5 Safe Link-Building Strategies for eCommerce Sites in 2017
Link-building for eCommerce websites comes with its unique set of challenges. That’s because most website owners don’t want to link to pages that sell stuff (not for free, at least). Your goal should be to convince website owners that you are selling more than a product and that your store is worth promoting. With a little imagination and a lot of hard work you can surely come up with a cohesive and long-term link building strategy.
Whether you are trying to build links for your own eCommerce site, or aiming to increase search engine visibility as part of your marketing campaign, here are a few things that you should focus when it comes to link-building for Ecommerce sites:
- – Focus on a natural link profile. This has become more important than ever before because Penguin 4.0 has become part of the core algo.
- – Overcome the commercial aspect of having a site that sells products linked from a normal blog or page.
- – Winning over hyper-competitive niches.
Ecommerce link building is worth the investment, especially considering that the Census report indicates that revenues are growing quarter after quarter. All you need to do is tap into that infinite potential. In order to propel your website on search engine rankings you should consider one of the following high-quality link-building strategies.
#1. Build Links with Mentions
Mention.net is an alternative to Google Alerts. It is an excellent option for retailers who are trying to monitor their brand online. But can it be used for link building? Definitely!
Let’s take a look at how you can use Mention to create great links.
First of all, you have to go to the home-page and register for a free trial. Click the “Request a demo“ button. You can create a new account or connect with your Twitter, Google, or Facebook profile.
If you are signing up with an already existing account you have to share an email address. The next step is choosing how to use mention (on Windows, iPhone, Android or Chrome extension). I use the web-based tool.
You have a few spaces to fill out here. If you are focusing on link-building for English websites you should only turn on the English language. In addition to this, you should name your Alert and type in the keyword that you want to monitor. For brands, the tool generally recognizes the website URL and social profiles.
The next step is to manage and filter your sources. Mention will enable you to choose what type of alerts you want to receive (web, Facebook, Twitter, News, Blogs, videos, forums, images etc.). While we are not arguing the usefulness of social links, for the purposes of link-building for eCommerce you might want to turn Twitter and Facebook mentions off. Also, Forums and Video links are usually no-follow, so you won’t want to monitor those either.
Now you are left with News, Blogs, Images and Web. These are all great resources that you want to link to. In this step you also have an option for “Priority inbox” (this feature flags mentions that are considered important or influential). The anti-noise technology feature will automatically remove mentions similar to the ones you have already erased.
Every time a new mention appears, the software will let you know with a notification. What you have to do now is check out the websites and blogs that are mentioning your brand name or products. Some might automatically link to you, which is great, but others will only mention you without linking. In this case, you can send a polite email in which you ask them to link back to your website.
If you write a thoughtful message, that doesn’t feel pushy, you have great chances of getting the link. That’s is because the website mentioning you already knows who you are, and since it is recommending you in an article, it probably trusts your services.
From the menu on the right you can chose plenty of options that will filter your results according to priority, favorites, unread etc. On the middle of the screen you can see all your mentions, and on the right you will have a preview of the page which contains the mention. This is a great feature which will save you from the effort of having to visit the page.
Another feature that will help with your link-building campaign is the Dashboard, where you can check out average mentions per day and other interesting stats.
#2. Reverse-Engineer Competition
One of the most effective link-building for eCommerce strategies is reverse-engineering your competition. What exactly does this mean? Basically, you will be checking out the top Ecommerce sites in your industry. Let’s say you are selling handmade jewelry. Open Google and type in “buy handmade jewelry”. Check out the top results. Pick one eCommerce store that is ranking well for this keyword. Alternatively, you can use Ahref’s “Top Content” feature to find highly shared & linked to content in your niche.
The next step would be to copy their domain name and paste it into a link analysis tool like Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer or Majestic. Wait for links to appear, and click on the external tab. You will see all the external links which are pointing to that website.
All you have to do now is to check all these links manually and see if there are any opportunities for your store. For example, you may find a resource page for homemade jewelry that links out to online stores. If they have already linked out to one online store, why wouldn’t they also link out to you? Reach out to that person and let him/her know about your Ecommerce site. This research technique will also help you find guest-post opportunities that you can replicate.
While it is true that checking links manually takes time, at least you know that you are trying to connect with people that have already linked to Ecommerce stores in the past, so your chances of success are higher.
