The reason for the struggle is that a link is more than just a link. Backlinks effectively serve as an endorsement from another website, a recommendation. For others to want to put their seal of approval on another site owner’s page, they must feel that the source is reputable, the information is accurate, and that the link is valuable to their readers in some way.
That’s a pretty tall order. No wonder gaining high-authority SEO backlinks can be so challenging.
However, those who are seeking torank higher in Google need to develop strategies for earning backlinks for various destinations across the web.
The fact of the matter is that, ofGoogle’s 200+ ranking factors, SEO backlinks are among one of the most influential signals that the search engine considers.
As a result of the importance yet difficulty in building fruitful SEO backlinks, sellers might need to get a bit creative with their link building tactics.
That’s where this piece comes into play.
For those seeking out clever, crafty, cunning strategies for earning more digital endorsements for their pages, look no further.
Here are 11 creative strategies for collecting more SEO backlinks.
1. Build Broken Links
Sometimes, links break, they die and site owners are unaware that this has occurred.
Given that dead links can harm a site’s performance in the SERPs and diminish the user experience, it is in a webmaster’s best interest to repair the link.
This is where an opportunity presents itself to retailers.
Using the broken link strategy, sellers will reach out to websites that have broken outbound links and suggest that they update the dead link with one to a relevant page from the merchant.
Of course, the page must be a relevant, up-to-date, valuable resource that is on the same topic as the broken SEO backlink.
The reason that this tactic tends to work is thatfinding and fixing broken links provides an excellent service to other site owners. Not only does this help them fix a broken link on their site, but they don’t need to seek out a new link on their own.
The hard part of this strategy is finding those dead links.
That said, the best way to uncover such opportunities is by employing a tool likeDead Link Checker. Utilizing this platform, sellers can enter the desired URL to uncover any potential broken links that sellers might find advantageous.
After identifying target websites that would be beneficial to a retailer’s backlink profile, scan the site for any broken links. If sellers find some that they can take advantage of, reach out to the site owner with a short email letting them know about their broken link(s) and offering them a new resource.
However, when reaching out, it is essential to focus on being helpful, as opposed to merely earning SEO backlinks.
The plain fact is that because of the visual nature of infographics, ones that are interesting and aesthetically captivating have the potential to go viral, thereby providing merchants with a bevy of new backlinks.
Better still, sellers need not be graphic design experts to generate stunning infographics. There is now a multitude of visual content creation tools online that merchants can use to create beautiful, professional-grade infographics, including:
After retailers create a stunning infographic using these tools, begin the work of finding a relevant, authoritative site that discusses the infographic’s topic and reach out to them, offering them the opportunity to feature the infographic on a related piece in exchange for a contextual SEO backlink.
But again, when reaching out to other site owners, it is vital for sellers to place helpfulness above earning links.
3. Respond to Quora Questions
For those who are unfamiliar,Quora is a question and answer website where people can go to obtain explanations from other internet users on practically any topic imaginable.
Given the breadth of topics covered on Quora, sellers can almost certainly find questions related to their niche on the site, answer folks with expert knowledge and include a backlink to their store.
To achieve this aim, simply create a free Quora account and type the desired keywords into the search bar. From here, a list of questions will populate. Click on the desired one and provide a thoughtful, in-depth answer that not only addresses the problem completely but also links back to a relevant on-site destination.
Be aware that if merchants opt to “game the system” and provide irrelevant info just to build SEO backlinks, Quora will flag and (eventually) delete the account.
Don’t be that person.
By building SEO backlinks through Quora, retailers can gain more links for their site while also potentially driving more traffic and earning new customers.
4. Publish Original Research
One of the single most effective tactics for earning SEO backlinks is to publish original research that contains valuable information for others.
While some might struggle with establishing a topic to analyze and explore, the easiest way to amass the data needed for an original study is toconduct eCommerce market research wherein merchants are surveying customers, studying the competition and the market overall, as well as using secondary resources to build a larger case.
Through compiling original research, breaking it down into easily digestible tables, graphs, quotes, and the like, and promoting it across social, email, and through outreach campaigns, merchants can gain tons of highly valuable SEO backlinks for their site.
5. Make a Donation
While few are aware of this, sites can gain backlinks through making donations to nonprofit organizations.
This link building strategy is quick and straightforward as all a seller needs to do is find organizations within their niche that accept donations and link back to sites that have donated.
After locating such companies, simply make a donation and link back to the merchant’s store.
Plus, retailers can likely write off their donation as well, which is a nice little bonus.
To find such websites, head to Google, and enter in queries similar to:
Donation + Contributor + Keyword
Contributors page + Donate + Keyword
Contributors page + Keyword
6. Refresh Old Content
Site owners tend to publish lots of great content over the years that earns many SEO backlinks in the process. However, content becomes buried, old, and outdated.
Therefore, sellers should periodically go through their site to find pieces that haven’t been updated in a while and have a considerable number of publications referencing the page.
After pinpointing such pieces, update the article, aiming to make it better, fresher, and featuring more relevant information. An excellent strategy for achieving this is to utilizethe skyscraper technique. While this typically applies to competitor pieces, it can just as easily be used on a seller’s own content.
Once the piece has been updated, reach out to those who have linked to the old content and let them know that it has been revamped. If these folks promoted it previously, they would likely want to do so again. At the same time, retailers can start their own promotional process anew with the blog, given that it contains new and improved information.
