Ecommerce Link Building

Ecommerce Link Building with Barcode Search Engines (Part 1)

In recent weeks I have been looking at eCommerce link building tactics, while my team at Ocean Leisure has been working very hard on finding ways to improve our overall digital marketing messages and their delivery via different channels. I personally have been looking at ways to improve our link building to each and every one of our product pages. However, this is no small feat, as we are a small team of three, trying to conquer thousands of product pages (approx. 25,000) while getting on with other marketing activities.

However, while looking at new eCommerce link building opportunities, I stumbled across Barcode Search Engines. I had been using them for quite some time for other personal projects, mainly for looking up barcodes. However, it never occurred to me, that you can build backlinks to each and every one of your products pages via these search engines. Not only can you build backlinks to all of your product pages, but they can be a good source of referral traffic. This is particularly so, as the Barcode Search Engine I am about to introduce here, receives traffic in excess of around 300,000 visitors per month, and has approx. 5 Pages/Session and visitors that spend anywhere up to 5 minutes on their site.

A quick overview of what a barcode search engine is?

Barcode Search Engines are essentially engines that store millions of barcodes of any product that has a code. They basically allow you to search all their database that has millions of products, which in turn will get you product information, photos, and store pricing of items. This is all just by typing in the item’s barcode number, but the engines also allow you to search for products by typing in the name of the actual product. These barcodes and product data are sourced from big retailers and e-commerce sites. There are three types of barcodes: Universal Product Code (UPC), European Article Number (EAN), and International Standard Book Number (ISBN) barcode format.

Barcode Lookup search engine

The first search engine in this series we are going to look at is called Barcode Lookup. They are one of the biggest barcode search engines out there. Barcode Lookup is also one of the handfuls that will allow you to directly link to all of your product pages. The engine stores over 315,000,000 barcodes (keeps growing), yes you read it right, that’s 315 million products so far that have been indexed.

They work directly with over 5,000 retailers who provide them with massive amounts of data. They just about have everything in their database — from common grocery items and electronics, to obscure lesser-known products. As you can see, there is a lot of potential for your retail business in terms of building those backlinks.

Without wasting too much time, let’s get into building the backlinks with this fantastic engine.

The first step of course is to visit the homepage of the engine. Barcode Lookup, which should look similar to the image below.

The Homepage

Step 2. Enter the barcodes or the name of your products

As you are presented with the homepage, type the barcode or the name of the product that you wish to look for in the search box. This is to see whether that product is already present within the Barcode Lookup database. Either way, it does not matter whether a product is present or not, as you can add the product details. The reason why you look for a product either via barcode or search term is to save you having to enter the product details from scratch. I will show you further down this article how to enter and submit products that are NOT in the database,

Enter a valid barcode or the name of the product. It is far more accurate to enter a barcode.

Step 3. Product details page

Having entered a valid barcode, this should now present you with the product details page (see below). You should now be able to see the barcode formats, category, manufacturer, description, attributes, reviews, and online stores that are selling this product. Before we get to the juicy part of creating a link to one of your product pages, we need to make sure that the manufacturer, product details, categorization, and so forth are correct for the product.

Please Note: If you are happy with all the product details on the page, skip steps 4 & 5, and go to step 6!

Ecommerce Link Building
Product details page.

Step 4. Edit product button

If for example, you are not happy with anything you see on the product description page, there is an option to amend the details. Just click on the ‘Edit Product’ button next to the EAN number.

Ecommerce Link Building
Edit product button on product details page.

Step 5. Editing a product

Once you click on the ‘Edit Product’ link, a pop-up menu appears (see below) and you can edit any details of the products you wish. Once you enter any new details, the changes will take at least 48 hours to be reviewed. However. there are submission guidelines that you need to adhere to. In the meantime, you can already add your link to the product (see step 6).

Ecommerce Link Building
Editing a product on the product details page.

Now you are ready to add your link to the product. This is the best part of the whole exercise. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page, and you should come across the ‘Add Store’ button (as per below). The most important part is, you must sell the exact same product in your online shop, as per the barcode/product in order for your link to be accepted. You cannot add a generic homepage link or a link to another product.

As you can see, we at Ocean Leisure have already added a link to this product, as we are selling the exact same product in our online shop, as well as in our physical shop in London, UK.

Ecommerce Link Building
Add a store on the product details page.

Once you click on the ‘Add Store’ link, a pop-up menu should appear where you can fill in your link details, price, and currency. This should take you about two minutes per product.

Ecommerce Link Building
Add your link on the product details page.

