Building links to your website is one of the best ways to move up the search rankings.
The idea behind this tactic is that you're helping search engines understand whether your content is relevant to the searcher.
But if you dig a little deeper you'll find it's a little more complex than that.
Links are essentially votes to your store, the more you get, the more you're proving to search engines that you can be trusted, and so the higher you'll move up the search ranks, which ultimately leads to plenty of traffic.
Problem is, not all links are created equal. A link from the New York Times is far more valuable than a site that's been live for a couple of months.
And that's why link building is a difficult technique to master.
So how do you generate valuable links? Here are four actionable tactics to implement today:
1. Product Reviews
As a store owner, product reviews can be a great way to direct lots of traffic back to your site. Getting people to review your products should be fairly easy; send them a free sample in return for a review and link back to your site.
But as I've already mentioned above, the link you gain needs to come from a reputable source.
How do you know what's reputable and what isn't?
Domain authority is a signal of whether a website can be trusted or not. Each website is given marks out of 100 on different variables.
If you check out Moz, you can install a toolbar to your browser and it will show you every domain authority of each website you visit.
Typically, you'll want to target sites that have a domain authority of 50 and above.
So when it comes to generating product reviews, you'll want to get in touch with people that have influential status in your industry.
A great tool to use is BuzzSumo. You can use your product as your keyword to search for influencers.
So for example, a quick search for protein powder brings up the results for the most shared authors surrounding that topic.
You can then access their details and contact them to see if they would be open to writing a review on their website.
Not only is that good publicity for you, but it's a valuable link to your store.
2. Manufacturer Links
This is a fairly easy one to do, and one that can generate some valuable links, particularly if the products you are selling are widely known.
Let's say for example you sell Ugg boots. A quick Google search for “authorized online retailers ugg” will bring up a set of results to manufacturers that list retailers on their site.
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You can then visit the page and find out if your site is listed. If it isn't then a quick email should fix that. It's a win for both you and the manufacturer as you're helping to sell more of their products, and they're helping to generate traffic back to your site.
3. Guest Posts
A guest post is another great way to direct traffic to your store as you're writing an article on a mainstream blog about a topic that's relevant to what you sell.
Again, using BuzzSumo can help you here as you can search for key blogs and influencers to ask them if they would accept a guest post from you.
Asking to write a guest post can be a little harder than asking for a product review. You need to prove to the blogger that you have the expertise to create a valuable blog post that would fit on their site. The key is all in your approach.
Once you've got a list of bloggers in mind, the first step would be to do your research. What do they blog about? What content do they post on social? Do they know who you are?
Make sure that before you approach them you take an interest in their content, comment on their articles and even share their posts across your social channels. Now that you've got them to notice who you are, you can send them your pitch.
I'd recommend to:
- Keep it short, friendly and personalized.
- Reference a piece of content that you like on their blog.
- Be clear in that you would like to write a guest post.
- Reference your credentials and link back to a writing sample.
4. Find the Missing Links
Often on the web, people will mention your brand or product, but not include a link back to you. This can be frustrating especially as we know how valuable a link can be, but there is a way to get around this.
Check out tools such as Mention.com and you'll be able to search for your brand, or a keyword to find any mentions across the web. I'd suggest using your products as the keywords so that you can contact the web owner and ask them to link back to you.
Sure this tactic may take time, but it can have a huge impact on the success of your store by doing so.
So those are my top tips on generating valuable links to your E-commerce store.
The one thing to remember is that you won't see overnight success with link building.
You need to continuously work at it so that you can build up a trusted website, and direct more traffic to your site.