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eCommerce link building: Strategies for your homepage, category & product pages, and blog posts

an image of author Sophie Brannon, accompanied by various search-related iconography

In high-competition sectors like eCommerce, where customers may have many similar product options to choose from, higher-quality backlinks can help you stand out with better rankings and a stronger presence in relevant search results.

What makes link building for online stores, in particular, unique is that these websites can include thousands of pages that need to work together to turn visitors into customers. 

To be successful, you need to understand how to effectively drive authority to your various eCommerce page types. Let’s get started.

Table of contents:

What are backlinks and why are they important for eCommerce websites?

Backlinks are hyperlinks pointing from one website to another. They act as a hypothetical endorsement or “thumbs up” to Google, suggesting that the target URL is a valuable resource. 

Backlinks are not all equally valuable. The relevance and quality of the backlinks (as opposed to quantity) are the most important aspects to consider. Understanding the fundamentals of backlinks can help you accurately assess the value of link building for your SEO strategy. 

Backlinks are just as essential for eCommerce websites as they are for lead generation or information-based sites. They form a core part of the trifecta of SEO: content, technical SEO (UX), and links.

A graphic with the word “SEO” on the left side and on the right side with checkmarks: content, backlinks, and technical SEO.

Many eCommerce websites target high-intent and high-competition terms in order to attract as large an audience as possible from search engines.

While backlinks alone are unlikely to make or break your online store’s SEO, relevant, high quality backlinks from highly authoritative websites can better instill trust amongst your potential customers and search engines alike. Combined with good technical SEO and content that adheres to search intent, they are the winning formula for just about any eCommerce SEO strategy. 

Before we move on to the best ways to build links for your online shop, let’s first go over the relevant techniques and the pages you’ll want to apply them to.

eCommerce link building techniques

There are many different ways to gain links, but here are some of the most common techniques that SEO professionals use for eCommerce link building



What you need to know

Guest post

  • Often, purely an SEO play

  • Gain links to inner pages of your site with keyword-rich anchor text

  • Helpful for E-E-A-T on highly authoritative, legitimate domains

This is the act of writing content for other websites and linking back to your own content within the post.

Legitimate guest posts can be highly effective. Still, many novice SEOs fall into the trap of paying for link placements or writing content for private blog networks (PBNs), which harms your SEO.

Link insert/niche edit

  • Reduce time spent on content creation

  • Gain links quickly from various websites within content that is already indexed and holds value

These are links that are placed into existing pieces of content.

Skyscraper technique

  • Inherit links that were pointing at competitor sites

  • Gain links from sites with established traffic and authority

This involves finding high-value links pointing to competitor sites, replicating the content to achieve better results, and getting publishers to replace competitor links with your URLs.

Broken link building

  • Regain authority lost from previous link-building campaigns

This is when you get publishers to replace links pointing to pages/resources on your site that no longer exist. 

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) link building

  • Brand visibility and E-E-A-T

  • Potential for links, mostly to the homepage

HARO is a platform that connects journalists with experts who can comment on relevant subjects. Oftentimes, journalists will include a backlink alongside the quote (although not always).

Reactive link building

  • Internal blog post links and links to the homepage through expert commentary

A digital PR technique where campaigns are created to capitalize on the news cycle or trending keywords.

It’s important to remember that all reactive campaigns should be highly sensitive and well thought through (as many news topics aren’t suitable for marketing campaigns).

Creative campaigns

  • Gain backlinks to the asset, which may help get users into your customer journey

These are generally more resource-intense digital PR campaigns that often consist of an asset, such as graphics, an interactive, or an extensive blog post. 

Affiliate partnerships

  • Drive traffic through tracked links

  • This is a more common technique for B2B link building, but can still work well for eCommerce sites

An individual or brand that partners with your site to promote a service or a product. The partner will often get a percentage of the sale based on traffic sent to your site.

Influencer product reviews

  • Brand awareness

  • Not necessarily as valuable for SEO, as these links will appear on third-party platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

This is when you compensate influencers to review your product and share information about it with their following. 

Social media links

  • Brand awareness

  • Cross-platform visibility

These are links gained from social shares of your products or articles. Popular platforms include YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.

FAQ pages

  • Gain links to the FAQ page, where you can attract users from search (or referral traffic) who have more commercial or transactional intent.

This is when you build a robust FAQ page to earn links from articles across the web.


  • Gain links from other sites that are highly relevant to your niche. This will be more impactful than a separate niche, as it drives relevance signals to Google.

  • A partnership with a relevant site can put your brand in front of potential customers who are already interested in your niche.

