10 Linkbuilding Tips for Ecommerce Websites

Most of the linkbuilding tips on BlogStorm have been focused primarily towards linkbait for blogs rather than ecommerce sites and, after an email from one of our readers, it’s time to redress the balance and offer some help to webmasters who run ‘real’ websites.

Design

Having a stunning design and investing the time to make your site usable is very important. It is much easier to attract links to a website that has a nice design than to try and promote an amateurish
and hard to use website.

Start a directory

This does NOT mean starting a directory of useless links like you see on a huge number of low quality sites.

By starting a directory I mean building a unique resource of partners/retailers that are related to your niche. For example a freezer manufacturer could create a directory of authorised retailers
with links to their websites, location maps and a description of the store. Create a really top quality resource and companies will email asking to be included and be more than happy to link to your site in
return.

Some of you might be thinking that this is just a glorified link exchange program that won’t help your search engine rankings. This type of link exchange between sites that actually work together
offline is very valuable and, assuming the sites that link to you haven’t been engaging in mass link exchanges, will help your rankings significantly in the long term.

Done correctly you should find that creating a unique page for each company in the directory draws significant long tail traffic.

Create a news section

Blogging isn’t always a good idea for a commercial site. Company politics can get in the way and the opinions of the blogger can be censored to a point that it is no longer relevant as a blog.

The best linkbuilding tip is to create a news section on your site and post about the latest events from your industry every day in a non biased way. If you have a car insurance website you can post on the latest motoring and insurance news and become a trusted resource for this type of information. Spend the time to make sure you are included in Google News and network with other similar sites to make sure they read your posts. If you can break the news before other sites you will
attract links and build authority.

Try to make your news pages less commercial than the rest of your site so users trust you as a non biased resource. Adding a news section offers you a platform to publish the timely content that works so well in social media and also gives you somewhere to publish company specific news and press releases.

Publish your press releases

If you don’t want to publish press releases in a news section make sure you have a dedicated press section instead. A well known mobile phone company in the UK carried out a study concluding that mobile phones were dirtier than toilet seats and missed out on hundreds of links by not publishing the press release on their site.

Start networking

If your company is a faceless commercial organisation then attracting links is much harder. Make sure you participate on relevant forums and add comments on blogs so that people know who you are and realise that there is a face behind your website.

Use some reputation monitoring tools to make sure you know what is being said about your brand. If customers are posting negative comments respond to them personally and offer to help them resolve the
issues.

Launch an affiliate program

Offering an affiliate program is an easy way to persuade websites to link to your site. Offer a generous commission along with lots of tools, banners and articles for your affiliates to use and give affiliates access to a dedicated affiliate manager to guide them through the process. Allowing deep links to your product pages is a good idea to improve conversion rates and search rankings . Some successful merchant sites offer to write custom content for certain affiliates as well as create dedicated co-branded landing pages.

Make sure you operate your affiliate program in house so that the links still pass weight. Links via services such as Commission Junction or TradeDoubler will not pass any benefits (apart from
sales).

Sponsor an event

By sponsoring an event you will usually be mentioned in the press leading up to the event as well as in the roundup afterwards. If your budget is limited try sponsoring events in the blogosphere such as
parties or blog contests. Bloggers are much more likely to link to your site than mainstream media and you don’t need a huge budget to reach them.

Give away your products for review

Sending a product to a popular website or blog for review pretty much guarantees you a link at the end of the review.

Make your site a useful resource

Each product should have a dedicated page on your site with thumbnail links to quality images of the product. There should also be detailed specifications, delivery information, product descriptions and
possibly even videos of the product in action. If your page has more information than your competitors it’s much more likely to attract a link.

Pay to advertise

Although the adverts you buy might not pass link juice it is always worth becoming a paid advertiser at the leading sites in your industry. Websites are always eager to please their advertisers and
will sometimes link to them from other stories and articles.

By Patrick Altoft. at 7:55PM on Wednesday, 29 Aug 2007

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

  • http://earningfromaffiliates.com Matt Houldsworth

    Nice article, it is worth remembering that the success of link building will not be seen over night, it is something that will take time. Keeping at it, trying to get as many QUALITY linkbacks as possible and you will see the results.

    It is often worth trying to contact a webmaster of a similar site to yours to ask for a link back, but make sure they already have a links section and make sure you approach them in the right way, be polite, understand it is you doing the asking and they have every right to say no!

