8 Ways To Build Backlinks To Your Shopify Store
Did you know that backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for SEO, if not the most important one? Google uses backlinks to ascertain whether a website is popular or not.
A website that nobody links to probably doesn’t contain any information worth linking to — at least, that’s how Google sees it. A blog that has dozens of backlinks from awesome websites, on the other hand, is probably pretty awesome itself.
And, since Google wants its users to have an awesome user experience, it will put your website higher up in the SERPs.
If you run an ecommerce site, getting valuable backlinks is critical. There’s a lot of competition in ecommerce — you might be selling products other stores are selling, and you may even be competing with big sites like Walmart for certain products.
That’s why you need as many backlinks as you can get.
However, getting quality backlinks isn’t as easy as some people make it out to be. If you want quality backlinks, you need to offer quality content that is worth linking to.
If your content doesn’t have anything to offer their readers, a high-quality blogger won’t want to link to it.
Fortunately, however, there are a number of ways to get quality backlinks, even if your ecommerce store is just starting out.
Quality content remains important — but, as you will see, there are several ways to create such content. You don’t necessarily have to spend hours writing and publishing multiple blog posts a week.
Let’s get into it.
More backlinks are associated with more organic search traffic, according to a study by Ahrefs. However, to get backlinks, your Shopify store needs to be link-worthy.
Getting backlinks as an ecommerce store owner is a bit tougher than it is for bloggers. People are more hesitant to link to ecommerce stores, and nobody’s going to want to link to a product page and promote your products for free.
That’s why you need to create a blog. A blog gives you an opportunity to offer more than just product pages.
But, before you create a blog, you need to make sure your site looks professional and is well-developed. Use a Shopify Development Agency to get a professional, clean, and user-friendly site.
Guest posting remains the most popular and most effective backlink building method. Sure, it requires effort — but it works.
To be successful with guest posting, you need to keep a few things in mind:
- You need to target the right blogs when submitting pitches.
- You need to email the right person — whoever is in charge of content marketing for that site.
- You need to draft your pitches carefully, and you need to customize them to the blogger you’re pitching to.
- You need to write quality articles and send good ideas in your pitches.
So, how can you find quality blogs for your outreach campaign? One way is to use a tool like Ahrefs to analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles and see which sites are linking to them.
Some of those backlinks will have come organically, without any work from your competitors. However, there is a good chance that your competitors submitted guest post pitches to quite a few of them.
Try to see if any of those blogs have a “Guest Post Submissions” option in their menu. It might not be in the main menu, so see if it’s hidden somewhere in the footer or sidebar.
Of course, don’t research just one competitor. Research a whole list of competitors, so you can get a broader and more robust backlink profile than any single one of them.
When writing your pitches, don’t copy and paste the same pitch to everyone. It might save you some time, but you’ll get a lower conversion rate.
Instead, customize each pitch. Try to establish a connection, be a little personal, and show that you are familiar with their blog and have read and understood their guest post guidelines.
Lay your blog post idea out clearly, and make sure it is something unique. Remember, bloggers get dozens or hundreds of pitches a day, including fully-written submissions, so try to stand out.
A surefire way to attract organic backlinks is by writing a “skyscraper article.”
Popularized by Brian Dean of Backlinko, who saw a 652 percent increase in traffic using this method, it is based on a simple assumption: If you write the most comprehensive resource on any particular topic, you will get the most backlinks and the highest rankings.
Your job here is to look at the top 10 search results for a specific keyword or topic. You’ll take note of all the points each blog talks about.
You’ll find that while many blogs cover similar points, one blog might introduce a new idea or tip that nobody else is talking about. Another blog might introduce another unique idea.
The next step will be to create a new article that encompasses all the ideas and tips contained in those top 10 articles. Not only that, but you will try to introduce original ideas and tips that aren’t found in any of those articles.
In other words, you are creating a “skyscraper” — the tallest, longest, and most comprehensive article, with the most information.
