As an eCommerce business, your entire livelihood essentially relies upon the Internet. If you don’t attract visitors to your website you won’t make any sales, and if you don’t make any sales, you’ll quickly go out of business.
There are many different ways to attract people to your website, but one of the most fundamental is through search engines. Search engines are now the primary way we gather information, making it important that you rank highly within the search results. To do this, you need to focus on link building.
Link building is defined as “the process of exchanging links with other Web sites to increase your own site’s backlinks and quality backlinks.” Search engines place a large emphasis on the links to your web pages, so you need to be strategic in how you get them. Here are six tactics you can use to get started:
Work with Brand Influencers
One of the first things you can do is work with people who are popular across social media. We call these people Influencers. Today, most people, especially those in the younger generations, are not looking to be sold to in the traditional methods. They are less responsive to television ads or sales calls.
Instead, they want to see people they look up to and admire enjoying your product. Think of it like a celebrity endorsement, only in this case the celebrities are people who are popular on social media in particular niches.
For example, if you run a business that produces a skin care product, you could partner with someone who produces popular makeup tutorials online. You then pay them to promote your product links to their followers. If you don’t think you have the time to do all of this yourself, consider hiring a social media manager.
If this sounds like a strategy that might work for your business, you can learn more about using social media influencers from this guide.
Turn Customers into Ambassadors
Along the same lines of using influencers is to turn your current customers into brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are people who go out and talk about your product, trying to convince others to try it. However, unlike influencers you find on social media, brand ambassadors are people who have a passion for your product. These are the people who even if you weren’t offering a reward would talk about your product anyway.
There’s a lot that goes into starting a brand ambassador program for your business. If you’d like to find out more about the benefits and what it requires, you can check out this article. Once you have the program set up, you’ll have people who are passionate about your product sharing links to it all across the web.
Make Stuff that is Shareable
Next, you want to make it easy for people to share information about you online. There are several ways you can do this. You can create helpful infographics, produce tutorial videos, or write in-depth blog posts, among other things.
If the things you are creating have value, other people will want to share them with their family and friends. To make it easier for them, include links or buttons on each item you create that allows someone to share it directly to their social media accounts. Now not only are you getting your name out there, but you’re getting links back to your site.
Get as Many Reviews as You Can
Most people like to conduct research before they purchase a product. Once they see a product they think they might like, they’ll often head over to Google and search for reviews. By seeing what other people thought of the product they can better determine if they should make the purchase.
To that end, you’ll want to get your products and business reviewed online. When people type your business name or product names into a search engine, you want them to find reviews so that they feel more comfortable buying it.
There are several ways you can start getting reviews. When you launch a new product, provide some samples of leading blogs or YouTube channels in your niche. Create business listings on sites like Yelp and Google and ask your customers to leave feedback. Doing this will not only help people feel comfortable about your product, but it will provide useful links back to your website.
We’ve talked about working with people who are popular in your niche, but what about other businesses? Forming partnerships with other businesses can, in fact, earn you a lot of backlinks, if you do it right.
For starters, you don’t want to partner with businesses you are in direct competition with. This is counter-productive. Instead, find a business that operates within the same niche as you, but that doesn’t compete with you. Going back to our skin care example, you could partner with a business that sells hair products, for instance.
When you partner with this other business, you promote each others’ products. With this arrangement, you will gain more traffic from that other business’s website, and backlinks at the same time.
Work on Internal Links Too
Finally, link building isn’t only about getting outside links to your website. You’ll also want to focus on the internal links within your own website. Having a solid link structure in place will help your rankings within search engines, and make it easier for your customers to find their way around.
One easy thing you can do is promote similar products and guides on each product page. Amazon is a great example of this. Whenever you shop on Amazon, you see a list of related products on the product page. So even if you don’t want that particular product, you are directed to others you might have an interest in.
You can do the same thing on your website, either by adding the links in manually or using a plugin that displays similar products. This will hopefully help with not only your link building efforts but with customer retention as well. To learn more about optimizing your internal link structure, check out this guide.
Make Link Building a Priority for Your eCommerce Business
If you use some, or all, of the strategies above you, should find your website rising through the search engine ranks. However, keep in mind that link building is not a one-time activity. Your competition is likely to link building as well, so you have to keep on it, constantly looking for new places to get links or ways to reach your customers. Doing so will help your business grow and keep you ahead of your competition.
About the author:
Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me.