Search engine optimization plays a crucial role in drawing new audiences to your Shopify store. You can promote your store deliberately using paid ads or social media marketing, but SEO lets you reach potential buyers on their (search) terms.
SEO factors are broken down into two categories: on-page and off-page. Your content’s relevancy and your keyword choices are examples of on-page SEO factors. Google uses these to rank your website against others when someone searches a relevant term.
On-page SEO can only take your store so far, since there may thousands of other websites producing content similar to your own. To beat the competition, Google needs to know you’re providing accurate content other people want to read – this is where backlinks (and other off-page SEO factors) come in.
“Follow” and “Nofollow” Backlinks
There are two main types of backlinks: “follow” and “nofollow.” Follow backlinks greatly help your SEO, while nofollow links do very little to boost your ranking.
A follow link is considered an endorsement from one website to another. These endorsements tell Google to trust the source being linked to – follow links are common in blog posts mentioning other blogs.
Alternatively, nofollow links are common on social media. Links on social media still help your SEO a bit, but since they’re usually nofollow links, they aren’t as valuable as links from other websites and stores.
Understand Which Backlinks Are Valuable
Ten years ago, you could use a backlink farmer or generator to get your website to the top of Google’s search engine results with little to no effort at all. Today, Google’s algorithms are significantly smarter, and they can discern between a quality backlink and a generated one.
So – how do you know if your backlink is valuable in the eyes of Google?
- External links from large websites with significant followings are more valuable than links from smaller websites.
- A dozen links from a dozen different websites are much more valuable than a dozen links from one website – have variety.
- Links with relevant anchor texts are more valuable than links which use generic link terms like “click here.”
- Pages with fewer links produce more valuable links. Pages with a high amount of links will decrease the individual value of each link.
5 Proven Methods to Build Backlinks
Once you understand which backlinks have a major impact on your SEO and which don’t, you can begin building backlinks for your store. We’re taking a look at 5 proven methods you can use to build backlinks intentionally and naturally.
#1: Create Shareable Content
Shareable content is easy to read, relevant to current events or interests, and offers new information or a unique perspective on a topic. When you create shareable content, other bloggers will want to share it with their audiences. If one of your posts goes viral, you can expect dozens (or even hundreds) of new backlinks to flood in naturally.
#2: Offer Your Products For Review
There are thousands of product review bloggers on the web, and many will write a review if you simply ask and offer your product to them. If they write a favorable review, you’ll get a backlink and a vouch for your product – score!
#3: Write Guest Blogs for Other Sites
Many large blogs are open to guest bloggers because it saves them the time and money they’d otherwise need to hire a content writer. When you guest blog for another store, you’re offering your content in return for a link in the article to your own store. This earns you a follow backlink and it exposes your name and work to a new audience.
#4: Ask Your Manufacturer to Link Your Store
Unless you’re manufacturing your own products, you probably buy them from someone else who does. Many manufacturers have a section on their website showing the online retailers who sell their products. If you’re not on that list, ask the manufacturer to include you by offering a link to your store.
#5: Make the News
Do you own a local store? Are you doing something to help your community? If so, you might be able to snag a spot on your local news network’s website. Store owners who make their local news can get very valuable backlinks and credit to their business on a widespread scale.
How have you built backlinks for your store? What are your backlink building tips? Let us know in the comments below!