However, link building can be complex and time-consuming. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about building backlinks for your Shopify ecommerce store.
We'll start by explaining backlinks and why they matter for SEO. Then, we'll cover which pages you should focus your link-building efforts on, factors that constitute a good backlink, types of links to build, and how to avoid toxic links that could get your site penalized. You'll have actionable tips to earn high-quality backlinks to boost your Shopify store's authority and rankings by the end.
Table of Contents
What is Link Building?
Link building refers to acquiring backlinks – external links from other websites pointing back to pages on your site. Backlinks serve as votes of confidence, indicating to Google that a carrier offers value worthy of recommendation. The more high-quality backlinks your Shopify pages have, the more authority and trust they gain in the eyes of search engines. This signals relevancy and boosts rankings for target keywords.
There are two main types of backlinks:
- Organic backlinks. Credible websites naturally link to your content if it offers their audience value. These occur organically over time.
- Manual outreach. You can proactively reach out to site owners in hopes of them linking back to your content. This is manual link building.
A practical link-building approach combines both strategies. But all links are not made equal. Low-quality and manipulative links can damage your site. The key is to build backlinks that search engines deem valuable – editorial, relevant, and trustworthy sources.
Which Pages to Build Backlinks to
You'll want to build backlinks to pages that attract organic search traffic and conversions for your Shopify store. This typically includes:
- Homepage – Your homepage is the front door to your website, so links here can boost domain authority. When you get powerful backlinks to the site's home page, the positions of all site pages grow.
- Blog – Backlinks to your blog will improve rankings for informational keywords. You can convert informative page visitors to product pages to generate additional sales.
- Product category pages – Links directly to categories help you rank for commercial keywords. These pages should be prioritized as they generate the most revenue.
- Individual product pages – Boost rankings for each specific item you sell.
I'd like you to focus on linking to pages that align with your target keywords and conversion goals. For most ecommerce stores, prioritizing backlinks to popular blog content and main product category pages works best.
Good Backlink Factors
What constitutes a “good” backlink for your Shopify store's SEO? Here are the top factors of value:
The linking page should be relevant to the niche and topics of the page you want to earn a backlink from. Links related to your industry are more powerful.
Higher authority websites have more link equity to pass on. Prioritize getting backlinks from reputable sites with high domain authority and traffic.
The words used to hyperlink to your site, known as anchor text, play a role. A mix of branded and keyword anchor text is ideal.
Backlinks in prominent positions on content pages, like the body or resource sections, hold more weight than links in sidebars or site footers.
Earning backlinks at a natural, consistent pace looks more natural than an instant influx. Slow and steady link-building is best.
Getting backlinks from various sites is better than having links from sites with similar topics or domains. Vary your link sources.
Following these best practices will ensure the backlinks you build are viewed as valuable by search engines, thus better aiding your Shopify SEO and conversion goals.
How to Do Link Building for Shopify
Manually building quality backlinks takes effort but pays dividends. Here are proven tactics for getting editorial backlinks to your Shopify store:
Create Link-Worthy Assets
The first step is developing content assets worth linking to. Offer value through:
- Industry studies – People will reference original research and data.
- Infographics – Visual assets that publishers can feature.
- Product roundups – Comparisons of top items shops would link to.
- Expert advice articles – Become a thought leader so sites link to your advice.
Conduct link interviews by asking site owners in your field:
- What types of resources do you link to?
- What existing links/resources are underperforming that need an updated replacement?
This intelligence will help you create assets they want to link to.
Guest Post Outreach
Write and pitch guest posts to respected industry publications. Include 1-2 contextual links back to related pages on your shop in the author bio or body.
Broken Link Building
Find broken links on high-authority sites, then offer to replace them with one of your relevant Shopify links. Be a helpful resource.
Link Insertion Outreach
When people mention your brand but don't link to your store, politely ask them to hyperlink your name to your site.
Use a link-checking tool to identify sites that are used to link to your store but have a link break. Ask them to restore their link to you.
Use Google alerts to find new web pages and mentions relevant to your shop. Then, I would like to ask them to add a link to related products/categories.
Executing these outreach campaigns consistently over time will help build your domain authority and Shopify SEO through backlinks.
Types of Shopify Backlinks
Building quality backlinks is essential for improving your Shopify store's search engine rankings and driving more organic traffic. You can acquire many editorial backlinks to reinforce your Shopify store's credibility.
The most effective links are rare and difficult to obtain, and they are obtained using HARO methods or through outreach. This way, you can get backlinks that can not be bought. However, these methods have a significant disadvantage in the high cost and small number of received links. Getting 50 such links per month is impossible, instead of 10-12.
Therefore, resorting to other, more straightforward ways of getting backlinks, such as guest posting, participating in podcasts and interviews, and building your own PBN network on auction domains, is necessary.
Guest posting refers to contributing articles to popular blogs related to your ecommerce niche. At the end of the article, you can include 1-2 contextual backlinks in your author bio. Guest posts help build relevant links, grow your shop's visibility, and establish your team as thought leaders. The key is getting placements on reputable industry blogs aligned with your products. Pitch guest posts ideas tailored to each blog's audience.
However, low-authority blogs with thin content offer little SEO value. Avoid keyword-stuffed guest posts made purely to manipulate backlinks, as search engines can penalize this. Focus on providing genuine value to readers.
