Link building is one of the most important parts of SEO because search engines give more weight to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks. Since e-commerce is on the rise and there is no sign of it dying down any time soon, e-commerce businesses need ample customers and traffic to become successful; this is where link building plays a vital role in various online shopping companies. The more links are spread out, the higher the chance of being seen and clicked.

If you are an online store owner, it’s high time to focus on creative link building strategies that will provide you with visibility and better search engine rankings. eCommerce link building is difficult because there are some unique challenges for you to face ahead. These are – dealing with highly-competitive niches, being too unnatural for search engines, and commercial connotations as nobody wants to link to a page that sells products.

To build effective links, you must always have relevancy and usefulness to user experience in mind. You have to be creative and learn to think out of the box because link building doesn’t mean acquiring any type of links, but those that come from high authority and trusted websites. According to SEMrush Ranking Factors Study 2017, websites that feature on the first page of Google have 2.2 times more quality backlinks than those websites that feature of the second page. Link building is highly influential.

Here are some powerful link building strategies for your e-commerce business:

1: Conduct competitors’ backlink analysis

Before embarking on a solid link building journey, it is important to understand your existing links and thorough information about your competitors’ links as well. Start reviewing websites that are in your industry as they share an audience similar to yours. This research helps you assess your competitors’ website performance, the number of backlinks, and domain authority. Backlink analysis also shows you all the links that search engines are taking into consideration, thereby giving you better insight into your site’s ability to rank well. It also helps you identify the bad links.

The following tips will help you conduct a useful backlink analysis of your competitors:

  • Choose the sites that you have to analyze

Conduct a keyword search on Google for which you want to rank. Use your target keywords and look for the sites that rank for them. From there, you can identify possible competitors, and these are the sites that you have to outrank. Also, observe the competitors that rank on the first two search engine result pages. Now search them on Google AdWords Keyword Planner to figure out which keywords they rank with.

Image result for google adwords keyword planner

  • Select a right backlink analysis tool

Using proper tools can help you get the necessary information about your website as well as your competitors. However, some tools work better some may not. So if you want to use these tools more effectively, the premium version would be helpful. The fact is nowadays backlink analysis tools are becoming premium because it’s the only to find competitors’ backlinks. Some of the widely used backlink tools are SEMrush, AhRefs, CognitiveSEO, MajesticSEO, etc.

For example, SEMrush’s backlink tool provides a list of main organic competitors:

Image result for SEMrush list of organic competitors

  • Monitor the results

You also have to track whether your efforts are paying off because, at the end of the day, your goal is to stay ahead of your competitors in the SEO game. To step up your monitoring, track your organic visibility and rankings for your main keywords, especially the data in your Google Analytics. Dealing the local competition is equally important, so take care of your local listings and make sure they are always up to date.

2: Video marketing can give you an edge

Visual storytelling is increasingly becoming an excellent marketing tool, and as an eCommerce business owner, you should seriously consider placing videos to get quality links to your site. For example, in-depth instructional videos or emotional stories can breathe life to your brand’s products. A highly engaging video marketing enables you to create myriad content types for your target audience. For example, you can create educational how-tos, humorous narratives, or a situational comedy. Let’s say your online store is selling the latest gadgets; then you can create a fun video like “How your smartphone can help you win people’s hearts.” The point is that smart use of videos can tremendously boost your link building efforts.

According to the Cisco VNI forecast, internet video will account for 82% of global Internet traffic by 2020 – up from 63% in 2015.

Image result for Cisco VNI forecast, internet video will account for 82% of global Internet

That means you have to emphasize more on creating engaging videos that people love to watch. Given this, video infographics could be a silver bullet concerning maximizing your link building efforts. An excellent way to start is to convert an already existing infographic into a fun short video with the help of an animator. That way your already created content gets a new lease of life. Also, consider linking to other, related videos to keep the user who wants more as engaged as possible.

3: Guest blogging is still very powerful

Guest blogging is a tried and tested technique and is one of the best ways to get relevant backlinks from highly trusted sites. It remains an organic way to improve traffic, subscriber base as well as building authority in your niche. Recently, Moz surveyed to see if marketers still use guest posting, 90% of respondents accepted that it is still an effective weapon in their arsenal. When you write a highly informative post for a website, you are providing them with something of great value. In return, you earn links from them but you have to use a desired anchor text. In addition to links, guest blogging gives you an opportunity to reach a new audience that isn’t familiar with your brand.

The following HubSpot graph shows the impact of blog posts on inbound leads by comparing B2B and B2C:

Image result for guest posting graphs

If you have a solid guest posting strategy in place, you can invariably improve your brand awareness and SEO authority. For guest posting to work, you have to be careful to find blogs that are targeting the same audience as you want to. After that, you have to research valuable topics that go down well with the audience. It is even better if you provide actionable takeaways through your content. Sometimes writing great content is not sufficient, you have to find ways to make your content visible. Thus, creating perfect e-commerce meta tags can help improve your ranking in search engines along with increasing quality traffic to your website.

4: Connect with influencers and consumer review sites

Today influencer marketing has become a powerful strategy for promoting products or services by partnering with popular social media social media personalities or bloggers. It’s an effective strategy because influencers have a huge, engaged audience that can build credibility; this is the reason influencers, authority bloggers, and consumer reviews are essential players in the eCommerce industry.

According to a survey conducted by Nielsen, influencer content is 88% more valuable than branded content for building brand awareness. Also, as per a report from Tomoson, Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, beating organic search, paid search and email marketing. 

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Consumers are increasingly using blogs and review sites to compare and decide on which products to purchase. What social influencers do is create conversations and excitement about specific products. Thus, it leads to more reviews, mentions, and purchases. Influencers can easily create more organic content about your brand, which means there are more opportunities for your brand to rank on search engine results. However, before reaching out to proper influencers, you have to define which audience you want to target with your products or services. It will determine who you should target for your backlinks. After identifying your audience, find influencers and review sites that share the same audience. Then craft a message that effectively pitches your business to your target influencer, blogger, or reviewer.

5: Build partnerships with parallel product retailers

It’s time to leverage partnership based link building model for your business. When you collaborate with other companies in your industry who aren’t your direct competitors, it provides a real push to your rankings. You can use Open Site Explorer to figure out those backlinks of your competitors that require linking partners. Though these links are hard to achieve, they can make a huge difference in your link building strategy.

The best part of this relationship is your potential partners have already built an audience base that’s similar to yours. A partnership will enable you to tap this large pool, thereby boosting your exposure and gaining more sales. Successful partnerships are built with businesses that target your ideal customers and find a way to provide your value to the partner.

Furthermore, a strategic partnership doesn’t always happen between a small and big brand. Even many startups team up to benefit each other. An effective partnership may also include approaching the suppliers of your products and asking them whether they can consider including to your website on their page.

Final Thoughts

Link building is an important SEO strategy that helps your e-commerce site rank higher in search engine results. However, getting links for an e-commerce site is an SEO nightmare because encouraging people to like or follow a page without a compelling reason isn’t an easy task at all. Google’s search engine algorithm says: the more high-quality links pointing to your site, the more trustworthy your business is deemed to be. The above-mentioned steps will undoubtedly maximize your link building efforts.