If you’re an ecommerce owner, then you know that traffic is key to your success.

And while there are a million and one ways to get more website visitors, link building remains one of the most effective strategies.

But what are the best tactics for e-commerce link building?

Well, fear not – because I’m about to share with you six tactics that actually work!

So read on, and start getting more links to your ecommerce site today!

How Does E-commerce Differ From B2B Link Building?

Before we dive into the tactics, let’s talk about how ecommerce link building differs from other B2B industries.

At its core, ecommerce link building is just like any other industry. You still want to focus on high-quality, relevant links that will drive more referral traffic and boost your rankings.

That said, there are some unique considerations that you need to consider.

First, your prospects are consumers rather than businesses. So you’ll need to focus on different content strategies to attract people.

For example, while B2B businesses often benefit from case studies, ecommerce retailers can get more mileage out of product reviews.

Second, ecommerce businesses are often more competitive. So you’ll need to find link building tactics that work in a crowded industry where there’s stiff competition.

The nature of your prospects also means that you’ll need to get a little more creative with your link building.

The following e-commerce link building strategies are designed to help you attract the right kind of links – and, hopefully, more high-quality traffic to your site.

12 E-commerce Link Building Tactics That Work

Now it’s time to dig into the meat of this article – and learn six ecommerce link building tactics that work.

1. Brand affiliations

Brand affiliations are formal relationships between two brands, either within or outside your industry.

For example, you might partner with another business to co-sponsor an event or create a joint promotion. Your goal with these kinds of partnerships is to build brand awareness, while also driving traffic back to your site.

Since you’re both working toward a common goal, this kind of collaboration can provide an excellent opportunity for getting links.

For example, if you’re a furniture store owner, you might partner with an interior decorating firm. You can then send customers to each other’s website – and get a link in the process.

Another example of a brand affiliation is to include another company’s products on your site.

For example, if you’re an outdoor goods retailer, you could partner with a supplier of discounted camping gear. You then can include each other’s products on your store (with links back to each other, of course).

This won’t only improve your rankings, but also attract potential buyers to your store.

While there are many ways to build brand affiliations, the key is focusing on partnerships that will benefit both parties.

The more you can show how the relationship will lead to mutual benefits, the better your chances of success.

Other helpful ideas include:

  • Start an affiliate program: If you have a large ecommerce website, consider starting your own affiliate program. That way, you can motivate other businesses to promote and sell your products, while also earning money for every referral. Plus, you can use an affiliate program to track which products are most popular with your customers.
  • Create a joint promotion: One way to boost brand awareness and traffic is to create a joint promotion with another company. For example, if you own a pet accessories store, you might team up with a local pet spa to give away free services. The more creative you can be, the better.
  • Direct outreach: If you want to land a more significant partnership, you might need to reach out via email or social media. Just make sure that your prospects are relevant and that you have a good reason for contacting them.

By leveraging these ecommerce link building strategies, not only can you improve your site’s rankings, but also attract quality prospects to your store.

2. Give away your products

Offering free samples is a classic way to get people to try your products.

But you can also give away whole products to encourage product reviews.

This is a great tactic for both driving traffic to your website and attracting inbound links. After all, people love getting something for free.

Customers can then share what they think about the product via social media or their own website, which will lead to more traffic.

For example, if you’re a clothing brand, you might give away t-shirts every now and then. Your potential customers will then share their new shirts on social media, which is free marketing.

To make this tactic more effective:

  • Make it easy for people to share: Do you want people to write product reviews on your site? Then make it as easy as possible. You can use a review widget which makes it simple to add reviews to your site. Or, you can give customers a QR code which they can scan with their phone to leave reviews.
  • Give your products away at events: Another effective tactic is to give away products at relevant events. For example, you might set up a booth at a local business expo and give away your custom t-shirts to visitors.
  • Give your products away to influential people: This could be anyone from bloggers who review products, or celebrities with large social media followings. Since these people will be in front of their audience, you can expect to get a lot of exposure and inbound links.

3. Make your products more memorable

Product positioning plays a crucial role in ecommerce SEO.

If people can’t remember your products, they won’t link to them.

Simple.

The best way to achieve this is by ensuring your products stand out from the competition so they’re easily recognizable.

You must find your unique selling proposition and use it to your advantage.

Take canned unicorn meat as an example.

Not only did this product get a ton of buzz, but it also had some serious staying power after the holiday season ended.

Why? Because it stood out.

You can also use creativity to your advantage.

