The number of backlinks pointing to a website continues to be one of the key ranking factors to determine how well a website ranks in the search results. Links as a ranking factor is a concept which has enabled Google to dominate the industry since the end of the 1990s. This was following on from the invention of the now discounted PageRank, which Google utilised to measure the quality of a page based on how many links were pointing to it.
This was so successful due to the fact that each link is essentially seen as a vote of trust, however, not all backlinks are deemed to be equal and a poor quality or spammy link could actually have an adverse effect on your rankings. A nice analogy that I like to use is to imagine that you are looking to eat the finest steak in town, you would seek out as many reviews as possible. However, you would place more value upon the recommendations of leading food critics over that of a bunch of teenagers recommending McDonalds.
If you are looking to build good quality backlinks to your website as part of your eCommerce SEO efforts, then take a look at these 5 recommendations that you can action now!
1. Create More In-Depth Product Pages Than Your Competitors
Building good quality links to your product pages is always going to be a challenging task. However, if this is something that you are able to achieve, you will ensure that you are gaining as much visibility for these pages, and more importantly, generating increased amounts of revenue.
You should be looking to invest your time in creating the most definitive and authoritative product pages, as this is going to pay dividends later on. Take the time to ensure that they contain well optimised product copy, videos tutorial, instructions or how to guides with an image gallery containing high-quality images.
Approach it from an audience-led perspective, answer all of their potential questions, and make them want to actually buy your product! Not nly will this type of rich onsite content appeal to Google, it will also naturally attract backlinks from your target audience.
2. Broken Link Building
This follows on from ensuring that you have the most in-depth highest quality product pages. The first step of this tactic is to find eCommerce sites within your niche that have recently closed or gone out of business. This offers a goldmine of link opportunities as there will be thousands of links pointing to the companies’ websites that are no longer relevant and are pointing to expired domains.
A good way to ensure that you are keeping up-to-date with your industry is to setup Google alerts for businesses in your industry that are closing. Another way to keep on top of this is to regularly check Google News, and utilise search strings that focus around a business in your niche closing or rebranding under a different name.
A method that I have had success with in the past is expireddomains.net, which allows you to search for domains related to your particular niche that have recently expired. You can then take the domain names and put them in your favourite link analysis tool to scan the backlinks and make a note of those that you can utilise as part of your linkbuilding campaign.
Once you have analysed the links and decided which ones are worth pursuing, it is simply a case of outreaching to the webmaster and letting them know that a link on their website is out of date. While this is most certainly cold outreach, you will usually find that they are going to be more receptive to this type of approach as you are giving them a heads up regarding their website.
3. Product Review Outreach
While Google have recommended that bloggers ‘no-follow’ backlinks as part of a product review to ensure that they are not penalised, this is still a strategy that can prove to be extremely effective, as it is a fantastic way of increasing your brand awareness.
There are ample opportunities to connect with bloggers in your particular niche and this organic link building technique will also pay dividends for your brand by placing your product in-front of your key target audiences. If you are able and willing to, offer the blogger a unique discount code for her/his visitors and this will ensure that this is making a handsome return on your initial investment.
4. Build Links from Your Products’ Manufacturers
Links pointing to your website from manufacturers’ websites are extremely important and can assist in increasing your website’s authority, visibility in search, and most importantly, generating greater amounts of eCommerce revenue.
Take some time to look over your website, and ascertain whether or not the manufacturers link to authorised online retailers. This is really simple, all you need to do is to type into Google, ‘manufacturer’s name + authorised retailers’ and find if they have a page. If they do, then happy days and you can start outreaching to gain a high-quality backlink!
5. Competitor Backlink Analysis
In order to keep ahead of your competitors, you should ensure that you are regularly taking a look at their backlink profiles and seeing if there are any opportunities for you to exploit. Simply put, your competitor’s URL into your backlink tool, export them into an Excel spreadsheet, do a bit of authority analysis and decide which ones you want to utilise next to achieve your revenue goals.
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