Link Building Strategies for e-Commerce Stores

by Jason Boom on June 13, 2008

I have just updated the blog with a new link building strategy guide. Be sure to check it out for up to date e-commerce link building ideas.

MoleculeRecently I’ve been developing a few e-commerce stores. One of the stores has requested my help with building steady traffic to the site. Similar principles apply to an e-commerce store as to a blog. The idea remains the same — build backlinks to increase your site’s authority with search engines. Of course, no one knows the Google algorythm, but the trade secret doesn’t make it any less obvious to site builders that a link back to your domain from a respected source can net you significant jumps in search standings.

It’s not the only thing that matters though. As I’m thinking about ways to increase this store’s visibility on the web, I’m noticing a few stark differences between this store and a blog.

  • An e-commerce store doesn’t have regularly updated content, and thus can’t take advantage of search services like Google’s blog search. There’s no pinging.
  • Tailoring the content on each product description page should net the best return when it comes to SEO.
  • Obtaining linkbacks for a product site remains a difficult challenge, whereas a blog tends to receive linkbacks organically.

So the differences set this project apart from my normal marketing of a blog. I’m in the habit of building traffic to blogs utilizing blog community sites. I also venture into forums, using my site as a signature, and also answer questions on Yahoo! Answers with links to my site. So this project has me looking at marketing a site in a completely different way. Social networks will all but disappear with this site. There’s not going to be any Digg traffic or Stumble visitors to it. So how do I build traffic to it?

Think Outside the Box

There doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast rule.┬áThe Yahoo directory, DMOZ and others would be essential. The e-commerce site would need authority though. We need quality links from well ranked sites. One possibility could be wiki’s, AboutUs.org, WikiPedia (if the content was non-commercial), and others. I could still utilize Yahoo! Answers, but might have to branch out in the field of the e-commerce store to post comments on blogs and create connections with site owners.

I do own quite a few high PRs websites that have been around since the late 1990s. I’m fairly certain a link from one of these sites should benefit the site in the long run. I’m trying to stay positive, as the product niche for this store is saturated with big players and independent powerhouses.

I’m thinking of turning this SEO adventure into a series on this blog. Would this be something my readers would be interested in reading about?

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About the author

Jason Boom Jason writes not only about himself in the third person, but also about marketing, site building, SEO, and other topics related to marketing online. He's been an avid fan of blogging since the early days of Blogger. You can connect with Jason (me) on Twitter and Google Plus.

{ 8 comments }

Harmony June 14, 2008 at 12:44 am

One strategy that I am aware of for ecommerce sites is to submit products to shopping social networks like ThisNext and Kaboodle. And, of course, being active within those networks.

Mark June 14, 2008 at 12:57 am

I own an affiliate travel site and like you have been building backlinks. My site is now a PR 3 and I devote time to it every day it has 3,700 backlinks at the moment but I hope to raise this to over 6,000 by the end of the year. I also create Squidoo lenses and link my site to them which gives a quality PR5 link to it.

Jason Boom June 14, 2008 at 10:51 am

Those are both excellent suggestions! Thanks to both of you. Great job, Mark. It sounds like you’ve put a lot of work into your site. Maybe I can pick your brain sometime. :)

Jim June 14, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Cool idea Jason. I really am honestly not a huge fan of the eCommerce websites, but I’d love to learn to see what I could potentially do with it.

Mr. Javo June 14, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Hey Jason, it would be nice to read more about this topic :)

Jason Boom June 14, 2008 at 11:25 pm

@Jim: What’s not to like about e-commerce? You just don’t like the the sites in general?

@ Javo: hey man. Good to see you stopping by. It may be a little while before I begin the SEO work behind the site. I have to build it first. ;) It’ll be coming soon though.

MJ June 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm

A backlink strategy is not a simple case of inbound link volume. Quality over quantity is the foundation. Over 3700 backlinks and now you have a PR 3? Geesh…I’ve had projects with 2 backlinks and getting a PR 4. The PR rank are NOT dictators of SERP (search engine ranking position). True, the PR helps in some way, likey the relevancy of the page, but for positioning…no completely. I’ve had clients with PR’s of 2 with higher rankings than sites with PR of 4, on the same popular keywords.
If you’re spending all your time focussed on linkbuilding…you’re wasting your time. Spread your weights around and look at other SEO tactics that all contribute to the search position. PR is just one.
ex. Focus on fresh, new content generation via article publishing, PR/medi alerts,blogs, offer your member community blogs to get them to generate user based content, affiliates, bookmarks, wikis, etc. Use all of these and a link strategy to compliment your seo strategy…not your sole bread and butter.

And yes, inbound links are important, if anything critical, but is just one of a few weights in the search equation. And if you’re going after inbound links, look at quality over quantity, and not just based on PR position….look at authority ranking sites on page 1 to 2.

Ahh…and your inbound links on sites with PR 0….does you more harm than good…deduct one point in your PR calculations.

Jason Boom June 23, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Hey, MJ. You have some great suggestions in there. Thanks a lot for providing your insight. I haven’t started the site yet so it doesn’t have a PR, backlink or anything. I’ll take your advice into consideration on spreading the focus outside of simple SEO work.

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