BY DAVE NEVOGT
Anyone who’s paid attention to trends in online marketing knows that content is king. For ecommerce, that traditionally just meant having great product copy and good alt image tags. However, especially for smaller online stores, competition with big long-tail retailers like Amazon and eBay is fierce – the only moments in the purchase cycle where it’s easy to gain a real advantage are in the research and remarketing phases. That’s where the content on your blog comes in to play.
Yes, writing long blog posts can actually help your business, both in terms of your SEO and your authority in the field. A blog that’s regularly updated (that means new articles between 3-4 times a week) can increase brand awareness, improve public perception of your brand, drive traffic to your ecommerce site, and make conversions more likely to happen. In this article we’ll explore how this works, and what are some easy strategies to make it happen.
HOW BLOG POSTS INCREASE AUTHORITY
Authority doesn’t directly lead to more sales. However, authority is a psychological trigger that influences how consumers view your brand, and increases the likelihood that they’ll buy. If your product or service is based on expertise, groundbreaking research, artisan techniques, or anything out of the ordinary, your blog is a great place to showcase why you’re a leading authority on what you do. If the content isn’t salesy – merely descriptive, or eye-opening – readers will be naturally intrigued by your products without you needing to spend a dime on paid advertising. Plus, unlike PPC budgets that eventually run out and need to be replenished, your blog article will be up for as long as you leave it there, and will continue generating authority and new leads.
It’s not only the perception of authority you generate among potential customers that helps drive your sales – it’s also authority from your peers, from others in your industry, and from bloggers. Perceived authority along with excellent writing leads to major improvements in SEO, which leads me to my next point.
HOW BLOG POSTS IMPROVE SEO
When you share your knowledge and establish yourself as an authority in what you do, you start getting more and more links back to your site as people share and repost your content. For SEO, this is the jackpot. Your rank in google search results will gradually creep higher and as a result, more people will see you.
It’s not just about getting high quality links back to your websites. Even just consistently adding unique and high quality content can help you rank higher. Google’s search algorithms favor websites with lots of unique content that are frequently updated, and they tend to penalize duplicate content. All these posts will also help get the ball rolling on customer interaction – when you provide something really valuable and thought provoking for current and potential customers that invites them to share their thoughts on the subject, it’ll increase the likelihood that they leave comments on the blog and on other areas of the site like product reviews, which is another huge boost for SEO.
EASY TIPS FOR WRITING GREAT CONTENT
To write the sort of posts that drive visitors to your ecommerce site, you’ll have to think carefully about your industry and your expertise. However, in general, if you follow these tips, you’ll make good headway building up your authority and your SEO ranking:
- Write longer blog posts – minimum 800-1000 words. Set this goal for yourself and it forces you to generate meaty, valuable content for readers – not just an easy piece of clickbait.
- Avoid using jargon and cliches. Remember, you’re an expert in your industry, but not all your potential customers are. In fact, taking the time to explain industry jargon can position you as down to earth and more helpful.
- Avoid long sentences. Keep your writing concise and to the point.
- Tell stories about your products instead of selling their features. It doesn’t matter if they’re boring products – even socks, sheets, or water filters can have a story behind them. If your competitors aren’t doing it, great – that gives you the opportunity to start the conversation.
Follow these tips and over time you should see sustainable improvement in your ecommerce sales. And of course, if you have experience blogging for ecommerce, please feel free to share it in the comments!
Dave Nevogt is the CMO and Co-Founder of Hubstaff, a time tracking and invoicing tool for remote entrepreneurs.