Did you know that links are one of the most important factors in Google's page ranking algorithm, alongside quality content? It's no surprise that a significant portion of marketers, 46% to be precise, invest $10,000 or more each year in link building efforts. Additionally, 22% of marketers allocate between $1,000 and $2,500 towards link building activities. Given these statistics, it becomes evident that marketplace startups should prioritize and invest in link building to improve their search engine visibility and organic rankings.
At Embarque, we will explore effective strategies to boost your marketplace's online visibility and drive meaningful traffic using smart link building techniques that we’ve employed for our marketplace clients.
What is Linkbuilding?
Link building plays a pivotal role in search engine rankings by influencing how search engines like Google perceive the relevance and authority of your marketplace. When high-quality links point to a specific web page or site, search engines consider it as a signal of credibility and importance, leading to higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
For instance, one of our clients, MentorCruise is a mentorship marketplace that’s garnered backlinks from professional and career advice websites like Forbes and 4 day week in order to demonstrate their credibility in the niche. It improves their visibility in SERPs for keywords related to mentorship. At Embarque, we understand the significance of acquiring strong and reputable backlinks, especially for marketplaces like yours.
In fact, since implementing an SEO strategy, MentorCruise’s revenue has soared by more than 800%.
How Does Linkbuilding differ for marketplaces?
Managing the link building process for a large number of pages within a marketplace can be complex.
But marketplaces also have distinct advantages. They can leverage the opportunity to obtain links from businesses listed on their platform and the happy customers they’ve received over time This mutually beneficial arrangement allows for link exchanges and increased exposure.
Types of Pages You need to Build Links to
Here are some key pages that you should focus on when implementing your link building strategy. Note that we’ll be using Mentorcruise and Collabstr, two clients of ours, as examples throughout the article:
The homepage serves as the gateway to your marketplace. Building links to your homepage helps establish your website's overall authority and credibility.
Category pages (python mentors)
These pages showcase specific product categories or services offered on your marketplace. Building links to category pages helps improve their visibility in search results and drives targeted traffic.
Individual vendor pages
Individual vendor pages highlight the profiles and offerings of specific vendors or sellers on your platform. When vendors have backlinks pointing to their pages, it enhances their credibility and reputation within the marketplace. This, in turn, attracts more customers and encourages sales.
Blog posts help you target informational queries searched by various customers. Here, MentorCruise targets topics searched by both mentors and mentees.
What kind of Links do Marketplaces Need?
High-quality links from reputable websites are essential for online marketplaces. These links play a crucial role in improving your website's visibility to users and search engine crawlers. When reputable websites link to your marketplace, it signals to search engines like Google that your site is trustworthy and deserving of higher rankings in search results.
There are several types of links that are particularly important for marketplaces to pursue:
- Website review platform links. Website review platforms like Trustpilot, Capterra, or G2 provide a space for users to share their experiences and rate your marketplace, acting as a powerful source of social proof. By acquiring links from these platforms, you not only enhance your marketplace's reputation but also attract more customers and drive conversions.
- Editorial Links. Editorial links hold significant value in the world of link building as they are naturally given by websites that recognize the value of your content. Unlike other types of links, editorial links are not influenced by payment or exchange agreements, making them highly regarded by search engines, including Google.
The importance of editorial links lies in their authenticity and credibility. When websites willingly link to your content without any external incentives, it signifies that your content is genuinely valuable and relevant. Google and other search engines recognize the significance of these organic editorial links, considering them as strong indicators of quality and authority.
- Business Profile Links. Business profile links direct users to your business profile on directories, review sites, and other platforms that showcase information about your business. When users search for businesses in a specific location or industry, these directory and review sites often appear prominently in search results. By having links to your business profile on these platforms, you increase the chances of being discovered by interested users.
- Social Media Links. Social media links are trust signals that show Google and other search engines that you’re a real entity.
- Forum Links. Forum links are valuable for providing users with access to specific discussions, posts, or threads on your website's forum. They also contribute to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. When search engine crawlers encounter forum links, they recognize the content and context of the linked discussions, posts, or threads. This can positively impact your website's search engine rankings, as search engines value websites that provide valuable and engaging user-generated content.
Why is Linkbuilding Important for Marketplaces?
Link building is crucial for marketplaces due to several reasons.
Links give you credibility
When other reputable websites link to your marketplace, it acts as an endorsement of your platform. Users perceive these links as votes of confidence, increasing trust and credibility in your brand.
Google uses links to rank your site
Search engines like Google consider links as a crucial ranking factor. The number and quality of backlinks pointing to your marketplace are taken into account when determining your search engine rankings.
