One of the most rewarding and challenging SEO techniques is e-commerce link building.
Creating relevant links is essential for driving traffic to virtual shops, which increases sales and traffic.
Suppose you create a suitable backlink and content strategy for your e-commerce shop. In that case, you are putting your business in front of your audience without spending additional money on monthly ads. It is like opening your store on the most famous street in the world; in this case, this street is called Google’s first page.
Creating relevant links for e-commerce is essential for driving traffic and increasing sales. But how can you get natural brand mentions, PR and in-content links for a product? It’s much more difficult than building links for informational content.
There are many different strategies when it comes to creating e-commerce links. However, only some of those are worth your time and money, and we will explore those in this article.
Let’s dive into 9 simple methods for getting links to your product or e-commerce category pages
1. Add Informational Content to Your E-commerce Product Pages
Using tabs or accordions cleverly, you can pack your regular e-commerce listings with detailed informational content that adds linkable value to the page.
You’ll need to keep UX in mind, which means not crowding the actual part of the page where e-commerce happens. But if you work with your web designer, you can add tabs which effectively isolate the content from the main part of the visual field.
This method effectively sneaks detailed informational content into a regular e-commerce landing page. But the beauty of the method is this it is great for SEO anyway. You can beat your competitors on-page while creating the best information source for your product. Ultimately, this will bring your traffic and links.
2. Give Away Ecommerce Products in Exchange for a Backlink
Whatever you’re selling, the chances are the top listings are packed full of affiliate sites. Informational websites will often use their natural domain authority to get ‘‘’5 Best’’’ type articles and make money via affiliate commissions.
Alternatively, they may be written by industry figures with a genuine interest in reviewing the top products in the field for their own audience. Either way, these pages make a perfect target for your link-building efforts. Reach out and offer the webmaster free products and see where the conversation leads.
To do this meticulously, you’ll want to start a Google sheet and populate it with all of the web pages you see as potential link targets. Then use the site’s contact page or an email-finding Chrome extension such as Hunter.Io to find the webmaster’s contact.
If that doesn’t work, message them via their brand page on Facebook, or connect to the writer on LinkedIn. It may take a little tenacity, but in the end, you’ll find it’s possible to achieve product-specific links from highly relevant sources. And if you translate the effort into potential revenue once your own page ranks, it’s 100% worth it.
3. Offer to Update Existing Guest Posts
Use Ahrefs Content Explorer to find guest posts on topics surrounding your core market.
Filter the search using the ‘in content’ functionality so that your keyword is found within the body of the article. Then filter the results again via incoming links.
From here, you can build out an outreach list, specifically targeting blogs written on tangential subjects. Where you see a post which is in need of updating, email the author to see if they’re interested in a revamp.
4. Infographics Still Work
While many think of infographics as an old-school link-building technique, they still work. And they work particularly well for e-commerce link-building purposes for reasons we’ll explore.
Imagine you’re selling a health food supplement. And you create a superb infographic asset about that product that is visually appealing and tells a valuable story about it in a new way. You now have good reason to outreach with this infographic to visual curation sites and bloggers, and if anyone uses it, they’ll have to link back to your core product page. Win-Win.
Of course, in this day and age, you’ll have to write a compelling and genuine outreach email that isn’t generic. You’ll also have to add genuine value for people: offer to white label the graphic for other people’s brands, as one example. You’ll see better uptake and, for a few minutes of graphic design, will pick up some juicy links.
5. Digital PR for Generating E-commerce Backlinks
Digital PR for generating e-commerce backlinks will rely on the pages you want to promote. So, the first step would be deciding what the focus of your campaign is. Will it be a product that only you have on the market, an exciting product, or a product that can find its place in shopping guides?
If your product is unsuitable for listicles, you can focus your PR campaign on certain blog posts. Placing links to your blog posts is always much easier, and editors prefer to add links toward valuable content rather than a product.
Just like with backlinks, this process starts with finding a suitable audience. This means you need to create a list of bloggers and editors interested in your product.
Many brands use the performance PR technique, which allows them to pay only for publications bringing them leads. This strategy is cost-effective, and it is much more secure than paying publications that don’t have any kind of guarantee that you will see any sales out of it.
While working on your digital PR campaign, it is always wise to use retargeting tools such as paid ads and email marketing. That way, you are creating additional touches with your audience, and you will create a recognizable brand. It is a well-known fact that we buy more often from brands we already know.