The above image is pretty self-explanatory, once you submit the name of your online shop, it will be in the system the next time. Select the country where you operate the online shop. Then in the link section, make sure you have the exact same product in your shop as the one at Barcode Lookup. Add that link into the box. Select the currency and fill in your price. That’s it. Now you will need to wait approximately 48 hours for it to be approved. A green message will pop up to tell you it will be reviewed in 48 hours. You will now be able to build links to all of your product pages from this barcode engine.

Please note: The links from this engine are nofollow, but there are other engines that do dofollow links, see part two of this series (coming soon).

Also, there is a bulk option to upload all your product barcodes and links, but it costs USD$299 per submission. I have contacted the Barcode Lookup team a few days back to ask. That is the price I was quoted.

One of the most important parts will be to keep a record of all the links you submit so that you can go back every few days and check to see if they have been published on the website. Don’t fear, I am a step ahead of you, and have created a link tracking/submission excel template.

There are six columns in the excel template sheet. Most of the columns are pretty self-explanatory once you download it.

The simple excel sheet to keep track of your eCommerce link building.
  • Barcode Number (UPC, EAN or GTIN) – This is where you keep track of all the barcodes that you wish/have submited to the search engines.
  • Barcode Search Engine URL – This is where you enter the Barcode Lookup Search engine URL, which should look like this: Each barcode you look up within the engine, it creates it’s own unique url.
  • Product URL (Targeting) – This is where you type/paste in the product page you are targeting on your website.
  • Date Submitted – This is where you keep track of the dates you have submitted your links. This will give you an idea when to revisit the page to see if your url has been published.
  • Is it a new barcode? – This is the column where you will keep a record whether the barcode is already within the barcode engines database. If it is a NEW barcode, you will have to revisit the page approximately 48 hours later, to see if the product page has been published by Barcode Lookup. If the new page has been published, now you can add your link. Unfortunately, you cannot submit a new product (Add a Barcode) as well as add a new link to that product simulatenously. First you must ‘Add a New Barcode’, wait for it to be published (48 hours), then you need to go back to that page and submit your link (wait another 48 hours). This is why you also need to keep track of the Barcode search engine URL. Once your link is published, you can now fill in the ‘Product URL (Targeting)’ excel column.
  • Published by Search Engine – This one is self-explanatory. You just fill in the column with a YES or NO of wether your link has been published.

[wpforms id=”132220″]

Adding a barcode that does not exist in the search engine

Once you start submitting your barcodes or product names, you will eventually come across products that are not yet present in the barcode search engine. Obviously, this is not a problem, as you can submit products that are not yet in the barcode engines database. The engines will welcome this, as you are doing the work for them, which in turn can gain you a link for that product to your site. However, you will need to wait at least 48 hours before the product will be published and is approved.

You will see a ‘barcode doesn’t exist in our database’ message that you are looking for.

Ecommerce Link Building
The following screen will appear if a barcode does not exist.

Step 1. Add the missing barcode

Once the ‘barcode doesn’t exist in our database’ message appears, you need to click on the ‘Add the missing barcode’ red button.

Ecommerce Link Building
Click on the ‘add the missing barcode’ link to start the process.

Step 2. Re-enter the barcode again

Not sure whether this is a glitch over at Barcode Lookup, but it will take you to another screen (see below) where you will need to enter the same barcode again. Enter it in the search box.

Ecommerce Link Building
You will need to re-enter the barcode again in the search box.

Step 3. Add the barcode

Once you have re-entered the barcode, a pop-up will appear (see below) where you can add all the details of the product. It is pretty self-explanatory, and you can also upload images of the product. At this point in time, it only allows one image per product. However, that is all you need as you want the customer to click rather on your link to find out more about the product you are selling.

Fill out the necessary columns in this pop up window.

As mentioned earlier in the article, you will need to track what barcodes/products you submit, because it can take up to 48 hours to be approved. This way you can always go back and see if the product has been added. Once the product has been added, just repeat steps 6 to 7 in adding the direct product link on your site, price, name of your business, and location. The link will also take at least 48 hours to be approved. So you will need to revisit the page again, to see if your link has been added.

Do use the template that I have mentioned earlier to track all your submissions and links. It is essential you keep track of what you have submitted and whatnot, as this will save you time resubmitting duplicates.

Keep an eye out for part 2 of this series (Ecommerce Link Building with Barcode Search Engines), however, it may take some time to be written. I am still testing the other barcode engines before I can give you some more info and verdict. In the meantime, if you have any questions or ideas, please get in touch.

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