Link building is one of the most important SEO strategies that has stood the test of time through all Google’s algorithm updates…
…and is no less important when it comes to your ecommerce store.
It’s important to understand that links coming from high-quality relevant content that already ranks highly are much better than links coming from low quality loosely (or not at all) related content.
Think of it this way…
Would you rather have Ed Sheeran supporting you to sell music or Jedward? (If you don’t know who Jedward are then that further proves my point).
But how do you build backlinks to your ecommerce store?
I’m going to show you 8 strategies that will have you shooting up the rankings in no time!
#1 Stealing Competitor Backlinks – My all-time favorite strategy!
#2 Guest Posting – I can hear you sighing already!
#3 Broken Link Building – It’s not about telling tales
#4 Influencer Marketing – Stroking egos for interest
#5 Data-Driven Content – It’s fact, not fiction
#6 Brand Mentions – Reclaim your name
#7 Content Syndication – Everybody wins
#8 Newsjacking – What people are interested in
Let’s get started…
This method lets your competitors do the hard work for you!
It’s very simple…..
Find out who links to them and how they link to them. It could be a guest post, providing a testimonial, posting in a forum or responding to Quora’s answer.
Whichever way, all you have to do is replicate it.
This strategy works for any kind of website and has been my ‘go-to’ backlink building technique for longer than I care to remember.
Well, I guess I better show you exactly how to do this…
Set yourself up an excel spreadsheet and then add to it the top 10 organic Google search results for the keyword you would like to rank.
For example, for the keyword party decorations, the top results were…
The next step then is to use the Ahrefs tool to find all backlinks pointing to each individual competitor.
Put the URL into ‘site explorer’ and then click backlinks.
You can then either search through and add any URL’s to your spreadsheet (separate tab for each competitor) or depending on how many results you get it may be easier to export the data and sort through in an excel document.
Generally, websites that have a Domain Rating (DR) of over 60 are considered high-quality.
Have a look at each page to see if there is an obvious way the competitor got their backlink and copy. If not, then all you need to do is collect their contact info and reach out.
Rinse & repeat for all 10 URLs
Easy when you know how right!
You think you have heard it all before.
But-#GuestPosting is a fantastic strategy to use for #LinkBuilding. Not only can you write awesome content (full of those golden backlinks to your website) but you can also forge good partnerships. Click To Tweet
Having an authentic relationship with other industry leaders is important for growing your website and giving it the exposure it needs to become number 1.
Now that I have you convinced, let’s take a look at the steps you should take…
Gather your list of prospects by simply typing into Google your keyword followed by ‘guest blogger’ then put all relevant URLs into a spreadsheet.
Then repeat the process with the same keyword but changing the second part for each of these in turn…
Then you will have a huge list of guest post prospects.
Now it is time to work through each prospect and figure out whether they would be a good website to guest post for.
Look at these ecommerce metrics…
Filter out any websites that don’t fit the bill and then when you have your final list, gather contact info for the person you are going to connect with for each site.
Reach out to each prospect letting them know what you can offer and how that will benefit them.
If they are interested, agree to a time schedule (and stick to it). Decide on a topic, rough outline, word count and number of do follow links.
Create the content ensuring great quality and you deliver on each point agreed upon. Send the article and be prepared to complete a few edits.
Promote the article on social media sites and keep in touch with your contact for future collaboration opportunities.
Looking for broken links on high-quality websites opens up some great opportunities to build a good relationship with the site owner and to get your link placed instead of the broken one.
Broken links happen all the time for a variety of reasons.
This strategy takes advantage of that fact as most site owners don’t realize their links have broken until it has damaged their SEO and in some cases the user experience and reputation.
Simply put… you need to find all your target websites, find out if they have any broken links and tell them about it.
I’ll show you how…
Now it’s important to keep a realistic mind when collating a list of websites.
By this, I mean approaching sites like The Huffington Post where you have a slim to no chance of even getting a reply is probably not the way to go.
Your best bet is to look for websites that are small companies or personal blogs where you can communicate directly with the site owner.
Once you have compiled your list of websites then you can check each of them in turn for broken links.
There are a couple of useful tools you can use to check for broken links.
One of these is a chrome extension called Check My Links which allows you to see if there are any broken links on the page you are on.
Tip: A good habit to get into is to check every page you visit to help identify opportunities without having to allocate a ton of time.
Any links that you find broken, just make a note of the referring page and the destination of the link for a later part of this strategy.
My favorite tool to use is Ahrefs as it allows you to check whole websites in just a few clicks.
Head to their Site Explorer and paste in the website you wish to check for and search, then go to ‘Backlink’ and then ‘Broken’.
Then you will see all the broken inbound links the target website has. As before, make a note of these and add them to your spreadsheet.
Then you can get a list of all the broken outbound links by going to ‘Outgoing links’ and then ‘Broken links’, then make a note of them on your spreadsheet.
Lastly, you can use Ahrefs to find all the internal broken links by clicking ‘Pages’ then ‘Best by links’. Add any broken links to your spreadsheet.
Do this for each website on your target list.
This part of the strategy is about forging a relationship with the Blog Owner and helping them to fix their broken links to build trust.
You should reach out to let them know about the broken link in your first email then you can propose a link to your content afterwards and only if you have something relevant.
