During the last two years, I’ve spent most of my work time building a bunch of websites in various niches.
Some, I abandoned, others failed, but a handful took off and started earning me money.
Out of those that did well, there were some that ranked noticeably faster in search engines than others.
While there are several reasons for this, two methods stood out to me as particularly effective and easy to implement compared to the rest.
In this post, I’ll tell you how I used these methods to rank a long list of keywords for a new site in only 5 months.
Want to know more?
Well, then, read on.
My Newest Niche Site
During the late spring of 2018, I created a brand-new site in a rather broad niche. I worked diligently on it for about 2 months — seeding it with 28 high-quality, optimized posts.
I call it “seeding” because it usually takes many months before Google’s bots recognize and start ranking new content.
With this in mind, setting up several sites around the same time, with a batch of initial content on each of them, can actually be a good strategy (as long as you continue building them later).
Of course, Google automatically picking up new content is not guaranteed, as it’s dependent on niche and keyword selection, among other things.
From my experience, though, as long as you manually request indexing from the Google search console, high-quality content normally starts showing up in the search results after 1-2 months.
A Calmer Approach
Usually, I’ve found that it’s best to be aggressive when it comes to SEO’ing a new website.
The interesting thing about this case study, however, is that I was very, very passive, yet I got surprisingly good results fairly quickly.
So, what did I do, exactly?
I didn’t do any outreach to other blogs for backlinks.
I didn’t make any videos on Youtube.
I didn’t touch a single forum or Facebook group.
In fact, I didn’t even create a single social media account!
Instead, I simply posted the initial batch of “seeding” content, consisting of 28 articles between 1500-4000 words, before focusing on two things only:
Outbound links and web 2.0’s.
When considering that I haven’t touched the project since August of 2018, this went really well.
Here are the numbers for some of my targeted keywords (tracked by Serpbook):
As I’m writing this, it’s almost a year since I created the site, and I’m about to start working on it again.
Since I have been busy with other things, the website is barely out of its cradle in terms of scale.
However, much thanks to the two aforementioned strategies, the organic traffic is already at over 3000 visitors per month (and rising).
Want to do the same to one of your sites?
Well then, let’s go over the two strategies I used, one by one.
Outbound links are links that point off your website to somewhere else on the web.
OK, but how in the world do they help YOUR site, then?
Well, the trick is to use the links for additional resources that either expand on a point you’re making or back it up directly with data.
This makes your site look more authoritative, and it becomes more valuable to your readers.
Over time, it also establishes what your site is about, and tells Google that there’s plenty of information to be found there.
As Brian Dean from Backlinko states:
“Not linking out might be the #1 on-page SEO mistake that I see people make…
…Keep in mind that the sites you link out to reflect on you.
So, make sure to link out to authority sites whenever possible.”
This new website of mine is in a somewhat-broad health niche.
With that in mind, I was very diligent in linking out to studies and statistics from reputable sources that backed up the claims of my posts.
This way, I got all the previously-mentioned benefits from high-authority outbound linking without taking my readers directly to any competitor sites.
Both my readers and the search engines seemed to love this.
Consider doing this yourself to improve your chances in the rankings.
When you need to give credit for a specific concept, or need to back up a claim with data, include an outbound link to a credible source within the sentence.
These can be:
- High-authority sites closely related to your niche
- Online science journals
- Wikipedia pages
- University websites
- Official statistics from various trusted organizations
Just remember to:
- Always link to something relevant to your topic
- Don’t overdo it — only link out when it makes sense
- Never, ever link to “spammy” or shady websites
If you use outbound links well, you’ll more than likely see a nice performance boost from your pages, and you’ll have an easier time getting your chosen keywords ranked.
The name Web 2.0 refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content, accessibility and participation, as opposed to the first stage (or 1.0 version) of the internet, where the majority of users only consumed content.
Web 2.0s include stuff like social media platforms, wikis, and video sharing sites like Youtube, which can all be utilized for SEO purposes.
However, I used none of these for this particular new website of mine.
Instead, I exclusively used another type of site that also falls under the Web 2.0 umbrella:
Free blogging platforms.
Some popular examples of such platforms are:
The customization on these free platforms is severely limited compared to the paid ones.
However, you can still create a valuable site with plenty of useful and engaging content on it.
And that was exactly what I did…
But how does creating free blogs help boost the rankings of my new website, exactly?
As opposed to the previously-mentioned outbound links, backlinks are links which point towards your website from somewhere else.
Getting backlinks from a high-quality website that’s in the same, or at least a closely-related, niche, tells Google and other search engines that people find your website valuable and relevant to the topic at hand.
So, improving your SEO with Web 2.0’s is quite simple:
1. Create a handful of free blogs with high-quality content relevant to your main website’s niche (in this case, I made 6 of them).
2. Link to your main website from these free blogs.
3. Watch your rankings rise over time as the Web 2.0’s give your main website “link juice”.
Well, not so fast.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it, which could mean the difference between ranking your keywords higher (like I did) and getting your website penalized by Google.
To successfully use free blogs for SEO without getting in trouble, you should approach them as “little siblings” of your main site.
In other words, like your main site, they should contain high-quality, helpful content — just less of it.
Also, the writing shouldn’t come off as too professional or dry, as most people who use these free blogging platforms do so in a rather casual manner.
To blend in, it’s best to write in a more personal tone.
To start out, just create 5-10 posts and set up the homepage, about, and contact sections.
Then, within SOME of your free blog content, link to the posts you want to rank on your main site.
Remember to link out to other resources that may be helpful to your readers as well, and mix up the anchor text you use.
Basically, make your Web 2.0’s look as natural as possible —not like a spammy backlink generator!
Make your Web 2.0’s look as natural as possible.
That is the key.
Accelerating The Process
Once you have set up a free blog, you can start interacting with other writers on the platform by commenting on their posts.
This will generate more connections, shares, and engagement — increasing your 2.0’s authority.
After a while, you may even see some of your free blog’s posts starting to rank in Google. This will crank up the quality of the link juice it’s sending to your main website.
If you keep adding content to your free blog beyond the initial batch, the chances of this happening will naturally increase.
To summarize, keep these points in mind if you want to use free blogs for backlinks:
• Build them as you would an actual website, only smaller in scope.
• Interact with other content creators on the platforms to boost engagement and shares.
• Only link to content on your main site when appropriate — make it look natural.
• Keep adding new content every now and again to boost their authority, which equals better link juice.
And there you have it — two powerful SEO tips for new websites.
Combined with all the usual SEO best practices like keyword research and outreach, outbound linking and free blog backlinks are invaluable tools for keyword ranking.
Use them often and use them well.
If you manage to do so, you’ll see movement in the search results before you know it.