Linkbuilding is the cornerstone of an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. And for most websites, it’s pretty easy to attract the attention of other webmasters and earn links to build your credibility.
But linkbuilding works differently for ecommerce. The goal of your site is to give your company revenue by selling products. So you’re stuck with a problem.
To move product, you need traffic. To get traffic, you need strong SEO. And to get strong SEO, you need links.
So how do you start the process to selling more products? You use these methods to get links to your ecommerce website.
1. Ask a vendor
Vendors are easy targets when you want to score your first links to your site. You already have standing deals with them, and their link to you is mutually beneficial — they can sell more product by directing site visitors to you, and you show up more in Google searches.
If your vendor doesn’t like to link to you just to sell items, you can try a couple other ideas to convince them.
First, you can create a piece of content that directly relates to your industry. Since you’re selling their items, the content will also be relevant to your business. That means you can publish it first, then send it to your vendor, and ask if they want to publish it with a link to your site. This quid-pro-quo is a standard in linkbuilding, and since you already have an existing relationship with your vendors, it’s easier for your ecommerce company than most other websites.
Next, you can start a special deal on your vendor’s products that entices them to link to you. By offering customers a certain percentage off their purchase — or by obtaining permission to display products below minimum advertised pricing (MAP) — you can take a short-term hit to your own revenue in order to build links long-term.
Last, you can encourage your vendor to include a page on their website that lists all of their retailers, including yours. However, the downside to this method is that it equally benefits your competition, and that won’t give you the edge you need over them. But if you’re desperate for new links, this can be a last-ditch effort.
2. Interview big names in your industry
Interviews can work wonders for your business. If you can lock down a big name in your industry, you have the exclusive opportunity to be the platform that they use to talk about hot-button issues that matter to businesses like yours. The big question is how to get an interview in the first place.
Twitter is a great way to communicate with people, particularly public figures that aren’t accessible otherwise. Tweeting or messaging them to discuss their expertise is a win-win for you and the interviewee — they get publicity, and you get their name.
You can also hunt down the email addresses of popular figures. While it can be jarring to get an email from someone you don’t know out of the blue, an interview could be exactly what they want for their career right now.
Industry conventions are hot-beds of popular figures, too. The trick to getting someone’s attention in this situation is to somehow stand out — or luck out — so you can pitch the idea of an interview face-to-face.
Once you have your interviewee locked down, your questions should provoke new, interesting ideas from your subject so you can be the original source of in-demand information. Along those lines, biographical information usually makes poor interview material since popular figures almost always have bios on their websites. Instead, think about current issues in your industry, your interviewee’s expertise, and how they might work (or not work) together.
New companies in your industry, trends, strategies, and other ideas are all goldmines of information that people want to read, especially since so many industries are shifting in some way because of the Internet.
Does your interviewee have opinions on how the industry will change in the digital age? What about how conventional training and education prepares new workers to start their careers? Is there a major trend or problem that needs to be brought to light?
The key is to think about your interview a lot before it happens. Create questions, practice asking them in a mirror, and get ready to ask improvised follow-ups during the actual interview so you can get detailed, engaging content for your website that’ll get links.
3. Create infographics
Infographics are creative and engaging ways to display information that’s relevant to your business. They basically take information that you’d find in charts and use them with fun, eye-catching designs that are easy to read and understand.
While infographics themselves can vary wildly in topic, content, design, and structure, they all speak to their industry’s respective audiences. That’s the most important element of an infographic. If you create one that doesn’t resonate with your industry, you’re not getting the kind of customers (or links) that you need to succeed.
To get an idea for an infographic, think about the challenges or interesting facts that you’ve encountered at your business. If you can describe them and show some kind of data about them, you have a great idea for an infographic.
Once you have your topic, you need to research it thoroughly to make sure you have all the data and facts you need. This can take a lot of time, especially if you’re new to this kind of research, so it’s important not to rush this step. If you do, you risk the possibility for error, and infographics are supposed to be authoritative. When you publish one with an error, the whole piece becomes questionable.
After your research, it’s time to plan out the finished product. You can get ideas for infographic design by looking up infographics in your industry that succeeded before. Those will most likely have good topics, strong data, and an eye-catching design that works for it. For your infographic, you have to figure out what design works best for your topic.
