Link building is easily one of the hardest parts of SEO—and it’s even harder to do for an eCommerce site.
Think about it…
If asking someone to link to a piece of content wasn’t already hard enough, now you have to ask them to link to a product page.
…A page that doesn’t really give them any value.
This is a huge ask.
Unless you write a great email that gives them massive value, the few responses you do get from your outreach campaign won’t be very nice.
I struggled with this for months before I finally found a strategy that:
- Gives the other person value
- Gets a great conversion rate
- And gets do-follow backlinks to product and category pages
I’ve used the strategy I’m about to show you to get over 25 do-follow backlinks to product pages in the past few months.
Hopefully, it helps you as much as it did me. 🙂
My Go-to eCommerce Link Building Tactic: Blogger Reviews
The strategy is simple: send a complimentary product to a blogger in exchange for a review with the link you want.
But finding relevant, high-quality blogs to reach out to that’ll give you a do-follow backlink can be tough (most bloggers who do product reviews regularly will give you a no-follow).
After months of testing, here’s the exact process I use:
Step 1: Find the right bloggers to reach out to.
There are 4 main ways I find bloggers who are receptive to the idea of a product review:
1. Find people who already link to your competitors.
If you don’t have access to these tools, you can now check competitor backlink profiles in LongTailPro too.
Step 2: Add any link to your spreadsheet that 1) gives your competitor a do-follow link AND 2) looks like a good fit for a review.
(Note: Ahrefs marks no-follow links with a strikethrough, like in the screenshot above.)
From sending 100s of these emails, I’ve found that small bloggers and people who already wrote reviews for similar products are the most likely to accept your offer and give you a do-follow link.
I almost always avoid reaching out to publications and large blogs who do frequent product reviews (due to their low response rate and high likelihood of no-following your link).
2. Find people who already wrote a review for your competitors.
You’ll find a few of these people with the method above, but you can find even more by simply looking for reviews in Google.
Search things like:
- “[your product] reviews”
- “Best [your product]”
- “[competitor’s name] reviews”
Go through the first 5-10 pages of Google—adding sites that already have reviews AND give do-follow links.
You can check whether a site gives do-follow links by right clicking the link on the website you’re looking at and selecting “inspect”.
If you don’t see rel=”no-follow” on any links, they’re likely to no-follow all product related links (so you can skip them).
3. Find resource pages in your industry that list products.
I have a confession to make…
I think I’m in love with resource pages.
No matter what kind of site I’m building links for, I always have huge success getting links on these.
These links are just so easy to get—and it’s no different with eCommerce.
To find these resource pages, use these search operators in Google with keywords that describe your industry (using similar words and phrases helps you find a bunch):
- Intitle:resources + “keyword”
- Inurl:links + “keyword”
- “Keyword resources
Go through 10-20 pages of Google search results for each operator and keyword combination and add relevant resources pages you find to your spreadsheet.
(I use ScrapeBox to help automate this.)
I recommend reaching out to these sites about their resource pages in 2 ways:
- With broken link building (if they have broken links)
- Offering them a complimentary product in exchange for a link
More on outreach later…
4. Curate a list of blogs in your industry.
To make sure you find as many prospects as possible, I recommend curating an extensive list of blogs in your industry (and related industries) to reach out to.
This is super simple.
Just type in “keyword blogs” and copy/paste URLs into a spreadsheet. You can even have a virtual assistant do this for you (that’s what I do).
After you complete the first 3 tactics, start reaching out to bloggers regardless of whether they have a track record of doing reviews.
Your success rate will be slightly lower, but you’ll still land some solid do-follow links this way.
Step 2: Reach out with a great template.
Alright, you should have a ton of great prospects to reach out to, now all you gotta do is email them.
But you and I both know outreach isn’t that easy…
People HATE getting emails, so you have to make sure your email stands out from the crowd and doesn’t scream, “I’M SPAM!”
That’s why I’m giving you the template I’ve used 100’s of times that has converted at an insane 29.41%.
A Blogger Review Outreach Template That Converts
*Fill in the parts with brackets with your own info.
My name is [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR/YOUR CLIENT’S COMPANY].
We recently discovered your blog on [TOPIC], and we love it. Thanks so much for [RESTATE THEIR SITE’S MISSION / GOAL]!
I noticed you did a really in-depth review of [COMPETITOR’S PRODUCT] here: [URL]
Would you be interested in also reviewing our [PRODUCT]?
If so, we’d be happy to send you a complimentary [PRODUCT] to review.
Let me know, [NAME]. We’d love to connect with you!
– [YOUR NAME]”
- Easy to scale
- And really effective
Once someone responds saying they’d love to do a review, make sure they give you:
- Their address
- The links you want
- A deadline for when the review will be done
Step 3: Manage and follow up.
Now all you have to do is make sure people get the product and write the review.
Tell them to email you with a link to the review when it’s done so you can make sure they link to the page you want (and it’s do-follow).
If they didn’t give you the right link, just respond and let them know.
Most people are happy to include it.
Now here’s the unfortunate truth: a few people you send stuff to will either 1) not do a review at all or 2) give you an unexpected no-follow link.
It’ll make your blood boil, but it doesn’t happen often if you’re careful about the sites you reach out to.
It’s a risk you’ll have to take to get solid links.
(I’ve sent over 100 free products for reviews and have only had 1-3 people not do the review).
This Is Easy As Long As You’re Able to Send Products to Bloggers for Free
Regardless of how expensive your product is, bloggers will be receptive to writing a review.
People love free stuff.
I’ve done this strategy with products that are $195, and products that are $39—the price doesn’t really matter.
You can land a ton of do-follow backlinks directly to your product pages with this strategy and see your rankings rise through the roof.
About the Author
Hunter Branch is the founder of Rank Tree―an SEO agency that works with New York Times bestselling authors, eCommerce stores, and small businesses to generate traffic and leads from Google. He’s written several in-depth guides on SEO and Content Marketing―including one on how to write a blog post that generates traffic and leads on autopilot.
Have something you’d like to share with the LongTailPro Community?
Visit our write for us page, https://longtailpro.com/write-for-us/