It comes as no surprise that in recent years most eCommerce platforms have, by default, introduced out-of-the-box solutions for blogging. But the question is, how many business owners are using this valuable space to benefit their eCommerce website as much as possible? We believe that most of the time, there’s only one answer – not enough.
Of course, most of the time, blogging is an affordable content marketing tool for most businesses. They help to shine a light on core brand values, voice, and personality while becoming an integral factor in SEO success. However, with some hard work and dedication, they also offer so much more than that. Blogging is not something that you can dip in and out of should you choose to use it as a marketing tool. In order for it to be effective, you need to designate the responsibility to a sole individual or put a percentage of your budget towards outsourcing the work to an experienced content marketer.
It has to be said, though, that the rewards you will reap from starting, growing and maintaining your store blog will far outweigh the hard work that goes into it. Nurture your content marketing and you will see site visits, engagement, and revenue increase across your site. It really is that simple.
If you need further convincing, we’ve broken down the benefits even further:
1. It helps your site to rank for relevant keywords
Blogging provides eCommerce sites with plenty of SEO benefits, including helping your website to rank for search terms that most relevant to your products, driving the most revenue. Typically, a content marketing team will perform keyword research using various tools which will help determine the most opportunistic phrases you should be targeting.
Since it’s typically not appropriate for product pages to contain title text such as “which coat should I buy this winter?” a blog gives you the opportunity to also answer important questions for your customers or potential customers. Creating a blog post with a keyword friendly title, along with relevant and beneficial information, gives you a huge advantage of higher rankings that will capture users who may be typing their questions directly into Google’s search engine.
2. You can generate as much content as necessary
Google adores regularly updated content, and typically takes the volume of posts and pages of a website into consideration as a ranking signal when determining your site’s visibility. A blog provides you with the real estate to create as much relevant content as you can manage as a strategy to help boost your rankings. Although you have an unlimited freedom with blogging that you don’t have on product or category pages, it’s important not to spam your readers or the search engine by over-posting as a means to manipulate your rankings. One or two well-written, relevant, engaging, and well-optimized posts per week should be sufficient enough to see improvements.
3. Entice your customers and establish a loyal and engaged online community
When you decide to post regular content that is interesting and relevant to your users, encouraging them to engage with posts in the comments or by sharing on social media, you will quickly develop a loyal online readership that you can use to your advantage. Always responding to blog-related comments, emails or tweets will ensure the conversation keeps flowing, enticing readers to return often for more great content. This also gives you a secondary opportunity to respond to any widespread issues your community or customers might have been experiencing, or make any company announcements quickly and effectively.
4. Assist with internal and external link building
Blogs also give you the opportunity to further boost your SEO by providing a means to build internal and external links from and within your site. Typically one of the most neglected SEO techniques, natural link building is still one of the most effective methods to increase visibility. Spending time increasing links to higher ranking non-competitor websites and linking back to products on your own site will increase your page and site authority, thus improving your ranking on Google and promoting your products on site at the same time.
5. Proves industry expertise
Consumers in the digital age are not only after an efficient online shopping experience, they want to go beyond that. In order to establish trust and the credibility of your business, users want to explore what goes on behind your head office doors, see how the production process runs, and get the company’s opinion on new trends and style. They also like to read regular industry news, updates, and of any charity work or special events you might be involved in as a business. Having a blog allows you to generate interesting expert content, such as how-to’s, news and interviews with your team – thus creating engaging, shareable content that will make you stand out as the voice of authority.
6. Most cost-effective form of eCommerce marketing
Even if your marketing budget is huge, what is the point in blowing it if you don’t need to? Blogs provide businesses with an effective way of producing engaging content that can be shared across social, stimulating an ongoing stream of traffic to your site for very little money. What’s more, you don’t always need to create a constant reel of new content and can usually get away with editing, improving and updating old content, as it’s just as appealing to Google. Plus, content can stay relevant for longer than just a season, thus bringing new visitors to the site without having to lift a finger after you have hit publish.
7. It provides an easy way to promote your products
In addition to adding internal links for SEO, a blog allows an eCommerce business to promote new, featured, and top selling products, or even products that need a “boost” due to a dip in sales. The best content marketers will stylishly place products within informative and useful articles, thus driving consumers to products in need of a push. Since this is one of the more craftier methods of promoting your products, it’s important that the marketer writing the blog has the experience and know-how to pull it off seamlessly.
8. You can be fast to react to news or industry changes
Whether you are offering up pipes, plug sockets or paper on your site, a blog will allow you to react to and comment on changes in your industry with more depth and knowledge for your social media channels. For example, Apple announcing a new iPhone would be the perfect opportunity for a tech shop specializing in iPhone accessories to react on their blog. Not only should you comment on the next big trend, but dig deep and devise unique content that will make you stand out as an expert in what you do. This will create a trust in the consumer and your brand’s reputation will skyrocket.
9. Implement brand values and find your voice
There are hundreds of thousands of businesses represented online, and unless you are in a super niche industry, you most likely have a good amount of competition. When you’re fighting to get your voice heard, it’s important to establish a distinct tone and voice which matches your business and brand. This will not only make you unique and memorable, but will help you stake your claim in your industry while showing off your expertise. If you’ve already established your voicing on other mediums, such as print advertising or social media, it’s important to carry this throughout your blog posts. Having an amazing copywriter with plenty of experience should be helpful in getting this important nuance just right.
10. Increase traffic to your website
Finally, but probably the most obvious, is the increased traffic your eCommerce site will receive when you’ve introduced a blog. When publishing regular, relevant content to your site, you are giving your customers and potential customers more reasons to visit your site from social media or a Google search. Blogging will increase overall traffic to your site, which is an important ranking signal for Google. This means that with increased traffic, you have the opportunity to rank better overall. If each blog post is created for a specific audience and has in place the right funnel to drive sales, this increased traffic can steer people to the products you want them to buy. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to grow your eCommerce store from an average shopping site to an educational hub users will want to visit often.
Now that you’ve seen the light, and know all of the reasons you should have a blog, it’s time to get started! We know – it requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and man-power to manage, but content marketing is key to any eCommerce business’s success. If you’re struggling with where to begin, be sure to visit our recent post that features helpful tools for generating great blog topics. Or, if you’re looking for a regimented and structured content plan with the support of a full team, leave us a comment below – we’d be happy to help!