Being a merchant online has its own set of demands that need to be met to attract and maintain potential customers. Some people can’t do the digital tricks themselves, so they hire experts to help them. Others believe that their expertise is enough for them to achieve their goals. Whatever the case, the purpose of ecommerce websites remains the same, and link building is still the key. According to Kissmetrics, 30 percent of all traffic to an ecommerce site comes from search engines, so it is impossible for ecommerce to thrive without the help of search engine optimization.
Do links that take people to your ecommerce page really make a difference? Many sellers ask this question when consulting with a professional. The question makes every bit of sense, but the answer makes more sense: in the digital world that operates on a single click, who wouldn’t want to buy what they want ASAP when they read about it? Take into account the example of the new iPhone 7. If you read a great review about it and its accessories online, and you see the price is reasonable, won’t you just love to be forwarded to the page that takes iPhone orders and ships them to your house with one click? That is how important links are. If you are using the correct methods, the process is clever and efficient.
Let’s look at some simple tips, including link building techniques, to get traffic to your pages:
Guest Posting/article submission/product reviews
Guest posting is, no doubt, a great way to build some genuine links with contextual meaning. It will get you some real back links on your ecommerce store and give you command over what pages you want to link to. You just need to know your target audience – those who would want to read about what you offer. It will be easy if you sell something that everyone needs, like a mobile phone charger. But what if you offer products that aren’t popular and not easy to post about, like children’s wooden toys? Well, you find a community that needs them, and write about it there.
You don’t have to write all about how great your product is. You can do it by making simple listicle-type posts that say ‘developmental toys for your young one’ or ‘simple toys for your baby,’ and create one or two links to your page.
Always remember one thing: when you are writing a guest post about your product, never blow your trumpet to a point that all you do is add links to your own product.
Add a few links for other business that sell the same product so that the reader/customer knows you are a credible source to follow. Google also deems such posts credible because the posts don’t look like spam and have genuine value to offer to readers. Andrew Youderian of Shopify has some solid tips to help you with sorting out guest posting.
Make interesting content
Having interesting content on your ecommerce website means having useful links at your doorstep. The content creation bubble of today is only getting bigger. While you are reading this, many dental sites are being advised by SEO specialists to add dental infographics and related content on their website. About 3.8 million articles exist on flossing teeth alone! Not to mention the 2 million how-to videos.
Dental isn’t ecommerce, but you get the point: competition is tougher than ever. The key to good links is a really cool website that is free of clutter, ads and boring content copied from stock photos.
Make sure each product has a specific page. Website design and content have a huge impact on a viewer’s mind. You can run a test on your site to see how it is doing.
Research your competitors
Enter your competitor’s website to Open Site Explorer or Majestic SEO’s link tools. You will receive a full analysis of where they are getting links from and new ideas you can implement into your site.
You will need your uniqueness and content to rank better than theirs. By analyzing your competitor’s link profile, you won’t be starting from scratch. Do not add low quality links or spammy websites to your content; this isn’t good practice.
If your competitor is using the wrong means, do not copy them. It will be just a matter of time before you outrank them. You can also try Ahrefs and plug in your competitor’s site. Another tip is to not just see direct competitors, but indirect competitors. For example, if you sell flowers, you also see people who are selling vases – just to have an aerial view of things.
Linkout, Interlink and make it easy to get linked
If you want people to link to you, make it easy for them to do so. Make HTML-ready snippets that people can inject in their content to link to your pages. Some linkers are not too web savvy, so this way you will make it easier for them. You can create a little ‘Link to us’ page by adding an HTML at the end of each post.
Linking out, on the other hand, is a bit tricky, because obviously it can turn you into a link hoard. In general, you need to have something to gain in order to link out. It is advisable to consult a specialist or conduct thorough research to be able to get links.
As an ecommerce site, you have many pages and posts on your site, so make use of them. Internal links are a big deal because you can control each thing about them, from the anchor text to the location on page.
According to PointBlankSEO:
If you’re thinking about using a CMS plugin that automatically hyperlinks a certain word every time it appears on your website (i.e. like Wikipedia does), I’d suggest refraining from doing so unless you’re a relatively big brand or if it makes complete sense from a UX perspective. Instead, go through all of your content that’s been previously published, and if you’ve got more detailed content written on subjects that you briefly go over in your posts, then link in that context where it makes sense. But make sure you consistently mix it up from an anchor perspective.
