Link Building Strategies That Work for eCommerce Businesses

Ecommerce owners have a lot on their plate. They have to find a way to consistently generate traffic, improve customer experience, optimize marketing funnels and promote their products. To top it all off they also have to create high-quality links to their website.

If you’re an ecommerce site owner then you are probably already aware that link-building is an uphill battle. Attracting links for ecommerce sites is extremely challenging because of the multitude of category and product pages that don’t lend themselves to natural backlinks. Still, organic search traffic, the lifeblood of your online business, heavily relies on the links pointing to your site.

According to Moz’s Search Engine Ranking Factors Survey, domain-level link-authority features & page-level link metrics have a huge impact on search engine visibility. This means that your business can’t afford not to invest in solid backlinks. The good news is that there are plenty of strategies that you can use to boost your organic ranking and referral traffic. Most of the techniques I am about to present are nothing new, but they are effective and safe.

But before you start thinking about links, there are a few things you need to do:

  • Make an awesome website. By ‘awesome’ I mean a site that is free from ads, visuals, products and content that is not appealing to a visitor. Each product on your site should have its own page with powerful CTAs and good navigability.
  • Identify your top selling product pages & categories. Head over to your Google Analytics eCommerce report to identify the products that are driving the most conversions and visits. These are the pages that you will want to link to first.image-1
  • Create a blog. Most people will tell you that building a blog and publishing great content on it will help you rank better, but this is only the first step. Where eCommerce sites are concerned, links to product pages and landing pages are generally centre focus. However, you should also work towards creating a natural link-building profile. In other words, you need build diverse links that point to diverse pages. The blog will help you, not only attract high-quality contextual links, but also to improve your internal linking and improve brand awareness. Take inspiration from blogs on top sites. For example, since you are interested in SEO, a great example would be
  • Set-up your social media pages and leverage existing relationships. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Google+ or any other social media presence will make it easier for you to connect with customers and potential link-building opportunities.

Now you can begin the actual link-building process. Here are some of the most effective strategies for eCommerce websites.

1. The “Moving Man”

Thousands of domain names expire every-day. For the select few that know how SEO works these domains are teeming with links that are waiting to be picked up. The “Moving Man” technique was coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko. The idea behind it is to find links pointing to expired domains and to replace them with your own. Let’s see how the Moving Man works:

Step #1: Identify moved, expired or outdated resources.

The best approach for an eCommerce store would be to find companies in the industry that have recently gone out of business. Parked domains are technically still functional, so they don’t show up as 404s.

There are a few ways to find expired domains. For example, you can use an aggregator like ExpiredDomains to find them. Simply choose a TLD and add a filter (e.g. fashion), and the aggregator will pull out thousands of expired domains.



I chose “” because it has 2.4K backlinks pointing to it.

You can also find expired domains on aftermarket sites like GoDaddy or from News about Business Closings. Another idea would be to google the phrases “This page is parked FREE, courtesy of” or “domain is for sale” + inurl:keyword.

Lastly, you can find great domains using the Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Let’s say you want a link from a DA 65 fashion blog. Simply paste its home-page URL in the Screaming Frog spider and click on “Start”. Head over to the “external” tab and copy all the links into another tool: The Ekstern Links Checker. This will give you a quick overview on the status of the page.


Step #2: Identify Link Opportunities

Now that you’ve identified popular and outdated sources it’s time to check out the sites that link to them. For this purpose you can use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, SemRush or Ahrefs. I prefer the latter. Click on the “Top Pages” button to sort the links according to quality. See what’s on that page. If the page is no longer available you can use to see what used to be on the page.

Step #3: Outreach

Your main focus should be on links to product or landing pages of expired domains. This will make the outreach process a lot easier. The best way to reach out to people is through email. Your goal isn’t to only give them a friendly tap on the shoulder, but also to offer them a replacement link (yours).

Here’s a sample email:


2. Guest-posting & Relationship Building

Matt Cutts declared guest-posting dead back in 2014. He was wrong. This practice just so happens to be one of the best ways to obtain relevant, contextual or author bio backlinks.


