Off-page SEO: The essential guide for ecommerce sites

Off-page SEO refers to efforts made outside of your actual website to improve search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic. Whereas on-page SEO covers optimizations made directly to your site content and code, off-page SEO focuses on earning links, social signals, and authority building in the eyes of Google.

For ecommerce sites competing in competitive niches, a strong off-page SEO strategy is essential for success. Just optimizing your product pages and blog isn’t enough these days. You need a comprehensive external linking approach to build domain authority, improve rankings, and ultimately drive more revenue.

Key takeaways

  • Link building through outreach, skyscraper content, and other tactics remains crucial for off-page SEO.
  • Earning brand mentions on authoritative industry sites helps build trust and authority.
  • Leverage social media for shares, engagement, and optimized profiles.
  • Local citations and business listings are key for local SEO.
  • Building domain authority takes time through high-quality links, brand mentions, and smart optimization.
  • Focus on quality over quantity with link building and business listings.
  • An off-page SEO strategy combined with on-page SEO provides the best results overall.

In this guide, we’ll cover the most important off-page SEO techniques and strategies specifically for ecommerce websites.

Link building

Link building remains one of the most important off-page ranking factors. Google uses inbound links as votes of confidence and to help determine authority and relevance for a site. There are a few smart ways ecommerce sites can earn high-quality links:

  • Journalist and blogger outreach: Identify relevant journalists, bloggers, and influencers in your industry. Pitch them customized story ideas related to their niche. For example, a women’s fashion brand could connect with fashion and lifestyle bloggers. If a blogger publishes your guest post, it will include a valuable contextual link back to your site.
  • Broken link building: Find broken links on high authority sites pointing to outdated or removed content. Offer to create replacement content and ask for the link to get fixed to point to your site instead.
  • Skyscraper technique: Create superior content that improves upon existing highly shared content from authoritative sites. Pitch the better content to webmasters to earn links as you add more value.

Earn brand mentions

Getting your brand name mentioned on authoritative and relevant third-party sites helps build brand visibility and trust. Here are some ways ecommerce brands can earn brand name mentions:

  • Get featured in relevant roundups, reviews, and listicles on sites like BuzzFeed, Mashable, etc.
  • Land media coverage on industry news sites, magazines, or newspapers. Hire a PR firm to help with outreach.
  • Participate in case studies with business partners and ask to be named as the solution provider.
  • Sponsor or speak at industry conferences and events. Aim for a mention in their program, videos, or recap blog post.
  • Distribute press releases through PR distribution services to generate media visibility for product launches, company news, etc.

Leverage social media

Ranking well on social media can also benefit SEO. Here’s how ecommerce brands can incorporate social into off-page efforts:

  • Optimize social media profiles with keywords in the bio, profile image alt text, etc.
  • Cross-promote content across social channels to generate more shares and engagement.
  • Run giveaways and contests to gain followers and build an audience. Require social tasks for entry.
  • Utilize user-generated content. Encourage customers to post photos of your products on Instagram through contests or branded hashtags.

Build local citation

Having consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information on online local directories helps establish authority for local search. Important citations for ecommerce include:

  • Google My Business
  • Facebook Business Page
  • Yelp, Foursquare, etc.
  • Local chamber of commerce sites
  • Popular online directories like Cylex, Neustar Localeze, Acxiom, etc.

Manually build citations on 30-50 directories relevant to your business location and industry category. To save time, you should consider using local SEO software like Moz Local or BrightLocal to automate the process.

Claim and optimize business listings

In addition to citations, claim and optimize listings on popular online profiles related to your ecommerce business:

  • Facebook business page – completely fill out the description, categories, profile image, etc.
  • LinkedIn company page – optimize with keywords in the description, logo, banner, etc.
  • Industry directories – claim and beef up listings on niche directory sites. Include photos, videos, coupons, etc.

Build domain authority over time

At a high level, all your off-page efforts should contribute to building domain authority for your ecommerce site. Here are a few general tips:

  • Focus on quality over quantity with link building. Slowly build a diverse link profile from reputable sites over time.
  • Be patient and persistent. SEO is a long-term investment.
  • Monitor your domain authority and trust metrics each month using tools like Moz or Ahrefs.
  • Disavow low-quality links if found. Do not buy links or use spammy link building tactics that will get you penalized.


With the right external SEO approach, ecommerce brands can build authority, increase organic visibility, and ultimately drive more revenue from search. Focus on high ROI activities like targeted blogger outreach, social promotions, building local citations, and expanding brand mentions. Off-page SEO combined with on-site optimization provides a powerful 1-2 revenue punch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I build links?

There is no set amount of links to build as it depends upon your competition.

What’s the best way to get featured on authoritative sites?

Persistent but personalized journalist and blogger outreach tends to provide the best results. Really cater pitches to the writer’s interests.

Is it safe to buy links?

No, buying links or exchanging links can get your site penalized by Google. Focus only on organic editorial links.

Should my staff handle link building internally?

Many ecommerce sites find success in hiring an experienced SEO agency to handle link building. The relationships and outreach expertise tend to drive better results. However, if you have a team with the relevant skills, then of course they can also build links.

How long does it take to see rankings improve from off-page SEO?

You should see gradual improvements in 3-6 months. But it takes consistent work over 6-12+ months to build lasting authority and rankings.

About the author

Daniel Lee

With over a decade's worth of experience, I am an accomplished digital marketer who thrives on creating bespoke SEO and content marketing strategies for a diverse range of clients, from innovative start-ups to established billion-dollar enterprises. Drawing from my Master's degree in International Marketing from the University of Law, and business coaching training from the renowned Møller Institute at Cambridge University, I'm committed to delivering results that drive substantial growth and competitive success for my clients. I look forward to being part of your success story.

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