Yes, having a well-designed ecommerce website is important for sales. But … how do you get people to your website in the first place?
One of the most effective ways to get more shoppers to your site is by building authority around your brand on the web. There are a number of things affecting brand authority and those include link building. In short, link building is when another website links to your website (don’t worry — we go into more detail about this in a second).
We’re going to share our top ten ecommerce link-building strategies with you in this ultimate guide.
If you run an ecommerce website, you’ve probably heard of on-site optimization. This means optimize your product titles, descriptions, pages, and so on. Don’t skip this process, it’s important. But link building has a bigger impact on ecommerce rankings.
What is link building?
Link building brings new traffic to your website. You can think of this like digital “word of mouth” or an online reputation.
When a high-quality, relevant website links to content on your website, you get “link juice.” This juice pumps up your domain authority, it brings you new traffic, and it helps you rank better in search results. In turn, this boost in SEO earns you more sales.
The biggest link building challenge is not having enough linkable content in your ecommerce website. Quality content takes time to make, publish, and rank. So if you don’t already have a published catalog of content …it’s hard for other websites to link to you.
Plus, it’s tough for ecommerce websites to stand out against big-name competitors like:
Such platforms already have tons of traffic, backlinks, and superb authority. In which case, “catching up” with these juggernauts seems nearly impossible.
One of the best ways to earn more links to your ecommerce website is through content. We recommend you create a blog section on your site and publish content like:
If you want an example of what a successful blog looks like, take a look at Anthropologie’s site.
They publish lots of high-quality content that their readers find valuable. The blog is so much more than just gift roundups and outfit ideas. Instead, they share lifestyle hacks, DIY inspo, music recommendations, and more.
So take a moment to think about your target audience and what they’re interested in. Then, work on creating content that matches those interests. The better your content is, the more likely you are to earn backlinks.
Moreover, there are smart ecommerce link building strategies you can use to earn links (and therefore traffic and sales). So let’s cover those one by one.
First up, create a linkable asset that’s relevant to your industry and publish it on your own website. This can be guides, articles, listicles, recipes, tutorials, and so on. It just has to be valuable to your audience, and make sense for your niche. Some other examples include:
As shown above, Cosmetify researched and wrote a round-up post about the world’s top 100 beauty brands. Cosmetify then ranked them according to:
This asset caught the attention of many of the brands they mentioned. In exchange, those brands then linked back to Cosmetify’s content. Plus, other beauty sites and niche bloggers picked up the content and linked back to it as well.
Mejuri is a popular jewelry ecommerce website that has created collection pages for bloggers. The example above showcases a blogger’s favorite items so they can share the page easily with their followers.
This provides value to relevant bloggers, and in turn, potential ecommerce shoppers.
As a result, Mejuri has earned attention across social channels from the bloggers themselves, and their followers.
You can reach out to bloggers directly with collection pages similar to Mejuri. Or, you can tag bloggers on your social media, encouraging them to link back to your website from their content. This is also called “ego baiting.” Don’t be afraid to get creative here and think outside the box.
Put on your press hat to create newsworthy PR campaigns like L.K. Bennet. Like other strategies in this list, the more creative, the better.
As seen above, L.K. Bennet was featured in a blog Glamour entitled “Spring Shoe Trends 2016: See Which Style Your Zodiac Sign Should Be Shopping.”
The blog was creative, interesting, and highly personalized. Strategize with your team to come up with clever PR ideas relevant to your brand and niche.
Then, reach out to journalists, bloggers, and other prospects in your industry. Pitch your campaign and get conversations started. You can even reach out to social media influencers and thought leaders to promote your campaign.
Again, the more creative your campaign is, the more likely it is to get noticed. And the more attention you catch, the more backlinks you stand to earn!
Niche edits are a great way to earn links back to your ecommerce site. We recommend you first identify prospects. These are blogs, news sites, and other online publications that post content relevant to your industry.
Then, scope out their websites to find high-quality content that likely attracts your target audience.
Reach out to webmasters and ask for link insertions. Here’s an example of how WunderBrow was featured in Perfect365. You’ll notice the highlighted links. Those link back to WunderBrow’s website — and you can do the same for your own ecommerce website.
When you reach out to prospects, remember to demonstrate value. Tell them why a link to your product page benefits their website and their readers.