Author Bio Link

I’m not going to walk you through the basics of guest-posting especially since there are so many guides available, but I would like to stress a few important aspects:

  • Get in front of the right audience. A good link is a link that generates traffic. For this to happen you have to put your business in front of the right people and write about the things that they are genuinely interested in.
  • Don’t make the guest-post solely about your business. The best part about guest-posts is the fact that they don’t have to revolve around your products. As a matter of fact, the site owner that you are pitching to shouldn’t even be able to tell what site you are trying to promote.
  • Don’t forget to link out to other relevant sources as well. This will increase the value of your article.
  • Build meaningful relationships with site owners. Guest-posting isn’t a onetime deal. You can’t just slap your link on a site and forget about it. You should transform this opportunity into a series of guest-posts that you can use to reach out to relevant audiences and link to multiple products and categories. Additionally, you can use relationship marketing software so that you can reward the site owners for every successful sale they send you.


Contextual link

3. Broken Link-Building

Broken link-building is a scalable & extremely effective content-focused strategy that will help you significantly improve your link profile. Your success with this tactic is directly proportional with how much good you do for the internet through your efforts. Broken-link building is also extremely difficult, so I strongly recommend you to read The Broken Link Building Bible by Moz. I will simply outline the basic steps that you need to take.

  • Step #1: Choose keywords that are relevant to your audience and generally broad. These keywords will be paired with prospecting phrases (e.g. “intitle:resources”, “inurl:links”). image-8
  • Step #2: Compile all the results from your prospecting phrases in an Excel file.
  • Step #3: Extract broken links from each page using Domain Hunter+ or Check My Links. Filter relevant results.image-9
  • Step #4: Use the WayBackMachine ( to check the cached copies of the content and conduct a relevance analysis.
  • Step #5: Replace the broken link with an existing page on your site by reaching out to site owners, or create an awesome replacement for the content that existed on the broken page.

4. Product Reviews

Product reviews done right, and in moderation, represent a great way to obtain followed links for your ecommerce site. The secret is to find reputable bloggers who understand that posting low-quality, self-promoting content will hurt their reputation. So how exactly do you obtain good links from product reviews? Simple!

Identify blogs and websites that are relevant to your industry (e.g. If you’re selling diapers you should reach out to mommy blogs). Reach out to the site-owners, offer a sample of your product for free and kindly ask them to review it. The only caveat is that your product needs to be your own. Another thing to consider is that many bloggers add a disclaimer in their review, saying that they received the product for free from the merchant. This may result in a devaluation of the link.

Links from product reviews can also be obtained via forums such as Quora, ConsumerAffairs etc. You can also set-up Google Alerts for your product name or contribute with advice on relevant forums to create more links (e.g. suggest your skin lotion to women who are struggling with dry skin etc.). As long as your contribution or review is helpful, the link will have value.

5. The Skyscraper Technique

Once again, credits go to Brian Dean of for coming up with such a great link-building strategy. In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to attract valuable links to your site. The great thing about it is the fact that it also works for eCommerce sites.


I was talking about the importance of creating a blog earlier (for customer loyalty and brand awareness). Your SkyScraper article will be published on this blog.

“But does this mean I won’t be linking to my products and landing pages?”

It does.

While it’s important to focus your link-building efforts on the pages that you want to convert, it is equally important to maintain a healthy mix of links. A skyscraper article will provide immense value to your prospects and encourage them to visit the rest of your site.

There are 3-steps to this technique:

  • Find content so awesome, so useful, and so incredible that you can’t help but link to it. You can do this by checking the top pages of Ahrefs, Buzzsumo, or Google.
  • Make something even better. (e.g. add more information, improve the design, add better graphics, make it more thorough etc.)
  • Promote your article to the right people. Reach out to people who run sites in a similar niche, have already linked to an article on the topic, or are interested in it.

6. Use Products as Link-baits / Leverage Short Time Deals

It can be extremely challenging to redesign your category pages so that they constantly receive valuable, unique content or product. The good news is that you don’t have to struggle with this. Many brands have managed to use cool products on their site in order to attract links.

