Last Updated: May 21, 2022

How’s your website’s SEO? If you’re anything like most online websites today, it could probably be better. 

For online businesses, it’s crucial that your website ranks high on searches from potential customers. There are plenty of ways that you can go about boosting your website’s domain authority, but one step that you won’t want to miss is building those all-important backlinks to your site.

A backlink is a link that your website gets from other websites. Backlinks work on the principle of “link juice,” which means that websites with a higher domain authority pass on some of that authority to other sites. From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, this is important because Google sees these links as votes of trust, confidence, and authority. 

But getting links to a website isn’t as simple as it sounds. Many website owners find this to be the most challenging step by far.

First, not all backlinks are created equal. Just as a high-quality link passes on its authority, toxic or suspicious backlinks can send Google’s alarm bells ringing. The second challenge is getting a high authority website to link to you. However, arming yourself with some backlink-building basics will help you create a link-building strategy that will help your website gain organic traffic and visibility, helping you to improve your search engine rankings and giving you a shot when it comes to drawing in relevant, organic search traffic. 

Benefits of Backlinks for Ecommerce

Google’s search algorithm is getting more and more sophisticated with each update as they’re always focused on delivering the most relevant content to searchers. Here are the benefits of a link building strategy for ecommerce businesses:

  • Backlinks boost organic ranking, allowing businesses to save money on paid advertising.
  • Backlinks help with lead generation by getting your brand in front of more people. It also brings in better leads by matching user search intent to relevant content.
  • Backlinks help establish your business as a trustworthy company through exposure on reputable websites.

There are three types of backlinks you should be aware of:

  • Follow Links are links you earn organically, thanks to your content or from relationships that you build with journalists and other site owners. Follow links push SEO link juice and boost the page rank of the linked-to site. You earn these from guest posts, relevant links to useful content on your own website, or other types of external features.
  • Sponsored Links are paid links that come from advertisers. To keep it fair to everyone, authority isn’t passed on with sponsored links. 
  • Nofollow Links were created after spammers and black-hat SEO “experts” tried to cheat Google’s system by spamming links on comments and forums to get certain websites to rank. Nofollow links are mostly found on comments, forums, links in bio, or anything that Google considers “untrusted content.” They don’t pass on authority. 

12 Strategies On How to Get Backlinks

High-quality backlinks can take time and effort to acquire. However, the payoff is worth it. Better backlinks mean higher site authority and more eyeballs on your offerings. 

Here are some manual link building strategies:

1. Create Great Content

SEO relies on two critical aspects: relevance and authority. When your content provides value and is free of errors (both in accuracy and form), it’s much easier to gain trust all around, from customers, publishers, and Google. Hastily-made, unoriginal content can make prospects wonder if a site is safe and legit, and reputable websites wouldn’t want to link out to poor-quality content. 

The most commonly linked-to content forms are:

  • Long-form Blogs Containing How-To Guides or Explainers
  • Ebooks, Case Studies, and White Papers
  • Opinion Pieces and Unique Thought Leadership Articles
  • Original Research
  • Video Explainers
  • Infographics
  • Blog Roundups such as Top-Ten Lists or Best of Lists

2. Run a Survey and Publish Your Findings

People love facts and figures. They’re easy for journalists to reference as well. Run a survey or look at your business’ data and statistics and share them through a blog post, white paper, or an infographic on your website. Data-based findings and statistics within your niche or industry can be used as references by others. Original research can not only get you backlinks but foster engagement and bring in leads as well. You can easily do it yourself by collecting data with tools like Survey Monkey, Google Forms, or Type Form. Or you could even hire a research company. 

3. Write Testimonials for Suppliers or Business Partners

Do you work with other business partners? If you love what they do for you and you’re happy with your partnership, reach out and see if they need case studies or testimonials for their website. Many companies, especially software or consulting businesses, have pages dedicated to user testimonials or case studies.

(Source: Gamer Packaging)

4. Look for Unlinked Mentions

You might have product or website mentions lurking out there that aren’t linked to your website. How do you find these unlinked mentions and turn them into backlinks to your website? Do it for free by setting up a Google Alert to send you an email when your brand or product gets mentioned. There are also paid tools like SEMrush Brand Monitoring Tool or Ahrefs Content Explorer Tool

5. Guest on a Podcast

Podcasts are soaring in popularity these days. Many podcasts feature interviews with guests on a certain topic, and podcast descriptions and transcripts usually include links to the podcast guest’s website and social media accounts. Being a guest on a podcast doesn’t take too much time, and if you choose your shows wisely, they’re a great way to get backlinks and exposure. 

First, look for a relevant podcast show where you can guest. Check out if their website’s episode pages and descriptions link to their guests before making a pitch to be featured. Take a look at Tim Ferris’ podcast episode page, which gives several links to the guest and his works:

(Source: Tim Ferris)

6. Guest Posting on Other Blogs or Sites

Guest blogging means you write a blog post for another website. In exchange for valuable content, guest bloggers receive credit and a backlink to their website. To get backlinks as a guest blogger, look for websites in your niche with high domain ratings and good website traffic. You also want to be sure they’re still updated frequently. The next thing to do is to find the email of the person in charge and send a pitch. 