Another ecommerce link building strategy is to get a press release published.
Often, other news sites and industry blogs pick up press releases. For example, Hobby Lobby announced it was raising its minimum wage for full-time staff in a press release. This earned Hobby Lobby new online traffic, and backlinks across new press sites, platforms, and blogs.
Some newswires charge a fee to post a press release, and others don’t. We recommend getting your press releases featured in Google News for extra traction.
Here are some other ideas to inspire a press release:
Another clever way to earn ecommerce backlinks is to find brand mentions without links, like this:
Notice how Ana Luisa doesn’t have a hyperlink attached? That’s an unlinked brand mention.
Search Google or other search engines for your brand name. Then, reach out to webmasters and ask for a link back to your service page or product page.
Again, it’s helpful here to provide value. Convince the webmaster why a link would be helpful for them, and for their readers.
If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve definitely come across what’s called a “round-up.” Round-ups are posts that review “best of” in products, services, businesses, and so on. Usually, these posts pull together a list of products and rank them based on certain criteria.
In the example above, you can see that Travel and Leisure ranked the Birkenstock Arizona as one of the most comfortable sandals. You will notice that the post then links back to a Nordstrom product page.
We suggest you search online for round-ups relevant to your product or service. Make a list of those websites and reach out to them. Present your product, introduce your ecommerce site, and ask to be featured in their next round-up.
Lastly, you can secure links by requesting product reviews. We recommend you connect with bloggers, influencers, thought leaders, and other relevant industry professionals. Offer to send them a product in exchange for an honest review and a link back to your product page.
As you can see above, Mia Mia Mine wrote and published an in-depth review on YSL’s College handbag. You will also notice there’s a hyperlink under the brand and product name.
Streamline this process by first making a list of all relevant sites and professionals you can connect with. Then, find their contact information and reach out one at a time. Introduce yourself, your product, and the review request. As always, tell the prospect how a review of your product would also benefit them and their following.
Many podcasts publish “show notes” with each episode. Show notes usually sum up the episode and link to products, partner sites, and so on.
Research podcasts relevant to your industry and make a list of contacts for each one. Reach out to prospects and offer to co-host or sponsor an episode in exchange for a link.
For example, if you’re in the parenting niche, look up popular parenting or “mommy” podcasts. Many podcasts also have online forms to sign up for a host spot.
Ecommerce retailers like ASOS have been known to feature “weird” or “novelty” products to catch online.
The weirder, the better (in most cases). If you have the resources to make or feature a novelty product, go for it! Plenty of bloggers and even news sites pick up these items and create content about them. In which case, you’ll likely wind up with a quality link per source.
Even further, double-up on strategy and send some of these products out for free in exchange for a review.
We recommend driving backlinks to your collection pages rather than product pages, simply because over time you may replace one product with another and lose backlinks, while collection pages are more permanent.
Loopex Digital is here to help you figure out which pages are your “money pages.” Best of all, you can talk with an ecommerce SEO strategist to start out-ranking your competitors ASAP.
The simplest way to optimize anchor text is to keep it short, but also highly descriptive.
Don’t limit yourself by using only generic anchors like “click here” or “learn more.” Instead, use words that directly relate to your collection, product, or target page.
For example, this: “Mia Mia Mine reviews YSL’s College handbag and gives it five out of five stars.”
Is better than this: “Read more about our product here.”
We recommend keeping your anchor text profile diverse by using all the anchor text types: exact-match, partial-match, branded, and naked link. Note that anchor texts can signal to Google what a page is about.
There isn’t a set number of links, but we recommend analyzing your competitors' backlinks to figure out how many backlinks you need on average to outrank other websites.
But note that link quality is far more important than quantity. For example, two links from high-authority sites are better than four links from low-authority sites. You should also consider traffic, rankings, and relevancy when evaluating link quality.
Strong backlink profiles mean higher domain authority, more traffic, and better rankings in search engines. All of these benefits lead to more sales — and who doesn’t want that?
Here’s a quick list of popular (and effective) link building strategies you can work on right now to strengthen your link profile:
Want to learn more about SEO, backlinks, and how to build a strong link profile? Check out the Loopex Digital blog for even more info and helpful resources. Remember to bookmark our blog and check back frequently for important updates.
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