There are likely to be hundreds, if not thousands of competitors in your niche. So why should someone buy from you? E-commerce SEO is typically the factor that helps determine where customers go when they are looking for your product.
Large, existing brand names have the brand recognition, trust and loyalty, but if you’re a smaller or medium-sized business, or just starting out, then it is important you build authority and search engine visibility through e-commerce SEO in another way.
This article discusses how you can go about increasing your visibility on Google, as well as cementing your authority in your niche. Not only will this strategy bring your more prospects, but it will also help you turn visitors into paying customers.
The Importance of Building Authority
As such, it is important for smaller and newer brands in particular to generate authority in their niche. This can be by talking about key topics in your niche, or being featured in recognised industry media, for example.
The term used to describe being featured in high profile media is ‘guest posting’ and is a strategy that more e-commerce brands should deploy earlier on in order to reap the many rewards.
An excellent method to use to build authority online in your niche is to guest post for larger, more well-known sites in your niche. This is one of the best growth hacking tactics in e-commerce if used correctly.
Many online media and traditional media occasionally seek opinions of others outside their own staff. They do this to get a wider spectrum of views with the focus being to benefit their readers and inform them.
For ecommerce businesses, guest posting can be a great way to get your brand known.
How Guest Posting Improves E-commerce SEO
When you guest post for a larger publication, it is often the case that the media outlet wants to acknowledge and reference you so people know where they can find you online. This is great as it can really help your e-commerce SEO. We’ve previously spoken of the importance of improving SEO, using customer feedback in that instance.
The oft-used method of this is for the media house to allow you to use a link back to your own site. This ‘backlink’ is extremely important as not only does it direct new and interested traffic back to your site, but it also lets search engines know that you are a reputable site, hence improving your e-commerce SEO.
Think of this like a reference you may take if you were hiring someone. If you got the reference for a prospective employee from a person you trust, you would also be more inclined to trust and have faith in the prospective employee you were looking to hire.
A ‘backlink’ tells the search engines the same thing. It says that Site A which is smaller and less well known has just been linked to by Site B which is a large, authoritative site in a particular niche. The signal sent to the search engine is that search engines should also trust Site A as it has been vetted and referenced already.
Backlinks make work easier for search engines and are a quick way for the search engines to short-circuit the process and give credit and relevance where it is due.
This is why you ought to be working on your online business to ensure you have high-quality links pointing to your site. This whole process improves your e-commerce SEO, and is ultimately, very powerful for your business.
In addition to these tangible outcomes, there may be other intangible benefits of guest posting that include widening your network with like-minded individuals and organisations across your niche. All of this is made possible with guest posting.
How to Guest Post to Build Authority & Improve E-Commerce SEO
The key thing with guest posting is to understand who you should be guest posting for. Not every website or blog will be appropriate for you or your business, and you can waste a lot of time by not doing your homework correctly.
Clearly first you need to consider if the site you want to target accepts guest posts. You can easily assess this by doing a Google search of the site you want to guest post at and typing in “guest post” or “contributor” at the end.
This will bring up any blog or website that accepts guest posts and will outline the process for guest posts. They will also outline what they require in their posts such as length, style, tone etc. and it is important to pay attention to this.
The criteria to consider when guest posting are:
1. Who is the target audience at the site you want to guest post at?
It is important to understand the audience of the target site so you can see if that is a good fit for you, and if it is the same as your target audience.
In some instances, this may be well known, as you may be very familiar with websites and blogs that speak to your audience.
If this is not the case, you should review some of their recent articles to gauge who their target audience is.
2. Is their audience the same as your target customer?
Once their audience is understood, it is important to see how that audience compares to your audience.
The objective is to ensure that you are writing on a larger site for your potential audience. If you sell cat food, there is no point writing for a site that focuses on dog food, for example.
If you feel that the site you want to write for has the same audience as your site then it is a good fit. This approach has a direct benefit for your business. This is also more likely to have a better impact on your e-commerce SEO as you are matching like with like, as opposed to confusing search engines.
