Promoting an e-commerce store means adopting digital marketing practices such as SEO, social media, and building site reputation.
Link-building is a tactic that directs traffic to your site, improves SEO through boosted site authority, and can help to increase exposure for your brand.
While there are many ways to build links, public relations is a great low-cost way to build links that benefit your exposure and conversions when done well.
Use PR to Build Backlinks through Building Relationships
Modern link building is a lot like networking.
You should approach it from a relationship perspective.
No one wants to give you something for nothing, and links are often valuable.
If you can’t earn a link with great content like a video, new item, infographic, or post, you must offer something else in return.
Long-term relationships with blogs and news sites tend to be more beneficial because you’ll be able to create a structured relationship that benefits both parties over time.
- Don’t expect free coverage; offer something in return, such a blog exchange or interview piece.
- Approach journalists when you have newsworthy content.
- Aim for long-term relationships. Becoming a contributor on large sites like Huffington Post or Forbes. Committing to multiple posts for a blog, or agreeing to do interviews and podcasts for a set period will get you much more coverage than a one-time post.
- Aim for quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter if you have 2,000 links from small blogs and news sites if no one sees them. Even Google prefers trafficked sites. Check website traffic, social interaction, and domain authority to measure the value of the link.
- Start conversations, most people won’t come to you unless you have a great deal to offer.
- Be strategic. Invest in relationships that offer value by exposing your store to your potential customers.
Guest posts are the standard backlink building technique but they should be handled carefully.
If you want to earn value from guest posts, you have to post on quality sites, share content that people want to read, and ensure that people will actually read it.
Guest posts can offer a lot of value, but a large part of it is through exposure and earned traffic rather than through a backlink.
Finding and sourcing websites for guest posts should involve the following process:
Search websites in your niche and identify top domains.
- Find niche influencers, blogs, newspapers, and even influential social media accounts. If it’s something you read to source information for your business.
- Check for guest posting guidelines. Some websites have it and some don’t. If you aren’t sure if the website accepts posts, you should contact them to ask.
- Familiarize yourself with their content. You should know what they post, why, and who they cater to before sending a pitch. It’s a good policy to follow their social page and read their blog for a few weeks before sending a pitch.
- Pitch the site editor. If their site editor is not listed on the site, email and ask for the correct address.
- Follow the site guidelines or send a short article pitch on why you’re qualified to write to the editor.
- Wait for a reply.
- Deliver your pitch to websites that are interested.
- Never submit the same content to two websites at once.
- Remember, quality posts offer a lot more value to you.
For the best results, choose websites that are influencers in your niche, so that you are sharing your content with interested readers.
While quality and relevance are more important than traffic, you also have to ensure that the site’s audience is worth your investment.
Professional reviewers and niche influencers often collect hundreds of thousands of followers.
While you can’t use free products as a review incentive for Amazon, you can check if they leave the review on their own site or blog.
- Reach out to influencers and offer free products or payment in exchange for a review post on their website.
- Request a no-follow link in your review (FTC rules don’t allow paying for follow links).
- Maintain a relationship with websites who love your store, because you can work with them to promote new items to their audience as well as to build links.
Building long-term relationships and working to provide quality content in exchange for links will improve your link building strategy and will increase the quality of the links that you receive.
Track Online Mentions
In most cases, if you end up on a list, are mentioned in a blog article, or in a review, the person writing the content won’t link to you.
However, many will if you reach out and ask if they would mind linking back to your store.
This can be a great way to use existing PR to build backlinks.
However, it is important to be polite, and to be understanding if they don’t want to link.
Connect with Journalist
If you have anything to share, journalists will likely be interested.
Whether that’s your expertise in the e-commerce market, your industry knowledge, or small business help, you can reach out to the press to offer interviews, quotes, news stories, and other information to get backlinks.
But, don’t forget local media.
Local newspapers and magazines often have much more difficulty sourcing content and will be willing to work with you even if your store is relatively small.
- Create short, interesting pitches.
- Make sure the journalists you’re contacting cover your niche.
- Respond to calls for submission or sources as often as you can.
- Monitor local journalist’s social media accounts to see when they’re looking for sources.
If you are using sites such as HARO and ProfNet, journalists will likely come to you.
However, if you are reaching out to them, it is crucial that you ensure they are interested in what you have to offer.
You should also make yourself stand out by reading their work, meeting up with them at events, and working hard to provide them a story they can sell.
Most journalists receive hundreds of pitches every day, sometimes more if they work for large publications.
You have to make yourself stand out.
Sharing real and valuable stories, using data, and creating something new are all great ways to get attention.
Media such as infographics, video, and eBooks can all result in earned links when other websites and blogs share your content.
This can be a great way to get news coverage but can also help you to build relationships with other niche blogs and websites who can gain value from your content.
- Create a few very high-quality pieces rather than a lot of low-quality content.
- Submit your content to appropriate sites. For example, submit infographics to Visual.ly, load video content on Vimeo and YouTube, and try to maximize your reach.
- Reach out to ask bloggers if they want to share your content.
There are dozens of ways to use PR to build backlinks, but building long-term relationships with press, media, and bloggers is one of the best ways.
The best policy is to remember that a link is valuable to you, and if you’re working with quality sites, you can afford to invest in it.
Establishing relationships, starting conversations, and offering quality content in exchange for links will allow you to build valuable links that people follow back to your store.