What type of content do you need for PR campaigns?
When creating an outreach for a PR campaign, you must be creative and develop a good story about your brand. Don’t copy others; try to give a specific angle on a topic you want to cover.
Show editors how they can use your products in a few different ways, and offer them an interview with the founder or a how-to guide. You can also offer them an option to promote their content on your website. Just be smart, and think about what you would need if you were doing a PR.
Journalists and bloggers love relevancy, and it can be a great idea to hop on a trending topic. For example, if you see a heat wave is coming, write how your products can help people who want to avoid heat.
Interact with Journalists to drive links back to your e-commerce site
Digital PR is one of the highest forms of the link-building art. By interacting with real journalists, you can elevate your brand way above the echelons of mere guest blogging and pull in some major-league links.
On the level of eCommerce, this would mean finding those journalists who write about your particular industry and then pitching them a story that helps them do their job. Perhaps you have a new product launch? Perhaps one of your products ties in with a holiday theme or other calendar event?
These busy people don’t suffer fools gladly, so this isn’t the time to hit the automated email button. You’ll need to pitch well-thought-out stories that are genuinely newsworthy.
One excellent tip is using Responsesource Media Enquiries for your particular niche. Responsesource is a service used by journalists looking for quotes, comments, and insight into top stories or topics. By paying an annual subscription to your chosen niche on Responsesource, you’ll get these emails straight to your inbox.
This works best if you have an in-house expert or genuine figure who can offer commentary on industry news with insight. It’s a lot of work to go this route, and you’re up against competition from other PRs, but the possibility here is to pull in significant links from international newspapers and other top-level publications that have incredible authority
6. Create Linkable Content
Even though many marketers believe that solid content is good enough to reach the required audience, the reality is different. According to Backlinko research, only 2,2% of all published articles get more than one link on their own
So, what kind of articles are in those top 2%
Most popular would be listicles and how-to articles. However, except for listicles and how-to articles, there are articles with gathered data around particular topics in a specific niche. These articles are a great way to get links naturally and create success with your backlink campaigns.
Link builders often see requests from companies that want to link to their blog posts without any value or add links to their products. These kinds of links are rejected by website editors who are experienced. This is why link builders always recommend having a solid content strategy that works for hand in hand with the backlink strategy.
It speeds up the whole link-building process and makes it legit.
How to create linkable content?
Different niches require a different approach. So, if you are just starting with your content strategy, we advise doing a competitor analysis on Ahrefs.
Here is how you can do it:
- Find your competitor, and add it to the Ahrefs search.
- On the right side, pick the option Best By Links to check out which pages of your competitor are getting the most backlinks.
- If you pink option Best by link’s growth, you will see which pages are currently getting links (naturally or via strategic link building)
If you choose to see Top content, you will see a mix of backlinks, Twitter and Pinterest shares, and get the idea of what kind of content is getting the most shares. That can inspire you to create your shareable content.
When you find out what is working for one of your competitors, don’t stop there. Instead, take a look around, and find more competitors. You will see that there are different approaches. Then you can decide what is best for your business according to their statistics.
Writing listicle posts and how-to ideas are usually easy to find. They aim to be useful for your target audience. For example, show them how to use your products differently and how they can save money if they invest in them. Inform them about the most significant benefits and mistakes they should avoid. Debunk myths, and give a piece of your own opinion in each article to make it unique.
Don’t forget to invest extra effort and create posts with essential data for your niche. Those posts might not be significant for your reading audience. Still, they will bring you links or make a job for your link builders much easier.
Examples of Linkable Content that Works for Ecomerce
We already mentioned that listicles and how-to articles are the best way to get backlinks for your content. But there are more examples of content that you can use to improve your backlink profile.
Here are just some examples:
- Definite guides on specific topics related to your niche
- Guest articles (articles that you write for other websites)
- Expert roundup
- Comparison articles (your product vs some other product)
- Infographics with data and structure
All these types of content need to add value to the readers and editors if you want them to be mentioned elsewhere. Guest posts are articles that you can offer to other websites as a form of free content, and you can ask in return for a backlink to your website. Other types of content, especially infographics and videos, can go viral if you create them carefully. Oftentimes, this type of content makes unliked mentions, but we will write about that in our following chapters.
