As an agency who not only do SEO on websites, but design and build new ones, we often have to deal with SEO on brand new sites. Times have changed dramatically in the SEO world when it comes to getting brand new websites ranking nicely, and there are some specific rules we need to follow when building links to new sites in order to speed up the Google Sandbox period. Part of our SEO packages always involves developing a good backlink profile for our clients.
There is always some mystery about anything to do with Google and it’s algorithms, with Google often denying that there even is a Sandbox period – however, we and other SEOs are always looking out to see if we can spot patterns and trends when new sites launch. So far, we have figured out that the Sandbox period lasts somewhere between 1-2 months on average, with some industries taking as much as 3-5 months to begin seeing significant ranking changes.
Creating backlinks to websites is a crucial part of any SEO campaign, alongside writing good content for the website and optimising the site from the back end. Here, we will look at the best methods for creating good, strong and worthwhile backlinks on a brand new site.
The first thing to bear in mind is how drastically things have changed over the past decade or so. It used to be the case that you could have a brand new site, with no links on it whatsoever. You could then bung a few links on any old website pointing to the new one and it would begin ranking on page one! This was a problem, because back then, you could have non genuine sites (such as those selling fake Gucci handbags or Nike AirMax trainers) outranking the actual brand websites, simply for having thousands of random backlinks pointing to their site. Google have since made it much more difficult for the average Joe to get their site ranking quickly.
There are 4 main steps to creating good backlinks on a brand new website:
- Develop links through social media first: most new businesses start to get their first customers through social media. Think of Facebook as an example – you can share your website with your friends and family, who then can share again, so soon lots of people have access to your website. These shares can also count as links towards your site if the URL is used to share it. This looks good from Google’s perspective, as it shows the business is organically gaining links.
- The next step is to organise a press release. This is a great way to get your site seen on a larger scale, with more authority websites sharing your link. From this, more websites could pick up on the buzz surrounding your press release. It is important in the press release to only use your brand name or URL as the anchor text as this sends the strongest signals to Google.
- Once you have had your press release go live, you should use your social media accounts to set up a few weeks worth of social media postings to do a few posts per week about your brand or product. Lots of companies go much more aggressively than this, but really you do not need to have daily postings. A couple of posts per week is a good start for a new business. Be sure to link to your website using brand names, product names and keywords which are relative to your product or service.
- Once your social signals are on the go, other websites could be approached to share your links – try to reach out to blogs and channels which are relative to your brand or product. You could approach other social media users such as Youtube channels too! These are good ways to get high authority links to your site.
By following the above four steps, you should soon be on your way to creating a really strong backlink profile, with high authority websites pointing to your website. This should help to speed up the sandbox period and enable your site to quickly start ranking well for your keywords.