1. Choosing Your Approach
  2. Find unlinked mentions
  3. Choosing the right pages
  4. Evaluation of potential locations
  5. (Slides) Link Building Basics for Ecommerce and Affiliate Sites in 2021

Do you want to improve the visibility of your ecommerce and affiliate websites in 2021?

Creating links to your category, product, and partner review pages may be just what you need to get the needle moving in some serious way.

But how do you start

On February 24th, I hosted a webinar in Search Engine Journal presented by Kevin Rowe, founder of PureLinq.

Finding and securing links to critical categories or commercial pages plays an important role in increasing rankings in competitive fields.

Rowe revealed the basics of link building for ecommerce and affiliate websites in 2021.

Here is a round-up of its top takeaways based on the proven approach PureLinq has implemented for its customers.

Link Building for Ecommerce and Affiliate Sites - Kevin Rowe

Choosing Your Approach

Every link building campaign begins by identifying the approach you will be taking.

Unrelated mentions are an effective strategy for securing links to category or review pages.

Rowe and his team found that focusing on this approach with a conversion rate of 50-90% is the fastest and most effective among other tactics.

This type of campaign involves finding existing articles that already mention your brand and reaching out to the publisher to request a link to your own website.

There are certain categories that you can focus on, such as:

  • Corporate brands (i.e. B&H Photo Video, Wayfair, Everytable).
  • Product brands (i.e. purple, nectar, bulletproof).
  • Retail brands (i.e. Nike, Acer, Apple, Lindt).
  • Executive brands (i.e. Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, Loren Baker).
  • Thematically.

Find unlinked mentions

There are several ways to find unlinked brand names.

  • Via manual direct email.
  • Use prospecting tools: Search for bulk mentions using Moz Fresh Web or Ahrefs Context Explorer and upload the site list to Pitchbox or BuzzStream.
  • Full automation (i.e. PureLinq's Mention connection technology).

Here is a detailed guide from the PureLinq team on various tools you can use to find brand names.

Choosing the right pages

By analyzing key competing content and visibility, you can identify your landing pages for link building.

Here you will find an overview of the areas to be analyzed.

Top ranking & visibility analysis

Here are certain types of pages that are frequently referenced on ecommerce and affiliate websites:

Home page

Linking to the homepage makes sense in the following situations:

  • Targeting top category keywords for ranking.
  • You have a new website that needs branding.
  • Starting a new website for early awareness.
  • Site-wide context-related relevance.

Category / groupings page

You can link to category pages if:

  • Category-level keyword targeting for ranking.
  • Targeting high volume keywords.
  • The top content is transactional or directional (unless you have information).
  • The business goals are short term lead / sales oriented.

Individual article pages

Linking to individual product pages or pages with a specific focus makes sense if:

  • Targeting product-specific keywords for ranking.
  • Targeting keywords with low search volume.
  • You have a budget that you can spread over a large number of pages.
  • There are several focus pages under one category.
  • The top ranked content is certain pages.

Education / information pages

Links to educational or informational sites if:

  • Goals are 6-12 months or longer.
  • Ranking 1 page for multiple keywords.
  • Top ranking content is informative.
  • The focus is on building the domain authority.
  • The industry is gambling, finance, credit, or other similar niches.

Evaluation of potential locations

When evaluating potential connection partners, it is important to weigh each element. Some aspects of the website are more important than others.

Ideally, you want to create a footprint – not just an element. Examine several elements and then decide on the quality of the website.

Remember, there is a difference between metrics and quality in link building.

Metrics (like Domain Authority, Trust Flow, etc.) from third-party SEO tools can act as guide posts to narrow down your target list.

They can help you support micro-decision making and reduce workload.

On the other hand, the quality of the website can influence the final decisions.

If you want to manually review your potential websites for quality, check out the following key elements:


  • Commercial links: Links to monetary pages that are not labeled nofollow or sponsor.
  • navigation: Is it way too general for a blog?
  • Keywords: No keywords related to gambling, porn, payday loan, etc.
  • frequency: Are posts rare or out of date?

Admin pages

  • about us: Is the information specific or too general?
  • Admin pages: Do they have advertising or guest posting guidelines pages?
  • Contact information: Do you provide your phone number, address or email address?

Link profile

  • Excessive links: Are there too many links pointing to a page?
  • Low authority: Using metrics like Domain Authority (DA) or Domain Rating (DR).
  • Irrelevant links: Are there any links that don't make sense to the page?


  • Names and Bylines: Is it simply set to "admin" or site name, or are the authors of the article properly identified?
  • Author page: Is there any information about the author?
  • Foreign: Is the author from the country you are targeting?


  • Presence.
  • Hereinafter: Personal, Micro-Influencers, Influencers, News?
  • Engagement: Do people deal with their content?

For more tips on determining website quality for link building, check out this SEJ webinar, also presented by Rowe.

(Slides) Link Building Basics for Ecommerce and Affiliate Sites in 2021

Check out the SlideShare below.

Photo credit

Screenshot by the author, March 2021


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