For example, let’s say you run an ecommerce store that sells luxury sneakers.

Rather than simply jogging everyone’s memory with a regular old photo, you could write an entertaining story about the guy who invented sneakers.

Then, you could take a unique angle on your product description. For example, if your sneakers are large, you could say something humorous about Bigfoot.

These are just examples, of course.

The point is that you need to make your product unique and memorable, whether it’s via humor, artistry, or anything else.

The more memorable your items are, the more likely they are to be linked to.

Some ways to make your products more memorable include:

  • Use humor: A little levity can go a long way (looking at you, unicorn meat). Injecting some humor into your product descriptions will make them more memorable.
  • Create unique product videos: If your products are hard to describe, consider creating a fun video that showcases what you’re selling.
  • Try adding copy to unexpected items: If you sell clothes, for example, you might consider writing customized copy about your shipping materials.
  • Use unconventional photos: Instead of just taking a stock photo of your products, take photos that highlight their benefits or features.

4. Make friends with active influencers

Social proof is an essential part of ecommerce SEO.

If you want people to buy your products, it helps to know that other people are buying them too.

That’s where social media comes in.

Getting people to tweet, like, or pin your products is a straightforward way to demonstrate social proof.

However, getting people to do this is very difficult unless you have a large following already.

If you’re starting from scratch, what do you do?

The answer is simple: Use your network.

You probably know other people who have large followings, so it might be worth reaching out to them.

And if you don’t know anyone, look for people who are active on social media.

Then…

Contact them.

You might even be able to get them to try your products or write some reviews.

The key is to give these people something of value in return.

If you know something about them or their audience, use that information to your advantage. 

For example, if they’re interested in medicine, you could offer to send them some personal care products.

Once they link to your business, see what happens.

If nothing else, you’ll get valuable social proof.

Just a word of warning: NEVER lead with asking for a backlink directly when you’re doing this type of high touch outreach.

It’s really easy for people to see through this approach, and it could even be considered spam.

Instead, focus on building a genuine relationship.

If you do that, they’ll be more likely to help.

5. Let your customers do the heavy lifting

User-generated content is one of the best ways to build natural backlinks.

The key word here is natural.

As we’ve discussed, you don’t want to go about link building in a clumsy manner.

Instead, you’ll want to create a positive user experience and allow customers to share their own photos and reviews.

For example, if your product is a travel pillow, you might encourage customers to post photos of them using your pillow, maybe next to their favorite landmark.

You can also produce user-generated content yourself.

For example, if you sell dresses, you could ask your customers to send in photos of them wearing the dress.

Then, you could publish a blog post about it and use those photos as your featured image.

This could give your business some valuable social proof and attract the attention of wedding bloggers who might feature your brand in future articles.

If you really want to get creative, you can also try conducting a giveaway and getting participants to share photos of them with the product.

Again, the idea here is to create a positive user experience.

Your customers will enjoy sharing their photos and stories with others, and you’ll enjoy receiving free links.

Also, this is a very effective way to attract backlinks from major publications.

For example, here’s an article from Veeqo that features some user-generated content from multiple stores.

By producing user-generated content and conducting giveaways, you’ll be able to get links from major publications without even asking.

Even if that doesn’t happen, you’ll attract a lot of positive attention from supporters, journalists, and potential customers.

6. Claim unlinked brand mentions

Unlinked brand mentions are the lowest-hanging fruit for ecommerce link building.

All you have to do is find them.

Tools like Mention, Google Alerts, and BuzzSumo are great for this.

Then, you can try to get your name added to the link.

Here are some tips on how to do that:

1. Offer to provide more information

If you see a mention of your brand online, don’t be afraid to reach out to the person who published it.

For example, if they wrote an article about ecommerce stores that accept Bitcoin, you could say you have an in-depth guide that talks about the topic more extensively.

2. Ask them to correct or update the piece

For example, they might have made a typo and left out your website’s link.

If that happened, you could simply ask them to update the piece.

If they wrote about something that’s no longer relevant, you could also request they update the piece. If you offer to edit the piece for them, they might be more likely to include your link.

3. Offer something of value, like a new video or photos

If you want someone to include a link to your business, it’s generally best to offer something of value in exchange.

For example, you could write a new blog post or create a special video just for them.

It’s best if you can offer something that will add value to their audience.

If you’re offering a video, don’t just upload it to YouTube and offer them the link.

Instead, offer to create a custom thumbnail and provide easy-to-use embed code.

Finally, always offer to watermark the video with their logo or slogan.

