A solid backlinking strategy has been always been considered as an essential part of any search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, even for online businesses. They aid in increasing your ecommerce store’s visibility and searchability, which then puts you in a better position or rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, building backlinks can also be a time-consuming endeavour. You cannot implement a successful backlinking strategy in a day, and those who say that they can are either pulling your leg or engaged in black hat SEO techniques (Hint: A hundred backlinks from irrelevant sites in a day will automatically alert Google and get your ecommerce site banned).
There are many ways to get backlinks to your online store, and while some may require a reasonable amount of cash, some come free of charge.
Focus on Improving Customer Experience
This is probably the most important part of any successful backlinking strategy. Nobody wants to link back to an online store with a poorly designed interface and sells low quality items. Even more, online customers don’t like online stores with terrible customer service. All these are essential in improving customer experience, and giving such experience to online shoppers increases the chance of them linking back to your online store and promoting your business.
Leverage Business Relationships
You can also turn to your business partners for some relevant and juicy backlinks. Ask your supplier to mention and provide a link to your online store as an “Authorized Retailer” in their websites. You can also ask related but non-competing stores for some reciprocal links. For example, if you are selling laptops, you can reach out to online stores that sell laptop bags and other accessories which are not part of your inventory.
Create a Blog with Awesome Content
Blogs in ecommerce stores are very important, since they allow you to post regular and fresh content which both search engines and humans love. Write entertaining and informative blog posts and try to avoid constant product promotion. When people enjoy reading your blog posts, you can be sure that they will share it with others with a link back to your site.
Be on the Lookout for Brand Mentions
It’s great when people mention your online store to their friends, family and even followers in social media. However, most of the time, they often forget to hyperlink their anchor texts back to your online store, which may be good for promotion but not for backlinks. Thus, use Mention (there’s a free and paid plan) to look for any “mention” of your brand. When you find the person behind it, send them a thank you note for mentioning you, and ask them to link back to your site politely.
Everybody is on social media nowadays, especially online shoppers. Using your social media platform of choice, you can connect to these people with relevant posts with a link back to your site. You can also join groups and communities in these social networking sites, where they will allow you to promote your items and online store. Be sure to have the “connect with…” feature aside from the usual “likes” and “shares”.
You can also get relevant forums, blogs or even in Yahoo! Answers and other similar sites by being helpful and answering questions. You can provide a brief but compelling answer and a link back to your ecommerce blog for a more detailed explanation. However, be wary of linking to forums. Be sure to choose only those which are relevant to your line of business.
Get Listed in Directories
Some of the most popular backlinking strategies always make use of web directories. However, some web directories can be very picky when it comes to choosing websites to include in them. Thus, be sure that your website is ready before making submissions. There are paid and free web directories that accept submissions, some of which can be found in clambr.com.
Submit Press Releases
Submitting a press release in sites is another way of getting your online store mentioned and linked back to. There have been some debate about whether this is truly effective or not, and so you may want to conduct tests first before actually spending some money on press releases (PRWeb charges a heavy $90 more depending on the circumstances). There are free press release sites though where you can dip your toes and experiment.
Create and Affiliate Program
Another way of getting backlinks is by having an affiliate program for your stores like what Amazon Affiliate Program. Here affiliates will review your products, promote them on their websites and earn a commission when a sale is made. The great part is that when they review your products, they have to link back to your online store in order to get their commission. In addition to generating back links, you also get extra marketing help, and improve your product image as well.
Run a Contest
Contests are very popular nowadays, especially in social media. If you want to be able to promote your website and get others to do it, then running a contest in these platforms is one of your best bets. When you have a great contest with an equally great price, you can be sure that it will be shared and linked to by many eager social media users.
Creating high-quality and relevant backlinks to your online store takes a great deal of time and effort. However, this is the only way to generate enough backlinks without having your website banned. Thus, take heart, work hard and be patient. When you employ the above mentioned tactics, you will soon see your number of backlinks increase – along with your ranking and of course, profits.