Link Building

So you have built your online shop, you have uploaded all your products and added all your content, sorted out your suppliers, calculated your margins. Now you need the most important part of all businesses Customers!

The internet is no different from the high street; if your business isnt promoted and no one knows about it then you simply wont get any customers. Long gone have the days of build it and they will come. The internet is big, big business and many of the most successful internet companies now dwarf offline businesses, need we mention Google, Yahoo, Amazon or eBay.

There are approximately 26,000 businesses in the UK with an ecommerce enabled website and many more come online each month as more and more businesses realise that without an ecommerce site they are loosing money.

There are several ways of increasing awareness of your online business both online and offline, for more information read our article about promoting your online shop which is available on our website.

In this feature however we shall feature on Link Building.

What is Link Building?

What would convince you to buy a product or service the most? Would it be a flashy advertising campaign, maybe a nice looking website? Or would it be a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague? In most cases a personal recommendation is by far the highest accolade for most products and services. The big search engines know this and so most of their algorithms in calculating your websites position in their index is based on recommendations, aka: links from other sites.

Pretty much all search engines these days (including Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, MSN) use a system called page rank to rank pages within there index. The higher your page rank the higher your positioning within the search engines.

The main factor behind deciding your page rank is how many other sites link to yours. Therefore it is important as a website owner to get as many other sites as possible to link to yours. However these sites should be relevant, it is no good getting a site about cars to link to yours if you sell dog toys for example.

The search engines use the relevance of sites linking to yours to decide how important your site must be. For example if lots of sites all about dogs and pets link to your site which sells dog toys then a search engine can make an educated guess that your site must be pretty good, otherwise why would all those other sites link to yours?

How can I find sites to link build with?

The easiest way to find other websites which might be interested in linking to yours is to do a bit of competitor analysis.
Your website needs to appears right on the first page of the results. So the first thing to do is look for any sites like yours which are in this list, they will probably be your competitors.

You need to work out how they got here, and there is a relatively easy way to do this...

In Google simply enter link: followed by your competitors website address, for example link: and you will get a list of all the websites that link to this one.

Now you have found a list of sites which link to your competitors its worth looking at each of them to see if they will link to your site as well. Once you have built up a collection of good quality sites linking to yours you will see your search engine rankings go up and up.