9 Best Ecommerce Link Building Strategies [2022 Update]

Building links to an ecommerce website is similar to putting up billboards for a brick-and-mortar shop. Like billboards, ecommerce link building helps you get in front of more customers. 

But landing links isn’t easy for ecommerce brands. Other sites often won’t link to ecommerce sites because they’re commercial

That’s why you shouldn’t wait for links to fall into your lap. Speed up the process using some of the nine ecommerce link building strategies we’ll show you below.

We’ve landed links for numerous clients using these same strategies, so we know they’ll work for you. Here we go.

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💡 An Important Note

When we talk about link building, we’re referring to getting backlinks. 

Backlinks are external links, meaning they come from other websites to yours.

  • Example: Links from Wikipedia to your home page.

On the other hand, internal links link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Internal links aren’t backlinks.

  • Example: Links from your home page to your blog posts.

What Results Can You Expect From Ecommerce Link Building?

Ecommerce link building can help you increase your site’s search visibility and traffic

Consequently, it may also help increase your conversions — because the more eyeballs you reach, the more sales you can make. And that’s the ultimate goal of ecommerce websites. 

But let’s see how ecommerce link building pays off in real life. We’ll analyze two ecommerce businesses and the results they got from their link building efforts below.

Note: SEO results can’t be solely attributed to link building. Other factors besides links, like improving your on-page SEO, also impact rankings and traffic. Still, the examples below do indicate a strong correlation between backlinks and these two metrics.

Example: Airbnb

Let’s start off with an ecommerce business you know: Airbnb. 

We’ll first look at the company’s traffic in 2022. 

Pay special attention to the biggest upward spike, which took place in May:

Airbnb's traffic stats for 2022

Now, let’s look at data on Airbnb’s referring domains (RDs) during the same period. 

Just a reminder: RDs are domains linking to a particular website, in this case:

A graph on Airbnb's referring domains in 2022

You can notice some clear overlaps between the two graphs. 

For example, the biggest spike in traffic happened in May 2022, when Airbnb also had the most referring domains:

Airbnb's traffic graph shows that the biggest spike happened in May 2022
A graph for Airbnb's referring domains shows the biggest spike happened in May 2022

Both graphs align with how Airbnb’s positions in search engines changed during the same period:

A graph for Airbnb's positions on the SERPs in 2022 shows that the biggest spike happened in May 2022

But, truth be told, not everyone can get the same results as Airbnb, which became a true ecommerce giant in recent years.

That’s why we’ll also quickly look at the stats for a lesser-known brand below.

Example: Bellabeat

Bellabeat is a smaller wellness ecommerce brand, so the results it got from its link building efforts may be more telling of what you can expect from your own. 

Again, let’s first have a look at Bellabeat’s traffic stats for 2022:

A graph for Bellabeat's traffic shows the biggest spike happened in May 2022

Just like Airbnb, Bellabeat got the most traffic in May 2022. 

Now, let’s see if that coincides with the RD stats:

A graph for Bellabeat's referring domains shows the biggest spike happened sometime after April 2022

You can see the biggest spike in RDs happened after April 2022. 

This image shows the exact month it took place:

A graph for Bellabeat's referring domains shows the biggest spike happened in May 2022

You’ll notice that these two graphs also coincide with the changes in Bellabeat’s positions in search engines:  

A graph for Bellabeat's positions in the SERPs shows the biggest spike happened in May 2022

To conclude, we saw how getting more backlinks (RDs) improves:

  • rankings (“position changes”), and 
  • traffic

You can expect similar results from your own ecommerce link building efforts.

Before moving on to the how, we should note that the traffic graphs above show changes in all types of traffic (and not just organic traffic). 

The thing is, most websites don’t see a spike in organic traffic immediately after they get backlinks. In 99% of cases, the process is more gradual. Organic traffic slowly improves as websites rise on the SERPs.  

For example, Airbnb’s search traffic increased from 11.1M in April to 11.6 in May of 2022. 

