An ecommerce website without links is like an island amidst the sea. No one is going to know that it exists unless they communicate with the outside world.
If your online store is still a lonely island, it is time to change that.
But first, here are a few terms you must know.
What is Ecommerce SEO?
Ecommerce SEO is a bigger topic than ecommerce link building. Ecommerce SEO comprises of two processes: onpage optimization and offpage optimization.In onpage optimization, you have to optimize your website for a particular keyword.But for offpage optimization, you have to build backlinks. This is where ecommerce link building comes in.
What is Ecommerce Link Building?
Ecommerce link building is the process of reaching out to other potential sites that can link to you. It is not about link submission or spamming. After Google’s algorithm updates, that will no longer work. Instead, I will be sharing some strategies that will really get people to link to your online store.
Ecommerce Link Building Strategies
Ecommerce link building doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are two of the best strategies that worked for me.
Strategy #1: Bait Influencers to Link to you
In this strategy, you’ll focus more on influencers.
Why Backlinks from Influencers are Better?
They give more than just backlinks. They increase trust. – When your market sees that you are working closely with a major influencer, it immediately increases their trust in you.
Their backlinks are recognized by search engines. – Also, backlinks from influencers usually have high authority. Search engines are now using this factor to rank websites.
One link can go a long way. – Even if you only get 1 link from 1 powerful influencer, that may be enough to pull up your rankings and explode your traffic.
You get more backlinks and traffic in the process. – Another thing that you’ll notice is that people will link to you because they saw you in the influencer’s website. This is classic influencer leverage. The best part is that you don’t need to do anything and it happens automatically.
How to Bait Influencers to Link to You
Influencers are truly valuable connections that can pull you in front of your target customers. But how do you get them to link to you?
Here is a step-by-step process.
STEP 1: Make of list of potential influencers
First, make a list of potential influencers. I do this by noting their name, their blog or main website URL and their social media and contact information.
I search for them in three ways: BuzzSumo, Keyhole and Google
1: BuzzSumoIf you are looking for a tool for influencer tracking, I cannot suggest a better tool than BuzzSumo.
Using it is easy. All you need to do is type in your main keyword in its search bar and click on the Amplification Tab.
Voila! It will immediately uncover some of the biggest influencers in your industry. From here, you can visit as much influencer websites as you can and input all of their data in your spreadsheet.
The only downside is that you have to pay for it after the 14-day trial. And for $99/month, the price is pretty steep for a blogger who is just starting out. It sets a limit on searches if you are using it for free. But it is still a really a good tool in uncovering influencers that you can work with.
Unlike BuzzSumo, this tool focuses more on the tweets on a certain topic. In my opinion, it can provide really good supporting information for BuzzSumo.
Using it is also very easy. Just type in your main keyword and you can wait for it to load the results.
From here, you can focus on the Most Influential section and click on their Twitter profiles to gather their websites and contact information.
If you’re not comfortable in using any of the tools above, you can always use Google.Just key in the topic that you are planning to create and you’ll uncover some of the top ranking articles, blogposts or websites.
Usually, the people who own these sites are influencers that you can target.
For example, I tried searching for “social media list” on Google and found Social Media Today.
This shows that Social Media Today is an influencer that I must contact if I will create an article about a social media list or anything related.
STEP 2: Look at their content
Once I found some good influencers in my industry, I usually go into their most popular content. Again, I use BuzzSumo for this job. Only this time, I focus on content research.This usually reveals the influencer’s most shared content.
You can then log these in a spreadsheet.
STEP 3: Create Something Better
After taking an inventory of all the influencer content, it is time to create something better.How do you do it? Try one of these strategies:
Double the amount of items if it is a list
Add more detail by including images and in-depth descriptions if it is a How-To
Create an infographic out of it
Create an in-depth video explanation
These are the strategies that has worked for me and my clients in the past. But you can still get creative and create amazing content with your own ideas.
STEP 4: Feature them as a main resource in your postOnce you’re done with the content, you can now feature the influencer as a main resource in your post.
Resources are powerful yet so many bloggers and writers don’t do them.
It is really simple. Just add a resource box at the end of your post like what I did here
STEP 5: Reach Out to Influencers
Once you’re done with your post, share it to your target influencers. I do this by sending them a simple message either in their e-mail or in one of their social channels informing them about the post.
My e-mail usually goes like this.TITLE: Your Post Entitled __________ is Featured on [yourwebsite].comHi [Influencername],I just want to say that I really enjoyed reading your post entitled “_______________”I have written an article entitled “___________________” and I featured you in it.Keep up the good work![YOURNAME]
In my experience, they would always be happy to link back. Some people even go to the extent of promoting your post on their social media channels and give you lots of traffic to your post.
Strategy #2: Write for Influencers
Instead of just asking them to link to you, you can provide some valuable content for their website along the way. How do you do that? You write for them of course. Now some may argue that guest posting may not be as effective as it used to be. But use it the right way and you can easily get some high quality backlinks to your website.
