Link Building Strategy And Backlink Review Guide For Ecommerce


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Long ago, I was a link builder. It was a passion of mine to develop link-building campaigns for clients and network with other link builders like Garret French, and the late Eric Ward. I was always on the lookout for new ways to build links and increase my client’s search engine rankings. Link building has become more difficult and strategic in today’s SEO world. For those who don’t know, it is the second part of an SEO strategy. You need to first have your on-page SEO in place. Second, you must have the right links pointed at the correct pages of your website using the right anchor text.

Today’s post will show you how Kobe Digital performs a backlink analysis. It also outlines how to create a link-building strategy for eCommerce clients. If you are planning to do this yourself, Ahrefs.com is the only tool that you need. You should expect to spend a lot of time digging through the data to come up with your strategy. Let’s start by answering some of the most common questions regarding link building.

A backlink is a link from one website to another. Backlinks are used by search engines such as Google and Bing to assess whether a website is trustworthy and worthy of ranking. The theory is that if one website links to another they trust the content. Google still considers backlinks a key part of its ranking algorithm. High-quality backlinks can help increase visibility and rank in search engine result pages.

What is a Referring Domain?

A referring domain refers to a website that links to another website one or more times. If a website has a link from Wikipedia, it will have one referring domain. It has two referring domains if it has links from Wikipedia and the New York Times. It still has one domain if it has two backlinks to Wikipedia. Search engines like more links to a website. They also like to see more linked websites.

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text refers to the words that hyperlinks use when linking to another site. These texts are usually displayed as blue underlined text. However, each website can customize them to their liking. Anchor text is used by search engines to determine what they can expect at the destination link. This signal is used by search engines to determine relevance.

What are the Different Types Of Anchor Text?

  • Exact Match: When you use exact match anchor text, it means that you are using the exact keyword(s), which you want your website to rank. This could be done by linking to our SEO page with the eCommerce SEO keywords.
  • Partial Match: This is where you combine your target keyword with other words or phrases to create partial match anchor text. This could be done by using the words in conjunction with other keywords and linking to our CRO page.
  • Branded: A brand-named anchor text links to a page on your website. This could be linked to Kobe Digital.com or any page on our site. In this instance, I linked it with our paid social media page.
  • CTA: CTA anchor text, when you use some type of call to action such as click here, find more, or how? Link to one of your pages. This could be done by linking learn more directly to our paid search page.

Let’s now look at the most frequently asked questions. To create the best link-building strategy, it is important to gather and analyze data for both your website and the top-ranking websites for the keywords that you are trying to rank for. It’s important to remember that Google ranks web pages individually, and not websites as a whole. What does this all mean? This means that you will need to analyze the backlinks on the page you are interested in ranking for, and not the entire site if you wish to rank for a particular keyword. Does this make sense?

We will start by looking at a few sitewide metrics to gain an understanding of how they build links back to their website. These are the four data points that we will be analyzing:

  • Domain rank is a measure of how credible a website (credibility)
  • The number of links the website has (link volume).
  • How many websites (referred domains) link to the target website?
  • Link distribution is the process of assigning links to pages on a website.

We will then look at site-wide metrics and examine page-level metrics to see exactly how they build links and achieve their rankings. These are the four data points that we will be examining:

  • The number of websites linking to the target page (link volume).
  • What is the link quality (quality score) of the links linking to the target site?
  • What type of links point to the target page (link types)?
  • What type of link text (anchor text), is used to link the target page?

To see the competitors side-by-side, I keep all this data in a Google Doc. It’s easy to compare the data and see what you need to do to get them outranked.

Domain rank

To pull any backlink metrics that we will be looking at, log in to Ahrefs. Enter the URL of your website into the search box. You will be taken to the main overview page once the results are returned. You will find eight metrics at the top of this page.

Ahrefs gives domain rank a score that allows you to quickly assess how trustworthy a website is. It considers how many links a website has to other domains, and how trusty each one is. This number will indicate how likely search engines trust the entire website. If your website ranks 20 and your top competitor ranks 50, you likely have some work ahead of you. It doesn’t mean you can’t beat them with a lower score. We have done it many times. However, this just means that the site is generally more trustworthy.