Pro Tip: Persuading webmasters to link to a new site can be difficult. This is why you need to provide something of value in return. Instead of trying to link to your product and service pages, why not create a great resource that people will actually want to link to. These resources are known as linkable assets.
Here are a few examples of sites that have created great linkable assets:
- Nightwalk showcases the most impressive use of Google Maps I have ever come across. The site’s home-page becomes an immersive experience for visitors.
- The Guardian created an impressive interactive chart with gun laws by state.
- Wireseek offers a map of internet & TV providers organized by ZIP code. This map allows users to quickly compare different providers and choose the best option for their state.
- Finally, David Breston create an interactive map that shows the taxpayer’s cost for prisons across the United States.
These are only a few examples of linkable assets that have the potential to become viral and attract organic links.
#3. Encourage Links from Product Manufacturers
Another strategy you could use is obtaining links from product manufacturers. Let’s say you own an online store where you sell authorized brand products. For the purpose of this article we will choose TaylorMade and adidas Gold products. What you have to do is type in “adidas” + “authorized online retailers” in Google. This will take you to resource pages that list authorized online retailers.
Click on a relevant result and check to see if the authorized retailers listed on the resource lists have received do-follow links. Resource lists like this may be found on official websites, micro-sites or other blogs. Check the Domain authority and Page rank of the page, and if it matches your expectations send an email to the webmaster. Politely ask to be included in the list.
How to ensure that you are included in the list:
Obviously, not all websites make it on the list, so there are a few basic criteria that you should meet:
- The first and most important thing would be to have a good looking, user-friendly website.
- Before shooting the email you should make sure that you have the specific product on your home-page or in a dedicated category.
- Let the manufacturer know that you are selling and recommending their products. This way, they will be more willing to give you a link back.
#4. Ask Bloggers to Review your Products
Reviews from bloggers also represent an organic and safe way of obtaining links for eCommerce sites. Although this technique is time-consuming, it can help you create some great links. In addition to this, having your products reviewed by honest bloggers (from relevant sites), will most likely generate decent amounts of referral traffic. Referral visitors are more likely to convert.
To make this work you have to reach out to bloggers, offer them free products, and kindly ask for a review. Search for blogs in your niche by googling your focused keywords. Take a look at the top 50 results and see if any of them would be a good fit for a review.
To make the process more time-efficient you can use a great website called www.tomoson.com. Instead of going through blogs one by one, you can find bloggers willing to review your products here. Tomoson is basically the dating site of retailers.
Create your account (you can also register with your social profiles), go to “+” sign on your left side-bar, hover over “Create promotion” and fill out all the relevant fields. From the menu you can give details about your products, promotions category, tags etc. You can even filter out bloggers according to social media stats and Google Analytics integration.
Your Review Request will look something like this:
Now all you have to do is wait for bloggers to apply for your gig. The great thing with this platform is the fact that you can also share specific guidelines with bloggers. For example, you can tell them what type of links you want to appear in the review, and what type of anchors you prefer.
#5. Create eDu Links with Employee Discounts
The last link-building strategy for eCommerce sites that will help you create powerful eDu links is employee discounts. Please keep in mind that this strategy isn’t a guaranteed success. What you need to do is go to Google and use the following search string:”site: .edu “employee discounts” or “site: .edu “student discounts”.
You will mostly receive employee discounts and incentives pages. For example, New York City Department of Education staff receives discounts from different companies that get their own do-follow link. These links are extremely valuable because they are .edu. Even commercial websites can get a nice link by offering a discount.
Simply find out who runs the page, and contact them. Mention that you are happy to offer a 10% discount to all members of the department and use a coupon code or special page to offer the discount in the future. They will link to your website or homepage just like that.
Remember that this is an extremely powerful link!
This concludes our tutorial about Ecommerce website link building. As long as you remain active on Mention.net, actively try to reach out to bloggers for reviews and offer free stuff and discounts on .eDu sites, you will create extremely valuable links.
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I am a 24-year-old architecture student, casual gamer and senior copywriter for DigitalWebProperties. I have always been fascinated with the ever-changing world of SEO, social media, content creation and marketing. Together with my team I devise content plans and strategies for sustainable website growth. My goal is to create useful content (that I will always be proud of) and to connect with like-minded people - like you :)! For more of my random musings you can find me on Twitter.Read Full Bio