You might end up with the longest list of tips, the most detailed how-to guide, or the largest resource of recommended software tools to use. Whatever the topic is, you want to stand out head and shoulders above anyone else.
You can expect organic backlinks to come naturally. After all, everyone wants to link to the most helpful articles to improve their own user experience.
To speed things up, you can email people who link to one of those top 10 pages and mention that you have an updated, more comprehensive guide they might want to check out.
This tactic also works well when combined with other methods, such as guest posting. Getting those first few backlinks from guest posts can help you get your foot in the door and increase the number of backlinks you get organically.
Another great way to get organic backlinks is to create a free tool. For example, if you blog about the SEO niche, you can create a tool that allows people to audit their site for SEO or check their rankings for a particular keyword.
Of course, that’s not ecommerce specific, so here’s another example. Let’s say you sell products to help with sleep apnea.
You might create a short quiz that people can fill out to see if they are suffering from sleep apnea.
Or, if you sell gluten or lactose free products, you can create a short tool/quiz that can help people see if they might have some sort of lactose or gluten intolerance. In that case, they might want to try out your lactose or gluten free alternatives to enjoy a better quality of life.
For example, Lactaid, which is an enzyme supplement that helps people digest milk and dairy products, has such a tool on its site.
Another good idea is to create a comparison quiz that allows consumers to compare different items to see which ones meet their needs the best, like this tool that helps people figure out which computer to buy:
Creating such a tool is often easier than you think. You can hire a developer to create one for you, or you may even be able to find a white label solution.
A white label tool allows you to host a ready made tool on your own website, with your own branding and logos. Usually, that involves a one time purchase of a white label license.
Again, the idea here is to offer a tool that is better than what is already out there. It might be better in that it has more features, or it may simply load quicker.
If the tool doesn’t exist yet, that’s even better.
It can also be more accessible. For example, others might charge a fee or require users to sign up for a free trial or create an account to use the tool, while you can allow people to use it without even signing up.
Once you have a free tool, backlinks will come organically — if it’s a useful tool.
Furthermore, you can email bloggers in your niche whose readers might benefit from such a tool. Suggest that they link to your tool — after all, it’s free, and it can help their readers out.
If you don’t have the resources to create a tool, or if you can’t think of a tool that would be useful to consumers, consider creating an infographic instead.
Infographic outreach is almost like guest post outreach — but you can use the same infographic over and over again. You can’t do that with blog posts, because no blogger worth their weight in salt would ever post duplicate content.
Since infographics are basically images, that’s not a problem.
However, your infographic does need to be worth using. It should:
- Be concise and easy to understand
- Explain a complex issue or data in a simple manner
- Address relevant, current issues
- Have eye-catching graphics and pleasant fonts and colors
- Include shocking or noteworthy data or helpful tips
You can take the old “create and wait” approach, but with infographics, I recommend doing outreach as well. Look for bloggers that covered the same topic as the infographic.
Email those bloggers and send them your infographic — tell them they can use it for free (with a link crediting you as the source, of course).
If your infographic will help their readers and improve the user experience, many will be glad to add it to their blog posts. They’ve got nothing to lose.
Pro tip: If you want to create infographics for free, check out Canva. It’s an awesome tool that even people without design skills can use to create beautiful infographics.
Another great way to get more organic traffic is to conduct original research or case studies. For example, if you sell a particular product, you can do a study on its true effects and the percentage of people who use it who have seen relief from their symptoms.
This research needs to be original. Sure, you can go to Google Scholar and compile little-known research into an article — but you still will not be the original source.
When people cite statistics, data, research, and case studies, they usually want to cite the original source.
Tools like SurveyMonkey can help you conduct market research and send out polls.
If you can’t conduct any research or case studies, you can create an infographic using data from studies others have done. But I already covered that method — this method is different.
An alternative to this method is to be the first to post a breaking news story on your blog. Depending on your niche, this might be easier than it sounds.