Backlinks will get you an increase in web traffic
Inbound links act as referrals, directing traffic from other websites to yours. With more links pointing to your marketplace, you have the potential to attract a larger audience and increase the number of visitors to your site, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and sales.
Link building leads to higher site metrics and SEO scores
Search engines evaluate the authority and relevance of the websites linking to yours, and this assessment contributes to your domain authority and page authority. By acquiring high-quality links, you can improve your SEO scores, making your marketplace more visible and competitive in search engine rankings.
Greater revenue opportunities and more sales
With more visitors accessing your platform, the chances of attracting potential customers and generating sales increase. By building an effective link profile, you can expand your customer base and maximize revenue potential.
Improved relationships within your niche
Engaging in link building activities allows you to establish connections and foster relationships with influential websites and industry leaders in your niche. Collaborating with these authoritative sources can lead to partnerships, guest blogging opportunities, and other collaborative ventures that expand your marketplace's reach and reputation.
Help to stand out as an authority voice
External links validate your expertise and knowledge, establishing your marketplace as a trusted source of information. Users are more likely to trust and engage with a platform that is recognized and referenced by other reputable sources.
A continuous source of referral traffic
As other websites continue to link to your platform, you benefit from ongoing traffic from these referral sources. This consistent influx of visitors can contribute to sustained growth, increased customer acquisition, and a higher potential for conversions.
How to do linkbuilding for marketplaces
When it comes to link building for marketplaces, the following steps can guide your approach:
Check how competitors are acquiring links
Analyze your competitors' backlink profiles to identify the websites that are linking to them. This can provide insights into potential link building opportunities for your marketplace. Look for reputable and relevant websites within your industry that may be interested in linking to your platform as well.
To check how competitors are acquiring links using Ahrefs, you can follow these steps:
- Sign in to your Ahrefs account or create a new one if you don't have an account yet.
- Once you're logged in, go to the Ahrefs homepage.
- In the search bar at the top, enter the domain of your competitor's website.
- Ahrefs will display the overview page for the competitor's domain, showing you various metrics and data.
- On the left-hand sidebar, click on the "Backlinks" option.
- You will now see a list of backlinks pointing to the competitor's website.
- To focus on the most valuable backlinks, you can sort the list by selecting the "DR" (Domain Rating) column to arrange the backlinks by their authority.
- Analyze the backlinks one by one to understand where they are coming from and how your competitor is acquiring them.
- Look at the linking domains and their respective Domain Ratings to identify high-quality websites that are linking to your competitor.
- Examine the anchor text used in the backlinks to see if there are any specific keywords or phrases being targeted.
- Consider the types of content that are earning backlinks, such as guest posts, resource pages, or mentions in articles.
- Pay attention to any patterns or strategies your competitor might be using to build backlinks.
- You can click on individual backlinks to get more detailed information about each linking page and identify potential opportunities for your own link-building efforts.
- Repeat this process for multiple competitors to gather a comprehensive understanding of their link acquisition strategies.
Define your link building tactics
Based on your research and analysis, determine the link building tactics that are most suitable for your marketplace. This could include guest blogging, creating valuable and shareable content, participating in industry forums and communities, sponsoring events or organizations, partnering with influencers, or obtaining press coverage. They key is to choose tactics that align with your marketplace's goals and target audience.
Ahrefs' Content Explorer provides you with a wealth of information on popular content in your industry. By analyzing the type of content that earns the most backlinks and social shares, you can identify content ideas that have a high potential for link acquisition.
Plan your outreach
Develop a strategic outreach plan to approach relevant websites and influencers for link building opportunities.
Craft personalized and compelling outreach messages that highlight the value your marketplace offers and how it aligns with their audience or content. Be genuine and build relationships rather than just asking for a link. Remember to follow best practices, such as respecting website owners' guidelines and avoiding spammy tactics.
Here’s an example of a collaboration letter:
Subject: Collaboration Opportunity: [Your Marketplace] and [Their Website/Influencer]
Dear [Website Owner/Influencer's Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to you today because I've been following [Their Website/Influencer] for some time and have been truly impressed with the valuable content and insights you provide to your audience in the [Their Niche] space.
At [Your Marketplace], we share a similar passion for [Shared Interest or Niche], and we believe that collaboration can bring mutual benefits to our audiences. I wanted to explore the possibility of working together to create valuable content and foster a mutually beneficial partnership.
Having thoroughly researched your website and the content you publish, I noticed that [specific article or recent content they published] resonated with our own goals and values. We believe that our expertise in [Your Marketplace's Expertise] could add a unique perspective and provide additional value to your readers.