A graph shows that Airbnb got 11.1M search traffic in April 2022
Airbnb’s traffic stats for April 2022

A graph shows that Airbnb got 11.6M search traffic in April 2022
Airbnb’s traffic stats for May 2022

That means the site got “only” 500,000 more visits through search engines in May than in April. So, organic traffic doesn’t account for the total increase in traffic.

In fact, Airbnb saw the most growth in direct traffic, which increased by about 4% from April to May. 

So, attributing the entire traffic growth solely to backlinks would be false. But it’s possible that backlinks are responsible for one part of direct visitors, as they help raise brand awareness.

Still, even if we only consider Airbnb’s growth in organic traffic and rankings, we have to agree those are big results. 

Here are nine link building strategies that will help you replicate them. 

9 Best Ecommerce Link Building Strategies

Now that you know why building links matters for ecommerce brands, let’s get to the how

Here are 9 link building strategies you can use to attract links to your ecommerce website.

1) Create Link-Worthy Assets

Creating linkable assets — like a valuable blog post or a useful tool — will probably be your favorite link building strategy. 

The reason why is that this cost-effective strategy can simultaneously: 

  • Help you earn links. 
  • Naturally improve your rankings in search engines. 
  • Turn your ecommerce store into a brand.

The fastest way to see ROI with this strategy is to create three high-impact assets.


Value-packed guides can help you reach your link building goals, while also letting you connect with your audience. 

As long as you answer their questions or solve their problems, you can turn visitors into first-time customers and first-time customers into recurring buyers. 

But guides also attract natural links. If they contain useful info, they can get referenced on social media, forums, and other websites.

  • Example: Clinique made a short but impactful guide to skincare routines. The page has gained 49 backlinks so far, and the majority of the links are dofollow. That means they’re probably organic (not paid for) and can transfer maximum juice to Clinique’s website:

Analysis of Clinique's backlink profile shows that the page with skincare routines got 49 backlinks from 33 referring domains


Niche-related tools can help you build links and attract qualified traffic to your ecommerce site. 

The trick is in deciphering what your audience struggles with. Then, all that’s left to do is make a tool for it and add it to your ecommerce site.

For example, if you’re a fashion brand, your customers may struggle with: 

  • Determining their dress or shoe size
  • Dressing for their body shape 
  • Finding their unique style

You can develop tools, such as quizzes or calculators, that help your audience solve these problems. That’s how you’ll stand out from other similar ecommerce brands and be top of mind for your audience when they’re ready to buy. 

(Btw, your tool doesn’t have to be fancy as long as it’s useful. Just check out the first search result for BMI “calculator” if you don’t believe us.)

  • Example: An insurance app called Geico developed a free calculator that gives drivers custom quote estimates for their car insurance. According to Ahrefs, the app reaped the benefits of its efforts and attracted over 3,000 backlinks with this tool: 
Analysis of Geico's backlink profile shows that the page with the calculator got 3,781 backlinks from 329 referring domains

Original Research

Conducting original research almost guarantees you’ll get quality links to your ecommerce website. The reason why is obvious: if you’re the only source of data someone references, you’re the only one they can link to. 

On top of that, doing your own research means you can create content no one else can. And that’s important, too, because original content can easily get to the first results in the SERPs.

  • Example: Blume conducted a survey on how girls and women experience periods during puberty. After publishing the results, the wellness company got PR mentions and backlinks from high-quality publications like Forbes:
A headline of a Forbes article reads "This wellness company just launched a "puberty do-over" campaign in hopes to address self-esteem issues"
(Source: Forbes)
A headline reads Blume promotes period talk and self-care through organic products
(Source: Bay Street Bull)
A headline reads This tween wellness line gives puberty a chic makeover
(Source: Fast Company)

2) Invite Digital PR Mentions

PR mentions alone can make for an effective ecommerce link building campaign. The only problem is that landing those mentions, and landing them consistently, can be difficult. 

But some strategies work better than others. Here are three that worked best for us personally.


Contributing to charity isn’t just a great link building strategy but can also serve your overall marketing goals. Research shows that charitable activities enhance customer loyalty, brand reputation, and sales.