If you don’t have anything relevant now, then save it for when you do in the future.
This strategy is one of the most underutilized link building techniques!
This whole strategy is based on playing people’s egos to build a relationship and ultimately get yourself some precious links.
So write a post featuring the experts (the ones with high authority and high traffic websites) and get them interested in it before you publish.
Then they will feel obliged to share and even link to it from the get-go!
Here are a few simple steps to follow with this strategy.
Pick a headline with the following structure:
Number + (industry) blogs/experts + promise/keyword
Create a list of influential people from your niche. The amount of people depends on how in depth you want your article to be.
You can just brainstorm your list or use Google to find ecommerce influencers. Ensure these people have high domain authority before adding them to your list.
Decide what promise the article is going to deliver. This will help the experts to know exactly what is expected of them when they write their contribution.
Define the Question. You have the promise of the article now you need a definitive question to ask your influencers. Go for just one question and be specific.
Ensure what you are asking is clearly defined as these are busy people who don’t have much time to spare.
Get all the contact info and then email them explaining exactly what you are doing and send them your question.
Be sure to send follow up emails if you don’t get a response.
Creating content that is full of facts backed up by data is much more likely to get links to it.
You wouldn’t place a link on your site unless you were sure the content you are linking to is factually correct.
You can use this to your advantage by simply backing up your content by conducting in-depth research of the subject, finding or creating unique data and then putting that data in attractive graphics.
When the time comes to outreach you can then use this data to grab attention.
This is a clever little ongoing strategy that can be set up and used every time someone mentions you or your brand.
Quite often when you are mentioned people forget to place a link back to your site.
So all you need to do is find your mentions, identify whether or not they are linking back to you and if not, reach out asking for a link to be placed.
Reclaiming your links is a mega easy and effective strategy to employ.
Let’s take a look:
First of all, you want to identify any mentions that have been placed in the past without links.
To do this you need to do a few Google searches for your site.
Type in the search term, this could be your name, your business’ name, the products you sell (if unique) or a combination.
Then after the search term put ‘-inurl:’ followed by your domain.
Mine looks like this… -inurl:matthewwoodward.co.uk
The results will be a list of mentions excluding anything on your own website. Do this for each search term and any mentions you find that do not have a link can be added to your list.
Once you have searched each term and have a list of websites, you then need to collect contact information, going straight to the person who can add the link where possible.
Thank them for the mention and talk about something relevant before asking for the link at the end of the email.
Once this task is complete it’s important to monitor your mentions and react quickly.
To do this you can set up Google alerts which come directly to your email as the mention is published.
This technique is a winner because you are asking for links from people who firstly already know who you are and secondly probably like you.
Which makes link reclamation a piece o’ cake.
This is a nifty little strategy that is similar to guest posting but with much less effort involved.
You write just one really awesome piece of content and put it on multiple sites that have high traffic.
Content syndication really is that simple!
It’s mega important to remember and I can’t stress this enough… the content that you write needs to be absolutely top-notch otherwise it will not be accepted.
It’s a good idea to first publish the content on your own site and if it proves popular with lot’s of interest on social media then you should put it forward for republication.
You can easily republish on sites like LinkedIn Pulse and Medium but then again anyone can do that. To get republished on bigger sites within your niche you have to prove yourself.
When it comes to pitching your content to larger sites it creates a good impression if you know your numbers. Things like…
Using some of your best/most popular content is a good place to start.
Put together a list of sites that you want to republish your article and you can even see if sites that accept guest posts are willing to republish your content
Then it’s time to reach out to each site.
You should find contact information for an editor or the site manager and send them your pitch.
Talk about their site and why you want to republish content with them (stroke their ego), tell them exactly why republishing your content will be of benefit to them (use the numbers I mentioned earlier) and reassure them that your content is top quality!
Give them all the information they need so the process is as easy as possible.
This strategy, in a nutshell, is to find out what is in the news, what people are interested in and what everyone in your industry is talking about. Then create content about those topics.
You can use things like Google trends to see what the main headlines are and then narrow down further to your industry. Make a list of the main topics.
Then use that list you can brainstorm ideas for content.
Decide which idea you are going to use and then get the content written and published fast.
Time is crucial here as today’s news is tomorrow’s trash.
Then promote the cr*p outta it!#Newsjacking, if done in the right way, is a great method to get your content seen, shared and linked to. Click To Tweet
So in this article, we have visited a bunch of ways to build links to your ecommerce store.
But I’m not finished yet… I have one last piece of advice.
This may sound very basic but soooo many people get it wrong!
If you really want to build links to your website, then all of the above strategies are useless if your content is poor.
Here are some of the things you need to do…
So there you have it, the best linking building strategies for your ecommerce website and some of my tips to creating fantastic content.
Link building strategies are indeed important. But it’s only one small part of ecommerce optimization. To ensure that you’re covering all the bases when it comes to optimization, download your free 115 point ecommerce checklist. It covers everything you need to know about every type of page on your site, from your homepage to your About Us page.
Matthew Woodward is an award-winning publisher of detailed tutorials and case studies that are focused on helping clients to grow their businesses since 2012. Over that time he has helped thousands of people to reach new levels of success. Go to his page and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube.