This article covers 50 actionable methods you can implement to get quality backlinks to your site
Search engines assign backlinks a lot of value when it comes to website ranking. This means, if you own an e-commerce site and wish to stand tall above your competitors, you need to have many quality backlinks.
However, if you are 100% involved in the day-to-day running of the site, it may prove impossible to scout for the reliable link building methods that generate genuine traffic. But you no longer need to worry about that. This article covers 50 actionable methods you can implement to get quality backlinks to your site. Without further chit-chat, let's get the ball rolling.
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1. Guest posting
This is the best method for generating backlinks for your e-commerce store. For optimum results, make sure to pitch your request on a site that has the audience you wish to sell your products or services to. Guest posts need to be thoroughly detailed and use language that appeals to buyers’ emotions, encouraging them to click through to your site.
Linking to genuine, high-authority sites not only puts your business in front of many people but it also shows Google you are not a spammer and so can lead to your site ranking better.
2. Ask your manufacturers to link back to you
If you own an e-commerce website, then chances are you have listed products from various manufacturers. You can call or email these suppliers to ask them to link back to you by listing your website on their vendor's list.
3. Guest posting part two: Relationship building
You pitched to a high traffic site, got accepted and your article was posted. Don’t run away just yet. If your article tickles the interest of the readers, they will comment and you need to be around to provide feedback and perhaps guide some to your website.
You also need to keep in touch with the site owner and make updates to your article if necessary. Keeping close ties with top-level bloggers can open up a chance for you to post more articles from different product categories.
4. Product reviews
Google dislikes product review backlinks, and therefore, if you take this road, you need to be extremely cautious. Pitch to reputable bloggers with highly engaging content. Product review links work better if the product represents your brand.
Full disclosure; never say that you received the product for free from manufacturers. If Google sniffs that, your link will be devalued and rendered useless.
5. Spy on your competition
Want to become the best? Then do what they do! How? Simple. Paste their links on tools like Majestic SEO’s and Open Site Explorer to see where their links come from. Copy their strategy using unique and top-notch content and you should see some substantial results soon. Oh, and don’t forget to ignore spammy and low authority sites from your competition’s report.
This is another form of relationship building that can help get more people to your site. Find top influencers within your sector (it’s okay even if they are only partly related to it) from social media and invite them for an interview. You can use email or cold calls to reach out to them. Since most can bounce back, it's a good idea to contact as many as possible in order to increase your chances of a positive reply.
If the interview is high-quality, some influencers would link it to their most active pages, which could earn you some clicks from new visitors.
7. Article submission to websites
Article submission is a less favoured form of guest posting, but if you want to increase your reach, it's worth a try. Though most people will advise you to avoid content firms like Ezinearticles.com, you can still post to them. However, it would be better if you can post on websites that sell the product on your store.
8. Use infographics
Infographics are still relatively new but are a goldmine for getting backlinks. Unfortunately, virtually every marketing site has tapped into them with others posting them for the sake of increasing the number of posts on their site.
Nevertheless, if you write top quality, data-rich infographics and ask influencers/bloggers to share them on social media, the effort will pay off.
9. Content and giveaways
We all love giveaways and will do whatever is needed to be in with a chance of winning something, meaning they are a great option for your e-commerce brand. The best place to host your contest is on a high traffic blog. You can buy the space for your ad and send them your product for them to review.
Once everything checks out, the contest will begin and those that want to be in with a chance of winning will have to follow or like your page to be entered. This strategy can earn you hundreds to thousands of likes and several backlinks. Make sure to engage with your newly acquired audience so they don’t unsubscribe.
Reddit might look like a place where bloggers, programmers and other individuals camp to display their prowess but there is more to the site than meets the eyes.
The platform is insanely authoritative and can get you valuable backlinks. Just one thing though, it's important not to post spam that can annoy readers. Doing so puts you at risk of being downvoted, which can affect the quality of your backlinks.
Fiverr is a useful freelancing platform where you can get bloggers who are willing to post your content and link back to your e-commerce website for as little as $5.
Just be sure to ignore those shiny gigs that promise to build you thousands of links to your website within an unreasonably shorter time frame. Those can get your site penalized.
12. Press releases
Google pretends not to pay much attention to press releases, but they are one of the useful ways to broadcast your e-commerce store. Remember, you may not always get links, but your business will get wide exposure, especially if your release is picked up by other publications.
A piece of advice, though; use press releases only when you have something newsworthy to report, otherwise they will lose their potency.
13. Buy blogs
For some people, pitching blog posts to influencers and other authoritative sites can be time-consuming. Do you have a lot of money and content managers at your disposal? Then buy some blogs and link to your e-commerce store.
This should give you plenty of healthy backlinks. There is a caveat though; don’t host all those sites under one account, as Google will penalize you for foul play.
