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E-commerce stores are traditionally difficult to generate links for. With many stores offering the same type of products, there’s not much reason to link to product pages unless they have something unique about them. I’ve hinted before that retailers need to add value to see growth in their business – both from a social perspective, and with a view to acquiring new links and generating traffic to a store.
There are however a few things that you can do to generate a bit of buzz around your products easily, to make your pages more link worthy, lifting them in the search engines in the process.
1) Create Funny Reviews
Amazon continue to bolster sales through the implementation of their user review section on their site. Some of you will no doubt be familiar with their Three Wolf Moon t-shirt which has become a viral hit on the web, increasing sales by 2,300%. Whether this was started by Amazon themselves as a way to attract attention to the site is irrelevant, it has resulted in numerous other reviews popping up in a similar vein which have resulted in both sharing and links to the site. Depending on the nature of your store, you can possibly use something similar to generate buzz on your own site.
2) Market your deals
Sounds obvious, but having an area on your site where you highlight the particular day deals can ensure that buzz occurs as it both attracts people in, and gives them a time based incentive and call to action.
In addition to on site functionality, sites such as Groupon and HotUKDeals have existing traffic that can be utilised to offer deals to new customers. The former has the added advantage that you don’t have to honour the deal unless a minimum subscription number has been reached. This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as places to market your voucher codes, and site deals go. Be a magpie, and collate places to market your vouchers, if and when you have an offer on – you stand a much better chance of generating buzz and traffic if you do.
3) Develop a viral
If you are thinking of investing a little bit more on your shop to generate links, a viral piece of content or clever application can work wonders for the number of links your shop receives.
One of the best examples I’ve personally seen of this working is a viral for a Dutch department store (HEMA) with a product catalog of relevatively boring merchandise (general housewares) they came up with this – which generated over 12000 links. An impressive feat, for a difficult market.
4) Offer ridiculous time limited sales
A local music store business in my home town year on year offers a one day sale. Here’s the kicker – for the first person through the door, they offer a free guitar of their choosing. People have in the past camped out overnight to be first in the queue.
The effect? A massive buzz around the shop; queues starting prior to the shop opening, and a word of mouth marketing campaign that is notorious amongst locals.
You can apply the same concept to your own store, perhaps by offering a ridculous, time limited offer price for one of your products.
Microsoft used this strategy recently, to brilliant effect. They offered Age of Empires III for just 10 cents. Here are the results, the buzz, and the links generated. What price do you think the product is now? Yep. back to the original retail.
5) Add Red herring products
Unusual products generate buzz all on their own. Thinking outside the box, and listing something for sale that you would be embarassed to buy, or wouldn’t ordinarily have in your store can be a great way to get people talking – and before you ask, like all great viral content on the web – that book found me, not the other way around. :o) Again, both of these products (particularly the latter) are unlikely to be purchased in a hurry, or indeed be bestsellers, but their inclusion is there for a reason. To generate links.
Have you guys seen any great examples of how e-commerce stores have generated links? Let me know in the comments.