Once largely relegated to brick-and-mortar stores, consumer packaged goods (CPGs) finally began growing a large but slow online presence. Today, e-commerce in CPGs is booming. The rise of brands like Warby Parker, Bombas, Harry’s and others, demonstrate the immense potential for online CPG sales.
Those big companies followed the trends and had some luck, but they have also benefited from massive funding and marketing departments. For smaller e-commerce CPG brands, you need to rely on hard work and amazing marketing.
This is why a tool like Ahrefs Content Explorer should get you excited. It offers incredible power for marketers trying to drive e-commerce traffic.
Use it for topic research, to find the best opportunities for backlinks, and to get data and SEO metrics on competitor sites.
Ahrefs released its Content Explorer tool in 2014 and an updated 2.0 version in 2019. Essentially, it’s a searchable database of over one billion sites that you can also filter.
Content Explorer is just one useful tool in the Ahrefs suite of SEO research tools. It’s great for all kinds of online businesses, with several functions that will help you build content and improve search rankings with your e-commerce site:
Creating and ranking great content should begin with research. Simply creating a piece you think people will like, share, and link to isn’t enough in the competitive e-commerce business.
For content to stand out, you need to know what’s trending, understand what your target market wants to see, and investigate what’s working for competitors.
Content Explorer is truly top in the industry for doing SEO research. There are so many things you can discover using this tool that will help your e-commerce site, from researching your topic to finding out what’s working for competitors and leveraging it to your advantage.
Start your research with a simple search of your keyword or target topics, like t-shirts or coffee makers. Content Explorer will give you a list of the most popular pages and sites for the topic.
You can also narrow this down using more specific terms, but starting broad will give you more information.
This can help you determine the topics that are trending and that have the potential to lead to increased traffic and links. It’s a useful way to get ideas for new content on your site.
Content Explorer is truly unique in that it gives you several ways to filter the search results:
One of the most useful things you can do with Content Explorer is get ideas for your site’s content. The search tool and all its filters help you find the kind of topics and content people are reading, sharing, and linking to. Several features in the tool will help you choose topics that will get you the most reach:
If you’re familiar with the advanced Google search operators, try them in Content Explorer. Use it to hone your search results.
For instance, if you sell yoga gear and are trying to boost sales of a new mat, you can search a specific competitor’s site for all of its trending pages with keywords related to yoga mat. This will give you an idea of the content people are responding to when searching for yoga mats.
The trend metric is a new feature in Content Explorer 2.0. Use it to analyze your competitors and reverse engineer their marketing strategies. You can input a specific competitor site and see how their pages trend over time. Focus on a specific time period for more detail.
As an example, if your competitor site that sells home goods had a traffic spike in May, look at the pages for that month. Which got the most views and links? You will probably see a pattern, as several pages on what to get mom for mother’s day, or why she might like a specific top-of-the-line espresso machine.
Researching your topic for content ideas is the first, and perhaps most important part of content marketing. But this is just the beginning.
Creating content on trending topics, based on keywords associated with high traffic for competitors is great. But to really build your search rankings, you need to do more.
Content Explorer can help you take that research and develop solid content marketing plans. It can also help you with a link building campaign that will direct more sites to your own and improve your rankings.
A big part of your content marketing strategy has to be keywords. You can write great content on the value of “expensive face creams,” but if no one is searching for those expensive face creams, what’s the point?
Search Content Explorer for your keywords related to your product that have zero referring domains but 1,000 or more visitors per month in organic traffic.
These are low-competition keywords that people are searching but that other sites have yet to catch on to.
A content marketing strategy should include a link building campaign. Create the content people will link to naturally, but also leverage Content Explorer’s features to get more links faster. One way to do this is to search your competitor pages.
Filter search results by referring domains to see not just the topics getting a lot of links for competing sites, but the actual sites providing those links. These are the sites and pages that may want to link to your similar, hopefully, better, content.
Broken links are great prospects for new links to your pages, but finding and utilizing them can be time-consuming. With Content Explorer, it’s easier. Search your topic and filter it to show you all broken pages with a certain number of referring domains, say 20.
For building links to your page about running shoes, you can search using the words how AND running shoes. This limits your search to informational pages and excludes news articles and sales pages.
You’ll find content similar to your own but with referring domains that now have broken links to that site. Target those domains for link building outreach.
The newest version of Content Explorer includes broken pages, which can be useful for link building.
Ahrefs reports there are about five million dead pages added to their database each month, so the opportunities are nearly endless.
Find the broken pages relevant to your product or content, reach out to the pages that link to it, and let them know you have updated content and are happy to take their links.
