Lets face it, if you’re just running a standard e-commerce site and it does nothing but sell products that other people sell too then you don’t have much hope of ever getting anyone to link to you. Ever.
So how does a shop set about creating content that people will link to? It varies depending on what you are selling but in general you are looking to solve a problem for people, break news to people, or entertain people.
Most ecommerce stores aren’t setup with an easy publishing platform for adding information other than new products. That’s not a biggie, you can simply ask your web developer to add pages as and when you create the content. In my view it is preferable though if you can quickly add your content yourself (and edit it as required). Adding a blog is probably the best way of doing this. It allows easy publishing, editing, conversation with readers/customers and automatic RSS feeds so people can subscribe to your other updates after they have found you via your linkbait.
So once you’re all set up and ready to publish, what could you put on there that will act as linkbait? Here’s a few ideas.
- Video of someone using one of your products to solve a common problem
- Photos of your products being used in an unusual way
- Top (& Bottom) 10 articles (not talking about your own products, but the 10 best… helps create discussion)
- Innovative competition
- Post a strong opinion on something controversial related to your marketplace
- Break a piece of news before anyone else
Most of these ideas could relate to any website. Where you need to make it work for your ecommerce site is to subtly encourage visitors to the linkbait to move through your site and buy the products. If you are blatantly selling the related product right there on the linkbait page you’ll probably get a lot less links. If you don’t cross sell at all though then you risk visitors bouncing back where they came from without exploring your site.
In my opinion the best way to cross sell on a linkbait page is to utilise your site-wide nav bars and highlight products within them. You can also add a link at the end of the article or after the linkbait to a related item in your shop, but don’t make it completely “in your face”. I certainly wouldn’t advocate putting your products, or links to your products right there in the middle of the article.
Of course, once you’ve got the linkbait there on your site you’ve got to get the message out there to movers and shakers who will get the ball rolling for you. That’s a whole different discussion.
Then when it doesn’t work first time you need to go back and do it all over again, and again until you hit just the right formula.