When it comes to ecommerce brands, it can seem like link building is the hard way of getting traffic. And I’ve had conversation with ecommerce brand owners who would just rather go down the route of PPC to drive traffic directly, and then scale up what works.
However – if you get your on-page factors and have a solid content strategy (and you’re willing to invest in those things), link building will become a whole lot easier and you’ll see the effects a lot of quicker in terms of revenue.
Here are some of best tactics you can use when link building for an ecommerce brand.
1. Linkable Assets
Here’s where you produce a content piece which could have mass appeal and could be successful in getting you a lot of links. It all depends on the quality of it however. And the more relevant it is to your brand, 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 limits the sites who would be interested in it too much.
To get an idea of what I mean, this was a infographic created by a street wear brand called Fat Buddha:
Related enough that is makes sense, but not too niche that you can’t build a large target list. 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 traffics you’ll get from that will generate you an ROI in the long term.
2. Product Samples for Influencers
Bloggers in your industry or somewhat related to the industry and target audience, could be a good source of traffic, whether its direct traffic from their blog and/or social media.
So while a lot of them may ask for payment to promote a brand or to write about a product – offer to send them a product in exchange for a link.
Not only will it drive referral traffic, but you’ll get the benefit of the link equity from it.
One way of finding influencers could be to run some competitor analysis using a tool like Ahrefs – pull a backlink report and see who has reviewed/written about their products.
3. 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 its 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. 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 the 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 links.
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.
5. Existing contacts/partners
Do you have an existing list of contacts you could reach out to, to get a link from?
Perhaps there may be some chambers of commerce’s, local organisations, professional or industry associations.
Maybe even businesses who supply your product or organisations that you sponsor? While they may not all drive tonnes of buying traffic – you could get some fairly strong links which will have an impact on your rankings.
6. 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 content 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 wll 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 into 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 travelling and this kind of thing.
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. Maybe not always the high authority news sites like the tactics I mentioned earlier, but you could build a large base of lower to medium tier authority links over a consistent period of time.
So the key thing to think about here is to have something of value to offer in exchange. An interesting new product, giving someone free product, valuable content for consumption, a free tool – just something your brand can bring to the table. When you do this correctly – you’ll be able to build relationships, build links and therefore build traffic.
Yeah sure, you’re not going to get an instant ROI like you may get with driving paid traffic, but what we’re doing here is creating something for the medium to long term. And done consistently and well enough, you’ll continue to build results on top of results and you’ll be able to build organic traffic, overall brand awareness and even build an audience.