Link building, the process of obtaining links from other websites, improves search engine rankings and traffic, ultimately generating more sales for your business.
Link building is one of the tasks that a business has to do repeatedly for search engine optimization. But e-commerce sites often struggle with the practice. This is especially true for links to product detail pages.
It is still necessary work.
In this article, I will outline several link building tactics for eCommerce SEO. While none of these are particularly easy, they can be effective.
Outreach to bloggers
In blogger outreach, you reach out to micro-influencers and encourage them to create content that will link to your product detail pages or other resources on your domain.
“Awareness fundamentally involves an exchange of value,” said Rand Fishkin in a Moz video. “As you go out and try to earn a link from someone directly through link spreading, through that one-on-one relationship…if you’re not providing value, if you’re just asking for something, your success rate is going to be extremely low.
“Value can be a whole lot of different things. Value could be in the ego it boosts. It could be in the problems it helps solve. It could be in the form of what you’ve given them in exchange. Lots of things.”
Specifically, Fishkin – who, by the way, left Moz and will soon be launching SparkToroan audience-building tool – and other optimization pros recommend relevant searches, unique visuals like infographics or videos, embedded and interactive content, and even access to data through a application programming interface.
Here is a scenario. Imagine an online store that sells coffee, tea and related products. This magazine could produce a study describing the quality of life of workers in the coffee and tea industry around the world. The report could highlight how these industries are having a positive impact in various regions and even associate these regions with the products sold.
Many bloggers (and even a few media outlets) may be willing to produce content around the study and link to the data and even some of the products mentioned because of their value.
So, the scope of link building is closely tied to your content marketing efforts. In content marketing, you create, publish, and distribute content with the goal of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers.
Link building outreach can be a form of content distribution. Any link-worthy article you produce, any useful video you make, and any research you invest in can become a valuable source of awareness for your blogger.
Creation of broken links
“I’ve mentioned many times before that I love broken link building because the success of the campaign is directly proportional to the good you do for the web,” Moz’s Russ Jones wrote in an article from 2014. “You don’t attract links unless you fix them.”
With this technique, you will prospect, create content, and contact site owners in a manner similar to what was described in the previous section.
Along the way, as Jones points out, you’ll help websites remove dead links and improve their user experience.
In the prospecting phase, look for authoritative pages that rank for topics or keyword phrases important to your e-commerce business. Develop a list of pages and test them for broken links using tools such as the W3C Link Checker, dead link checkeror PowerMapper SortSite.
Once you identify a broken link, create content that answers the same questions or provides the same value as the original source.
Finally, contact the owner or manager of the website. Let her know about the broken link and suggest your new resource.
Help a journalist get out
Help a journalist get out is an online service to connect journalists with industry experts in every field imaginable.
Consider registering with HARO as an industry expert. You’ll be notified when a reporter needs help on a related topic, and you can become a source for all published articles. Having your name and business mentioned in an article does not guarantee a link every time. When it does, however, it can be a very valuable link, since outlets such as ABC, Reuters, Mashable, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal all use HARO to help find sources.
Mentions of your business (in a positive way) on other websites or social media can help promote your store and can send curious shoppers to you.
When you find a mention of your business that does not link to your website, simply contact the site owner, thank them for the mention, and ask if they would like to insert a link.