Today’s guest post comes from Jay Donnelly. Jay is an Internet marketer and consultant who helps small eCommerce websites build their businesses to better emulate larger companies such as Finish Line and 6PM. He also runs a coupon and discount site where he has finish line promos and coupons and the 6pm promo code free shipping offer.

In this day and age, where Google is constantly on the lookout for people trying to manipulate the SERPs, finding a way to get links from different people that appear to be normal can be very difficult. Article marketing doesn’t really do much justice anymore. Even two tier link building—where you build links to your backlinks—has had limited results for certain keywords. Guest blog posting is useful (since I’m obviously doing it), but it can take time.

How, then, can a small business who is just starting online achieve the same types of rankings as, for example, FinishLine and 6PM in a quicker period of time. While you might not get to those same rankings over night or even in the next year or two, you can help speed along the process and, at the same time, increase your sales.

Understand and Inspire

To understand how this works, it is important to understand the concept of link bait. As the phrase suggests, link bait is some sort of content—be it a video, article, graphic, or sound bite—that makes the person want to link. Over the past two years, one of the biggest types of link bait has been the infographic. But, that isn’t the only link bait.

One of the things that a small e-commerce website like yours can do is offer link bait that not only encourages the person to link back to your site—but doesn’t force it—and also results in more sales. What is important to understand about link bait is that the links are natural. You’ve created something that people want to link to. So, you can’t try and force the link to happen ala a “link to this to see the content” type of shindig. Google looks at that very negatively.

Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

But, what you can do is offer the customer something so great that they want to link to you. And, since you run an e-commerce website, one of the things you can offer is a coupon. The reason I say a coupon and not just some in depth article or graphic is because you’ll be able to see a ROI on that coupon. If the customer uses it, you’ve actually sold something and might walk away with a profit, albeit smaller. With any other graphic, you’re thinking only of the promotional and not of the business revenue. That’s why, for e-commerce sites, I like coupons. You get a sale and you potentially get a link.

Almost immediately after offering the coupon, you’ll start getting picked up on dozens and dozens of different coupon aggregating websites. Those are to be expected, though. As people start to come to your site, though, and see the coupon, if it’s good enough, they’ll start using it. But, they might also start linking to it. If they run a website and have a following, they might link to it. If they see someone asking for a coupon to your company on a forum, they might link to it to be helpful. People will naturally start linking.

Make Content Easily Accessible

One of the things you can do help expedite the link building is to make it as easy as possible for them. To do this, include a “code” box underneath the actual coupon that has the code for linking back to you. This works twofold. First, you’re getting them to link to you. Second, you are dictating what anchor text is going to appear. Even if they change it, many won’t and that’ll help you get a boost in the rankings as well.

Keep in mind, this is just for links. If you set up your social media accounts, there’s no feasible reason why you shouldn’t be getting more followers and shares when you release a new coupon. Next thing you know, that one coupon is getting spread around the Internet and you’re building your business, your search engine exposure, and your overall revenue.


So, first things first…Figure out what type of coupon you want to offer people. The better it is, the more likely it’ll get linked to and shared. But any coupon will do. Then, send some emails out to the big coupon websites letting them know it exists. And finally, give it a push in the social networks. The rest, if the coupon is good, should take over. Best of luck building links with your coupons and discounts.

Don’t forget we’re always looking for great guest authors. Contact us if you would like to contribute to our blog