to promote it for 60 days.
  4. Create post images in so it looks great in Facebook and Twitter feeds.
  5. Select the category the post will be shown to.
  6. Check your shares, clicks and backlinks every 7 to 10 days.
social influencer link building infographic

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Guest Posts Link Building

The blogging industry has emerged and grown over the years and these website owners know the value of a backlink and charge.

There are people in your industry who blog and write product reviews, trend reviews and comment on your industry.

They charge businesses for guest post and backlinks on their website and this is one of their main revenue streams.

There's nothing wrong with you paying for links from their website.

As long as you can choose high quality industry relevant websites, don't abuse guest posting and mix it up other link strategies you will not be penalised.

One method of paying for backlinks is called guest posting.

  • It works.
  • It's fast.
  • It's easy.
  • It's scaleable.

If you know, with a high degree of certainty from your keyword research, that you need 5 relevant backlinks to boost your page into the top 10 search results and you know your organic search conversion rate then paying for guest posts makes good business sense.

My rule of thumb for guest posting is to post on websites with a higher domain rating than yours and to see in advance the website where your article will appear.

Also find out the terms of the guest post; is it a permanent link or for a period of time.

However guest posting can get pretty darn expensive when you pay for the link and then have to write a quality article.

White Hat versus Black Hat Link Building

White hat simple means that the link building is transparent, natural and generally done manually by experts.

Other types of white hat link building are:

  • Resource Page
  • Link Roundups
  • Guest Posting
  • Sponsored posts
  • Link reclamation
  • Blog posts comments
  • Forum links
  • Infographic links
  • Press release writing and links

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Avoid Black hat link building

Black hat are generally unnatural ways to build backlinks.

You do not want to buy backlinks from seo professionals hat that sell pyramid links, tiered links or who sell guest posts on low quality irrelevant websites.

You also want to avoid buying links people who advertise on websites like Fiverr; if you value your website you don’t want someone you don’t know or trust touching your most precious digital asset.

You wouldn’t hire a mechanic on Fiverr to fix your Rolls Royce

I just did a quick search on Fiverr for SEO and link building.

I will build SEO links in 24 hours for £3.98.

I will do SEO with Senuke xCR to create 6000 backlinks from £3.98.

When you owe a Rolls Royce you want a trusted mechanic to service your car or add and replace reliable parts.

Yes you may get lucky on Fiverr but is it worth the risk of your website getting penalised and your brand reputation?

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Spam backlinks

Here’s a British based recruitment website.

I quickly reviewed their website and backlinks.

It has over 2000 other websites pointing to it.

Then I did a link analysis of their website.

There are 100 links that mention his company name.

Good start.But then the other backlinks mention "motorola processor" and "declutter fast" and "cycling dvds fast" and "gala mp3" and hundreds of foreign language characters.

These spam looking anchor text links have nothing to do with his business or services.

I don't know the history of the backlink work done but there are thousands of irrelevant, low quality links pointing to his website that is hurting it.

13 high quality backlinks for the search query "construction jobs" to rank top 10 in Google.

I looked at some keyword opportunities over the weekend and there's 42,000 global searches for "construction jobs".

His business is recruitment and being in the top 10 search results for 'construction jobs' would do wonders for his business.

25,000 searches a month in the USA and 13 backlinks to rank in the top 10 search results.

4,800 searches a month in the UK and 9 backlinks to rank in the top 10 search results.

The search term 'construction jobs' is an ideal keyword search term for this website.

Guest post resources


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White Hat Link Building Services

Start using our Link Building Service and boost your domain rating and organic traffic.

You can try out our link building service on a one month trial for broken link building.

For other link building strategies we encourage clients to have an ongoing link building campaign to continuously boost their domain authority, rankings and organic traffic.

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Link Building Summary

I hope you can implement one of the 4 link building strategies.

By far the easiest strategy is to pay for guest posts although I'm still cynical about buying links.

Then social influencer link building is fairly easy.

To get backlinks you need resourceful and useful content.

And to create that content, you need keyword research and an insight into the mindset of the user.

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