Often a collaborative link-building strategy, this technique can help with product promotion. These may or may not be affiliate partnerships.

Manuals and support sections

  • Brand awareness

  • Gain links to internal manuals/support sections on the site. This can help increase visibility for this area of the site while capturing more informational intent.

  • Help previous customers return to your website and aid new customers in finding the information they need prior to purchasing.

You can build out a robust manual/support section on your website to answer as many in-depth queries as possible. This can help you develop customer loyalty and encourage returning visitors. This technique also has the potential to earn links from articles across the web, depending on your niche.

Google Business Profile Posts

  • More relevant for smaller online stores, this feature enables local businesses to post their latest products and offers.

  • Better for referral traffic than it is for SEO.

Utilize the Google Business Profile’s “Posts” functionality to promote deals, news, blogs, announcements, and more.

These links don’t hold authority but appear in SERPs and have the potential to drive traffic to the site.

eCommerce page types and appropriate link building techniques

eCommerce websites are generally made up of the following types of pages: 

  • Homepage: Links to your homepage can help you grow branded keyword rankings, increasing brand visibility across the web. This can attract more potential customers to your site while showcasing your expertise in your niche.

  • Category and subcategory pages: These often target the most competitive keywords. Driving more authority to these pages can help to enhance your search visibility for non-branded keywords.

  • Product listings pages (PLP): These also typically target competitive keywords so additional authority can help these pages rank. Links can also help Google to discover these pages, which may be a few clicks from the homepage depending on the site’s architecture.

  • Product detail pages (PDP): PDP’s are becoming more important in SEO with the rise of generative AI (i.e., Google’s Search Generative Experience) and the additional visibility this may give them for competitive keywords.

  • Blog posts: These are often highly resourceful and can capture informational intent, which is a key opportunity for eCommerce stores to help nurture customers at the start of their conversion journey. Gaining links to these pages can help improve their prominence in SERPs. With strong internal linking within blogs to priority pages on the site, you can also pass authority on to those target pages.

For some eCommerce stores, PLPs and category/subcategory pages are the same (which is why I cover them in the same section of this article). 

Certain approaches to link building have a higher success rate for certain types of eCommerce pages. Let’s break down the most appropriate link building techniques per eCommerce page type to give you a jump start for your next campaign. 

Link building for eCommerce homepages

The homepage is the most commonly linked page of most eCommerce websites. Naturally, the homepage holds more authority—to take advantage of that authority, you need to ensure your proper internal linking between your homepage and your most important category and subcategory pages.

Relevant link building techniques: You can use a range of methods for homepage link building, including: 

  • Expert commentary (HARO, etc.)

  • Reactive campaigns

  • Data-led campaigns

  • Creative campaigns

  • Link insert

Journalists often attribute a comment or backlink to a creative campaign with a brand name, making them more likely to link to your homepage. 

Top tip: There are many instances where your brand name may be mentioned but without a link to your eCommerce site. Use tools such as Mention, Google Alerts, and BuzzSumo to identify these mentions and reach out to the writer or website manager to try to turn these into links. Some publications have guidelines against linking out to other sites, but you are likely to see some of these converted to links simply by reaching out to the right individuals. 

Be aware: Ensure the sites that link back to you are relevant and that the stories that mention your products are positive. While many SEOs will see a link as the end goal, ensuring any exposure about the brand is positive can help you achieve the wider brand awareness benefits. 

Link building for PLPs and category pages

A PLP or category/subcategory page displays many products, showcasing a broad range within a section of your site.

Screengrab of Nike Men’s Running Trainers subcategory page, showing 5 different trainer types, an advertisement, and product filters.

PLPs and category pages typically include: 

  • Product thumbnail images 

  • Faceted navigation (allowing users to refine the product type and features they are searching for)

  • Basic product information (i.e., product name, pricing, star ratings, etc.) 

  • Ancillary content and FAQs (usually below the fold)

Screengrab of Nike Men’s Running Trainers subcategory page, showing the section below the products, including related categories, related stories, and a content block.
Nike’s running trainers subcategory page shows related categories and stories below the products.

Relevant link building techniques: The types of link building that work best for these pages include guest posts and expert commentary (when related to a specific product type). Most journalists will not offer an “inner” link, and will naturally link to the homepage, so be prepared to ask nicely and negotiate for this. 

Top tip: Always explicitly include the inner link with your press release/outreach. Don’t rely on writers/journalists to find the most appropriate link, as they will generally link to your brand’s homepage.

