Why Ecommerce Retailers Should Prioritize Link-Building

Link-building is one of the most vital — and underutilized — pieces of the ecommerce puzzle. How vital? According to this study by SEMrush, more than 92% of sites that make it to the top 100 are using backlinks. They also confirmed that most sites without backlinks will never reach page one.

If you’re running ecommerce, link-building should be a key component in your strategy to increase traffic and revenue. It’s the secret to getting your brand in front of new eyes who are often very close to the decision-making stage in their journey.

There are several well-practiced methods for building a strong link profile. Here’s what you need to know about link-building and how to start building a stronger profile that drives more qualified organic traffic to your pages. 

How Does Link-Building Work?

There are two types of links to consider on any given webpage: internal links and external links. Internal links are links that take your viewers from one page to another within your website. This might be from a blog to a specific product page, for example. The goal here is to keep people on your site longer and expose them to as many aspects of your business as possible. It’s your chance to create trust and familiarity — and hopefully, conversions.


External links are in-text links that take readers from one website to another website. Often, these “backlinks” are pointing to the other site as a resource for products or more information. These links should be relevant to their articles so that readers who want to learn more about the topic can click through to your site. In this way, it creates an avenue for you to gain new organic traffic.

As an added bonus, search engines like Google and Bing consider backlinks from reputable sites as a vote of confidence in your website’s credibility and authority. Thus, the more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). Other factors, such as the relevance of phrases used with these backlinks, are also considered.

Search engines also have bots that crawl your website looking for quick clues about what you do and what your level of expertise is. Internal links help inform the search bots, so it’s necessary to have both types of links in your link building strategy.

Effective Link-Building in Ecommerce

Since having more high-quality backlinks pointing to your ecommerce site will boost your ranking in the SERPs and bring in traffic looking for more information, it needs to be a priority in your ecommerce strategies. To help you get the most out of your link-building efforts, here are some of the best ways to get it done:

1. Create high-quality, sharable content: One of the best ways to earn backlinks is by creating interesting content that people want to share and promote on their own websites or social media platforms. This could include informative blog posts, visually appealing infographics and engaging product pages. When your pages are interesting and helpful, others will naturally share links to it.

As your link-building strategy gains momentum, you may want help maintaining quality content across your site. You’ll also need to refresh older content periodically so that it continues to meet the expectations of new visitors and returning customers.

2. Build relationships with other sites: When you know who makes the content on other websites, you can shoot an email over with something interesting from your site. They may be willing to link to it within their own content if it’s relevant, and you’ll get organic backlinks.

A lot of websites offer guest posts as well, which involves you writing articles for other websites in exchange for the byline credit and link back to your website.

It helps if you’re well-acquainted with those decision-makers so that your emails are more likely to be opened and read. Developing these connections with reputable sites that cater to your target audience takes time, though. If you’re looking for faster results, you can work with companies that maintain curated networks for backlinking strategies.

3. Utilize online directories and business listings: Make sure your business is listed on popular online directories and business listings, such as Google My Business, Yelp and Chambers of Commerce. Also, keep in touch with your local Things-To-Do page administrators whenever your business is hosting or participating in events that might be listed.

Listing your business on these types of relevant directories is a fast and easy way to get free backlinks on high-authority sites. You can list your business on directories one by one, hire a freelance virtual assistant to handle this project or enlist a citation-building service to do it for you.

4. Leverage the power of outsourcing to experts: With little or no prior knowledge about link-building, it can be difficult to try to build a great link profile on your own. Likewise, if you’re running a small team, finding time to treat this as a high priority among your existing workload is tough. If this is you, consider connecting with experienced pros who specialize in getting backlinks en masse.

Avoid Common Link-Building Mistakes

There are some mistakes people make in the process of building backlinks that can hurt your efforts rather than help them, though. Here are some pitfalls to beware of:

  • Focusing on quantity instead of quality: More is not always best. This approach may result in the accumulation of low-quality or spammy backlinks, which can harm your website’s reputation and ranking. Instead, prioritize working with authoritative and relevant websites to improve your credibility and reputation.
  • Participating in link schemes or buying unnatural links: Unethical practices are against Google’s guidelines and can lead to heavy penalties, including a drop in search engine rankings or even getting banned from search results altogether. It’s best to stay away from any methods that go against ethical SEO practices.
  • Neglecting diversity in anchor texts: Anchor texts play a crucial role in backlinking. However, having too many links with the same exact anchor text can be seen as manipulative by search engines. Instead, focus on using a variety of natural and relevant anchor texts that reflect the content of the linked page and ensure that the content will make sense for the readers who click through.
  • Ignoring website relevancy: Backlinks from websites that are not relevant to your industry or niche may not bring much value to your website. Instead, try to build relationships and get backlinks from websites that are related to your industry. This will not only improve your chances of being found by potential customers but also signals to search engines that your website is reputable.

Reap the Rewards of Link-Building

As an ecommerce retailer, behind-the-scenes strategies like link-building are necessary to stay relevant and get noticed. High-quality backlinks can greatly improve your website’s search engine rankings and bring in new organic traffic.

When those backlinks are coming from relevant websites with users that align with your customer base, you’ll find that they are already interested in your products and much closer to the coveted decision-making point in their customer journey than new leads.

The result? Increased revenue that continues to grow long after the backlink is created.

Rachel Hernandez has been a digital content creator and strategist for close to a decade, using her background in fiction and creative nonfiction to craft stories and content that emotionally resonate and connect with the user.  In 2016 she launched The HOTH’s content department, leading in-house teams and 700+ freelancer writers to produce over 20,000 pieces of content per month for businesses and marketing agencies all over the world. She’s currently The HOTH’s Director of Brand Strategy, where she develops and oversees all marketing content and public relations efforts and acts as a brand ambassador, representing The HOTH on webinars, podcasts and marketing conferences.

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