Backlinks are Really Important
Posted: Jul 29 2016 / Richard Bairstow / We are Underground
Where do you get your traffic?
I bet you've been asked that before.
Off the top of your head, you probably think it's a combination of paid advertising, social networks, a bit of organic or 'natural' search and direct traffic. You would be right, but how much have you considered backlinks?
Last week, we covered the importance of keywords and a fundamental strategy around paid adverts. In the same way that keywords have a part to play on both sides of the fence, you need to think about backlinks in the same way.
Backlinks are just that. A link from another website to your Shopify Store. It doesn't matter whether it's a link to a product page, a collection or a blog post, but what does is the 'quality' of the link and what the user sees when they click through to your shop.
The watchwords here are 'relevance' and 'popularity'. We will come back to this in a bit.
Adverts are transient. Backlinks are for life.
Well, maybe not for life. Links do come and go with the lifespan of websites, but the web of backlinks and internal links within your site create the robust foundation on which your shop exists. Sometimes this is called 'link juice'. A metaphor for the freedom of passage through the web as it flows through your shop.
A shop with few or even worse, low-quality backlinks is like operating in a vacuum where you have to rely on spending money on advertising and creating lots of content to engage socially in making money. When that balance isn't right, you fall into a downward spiral. Backlinks can be hugely profitable without too much maintenance for three main reasons.
1. Backlinks are durable and have longevity.
2. Google likes them a lot!
3. A backlink can become profitable way after you forgot all about it.
A bit of an anecdote here, but I had a conversation last week with a friend who runs a shop that sells T-Shirts. Yes, another one :)
He told me that looking back over the year so far he saw that a good lump of revenue came from one particular design. He looked back to see where the traffic had come from, and it was from a backlink from a horror movie site that had linked to his t-shirt five years previous. All it took was for a particular interest in a film that just came out on Netflix, and he bagged well over a thousand dollars. Not too bad for a link he didn't know existed.
The lesson here is not to let your backlinks happen by chance, but to actively make them happen. It's not as hard as you might think and after all, is said and done, no-one loses, and everyone wins.
Back to being Popular and Relevant
These two concepts have been thrown around in every seminar about Social Media that you've attended. That's not to belittle anything, but there is a difference when it comes to backlinks and how they work with search engines like Google.
Google likes popular sites. Google also approves of sites that contain links from popular sites. Think 'popularity by association' and you are getting close. Google also likes content that is relevant to a search and actively promotes it. Combine these things and you have a strong backlink.
How to get backlinks
It's pretty easy and in a right way, the process forces you to think about your business and your shop in the context of the greater web. You have to look around and actively search for blogs and social groups that fit your intended demographic. Once you find what you are looking for, try to find their contact details and already have in mind what you are offering them for a good quality link. Is it a blog post about your products you are after or a blog post with a gallery or lookbook. It might be that you want to risk an honest review or recommendation. Whatever it is, make sure that you are happy to reciprocate in some way, because backlinks work both ways after all.
We hope that you enjoyed this post and that you found it informative. Please feel free to comment below.
Also, did we mention our extremely popular responsive Shopify themes? Your shop has to look good when visitors come around :)
Richard Bairstow is the founder and CEO of We are Underground and is recognised as a leading authority in the Shopify Theme marketplace with 5 of the best selling published themes within the Shopify theme store and over 20,000 active Shopify customers.