The elusive world of SEO changes with every new algorithm change, update and Google slap. SEO professionals chase Google around like a boy who lost his dog, following its every move and wondering what it will do next. This type of behavior results in poor performance and it will never establish long-term profit potential.
As an eCommerce business owner, you should be aware of SEO techniques, and spend a majority of your SEO strategy time on link building. Most marketers are aware that Google places heavy weight on what other sites think about you, which is why link building is a very important practice for eCommerce website owners.
Here’s the problem…
Website owners who were only interested in achieving rankings devised “black hat” techniques for link building that got them in a lot of trouble. Google has caught on to these techniques and it won’t be long until they do away with them completely. Linking is acceptable only if what you promote provides value to your audience. You will always stay out of Google’s radar if your first intention is to provide valuable and useful information.
Besides the basic link building techniques (which are shady at best), what else can you do to gain external backlinks?
Guest blogging is done only by those businesses who understand that you never get something for nothing. You need to research and contact blogs that are not your direct competitors, but that are related to your industry. Tell them you will provide content (make sure it’s great!) for their site. You can include 1-2 inks in your post that point back to your site or whatever the blog manager decides. It’s also a great idea to run a blog for your store so you can reciprocate the favor and showcase valuable content for your readers.
Widgets are one of the most effective ways to build backlinks. Great widgets spread like wildfire and every widget that is embedded on another blog or website will serve as a link to your site. You can hire a designer to create the widget or you can use sites like widgetbox.com which allows you to create one yourself even if you are not a programmer.
What should your widget be about?
Put yourself in the mind of your customers and ask what would make their lives easier…what would solve one of their problems? For example, if you were selling dog supplies, you could come up with a widget that helps pet owners and makes their lives easier. Perhaps a tip a day for their specific breed of dog? Or dog training advice? The more valuable and creative the widget, the more backlinks and buzz you will create for your eCommerce business.
When running a contest, the prize should be valuable enough to create buzz. A $10 gift certificate to Starbucks won’t cut it here. You also want to get your customers involved by making them a part of choosing the winner. These tactics not only get the attention of website owners who want to get their readers involved, but it will also drive more traffic to your site as news of the contest spreads via social media channels.
It’s ALL About your Customers
So you submitted a thousand articles and posted comments with a link to your site on ten thousand blogs…these tactics are not necessarily all ineffective, but most times the intent is not a good one. It’s time to do link building with your customer in mind. The more value you can offer, the greater your links will grow naturally and the greater your brand will spread across the internet.