As those familiar with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will know, increasing the number of quality links that point from other websites to yours essentially acts as a vote of confidence in the eyes of search engines and can make a significant contribution to your organic online visibility as part of your SEO strategy.
For ecommerce websites, this visibility online can have a huge impact on sales and therefore revenue, so finding effective ways to build links can make a tangible difference to SEO performance and bring more of the right people, who have buying intent, to your website.
What is ecommerce link building?
Ecommerce link building is an essential part of SEO for retail websites, with links from other authoritative websites to yours having a real influence on how search engines view the importance and value of your site to potential visitors. Links can also send relevant referral traffic to your site to boost sales directly.
What kind of links are most valuable for SEO?
Relevance and quality are at the heart of SEO and the same goes for the most useful and valuable links to an ecommerce website. If the site linking to yours has a high level of domain authority (DA) themselves, and is highly relevant to what you sell, it can help to improve your authority with search engines too.
Building great links with an appropriate context can have a strong correlation with increased rankings for relevant keywords and more organic traffic being driven to your website. By developing a strategy for link building that focuses on relevance and earning links from websites that your target audience are already influenced by, you can get the SEO benefit along with some potential new customers clicking through the link and making purchases on your site too.
So how do you achieve this? We have compiled some tips below on how to develop a multi-strand link building strategy for your ecommerce business.
Before you start, it’s important to run a backlink report on your own site and, if possible, on some of your competitors too who have better SEO performance than you do, so you can use this as a benchmark and to help you to spot any opportunities for your own brand. You can use tools such as SEMRUSH, Ahrefs or Moz for this, which all have cheap or free trial versions available if you don’t have an existing subscription.
1. Creating content worth linking to
For some ecommerce brands, creating content assets that are link-worthy might feel a little alien because the focus isn’t necessarily directly on driving immediate conversions. However, it can be possible for the right kind of content to not only contribute to the business by earning ecommerce links, but also drive organic traffic, increase brand awareness, and act a strong trust signal to aid conversions all-in-one. Making the most of this content to maximise the benefit to the business in as many areas as possible is a great way to get the best ROI and make the time and effort of creating it even more worthwhile.
Some examples of this kind of content could be a unique take on a tool or calculator that you have created, for example:
A graphic or piece of visual content, such as:
A newsworthy take on your own data, research, customer polls or surveys, such as:
Now, creating the content is only part of the task – it’s letting the right people know about it that can be a real driver of link gains. With a well-optimised page hosting your content, you can expect organic traffic to build over time on its own if it’s on a subject people are searching for, but in order to jumpstart this, you’ll need to tell the right people that the content exists, why it’s so great and where it is. That is where Digital PR and outreach really comes into its own.
2. Utilising Digital PR for ecommerce links
Whether you have a piece of unique and useful content that you want to specifically build links to on your site, or you simply want to gain links to your domain from relevant sites that also influence your target audience and build brand awareness, digital PR can play a big role in this.
In order to gain links from the press, trade media or other relevant websites, you’ll need to ensure you have a compelling pitch that quickly tells the relevant person what the story/content is, why it’s relevant to their audience and give them a reason to include a link when they cover it.
Find out more about digital PR and how it can help build SEO backlinks.
3. Leveraging experts within your business to gain ecommerce links
Every business has a story, and the team behind it can be a great asset when it comes to earning ecommerce links through creating angles and stories that could include:
- The story behind the business: the individual(s) involved, entrepreneurship etc. Interviews or taking part in webinars/round tables/Q&A panels
- Reacting to news stories or current events with expert opinions/quotes on the subject
- Prediction pieces about how they see the future in an aspect of your industry niche
In combination with digital PR activity that can help to find opportunities along with ongoing media relations and building key relationships with target titles, journalists and editors, this approach can be a great way to boost ecommerce link building.
4. Working with the right bloggers and influencers
Links from paid partnerships (i.e. sponsored) might not be held in the same regard by search engines as links earned through editorial means, but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. Working with an influencer who aligns well with your target audience can bring the bonus of driving sales directly and building brand awareness with the right potential customers as well as some residual link benefit.
The world of influencer marketing sometimes gets misinterpreted as purely being a tool for social media influencers and vloggers and the potential SEO benefits get a bit forgotten. However, many influencers also have their own blog or website, and the term ‘influencer’ has become synonymous with a group of people that are by no means the only individuals who could influence your target audience. Anyone who has an influence on your market is an influencer, regardless of whether that’s the way they see themselves or not.
If your retail brand isn’t a natural fit for working with people who have appeared on Love Island, you absolutely shouldn’t automatically discount influencer marketing as a potential tactic to build links to your ecommerce site. Discovering which sites and individuals your audience are influenced by might surprise you! Tools like Sparktoro (which has a limited free version) can help you to find key audience insights like this.
Is there a podcast that lots of your audience listen to which also has a website? Looking a little outside of the normal box can open up new opportunities for your brand in this area.
As always with influencer marketing, the key is finding the right people to partner with to ensure that you achieve a ROI that can benefit your site’s organic visibility as well as brand profile.
Building the right kind of links to an ecommerce website is an ongoing process that is likely to take many different forms, including many that we haven’t even touched on in this post. The right link building activity for your brand site will depend on your niche, business goals, audience and budget, but with the assistance of an expert agency, we can pull all of the strands together to bring maximum results and return on your investment.
Get in touch with our team to find out more about how we can help with your Ecommerce SEO and link building strategy.