Ecommerce Link Building Case Study: 225% increase in Sales in 3 Months

Imagine you have a seasonal e-commerce store, and every year around June you see the same trend:

Sales decrease in the warm months (or very hot depending on where you live — Death Valley anyone?).

At the same time, you know your traffic and rankings can increase overall — as well as your revenue because you’re not the dominant website/business in your industry.

What to do? Start with SEO in the low season or high season?

In my biased opinion, do it any time you want to increase revenue 🙂

MORE TARGETED TRAFFIC = MORE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

This is no fiction and a real case study of a real business owner. They, as you may already know, decided to move forward:

Here’s a video where you can see the results comparing month to month for 2018, and month to month 2018 vs 2017:

While some of my previous case studies have been focusing on results with no backlinks and just technical and on-site SEO — even CRO — in this case study, you’ve already seen what happens when you get link building done the right way — even if you focus on just one aspect of it.

Why focus on one specific method is based on multiple factors like current link profile, competition, link velocity and if it actually makes sense…

But that may be something to discuss in another article.

So, What Did We Do Exactly?

We strictly focused on guest posts. That “easy”

We had already done a technical analysis and applied most of the things this website needed to get fixed.

We had a good foundation already. We already had a content strategy as well and were writing 4 articles per month; however, we never published an article for this stage of the SEO plan.

Here’s the process we were following:

Keyword analysis.

We plugged the website into Ahrefs and found out 2 main pages and keywords clusters to target.

We went for:

  • One page with the main terms in the 12th position
  • The home page which targets their main keyword — about 74k searches per month (on the 50th some positions)

Create an anchor test strategy.

By analyzing the competition and analyzing the current anchor text of the website, we decided what was the best combination of anchor texts to start the campaign.

In this case, we went for:

  • 25% general anchor text
  • 50% branded anchor text
  • 25% exact anchor text

** General are random things like “click here”, “more info”, “visit this website”, etc.

** Branded are the business names with some variations.

** Exact are variations of the exact keywords they want to rank.

Now that we had what we wanted to go after, we created an email under the client’s domain to start the campaign.

Finding link opportunities.

We concentrated 100% on guest posts from relevant websites that had actual traffic.

Here are some of the metrics of a couple of websites we have received links from — metrics from Ahrefs:

Create pitch ideas.

After we had gathered a set number of websites that were relevant and had traffic, it was time to create ideas for these guest posts to pitch.

We needed to create ideas that were fun and interesting for these audiences so there’s a part of creativity and research involved.

Send pitches to website owners.

After we had the ideas (or titles) created, we needed to craft emails that would be opened and read to pitch these ideas.

Not read emails means not even having a conversation about it.

We had some proven pitches that we have improved and tested over time so we went with them.

Negotiate fees if they ask for it.

Some of these websites will ask for money to place the guest post on them.

Negotiation is part of the process as there’s a lot of website owners that have a “dollar policy” to get articles published. There are some that will publish for free for good content, but more times than not they ask for a fee.

Write the content.

When an article is accepted and given the green light, we go to work and hire a US native English writer that can bring quality and speed (or someone in the business team that can write them).

For better results, these guest posts need to be sent back within 7 days max.

Some will need to be written under the website owners’ guidelines, and other ones are more of a “free ride” type of thing.

Send finished content with links to websites.

Now that the content is written, we add the links and images if needed and send it to the website owners.

More times than not, this usually needs a follow-up as some will disappear and never respond.

Others will take several weeks to respond, and other ones will even take months.

The idea is to create enough pieces of content that can be pitched to hit the targets knowing that some of the articles will never get published and may or may not be used unless other websites like the same topic, taking into consideration the initial owners won’t get back.

Manage the Whole Thing, and Set up the System to Run Smoothly.

Between spreadsheets, Trello boards, and communication needed for all the parts to work together seamlessly, there’s a good system that needs to be set up, and that’s what we do.

This is putting all the pieces together to make things run smoothly.

You may be thinking: how did this guy come up with the 180% increase in sales?

Let me break it down for you.

* June 2018 organic sales: $1,921

* August 2018 organic sales: $4,335.15

($4,335.15 * 100) / $1,921 = 225.67%

The previous year was:

* June 2017 organic sales: $5,733.75

* August 2017 organic sales: $2,488.96

Sales decreased by 230.37%