As a website owner, you should announce your contributions on your own website. But, to land PR mentions, you should also reach out to owners of other websites. 

That may take some back-and-forth, but it’s worth it, as you’ll get a link and a chance to promote your brand to new audiences. 

  • Example: Shutterstock pledged $1 million to its contributors in Ukraine and built some quality links as a result:

A headline reads Shutterstock stands in support of Ukraine with immediate donation to contributor community
(Source: PR Newswire)


Unique products naturally generate buzz and press. 

But you can create buzz around your product even if it’s already finished. Just add a unique feature and prepare a newsworthy press release. Publications will pick it up. 

We like this link building strategy because it’s beneficial on multiple levels. Altering your product for press purposes can also improve customer experience and double your gains. 

All you have to do is find out what changes your customers want and make them happen.

  • Example: Fontus made self-filling bottles that supposedly turn moisture from the air into drinking water. It seems the story was too good to be true, and the company might have gone bankrupt in the meantime — but the controversial bottles got a lot of coverage from authoritative publications:
A Google result reads "This water bottle refills itself from moisture in the air"
(Source: Smithsonian Magazine)
A Google result reads "This self-filling water bottle turns air into drinking water"
(Source: Business Insider)
A Google result reads "Self filling water bottles have arrived, but just how viable..."
(Source: Futurism)


Many publications report on events, so hosting them could land you some juicy backlinks. Consider which events your customers would want to attend or host charitable events, like fundraisers.

  • Example: Moo Jersey, an ice cream company based in Hoboken, hosted “The World’s Largest Ice Cream Eating Contest” in June 2022. The event attracted Moo Jersey’s ideal customers, ice cream enthusiasts, and got the company some positive PR and backlinks:
A headline reads "Hoboken to host world's largest ice cream eating contest"
(Source: TAPintoHoboken)

3) Build Affiliate Partnerships

Affiliate partnerships can do more for your ecommerce website than just drive sales. They can also play an essential role in your link building campaign. 

The chances are, your affiliates already have the perfect places for your links within their content. So the links won’t feel salesy or out of place. 

But there is one problem. According to Google’s guidelines, affiliate links should be tagged as “sponsored”:

A code with the "sponsored" attribute

Unfortunately, sponsored links don’t carry as much juice as dofollow links. 

In other words, they won’t have as big of an effect on your site’s rankings and domain authority.

Of course, you can always ask your affiliates not to tag your links as sponsored, but it’s up to them if they’ll agree to that.

  • Example: This listicle by Byrdie lists 28 skincare brands and features their products. At the beginning of the article, Byrdie mentions that the links are affiliate: 
An excerpt from Byrdie's listicle with the affiliate disclosure highlighted

But note that not all links are tagged as nofollow or sponsored — only the ones that lead to product pages. 

Links that lead to home pages are marked as dofollow, so they transfer extra link juice:

An excerpt from Byrdie's listicle shows that the link leading to Drunk Elephant's home page is dofollow, while the links linking to product pages are nofollow

It might be a good idea for your affiliates to use the same strategy so that you can still get a dofollow link.

4) Answer FAQs

Answering frequently asked questions on your product pages is a great way to earn backlinks and rank for bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) keywords. 

To demonstrate that, let’s imagine you sell smart locks. 

Through your research, you discover a popular long-tail keyword that’s relevant to your product: “what happens if smart lock battery dies.” 

Including this query on your product page could get you backlinks and sales. Let me quickly explain why. 

Firstly, you could earn backlinks because you’ll give important information that people search for. 

Secondly, your answer could eradicate your customers’ fears and lead you closer to making a sale. 

Think about it: the fear of getting locked out may be the only thing stopping a person from buying a smart lock. If your answer can eradicate that fear, you could make an instant sale. And that’s probably the ideal situation for any ecommerce owner.

  • Example: SimpliSafe, a company that sells security systems, used the exact trick we described above:
The featured snippet for the keyword "what happens if smart lock battery dies" owned by SimpliSafe

5) Find Unlinked Brand Mentions

Unlinked brand mentions are what they sound like: mentions of your brand that don’t link to your website. 