7. Create a Free Tool
There aretons of free tools all over the internet for a plethora of tasks. In addition to all the free tools available, there are a staggering number of articles that mention such resources. Many of these pieces are dedicated explicitly to discussing the free tools available for a specific task.
Therefore, creating a free tool that will serve a seller’s niche (such as a template generator, calculator, or similar engine) is a highly effective way for retailers to cultivate SEO backlinks.
In a nutshell, sellers can get this process started by:
Conduct keyword research to see what types of “generators,” templates” and “tools” are available within a given niche.
Analyze the top 10 tools that surface for such searches.
Establish which of the tools receives the most backlinks.
Build a similar tool that is superior in functionality, design, etc.
Naturally, many merchants may not have the technical acumen to build such a tool. In that case,hiring a certified developer will be a necessity. However, the potential SEO backlinks that a retailer can earn with this strategy will likely be worth the added effort.
8. Utilize Directories
While this tactic for earning SEO backlinks may be a bit dated, directories are still a useful resource for a seller’s link building efforts.
Naturally, we are not talking about low-quality, spammy directories that exist for the sole purpose of generating links. The reality is that these sites do more harm to a merchant’s SEO strategy than good. No, we are talking aboutweb directories that still have value and that people actually use. Some of the most popular and noteworthy of the bunch are destinations like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Bing Places, and Google My Business.
However, beyond these extremely prominent ones, there are still a variety of online niche directories that can provide retailers with valuable SEO backlinks that help them to increase their traffic and organic rankings.
9. Seek Out Resource Pages
Resource pages are another great way to generate SEO backlinks for a page.
Somewhat similar to directories, resource pages contain a list of links to resources that site owners think would benefit their audience.
For instance, in the case of a marketing blog, it might be helpful to the company’s audience if they compile a resourcepage on SEO tools. Usually, these pages aren’t in blog form but are instead merely a list of resources and links that viewers might find of value.
For merchants, it is possible to gain authoritative SEO backlinks by locating such industry-specific resource pages and reaching out to the owners about potentially including the seller’s store or products on the list.
However, do bear in mind that many sites that feature resource pages will only highlight brands, products, or services that they know, like, and use. In light of that information, merchants might want to take a slightly different approach to try to earn SEO backlinks for these destinations.
In this case, merchants might consider sending out a free item, trial, or whatever as a means of getting a product or service into a webmaster’s hands. Don’t ask for a link immediately. Instead, try to cultivate a relationship with an individual and get them familiar with the brand before asking to be added to the resource page.
To locate these pages, simply conduct some Google searches for the target keyword with phrases like “useful links,” “helpful resources” or “resource list.”
Because of the nature of social media, influencers have essentially become internet celebrities who wield the power to introduce and lend credence to a brand, product, or service, converting many of their followers into customers of the company.
When retailers can successfully forge a partnership with these individuals (which is much easier in the era of influencer marketplaces likeIZEA), they can get the influencers to promote their site or merchandise, write about these things in their blog (if applicable), share relevant links on social media and more.
While some influencer endorsements certainly come with a premium price tag, many have found micro-influencers to be more effective in driving traffic and sales for their brand. Additionally, by recruiting a team of micro-influencers (as opposed to one social superstar), retailers can generate significantly more SEO backlinks at a more affordable price.
Better still, some of these names will be willing to promote a retailer’s goods in exchange for products instead of monetary compensation. However, these folks are likely to not exist in influencer marketplaces and will need to be sought out the good old-fashioned way: searching and making connections through social media.
11. Publish Comprehensive Guides
Websites often post comprehensive guides on a topic, commonly referred to as an “ultimate” guide. This is a piece of content that is the best, most comprehensive resource available online about a specific subject. These are often weighty little tomes that take a considerable amount of time to research and write, as they cover enough information that readers need not seek out another resource.
For instance, inVisiture’s Ultimate Guide to SEO in 2019, everything that retailers needed to know to enhance their site’s visibility was covered. What’s more, most of the information contained within the guide is still applicable and relevant today.
Part of what makes ultimate guides great for procuring SEO backlinks is that it enables other sites to reference a concept that they mention in passing, but is not relevant to the scope of the article. Therefore, they will often link to an ultimate guide that covers the concept in great detail.
Moreover, ultimate guides do not need to be called “ultimate guides.” They merely need to go above and beyond what most pieces on the subject would offer, instead aiming to create a comprehensive document that covers all aspects of the topic.
By promoting ultimate guides across social media and to various industry publications (potentially utilizing some of the previously mentioned tactics, such as broken link building), retailers can earn a substantial amount of SEO backlinks that will help to increase their site’s visibility and organic traffic.
Earning SEO backlinks is one of the most challenging aspects of a merchant’s SEO strategy. However, given the importance links hold in Google’s ranking factors, earning authoritative endorsements is critical to SERP performance.
Retailers who seek to bolster their visibility in search engines like Google should focus considerable energy on increasing their backlink profile by implementing these 11 creative link building strategies.
However, given the rapidly shifting climate that most merchants have found themselves in amid COVID-19, dedicating the time needed to earn authoritative SEO backlinks might not be feasible.
We will assess your company’s backlink profile and search engine optimization needs and show you exactly how we can help your site cultivate the SEO backlinks necessary to rise in the rankings, earn more traffic and generate increased sales.
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A graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, Ruthie joined Visiture in 2020 with a liberal arts degree steeped in writing, editing, and content marketing. Interests include hiking with her black labrador Derby, spinning front row at CycleBar, and frequenting Cava.
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