Backlinking strategies don’t always come naturally to even the best SEOs, digital marketers, and content developers. By nature, backlinks have to be asked for and earned.
Think about backlinks as the digital marketing equivalent of asking a stranger for a favor. In day-to-day life, people have difficulty asking for favors because they don’t want to rely on others to get things done. However, if you ask politely and come off as genuine, people are typically willing to lend a hand.
Backlink outreach works the same way. Earning a backlink may be as simple as asking, but only if the request is natural and the backlink you’re asking for or content you’re submitting makes sense in context.
However, many marketers make the mistake of overstepping their bounds; they either ask bloggers and online publications for too much, or they ask them to link to content that isn’t relevant or useful to their readers. In these situations, content publishers usually deny the backlink request or ignore it altogether.
What leads an SEO or link builder to make this mistake? It’s something that many marketers are unknowingly guilty off: requesting too many backlinks to product pages in the attempt to increase sales.
Rethinking Backlinking Strategy
Pursing backlinks to product pages isn’t a “bad” strategy in and of itself. When done correctly, it can increase the page’s traffic and, in turn, increase sales. However, doing so requires the right contextual circumstances, and it shouldn’t be the main focus of your backlinking strategy.
At first glance, this may seem counterintuitive. If the goal of all digital marketing is to increase sales, wouldn’t it make sense to direct as much traffic as possible to product pages?
In reality, encouraging e-commerce isn’t that simple. Marketing teams need well-researched strategies backed by data to reach the right audience at the right time along their customer journey within the right context.
If your concentrates your efforts on earning links to product pages, you most likely won’t experience the anticipated increase in sales. Why? Because online publishers don’t want to include direct sales pitches for other companies within their content, and readers don’t want to look at products they didn’t intentionally search for.
However, SEOs and content producers can still use backlinking as a successful strategy for increasing traffic to product pages and promoting sales. They just have to take an alternative route.
The Alternative Route
Instead of pointing backlinks to product pages directly, leverage your website’s internal content to bring in readers, and to pass link equity to your product pages.
Backlinking to commercial pages often feels unnatural and comes off presumptuous to consumers. But if you include product page links within your informational content, traffic still flows naturally to the commercial pages where readers can make purchases; there’s just an added stop along the way.
Creating content with links to blog posts, information-based content, and resources within your website makes the link outreach process more natural and more productive. If you write guest posts with useful content and pitch it to outside sites, those sites will eagerly accept that content because it provides relevant and trustworthy information for their readers.
Creating Link-Worthy Content
Step 1: Build Out Your Website with Rich Resources
The key to successful link building is matching consumer search intent and producing informative content that’s worth linking to. Think of each internal page on your website as an opportunity to answer a consumer question, to meet a specific consumer need, to fill an information gap within the industry, or to inspire action.
To produce content that readers use as an authoritative resource, consider using the following forms:
While building out your website, you should also revisit old content. Give outdated pages a content refresh, and be sure to add internal links when possible.
Step 2: Produce and Distribute Content Created Specifically for Link Building
Now that you’ve expanded your website with link-worthy resources, you have to create and distribute content that includes backlinks to these informational pages. When it comes to producing content for independent websites to post, it’s critical that all featured backlinks add value for readers.
Be sure to consider best practices for link building via guest posts:
- Only link to pages that the reader of the original content would find relevant and useful.
- Don’t necessarily use the targeted keyword as the backlink anchor text; instead, focus on making the backlink look natural.
- Perfect your pitch: Be direct, genuine, and appreciative when reaching out.
- Have a value proposition: Explain how their readers would benefit from your content.
The Long Way Around
Linking to content-based pages in order to increase traffic to product pages may seem illogical, or like it adds an unnecessary step. However, t’s an effective way to build trust with not only consumers but independent bloggers and publishers. Doing so will start a funnel of links that ultimately lead to product pages without coming on too strong to readers.
Informational pages also help build authority and improve overall SEO. While this tactic may seem like the long way around, it will build your brand’s reputation with consumers, increase sales, and signal brand trust to Google.