Your goal is to turn those mentions into links. And that’s easy when you already get a mention because your link is relevant to the content. 

All you have to do is ask the website owners to include your link. Most will happily do so. 

But how do you find unlinked brand mentions? 

Luckily, you don’t have to go through infinite Google results yourself. Instead, you can use specialized brand monitoring tools or Google Alerts. 

Google Alerts are free and easy to set up. Simply enter your brand name and adjust the notification options if needed: 

Settings for Google Alerts, ranging from sources and frequency to language and region

You’ll now be notified whenever your brand gets mentioned online, regardless of where that mention’s coming from. 

6) Partner With Influencers

Besides helping you make sales and raise brand awareness, influencer marketing can help you reach your link building goals, too. 

To make this strategy work, we suggest partnering with bloggers instead of social media influencers. 

The reason is that links from social media have little to no effect on your site’s SEO. And they won’t bring you as many long-term benefits as links coming from websites. 

That’s why we recommend you:

  • Partner with an influential website owner.
  • Choose websites with a domain authority (DA) score of 40 or above. 
  • Check how much traffic your prospect sites get.

One downside of this strategy is that links coming from influencers should be tagged as sponsored (just like affiliate links). Unfortunately, that reduces the impact the links will have on your website.

There’s not much you can do about that — except ask your partners to keep your links dofollow despite Google’s guidelines. Some may be open to it. 

  • Example: Michelle Wong runs an influential beauty blog called Lab Muffin Beauty Science. She partnered with a skincare brand, Paula’s Choice, for a product review and included external links in her blog post. Although Michelle notes that these are affiliate links, they’re marked as dofollow: 
An excerpt from Wong's blog post reviewing Paula's Choice products, with the affiliate disclosure highlighted

7) Partner With Other Businesses

If you like win-win situations, you’ll love this ecommerce link building strategy. It involves promoting other businesses in exchange for them promoting yours. 

The best way to go about it is to partner with brands that sell products related to what you’re selling. 

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • If you sell skincare products, partner with a makeup brand
  • If you sell high-end suitcases, partner with an airline
  • If you sell clothes, partner with a jewelry brand

Just ensure you let other websites know you’re promoting them or establish partnerships in advance. That way, you’ll know you’ll get a link back.

  • Example: Uber partnered with Pandora and Spotify so customers can play their favorite music during rides. As a result, Uber got links from Pandora and Spotify and numerous PR mentions in publications like BBC and Business Insider:
A headline reads "Uber and Spotify launch car music playlist partnership"
(Source: BBC)
A headline reads "Uber's big new partnership with Spotify is the first of many ways it will personalize rides for users"
(Source: Business Insider)

Now, you may be thinking: all that sounds great, but how do I actually find businesses to partner with? 

We agree that that’s often the hardest part. That’s why we’ll share three strategies we’ve used ourselves in the past. 

Reach Out To Current Partners

If you work with other businesses, you may already have suitable link building partners in your network. 

For example, you can check if one of your suppliers or clients would be interested in building links with you. You may discover some hidden opportunities.

Network Offline

If you don’t find suitable connections in your network, it’s time to expand it. 

One way to connect with other business owners is to attend networking events. It doesn’t even matter if the events are purely local, as long as you meet business owners with websites. 

Network Online

Attending physical events may be out of your comfort zone, or maybe you just want to meet people regardless of where they’re based. 

In that case, you can network online on professional platforms like LinkedIn. 

Invest some time and/or money into creating content and engaging with others, and you’ll grow your connections in no time. 

8) Replace Broken Links

Broken link building is a widespread SEO strategy. It can be useful to any online business but especially to ecommerce brands that have limited link building opportunities. 

This strategy comes down to finding broken (404) links and replacing them with your own: 

A 404 page
(Source: Bellabeat)

You can use a tool like SEO Minion to find broken links faster. 

