Link Building for eCommerce - A Gold Mine or Waste of Time?
Building a successful eCommerce website from scratch is a very complex process that requires specific skills and resources. The general idea behind the eCommerce business is selling products online. As always, there are countless obstacles business owners have to overcome to build a profitable website. Doing a comprehensive market research, designing an eye-catching store, pricing correctly, and picking the right products are just a few aspects of building a successful eCommerce website.
Many website owners live with the idea that building a good-looking website is enough to attract the right customers. It was maybe sufficient a decade ago, but in a fast-paced and dynamic world we're living now, that approach will struggle to bring desired results. As a business owner, you have to put your business in front of the right customers. There are countless working methods, but link building is proven to work in the long run.
In fact, around 72% of business owners believe that links play a significant role in search engine rankings.
People usually skip link building entirely or build as many links as possible on a rapid pace. Neither approach works, and unfortunately, failing to invest enough resources in link building can actually hurt your business. Be smart and picky about link building.
Let's dip into details and discuss the important question - Is link building a gold mine or just a waste of time?
Do You Really Need Backlinks to Your eCommerce Website?
It entirely depends on the niche, but the chances are you'll face at least a few competitors in any niche. The days when you could dominate a niche without a single backlink are far behind us. Accept the fact that link building is a crucial process of your online business. Once you realize the benefits of a single high-quality backlink for your business, you'll definitely focus resources into link building.
What is a Backlink and Why It Is Important?
First things first, what is a backlink? A backlink is a mention of a website from another website in the form of a hyperlink. Since backlinks play a significant role in search engine rankings, there are hundreds of link building methods, and some of them can severely hurt your website performance and rankings. It's vital that you don't manipulate search engines and just build any backlink without performing quality control. Look at link building as a word-of-mouth reference. The reference that scores you a client and a lasting relationship can't be manipulated.
Link building is one of the major ranking factors on Google search engine. People search for products using search engines, and link building can affect the position of your business for a specific search term (keyword). What does it mean for your business?
Your organic traffic will grow, and people who're actively looking for specific products land on your page. Among other benefits, you can expect exponential revenue growth. Also, a link can be understood like a vote of trust, which means your business will get more trust, authority, and relevancy with high-quality link building.
Take it slow. Don't forget to be extremely cautious and picky when it comes to link building and you'll reap the benefits in the long run.
Benefits of Link Building for eCommerce Website
We briefly mentioned a few benefits of strategic link building, and it may change your whole perspective on link building. Link building should be a core aspect of your business, and you should invest resources for that process.
Here are the most significant benefits a link building has for eCommerce business:
Increased brand awareness among potential customers
Increased trust and authority of your business which positively affects a revenue
Building stable and lasting relationships with established industry influencers (spike in referral traffic from potential customers)
Boost in search engine rankings which lead to higher organic traffic and revenue
Sustainable business growth strategy that lasts
The list of benefits is very extensive, and it's evident that link building positively affects your business. It's very tempting for business owners not to tap on a black-hat link building or cheap sources of low-quality links.
Remember that high-quality link building is a slow process that pays off in the long run. Never compromise quality for quantity. In case you’re looking to build a high-quality backlink profile in a short time, there is a possibility. There is a case study showing a whopping organic traffic increase of 110% in just 14 days.
Good vs. Bad Backlinks
In the SEO world, there is always a discussion about the type of links a business should build to reap benefits mentioned above. It's very tempting to build as many backlinks as possible in the shortest time frame. Either way, backlinks are a good way to boost your traffic and revenue, right?
It's critical to realize and emphasize the importance of quality over quantity. Not every link carries the same weight, and some links can do more harm than good. Before starting with the link building campaign, you should set a quality control check that helps you in determining which link potentially boosts or harms your business.
In short, a quality backlink is a link pointing to your site from an authoritative and relevant website. Getting a high-quality link won't happen overnight, and here are a few features that help you determine the quality of a link:
Domain authority (Moz metric DA) is higher than yours
Website is an authority and has a certain amount of trust in the niche
Real engaged readers
High-quality content covering topics from all aspects
Website is relevant to your niche
Healthy backlink profile (no spammy or non-relevant backlinks)
Website is entirely indexed and isn't penalized by Google
You can find a great list of features that indicate a high-quality backlink above. Stick to it, and you'll most likely have a powerful backlink profile that will help in ranking your website high in search engines.
Let's see what kind of links you should avoid by all means:
Link farms that link to thousands of different sites from one page
Links that aren't visible to the user, but exist in the code
Automated link building tools (many services will charge you a few dollars for more than a hundred links)
Links from non-relevant websites
Links from non-indexed domains
Now when you can differentiate between a good and bad backlink, it's time to learn a few creative and effective link building methods for eCommerce websites.
Creative Ways to Build Strong Backlinks to Your eCommerce Website
Majority of eCommerce website owners put their whole focus on optimizing product pages that aren't primarily a type of content that attracts backlinks. Building a quality backlink profile to your eCommerce business isn't anything new, but requires 'out-of-the-box thinking'. Once you set up your store, optimized product pages, and create a solid site structure, it's time to focus on link building.
Here are a few effective methods that work like a charm when it comes to eCommerce websites:
#1- Create a Blog Section (Linkable Content)
Building a solid foundation of linkable content is key to link building. eCommerce websites tend to focus on building and optimizing products pages while ignoring the importance of creating informative content. Informative content is a type of content that attract links and potential customers. Create your blog section around answers to most frequent customer's questions in your niche. For instance, if you have a shop selling digital nomad backpacks, a blog section could focus on the digital nomad lifestyle, minimal packing, traveling, remote working, etc.
Many business owners hesitate with creating a blog section since it requires a lot of resources.
If you lack the ideas for upcoming blog posts, here are a few tactics that might help:
Do a keyword research around main terms in your niche
Follow popular discussions in your niche (forums/Reddit/Quora)
Follow the work of influencers in your niche
Spy on your competitors and create better content
#2- Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is one of the most potent ways to build backlinks. You have control in picking a fitting website you'd like to write on. It gives you control over the content you write, audience, and quality of the link you want to acquire.
However, to score a high-quality link through guest blogging, you'll need to separate your process in a few phases:
Selecting potential guest blogging websites
Outreaching the owners or editors
Pitching the fitting article ideas
Writing a post following their guidelines
Publishing and getting the backlink
As you can see, guest blogging requires a certain level of planning and organizing, but it gives you high returns. If you're not a link building expert yourself, don't hesitate to outsource link building process to a professional agency.
#3- Offer Product Samples to Influencers
This is a very creative and yet powerful tactic in getting high-quality backlinks from influencers in your niche. Offer your product/service for free in exchange for comprehensive review or mention on their websites and other marketing channels. Not only you're getting the benefits of authoritative backlink, but also your company or product is presented in front of potential customers.
Boost Your eCommerce Results Through Link Building
With all being said, link building is definitely not a waste of time if done correctly. Nowadays, creating an eye-catching eCommerce website with cool products isn't enough. You have to put your website in front of the right customers. One of the best strategies to do it is through link building.
It's critical that you know a difference between good and bad backlinks and never try to speed up or manipulate the process. Remember to always prioritize quality over quantity, and you'll reap the benefits in the long run. A proper link building is a real gold mine in eCommerce business.