Building high-quality backlinks is essential for any e-commerce business looking to improve search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic. However, link building can be tricky and time-consuming. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore proven strategies to build powerful backlinks that will boost your e-commerce SEO and sales.
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Why Link Building Matters for E-commerce
Backlinks serve as votes of confidence in your website. The more high-quality sites that link back to your e-commerce store, the more authority search engines like Google will give to your domain. This authority boosts rankings so your products and brand show up for relevant searches.
Beyond rankings, backlinks also drive referral traffic, increase brand visibility, and improve trust and credibility for your business. Overall, effective link building should be a core part of your broader SEO strategy for ecommerce.
Develop a Link Building Plan
Like any marketing effort, having a solid plan is key to link building success. Outline both your short and long-term goals before diving into tactics.
Set Measurable Goals
Determine specific metrics you want to achieve with link building, like:
- Increasing organic keywords ranking on page 1 from X to Y in 6 months
- Earning links from 25 new high-authority domains in 1 year
- Generating 500+ referral visits per month via backlinks
Setting tangible goals will focus your efforts and help track progress.
Identify Target Website Types
Not all links hold the same SEO value. Do your research to identify industry websites, directories, publications, influencers and other resources that you want links from.
Prioritize securing links from sites with:
- High domain authority and traffic
- Relevant audience and topical alignment
- Strong trust and brand reputation
Outreach efforts will be more effective when targeted at sites that are a natural fit.
Allocate Sufficient Time and Resources
A successful link building campaign requires an ongoing investment of time, effort and resources. Don’t treat it as a one-off activity. Plan for outreach, content creation, link prospecting, follow-ups and link monitoring.
Dedicate adequate budget and team hours each week or month to see results. Link building often takes a while to gain momentum.
Map Content Creation to Link Opportunities
Your linkable assets like blog posts, guides, and visuals are the bait used to earn links. So you want to strategically create content assets tailored to each opportunity and relationship.
For example, if you want a link from an industry roundup on an authority site, create a related and useful resource they can naturally link to as a source. Let content and outreach feed into each other.
Tactics to Earn High-Quality Backlinks
Now let’s explore proven link building tactics to execute your plan and earn powerful backlinks from authority sites.
Pitch Guest Posts Strategically
Guest blogging remains one of the most effective ways to get quality links, but you need to be selective about outreach. Pitches should be personalized and specifically aligned with websites you have thoroughly researched.
Make sure guest posts provide genuine value for the site’s audience. Avoid over-optimization and excessive links. Write engaging, useful content that earns links naturally, not just because you asked.
Get Listed on Industry Directories
Getting your ecommerce store listed on relevant directories like Capterra can net some quick wins. Make sure to completely fill out your profiles and provide a compelling description to motivate backlinks.
You can also request backlinks when contributing helpful content like reviews or forum posts where allowed. Backlinks from niche directories related to your products or location can also help.
Cultivate Relationships with Influencers
Influencer marketing is huge for ecommerce brands. Partnering with influencers for reviews, product placements or co-created content provides link opportunities along with increased brand visibility.
Nurture relationships by providing influencers with free products to try, special discounts or affiliate opportunities. Be generous to influencers instead of merely transactional.
Produce Linkworthy Assets
You want resources that websites naturally want to link to as helpful references for their own audiences. Some top assets include:
- Comprehensive guides: Create expansive guides to popular shopping topics, best products, comparisons, DIY instructions, etc.
- Product roundups: Curate and review the top products in your niche.
- Research reports: Conduct surveys, interviews or investigations that provide interesting data websites will link to.
- Infographics: Visual assets that creatively display research stats, chronologies, processes, etc.
- Quizzes and calculators: Interactive tools that websites can embed or link to.
Repurpose assets across formats like text and video to maximize links. Produce regular new resources that align to what topically resonates.
Do Good Outreach Follow-Up
You rarely earn links from a single cold outreach attempt. Quality follow-up is vital. If you don’t receive a response, follow-up twice over 2-4 weeks. Provide new value each time, like sending over a custom infographic or offering an exclusive interview on recent research.
When you do get responses, nurture the relationship over the long-term. Continue to supply them with helpful assets that make linking easy and beneficial for them. Stay organized using link outreach tools to track all efforts.
Sponsor or Speak at Events
Look for ecommerce, marketing and industry events related to your niche. Offer to sponsor them or speak at the event in exchange for backlinks and exposure.
You can often negotiate promotional posts, email blasts, banners and other cross-link promotions along with main event links. If speaking, ensure you provide valuable insights vs a sales pitch.
Run Link-Worthy Contests and Giveaways
Contests, giveaways and other engagement campaigns are a proven way to generate viral interest and links.
For example, you can run a competition for fans to post pictures with your product on Instagram for a chance to win a big prize. Require participants to tag and follow your brand to facilitate links. Or give away one of your products in exchange for sharing a review.
Think Beyond Traditional Backlinks
Don’t limit yourself to text links. There are now diverse ways to gain link equity:
- Infographic links: Create embeddable infographics others want to showcase.
