Backlink strategy for eCommerce brands | How to Increase Authority

Backlinks are one of the most important organic ranking factors and when it comes to backlinks, quality is always more important than quantity. If you’re looking to increase the authority of your eCommerce site, you need to have a strategy in place for how to acquire backlinks in order to get your site’s products showing up on the first page of Google.

When Jason and I founded the Media Captain back in 2010, we became obsessed with SEO and began to see the importance of high quality backlinks to increase your domain authority. Ever since then, we’ve been using the strategies discussed below to get high quality links from authoritative sources for The Media Captain and our in-house eCommerce brand, DermWarehouse

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, so let’s take a step back for a minute…

Learn More: Better Understanding Domain Authority When It Comes to SEO

What are Backlinks for SEO?

A backlink is a link on another website that goes to a page on your website. Backlinks are important because they help to show how authoritative your site is. If another authoritative site is linking back to your site in an article, it shows that people are talking about you. Here’s an example:

For DermWarehouse, we are always trying to get backlinks on our site. Since our dad is a dermatologist, there are many sites that like to quote him for product recommendations and skin care tips. His skin care expertise gives him authority. He was quoted in an article on Today.com about the best moisturizers when using retinol. Today.com is an extremely trusted source, so this was a very authoritative and high quality backlink to our site. These are the types of links we always aim to get for our eCommerce business!

Learn More: How to Optimize Your eCommerce Product Pages for SEO

How Do You Get Backlinks?

Now that you understand what a backlink is, let’s move onto the next question of how the heck do you obtain these? Do reporters come knocking on our door begging Dr. Parks to answer skin care questions? No! We have a backlink strategy in place and you should too. As I mentioned above, we’ve tested all of the strategies below both on DermWarehouse and The Media Captain so we have certainly practiced what we preach.

The first step in obtaining backlinks for your eCommerce site is figuring out what your authority is and why someone might want to quote you or link back to your site. Here’s an example: Do you own a site that sells products for runners and you’ve run 10 marathons yourself? Do you have tons of great blogs on your site about the top products for running at night or for those with bad knees? There’s your angle. 

You need to have something to say that’s worth quoting or content on your site that’s worth linking back to. Once you figure that out, you can hit the ground running with your backlink strategy.

Learn More: How to Identify Bad Backlinks for SEO

Backlink Strategy for Your eCommerce Business

The most important thing to note here is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one business, may not work for another, so again, it’s important to figure out your angle and what you bring to the table when it comes to backlinks. Here are some tips to formulating and executing your strategy:

Need help getting started with your eCommerce backlink strategy? Contact The Media Captain!

What type of business are you in?

Think about the kind of business you’re in, and again, think about the angle that will make the most sense for you. For DermWarehouse, we sell skin care products, so we want to be quoted in articles giving skin care advice or product recommendations.

Take the company Noxgear, which sells safety gear for runners. For them, it makes sense to write blogs about running that other sites may want to link back to. They can also reach out to running websites to get quoted there. They can offer to write a guest blog post or add an important piece of information to a blog that was already written on the site. 

This is a great idea as you’re getting started with your backlink strategy. Find articles that have been recently written that you can contribute to. Find the author’s information and reach out to them asking if they’d be able to add a great quote from you to their article. We do this often for DermWarehouse. We’ll search Google news for skin care and find articles where we can add a great quote or product recommendation to. We email the reporter and ask them if they would be willing to add a quote from Dr. Parks. Below is an example of a pitch we sent out to a reporter asking her to add a product to her existing article. 

Tip: Many reporters post their email addresses on their Instagram accounts.

Utilize Vendors and Partners for Backlinks

Do you resell products from other brands? If so, this is such a great way to get links back to your website. For DermWarehouse, we are a reseller of over 100 skin care and beauty brands. Whenever we add a new brand to our website, we ask them to add a link to DermWarehouse on their site as an authorized seller. This is not only a great backlink for us, it also directs a ton of new customers to our site.

Maybe your situation is reversed and you sell your product to wholesale accounts. Ask them to link to your site when they mention your brand! They may be hesitant to do this, as they likely won’t want to direct traffic away from their own site, but if you can think of a way that this will make sense and benefit them, it could be a win-win. 

Regardless, make sure you’re thinking about your vendor and partner relations when it comes to your backlink strategy.

Success Stories with Vendors

There’s not a business out there that doesn’t love getting positive reviews. Do you have any vendors that you work with and love that you could write a testimonial or positive review for? Reach out to them and ask them if you can write a testimonial for their site. Tell them that you’d love for them to include your success story and all you ask is that they link back to your site when they post it. 

Make sure to look at their site beforehand to see if they already have a designated area for success stories or testimonials. If they do, it will be an easier sell since they already have this set up. We did this for DermWarehouse and it worked out great! We use a lot of software’s from inventory management to shipping to customer service to live chat and more. I went through each one and emailed them to see if we could contribute. Not only did we get great backlinks, it helped strengthen our relationship with some of our most important vendors. Below is the email I sent to our inventory management software, Finale Inventory, asking them to add a testimonial from us.

Help a Reporter Out

Probably my favorite tip for getting backlinks of all time, Help a Reporter Out (HARO) helps you connect with reporters who are looking for sources for specific stories. You sign up through their website and get emails three times daily containing reporter pitches that you can respond to. If the reporter is interested, they’ll use your quote in their article. Utilizing HARO is great for eCommerce business. There are always a ton of reporters looking to do product roundups and gift guides, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get some great backlinks to products you sell.

A few tips for HARO:

  • These reporters get tons of pitches so don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to get a response. Just be persistent. 
  • If writing about your product, the reporter may ask to try it out. If it’s a very authoritative publication, many times, it’s worth sending out product to test.
    • For DermWarehouse, we would always send out a product to a reporter from a site like Glamour or Women’s Health. We would be less likely to send a product to a site like “Betty’s Beauty Blog” (totally made up name, so sorry if there really is a BBB out there!). 
  • Many of the reporters are on tight deadlines so make sure you’re responding as quickly as you can once you receive the emails.
  • Include a bio, link to your website, and how you’d like to be quoted within each pitch. You want to give the reporter all of the information they need so that they can use your quote without having to follow up for more information. Here’s what we send out for DW.
  • Once you’re quoted, make sure you reach out to the reporter to thank them for including you. Let them know they are more than welcome to use you as a source any time. We’ve built some really great relationships through HARO!

In Closing

  • Backlinks are one of the most important pieces to the SEO puzzle and ranking high on Google.
  • Not all backlinks are created equal. Quality is always greater than quantity here.
  • Before getting started with your backlink strategy, make sure you think about the type of business you’re in and how you can contribute on others’ websites.
  • Backlink strategies are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Think about the type of business you’re in, who you work with and how you work with them. All of these factors will help you create the perfect backlink strategy for your eCommerce business.
  • Get creative and make sure you’re persistent. It takes hard work and a lot of follow up to get great backlinks. It will be worth it in the end once you see your domain authority and organic rankings start to skyrocket! 

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