'Month One' Linkbuilding: Beyond Guest Posts & Citations

There’s no one-size-fits-all SEO process. Even two businesses in the same industry, with the same number of employees, competing in the same market, will have different approach.

That said, here’s one backlink-building your business might follow. I’ve used this method to rank my websites, and my clients’ sites, and it is a good “month one” strategy to use in addition to your normal link outreach and citation-building.

Order A Press Release

A press release looks natural to Google. Suddenly having lots of links pointing to the site can raise the algorithm’s eyebrows (wait… do robots have eyebrows?), but Google sees the massive media attention as natural.

I had a nationwide auto industry client that needed high-value links. At the time, Trump was thinking about instituting that 25% auto tariff. In response, Toyota released a press release saying that Trump’s tariff would increase the cost of the Camry by $1800.

After some digging, I found the formula they used to get that specific number, I then applied it to 10 other top selling cars in the US. That gave me some intriguing data to pitch to journalists (newsworthy topic).

I have a wide network of journalists from my background in the newspaper/magazine biz, so I shot an email with the data to the ones who I know cover the automobile industry. My press release got picked up, articles were written and my client got the credit.  CBS News was the biggest, but there were a several others.

This was a lucky break, but this is the kind of approach that works to some degree 60-70 percent of the time.

Note: A web page has a certain amount of “power.” If multiple links are on the page, the power is split between the links. To get the biggest jump in rank to your most competitive keyword, use only ONE keyword anchor and a “naked” link (the full URL address with “https” in front)  at the end of the article. Many PR companies say you can use up to eight anchors, but Google will likely see that as spam. Also, use a PR agency that will ping the links and that includes Google News pickup. 

The rank increase that you get from press release is only good for a few months (at best). Use the press release to get an initial boost in rank, then follow up with backlink-building.

Build Links On Web 2.0 Sites

You can get easy do-follow links from:

  • Local directories
  • Reddit – links, after receiving at least 15 upvotes (the actual number differs from sub to sub) will change from no-follow to do-follow
  • Quora – as long as the comment is not negatively voted, it is a do-follow link
  • Pinterest

You can hire Web 2.0 posting specialists on Upwork.com. Have them mix up the anchor text as they perform the posting. They should use the company name and naked links, in addition to the keywords you provide as anchors.

Your web 2.0 anchor texts should be diverse. Shoot for something like:

  • 40 percent naked links
  • 35 percent your company name
  • 20 percent your targeted keywords
  • 5 percent “click here” and other “unoptimized” links

Too many SEOs overuse the main keywords they’re trying to rank for—Google in 2020 can see through this ploy!

Most will be indexed after the press release is distributed, making the links look like they occurred naturally (after media attention). Continue Web 2.0 linking until you rank in the top 3 for your target keyword; then add more keywords and keep going. Find search phrases that the site is already indexed for, but ranking on page 2 of SERPs.