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A link building strategy for e-commerce: How to get beneficial backlinks?

5.2.2024

Link building is not only about the number of links that point to your website. It is primarily about their quality and relevance. And despite the fact that many people undervalue link building, our SEO & Link Building Consultant, Lukáš Bundzák, and took a look at why pushing it to the sidelines as part of an SEO strategy is not a good idea. Learn more about how to approach your link building strategy so that it can start to deliver results.

If we talk about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), link building is an integral part of Off-Page SEO that greatly affects the traffic and ranking of any website. There are a variety of strategies and tactics you can use to build a strong link portfolio for your e-shop.

Pillars of a successful “link building” strategy

Link building for e-commerce is not just about obtaining links. You need links that contribute to an increase in organic searching and traffic.

If, for example, you have an electronics e-shop with LED TVs, a link from a gardening website will not be very relevant for you.

An effective link building strategy includes several key aspects:

Searching for relevant targets

Before you begin link building, you will need to identify the relevant areas you’ll be targeting. Requesting links from websites that have no relation to your e-commerce store is a waste of time.

Look for websites that have some connection with your product line or industry. Create an analysis of the best pages – ideally those moving on the first pages for your keywords – and make a list of them.

Creating valuable content

Valuable content is a key factor for acquiring links. Create content that will be relevant and interesting for your target group. This can include blog articles, instructions, product reviews, videos and other forms of content.

Thus, if you are beginning with link building and you’re a specialist in a certain area, publish an article as a form of expertise and offer it to a certain media with the condition that they can use it if they link back to your website.

Building relationships

One way to get links is to build relationships with other websites in your field. Communicate with other bloggers, journalists and entrepreneurs and work together on content projects and collaborations.

OpiTip: A personal meeting is ideal; for example, at the events we organise you can meet with different owners of publishing and intermediary companies.

Analysis of the competition

Observing and analysing the competition provides you with valuable information about where your competitors are getting their links. This enables you to identify potential targets and strategies that you can utilise.

OpiTip: When analysing the competition, don’t just look at your business competition; in certain situations content portals may also be your competitor.

If you follow your competition and notice that it has a lot more backlinks than you, don’t despair. Often the quality of given links is what is important, not the numbers. Even a smaller number of quality links can improve positions in organics.

linkbuilding

Development of the number of backlinks over time for the monitored competitors.

Link building tactics

Now that we’ve covered the basics of e-commerce link building, let’s look at some specific tactics you can use to obtain quality links.

1. Make a guest contribution

Contributing to relevant websites can be an effective link building strategy. Write quality content that will benefit the site’s readers and include a link to your e-commerce store.

OpiTip: Think about choosing the right domain, because if you choose a site with bad development, your investment may not pay off. When selecting a site, think about the development of organic traffic from the point of view of Ahrefs over the last 2 years in the “Overview” section. A quick indicator of the quality of the site may also be the ratio of backlinks that come to the given website (the ratio of high-quality and low-quality reference domains). If most reference domains are websites with a domain rating (DR) up to 10, then be cautious when taking backlinks from such websites. Study the development of new links in detail. This will help you find out whether the given website has already started to focus on better quality links, and it can tell us whether the site is now avoiding this and collecting better links and again the development of organics in the overview.

I do not recommend attaching more than 3 links to an article that has a limit of 3,000 characters. In our experience, 3 links is ideal for articles between 3000 – 3500 characters.

When selecting domains for publishing articles, don’t just focus on the domain rating; also check the estimated traffic, the number and intent of keywords (relevance) and the type of domains that link to the given domain. All of this can affect the quality of your future backlink.

2. The “skyscraper” technique

Find outdated or second-rate websites that are linked by many other sites. Create better, more up-to-date content on your website and offer it to these sites as a replacement for the outdated content they currently link to.

3. Building broken links

Find broken links on other websites that are relevant to your business. Create quality content on your site that can replace these broken links and contact the owners of these sites with an offer to replace them.

4. Creating links to images

Search for websites that use your images without attribution. Ask them to add a link to your site as the image source.

5. Unconnected mentions

A very common situation we come across is a simple one, but many partners do not address it.

Look for websites that mention you but do not link to your site. Ask the owners of these sites to turn the mention into a link to your website. You can monitor such links, for example, in Marketing Miners in individual projects and within countries.

Connection of a site mention link

6. PR

Work up an interesting and relevant story about your brand or e-shop and contact journalists and bloggers with a request to publish it. In this way, you can get links from various interesting media.

7. Paid form of links

This is a relatively effective form of obtaining backlinks, although Google does not recommend this form. It is likely, however, that you will find yourself in a situation where certain media will not want to exchange a link with you.

Even though the opinions of SEO specialists differ, this form is also the key to getting quality and relevant links for your website.

OpiTip: For pre-published articles, focus on articles no older than 3 years. Problems can arise with outdated content that is no longer crawled by Google, and thus your efforts to acquire such a link would be in vain.

Advantages of link building for e-commerce

A link building strategy for e-commerce is not only about improving search engine rankings. It is also beneficial for Off-Page SEO as well as for your business as a whole.

Brand building

Effective link building helps with building a brand and establishes you as an authority in your field. Quality links from relevant websites increase brand credibility.

Increased organic demand

Since the main goal of link building is to strengthen SERP positions, quality backlinks can lead to increased organic demand for your products and services. This usually leads to increased sales and revenue

Improved traffic

Links from relevant websites will attract your target audience to your website, which can lead to increased traffic and conversions. This is especially true in cases where the content is interesting and contains answers to users' questions.