This particular tool highlights all broken links on a page so you can spot them more easily:

An excerpt from Bellabeat's article, with the broken links highlighted in yellow
(Source: Bellabeat)

When you find a broken link, check whether you already have a URL that could replace it. 

Consider the context — does your page match the existing anchor text and the content surrounding it? 

If yes, then you only have to ask the site owners to replace the broken link with one to your page. Most will be happy to do so, as they don’t want to direct their readers to 404 pages anyway.

And if you can’t find contact info on the website, use Hunter — a tool that scrapes the web for email addresses:

Email addresses that Hunter scraped from

But what if you don’t have any suitable content on your website?

In that case, you first need to create it. 

It’s important you don’t offer irrelevant links to sites, especially if you want long-term relationships with them. 

If you can’t create suitable content yourself, hire a writer or have a link building agency do it for you

9) Steal Your Competitors’ Links

If you want easy link building opportunities, conduct a competitor backlink analysis.

This strategy helps you find websites linking to your competitors but not to you. 

In theory, the majority of those websites will want to link to you, too, because they’re obviously interested in your niche.

But some website owners make deals with ecommerce businesses that don’t allow them to link to or promote similar brands. 

So, you shouldn’t expect to get a link from every site linking to your competitors. In fact, reaching out to many of them may end up being a total waste of time. 

Luckily, there’s a way you can filter out such websites in advance.

Simply search for sites that link to two or more of your competitors instead of sites that link to only one. 

Most link building tools will let you set filters that make that possible. 

We’ll show you how to do it with Moz’s Link Intersect tool. 

To start off, you’ll need to enter the URLs to your competitors’ sites. You can enter as many as you want: 

Moz's Link Intersect tool, with the URLs to three competitors entered

Your report will only include domains linking to all the sites you’ve entered:

Report containing domains that link to all three competitor URLs

Again, these domains are likely to link to your ecommerce site because they’re already linking to several of your competitors. 

This tells you two things. 

One, the domains you find are probably very interested in your niche. Two, they probably don’t have any exclusive deals with your competitors.

All that’s left to do is reach out and see how you can get a placement. 

Which Link Building Strategy Should You Choose For Your Online Business?

Ecommerce brands should combine different strategies to reach their goals. 

In the beginning, you may want to invest in more cost-effective strategies, like creating FAQ sections or finding unlinked brand mentions. 

As your business grows, you’ll probably need to diversify your methods to find new link building opportunities. That may be the right time to invest in influencer or affiliate marketing. 

But it’s always best that you decide for yourself. Here are three questions to help you determine which strategy to use:

  • Do I have the necessary expertise? — Some strategies require more expertise than others. For example, answering FAQs is relatively easy, while establishing affiliate partnerships is relatively difficult for most people.

  • Can I afford this? — Some strategies also require bigger investments than others. For example, well-known influencers often have high fees, while you could find and replace broken links for free.
  • Do I have time for this? — How much time you’ll need to build links using any one strategy is subjective because it largely depends on your expertise and budget. But you could say that some strategies require more time than others. For example, attracting links with FAQ sections usually takes more time than getting links from influencers.

If you don’t have the necessary expertise or time to build links, you can always hire a link building agency to do it for you.


What is ecommerce link building? 

Ecommerce link building is the process of building links to ecommerce websites for SEO purposes, such as improving rankings on search engines.

What do backlinks look like? 

Backlinks look like normal links; they’re only considered “backlinks” from a website owner’s perspective.

Which backlink is the best? 

There’s no one best backlink. But there are low- and high-quality links. The quality depends on the DA of the referring domain, link type (dofollow vs nofollow), anchor text, etc.

Landing high-quality links is difficult. Here’s how we can guarantee it. 

We’ve been in the link building industry for almost a decade, so we now have access to exclusive publications like Forbes, IB Times, Entrepreneur, and many more. 

When you work with us, you get to place your links on these and similar authoritative websites. That means you get high-quality links that can provenly increase your rankings and traffic in a matter of weeks.

If you’re interested in available link placements, set up a free consultation today

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Written by
Dina Šoštarec

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