This will ensure they feel as though you’re doing them a favor, and it might encourage them to include your link.

This might sound like a lot of work, and it is, but it’s well worth the effort, especially if you’re targeting large brands.

You might be competing against other companies who want to get links from the same publications, but you’ll stand out by offering something of value.

7. Go local

Major publications tend to write about national and international news.

However, local publications often produce a lot of content about small, local businesses.

If you’re trying to rank for local keywords, it’s a good idea to get links from these publications.

Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Find local publications and websites that accept guest posts: See if you can find a few local blogs and websites that allow people to submit guest posts. You’ll be able to reach new customers by writing for these publications, and you might be able to secure a link.
  • Get involved in your local community: Many local publications hold annual or monthly contests, as well as workshops and other events. These are great opportunities to meet with journalists, bloggers, and local business owners. For example, you could offer to volunteer your time at an event, or you could offer a discount to people who attend.
  • Get a local co-marketing partner: One of the best ways to get links from major publications is to offer a link exchange. For example, you could get a local business to offer a link from their homepage in exchange for a link from yours.

Local businesses tend to be less competitive than national brands.

So, you might find it easier to get links from local websites this way.

8. Tap into popular events

Newsjacking helps you tap into mainstream news and events and tie them to a specific product or brand feature.

This creates a viral effect that can lead to more inbound backlinks.

However, you need to create something truly interesting or useful if you want the media to pick up on your idea.

The good news is that there are plenty of current events happening all year around that you could write about.

For example, if your product is related to politics or social issues, you could write about the latest political campaign or trending social movement.

Or, if there’s a major sporting event happening in your industry, you might be able to take advantage of this.

For example, if you’re a sports clothing brand, it would make sense for you to feature in articles that are related to the Super Bowl or World Cup.

You could also create your own event around a specific topic, like a webinar or Q&A session.

For example, you might be able to tap into the hype around a new movie or video game by offering an in-depth interview with the lead actor or game creator.

Even though that might not be cheap, it could be well worth the money.

The simpler option is to write about trending topics that are related to your business or industry.

For example, if you sell wine bottles and packaging, you could write about the latest trends in bottle design .

Or if you sell organic food products, you could write about the latest trends in modern farming.

Remember that newsjacking doesn’t have to be directly related to business.

It can also be a great way to connect with your target audience and show that you’re plugged into what they care about.

9. Linkable Assets

Here’s where you produce a link worthy content piece which could have mass appeal and could be successful in getting you a lot of links – dependent on quality. 

And the more relevant it is to your brand or target audience, the better. After all, you don’t want to produce an infographic about the history of trains, when your brand is selling golfing equipment.

However, you don’t want to niche down too much, otherwise it becomes too specific and potentially limits the appeal.

To get an idea of what I mean, this was a infographic created by a streetwear brand called Fat Buddha:

They got some decent links from the likes of DumbFunded and GraffitiKings and that was done with relatively little outreach. If they scaled it up, I’m pretty sure they could have built many more links.

It doesn’t have to be an infographic either. An online tool which makes something easier or solves an issue can be a good way of getting a lot of traffic and links.

Even if you make it a free tool and get no direct revenue from people using it, the eventual links and traffic you’ll get from that will generate you an ROI in the long term.

10. Weird Products

Got a product or service you’re trying out that is very unique, weird or maybe even a world first?

While building links directly to a product page might not always work, it may work in instances like this. And you could build some pretty strong links on high authority news sites if it’s something very unique.

One example – a company called Shreddies created product lines which filter out farts – pretty sure it was a world first, and they built some huge links when they released the “flatulence jeans” product.

Those products are actually being used by a lot of people, so there’s obviously demand for them – and they do have an actual practical use for people with certain conditions.

But you could even create a ridiculous product which isn’t even meant to be a big seller, or is a one-off.

E.g. the “Virgin America First Class Shoe” which was obviously a publicity stunt by Virgin Airlines.

They only made one pair of these and gave the proceeds to charity. But in the process got a lot of publicity, traffic and quality links.

11. Consistent Content Marketing / Blog Content

This is a big one, and a lot of businesses neglect this – but this is probably the key to attracting links consistently, over a long period of time.

And it’s as simple as:

  • Creating useful, relevant blog posts for your target audience.
  • Finding other websites which will also find this content useful.
  • And asking them to link to it.

Pretty straightforward, but the key thing is going to be the content, and you’ll probably have to do some initial money and time investment to get it up to speed. The exact nature of the content will depend on what you’re selling. And you may have to delve into adjacent topics or “Niche up” a bit to have enough content.