Increase traffic and conversions

An example is a comparison of the last 3 months of a given year and the last 3 months of the previous year in order to finding shifts in overall impressions and positions. During link building activities (6 months), the overall average position of our business partner’s e-shop moved up by 1 position and impressions increased three-fold. Even though it seems that the movement of positions is smaller, the reason is that individual landing pages are beginning to appear for a larger number of keywords.  

Improved reputation

Through quality links from trusted websites, the authority of your website can be increased, which contributes to better positions in search engines. This increases traffic, credibility and awareness of your brand.

Analyse before initiating a link building strategy

Analysis of competitive link portfolio

The first step in creating a link building strategy is a thorough analysis of competitive link portfolios. The aim of such an analysis is to determine where your direct competitors are obtaining their backlinks and if those links are of good quality. This is a key step in determining the future strategy and recognising the necessary resources.

The following tools can be used for this analysis:

  • Google Analytics a Google Search Console: provide direct data on the behaviour of visitors to the website and the keywords for which the page is displayed in search engines.
  • Ahrefs: enable you to track information about backlinks, search competitor websites and other relevant data.
  • Marketing Miner/ScrapeBox: is useful for acquiring information about search results and finding relevant pages.
  • Screaming Frog: offers information about the internal linking on a website.
  • Other tools: in addition to Ahrefs, you can use the Moz tool, which is also focused on link building; instead of Marketing Miner, you can also use the Collabim tool for keyword analysis.

Analysis structure

Step 1: Identifying competitors

At the beginning of the analysis, identify your direct competitors. You can do this on the basis of data from the client or use tools like Ahrefs to find out which websites are your biggest search competitors.

Comparison of competitors

A comparison of competitors with the largest search share.

Step 2: Selection of top competitors

From the identified competitors, choose the most important ones that are the most successful in your field. You can use the Ahrefs tool for this and its “Competing Domains” function, where you get information about the percentage relations of keywords for which you are displayed together with your competitors.

Step 3: Analysis of link portfolios

A deeper analysis of the link portfolios of selected competitors is a key step. Use tools like Marketing Miner or ScrapeBox to obtain site categorisation (content vs. commercial) and backlink information.

Step 4: Identification of potential targets

Use Backlink Gap in Ahrefs for finding pages that link to your competitors but not to your website. These sites could be potential targets for link acquisition. Of course, the most ideal method is to identify such domains that your competitors do not have and that have growth potential. This is a more difficult process, however, that varies from country to country.

Step 5: Content Gap Analysis

Use Content Gap analysis to find out which search queries are displaying your competitors but not your e-shop. These words could serve as an idea for creating new landing pages.

If you use irrelevant keywords on a page for which the given page is not optimised and you create links to them, then this type of link will not be effective for you = it will not bring any results.

Analysis of competitors in search

Aside from direct competitors, it is also important to analyse search competition. These competitors are not necessarily direct sellers but may compete for positions on relevant search queries. Getting links from such sites can be helpful. These are usually editorial or blog domains, which are many times stronger in terms of content than your e-shop.

Step 1: Identify search competitors

Identify websites that appear in relevant search queries, even if they are not direct competitors in your field. If you do not have SEO tools, such as Ahrefs or Marketing Miner, use simple Google operators. This is a relatively simple process that helps you get an overview of which pages are showing up for the same keywords as you.

For example, if we are looking for a competitor in the “protein” field, try the “intitle” operator.

Example of searching

Step 2: Analysis of potential targets

Find out which of these sites could be potential targets for link acquisition. These pages should be relevant for your field and rank high in search engines.

Prioritising sites

After analysing competitive link portfolios and search competition, it is important to determine which sites you should focus your link building efforts on. Prioritising sites should take several factors into consideration.

  • Business Data: Includes the importance of the pages for the client, the margins in the given category, the total income and the conversion rate.
  • Search Performance Data: Contains page positions and click rate in search engines.
  • Off-Page Data: Includes the number and quality of backlinks pointing to the given pages.
  • On-Page Data: Includes data on internal linking and inlinks.

Site prioritisation should be based on these factors and should also take into consideration the overall link building strategy for your website.

Prioritisation

Selection of searched relevant keywords (Input) for landing pages (Google Landing Page) with low competition (Google SERP Competition), which are displayed in the first positions in the search (Google Position). We need to get backlinks to these anchor texts.

In this way, you can effectively analyse the competition and find out which sites should be prioritised for acquiring links. The results of this analysis will help you create an effective link building strategy for your project.

Link building is a long-term process

Don’t forget that link building is a long-distance run, and the results will come only after a certain amount of time. If you are already working with or cooperating with a certain company on building backlinks, specialists need at least 3–6 months for you to see the results of their work.

But do you have the sense that link building is not achieving favourable numbers even after a long time? Then contact us and our colleague, SEO & Link building Consultant Lukáš Bundzák, will be happy to help you audit your current situation, find potential and set up an effective link building strategy.

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  • Matej Karaba

    Long-term Impact & Business Consultant

  • Martin Matuška

    E-commerce & Business Consultant

  • Michal Lubelec

    Consultant for E-commerce Analytics and Measurement

  • Marek Ďuračka

    Social Media Consultant

Matej is Long-term Impact & Business Consultant and will help you with:

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Martin is E-commerce & Business Consultant and will help you with:

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