How to score product links and why they’re important for SEO
Do you fancy getting your brand/product featured in online shopping guides? It can be a great feeling to see your products being promoted online alongside household name brands.
Refinery 29 bed linen shopping guide featuring Piglet in Bed
Plus, these types of links can boost brand awareness, help to generate site traffic and revenue, and even work to improve your site ranking.
In this blog, I’ll take you through exactly why shopping guide placements work for eCommerce brands and how to write the perfect pitch!
Why are product links worth pitching for?
- They generate referral traffic: Users are likely to click on shoppable links from the titles they trust, so these types of placement can direct more traffic to your site. This can be tracked through Google Analytics (GA) and is a great metric to track where your audience really sits!
- Purchases through links: Some links on highly regarded publications will be able to directly generate revenue from consumers converting when they land on the product page – which you can again track through GA!
- These links are great for consumers: Shopping guides can be a trusted resource for consumers in the early stages of making a purchase. Shoppers trust publications to be less biased and more authoritative than your site in advising purchase decisions.
- Placement can help to boost your domain rating: When chasing shopping guide links, it can be slightly easier to land placement on high domain ranking (DR) sites.
- Brand awareness: Placement on relevant shopping guides next to your direct competitors and aspirational competitors will boost brand awareness.
- Deep links: When pitched correctly, shopping guides are a great way to link to target category and product pages, with relevant anchor text.
Deep links, shallow links and product pitches
Shallow links are inbound links that should ideally link to pages on your site such as your category and/or product pages but just link to your home page. Deep links point to specific product and category pages, boosting their authority; shallow links can still be beneficial, but don’t do as much for SEO.
Google ranks web pages, not websites, so if your client wants to appear first on Google for the search ‘dresses’ or ‘white linen summer dress’, opposed to their site name Asos, you need to boost the authority of your pages with these keywords in the title. Not only is ranking highly for these product terms and keywords useful for shoppers but it is also better for attracting new customers via organic search.
Ideally, the journalist’s anchor text needs to refer to the specific product, not just ‘white dress’ or ‘ASOS dress’ but also ‘white linen summer dress ASOS’ where possible. This is because these search terms will have less competition, as fewer pages on Google will fit this specific criterion. Additionally, users searching for these terms have greater purchase intent and are more likely to convert as they are looking for a close match to your exact product, rather than looking to browse.
10 tips for the perfect shopping guide pitch
- Include the full product name and price at the start of your pitch. Make sure to convert your currency if necessary!
- Provide a full product description. You will need to amend the on-site copy to make it more PR-friendly. Make sure to include all of the product materials/ingredients/features and mention if there are any other colour options/flavours/sizes available.
- Don’t bombard journalists with too many product offerings. Stick to a few bestsellers and explain them well.
- Link to your desired anchor text within your pitch to encourage journalists to do the same.
- Personalise your pitch, for example, “I saw you previously wrote an article on the best gifts for dads” (include a link to the previous article). If you’re reaching out to a journalist to ask to be featured in an existing guide, tailor the product you share to suit that article, consider the price range as well as the types of products and the colours the journalist has stuck to.
- Consider using increased search volumes for particular items to justify your outreach- especially in the run-up to events like Christmas!
- I find adding at least one small, compressed image into the email really helps to get journalists interested. Also, attach a file or Google Drive link of both cut-out and lifestyle imagery- not only will journalists favour pitches with beautiful high res imagery, but if used, the quality of images will impact whether users click on your link.
- Monitor media to predict product trends and always do your research on the types of brands and products certain publications cover.
- Be the first person to give the journalist news of a new launch! You can also use shopping guides to boost the ranking of your client’s most popular current pages.
- Basically, make the journalist’s cut & paste job as easy as possible and remember- results aren’t always immediate.
When should product pitches become part of your digital PR strategy?
Product-focused pitches can be introduced at any point in your digital PR strategy. As mentioned, they are a great way to boost brand awareness and drive sales, plus, they don’t take too long to pull together if you have good existing product imagery and descriptions.
If you’re finding it difficult to gain deep links to your site, that point beyond your homepage, focusing on scoring links in product guides is a great way to do it. Here are a few signs that you might be ready to start pitching your products to journalists who write product round-ups:
- If you’re a fairly new brand
- If you’ve recently launched a new product or range
- You’re struggling to get deep links to your product pages
- One of your products is trending on social media
- If your product/s would be a good gift idea and an event like Christmas Mother’s/Father’s day or Valentine’s day is coming up
- You’re keen to improve the Google ranking of one or a couple of specific products.
If you want to learn more about PR tactics for eCommerce brands and how you can make your product pitches stand out from the crowd, read about how to make your subject line stand out for email pitching here.