STEP 1: Look for Influencers who are Accepting Guest Posts
You can do this by searching the following queries.
keyword intitle:”write for us”
keyword intitle:”write for me”
Keyword intitle:”contribute to”
Keyword intitle:”submit” + inurl:blog
Keyword “submit a guest post”
Keyword “guest post”
Keyword “guest post by”
Keyword “accepting guest posts”
Keyword “guest post guidelines”
Keyword “guest author”
Keyword “guest article”
Keyword “guest column”
Keyword “become a contributor”
inpostauthor:”guest blog” keyword
inpostauthor:”guest post” keyword
STEP 2: Study their Existing Content
When you found a website, hop on to BuzzSumo to study their content in the Content Research tab.
Then create an Excel file. This should include columns like the title, URL, post length, comments and social shares count. This way, you can easily see the trend on which posts gets shared most in one social medium. You also get an estimate on how much traffic the content gets.
From here, you can choose the content that you can improve upon. For example, you saw a post in BuzzSumo that includes some LinkedIn hacks or tips.
You can then create an article that is better than that title.
For example, you can write “10 LinkedIn Hacks That Will Increase Your Website Traffic”.
You can even go all out and create an article showcasing “50+ LinkedIn Tips from Experts all over the Internet“.
The title ideas are endless.
STEP 3: E-mail the Title to the Influencer
Once you have a good view of their website and their content, it is time to e-mail them your working title. I call it a “working title” because your target influencer can still change it based on his preferences.
I like the email created by Dana Sitar in Be a Freelance Blogger and here is my version of her e-mail.
Hi [Blogger],[YOURNAME] here. I’m a [YOURJOB]. You may have seen me around the [WEBSITEYOUFREQUENT] and commenting on your blog.I know that you accept guest posts on your site, so I’m reaching out to show you a topic that would be a perfect fit to your audience.I’m planning to write an article entitled “[Suggested Title of Article]”Here’s a quick outline of the post to give you an idea.I’m also sending you my blog links to give you a glimpse of how I write:
Blog Link 1
Blog Link 2
Please let me know if you think the topic would be a good fit for your blog, and I’ll get right on it. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you!
STEP 4: Follow Up
Sending an email doesn’t mean that you should just sit and wait. You should always follow up. In this area, I like the idea of Venchito Tampon of SharpRocket. Here is the email that he sends out to bloggers that he has contacted.
Hi [ Name ],I haven’t heard back from you, and that tells me one of three things:
You’re not interested at this time, but we can work out something in the future.
You’re still interested, but haven’t had the time to get back to me yet.
You saw our content but you think it’s not fit to add to your page.
Please let me know which one it is, because I’m starting to worry. If you have other reasons, please let me know so I can stop bothering you. Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you. [YOURNAME]
I love this email because it allows you to qualify your influencers if they are active or not. I also love to use it so that you don’t have to constantly contact your guest post targets.
Secret Trick: You can even do this the other way around. You just write the list before you get their approval and you show it to them. You can then ask them if they want to post it in their blog or even contribute some ideas to co-author it. I love this trick because you will win even if they don’t accept your post. But that rarely happens if you have created a piece of content that is so good that it is hard to decline.
So that’s it for marketing strategies. Let’s head over to some tools to wrap this up.
Best Ecommerce Marketing Tools
To do your marketing right, you’ll need to use some tools. Here are some of the tools that I love.
One of the easiest ways to promote your business is through email. But you can only do that if you have an autoresponder. One of the tools that gained massive attention in this area is Mailchimp. It has a lot to do with its free account. You can start gathering leads right away without having to pay for anything. This makes it the prime option for most ecommerce website owners. However, you have to note that the free option only includes lead capture. Sending emails to leads will require a monthly payment. This can go as low as $10 per month to as high as $199 per month.
Social media marketing is another form of marketing that you should consider when trying to get more links and drive more people to your online store. For this, you’ll need an automation tool like Buffer. Why? It is because social media promotion is just too hard to do manually. The best part about Buffer is the browser extension. This allows you to instantly copy and share interesting products in your website. Plans start at $10 going up to $399 for agency plans.
What’s the easiest way to drive people into your website? It’s through referral marketing. Big brands like PayPal, Uber and AirBnb has used this to build their site and you should use it too. For this, you’ll need a software that can help you manage your referral campaigns. OSI Affiliate is one such software. It gives you a dedicated dashboard that will allow you to see all incoming affiliates and their referrals. From this dashboard, you’ll also be able to pay their commissions in a single click. All these include a chance to host contests as well. The software only costs around $47 to $247 per month.
Social media marketing should not be blind. You should know what people want before you even share it. BuzzSumo is a tool that can help you do that. It allows you to crawl the internet for most shared content so that you can give your market exactly what it needs. Plans start at $79 going up to $499 per month.
Outreach is the only form of marketing that will not be shunned by Google. It involves reaching out to influencers in your industry and asking them to link to you if they find your website interesting. But you can only do this with an automated tool. Ninja Outreach is like that. It helps you find influencers in your industry and contact them automatically. This takes the guesswork and the difficulty out of influencer marketing. Monthly plans start at $69 for bloggers and it increases up to $599 for enterprises.
Start Building Links to Your Store Today
Link building is essential to traffic and sales. Without it, your online store will not survive. So start marketing your website today.