Many people are into blogging these days, and it’s pretty hard to find a fresh topic that has not been covered yet. Still, the vast majority of ecommerce website owners prefer to focus on sales and leads, and think of a blog as of something irrelevant to the business. If you’re among them it’s time to change your attitude and start blogging. Here are a few reasons why blogs are vital to ecommerce websites these days.
Great Content Marketing Tool
Does the term “content marketing” ring any bells for you? Chances are you might have already heard about it as there’s a lot of buzz around this topic. In short, it’s any marketing effort that uses content (articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc) for customer acquisition and retention. A famous quote by Seth Godin goes like this “content marketing is the only marketing left.” He said it back in 2008. Ecommerce has evolved greatly since then, but content still remains one of the most effective marketing tools. Just read any article on the topic of hottest digital marketing trends and you’ll definitely find content marketing among them. Blogging is by far one of the most powerful and efficient content marketing tools, especially considering the medium- and long-term perspective. Why?
Additional Entry Points
Blog posts bring additional pages to your website. The more of them you have, the more points of entry you provide to your visitors. So how many pages is enough? HubSpot’s research can provide some clues. According to it, ecommerce websites that have over 400 pages get 6 times more leads compared to their counterparts with less than 100 pages. Even if your website is small, you shouldn’t think that no one will read your posts. This assumption will just ensure that your business doesn’t grow.
Improving SEO Rankings
As a business owner you naturally want your website to have higher search engines rankings. Blogs really come in handy when it comes to improving SEO. Google’s robots monitor websites on regular basis and what they like to see is new and relevant content. Adding new pages to your store is a sign that your business is still active. Google ranks websites that are updated regularly higher than those which are not. Keywords are another thing. If you sell slim fit t-shirts and write a blog post on how to choose them you’ll naturally use your focus keyword (or a few of them, like buy slim fit t-shirt or price of slim-fit t-shirt). From a search engine’s point of view this will make your website optimized better.
Another thing that matters to search engines is the quantity and quality of links, both internal and external. When writing a blog you can easily add a link to a related product you’re selling, or to any other related page. This will also be helpful in guiding your visitors to a purchase. Back-links is another significant thing. Getting other websites to share your website’s URLs is one of the main goals for any SEO specialist. Most of them will agree on that quality and quantity of back-links can make or break your SEO rankings. Quality content gets shared and anytime someone shares your stories on Twitter or Facebook you’re likely to attract new customers.
If you still don’t believe that writing blog posts can make a difference here’s a really outstanding success story. Marcus Sheridan wrote just one article on fiberglass pools and added it to his “River Pools and Spas”. The next morning his website had the top rank in search engines for his cost-related key phrase and it brought him $1.7 million in sales. The reason why this blog post was so successful is because it answered his customers’ questions.
People like to see that there’s a real organization behind your website. Let’s face it, no one likes to buy from a “no-name” shop. A blog allows you to create content that will show your expertise. Building trust is especially vital when it comes to customer retention. According to various estimates, retaining existing buyers is 5-10 times cheaper than finding new ones. Moreover, returning customers in the US generated 40% of revenue, according to Adobe’s study.
If you have an outstanding story to share – don’t hesitate. Not only potential customers might enjoy it, if it’s really good you can get noticed by the media. People tend to find the information more reliable if they read it in the news.
How to Start Blogging
First of all, you don’t have to be a professional writer or a popular social media commentator to start a blog. Blogging is a thing anyone can engage in. The key is providing information that can be interesting and valuable to your visitors. So what should you write about?
-Address a Particular Problem. With fiberglass pools the problem was that companies didn’t want to disclose the prices of their products on websites because they thought that could distract customers. Marcus Sheridan’s post changed that.
-Your Brand’s History and Updates. If your company has an interesting history behind it, it can make a good post for launching your blog. Everyone loves “behind the scenes” stories.
-Your Products. Think of a blog as of an extra space for providing more information on your products. Visitors are interested in how they are made and where. If your products have special features don’t forget to share them. But don’t try to write too much promotional stuff, make it more about helping your customers rather than aiming for a hard sell.
-Your Promotions. If you have promotions, give-aways or discount campaigns – dedicate a post to tell more about them. Blogs are good for providing a full list of terms and conditions applicable to any given promo campaign.
-Other Related Information. Your blog doesn’t have to be all about your company. You can write about the latest developments in the industry or just share something interesting you’ve recently discovered.
Experiment with Content
When blogging, you don’t need to stick to the “text only” format. Adding visuals, like infographics or videos, is also a good way of telling a story. And don’t forget to include subscribe boxes so that visitors could leave their emails to receive your latest updates by mail.
Author bio: Oleg Yemchuk is a marketing manager at Maven eCommerce sharing office space with Magento business experts in NYC and software developers worldwide. Oleg is marketing expert by day and geek by night. As a geek culture fan, he spends his free time playing video games and reading comics.
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