November 21, 2021 Mark Acornley

Link building for eCommerce websites

Backlinks are a huge ranking factor for websites.

To be ranking for competitive keywords in the search engines your website needs to be proactive in creating backlinks and building relationships with other website owners.

Most eCommerce sites have a problematic relationship with link building because they don’t see the value and can be put off by high link-building costs.

Backlinks are counted like votes to your website, gaining authority, relevance and trust which means it’s important to be proactive when reaching out to other websites.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks are links from a website to your website. Most of the links must be one way; you don’t want to add a link from your site to their website just because they’ve linked to you.

This is called reciprocal link building and is frowned upon by Google as it adds little value. That being said though, there will be some natural occasions where you’ll link to a website and they’ll also link to you.

There are two main types of backlinks. First is the

  • “do follow” backlinks
  • “no follow” backlinks.

Do follow means that the website wants search engine crawlers to follow the link which passes on website authority, whereas a no follow link doesn’t pass the link juice onto your domain.

How does link-building work?

If you were to build links to your product page and list them for head keywords, your efforts wouldn’t be successful.

Competing with higher authority brands is challenging. They have much higher marketing budgets, trusted more by Google but you can still get your website to outrank them in the long run.

Link building establishes authority to your website when done correctly.

When done incorrectly your website can be penalised for having a spammy backlink profile, too many of the same anchor texts, too many reciprocal links and a whole lot more.

You’ve probably noticed backlinks are hard to get

Ok, so you think your products are amazing but it seems impossible to get backlinks to your website? One big problem with a lot of eCommerce websites is that they only have product pages.

Their whole website is centred around the product pages which means;

  • It’s harder to get backlinks
  • You’ll rank for fewer keywords
  • Your domain authority won’t grow as fast

This is one reason why it’s so important to create content on your website.

Content is what attracts people, keeps people engaged and hopefully gets them to view what you’ve got for sale, but you can’t be 100% about the sale.

Very, very few websites are going to link to your product and category pages which means, when you’re trying to build backlinks you’ve got to be a bit more creative and provide value to your audience.

Value is the number one key to link building. If you can offer something with unique value to potential websites to link to, they will be much more likely to say yes.

What’s our favourite link-building strategy for eCommerce sites?

Every website owner wants their link-building efforts to be rewarded! Broken link building is a popular choice, this is where competitors may have built links, and those pages are no longer active, creating a broken link.

The website added the link because it had value, so if you can recreate the content it was linking to then you can ask for that a backlink to your content which improves the user experience of that website as they aren’t linking to a dead page anymore.

The more backlinks Google sees pointing to your website from high-quality, relevant websites in your niche, the more confidence they will have in you.

Building links isn’t tricky, but there are some things to know before you start attracting backlinks.

Domain authority is a score given to your website. This isn’t by Google, tools like ahrefs judge websites based on who’s linking to them.

Websites like Amazon and Google have crazy high domain authority scores/domain ratings, which gives their domains huge power to be found.

If your eCommerce site has zero backlinks, you’re going to find it challenging to rank unless that niche is highly uncompetitive.

15 eCommerce Link Building Strategies to boost your website

It is no secret that linking on E-commerce sites is tricky.

To be successful, you need to target websites that are likely to link back to you and not waste time with websites that aren’t likely to be interested or find relevant to be linking to you.

Just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’re automatically entitled to get high-quality backlinks.

You may think your products are amazing and special but the likely hood is, if they are not unique, your going to have a harder time building links.

Link acquisition must be targeted at relevant websites, and ideally, high-traffic websites that are loved by their users.

Partner with local businesses.

There is a community around which you can become involved to form new connections and opportunities.

The relationships you form in business communities can transform into mutually beneficial cooperation.

For example, let’s say there’s a mattress shop down on the high street.

They specialise in high-quality mattresses and that’s all they do.

You have a bedding company you’re trying to promote and it makes sense that the mattress shop and your bedding company could work together to both make your businesses grow.

Turning local relationships into business partnerships for you both can require some creativity. Still, they can help raise awareness of your brand and gain some valuable links simultaneously.

Join local industry professionals or professional organisations, get links in their directory and participate in their events or marketing.

Feature customer stories.

A good customer story can be a case study to demonstrate a theory somebody could point to in a blog.

People relate to people, so creating an engaging brand story with stories about your target customers may offer other people another outlet to connect with people.

This connection often leads to shares and links, creating content that usually allows sharing and link strengthening.

For example let’s say you have a golf coach who’s teaching golf and seeing great results, fixing the problems of people with specific problems.

Other golf websites could see this and be like oh they’ve got a customer success story about someone who always hooks the ball, we’ve got a long blog post about hooking the ball in golf so we could link to that to show their audience it’s possible to fix.

Create comprehensive buyer’s guides.

Over half of the customers report researching the products and services they are buying before making the purchase.

When creating the guide, ensure that it is not too promotional. Should you suggest specific steps towards purchasing your products, your website may lose traffic and customers.

Rather than giving your best information, readers will see you as reliable because it will provide them with all the necessary background knowledge to make a more informed purchasing decision.

Offering unbiased content that’s genuinely helpful is most likely to earn you backlinks from other sites, their audience is looking for this kind of information and might find it beneficial. 

Try to think of every possibility that a company client considering your goods may have. It’s probably the best idea to create a topical map of keywords and questions that your audience has about specific products and product categories. 