Create a blog and make relationships
Creating a blog is very useful because you are generating content on a regular basis. That is good for building healthy links because you can put links in your content. It gives users a natural ability to link to your content. Having your own blog is an effective way to create all the content and links that you would give anything to feature in someone else’s platform.
Read some excellent tips provided by problogger to get started on blogging for link building. Blogs are an indirect portrayal of the personality of your store. They can help you build strong relationships with your customers and new visitors. Those good relationships turn into links – both good and bad ones.
- Do random acts of kindness. That may sound cliché, but in business terms you may be surprised by the results. It may not always backtrack. Kindness can turn into long lasting relationships.
- Really care about people. Provide solutions. Walmart has an active Twitter service where they reply to each and every person who asks a question via tweets. Be it housekeeping or a trouble in aisles, the personnel always reply and make you feel heard.
- If someone is conducting a survey, participate. It may result in some good links.
- Plan meet-ups. If you live in a big city, you have no reason to brush this aside. Invite people to meet under the umbrella of your business and then attract that traffic on your site. Try this site to hold a meet-up.
- Answer questions. Quora is a very good site to be heard and talked about. You can answer someone’s query on Quora to get healthy links back in your site. Many social media channels actually serve the same purpose.
The reason behind building relations is that we are all humans and many natural instincts bind us together. It will always pay off if you put a little human element into whatever you do.
Submit your links
There are countless places on the internet where you can build links by submission. You can submit links to your site, a product page, a piece of content or anything with a link. Check them out below:
- Widget directories
Many widget directories don’t give you a direct link, but you can do some serious link building with them by having a link somewhere in your widget. The link can get in front of a large audience and, in doing so, some will be embedded (you earn a few links). Try gadgetsdirectory here.
- Web cam directories
If you set up a Webcam, you can get some high-quality links. You don’t have to set it at Times Square; it can be set anywhere. Just make sure you set it up somewhere awesome to attract a few links. Try the PR6 directory, which is a high-quality directory.
- Web 2.0 submission
If you run a tool or an application online, you can get links for it. If you haven’t thought about it, building one can get you links via linkbait. Check out Go2 Web20 and hit ‘suggest an app’ to submit.
- Video submission
If you have video content, then that hard work deserves some good links. Check out this list of sites. Just to forewarn you, many sites don’t provide a ‘follow’ and add the links in the description. If you want to submit videos on a large scale, try OneLoad. It is a paid service, but it is very effective.
You can try Vimeo, too, for effective service and a large audience.
- User ratings
- RSS Directories
If you have an RSS feed, you can submit to RSS directories. There are so many of them. They will not provide you a direct follow to your feed, but they will provide link juice to your RSS feed which links to any content you posted. Try Feedage by making an account here.
- Theme directories
Designing WordPress themes can also get you a good number of links. You can host the download page on your site and get links straight in your yard through this. If it is a WordPress theme, you can submit to the WordPress theme directory here. It will give you high-quality, no-follow links and some good exposure.
If you have a theme to submit, make sure you add a link in it, because sometimes that will be the only way you will get a link back. Popular locations are the footers and sidebars.
- Press release submission
By submitting press releases to syndication sites, you can get links if you add some to the body of the press release. This is an age-old tactic that is often full of spam links, so experts suggest that you only add one link. The anchor text of that link should be the URL of your domain. If done correctly, maybe a few journalists will pick it up and talk about it. Packages start at $129 at the PR Newswire. Check it out here.
- Podcast directories
If you run a podcast, you can list up on a few podcast directories. Try the podcast directory here.
- Paid directories
Some directories charge money to accept listings. Some of them are valuable, while others are just a waste of time and cash.
- Non-English directories
If you have created a site in multiple languages, you can add your site to non-English site directories. Try Hello Dir (Italian).
The tips provided above are not written in stone. You know what’s best for the nature of your business. Try to be active online, and keep learning and adapting to new trends. Learn a lot during the process so that you are aware of Google algorithms. One bonus tip is to be active on Google+ and post there. The tech people are still measuring its significance, but for now, if you make a G+ account and get followers, it will skyrocket your site on the search engines.