Capturing shoppers in the right place at the right time has been key for brick-and-mortar stores since the dawn of the marketplace. So, how do you catch those same shoppers willing to spend money when you sell the majority of your products online?
The answer: link building.
Like with anything related to drawing people to your website, you’ll want to organize your eCommerce store or platform in ways that search engines appreciate and will rank higher than your competition. Here’s how to do it.
What is eCommerce link building?
Before we begin, let’s clear up what we mean by link building and how it’s slightly different from the rest of your SEO strategy.
Links play an underappreciated, yet vital role in SEO for eCommerce websites—sometimes contributing more than 50% to your website’s success, according to SEO Auditing Platform, ContentKing. However, you may feel like you have little control over your product links versus other links on your site, such as blogs or FAQs. The key is to have a strategy that works with these challenges, rather than against them.
The first stage is to start working on your “link building”, otherwise known as obtaining backlinks that work to get your eCommerce site more well known on the internet. Authority, relevancy, and trust are three huge pillars to SEO, and nothing gets you more of each than having quality backlinks.
eCommerce Link Building in 3 Easy Steps
First, let’s talk about what you can do right now to get started. Open up a blank document and start answering these questions to see how much work you have ahead of you.
- How is my website already optimized for SEO?
- What marketing collateral is in place to share with my shoppers?
- What types of discounts or freebies am I able to offer?
- How diverse are the strengths and capabilities of my marketing team?
If you have detailed responses to each question, you’re already on the right track. If not, we can help you get there by following these 3 steps.
#1. Use a Few eCommerce Link Building Tactics on Your Own Website
Backlinking isn’t just about how many external websites link to your products or services. You can also rank higher in search engines simply by building out your website to include quality content and marketing collateral that leads to your store.
Whether you’re building an eCommerce website from scratch or you already have one in place, here are some pages you can optimize right now as part of your link building strategy:
- Blogs. The classic web log still reigns supreme when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Blogs offer a rich playground for keywords, meta titles and descriptions, header tags—pretty much everything on your SEO checklist. Include plenty of links to your store throughout to convert your prospects to customers. If your content is interesting enough, you’ll start to see a huge lift in your organic traffic from people willingly sharing your links.
- FAQ Pages. Not only will your customers and site visitors appreciate you taking this step, but search engines will as well. FAQ pages offer a great opportunity to fill your website with long-tail keywords that are often framed as the questions people are asking online.
- Additional Marketing Collateral. Do you have any advanced resources beyond your blogs or FAQs? Things like interviews with subject matter experts on your product or category, infographics, case studies, catalogs or magazines, or an email newsletter subscription? Consider advertising these on their own special pages and link to your products throughout. Additionally, the more unique your collateral is, the more opportunities you’ll create for other sites to link to you.
#2. Offer eCommerce Coupon Codes or Giveaways Backed by Research
Shoppers continue to hunt for deals—over 90 percent, in fact, according to this Inc. study. And deals still do more than just leave money in a consumer’s pocket; they make your customers feel smart, build a positive link with your brand, and provide opportunities for more social sharing. As an online shop operator, you likely know this already; now, how do you apply it to your eCommerce link building strategy?
Hopefully, you’ve already done some research and split testing to find the optimal discounts for your store size and product pricing. Now the time has come to advertise your offer and drive more traffic to your eCommerce website. You can do this by:
- Creating an affiliate program offering discounts to online “influencers” who promote your product
- Working with websites like RetailMeNot, Honey, and Ebates to grab the eyes of some hungry deal hunters
- Offer limited-time giveaways during busy retail seasons (even better if you can carry one out through a partnership to expand your network)
Providing discounts and freebies to consumers is a time-honored tradition of marketers everywhere—but you don’t want these efforts and the revenue you’ve sacrificed to go to waste. Build them into your link building strategy for some impressive long-term success.
#3. Hire Talented Marketing Professionals for Research & Outreach
The size of your marketing team is not as important as having highly-talented individuals, each with their own strengths, who can seize every opportunity when it comes to eCommerce link building. These can be full-time team members, or you could consider contractors who can tackle your most pressing needs.
Consider looking for these core talents to build the most successful team possible right now:
- An SEO strategist who can do everything from exploring unlinked brand mentions on popular listicles and product research websites to optimizing your links’ origin, target, anchor text, and attributes
- An outreach specialist who is great at soliciting or pitching to influencers, bloggers, new partnerships, and more to start generating more backlinks to your products
- A content writer who is not only willing and available to fill your website with blogs and page content, but who can write guest posts
Choose Brandography for Help with Your eCommerce Link Building
Executing the proper eCommerce link building strategy can be a delicate dance; if you don’t do it exactly right, you could wind up with a bunch of useless links on websites that aren’t driving traffic your way. Sometimes, bringing in the experts is the smartest choice.
We have a team at Brandography that’s ready to act on your behalf. We’ll get your eCommerce store up and running and start the traffic flowing through smart SEO tactics that include both optimization of your current collateral and new marketing efforts.
Of course, if you’d like to use us to enact a comprehensive marketing plan, we’re game for that, too. Check out our blog as well as a few case studies to learn more about what we can offer you. Reach out as soon as you’re ready to learn more!