Link-Building Steps for Your E-Commerce Site
If your e-commerce site is new to the world, then you likely don’t have a lot of backlinks. The pre-launch hype and buzz can get you started on the right track to link-building, but it won’t sustain you. When it comes to creating a fully optimized e-comm site that’s sure to get you at the very top of search results, you need to consider your link-building strategy that will attract the right websites to recommend your business.
Here are three basic principles to earning links for your e-commerce site that are effective and absolutely free.
#1: Make Sure Your Website is Presentable
If you’re meeting your girlfriend’s parents, you want to make a good impression, right? That means a suit, a shave and a bouquet for her mother. You want to look your best. And when her Chuck Norris-looking dad takes you aside and says that fatherly saying, “what are your intentions with my daughter,” you better make sure your answer is honest and respectful.
Before reaching out to reputable sites, make sure your e-commerce site is really ready to go. It sounds sort of obvious, but remember to check your site for spelling errors, broken links, exposed code, or unsightly design elements (e.g. pixellated images, bad graphics, etc.). The more presentable your website, the more legitimate you’ll seem. Your business model could be as straightforward as possible, but if your e-comm site is a mess, you’ll look really shady and won’t attract the right kind of sites.
Fact: It’s really easy to look less than legitimate if your site is full of obvious mistakes, overrun by ads and popups, and stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey with the same focus keyword. Authoritative sites won’t risk their reputation on you if your site seems only slightly crooked.
#2: Create Content That Other Sites Want to Promote
We know, we know. So far, we haven’t even asked you to approach other websites yet. But what’s the use of reaching out to authoritative sites if you don’t have a promotable website? In other words, create interesting, share-worthy and well-written content that is not only in-line with your brand but that is also bursting with useful, digestible and even entertaining information. Don’t just stand on a soap box hyperbolizing about all the ways your product is the best in the world. You won’t get any shares that way, and you’ll appear spammy and downright annoying. Rather, write content that educates and entertains. The more engaged your readers are, the more likely you’ll get shares and links.
For instance, if you’re selling refurbished vintage tractors (or something equally as random), you could write about anything related to tractors, such as farming philosophies, permaculture, seasonal projects, how-tos, etc. Your goals are to get the likes of Farm Hack and Farm Collector magazine to promote your content.
#3: All You Have to Do is Ask
The worst that can happen is that they’ll say no. Actually, the worst that can happen is that you won’t get any response at all and you’ll be left wondering for a few weeks if you should follow up with another email, and then a phone call, and maybe a shoutout on Twitter and possibly a candygram. The truth is, there are plenty of contacts with other businesses you’ve made along the way before even launching your website. Suppliers and manufacturers are an obvious first choice in link-building because you’ll likely get a positive response without trying too hard.
Once you’ve established these links and built up shareable content, why not go after bigger fish?
There are many ways to earn links:
- Guest blogging: Write a post on other websites in exchange for a few shoutouts to your company
- Product reviews and testimonials: Try out a product that complements your business and write a thoughtful, helpful review about it. Be transparent about who you are without being too obvious.
- Leave a comment: In order to be followed, you have to start following (and reading!) other blogs that are similar to your industry. Show your expertise by leaving a comment that actually says something real about the blog post you just read. Don’t just say, “great post, I really liked the part where you said x, y, z.” Don’t show how well you can regurgitate information. Rather, engage with the information. There are plenty of ways to show you know what you’re talking about that will inevitably leave other readers wanting to know more about you.
For more ideas on how to reach out to other sites, why not give this a good read: No Backlinks? 4 Tips to Earn Links for Your New Blog.
DO NOT BUY LINKS: In the early days of link-building, buying links was kind of acceptable. But now it’s not even worth it for two important reasons: when Google discovers your links were bought and not earned, your website will get punted down the rankings faster than you can say Spammy McSpamspam. And in terms of SEO, quality is more important than quantity. A few solid links from reputable, authoritative websites is worth a lot more to you than hundreds of backlinks from a link farm.
Have You Completed the E-Commerce Link-Building Basics?
This blog post represents only the beginning of backlinking. There are many link-building strategies to boost your SEO, both on and off–page. Before getting into anything more complex, make sure you understand these fundamentals. Link-building is just another way of saying relationship-building. You won’t get very far in your link-building if you don’t make yourself known to the right people.
Is your e-commerce site failing to reach the top of search result pages? Have you considered hiring a professional branding and web design team to revamp and reinvigorate your website? Contact Awkward Media to find out how you can boost your visibility and improve your sales today.