Building lots of links to ecommerce product pages

If it’s your first time here you might want to read this post on link building for ecommerce sites first.

I recently started reading the Hobo web blog (which is really good for practical SEO advice by the way) and this post caught my attention. Shaun’s advice on using article marketing to build links with keywords which you’re already ranking for is similar to the way I use articles to boost up the rankings of product pages (or any deep page on a big site really). So I wanted to share this tip and some others for how ecommerce site owners can effectively build lots of links to lots of pages, ideally without lots of work.

To understand how and why this works you first need to accept 2 of the less spoken about but absolutely fundamental underlying principles of SEO.

  1. Not every link you build has to be grade A, 100% clean, natural link building gold like many SEO’s would have you believe. Bulk links still play a quite significant part, in fact I’d go so far as to say the majority of links on the web are pretty crappy. Also while I don’t buy into the ‘bad links can’t hurt a good site’ idea because they definitely can, the stuff I’m discussing here won’t have any negative side effects.
  2. The majority of product pages on ecommerce sites have no external links, they’re ranked on the basis of, predominantly,  domain authority instead. It’s usually only after a product page is ranked at number 1 it acquires natural links as anyone talking about that product online in forums or on blogs will just paste the top result in Google into their posts as a reference. For this reason, provided you’re doing the other stuff right, have built a domain with some trust from decent links to top level pages, you’ve got your technical stuff right so there’s no duplication issues etc and your internal linking makes product pages easy to spider then a few links even of low quality to product pages usually has excellent effects on rankings.

OK if you’re down with those ideas, here’s how we go about building these deep links. In no particular order…
Continue reading

Link building for online shops

This is another post which I know has been done before, haven’t they all?! But I still think its worth revisiting. A couple of other good posts on ecommerce link building which I think are worth a read are here on Blogstorm and this interview with Aaron Wall. If you’ve come across any other good posts on the subject feel free to let me know and I’ll link to them here as well.

OK so why is ecommerce link building different?

I think really there’s 2 challenges with most shop sites:

Lots and lots of pages- big sites presents a challenge for link builders because it is usually impossible (and unnecessary) to build links to every product page, although in an ideal world you would want to.

Unlink-able content- actually to a good link builder there’s no such thing but its harder to differentiate the content of an online shop. Often content isn’t even unique let alone link worthy.

Depending on what you’re selling you might also be in a tough market- which makes these problems worse still.

Continue reading

100 Ways to Build Real Links

This is not the first big list of link building technique posts, there’s a couple of others here, here and here. My intention here was really to create a list which was just link building tactics, no recommendations like ‘use spell check’ and ‘get your site to validate’- although these are fair points they can’t really be called tactics. I’ve dug into my old bookmarks to come up with some of the best techniques around as well as some which many will consider outdated. I’m sure there’s plenty more to be found.

I would guess most SEO’s are probably only regularly using a small fraction of the link building techniques on this list, it’s easy to get into a routine of just using the means you find the easiest so hopefully this big list might encourage some out of box type thinking in your link building.

The list is certainly not exhaustive and some of these techniques I definitely steer clear of these days although I would assume they still work. Please feel free to add anything I’ve overlooked in the comments with links if possible. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Why does reciprocal linking still work?

I realise this subject has been addressed plenty of times before but I wanted to wade in because its still a topic there’s some confusion over and I’d say some fairly bad advice floating around about.

The title of this post obviously starts with an assumption, that reciprocal links do still help your search rankings. To this day I’ve never seen any tangible evidence that link swapping when done correctly can harm your rankings, as some prominent SEO’s claim, and in almost every case links gained in this way will have at least a small benefit to your rankings, all other things being equal (which they never are- more on this later).

Continue reading

Link Building in Tough Markets

While the truth about link building is that many search markets (particularly local) are still really easy to crack with some fairly unsophisticated tactics, other markets are notoriously tough to build links in, either due to their extreme competitiveness (like insurance) or the stigma attached to them (like gambling). In this post I want to share my experiences of working in tough markets and some tips to planning and running your link building campaigns when it seems the world is against you and your site.

Firstly, what do I call a tough market? Well some of the markets I’ve run link campaigns in which I’ve considered tough would be:

  • Gambling, casinos, poker etc
  • High value financial products like insurance, credit cards, loans
  • Travel (at the uber generic end of the keyword market- think terms like ‘flights’ or ‘holidays’)
  • Dating
  • Pharmaceuticals

Continue reading