Here’s how you do it:
Don’t limit this strategy to only fit your existing pages. Use it as a tool to find new content ideas. If you find relevant broken pages with plenty of backlinks to them, this may be a great topic or keyword to make the focus of a new piece of content on your site.
Your brand could be out there on the internet, mentioned, but with no links back to you. Don’t let those opportunities go to waste. Use Content Explorer to find them, so you can reach out and ask for links
If in your search, you find an author you like, click on their name in Content Explorer to see all of their posts.
Click on “one page per domain” to see all the unique sites that the author has written for or posted content to.
This kind of information can help you hire the best freelance writers and network with professionals in your industry.
Another easy search on Content Explorer will help you find sites that may be receptive to a guest post. Search your topic and limit it to one article per domain, so you don’t get multiple pages from the same website.
Highlight unlinked mentions to find the sites in the list that have not yet linked to you. These sites present great opportunities for outreach.
The Ahrefs Content Explorer tool is invaluable to e-commerce sites looking to grow search ranking and sales. Content marketing can be confusing and complex, particularly for small companies and sites. This tool, with all its features, metrics, and filters, will give you nearly unlimited ideas for perfecting the strategies that will grow your business.
If you have any questions about the tool or need some help with a backlink strategy for your site, let us know. We’d love to see how we can help get your products at the top of the ranks.
Satya is skilled in SEO, traditional link building, and has sharp knack when it comes to email marketing techniques and deploying email campaigns.
Fun fact: Satya loves shopping and believes in staying stronger together.
Mike Woellert is PureLinq’s digital marketing manager and has several years of digital marketing experience.
Fun fact: Mike is a huge Disney, Star Wars and Marvel movie fanatic.
Richard Cummings has been practicing SEO and online marketing for years. He has set up, analyzed, and optimized countless websites and always looks forward to new, creative challenges to improve website traffic for clients.
Kristie performs business admin and HR tasks for PureLinq.
Fun fact: Kristie loves shopping!
Angela began link building in 2007 and quickly became known as the go-to expert in all things offsite marketing. By combining content marketing, traditional link building, and social media, she was able to set clients up with outstanding programs that delivered results in the form of organic rankings and traffic. Angela joined PureLinq as the Director of Operations in October 2020. Fun fact: Angela is an NFL team owner, as she owns stock in the Green Bay Packers.
Kevin Rowe is one of the top innovators in the search marketing industry, developing industry-leading programs for SEO and link building. He has built world-class programs for a range of companies from fortune 100 to Silicon Valley startups. He is a thought leader with his thoughts being published in Search Engine Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Search Engine Land.
Read Kevin’s latest articles on Search Engine Journal.
Kevin’s personal podcast: the Future of SEO
Kaitlin helps manage freelance writer content, putting her BA in Journalism from Mississippi State University to good use. She also has a minor in French, but don’t ask her to speak it.
Fun fact: Kaitlin was a barista for many years and is on a mission to sip the best coffee in every state.
Jon Lightfoot was founder and CEO of a successful chemical and fragrance company. Upon exiting that role he spent more than a decade agency side and several years brand side wherein he honed robust marketing, strategy and data intelligence acumen. Jon’s strategic marketing initiatives have stewarded healthcare providers, agencies, learning and education based companies, eComm and Fortune 500 companies alike in meeting or exceeding their SEO, branding, performance and audience expansion goals.
Lindsey manages the day-to-day management of freelancer writers and editors as well as content production. In addition to holding two BAs in History and English from Binghamton University, she has a Masters in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Fun fact: Lindsey has traveled to 11 countries and it’s on her bucket list to visit every continent.
James is the PureLinq Developer. He is responsible for building and maintaining the client portal.
Fun fact: James lived in Japan for five years.
April’s position at PureLinq has her overseeing all content production, managing a team of freelance writers and editors, and building out our content guidelines. She has an MA in print and digital journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and a BA in Communication Studies and Marketing from Cazenovia College.
Fun fact: April basically runs a zoo with a pet rabbit named Lily and two Australian Shepards named June and Hank; chickens coming soon. She also likes to refurbish furniture in her spare time.
If it needs to get done, Marcus can figure it out. He has worked on e-commerce and lead generation programs for a variety of digital marketing projects. These experiences include SEO, PPC, web analytics, minor development, and email marketing.
Fun fact: Marcus, otherwise known as Larabee Live, is a one-man-band that plays all around Central New York.
Joseph helps to scale up the PureLinq database through blogger research and outreach. He builds white-hat links for high-value content and pages with niche audiences.
Steve has over a decade of SEO and link building experience. He focuses on building white-hat links for high-value content and pages with niche audiences.
Colin performs link mining and outreach for PureLinq’s clients and brings a high level of organization to manage a large number of link placements each month.
Fun fact: Colin loves techno music and playing video games.