Building links for e-commerce websites is much tougher than other websites because you want to direct most online traffic to your product pages. And that can be considered spammy if you take Google’s guidelines ad litteram.
Finding relevant ways to point to these pages in authoritative sources is a challenge.
But, as the saying goes, every challenge fosters the seeds of opportunity. That’s exactly what you will find out from this article.
We’ve written about white-hat link-building techniques before; you can definitely use those general strategies for your e-commerce blog. But this guide shows you actionable and highly specific strategies for e-commerce link-building that you can start implementing today.
Buckle your seats, and let’s begin:
1. Broken Link Building
Broken link-building entails searching for websites in your industry that write about products like yours.
- Use Ahrefs Content Explorer: This link analysis tool lets you sleuth the websites you need according to highly specific SEO metrics. Once you find such a website:
- Search for a non-competing and outdated post: Make sure it is about something you already wrote or produced. For example, if you retail “gym equipment for women,” that’s what you should be searching for.
- Offer one of your content assets or products: The more link juice flows your way from these authoritative websites, the more your ranking improves.
- Search for posts older than three years because outdated pages may have more broken links.
- Bonus: If Ahrefs shows you dropping search traffic for these older pages, you can use that to your advantage when making the pitch. Simply show the website editor how adding your update can increase their traffic again and make their content more valuable.
- Select a minimum referring domain of 50 to ensure you get websites with plenty of outbound links.
- Select a minimum Domain Rating of 30 to ensure your inbound link will feature on a high-quality website with at least a mid-tier domain authority.
2. The Product Feedback Technique
The product feedback technique follows a similar pattern to broken link-building. The strategy here is to:
- Find a trustworthy review website that writes highly relevant product reviews. Let’s say you retail hiking stoves; search for “best hiking review websites.” Alternatively, join a community in your niche using Facebook, Discord, Slack, Telegram or some other platform.
- Find a guest post on their website reviewing the type of products you sell. Let’s say you want to get a spot in GearLab for “best hiking stoves:”
- Send the website manager a personalized e-mail pitching your product.
- Rinse and repeat with another relevant website, until you get more quality links pointing your way.
Pro tip: Don’t be too straightforward and pushy. Also, don’t offer to pay for that review because that breaks Google’s guidelines.
- Mention that you love their website and their articles.
- Ask why your product isn’t featured there – maybe they didn’t have the time to try it or didn’t like it.
- Offer to send a free product they could test and then write about.
3. Create Viral Video Content
Video content has several advantages for search engine optimization:
- Your brand catches life: You can present behind-the-scenes action, walk your audience through a day in the life, or produce insightful how-to videos. People are more likely to share these pieces of content, thus increasing your link-building opportunities.
- Video content is extremely varied: These different types of content allow you to target your audience from different angles. From deep confessions to funny TikToks, the world is practically your oyster. As such, this technique enables you to connect and engage with your customers better.
- Video ranks well on search engines: Videos allow you to include featured snippets, and you can also optimize them quite thoroughly. As such, your content can rank well in search engines such as Google but also on YouTube.
Let’s take this example:
You retail baby-wearing products. You can attract both links and customers with valuable content such as:
- “5 easy ways to tie your wrap for beginners”
- “10 stylish outfits you can pair with a baby sling”
To ensure you get an even larger reach:
- Post these videos on YouTube and TikTok.
- Check your analytics to see who else embeds or shares your video.
- Reach out to these people for further opportunities to collaborate.
Even better, let’s see what one of the best-rated baby-wearing brands, Ergobaby, is doing to build their online business.
On YouTube, the brand has many shorts and videos with tutorials:
Their TikTok channel offers more diverse content, including dance videos with a high potential of going viral:
Both these strategies can help you get more external links. Make sure to include internal links between your web pages and social media posts to pass on link equity. That way, you can hone a rounded backlink profile for your ecommerce business.
4. Consider Influencer Marketing
Content creators can boost your awareness and traffic, getting the link juice flowing your way. They can get more people talking about your brand in a metaphorical second, so your organic traffic will increase dramatically.
Your sales may also increase if you’ve presented your products appealingly.
And if your products are good, you can bet those happy customers will recommend them to their friends and family.
Of course, you must pick the right strategy according to your marketing goals.
Let’s say you want to drive ecommerce store conversions:
- Focus on micro- and nano-influencers because they can hold 22 times more conversations about a product than larger creators.
- Make your unique selling point clear from the start.
- Add a discount or coupon code to help you keep track of these sales.
Here’s a neat example:
Fitness clothing brand Oner Active partnered with Instagram influencer Lucy Reeves because Lucy’s competitive edge is inspiring body confidence.
The creator made a POV-type of Instagram video for girls who lack the confidence to train in a sports bra:
She concludes that confidence comes both from within and from the outside, with brands like Oner Active improving girls’ body confidence.
Notice that the brand has two relevant links:
- One hashtag sending to the company’s Instagram
- The other hashtag sends people to Krissy Cela, Oner Active’s co-founder
This type of content strategy is best suited for an engagement campaign because it brings to the limelight a poignant topic in today’s world.
Use this tactic if you want to associate your brand with a certain value or idea, thus:
- Creating a competitive edge, AND:
- Connecting with your prospects
5. Create Shareable Products
Linkable products are items that everyone talks about because they’re awesome, innovative, or extremely useful. Of course, you would have to create something that fulfills your customers’ needs and that nobody else is doing.
