Think Outside the Box: Creative Link Building Strategies for eCommerce
For many eCommerce business owners, the task of creating a diverse and long-term link-building strategy may seem daunting. Of course, link-building is an important part of a comprehensive SEO strategy for any site, and for any site which offers products for sale, it is absolutely essential. This is an exciting time to be involved in ecommerce, and with the concurrent boom in social media and content sharing, the sky is the limit in terms of what you can do with an effective link-building campaign.
Now more than ever, it is important to think outside the box when it comes to your ecommerce SEO strategy and content creation. In 2014, your potential customers are hungry for new and exciting content, and the sites that are tapping into this desire are coming out on top time and again. Putting out innovative content is now the key to garnering fresh links to your site and creating brand awareness and reputation within your niche.
The purpose of this article is to outline a few ideas that you can use to get innovative with your link-building strategy, and get those creative juices flowing!
Optimize Category and Product Pages
Building links to your sites’ category and product pages is an excellent way to increase ranking and traffic to your site. Getting links to category pages is especially beneficial, because these pages will remain constant regardless of changing products or website re-design.
It can be difficult to create interesting content for your category pages, but it can be done. Think outside the box… Would it be possible to build some kind of game into your category page? Look at what your competitors are doing… Are your product images high quality and laid out in a maximally appealing way?
For individual products, consider adding additional information, images, or video to create a more shareable page. Again, think outside the box on this one! Do you sell a product that is unique, funny, strange, or even controversial? This could be a huge asset for generating viral interest and lots of new, unique links back to your site. Try pitching a cool, shocking, or totally innovative product to bloggers in your industry who may be interested in reviewing or featuring it.
Targeted, Shareable Blogging
Your site’s blog can be a valuable tool for driving traffic to your site, if utilized effectively. Instead of using your blog to promote your products, focus instead on educating readers on topics related to your specific niche or industry. (This does not mean that you cannot promote your own products, but focus on a “soft sell” if possible. What is most important is unique and informative content.)
Creating an effective blogging strategy for your ecommerce site can be easy, and also a lot of fun! Assuming that you are passionate about and expert in your field already, use your blog as an outlet to share information, ideas, content, etc. related to your niche which you find particularly interesting or inspiring. Your enthusiasm and sincerity will show through in your writing, and sincerity goes a long way towards building your reputation as an industry expert.
Example: Your site sells women’s swimwear. Your blog could feature instructions (or instructographics) on how to choose the right style of swimsuit for different body types, a breakdown of seasonal color trends, posts on choosing the right accessories, etc.
Appeal to Tastemakers
Another useful way to build links using your blog is to appeal to the egos of tastemakers in your industry by mentioning them favorably in blog posts. For example, if your site sells professional cameras, a post called “Top 10 Most Beautiful Outdoor Photography Blogs” could generate links and shares from the bloggers who appear on your list.
Be sure to do your research ahead of time, and include reputable sites/bloggers who seem likely to share positive content about themselves. After posting, contact them to let them know they have been featured. If they are flattered, you may not have to push too hard to get the links/shares you are after.
Once a relationship has been established, you may want to ask whether the blogger would consider doing an interview with you for your blog, or whether they would be open to having you as a guest blogger. Collaborating with micro-celebrities within your industry can be a great way to create shareable content.
Link-building can require a great deal of time and effort, and the payoff can be gradual, but the benefits of a creative and targeted strategy are many. Organic search is still the primary source of clicks for ecommerce, so building a strong network of back links is essential in keeping your site competitive. Just remember – you are an expert, and nobody knows your product better than you do, so go out there and start building links through dynamic content and solid relationships within your industry!
If you have anything to add, we would love to hear from you in our comments section.