  • http://abchomepreschool.com/ Shana Albert

    This was an excellent post. Thank you for writing these tips specifically for eCommerce Websites. I have read tons of articles and posts regarding link building, but I loved that this one was specific for eCommerce.

    You have yourself a dedicated fan!!

  • Essam Altuhafi

    Dear Patrick, Thanks a lot for this great post its really useful.

  • http://vladimirpetkovic.com/blog/ Vladimir

    Nice post, informative. An observation on affiliate links: it’s not quite as simple to get link juice from affiliate links because of tracking issues and affiliate links appearing in SERPs (someone clicks an affiliate link on a SERP and credits the affiliate with traffic, possibly a sale, but shouldn’t). There are ways to bypass this but can be tricky.

  • http://dropshiparea.com Alex

    Affiliate program is no doubt the easiest way to go, but it is not a simple task to recruit affiliates nowadays

  • http://ecommercewebsitehosting.org Ecommerce website solutions

    Nice tips, thanks for sharing!

  • http://topdog-internet-hosting.com David

    Given the ever changing SE algorithms in creating link equity from SE’s, I was wondering how relevant two of the above suggestions may still be today given that this article was published 12 months ago “Create a news section” & “Publish your press releases”. How relevant are internally linked pages vs. external links pointing to a site in SE rankings? I was under the impression that today link equity is mostly a function of external links not internal (but you can pass some link equity between your internal pages by linking correctly).

    We know that external links pass link equity. But what is the advantage of building (read paying for) internal links for say a news section or press release section vs. working on external links. From a SE perspective only.

  • http://www.blogstorm.co.uk Patrick Altoft

    David, the article might be a year old but it is still relevant today.

    Creating a news section and releasing press releases that are designed to increase publicity and build links to any page on the site is always going to help rankings whether the links point to the homepage or an internal page.

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  • http://geekcenteronline.com David

    I am wondering how to build links for my site. It is more educational than commercial, and many of the websites I would want to link to and receive links from are either non-profits, government or edu sites. Seems to be very difficult to get those types of links. Any suggesstions would be appreciated. I would also really appreciate a review of the site.

  • http://www.ebizexperiment.com Making dollars online

    Nice article indeed. I find that the best ways amongst the ones you said is link building (to gain search engine importance) content and site design. Your site design can give you a low or high bounce rate and thats an important variable

  • http://www.internetbusinesspath.com Ecommerce Help – Tyrone Shum

    I have to say that this has been an excellent post. Most of the time tips like these are directed to blogs, so out of the blue, I checked it out since I am into Ecommerce. I have to agree that design is a sure factor to win your way towards more traffic however you shouldn’t overrate your design. Get a creative lay-out yet keep the professional air of the lay-out. Making your site a useful resource is a plus factor too since when you do a great in quality post especially one that is brief yet informative, people tend to clamor for more and even asks you questions regarding the topic.

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  • http://www.seoconsultantuk.co.uk seoconsultant

    affiliates if done correctly bring in tons of conversions however with the advent of adsense and now web 2.0 you always need to be checking and monitoring your marketing and seo efforts.

  • http://www.tag44.com tag44

    This tips are ok, but what about the main process, the link exchange one..??

  • rainy 124

    Hi! nice to see this blog ,its the one which make the readers wise on ecommerce and it having the useful tips for the web masters who having commercial blogs and innovative ideas for the new commers.Thank U.

  • http://www.marketingharrogate.co.uk lee

    Great post, i will certainly be putting some of these tips into effect on future projects. Kep up the good work.

  • http://partofstyle.com http://partofstyle.com

    affiliates if done correctly bring in tons of conversions however with the advent of adsense and now web 2.0 you always need to be checking and monitoring your marketing and seo efforts.

    Read more about 10 Linkbuilding Tips for Ecommerce Websites by Blogstorm SEO Blog

  • http://obatjerawatbatu.blogspot.com dur14t

    amazing, you give great tips for my website progress. thanks

  • http://pokerleader.org poker leader

    best thing i like here is By sponsoring an event you will usually be mentioned in the press leading up to the event as well as in the roundup afterwards./

  • http://www.snugbabyshop.co.uk/bedtime SnugBabyShop

    Never thought about starting a directory and the backlinks it would create – good idea, I will consider it.

  • http://www.godotmedia.com/copywriting ebook writer

    Good that i read your post. I didn’t know that different strategies have to be adopted for different types of sites. Thanks a lot!