Check out the blog that the brand, Press made – they sell cold pressed juices and juice cleanses. So it’s obviously a target audience for a clean living, healthy lifestyle.

And if you look at their blog, Squeeze Magazine,  it focuses on healthy eating and healthy living in general – so they’ve niched up into workouts, eating healthy when traveling and similar areas.

And yes – all this free content they’re giving out – they’re not going to make sales directly from it.

But, with how useful the content is, you’re more likely to build links to this type of content, and also pick up links naturally and build up more brand awareness as your target audience start to associate your brand with content they trust.

Maybe it won’t lead to a lot of high authority news mentions – but you could build a large base of lower to medium tier authority links over a consistent period of time.

12. Controversy

Something you need to be careful with – make you sure you don’t get any extremely bad publicity or do something stupid.

One brand called LUXY – which is a luxury dating app. Which their own CEO described as Tinder without the poor people.

Definitely annoyed people, but without a doubt, it got the interest of the journalists and editors there, because its controversial, sensationalist, taps into readers emotions. And in the process, the brand would have got a lot of links, traffic and a core audience, from being on these publications.

The key thing being that you need something that’s truly newsworthy and interesting enough for them to publish.

E-commerce Link Building Case Study: How TLG Built 500+ Backlinks to Lobster Anywhere

We have worked with ecommerce business owners, and one of the best examples of this was LobsterAnywhere, who we started with in early 2020 and secured over 500 links (and counting) since then.

They were already a respected brand in their space and were well known for the quality of their fresh seafood products, and at the time of starting the project, they had published some content. 

Background

They had been going to different link building vendors, had collaborated with influencers in the food blogging space and picked up links naturally – but they wanted more consistent link building activity that would be ongoing.

Our Approach

There were quite a few competitors in the space who were outperforming them on the SERPs for very key pages. While there were areas of technical and on-page SEO to also look at – the content quality on the blog was good, but there was a link gap opening up on a lot of the very high value keywords. 

So our approach was to:

  1. Identify the page level link gap: Was there any low hanging fruit in terms of blog content (and commercial pages) where we could build links, and push them from positions 4 to 20, up to the top 3. We ran some analysis, but with the help of the client, also factored in conversion rate. By knowing this, we could also push certain pages knowing the potential gain in revenue. 
  2. Audience-focused Link Strategy & Outreach: We already knew we wanted to take a very niche relevant approach. And the goal was to brainstorm all the potential niches that we deemed relevant to their core business, and target audience. 

We wanted to lean off the food blogger space, as we felt there would be too much demand for free product/high sponsorships, so the brainstorming helped us identify sectors like – RVing, Grilling & BBQ equipment, Tailgating, Sustainable fishing, Boating & yachting, and a number of others. Building links to blog content would happen, but we also knew we wanted to build links to commercial pages as well.

  1. Next level link building: This is where TLG is unique. We dug a level deeper, and tried to identify strategies that involved a more high-touch approach – for instance, securing links on certain organizations, large industry publications like Forbes or Business Insider, or a university’s resource page. The team had to jump through more hoops to create these, and secure those links, but we knew it would contribute immensely to results in the long term. 

Important to note: The client and another 2 agencies, also worked on conversion rate optimization, technical SEO work, and on pruning content, and refreshing content with more value in the period between 2019 and now. This had to happen in order to capitalize fully on all SEO efforts.

The Results

  • This resulted in us securing over 500 links. 
  • DR increased from 45 to 55.
  • Annual traffic (via direct, referral and organic search traffic) went from 969,082 users in 2019 to 726,869 in 2023. Actually a decrease in traffic. But…
  • Annual revenue (via direct, referral and organic search traffic) went from $608k to $1.22 million.

So the overall strategy was successful, in ensuring the client ranked for keywords that actually mattered – and which would drive revenue.

Getting E-commerce Backlinks Shouldn’t Be That Hard

Ecommerce link building is tricky, but the tactics above should give you a good idea of how to get more high-quality backlinks for your website.

Try to create links that are as relevant to your customers as possible .

That way, you’ll be helping to solve their problems, which is the key to building trust and increasing conversions.

If you’re not sure where to start, just remember that there are always opportunities to get links.

All you have to do is take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and then figure out how you can create some valuable, interesting content.

At the end of the day, it’s all about creating something that people actually want.

The more useful, informative, and actionable it is, the better your chances of getting your content shared across the web.