Empower your customers through knowledge

An educational section helps establish your expertise in relevant field matters and provides the content other people might contribute.

Giving customers as much information as possible builds confidence in yourself and your brand, that you know what you’re talking about and why you should be trusted.

Plus, creating an educational page builds your brand and helps you get links to other websites linking to your page.

This page is also helpful for related websites in a similar sector to links that provide more educational value where readers can be informed about what they are purchasing.

Digital PR

Digital PR is all about screaming your brand to the world, and it’s an excellent way to get links from highly authoritative websites.

But it would help if you found a story that can generate public interest and build connections with journalists and bloggers, not just an article stating how good your company is and why everyone should buy from you.

Releasing a killer product is an excellent way of getting press attention and eventually backlinks. If you’ve got a product that’s highly unique and solves a specific problem it’s 1000 times easier to get backlinks.

You need to think about your business, your audience and what they would find useful/interesting.

Niche Edits

You start by looking on Google for content related to your product and then contact the website owner, asking them to insert a link to your website in the content.

The disadvantage is you will generally have to pay for these links.

The number of links you want depends on the budget and the number of websites you can find who are willing to link to you. Avoid links from scam sites that offer too many paid links.

This can have a negative impact and could lead to a loss of traffic by affecting the ranking of your website, according to Google. Wanna you know more? Our article on niche editing has everything you need to succeed in this link-building strategy. 

Create Skyscraper content

The skyscraper method is a linking strategy that uses a strategic view of the competitive side of SEO strategies. I’m a big fan of the technique.

Everything requires work. But if you got some good links out of this process, the result could be quick and gratifying.

The methods include three main steps: creating content that is better than what is currently ranked here.

A link to Google to the high position in a target keyword should prevent someone else from getting into the rankings. Making great content is the key to building good links.

Creating links to only the most reliable websites possible is a vital part of the link-building strategy.

Explore unlinked brand mentions

They’re an excellent eCommerce id strategy because they have virtually unparalleled results. Find a site with a mention and ask if they could hyperlink to your site.

A Thematic Mention is a term that doesn’t refer to or define specific company products or brands but makes thematic/contextual sense.

Product mentions don’t refer to your company name, but they refer to the product you sell. Retail brand mentions are perhaps the most potent choice ever – mainly used correctly.

Use research-backed discounts and coupon codes.

People tend to purchase when they feel it’s a good deal. Use coupons on holidays that mark the appreciation of customers, such as Valentine’s Day.

Offer discount coupons to new customers to help build loyalty. This type of test can help you determine what is more popular with the target audience. One thing to note: you should avoid making deals part of your offer.

Or else sales may become dependent on customers who don’t buy until there is a discount or deal.  

Do original research.

Buzzsumo found that authentic research is the most reliable way to get backlinks on your website. When someone cites your data, they link right in with their results or statistics.

Creating original research is not always easy but can be efficient and worth considering its funds.

Consider analysing the questions your readers and others have that you could contribute to a survey or explore. If there are opportunities for statistics, that could be improved.

Take it or do it if they are not made available. Ask questions about an idea that you want to learn from and how you know how to do it.

Create linkable assets

A great way to get links is to add a blog section to your site with exciting content assets and then perform outreach to get people to link to your articles.

You can pass on the positive impact of referrals on-page conversions by connecting them to them. The key is finding how content attracted links.

Strategies you can use to increase content include going into detail, adding media or researching research.

The video shows the linkable asset-exchange approach we used for the health supplement marketing market for their clients. 

Developing Affiliate Partnerships

Choose the appropriate partner and get links from high-quality websites. Affiliate links tend to appear in the name ‘Nofollow’, so they might not impact your rankings.

You can encourage your staff to write about your brand by producing returns consistently for publishers. 

Note about affiliate links; they can be helpful, but they may not affect ranking but will increase exposure.

Create content-rich FAQ pages

FAQs are a type of linkable asset.

The aim is to rank the page highly on the search engines for many long-tail keywords on a single topic. You can use tools like also asked and Answer the public to find questions people are asking based on a seed keyword.

The high visibility of these pages and their problem-solving nature mean people are likely to share them on a forum or social media or use them as references for their blog posts.

Look for relevant broken link opportunities around the web.

Broken link building is websites that are linking out to other websites that no longer work. Contact the company owner to tell them if you can.

You’re helping them find a missing link that can be seen instantly and suggest a better solution.

You can start by looking for examples of broken links that could be comparable with content you already have.

Still, you can also extend this strategy to begin introducing high-value content that would make a suitable replacement for broken links. There are software tools available to get better SEO.

Give stuff away for free!

Giveaways are compelling strategies that develop your brand identity and sense of satisfaction.

As long as we give away something that people have a desire for, there’s no better way to keep them excited than having regular competitions. 

A giveaway can be run on your website or social media – or by a partnership of influencers and bloggers.

Giveaways using blocks are one the easiest ways to gain social followers and increase your network, helping you to build brand awareness and hopefully make more sales.

Guest Post on Relevant Websites.

When you write an excellent article for a website, you give them something worthwhile. When you post guest posting on an interview, you must be strategic about it.

Be cautious about finding blogs that address the target that you desire to target. All the ideas you propose must be relevant to their audience to take up this opportunity.

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