- Image links: Have descriptive images of your product, team, etc that sites can use and link to.
- Video links: Produce useful video content that sites may wish to share.
- Broken link building: Help replace broken links with relevant and fresh content.
Explore creative ways to develop “linkable assets” beyond the standard guest post or resource link.
Monitor and Diversify Backlinks
Check your backlink profile regularly using tools like Ahrefs. Look for unhealthy patterns like a glut of low-quality links from spammy sites, which can actually hurt your rankings.
Work to build a diverse, natural-looking link profile across authority domains related to your space. Don’t depend only on a handful of links. Mix followed and nofollow links.
The more your link profile looks like an authority site’s, versus overly optimized or paid, the more SEO value it will carry.
Common Link Building Mistakes to Avoid
As you execute your ecommerce link building strategy, keep these common missteps in mind:
Buying Links from Low-Quality Sites
Purchasing backlinks is very risky and easily detected. Stick to earning links organically. One bad site can impact your entire domain.
Over-Optimization and Keyword Stuffing
Don’t overdo anchor text links saturated with your target keywords. This looks manipulative. Use natural phrasing and mix branded with naked URLs.
Aggressively Pitching Irrelevant Sites
Mass emailing link requests is ineffective and can even damage your domain reputation. Only pitch sites where your content and links genuinely fit.
Linking to Low-Quality Assets
One weak guest post or stale infographic will not attract links long-term. Ensure you only request links to your most useful, updated assets.
Neglecting Existing Link Relationships
Don’t treat link earning as a one-off exchange. Nurture each new relationship with fresh assets and outreach to build over time.
Avoid these mistakes and keep your efforts focused on building relationships and value. Patience and persistence pay off.
Link Building Tools and Software
Link building involves outreach, research, tracking, and monitoring. Software and tools can make the process far more efficient. Here are some top options for ecommerce link builders:
- BuzzStream: Helps find link prospects and manage outreach at scale.
- Ahrefs: Provides keyword research plus backlink analysis and monitoring.
- Majestic: Explore backlink profiles for any domain and identify top referring sites.
- SEMrush: Features comprehensive SEO and competitor keyword research.
- Google Search Console: Track links to your site along with performance data.
- Google Analytics: Review website referral traffic sources.
- Surfer SEO: Automates personalized link outreach and follow-ups.
- Mailshake: Streamlines email outreach campaigns and tracking.
- Trello: Uses boards to organize link prospects and track outreach status.
The right tools will boost productivity and provide the data needed to refine efforts.
Link Building Takes Persistence and Creativity
At its core, effective link building relies on creating high-quality content that websites want to naturally link to because it benefits their own audience. This takes time, strategic planning, relationship building, and persistence. But the long-term payoff for your ecommerce SEO and referral traffic is well worth the effort.
Get creative with assets and outreach approaches to build powerful backlinks at scale. Monitor efforts to avoid risks and diversify your profile. With the right mix of content, connections and conversions, your link building efforts will elevate your ecommerce business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best link building strategies?
Some of the most effective link building strategies include guest posting on authority sites, getting listed in relevant directories, partnering with influencers, creating likeworthy assets like guides and infographics, sponsoring events, running likeworthy contests, diversifying beyond text links, and monitoring your backlink profile.
How do you get quality backlinks?
To get quality backlinks, create engaging content that websites want to link to, pitch guest posts, build relationships with influencers, participate in relevant events, and outreach to sites with useful assets to share.
How many backlinks should an ecommerce site have?
There is no definitive ideal number of backlinks for an ecommerce site. Quality is far more important than quantity. Most established, successful ecommerce sites have between 500 to 5,000 referring domains. The key is having links from authority websites in your space, diversity in anchors and referring domains, and a link profile that looks naturally built over time.
Can you build links too fast?
Yes, you can build links too fast, which looks manipulative. Google penalizes sites that unnaturally speed up link acquisition. Ideal link velocity is gradual and steady vs explosive growth over a short period. Earn no more than about 50-100 new links per month through organic outreach and promotion.
What backlinks should you avoid?
These are backlinks you should avoid:
- Paid links from low-quality or irrelevant sites.
- Comments and forum links using over-optimized anchor text.
- Links from pages with little or no organic content.
- Links using redirected domains or other sneaky redirects.
- Links from the same group of sites or IP addresses.
- Excessive links from the same site or page.
Focus on earning links naturally from quality sites relevant to your industry.
Link building remains one of the most valuable investments for ecommerce SEO success. But it requires creativity, persistence, and avoiding risky shortcuts. Develop a plan and content assets tailored to earning high-quality links from authority websites your target audience trusts. In the realm of marketing, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a strategic approach aimed at enhancing a website’s visibility on search engines; it involves not only optimizing content but also entails actively monitoring your growing link profile and nurturing relationships with other sites. When executed effectively, this link-building strategy has the potential to significantly amplify ecommerce visibility and boost website conversions.