While link building is one of the hardest parts of SEO, it can also be one of the most rewarding.
The key to successful link building is developing the right content strategies and dissemination techniques, as this will make it easier for you to build quality links and increase the visibility of your landing pages and your site as a whole.
Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of effective eCommerce link building tactics and how you can apply them to help your online business succeed.
1. Embrace video marketing
Video content helps you bring your brand’s products (and the stories behind them) to life through in-depth instructional presentations, stories, and videos.
This medium also allows you to create different types of content for your target audience, from educational tutorials to humorous stories and slapstick comedies.
This proves invaluable in the quest to build effective links that engage customers and generate higher click-through rates. Video content tends to rank well on Google with potential for featured snippets.
Let’s say you run an e-commerce store selling the latest fashions. A great way to get links (and more customers) is to create fun and engaging video content on topics like “25 Cool Ways to Lace Up Your Kicks” or “9 Ways to Wear Men’s Chinos” , for example.
Also, expand your reach by hosting the video on YouTube and return to Analytics to see who is embedding your YouTube video.
This can provide you with outreach opportunities to relevant blogs where you can request a link back to your website’s original page.
A good angle to take when reaching out to bloggers, once they’ve embedded the video, is to provide a better alternative, such as a high-quality HD embed that doesn’t include YouTube ads.
Just be sure to include a tracked attribution link below the video iframe embed!
2. Leverage Extreme Products to Build Bonds
Another way to acquire links and build buzz around your brand is to stock and promote extreme products (either as part of a seasonal line or in a new segment of your business).
This technique has the ability to avoid traditional demographics and appeal to mass audiences.
Wish.co.uk has perfected this strategy by leveraging a number of extreme experience products to build effective links and brand awareness.
One of the most successful was its groundbreaking Zombie paintball experience, which was truly unique when it launched and has now become extremely popular in this industry.
By building links around this type of product, you can generate huge volumes of traffic to your website while generating considerable interaction through social channels.
3. Use influencers to create content assets
Research suggests that Millennials (now the dominant consumer demographic) are increasingly cynical about big brands and sponsored posts, making the link building process even more difficult for brands. of e-commerce.
It’s a challenge that has been carefully avoided by online fashion retailer ASOS, as its ASOS Insiders campaign has empowered individual influencers to build powerful content assets and build links on their behalf.
In short, ASOS created sponsored accounts for selected influencers and established fashion bloggers, who would then post images of themselves on Instagram and other channels wearing designer clothes. The photos would come with targeted links that encouraged customers to “buy the look,” while also including relevant fashion advice and informative lifestyle content.
And while these social media links don’t directly influence organic rankings, the Insiders page attracted 49 natural referral domains from fashion bloggers and sites such as The Guardian.
This campaign instantly delivered a natural message that added value to the consumer experience, while promoting the products in a live setting and providing a unique insight into the brand identity.
The results were truly impressive, with ASOS able to develop a low-cost, organic link building campaign that boosted customer retention rates and reached new demographics.
4. Create a feature that makes your products shareable
One of the most effective link building campaigns of recent times involves Getty Image integrationwhich has opened around 50 million images for free use on blogs and social media sites.
The key to this campaign was that it made the product shareable with potential customers, creating a clear path to scale the idea and drive traffic to their website.
So rather than trying to build organic links through a remote blog post or external piece of content (and then building a customer journey using internal links), you can direct traffic directly to a page that sits at the heart of your business, if you make visually striking images embeddable.
This creates the possibility of your links being shared beyond your own consumer network, generating more traffic and potential sales in the process.
5. Provide product samples to influential bloggers
Offering free product samples to bloggers in your niche can be a great way to secure coverage and drive traffic, engagement, and links to your website.
I recommend only working with influential bloggers in your industry.
Do your research on your competitors to see which bloggers they regularly work with and where their products have been reviewed on the web.
You can do this by using software like Ahrefs or Majestic to identify bloggers who have linked to your competitors, or alternatively a simple Google search will do, like “product name + reviews”.
Take this Bulldog for Men Oil Control Moisturizer review as an example, reviewed by The Bald Gent.
This is a good example of an in-depth review that identifies the pros and cons of sampled products and helps interested buyers make informed decisions about whether the product is right for them.
While some bloggers will naturally review your products for free, most will require an upfront payment as reviews are generally considered sponsored content which is paid advertorials.
Unless, of course, your product is of high value – in which case it may entice the blogger to review your product in exchange for the free sample.
But don’t forget to use a traffic estimation tool (e.g. Ahrefs, SEMrush, Similarweb) to identify each blogger’s influence.
Another good trick is to use Mozbar chrome extension to check the domain authority of the influencer blog, because the higher the domain authority, the more you will benefit from securing those inbound links.
6. Use in-app content marketing and create a compelling blog
As Google’s algorithms have continued to evolve and favor natural links, brands have also been more inclined to target content as a primary part of their strategy.
As we’ve said before, this doesn’t direct customers directly to key product pages, which creates the need to create an internal linking structure that integrates with your content marketing strategy. This positively influences the customer journey as well as the effectiveness of your link building techniques, so it is worth investing in.
Your blog should serve as the heart of this link building strategy, hosting relevant, high-quality content that can provide authoritative links and provide a natural conduit to specific product pages.
If you need an example, look no further than fashion label J.Crew. The brand’s blog is renowned for its classic sense of style and stunning photography, while it also hosts a diverse (yet relevant) range of posts, including tutorials, in-depth styling tips and behind-the-scenes looks. of the haute couture world.
Not only does this instantly engage customers and improve the quality of links you can build to your website, posts that relate directly to products can also be used to direct readers to your website’s business pages.
7. Build an entire community of Independent Brand Ambassadors
What if you’re an e-commerce startup with limited availability for marketing and little more than a product to sell? You want to use link building to increase awareness and traffic to your website, but what exactly is the right strategy to deploy here?
You could do much worse than follow the lead of Black Milk Clothing, a fashion brand that grew from humble beginnings to a multi-million dollar company employing over 150 people.
This brand has focused primarily on building regional communities within its customer base while establishing an individual Facebook group and social network for everyone (there are over 80 under the brand’s banner now).
These communities have become a breeding ground for motivated brand ambassadors, who engage with targeted and personalized content including links to new product launches and existing lines. These ambassadors then share these product links and drive traffic directly to the business pages, while continuing the conversation even when there’s nothing new to talk about.
This approach essentially empowers customers to be essential brand ambassadors, while providing them with the tools they need to build and share organic, well-received links.
While an army of people will tell you that link building is no longer an effective way to drive traffic to your website and engage customers, it entirely depends on the techniques you use to achieve those goals.
Hopefully, these practical tips and examples will help inform your link building strategies in the future while creating lasting techniques that can drive long-term growth.
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Screenshots taken by Joshua Daniels, November 2017.