Here are a few collaboration ideas that we could explore together:
Guest Blogging: We could contribute an insightful and well-researched article to your platform, tailored to your audience's interests. Our content could cover [specific topic or angle] and offer actionable tips and insights that align with your readers' needs.
Expert Interview or Podcast: We'd be thrilled to participate in an interview or podcast episode where we can share our knowledge and discuss industry trends. This could provide your audience with a fresh perspective and valuable insights from our experience in [Your Marketplace's Expertise].
Content Partnership: We could collaborate on a co-created piece of content that combines our expertise and your audience's interests. This could take the form of an in-depth guide, an industry report, or a case study that showcases the benefits and opportunities within [Shared Interest or Niche].
We understand the importance of maintaining the integrity and quality of your website. Rest assured that any content we contribute will be meticulously researched, original, and tailored to meet your specific guidelines and requirements.
We genuinely believe in building long-term relationships and supporting each other's growth in the industry. We're open to discussing any ideas or suggestions you may have for collaboration or exploring other ways we can add value to your audience.
I invite you to visit our website at [Your Website URL] to learn more about what we do and how our collaboration could benefit both of us.
Please let us know your thoughts and if you'd be interested in exploring this collaboration further. We greatly appreciate your time and consideration. We look forward to the opportunity to work together and contribute to your audience's success.
Thank you for your attention, and I hope to hear from you soon.
[Your Website URL]
[Your Contact Information]
Benchmark and iterate your efforts
Regularly monitor and track the results of your link building campaigns.
- Use Ahrefs' reporting and analytics features to create custom reports and visualize the data.
- Monitor key metrics such as organic search traffic, keyword rankings, and backlink growth.
- Set up regular reporting to track your progress and identify areas for improvement.
- Lastly, Continuously refine and iterate your approach based on the data and insights you gather.
Linkbuilding Tactics for Marketplaces
Here are some link building tactics for online marketplaces:
Introduce a vendor badge for vendors to include to their website
A vendor badge is a visual representation or logo that vendors can display on their websites to indicate their affiliation or partnership with your marketplace.
By providing vendors with a badge, you extend your marketplace's brand presence beyond your own website. When vendors proudly display the badge on their websites, it creates additional touchpoints for potential customers to discover your marketplace, leading to increased brand visibility and recognition.
Ask vendors if they want to be featured on your site
When vendors are featured on your site, they are likely to include a link back to their own website. These links are typically natural and relevant, as they directly connect visitors to the vendor's products or services. Natural and relevant links are highly valued by search engines and can positively impact your site's search engine rankings.
Create linkable assets
Creating linkable assets that are relevant to your industry and publishing them on your website is a highly effective link building strategy. Linkable assets are valuable pieces of content that other websites and online platforms are more likely to link to. Here are some examples of linkable assets:
- Statistics pages: Other websites tend to link you back for statistics to include in their content.
- Facts pages: Articles like Facts about X tend to attract links, because searchers are actively looking for interesting facts to cite.
- Guides: Create comprehensive and informative guides that provide in-depth knowledge and solutions related to your industry. These guides can serve as go-to resources for your target audience, attracting backlinks from websites looking to reference authoritative information.
- Listicles: Curate lists of top products, tools, resources, or industry trends. Listicles are popular because they provide a concise and easily digestible format for readers. They also tend to be highly shareable, increasing the likelihood of acquiring backlinks and social media mentions.
- Recipes or Tutorials: If your marketplace is related to food, lifestyle, or do-it-yourself (DIY) niches, create recipes or step-by-step tutorials. These types of content are often shared and linked to by cooking blogs, lifestyle websites, or hobbyist communities, enhancing your backlink profile.
- Infographics: Visual content like infographics can be highly shareable and appealing to a wide range of audiences. Develop informative and visually appealing infographics that present data, statistics, or industry insights in an easily understandable format. Infographics often attract backlinks when websites reference and embed them in their own articles or blog posts.
Remember, the key to successful linkable assets is to provide high-quality, unique, and valuable content that stands out from the competition. Ensure that your assets are well-optimized for search engines, and promote them actively through outreach and social media channels to increase their visibility and potential for backlinks.
Leverage extreme products to build links
Unique or extreme products tend to capture attention and generate curiosity, making them more likely to be shared and linked to by others.Start by developing engaging and shareable content that highlights the unique or extreme aspects of your product. This can include blog posts, videos, or social media content that showcases the product's features, demonstrates its capabilities, or tells a captivating story around its use. The more intriguing and remarkable the content, the higher the chances of it being shared and linked to by others.