Be aware: Many publications have begun adding tracking links to their external links. This can dilute the SEO value of that link. Try to negotiate a direct link where you can.

Link building for product display pages (PDPs)

A product display page (or just product page), houses one product and all of the essential information related to that product. 

PDPs typically include: 

Relevant link building techniques: One of the most effective ways to drive authority and traffic to your PDP is by getting it featured in a relevant listicle article (as shown in the example below). 

A screen grab of a listicle from GQ Magazine on the best gifts for teens, highlighting Papier as the best practical gift with a link to their paper diary product page.
A listicle from GQ Magazine on the best gifts for teens. Source: GQ.

Journalists can reach out on platforms like HARO or Qwoted, or even X/Twitter (often using #journorequest). In some cases, they may already know your product offering and may naturally include it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to journalists who are looking for products similar to what you offer on your website. 

A strong affiliate partnership or influencer campaign can also effectively drive traffic to your website as well, but this doesn’t have a big impact on your SEO. 

Top tip: Take advantage of seasonality when looking to drive traffic to these types of pages. Big shopping holidays like Valentine’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas are the best times to find journalists looking for products to include in their articles. Also, monitor the news cycle to identify reactive link building opportunities to include your product in articles. For example, if you’re a jewelry brand and a popular celebrity gets engaged, and you offer a product similar to the proposal ring, a campaign around this could generate both links and conversions

Be aware: This type of link building is one of the most difficult, particularly for smaller brands. This is why a more creative angle for a product can be the most effective way to gain relevant links. 

Link building for eCommerce blogs

eCommerce blogs are important because they capture specific search queries and long-tail traffic, which can attract shoppers that are close to converting. 

A graph showing search volume mapped against conversion rate. The higher the search volume, the lower the conversion rate.
Long tail keywords are keywords with lower search volume, but higher conversion rates.

Relevant link building techniques: The Skyscraper technique and creative campaigns perform best when link building for eCommerce blogs. 

Identify the types of linkable content and assets (whether on competitors’ sites or other successful eCommerce sites, like Amazon, etc.) to get an idea of the type of content that you could create to pitch to website owners (if using the Skyscraper technique) or promote (in the case of creative campaigns). 

The top-performing types of blog content generally include data-led content (i.e., surveys, reports, etc.) and infographics, but this could vary depending on your niche.

Use tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to identify top performing content from your competitors to discover opportunities for you to create something better. Cross-check URLs that drive high volumes of traffic and ranking for high-volume keywords.

Top tip: Niche down to appeal to a smaller, but higher-intent audience, which can also help you increase engagement and ranking opportunities. Being hyper-focused on your target audience can lead to them sharing your blog within their own communities, and it will give you a template of content types to create regularly for different audience groups.

Be aware: It’s important to analyze top-performing content, but not to copy it. Your content should always be unique—whether that’s a new angle, new dataset, or different approach. What works for a competitor or someone else in a similar industry isn’t necessarily going to resonate with your audience. 

How to prioritize and optimize your eCommerce link building

Now that you know what link building techniques work best for your various eCommerce page types, let’s look at the factors you need to consider when evaluating backlink opportunities and how you can leverage them to achieve the greatest SEO gains.

Authority (backlink quality)

As with any form of link building, always prioritize quality over quantity. Gaining one link from a highly authoritative, relevant site will be more impactful than gaining 10 links from mediocre, irrelevant, low-traffic domains. 

This is where link building techniques like digital PR can be exceptionally powerful for your site, significantly benefitting your SEO. 

Popular databases like MuckRack, Cision, and Roxhill can help you identify journalists and bloggers that work at these high-authority publications and websites.

Niche relevance

Signal relevance to Google via backlinks (among other SEO techniques) to help it understand what your website is about. This, in turn, can help you rank higher for keywords related to your niche, service, or product offering.

The best way to do this is to pursue backlinks from websites in your niche or in a complementary niche. 

Other relevant websites can indicate that you are an authority on that particular topic or industry, which can help improve your site’s organic visibility across the board. Contextual significance is important as it highlights the topical authority of your site, reinforcing your website’s relevance for certain topics or keywords. 

Prioritize websites that closely align with your business. For example, if you sell kitchenware, you would consider home and food-related websites to be a directly relevant link. However, you may also extend this further to mommy blogs, fitness sites (if you’re selling products focused on nutrition), or even finance if your products are a more affordable option on the market. 