Some types of breaking news stories you can write about include:
- A governmental agency, such as the USDA, issuing a recall or safety alert (you can monitor governmental recalls from a variety of agencies on Recalls.gov)
- A company recalling its own product
- A company releasing a new product or announcing a product update
- Breaking research or studies
- A new event or trade show related to your niche
Be creative! You probably don’t want to turn your blog into a news site, so don’t use this method too often.
However, when there is a breaking story that may be of real interest to your readers, consider covering it.
One way to be alerted about breaking news stories is to set up an alert for a keyword or topic in Google Alerts. It’s free, and you’ll get an email when the keyword is mentioned anywhere on the web.
A solid way to gain backlinks is to join HARO (Help a Reporter). Reporters are always looking for the latest scoop, and you might be able to provide it to them.
HARO connects reporters with businesses and companies who can provide information about upcoming releases, new research, local events, and more.
If you run a local business, you might be of use to local reporters for local news sites; if you run a location independent ecommerce store, focus on journalists in your niche.
Reporters create queries — these are requests for information, sources, breaking news, and so on. You’ll get emails a few times a day with a summary of recent queries.
Reply to them! Not all queries will be relevant to your niche, and not all queries will be about topics you have quality information about.
However, if you do spot a query that you have expert information about, contact the reporter. Work on your pitch carefully, just like you would write a guest post pitch carefully.
Also, make sure to follow the rules HARO for responding to queries — see a full list of them here.
Explain to the reporter why you are qualified to answer that query. You have to act quickly — reporters get a lot of responses to their queries, but they also want to write news articles as quickly as possible.
By being one of the first qualified sources to respond, you may be able to provide them with the information they need. When they write the article, you can get a backlink.
A great way to provide value and get backlinks is to start a podcast. Release a new episode a few times a month or once a week and cover topics of interest to your customers.
You might discuss new updates in your niche, how to use specific products to achieve specific results, and other topics of interest.
For example, if you sell prepping and survival products, why not start a podcast about that, like the Survival and Basic Badass Podcast?
You can start a podcast about anything, even clocks or locks. If the topic exists, there will be people who are obsessed with it.
Finally, a surefire way to get quality backlinks is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and build relationships with other bloggers and even other ecommerce sellers.
You can join Facebook groups, forums, and even your local chamber of commerce. You can also attend trade shows, networking events, and workshops.
Linking out to other bloggers may help you get noticed, but don’t use this as a strategy. Most bloggers won’t notice that you linked to them, and almost none will automatically reciprocate a link.
Instead, simply place outbound links to high-quality sources naturally, when applicable.
One thing you do need to avoid is using a reciprocal linking strategy to get backlinks. High-quality blogs do link to each other naturally with regularity, but explicitly exchanging links can get you in trouble.
According to Google, using a reciprocal linking strategy (I’ll link to you if you link to me) as a method for building backlinks falls under the category of a link scheme.
Shopify is SEO friendly, which is why many people are switching over to Shopify from platforms like Magento. Using Shopify, not only can you use off-page SEO methods like link building, but optimizing your site for SEO using on-page methods is easy as well.
If you’re thinking of switching over to Shopify but don’t know how, Shopify Migration Experts can help. Migrating from other platforms can be tricky, especially if you want to keep your product and customer data.
Once you’ve completed the migration process, built a link-worthy site, and optimized your page using on-page SEO techniques, you can move on to link building using the methods I talked about above.
Think of link building as a journey. The more valuable content you have, the better results you will get from your outreach emails.
Be patient, create all types of awesome content, and be persistent with your link building campaigns.
Vibhav Gaur plays a key role in empowering Ebzion’s Automobile Aftermarket clients to sustainably grow their online revenues by leveraging technology + digital marketing.
With a strong background in technology and key focus in Automotive marketing he has helped multiple aftermarket OEMs and Retailers make it big online.
Need quick insights to improve your current online strategy?
Feel free to reach out: [email protected]