Use influencers to build content assets
Research and identify influencers within your industry or niche who have a strong online presence and a following that aligns with your target audience. Look for influencers who are known for creating high-quality content and have a genuine interest in your products or services.
Afterwhich, reach out to the identified influencers and propose a collaboration to create content assets. This could involve co-creating blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media campaigns, or other forms of content that align with their expertise and your brand's messaging. Work together to develop engaging and valuable content that resonates with your audience.
For instance, Collabstr, one of our clients, runs a marketplace for influencers, so the influencers who are on the platform share their Collabstr link to their audience. This helpsprovide viral growth to the platform.
Create a feature that makes your products shareable
To make your products easily shareable on social media, consider implementing the following feature:
- Social Media Sharing Buttons: Add social media sharing buttons to your product pages. These buttons should be prominently displayed, making it convenient for visitors to share your products with just a click. Include popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
- Pre-populated Sharing Messages: Simplify the sharing process by providing pre-populated sharing messages. When users click on a social media sharing button, a pre-written message or caption related to the product is automatically generated. Users can then edit the message or simply click to share it as is, saving them time and effort.
Here’s how MentorCruise does it, for example.
- Visual Assets for Sharing: Create visually appealing images or graphics specifically designed for social media sharing. These can include high-quality product images, lifestyle photos, or attention-grabbing visuals that represent the essence of your products. Offer easy access to these visual assets, either through a dedicated media gallery or by providing a "Share Image" button alongside the social media sharing buttons.
- Product Descriptions and Hashtags: Ensure that your product descriptions include concise and engaging copy that encourages sharing. Include relevant hashtags to increase the discoverability of your products on social media platforms. This makes it easier for users to find and engage with your shared product content.
- Share Incentives: Encourage social sharing by offering incentives to your customers. For example, you could provide exclusive discounts, freebies, or entry into contests or giveaways for customers who share your products on social media. This not only motivates sharing but also helps expand your brand's reach as customers become brand advocates. Here’s how Walmart does this.
- User-Generated Content: Showcase user-generated content featuring your products. Encourage customers to share their experiences, photos, or reviews of your products on social media. Repost or highlight these user-generated posts on your own social media channels and product pages, with proper credit given to the original creators. This not only increases engagement but also encourages others to share their own experiences with your products.
Build an entire community of independent brand ambassadors
Create an ambassador program where loyal and passionate customers can officially represent your brand. Offer perks such as early access to new products, exclusive discounts, personalized promo codes, or even commission-based rewards for sales generated through their referrals. This encourages customers to actively share and advocate for your brand, as they benefit from their promotional efforts.
Walmart, for example, has created an online community called Walmart Moms, composed of 22 moms who write blogs and share information about raising kids, household chores, and shopping at Walmart. The blogs written by Walmart Moms can be found on the Walmart.com website as well as their personal blogs and YouTube videos.
Leverage your providers
Your marketplace user community represents a unique SEO opportunity when it comes to backlinks.
- Leveraging your providers in your marketplace user community can indeed be a valuable SEO opportunity for acquiring backlinks. Here's how you can make the most of this opportunity:
- Encourage Provider Testimonials: Reach out to your providers and ask them to provide testimonials or reviews about their experience working with your marketplace. These testimonials can be featured on your website, specifically on pages related to the providers or their respective services. Not only does this showcase the credibility of your providers, but it also generates backlinks when providers share the page containing their testimonial on their own websites or social media profiles.
- Guest Blogging Opportunities: Offer guest blogging opportunities to your providers, allowing them to share their expertise and insights on relevant topics within your industry. This can be done through a dedicated section on your blog or by featuring provider-authored articles on your website. Providers can include backlinks to their own websites or specific pages within their guest posts, generating backlinks while providing valuable content for your audience.
- Provider Spotlights or Case Studies: Highlight successful providers within your marketplace through spotlights or case studies. Showcase their achievements, unique offerings, or success stories in a dedicated section on your website or in blog posts. Providers will often link back to these spotlights or case studies from their own websites or social media channels, contributing to your backlink profile.
- Collaboration and Co-Marketing: Collaborate with your providers on joint marketing initiatives or campaigns. This can involve co-creating content, organizing webinars or events, or launching promotional offers. When providers participate in these collaborative efforts, they are likely to promote the campaign on their own platforms, including backlinks to your marketplace as a partner or collaborator.
- Provider Profiles and Listings: Create comprehensive provider profiles or listings on your marketplace website. Include detailed information about each provider, their services, and their website. Providers often link back to their profiles or listings to direct potential customers to their offerings, resulting in valuable backlinks to your marketplace.