7. Improve FAQ pages on your eCommerce website
Each FAQ page should have the same goal – to give answers your audience is searching for. This mission is identical to the basic meaning of SEO in general. But you can’t just pile up a list of random questions you usually get from your audience to build more backlinks in an e-commerce environment.
You need to do your homework and create a strategy for improving your FAQ pages.
- Gather the most common questions
- Write answers clearly and understandably.
- Format the FAQ page, so it is easy to scroll through.
- Optimize keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags
- Markup your page with FAQ schema
Even though some marketers often skip this step as irrelevant to their backlink strategy, well-optimized FAQ pages can be excellent sources of backlinks. Whenever your user types questions similar to those you enlisted, you will appear as an expert. As a result, this optimization goes beyond the backlink strategy. It also plays a crucial role in the branding of your products.
What are the best ways to improve your FAQ pages?
You can gather the best questions from your social media channels, your salespeople, client service, and a direct conversation with users. If you are just starting, you can check out questions on Quora and Reddit and check if Google is showing inquiries related to your query. The good idea is to check websites like answer the public, and if you have an Ahrefs or Semrush subscription, you can check keyword ideas there.
Answering questions shouldn’t be too hard for you, but you need to think about the audience that is landing on your page. They came to learn something, and they needed the information fast. So don’t go around the bush. Just keep it simple and answer most understandably. Usually, FAQ answers are no longer than two sentences, but don’t stress out – you can always add links that will lead them to blog posts or e-books. Another great thing is that creating this FAQ page can be a great starting point in your content strategy.
If you have many questions to cover, think about creating a search box, or organizing your content into categories.
In addition to those questions that are already answered, you can create a question box. This box would be open for collecting additional questions you might consider adding later.
This option is a great way to see if some parts of your content are missing. Make sure to notice if they are mentioning something that already exists on the website. This repetition can signal that UX is not on an acceptable level.
How to optimize answers for E-commerce FAQ pages?
The primary source of information about your FAQ page for search engines is your meta description, meta keywords, and meta tags.
Meta description: This description should show a simple summary of what visitors can find on your page. Suppose it is shown as a snippet on the SERP below the title of your landing page. It should contain a short explanation, and it would be cool if you could invite readers to read your page with the amount of text that is allowed.
Meta keywords: Keywords that describe the content of your page and help your search engine to understand what is going on on that page.
Robots meta tags: Pieces of code that are giving instructions to crawlers on how to index your page. They are a part of the HTML code of the web page, and their instructions can be different, so make sure you adjust this.
When optimization is done right, your answer will get to page one, and if you are super lucky and if you have optimized your FAQ content, you can even get your featured snippet.
How to get a featured snippet for my e-commerce website?
Featured snippets are boxes you can find on position zero when searching for specific terms. Usually, you can see them if you are searching for recipes or trying to find lists.
However, they can appear as a result of a well-optimized FAQ page with questions that are commonly asked by your audience.
It can be tough to get featured snippets in competitive niches, but there are some tricks that you can use. If your answer features multiple steps, it is good to assign them numbers. If you need to give an informational answer, focus on the meaning and definition of that term.
Some experts suggest using words like “In the table below” and “In this list”. However, it is more than that, and you can check out more terms that are known as terms that are triggering featured snippets.
8. Focus on smart outreach techniques
Sometimes, your content and products can be excellent, but the competitors can overrun you with their previously made backlinks.
To get the similar backlink profile as your competitor, the best way is to scrape the competitor list. Find out where the links were built for their profiles. However, you shouldn’t blindly follow their strategies, as some of those might not be the best.
It is crucial to check websites that might accept your backlink. There are certain things that you need to check before you send the outreach:
- Check their domain rating and traffic.
- Check their blogs and find out if this is a link farm.
- What does their anchor cloud look like?
- Are they accepting links for gambling, porn, essay writing, and payday loans?
- Is this website indexed?
After your team checks all that, you need to use tools that will help you find editors and webmasters of those websites. I recommend using Apollo.io or Hunter.io tools for finding contacts. But you can also go to the Linkedin page and explore who is in charge of content and SEO in that company. When you can’t find a specific person for this role, reach out to the marketing team.
When you create a list of websites that can bring traffic to your e-commerce website, move to the next stage. Start learning about smart outreach technics.
How to write smart outreach?
Many articles on the internet will tell you the same. They emphasize personalization and simplicity.