You can proactively reach out to site owners in your ecommerce niche to request backlinks to relevant products or categories. For example, if their content references a type of product you sell, politely ask them to link to your shop's page as a helpful resource for readers. Personalized outreach and adding value build relationships and earn links.
The major downside is that manual outreach could be more time-consuming. Maintaining spreadsheets of link prospects and crafting unique pitches demands extensive effort. Outreach is also hit or miss, depending on the site owner's willingness.
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a free service that connects journalists seeking sources for stories with relevant experts. When reporters publish your quotes, they often link to your website. Signing up for a HARO account and responding to source requests related to your ecommerce niche can generate media coverage and backlinks over time.
However, HARO requires regularly checking for relevant queries and being the first to respond to have the best chance. Only some responses will lead to published quotes. It works best paired with other link-building tactics.
Your main homepage is the front door of your Shopify store that visitors arrive at from search engines. Thus, links precisely to your homepage can boost domain authority the most. Content and assets that focus on your overall brand and products rather than specific items lend themselves best to homepage links—for example, getting featured as a case study example on an ecommerce blog.
But for conversions, category and product pages tend to be more direct. Also, fewer links to your homepage than deeper pages can seem unnatural. Strike a balance between homepage and content page links.
Some black hat SEOs build private blog networks (PBNs) with a ring of fake blogs and sites solely to generate manipulative links. However, search engines now quickly identify and penalize PBN links. Never participate in PBNs or anything deceitful. Focus only on building genuine editorial links slowly over time. Patience and persistence are key.
Most PBN service offerings on the market could be better; sellers use weak, cheap domains instead of expensive, powerful domains that can be bought at auction. Sites on such domains transfer a lot of weight and contribute to the fast growth of the online store in Google search results.
The risks of getting caught and banned from search far outweigh any temporary gains in rankings PBN links may offer. You can avoid anything that looks like link schemes to search engines.
Avoiding Toxic Backlinks
While links can improve your Shopify SEO, low-quality links from spammy or shady sources can get your store penalized by search engines. Here are toxic links to avoid:
- Comment spam links
- Low-quality directory or Web 2.0 site links
- Links using manipulative anchor text
- Paying for backlinks from sketchy sellers
- Links from completely irrelevant sites
- An unnaturally rapid influx of backlinks
Vet sites before seeking links, and never participate in deceitful practices. I'd like you to focus on slowly building links from reputable publishers related to your e-commerce niche. This authentic approach will keep your Shopify store safe from manual penalties.
Link building should be an integral part of your ongoing Shopify SEO strategy. Prioritizing backlinks to your homepage, blog, and key product pages from authority sites in your industry will boost rankings and organic traffic over time.
Be patient, and always focus on quality over quantity regarding link acquisition. Employ a diverse blend of link-building tactics, from content promotion to manual outreach. If done correctly, earning credible editorial backlinks will take your ecommerce store's search visibility to the next level.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are backlinks, and why are they important for SEO?
Backlinks are links from other websites to your site. They are crucial for SEO because they signal that others vouch for your content to search engines.
How do I know if a backlink is of high quality?
A high-quality backlink comes from a reputable, relevant website and is naturally integrated within valuable content.
Can too many backlinks harm my Shopify store's SEO?
Yes, if the backlinks are low-quality or spammy, they can negatively impact your SEO.
What is the difference between organic and manual backlinks?
Organic backlinks occur naturally when sites link to your content, while manual backlinks are gained through outreach efforts.
How do I avoid toxic backlinks?
Avoid links from spammy, irrelevant sites, and do not participate in link schemes. Please keep an eye on your backlink profile.
What type of content tends to attract the most backlinks?
Original research, valuable resources, compelling infographics, and authoritative articles often attract more backlinks.
Is it necessary to build backlinks to all pages of my Shopify store?
Focus on critical pages that drive traffic and conversions, like your homepage, main product categories, and popular blog posts.
How important is the anchor text in backlinks?
Anchor text is essential as it helps search engines understand the link's context and can influence your store's ranking.
Can I buy high-quality backlinks for my Shopify store?
Buying backlinks is against search engine guidelines and can lead to penalties. It's best to earn them organically or through outreach.
How often should I check my backlink profile?
Regular monitoring, at least monthly, is recommended to keep track of your backlink quality and growth.
What tools can I use to monitor my backlinks?
SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush offer backlink tracking and analysis features.
How long does it take to see results from link building?
SEO and link-building results can vary, but typically, it takes several months to a year to see significant changes in rankings.
What is a natural link velocity, and why is it important?
Natural link velocity refers to the pace at which you gain backlinks. A steady, gradual increase is seen as more authentic by search engines.
Do you know if guest posting can still be effective for link building?
If done on reputable sites relevant to your niche and providing valuable content, guest posting can be effective.
What's the role of social media in link building?
Social media can increase the visibility of your content, potentially leading to more organic backlinks.
How do I measure the success of my link-building efforts?
Measure success by tracking improvements in search rankings, organic traffic, and the quality and quantity of backlinks.
Should I focus on getting backlinks from local or international sites?
It depends on your target audience. Local backlinks can be more beneficial if your store serves a local market.
What are HARO backlinks, and how do I get them?
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) backlinks come from media outlets when you provide expert insights. Please sign up for HARO and respond to any questions you might have.
Is link reclamation a valuable link-building tactic?
Yes, link reclamation can regain lost links, maintaining the strength of your backlink profile.