7. Look for Blog Round-Ups

Blog round-ups are lists of interesting articles that a website curates for its readers. I have ecommerce tips and strategy round-ups on my site, and sites like Driving.ca (automobile industry) and Green Man Gaming (gaming) do them as well.

8. Resource Page Link Building

Resource pages provide valuable, detailed information on a specific topic. It typically includes helpful links that are keyword-optimized and related to the topic. To leverage this effectively, you need to identify where and how your business can add value to its audience. 

To find resource pages, type these into your Google search and add your keywords or topic: 

  • intitle:resources inurl:resources.html
  • intitle:resources inurl:links.html

For example, if you want to build links to a resource on ecommerce strategies, search for intitle:resources inurl:resources.html ecommerce strategies. Check the website to see if it’s a resource page that links to external resources. If they do, find the email address of the person in charge and send a pitch.

(Source: Google)

You can also find resource pages on:

  • Local Government Sites
  • Tourism Boards
  • Health Sites
  • University and Educational Websites

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9. Add Internal Links

Internal backlinks come from pages on the same website. Some people overlook this, which is a big mistake because they’re a great way to funnel link juice to other pages that need it. The first thing to do is find out which pages could use a boost. Tools like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer help you find this out easily. Just type in your site, check the Organic Keywords report, and filter by ranking position. 

(Source: Ahrefs)

10. Broken Link Building

In broken link building, you look for web pages and content with external links to dead pages. Start by identifying broken links on authoritative sites and offer to replace the old content with something that’s just as good or better. If you don’t already have a similar existing piece of content to replace the old one, be prepared to create it from scratch. It’s a win-win situation all around. The site owner gets rid of broken links, website visitors will have a much better user experience, and you get a backlink and exposure. 

11. Skyscraper Content

Backlinko’s Brian Dean created this link-building technique that has won his content several high-quality links from authority sites. Skyscrapers are evergreen, long-form content that people refer to and link to.

To start, look for a piece of content that ranks high for your search terms or category. Study what makes it great and create content that’s better. You could offer more value by making it as comprehensive as possible with great writing. Add visual elements like relevant photos, infographics, or videos to boost the user experience. Finally, don’t forget to promote your content to give it more exposure and traction.


12. HARO

News and journalism sites have some of the highest domain authorities out there. Fortunately, getting links from authoritative news sites isn’t as hard as it seems. 

Help a Reporter Out or HARO is a platform that connects journalists and bloggers to subject experts. There are three plans: free, standard, and advanced. Once you sign up, you’ll receive emails on your topics of expertise. If an interesting topic comes along, simply send a pitch and wait for the journalist’s confirmation.

(Source: HARO)

Alternative Ways to Get Backlinks

While the strategies above are the most common ones, you can get creative and get backlinks through alternative ways like:

  • Reaching out to product review sites for your particular product.
  • Finding blogs and websites that do “Best-of” or “Top x” lists of product recommendations and sending a pitch to the editor.
  • Collaborating with YouTube creators who make content specific to your keywords and paying for links in the description.
  • Partner with businesses in your niche who aren’t your direct competition but sell complementary products. You can do an agreement where you promote each other and share links to your website and products.

FAQs on How to Get Backlinks

Here are some of the commonly asked questions on backlinks:

How do you get free backlinks?

There are many link-building opportunities that don’t require you to shell out a single dollar. With great content marketing and a digital PR strategy, it’s possible to earn backlinks.

How do beginners get backlinks?

The easiest ways for beginners to get backlinks are through low-hanging fruit such as unlinked mentions, references from suppliers or manufacturers, memberships in business associations, or industry link sources.

Are backlinks important in 2022?

Algorithms change frequently but one thing’s for sure: backlinks are still important in 2022. They remain to be one of Google’s top-ranking factors, alongside high-quality content and top-notch user experience. 

The Next Steps: Start Your Link Building Strategy

Step One: Pitch Effectively to Get High-Quality Backlinks

Pitching to an editor or website owner is an important skill you need to master if you want to get your emails noticed and your offers accepted. Keep the subject line short and direct to the point. Make sure you get in touch with the person in charge and include their name in the email to show you did your research. 

You want to start developing good business relationships, not just a one-time transactional thing. Show genuine interest in their audience and business by telling them quickly what you love about their work and explaining in a brief and concise way what you can do to add value to their business.

Step Two: Decide if You Should DIY or Get Paid Tools

Many of the strategies we talk about here can be done for free, which is great for beginners or if you’re running on a limited budget. But if you want to be more strategic, save time, and have better accuracy in identifying authority sites, try out paid backlink building tools from Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Backlinko.

Remember that for backlinks, quality is more important than accumulating more links. Ridding your site of bad backlinks protects its reputation and improves its ranking in search engines. Watch out for links from link farms, spam sites, websites with plagiarized content, and sites that engage in illegal activities. Remove toxic backlinks with the Disavow tool on Google’s Search Console. 

Like most SEO strategies, backlinks aren’t a set it and forget it project. Keep your backlink profile and domain authority in top shape by regularly monitoring the links you’re getting, or consider outsourcing this job to someone who can do it for you.

Want more customers? If you’d like help scaling your company, then reach out today. Let’s find digital marketing solutions that’ll help you grow, and fast!

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