That takes more work in the product creation stage, but the results in organic traffic and sales are worth it.
One such product is Phone Loops.
As the brand’s name suggests, these are loops you tie around your phone to prevent it from falling when taking selfies.
Phone Loops created a lot of buzz around their product using:
- A breadth of influencers from very diverse backgrounds to build social proof
- Multiple giveaways to kickstart purchases
- Shareable content, like Selfie Games or Travel Hacks, to create desire
However, you can’t always develop an innovative product that completely changes everyone’s life. That brings us to the next point:
6. Create Linkable Assets
Linkable assets include software and informational content that your audience needs. Basically, you develop helpful resources that improve user experience and create a beneficial relationship with your audience.
Pro tip: This strategy also allows you to work on your internal linking structure.
Let’s look at what Ruled.me is doing.
This Keto app gives its users access to a breadth of science-backed customized meal plans. Users can also easily switch between recipes or remove the ones they dislike.
Ruled.me also features many linkable assets:
- Their blog posts usually uncover the science behind various recipes or offer tips and tricks, such as this low-carb popcorn recipe:
- It has a wide range of recipes for all meals, all of which can gain Ruled.me valuable backlinks:
- People can access their ketogenic calculator to get their macros and, therefore, eat the right meals:
All these resources have a high potential for being:
- Searched for: Thus, Ruled.me's organic search can increase steadily.
- Shared: Thus, increasing referral traffic. Recipe and keto websites may all want to quote Ruled.me.
And sure, it hasn’t escaped us that Ruled.me is an app, not an ecommerce brand. But, a store selling keto products could adopt the same strategy.
And you can include it in your link-building efforts, too:
- First, come up with content and tools your audience would want to use: Calculators and VR try-on apps are incredibly popular for e-commerce stores. For instance, a virtual try-on software could increase your organic traffic if you retail glasses online:
- Then, popularize that content: Look for websites in your niche that include these assets in their blog content. Double-check the quality of links. Partner with influencers or ask your customers to share content about your brand on social media using specific hashtags.
This strategy works well in the medium to long term, giving your store a competitive edge.
Pro tip: Keep your linkable asset strategy going; if you pay attention to your audience, you can constantly develop new free tools they can use.
If you’re looking for something in the shorter term, consider this:
7. Find Unlinked Brand Mentions
Unlinked brand mentions are a goldmine of opportunities for inbound links that could skyrocket your referral traffic. Imagine all the websites and people talking about your products without linking to them.
- Find these websites.
- Reach out to the website manager.
- Propose an outgoing link to your website that they could insert in their high-quality content.
There are three such mentions you can consider for building backlinks:
- Company: If you can find someone recommending your company, they already like you. That means they're more likely to include do-follow links to your website, which is one of the best link opportunities you have.
- Product mentions: These websites speak about one of your products, quoting its exact name. In this case, you can easily suggest a link to your website. Alternatively, you can offer to send some other products you retail; if a website owner is raving about one of your products, chances are, they’ll want to see what else you created.
- Retail brand mentions: This link-building tactic works best if your website offers a specific coupon code for a popular product, such as Louis Vuitton or Rolex. You can search for websites that also mention these words and suggest using your links.
How can you find these websites?
- Use Google: Type "brand name" -inurl:domainname.com. This advanced Google query works better than simply typing in your company name because it helps you find a list of websites mentioning a specific webpage hosted on your website.
- Use social media: Use each channel’s search bar to find the people talking about your brand or products. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with affiliates or brand ambassadors.
- Use specific software: Tools like Ahrefs, Mention, or the Unlinked Mentions Finder by RankTank are all good places to start.
8. Give Discounts Codes
Research shows that discounts and coupons motivate people to buy more products. This strategy creates scarcity and makes people feel like they’ve gotten a good deal.
That’s the whole spiel behind massive discount campaigns like Black Friday or Christmas.
And once you give your customers free things regularly, you will strengthen the connection with them. Here’s how you bring awareness to those links:
You can partner with content creators for the short term so they can post about your discounted products. Giving them a UTM link or coupon code allows you to keep track of their sales and monitor your affiliate program.
If you partner with long-term brand ambassadors, getting trustworthy people to bring attention to these discounts can increase your ROI considerably because:
- The offer seems less spammy.
- Your ambassadors are more motivated to talk about your brand because they believe in it.
- They get qualified traffic your way.
Use Coupon Code Websites
Several websites compile coupon codes from ecommerce websites and brick-and-mortar stores. Putting your discount links in these databases:
- Allows you to get discovered by these websites’ users.
- Increases your online presence.
As a result, you can obtain more organic traffic along with increased sales.
Here are some websites you can start with:
Starting Your E-commerce Link-Building Strategy
A well-thought link-building strategy for e-commerce stores can bring you more visitors and increase ecommerce sales. However, you must find the right mix of short-term and long-term strategies, depending on your marketing goals.
Finding broken links and unlinked brand mentions can give you a fast uplift in backlinks. However, you should also focus on a longer-term approach to ensure your website grows.
Creating link-worthy content, improving your content marketing strategy, and off-page SEO are all part of a successful ecommerce link-building campaign.
To succeed, always focus on your customers’ needs. If you respond to these needs with the correct products, assets, and content, more and more people will share your links.
Unsure where to start?
Breeeze can put you on the right track and organize the right link-building campaign for your goals. Jump on a free call with us; we will discuss the right approach, effective strategies, and most compelling tactics.