Link Opportunities You Can Pursue
Shopify SEO Course ↗️ > Unit 6 > Lesson 4 > Link Opportunities You Can Pursue
Now that you know how to identify a good link opportunity for your website for link building, let’s look at the types of link opportunities you can pursue.
Do you have a physical store in conjunction with your online store? If not, do you mind sharing your physical address in relation to your online store? If the answer to either question is a yes, then you can create local business listings to build links for your website.
Most local business listings will ask for your physical address, local phone number, website, store hours, and a sentence or two that describes the business. Some will ask for additional details like who owns the business, payment types accepted, parking availability, photos, and video. Some will also have you confirm your listing by text, phone call, or postcard by mail.
A few things to note before pursuing links through local business directories. If you list your address and phone number on local business directories, you will likely start to get a lot of solicitation offers. And your business may also receive reviews (good, bad, and otherwise) on each local business directory that you will have to monitor and respond to.
With that said, here are some of the most well-known local business directories you can submit your business to. The ones most relevant to your business are the ones that offer a category for your business.
You can submit your information to most of these directories manually or you can use services like Yext, BrightLocal, or Moz to submit your information to multiple directories all at once. Services like these will charge you a monthly or annual fee to submit your information to the top local business directories, allow you to monitor your listing’s reviews, and make it easy for you to update basic information across multiple directories at once.
Also search for local newspaper, radio station, magazine, and blog websites. Some may have local business links and recommendations that you can ask to be included in, either for free or as advertising.
Last, but not least, look for local businesses that you could partner with to drive customers to each other’s websites. For example, if you sell jeans in Los Angeles, you could partner with other online clothing and accessories stores that sell products that work well with jeans, but not jeans themselves. The key is to find local businesses that you don’t directly compete with, but ones that your products complement theirs.
As discussed in the Content Marketing module, you can gain links to your website through guest blogging, or submitting quality articles to reputable publications in your industry. Be sure to go back to the Content Marketing module if you want a refresher on how to build links via content submissions. Or use the following bullet points for a quick refresher.
- Find publications (blogs, online magazines, etc.) your ideal customers likely read that allow people to contribute content as guest blog posts, guest articles, or guest contributions.
- Create content based on the publication’s guidelines – content that isn’t focused on promoting your products, but rather, focused on providing value to the publication’s audience.
- Craft an author bio that links back to your website, specific product pages, specific pieces of content, and/or your business’s main social media profiles.
- Submit your content to the publication’s owner or editor, as specified in the guest blogging and content submission guidelines.
- Personalize your correspondence to the publication owner or editor so they know you are familiar with their publication, their audience, and their most popular content.
- Promote your guest post so that it gets good traction with the publication’s audience and so the owner or editor of the publication wants you to submit more content.
Competing online retailers that rank better than your business in search results likely have some great links pointing to their websites. Hence, it’s worth checking out your competitor’s links to see if there is any link opportunities that you could secure for your business. If you’re not ready to invest in an link building tool that will find these opportunities for you, such as Ahrefs or Moz, you can do a search on Google to find mentions of your competitor’s brand name outside of their website using one of the following searches.
Your Competitor -site:yourcompetitor.com
If your competitors are brands that distribute wholesale to retailers, you will have to get past their listings on those retailer’s sites. At that point, you should find the top web pages that link back to them. You will likely find links from social media networks, Groupon and discount networks, local business directories, and any mentions in mainstream media first.
Another way to find good link opportunities using your competitors is to find web pages that link to multiple competitors on one page. Chances are, this is a page where someone is sharing the best links in a specific category with their audience. Assuming it’s a good quality website, it’s likely a page you will want to make sure you are listed on as well. To find these pages, simply do a Google search for a couple of your top competitor’s brand names like this.
Levi Wrangler Jordache -site:levi.com -site:wrangler.com -site:jordache.com
This search should result in articles, directories, and top 10 lists of brands that offer the same product that your online store sells.
Effectively, this strategy (best utilized with link building tools for research) will allow you to see most of the links your competitors have gained. It will give you an idea where to create profiles, buy advertising, submit content, or reach out to ask for links.
Competitor research can also come in handy if a competitor of yours goes out of business. If your online store could be a good alternative for your competitor’s online store, you could reach out to websites that have links to your competitor and ask if a link to your online store could be added for visitors looking for a new place to shop now that your competitor is gone.
Mentions Without Links
Sometimes, people will mention your business or your products on their website without linking to it. Assuming it’s a good mention, you should be on the lookout for these mentions so that you can get the links you deserve.
One way to do this is to use free tools like Google Alerts. Google Alerts allows you to set up keyword searches for your business name, unique product names, and other phrases so that you get an email each time they appear online. Whenever you get an alert to a mention of your business, but that web page isn’t linking back to your website, you have the perfect opportunity to reach out to the website owner or content author to ask them to add a link to your website.
In addition to helping you get links, this tactic will also help you monitor your reputation. If you should get alerted to mentions of your business that aren’t positive, you can either publicly respond (depending on the site that mentioned your business) or contact the website owner or content author to see what you can do to help them change their perception of your business and products.
Some website owners will have a page or blog post on their website that recommends the things they like to shop for. If you can find pages like these, chances are you can get a link from them.
To get started, search Google for the following.
“where to buy” product keyword
“favorite stores” product keyword
“top stores” product keyword
“top retailers” product keyword
“top resources” product keyword
product keyword inurl:best
product keyword inurl:resources
product keyword inurl:recommended
product keyword inurl:buy
product keyword inurl:links
product keyword inurl:guide
These searches should bring up pages with links to one or more stores that sell the type of product you do. Depending on the type of page and how often they update it, there’s a good chance you could get a link to your online store on it. If you happen to notice a link to a competitor that is out of business on one of these pages, you can use that as a way to connect with the page owner or author, asking them to update the page and add your link while they are at it.
Do you know of good events that your customers might attend ?If so, look for ways to sponsor them. Event websites for local networking, charities, seminars, and conferences – tend to link to businesses that support them with monetary donations or use of vendor booths at the event. This should give your business the opportunity to build links, partnerships, and customer connections.
If you use a product or service that may also appeal to your ideal customers, see if the product or service has a testimonials page where testimonial authors get a link back to their website. Write a testimonial of your own and submit it to see if you can get a link there as well.
Q&A Networks, Forums, and Discussions
As mentioned in the Content Marketing module, websites that allow people to openly ask questions and discuss specific topics – Quora, forums, Reddit, etc. – can provide great inspiration for blog posts and other content topics. These sites can also provide lots of link building opportunities. The key is to find a question that you can answer with a link to your website.
For example, let’s say that you found a question on the best place to buy jeans. If you sell jeans, you can answer the question with a link to your online store. Or, if you find a question on how to find the best fitting jeans, you can answer the question with some advice and a link to a piece of content on your website about how people can choose the best fitting jeans so the original poster can learn more.
In most circumstances, if you are providing someone with an answer to their question, and that answer needs a link directly to a product or a “for more info” link, your link should stand.
Some networks (forums in particular) have specific rules that may prohibit you from linking to your own website in your answer. In those cases, look for other ways to get your link out there. You may want to privately message the person who asked the question in hopes that they will update their own post with a link to your website. You may want to add a signature on your profile that links to your website so that it appears beneath your answer.
Q&A networks, forums, and other discussion websites provide a great opportunity to link back to and promote both your main website, product pages, and content pages. Be sure to find the best link to answer questions on these websites and you will be on your way to strengthening your domain as a whole through link building.