14. Purchase expired domains
There is a lot of dormant juice in expired domains. Using Open Site Explorer, dig up a couple, buy them and redirect the links to your e-commerce website through 301 redirects. Don’t unearth every dead domain; pick only the domains from your niche.
15. Share your links on marketplaces
Marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, etc. are ideal for incorporating your e-commerce website link. The link has to be placed in strategic places like the product description section in order to get the best results.
16. Reverse image search
It can be frustrating when people use your images without your attribution, but rather than say “it’s okay,” you can email them, commend their great work and politely request that they link back to your site for using your image. You can use Google or tineye.com to find out where your images have been published.
Not the most exciting place to hunt for backlinks but hey, it’s worth checking out. If you are selling a new product that doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, create one and redirect a link back to your e-store. Your resource section - the one with useful guides and articles - can also be cited on a Wikipedia page.
18. Blog commenting
Like Wikipedia, blog commenting mostly consists of no follow links (albeit a few rare exceptions) but it still presents a good way to get noticed not only by platform users but search engines as well. NichePursuits’ Spencer Haws uses this method to rank his niche sites. Your comments should be insightful and useful.
Scribd.com is a hub of articles and books. As an author, your profile page provides an avenue where you can paste a link to your main website. Your content must be outstanding to encourage followers to click the link for more. Additionally, you need to be active for your profile page to be indexed otherwise it will never be seen by many Scribd users.
Slideshare is a social media platform that you can use to get free backlinks to your website. It works best for remarketing existing content.
Business individuals and researchers love presentations and you are likely to attract many of them. However, Slideshare is not a very common social platform and so you will need to promote your slideshows for wider visibility.
21. Be humourous
Writing with flair is one of the most promising ways to get massive traffic to your site. Your content needs to hook readers until they click the share button. It’s not hard to be a good writer; just pick your words carefully and humorously explain yourself without insulting anyone.
Writing content that is fun and in-line with your tone of voice will also help to encourage people - such as bloggers - to link back to your site.
22. Yahoo Answers
When customers want to know if a certain product is reliable or how it works, Yahoo is one of those places they begin to look for answers. Just answer questions that relate to your niche and while doing that, remember to attach your e-commerce website link. Strive to be valuable and readers will visit your site for more.
Quora works in pretty much the same way as Yahoo and can be a great supplement to getting backlinks to your website. Again, make sure to help readers find a solution to their problems and they will find you to be a reliable individual. That definitely translates to more traffic with time.
24. Use a unique product
People love shopping for unique products because they get a distinctive experience. Don’t sell something people are used to. Make sure the product pics are well edited and show off your products in the best ways. There are many easy to use apps available like Instasize, which makes the editing process very simple.
Showcase the unique selling points for each product to highlight how they differ from others available in your sector to set your brand apart.
25. Link with similar businesses
The new e-commerce business you just set up can remain unknown if the monopolies in the space don’t come to your help. While larger companies may not want to collaborate, smaller brands that have a good following may. Approach those who are doing fairly well and request them to link to your site.
This help isn’t going to come for free, you may need to pay for the service or post reciprocating links in your content. So before you visit a site for this favor, try to promote their site on your website and social media pages and they may be more willing to work with you.
26. Offer a unique shopping experience
If you do things a little differently to the conventional market, you can expect customers to come to your site to experience what you're offering.
Let’s use Zappos.com as an example. This site understands that shoes sometimes can fail to fit and thus offers free shipping (even for returns). Pick something unique when it comes to your shopping experience and this could help to encourage traffic and backlinks to your e-commerce website.
27. Create roundups
It’s hard to come up with something unique. However, with a little creativity, you can recreate whatever exists and present as something entirely new. Doing some roundups of videos, posts or even podcasts of influencers within your niche is a good way to start.
Since these influencers are looking to extend their reach and engagement also, they will probably want to share the post, which could earn you some additional backlinks. However, it’s still important to reach out to them in advance and let them know what you are working on.
HARO, which a short form for “Help A Reporter Out” is a platform that connects publishers to professionals in various fields who are willing to share some info. Now, if you have a strong grasp of your niche, you can sign up with HARO and you’ll start getting emails with questions from reporters. Keep skimming them until something that relates to your niche pops up.
If all goes well, the reporters will post their final draft on the news website with a backlink to your website. That should earn you substantial traffic as well.
29. BOTW (a directory)
One of the most authoritative directories on the internet is Best of the Web-BOTW, in short. You part with $150 to get a link from a trustworthy site.
Now, for beginners, that may be a lot for a link that may generate zero returns. However, if your clients visit BOTW before buying anything or if you run a B2B niche with awesome returns, then you may not want to pass up this option.
30. Family-friendly sites
Did you just say to hell with BOTW? I don’t blame you. $150 is a lot of money for a single backlink for some of us. Thankfully, another high ranking directory, Familyfriendlysites.com offers only $49 for any kid-friendly submissions.