When you’re ready with your infographic’s specifications, it’s time to send them to the designer. If you don’t have any in-house designers, you can contract a freelancer on one of the many freelance sites online. Just make sure you perform due diligence and look at all of a freelancer’s past work before you contract them.
The creation process can take several weeks, and you should send drafts back and forth with your designer to make sure you get the best possible product at the end. This infographic will be a representation of your business, and if its quality is sub-par, it’ll make your business look sub-par too.
Once your infographic is finally completed, publish it on your blog or on a separate page of your website. Then, promote it on social media and send it to blogs that are relevant to your industry. You can also email popular bloggers or figures in your industry to show them the piece so they can host it and link back to your site.
The more you build awareness and reach out, the more likely you’ll be to earn links to your site.
4. Cultivate brand ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are public spokespeople that don’t actively advertise your brand, but support it through social media, videos, and other forms of endorsement. YouTube is one of the most popular sources of brand ambassadors, where certain personalities leverage their viewership to obtain sponsorship from relevant companies. The ambassador then talks about the company in a normal, conversational tone, and the endorsement is similar to word-of-mouth support.
That kind of support is incredibly valuable to brands, especially start-ups, since word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of endorsement. It’s the same kind of recommendation that people get from their friends when they’re thinking of buying a new product, but it comes from an online or celebrity personality.
In terms of linkbuilding, brand advocates can add links to their own websites to help yours. They can also encourage bloggers and other personalities in your industry to link to you on your behalf. That gives you the extra links you need to keep building credibility online, and it also directs a portion of their traffic to you.
To get brand ambassadors, it’s a good idea to research and create a program that outlines exactly what’s expected of a participant and what they get in return. That way, you have minimal confusion or setbacks when your initiative starts.
Afterward, you can send press releases to talent agencies that tell them you need ambassadors. They’ll send you recommendations for spokespeople that fit your criteria, and you’ll vet them to see if they’re a good fit. Once you find the right ambassador, you can work out all the contractual information and move on from there.
While this sounds like a lot of work, the payoff of brand ambassadors can be huge. They’re not just good at getting you customers — they’re also good at turning customers into brand advocates.
Brand advocates are customers who are so impressed with your company or product that they recommend you to other potential customers. Again, this advertising method happens via word-of-mouth, so it’s trusted, and anyone with a website has a reason to link to you.
That extra business can pay for your brand ambassador program several times over. To make it happen, you just need to get the right ambassador for your company.
5. Buying guides
Buying guides are long and informative pieces of content that tell a reader everything they need to know to make a smart purchase. These guides are helpful in every industry, particularly ecommerce, since attracting new customers is what helps a business grow. And sometimes, those customers need to know the basics before they can proceed.
These of guides are intended to go into extreme detail, noting what makes certain products useful for different applications, and recommending specific products for different businesses. While it may feel like you’re giving away a lot of information for free, you can get a lot of value from just one buying guide.
First, these guides show that your company knows what it’s talking about, as opposed to being just another retailer. On top of that, you care enough about your customers to make sure that they make a good purchase the first time they buy. You’re not just a salesman — you’re a resource.
Next, a buying guide has the opportunity to rank in Google searches so you can target additional, high-value keywords with thorough content. Long content tends to rank better on search engines anyway, and when you can attack a valuable keyword with an enormous, reliable piece of content, you drastically increase the chances of qualified traffic finding your website.
Last, and most importantly, comprehensive guides can earn a lot of links from relevant sources. The idea is that you made a resource that is so impressive that bloggers and other figures in your industry want to share it with their readers as well. And once they do that, you get new links to your website.
The best part about buying guides is that they’ll stick around for as long as you want them. That means they can continue drawing traffic and links year after year, steadily growing your brand and improving your credibility.
And all it takes on your end is sitting down and writing some detailed, in-depth information on a topic you already know!
Find an agency that can help
If you’re working hard to keep your ecommerce company growing, then you may not have time for linkbuilding. That’s why we’ve created an honest list of all the agencies that we believe to be the best in the industry. At Ecommerce Best SEO, we’re dedicated to guiding you to agencies that’ll help your company achieve the growth you want. And if you have any questions, you can contact us now.
Are you ready to get more links to for your ecommerce business? Check out our list of the best SEO agencies to find one that’s right for you!