Link Building For E-commerce
PageRank is the patent that made Google one of the most successful startups to date. It works by analyzing the quantity and quality of links pointing to a website from other websites on the internet.
The idea behind PageRank is that references to sites indicate popularity and authority. In other words, the more links a site receives from others, the more authoritative it must be.
Today, Google’s PageRank algorithm has evolved way beyond that first version. It now considers aspects such as:
- Where backlinks are placed within a page
- Whether the linking page is relevant to the receiving one
- And examines the text surrounding the link to understand its context better
While there are many paid link building providers out there, paying for links is against Google’s guidelines. If you get caught, you might end up with a penalty that will seriously harm your organic traffic.
Luckily there are a few different ways to naturally attract backlinks to your e-commerce store. These are some of the main tactics to add to your link building strategy.
Journalists, writers, and bloggers like to link to reliable sources of information to make their content more authoritative. This is the idea behind resource pages: offering a comprehensive list of statistics and information about a topic that people can reference and link back to.
For example, a store selling clothes made from recycled plastic could publish resources, research and statistics about plastic waste. Even better, they could get contributions from influencers or create unique, proprietary data.
Working with influencers is a popular way to create demand in e-commerce. But collaborations are often not leveraged for SEO - even though they should be!
Creating unique content is a great way to stand out. This can be done by working with influencers or repurposing content from other platforms. For example, writing an article about an influencer's Youtube video. This will ensure that your content cannot be copied and will attract natural links.
Guest posting is a popular link-building method for SEO. The idea is to write a guest article for another site and include a link back to your site. This method is still effective, but the site you write for must be relevant to your business, and your article needs to be good.
Recently many guest writers have started outsourcing content to lower-skilled writers. Often also choosing topics that don’t matter to the site’s target audience. Don’t make this mistake!
HARO stands for "Help A Reporter Out". It's a free service that connects you with journalists who are researching a specific topic. You receive regular emails with topics so you can apply as a source.
The smartest way to leverage HARO is to apply when journalists are looking for practitioners in a space, e.g., e-commerce founders, or for data about relevant topics to your store.
Journalists looking for sources use these terms when they are looking for experts and sources. By following the hashtags #HARO or #JournoRequest on Twitter, you can find journalists that are looking for experts in your field.
Broken link building is the process of finding relevant sites that link out to broken resources and offering your own content as an alternative.
This is how it works step-by-step:
- Identify an important publication in your space.
- Use an SEO tool to scan links to other sites and find broken links.
- Use a service like the Wayback Machine to view the content of the broken link.
- Create a new piece of content that is relevant to the broken link's content.
- Pitch the new piece of content to the publication as a replacement for the broken link.
A popular link building method is reaching out to sites that mention your brand but don’t link to your site.
You can do this by using services such as Google Alerts, which is a free and effective tool that can be used to detect mentions of your brand across the web. You can create a daily or weekly alert to notify you when your brand is mentioned online. From there, you can contact the site's webmaster and ask them to include a link to your website in the content.
This can be a great way to get backlinks and more visibility for your brand.
Avoid asking for links on mentions that have been published months ago. This will make you look spammy, and the publication might even remove your brand mention entirely.
Content syndication involves publishing your content on your site and offering it out to other sites for them to publish as well. If they accept the offer, the other sites are requested to implement a canonical tag that links back to the original article on your site.
This enables other sites to constantly provide fresh content to their audience while allowing your site to rank higher with your own content in organic search.
The value of a canonical tag might not be as strong as a backlink, but it still has a positive SEO impact.
Remember: link building is still a fundamental aspect of SEO for e-commerce businesses, but it's not the only one. Having high-quality content, optimized product pages, and a user-friendly website that provides a positive user experience is essential.
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