Here’s a great example:


ModCloth created an interesting robot tea infuser. Its product page received a total of 789 links from 201 linking root domains, including authority websites like TheNextWeb and Uncrate. The only real challenge is to come up with something that your audience would love.

Another idea would be to create a deals or sales page that fulfils all SEO requirements (indexable content, static URL, targeted keywords, etc.) and periodically posting deals on it. You can revamp the design of this page with every deal, but the links you attract to it will always remain the same. Bloggers can’t resist reporting awesome sales to their readers, and in order to do this they have to drop a link. Using the same link for all your sales and deals will improve the link equity of your page over-time.

Example: Sephora’s Weekly Deals Page

7. Infographics & Instructographics

Great Infographics and Instructographics have huge potential of going viral, especially on Pinterest. For most ecommerce site owners, Pinterest is one of the most profitable social networks because it attracts millions of individuals, especially women, with high purchase power. With instructographics you can bring hundreds of thousands of visitors every month, with an average time on site of over two minutes.

Nevertheless, infographics have been somewhat abused in the last couple of years, so you have to create something amazing for it to be effective. That’s where instructographics come into play. They aren’t just pretty things to look at, they are also useful, because they act as visual how-to-guides. I strongly recommend optimizing them for Pinterest (600×3000 pixels) and promoting them through email outreach.

For an instuctrographic to be successful it must be easy on the eyes, useful, and unique. It must also solve a real problem that your customers have (e.g. if you’re selling make-up products you can create an instructographic on how to create the perfect smokey eye).


Once your instuctrographic is ready you will have to conduct heavy outreach. Make sure to publish it on your site with a box containing its HTML code underneath to make it easier for people to link to it.

Recommended tutorial: How to Add Embed Code to your Infographics

8. Product Videos & Promos

Most eCommerce sites have product images, but how many of them use videos? Product videos are difficult to create but they can go a long way, especially now that video content consumption is on the rise. Of course, I’m not saying that you should convert all your catalogue in videos, but adding short video explanations for your most successful products will make them more link-worthy. Even if you can’t grab links right away, the presence of videos will benefit you SEO-wise through the thumbnail in search results (higher CTR).

Another great idea would be to create a 1 or 2 minute long promo about your brand. Just don’t make it boring. Here are a few promo ideas for inspiration:

Once you have created your video promo make sure to market it to the right people and to promote it through social media.

BONUS: Conduct Competitive Analysis and Recreate Links

Competitive analysis represents one of the fastest ways of identifying new link opportunities. With the help of SemRush you can identify your largest competitors (from the Main Organic Competitors section in the Overview tab). The tool evaluates competition level according to the number of overlapping keywords.


Choose 3 to 5 competitors and analyse their link-profile with Ahrefs. Sort links according to Domain Rating or relevancy and save the ones that you can recreate.

There are other great link-building strategies that you can use to improve your link-profile, but the ones mentioned above are by far the most effective that I’ve come across. Remember, link-building takes time and patience.


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8 Response to "Link Building Strategies That Work for eCommerce Businesses"

  1. Comment From Rohan Lewis

    Great tips guys. These tips should keep me busy for the rest of the year. Thanks.

  2. Comment From Geoff Henderson

    I have always wondered why so many of my competitors put out so many product videos. These 1 to 2 min videos are great promotional tools and can really help your SEO.

  3. Comment From Liz Alderson

    I have used some of the most popular outsourcing sites to find some really good infographic developers that have great prices. In my opinion, outsourcing this is the way to go.

  4. Comment From Bethany Stuart

    I really think one of the best ways to increase your product sales is by having as many positive reviews as possible. These days its tough to make a decision, so if others can confirm at product is good, that will increase its sales.

  5. Comment From Randolph Jimenez

    People are always telling me to create a blog, but I never seem to have the time to come up with consistent content. What is the best way to get fresh content for your blog weekly? Should I hire someone for this?

  6. Comment From Justine Cook

    Ahrefs is by far the best tool for doing a competitive analysis. I have used many other free SEO tools, but they are not the best.

  7. Comment From Max Goldenberg

    great article, thanks! btw about the SEO tools: I prefer Serpstat, it’s much cheaper but the functionality is not suffering

Comments are closed.