Remember to communicate the benefits of backlinking to your providers, such as increased visibility, referral traffic, and improved SEO. Regularly engage with your providers, provide them with promotional materials and resources, and ensure that they are aware of the opportunities available to them for backlinking.
Linkbuilding can be a complex and time-consuming process, and attempting to tackle it on your own can present several challenges.
Discover how Embarque's link-building strategies have driven remarkable results for Shopify merchants in the ecommerce industry.
At Embarque, we understand the power of a well-executed link-building plan. Through our expertise and tailored approach, we devised a comprehensive strategy that targeted relevant and authoritative websites to acquire high-quality backlinks for our client. The case study delves into the specifics of our link-building efforts and highlights the positive impact it had on driving organic traffic growth for the Shopify merchants.
Things to Consider When Outsourcing Linkbuilding
When considering outsourcing your link building efforts, you need to thoroughly research and evaluate potential agencies to ensure you make the right decision. Here are some valuable tips to guide you in selecting the best company for your specific requirements and desired link metrics:
Conduct Extensive Research
Begin by thoroughly researching the agencies you're considering. Visit their websites to gain insights into their services, approach, and track record. Look for case studies, client testimonials, and portfolio samples that demonstrate their expertise and success in link building. Additionally, explore external sources such as online reviews and ratings to gather unbiased opinions and feedback from previous clients.
By harnessing our deep expertise in SEO best practices, staying abreast of industry trends, and employing highly effective outreach techniques, we consistently deliver exceptional results for our clients. But don't just take our word for it—take a moment to hear what our valued clients have to say about their experience working with us:
Determine the Costs
It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the costs associated with link building services. The pricing can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the links and the quantity of links you require.
When evaluating potential agencies, inquire about their pricing structure and how it aligns with your budget. Be cautious of extremely low-cost services, as they may compromise the quality and credibility of the links obtained. Conversely, excessively high prices may not guarantee proportionate value.
Embarque offers flexible content packages tailored to different needs and budgets. They provide a project manager for all rates and volumes. By opting for a long-term plan, you can save 20% on the pricing. For longer-term plans, new articles will be submitted within 2-3 months.
Avoid Black Hat SEO
Conduct thorough research to evaluate the reputation and credibility of the person or agency you are considering. Look for reviews, testimonials, and case studies that demonstrate their commitment to white hat SEO practices and ethical link building methods. Avoid those with a history of engaging in black hat tactics, as these can have severe consequences for your website's visibility and reputation
Embarque takes pride in offering a transparent and data-driven approach to backlinking. They emphasize the importance of providing affordable and premium white-hat services. Their strategy involves obtaining relevant niche edits from websites with a domain rating of 40 or above through safe linkswapping tactics..
Embarque is trusted by many clients, proving its credibility.
Beware of over-promising
Achieving significant results in link building takes time, effort, and a strategic approach. Ethical link building practices focus on building sustainable, high-quality links that improve your website's authority over time. It is unrealistic to expect instant, massive improvements in your rankings or traffic through shortcuts or questionable practices.
Understand the process
Gaining a clear understanding of the link-building process an agency intends to implement for your website is crucial. When considering partnering with Embarque, we prioritize transparency and provide valuable insights into our tailored strategies through our published case studies.
Our case studies showcase how we customize our link-building approaches to meet the unique needs of each client. By exploring these real-life examples, you can gain a deeper understanding of our meticulous planning, strategic execution, and the positive impact it had on our clients' organic traffic and search rankings.
Set clear expectations (on both sides)
Clearly define and communicate your goals and objectives for the link building campaign. Discuss your desired outcomes, such as increased organic traffic, higher search engine rankings, or improved brand visibility. Understanding these goals will allow both parties to align their strategies and efforts accordingly.
Link building is a crucial aspect of marketing for marketplaces. It enhances credibility, improves search engine rankings, and drives increased web traffic. By leveraging various tactics such as vendor collaborations, linkable assets, influencer partnerships, and leveraging user communities, marketplaces can maximize the benefits of link building. However, it is important to approach link building strategically, avoiding black hat techniques and setting realistic expectations.
At Embarque, we offer comprehensive link building services tailored to your marketplace needs. Our expertise in SEO best practices, industry trends, and effective outreach techniques ensures outstanding results. Don't just take our word for it—explore our case studies to understand how we have helped Shopify merchants achieve up to four times increase in organic traffic in just five months. Contact us today to discuss your link building requirements and start elevating your marketplace's online visibility and success.