The next number to be concerned about after domain rank is “backlinks”. This is an important metric because it counts all links a website has. The more quality links, the higher the site will rank across the board.

Total Referring Domains

After you have looked at the total backlinks, it is time to examine referring domains. This is an important metric because search engines love to see links from as many websites as possible. A domain’s average number of backlinks is also important. This number is calculated by multiplying the number of backlinks by the number of referring domains. The example site I am looking at has approximately 16.5 links to it from other websites. The lower the number, the better.

Web page link distribution is the last metric that we will be looking at for the site overall. You will need to navigate to the pages section on the left sidebar, and then click on the words most closely related to you. This will display a list of pages that have backlinks to them. Click on the referring domains to sort the results.

Link distribution is the number of links that each page on a website has. Search engines also look at the number of links linking to each page to determine if the website is manipulating rankings. It can be penalized if a majority of the links to a website are going to just one or two pages. The home page will naturally have more backlinks than other pages. You will notice that the backlink count for 10-15 pages on your site is similar within a dozen links.

This is where you can tell if a website did a good job in its link building. Let’s now look at the page-level metrics. Here is where the magic happens.

The majority of eCommerce SEO is going to be based on your product or category pages. First, you need to identify the page of your website that you want to rank in search terms. Once you have this information, you can perform the following analysis of each page as well as the ranking pages for your competitors. Start by entering the URL of the page and begin to examine the following metrics.

You will need to navigate to the backlinks section on the left sidebar and click backlinks to access this report. Next, click on one domain link to see the number of pages linked to it. This example page has 142 domains linking to its pages. This is a fair number of links, and it’s an excellent metric to use for comparison.

Next, sort the links according to UR (URL rank). This refers to the credit score of each page linking to your site. It can be passed through to you, the competitor, or any other site that you are analyzing. We are trying to figure out how many links this page has, and how many links we will need to rank this URL.

If this was the top-ranking competitor, then you would need 142 links to the page with the same URL for each link plus one additional to overtake them. We want it to be done with fewer and better links.

You will need to pull all links with a URL greater than 15 into a spreadsheet. We like to use rule 10 to make sure we have enough links with a higher UR than 15 to be able to rank them. This is how it might look in a spreadsheet.

Although this isn’t an exact science, it does get us close. We will need 10 links, each with URLs of 52, 39, and 38. It is very straightforward.

Next, we will examine the type of links on each page. This activity is quite manual. Click through each site to take note of its contents. Do they all feature the product or are they just bloggers discussing it? Are they business directories, or? Are they news publications? You need to know what link types they use because you will likely need similar links. You will need blogger links if they are all blog links. You’ll need a blend if it’s a mixture.

Anchor Text Use

We must also examine the anchor text that links to the page. Anchor text is what tells search engines and users about the page.

Navigate to the anchor’s section on the left sidebar to access this report. Next, sort by referring domains. The example page shows 68 different anchor texts. We prefer to use the top ten anchors.

You can find a few things on this page. This website uses a lot of branded and partial matching anchor text. You will need to outrank them by using a lot of partial and branded match anchor text. However, you should also start to work in exact match anchor texts. It should only take a few variations on keywords such as “baby carrier”, ergonomic baby carrier, etc. You’re now in business.

Once you have completed the process for one competitor you will need to do the same for the top 4-5 ranking competitors. Then you can analyze the data and build your link strategy. Although it is not difficult, it does require some effort to gather the data and analyze it before you can create a plan. The next step is to create and implement the plan. Begin reaching out to bloggers and asking them if they are interested in working with you. Also, submit your site to quality business directories. It’s a good idea to make a 90-day plan that shows the links we will build or acquire each month. Then, work on it. This keeps us focused and organized.

I hope you found this helpful. Please leave any comments or questions in the comment section below. Request a proposal if you feel overwhelmed or need help with SEO and link building. A strategist will contact you to find out more about your company and to create a plan that helps you reach your goals. 

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.