Links from less-relevant websites can still be powerful, but they may not carry as much weight when it comes to your search rankings

Competitor backlink gap

Analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles to identify: 

  • How many links they’re gaining

  • Their rate of link acquisition (also referred to as “link velocity”)

  • The domains that link to them

  • The techniques they use to build links 

  • Their high-performing assets or pages

This data can help inform your strategy, indicate how far ahead (or behind) your competitors are, and identify the types of publications that you should reach out to. 

There are a number of tools that you can use for a competitor backlink gap analysis

Ahrefs’ “Link intersect” report can help you uncover linking patterns (i.e., sites that link to your competitors regularly) as well as the sites that link to your top competitors but not to you. 

Ahrefs link intersect tool showing a report of Wix compared to Squarespace and Webflow and what sites are linking to them.

Semrush also offers a similar function with its Backlink Gap tool, providing insights on which prospects are “Best,” “Weak,” “Strong,” “Shared,” and “Unique.”

SEMrush Backlink Gap Tool comparing well-known sportswear/trainer brands to identify link prospects.

Anchor text

Anchor text refers to the clickable text containing a backlink or internal link. This element can provide important context about the linked page to both users and to Google. So, it makes sense to strive for descriptive and relevant anchor text in your backlinks. 

You have a lot of control over the anchor text if you’re publishing a guest post. However, over-optimization is a common mistake that SEOs make, assuming it will signal more relevance for a particular keyword. 

While this practice did work in the past, too many of the same anchor text/link combinations (particularly an unnatural one like [wedding dresses summer], for example) can be counterproductive and actually signal link manipulation. 

Link attributes

A link attribute can contextualize backlinks for search engines, which can affect how search engines evaluate them when ranking web pages. 

There are a number of link attributes to be aware of: 

  • rel=“sponsored”  This attribute identifies advertisements or paid placements. 

  • rel=“ugc”  This identifies user-generated content, such as comments or forum links. 

  • rel=“nofollow” — This should be used when the other values don’t apply and you do not want Google to associate your site with, or crawl, the linked page. Learn more about nofollow links and when to use them

Be aware that there is no such thing as a “dofollow” or “follow” link attribute. Links that do not feature one of the above attributes are automatically a “follow” link. 

Natural links vs. Manipulated links

Keeping your link profile natural is important—and easy to do if you’re building links organically (read: not attempting to cheat the search algorithm). Many sites have been penalized in the past due to link manipulation techniques, which can negatively affect your search visibility and, ultimately, revenue. 

While backlinks are important, you should always be ethical with your tactics to avoid future issues and potential manual or partial actions on your site. 

Avoid suspicious link building patterns (like those associated with simply paying for links) and ensure the links that you are actively pursuing are from high-authority publications and reputable sites. 

Branded vs. Unbranded link building 

With link building there are two opportunities to harness: branded and unbranded links. 

  • Branded link building typically points to the homepage of your website using your brand name as the anchor text. Other pages can also be referenced using your brand name. 

  • Unbranded links can point to your homepage or any other page on the site (e.g., an asset or product) and use a keyword, related phrase, or combination of both as the anchor text. 

Both are equally important and can help to keep your link profile natural. Brand authority (via branded links) can help to drive trust as well as overall search visibility. Unbranded links can help your other pages rank for relevant keywords, which could bring in more potential customers and conversions. 

Agency vs. In-house link building 

Your online store’s goals and resources will influence whether you should outsource your link building to an agency or do it in-house. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons associated with each method: 

Link building method



Agency (outsourcing)

  • Greater resources and likely more industry connections

  • Multiple databases

  • Years of experience

  • Expensive for small businesses

  • Tactics are not always transparent

  • Service contracts that do not guarantee results


  • The team knows your brand inside and out

  • More transparency on the work being done

  • More control over outreach

  • Collaboration with other internal departments (this is especially advantageous for certain techniques, such as those involving creative campaigns and digital PR)

  • Fewer resources and connections than an agency (without significant team investment)

  • Potential for slower turnaround times due to internal approvals 

Learn more about how to hire an SEO agency to help with your link building and other strategic efforts.

Link building for eCommerce: Tip the scales in your favor

At the end of the day, customers typically only end up buying one product from one website. That means a large portion of your success hinges upon successfully differentiating yourself from the competition. 

In the search results, where similar brands often show up with similar content, backlinks could tip the scales in your favor, working to distinguish your content with better rankings. Use the framework I’ve laid out above to seize this advantage for your online store.


Sophie Brannon

Sophie is an SEO specialist with 7 years of agency experience. She's led strategy, implementation, and communication for local campaigns through to multi-language international campaigns. She's also an industry speaker and led the Web Almanac 2022 SEO chapter. Twitter | Linkedin 


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