You may also want to write on more of an ‘industry’ blog. This will not necessarily bring you a large amount of traffic or customers but is a strategy that can work well in building your authority which you can show on your own website to drive conversions.
It is key to identify what you want to achieve with a particular guest post, and with your wider guest posting strategy. If it is customers you are after, then go to a larger site that already has your customers, and perhaps do this with other sites also to build up a portfolio of strong backlinks to improve the overall e-commerce SEO.
If you are seeking more credibility and authority in a particular niche or sub-niche, then recognise that this may not bring you more customers, but that the recognition and credentials this affords you can help increase your conversions to sale, if the credentials are used correctly.
3. What are the monthly visits to the site you want to guest post at?
Writing guest posts can be a time-consuming affair and so you need to ensure you only expend that effort with sites that are worth it.
An indicator to help you decide this is the monthly traffic a website gets. This is an estimate of eyeballs you could get on your guest post, and hence your e-commerce site as a result.
The easiest free tool you can use for this is SimilarWeb.
4. What is the domain authority of the site?
The domain authority of a site is the authority of that site given its backlink profile, i.e. how authoritative is the site on the internet given the number of other high authority sites pointing to it.
The logic is that if other high-quality sites are linking to a particular site, then that site itself is of high quality, in Google’s reckoning.
The higher the authority (marked out of 100), the stronger and more authoritative the site is. As such, if you are able to get a backlink to your site from such a site, it will massively improve your site’s authority and help rank your site higher in Google for the relevant keywords.
You can use Moz in order to get the domain authority of any site. You should look for sites with domain authorities above 40, and clearly the higher, the better.
5. Making the pitch
Once you’ve done all the above its time to make your pitch to the site you want to guest post at.
A short, and succinct pitch is best. Identify the right person to reach out to and send them an email. The below is an example of what you may consider being appropriate.
I follow your blog on men’s fashion keenly and loved your recent article on how cashmere tank tops are making a big comeback in 2020.
I have an ecommerce store that caters to the modern gent to guide men to sartorial supremacy.
I’d love to write for you and your audience on something around big fashion faux pas for men when going out.
Please let me know if this sounds of interest and I can send you a brief outline, or I would be open to other suggestions you think would appeal to your readers.
It helps if you have read their articles and site content and, ideally also engaged with their site, for example by having commented on blog posts.
You could also follow them on social media and engage with them beforehand in order to build rapport and familiarity. This may help your request being better received and accepted.
Hopefully once accepted, you can write a high-quality post and then engage with the extra interest you get on your site to convert visitors into customers.
6. Write the article and add value
This goes without saying but is worth repeating. You have been entrusted by someone to provide value for their audience. As such, you ought to aim to write an awesome guest post that will give real, actionable value to the audience.
The strength of your content is, at the end of the day, what will determine the level of engagement you get to your own site. This will also determine if you are called back to write again for your host, so make sure you write with everything you’ve got.
How to Communicate your New Found Fame to your Existing Audience
Once you’re article has been published, it is important you let people know. After all, this was the reason you sought to guest post in the first place.
Firstly, email your list and let them know about the article, encouraging them to share. This further emboldens your position with existing contacts and gets them one step closer to buying from you if they haven’t already.
Next, let followers on social media know about the article, and again, encourage them to share. You may notice a marked increase in engagement to this content compared to your previous content, as people want to be associated with larger brands, and will engage with content as such.
Finally, the importance of badges in e-commerce is well known. Badges are yet another element that builds trust with brands. You can include a badge on your e-commerce site that shows you have been ‘featured in…’ the publication in question.
The impact of this is it makes people take note and trust you much quicker. This is like a backlink in real life and people assume that given a larger brand trusted you enough to have you post for them, they can trust you as a brand to buy from.
Guest posting has a lot of benefits but principally it is excellent at supercharging your e-commerce SEO so more people can find you.
In addition, guest posting has the effect of building your authority through virtue of association with a larger, more respected brand.
These benefits can be extremely powerful for your online business and, if done correctly, can really help you grow your business to the next level.
Are you thinking of giving guest posting a try? Let us know in the comments what niche you’re in to see if we can help.