- Write an innovative and personalized subject line.
The subject line should be short and informative. It is a good idea to ask a question in the subject line or to use an emoji so that your email looks a bit different from others in their inbox. You can mention the name of their company or their name in the subject line and make it more personal. However, this might be an outdated tactic in 2020, so go beyond and explore their social media profiles, find what they like, and mention that instead.
- Approach them like they are your colleagues.
Emails that are direct and relatable always get more reactions than plain ones. Acknowledge what you are doing, and ask them if that is something they might be interested in. Don’t use fake flattery because that is also one of the old tactics, and they have already got a lot of similar emails. However, if you admire something specific about that person or their work, don’t forget to mention it.
- Show them the benefits of this collaboration.
If you are sending an outreach with the aim of writing for their blog, show them your expertise and your ideas. Tell them why they will not waste time on your content and this collaboration. Enlist the benefits and mention companies that already collaborate with you as social proof.
- Use something memorable in your approach (image, gif, signature, question, etc.)
This might be the most challenging part, but your opening rate will be amazing when you unlock this challenge. One of the best tactics here is to put your photo or video and tell them something nice or informative. Or just ask them to appreciate your effort by replying to your email. If you are shy, start with gifs or something globally known. For example, everyone from the IT community will be smitten by baby Yoda who is waiting for a reply.
9. Find unlinked brand mentions for your eCommerce store
The term unlinked brand mention refers to mentions of your brand or product that do not lead to your website. Finding unlinked brand mentions across the internet can be pretty easy and beneficial.
But before we tell you more about this strategy, let’s ensure you know what you will be looking for. You shouldn’t focus only on the brand name. You can also look up your name or the name of your brand representatives. It might turn out that someone mentioned their thoughts, but they didn’t add links. Do keyword research on terms similar to your products, and check if someone mentions your products (but calls them differently).
You can use Ahrefs and their Content explorer to find where your brand was mentioned. To exclude content from your website, you need to add a command. Check this example from Ahrefs, and see how they excluded mentions from their pages.
What should you do when you find unlinked mention for your e-commerce website?
You can start the outreach process when you find a brand or product mentions without links. Go through each mention, and check if this link would give you any value. If this unlinked mention is from a page that doesn’t have a solid DR or traffic, feel free to skip it. Also, if you already have a lot of links coming from that website, there is no need to waste your time.
As we mentioned above, you need to offer additional value when writing an outreach email. For example, you can give them free SEO advice or mention a mistake that you have found. Also, you can tell them that when they add your link, you will be able to share that content on social media profiles and use it for your email marketing.
Anyhow be careful not to waste your time on the battles you can’t win. Stay polite, and think about creating good relationships with editors and not just backlinks. In the long run, that will pay off much more.
Ecommerce link building tactics: A Summary
- Adding Informational Content to your E-commerce product pages
- Giving Away Ecommerce Products for in Exchange for a Backlinks
- Offer to Update Existing Guest Posts
- Digital PR
- Create Linkable content
- Improve FAQ Pages
- Smart Outreach for Ecommerce
- Unlinked brand mentions for products
None of these methods are easy, and should represent an on going strategy, but over time they do work. As your link acquisition improves, the product page itself will start ranking and you can add in some paid guest blogs to this strategy to climb the final positions to the top.
Lets wrap it up
Getting backlinks in a competitive niche such as e-commerce is more important than ever. It requires a lot of time, knowledge, and creativity. Certain brands have been creating backlinks with the above-mentioned strategies for years and now hold the main positions in search engines. This means that they are getting the most traffic for relevant keywords and selling their products quickly.
This is why we advise e-commerce brands to start planning their backlink strategies while developing their virtual shops. That way, their content will be linkable, and their link builders and PR personnel will do their job faster.
However, some websites didn’t start working on backlinks from the start, but there is a solution for those cases as well. You need an agency or team of in-house professionals to help you beat competitors with the latest backlink strategies.
Ask Us About Backlink Strategies for E-commerce Brands
If you’d like to discuss e-commerce link building further, or are even looking for white label SEO services to help compliment your existing marketing skills, we’d love to talk to you
We specialise in finding premium link opportunities for SEO agencies to make your job as easy as possible.
In fact, we work with hundreds of major agencies to offer ongoing, authoritative and natural looking link building that keep clients ranking, and remove a major headache for professional SEO’s.
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