Link building for e-commerce is one essential step that separates average online stores from high-performing ones. Or to put it another way, it’s a step that gives you a bigger slice of a $6.3 trillion industry than your competitors.

So what if you sell great products? People can’t buy them if they can’t find them.

Link building is the secret sauce for climbing higher in search results and getting in front of ready-to-buy customers. 

And no, you don’t have to wait for links to come to you.

E-commerce store owners can be strategic about link building and start reaping SEO benefits and more sales, pronto.

Here’s why link building matters for online store owners and how to build links that create revenue.

Types of Links that Matter for E-commerce

Links refer to clickable text that takes you to another web page when clicked. Ideally, these links will take visitors to your product pages, blog, or loyalty program – anything to either make a sale or keep the conversation going.

There are two types of links: external links and internal links.

External links come from third-party sources. Search algorithms love external links because they signify quality. (Usually.) It shows other people find your content valuable, so search engines reward you with higher rankings.

Internal links link your own content to more of your own content. For example, you might link a blog article to a product page. These links provide search engines with more context about your content so they can rank you accordingly.

Both types of links are crucial for SEO.

But more links aren’t always better.

There’s also the matter of high-quality vs. low-quality links.

Here’s the difference:

High-Quality Links… Low-Quality Links…
Come from reputable, non-spammy websites Come from websites with low Domain Authority and/or high spam ratings
Use appropriate anchor text Use generic anchor text, like “Click Here”
Link to contextually relevant content Randomly inserts products into content with no contextual relevance

For example, let’s say you sell computer accessories. Ideally, your backlinks would be from computer-related websites since their readers are most likely people who love and use computer gear.

You also want the links to use relevant anchor text to help search engines associate the link with your products. This might be broad text like “mouse pads” to link to a product category. 

Or “Nvidia RTX 4090 graphics card” to link to a specific product.

When you grasp the fundamentals of link building for e-commerce, you can take control of who’s linking to you, how they’re linking to you, and the quality of those links.

4 Powerful Link Building Strategies for E-commerce

infographic on 4 Powerful Link Building Strategies for ecommerce

Now that you know more about the role of link building for e-commerce, let’s explore six proven strategies for getting quality links that drive sales.

1. Create High-Quality, Sharable Content

How-to guides, tutorials, video product demos, and product reviews and comparisons give customers valuable information they’re actively looking for (hello, search engine gold!). 

Other websites find this type of content link-worthy too, especially if it’s thorough, well-written, and visually appealing.

This content lives on your e-commerce site blog. Use this content as the foundation for our next strategy.

2. Build Relationships to Build Links

Organic backlinks aren’t quite unicorns, but they can be hard to come by. Instead of playing the waiting game, reach out to other websites, blogs, or even your suppliers to see if they’re willing to link to your content.

This is relationship-based link-building, the new and improved (and lemon-scented) way of building backlinks. 

It trades cold outreach for warm requests, and you’re more likely to get what you want (with a little schmoozing).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Make a shortlist of websites in your niche with a high Domain Authority and low spam score.
  2. Get the name and email of the person to contact.
  3. Connect with them on LinkedIn and Twitter to start nurturing the relationship.
  4. Ask and ye shall (hopefully) receive! 

Bonus points if you have an article in mind you’d like to be included in AND

Show them where they can include the link in a natural way AND

Give them the link and anchor text you want them to use.

(Basically doing everything for them except adding the link.)

It’s a long game, but it can pay off in spades.

3. Leverage Online Directories and Business Listings

Business directories and local citations put your business on the digital map. 

Think Google Business, LinkedIn Company Page, or your local Chamber of Commerce.

These directories provide a home for your business details, like your name, phone number, and website. 

Or as we like to call it… free links!

Listing your business on relevant directories is fast and easy. You can list your business on directories one by one or enlist a citation-building service to do it for you.

4. Outsource Your E-commerce Link-Building

If you don’t have the time, skills, or knowledge to do something, there’s someone else who does. It’s true with plumbing, and it’s true with link building.

Enlist the help of a link insertion outreach service with experience in e-commerce. Tap into their network of relationships, professional-grade tools, and the time they’ve spent perfecting the process.

You’re bound to get high-quality links from reputable sources, plus you won’t have to wade through a sea of rejections.

Your competitors might call it cheating.

We call it working smarter, not harder.

Start Your Journey to Link-Building Success

It’s clear that link building for e-commerce is not a fruitless tactic, but rather a cornerstone of success. The right links give you free exposure, free traffic, and an SEO boost that will send you miles higher than your competitors (especially those that haven’t caught on to the value of backlinks).

New to link building (or just don’t have the time it requires)? Check out Hoth Link Outreach which does the hard work for you.