E-Commerce SEO: How to Get Free Backlinks for Your Online Store
Posted Jan 11, 2019 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team

While search engine algorithms are constantly changing, some SEO practices never do.

Quality backlinks continue to be one of the most significant factors in your site’s search ranking. In the case of online shopping, a backlink is a link on a relevant website that directs users back to your e-commerce store. And Google continues to raise the bar on this type of SEO-linking.

Due to Google’s increased watchdog concern for generating high-quality backlinks, many businesses have been forced to fork over some major cash in exchange for backlinks that meet rising Google standards. And small businesses who aren’t ready to invest large amounts of capitol have been left in the dust.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative that won’t break the bank. And the best part? You don’t even need to be an SEO expert to do it.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to generate high-quality backlinks all on your own, with little to no investment. But first, let’s get down to the basics.

Why External Links Are Important for SEO

Imagine a professor that publishes their work in scientific periodicals. The more people refer to the work and cite the author on a particular issue, the more that professor is considered an expert in their field.

The same is true for websites: if quality resources related to your niche refer to your e-commerce website, search engines consider it more credible than similar sites, all else being equal. As a result, your website ranks higher on searches related to your niche, visibility increases and your traffic grows. Hooray!

And that’s not the only benefit to building high-quality backlinks. You’ll also enjoy:

  • Increased brand awareness by reaching your target audience on external resources;
  • And more conversion opportunities because customers can click to your store from other websites where it’s linked.

You can use Google Analytics or other services to track how many visitors came to your site (known as referral traffic) from links provided on other websites. Sometimes this can even be a significant driver for website traffic.

Referral traffic on Google Analytics
Referral traffic statistics in Google Analytics

Without quality backlinks, it can take months or even years to promote your website in a competitive environment.

Now that you’re convinced of the importance, let’s take a look at some of the practical how-tos for good link building.

9 Ways to Get External Links

There are a ton of ways to get links to your website. But that doesn’t mean they’re all good ways. While some methods might appear simple initially, they actually require significant digital experience or expensive SEO tools to really be effective. We say nay. Not today, sir. Today, we’re focusing on nine methods you can use right now to guarantee results with minimal cost and little to no experience.

1. Create social media pages

The first thing you can and should do to start building links is create official pages for store on social media. This is the easiest way to get external links immediately after launching an online store. Even if you don’t plan to actively engage on social media for your store, you should absolutely take advantage of the opportunity to snag a couple free backlinks.

Don’t limit yourself to the most popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram; create pages in Google+, Twitter, YouTube — even Pinterest.

SEO experts argue whether search engine algorithms count social links for calculating a website’s ranking. But even if social links don’t influence page rankings directly, other social signals such as likes or shares can prove your website’s credibility.

2. Engage on forums (crowd-marketing)

Engage on niche forums, general discussions — whatever — and if your site contains information that could be potentially useful to the participants of the discussion, share the link in the thread. Not only are you providing valuable content for the forum, you’re also creating some handy backlinks for your store.

Crowd marketing
An example of…