31. Niche-specific directories
Niche site directories are also the best place to camp for a backlink. How do I pull up such sites? Simple. Paste the phrase “keyword”+directory or “keyword”+directories in Google, and you should find several of them.
32. Icon sites
If you can make (or already have) some icons that relate to your niche, post them to graphics sites. If Brian Dean (the digital marketing genius) believes in it, you should too.
DMOZ is a directory that gives some mixed feelings. This minute you love it for its authority and the next minute you can get frustrated at how hard it is to get into their system.
They take longer to process applications and there is no guarantee you might succeed. But if you do, be sure of a backlink that is really high-quality.
34. Use brand ambassadors
Talk to some of your loyal customers and ask them to spread the word about your company. Some with websites may go ahead to feature you, which is good even if the traffic is not bountiful.
Nevertheless, the social media buzz they create can direct more traffic to your e-commerce site. You'll also get great user-generated content that can give your brand something to share on social media that shows off your products.
35. Blogger ambassadors
If you sell products along with powerful messages, you can easily attract like-minded bloggers who can help to spread the gospel even further. Imagine the value you can get from over ten brand evangelists linking back to you. The traffic can be insanely massive, not to mention the benefits to your rankings.
36. Friends and family
Why struggle when you can request friends and family members with websites and active social media accounts to link to your website. The traffic may not be impressive, but it’s still traffic and can help increase awareness of your brand.
37. Cold pitch to strangers
Look up some websites within your niche and get in contact with the admins for a link back to your e-commerce site. You may get more rejections than positive responses, but it is worth a try, especially if their content is closely tied to your products. If you feel uncomfortable making such a blatant request, then establish some rapport first.
38. Use buyer guides and how-to articles
Buyer guides and how-to articles help customers who are struggling with something within your sector. Setting up a blog that includes internal links to product suggestions can help drive traffic and offers customers shareable content.
This part of your site is likely to attract traffic through long-tail keyword searches and so, through customer shares, you are likely to end up with a couple of backlinks pointing back to your e-store.
It may not be on par with other social media giants, but Google+ has quite a substantial number of users. If you have an excellent profile and post often, your links will attract followers.
40. Share on social media
Currently, social media has a huge role to play in marketing anything. So many of us spend almost an hour on social media pages every day. The biggest platforms to market your website are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat. Make sure to add your website’s link in your profile section and develop a solid social media strategy.
41. Write stunning content
You can buy a million backlinks and even get featured in extremely authoritative sites but if your content doesn’t inspire action, educate or provide value to the readers, you are doomed to fail. Stellar content can go viral, drive traffic and free backlinks to your site.
42. 800 directory
Did you know that you can land backlinks from 800.com by simply getting a 1-800 number? The number can be obtained for as little as $10. This method is recommended by Brian Dean and Neil Patel.
43. Social bookmarking
Any page that is bookmarked on social bookmarking sites is considered by search engines as a quality backlink. The method may not be as impressive as it used to be during its heyday, but it’s still one those free methods worth looking into.
44. Draft tributes for other businesses
Have you used a product or a service from another business? Impress them by writing a testimonial and they will happily share it on their blog with a juicy link back to your site.
45. .Edu resource page
Edu domains tend to link out to other websites with relevant and informative content. So, if your website has informational articles that someone can use for research purposes, write to .edu website owners and request a backlink. It’s not as easy as it sounds though.
46. Sponsorship programs for edu links
.Edu links can be expensive to get but their returns can be massive. First, this deal is better for e-commerce sites that provide items that college clubs use, like soccer kits, and anything of relevance to college students. Just provide what you can in exchange for a backlink. No need to spend more than you can afford.
47. Employee discounts
This another promising way to get .edu links. Depending on your marketing techniques and the discount is given, many .edu websites won’t mind offering a backlink since you are useful to their employees. However, most universities will need your phone number and a physical address.
48. Blogger and WordPress
WordPress.org and Blogger.com provide you with an opportunity to make Web 2.0 blogs that allow you to link to yourself. A caveat; use different names for each account or search engines will penalize you for foul play.
Not exactly the most ideal place to hunt for a backlink but it’s still a great supplement. Look for one or two less junky lenses with a sign of participation and link them to your site.
50. Partner with horrible-looking websites
Don’t get me wrong here. This method is more of relationship building than you know. There are websites out there with a very displeasing UI, but they have an awesome PageRank. Offer to revamp their site and in return link back to your e-commerce website.
Okay, folks, we’ve come to the end of this long list of 50 actionable ways to get quality backlinks to your website. Find what works for you, whether it’s a free method or paid. Remember, content is the backbone of your site to make it as in-depth and valuable as possible.
Do you know other unknown but reliable methods to get quality backlinks to a website? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Ana Farr is the Community Manager at ecommerce-platforms.com and Unblock.net. She is a matcha and mindfulness enthusiast and loves to chat about the implications of Blockchain technology.