Do you want traffic to your ecommerce website? Whether you have been keeping a tab on the ecommerce tips and tricks your competitors have been using or not, you need to blog.
Many ecommerce businesses still don’t have a blog up and running. And those who do, don’t bother to update it regularly. The reason for this decision being – why have a blog when the main objective of the website is to set up an online shop and nudge purchases?
The latter is exactly the reason your ecommerce business needs a blog.
Today, people have a million things to choose from in the market. And the only way to get them to pick what you offer, is by convincing them that it is the best they could get. While a discount or an offer might allure them to purchase a product, lack of knowing its utility or not being able to trust a new brand, might pull them away.
So here are 6 reasons and ecommerce tips on why such businesses need a blog:
1. It ups your SEO game by giving the search engine content to crawl
What content do ecommerce websites usually have? Product descriptions, technical specifications and a few fancy headlines. Do you think that can help you with SEO rankings completely? No. That’s exactly why you need a blog – so that you can go beyond those and drop a few keywords while convincing your audience.
Search engine bots have two main functions – crawling content and building index. This helps them give answers to the searches made by internet users with high relevance. It is this search that ecommerce businesses can target through blogs. When you provide valuable and relevant content that gets indexed well, your products and services start becoming the top options shown to an internet user during his search.
Because blogs can contain links, keywords and content that is related to your ecommerce business, they help in getting your main site’s content get crawled more effectively. Blog posts can help you drive traffic to your business website when done right.
Here are a few things to keep in mind though:
- research industry specific keywords that are trending in your target audience
- shortlist long and short keywords that fit your business the best
- analyse what keywords your competitor is making use of
- write on topics that your target audience is engaging with actively
- ensure that the blogs are not plagiarised (take inspiration, not the exact words)
- don’t forget to interlink posts for better optimization
2. It brands you as an industry expert
The hyper informed generation of today wants to go beyond just good deals on products. They want to know what goes behind their production, the brains behind it, why they need them and tips to use them efficiently, etc. Blogs give you a means to address all those questions.
Be it a simple how-to guide, tips and tricks around a product, industry news, sneak peeks into the manufacturing process, interviews/talks with the team and the founding members or simply a take on what’s trending in the industry, blogs help you build a rapport of an industry expert – someone who knows what they are doing and can be trusted.
A few things to keep in mind:
- write only about things that are relevant to your brand message
- share information that adds value to your customers
- don’t just talk about how to use a product, but also where it can be used
- share sneak peeks into your business to let people know how you work
- talk about your business values
3. It lets you address a problem (along with a solution)
More often than not, ecommerce businesses lose their customers simply because that customer hit a dead end with a product and didn’t know what to do. While some businesses argue that these customers could have called the customer service departments for assistance, the truth is that they prefer seeking solutions themselves.
So along with a FAQ section on your website, consider writing blogs that talk about the common problems your customers are facing, where your products can act as a solution and how to start using them in an optimum manner. Try to use empathy while addressing a problem.
A blog basically gives you a better and bigger platform to address problems as well as establish a brand voice that resonates with your target audience. Here are a few ideas to get this going:
- create step by step how-to guides around products that people face problem with often
- share a manufacturing video along with an explanation to walk people through the process
- talk about the use cases of products and how they make the customer’s life better
4. It helps you start a conversation and boost conversion rates
Blogs can be used as a platform to answer or start a discussion around a popular question. The best way to find out what your audience wants to know, is to track back and take a look at the comments they have made on your social posts.
Answering a question shows that your business really does care about its customers and what they really want. It also serves as a great way to maintain an ongoing conversation with your existing and prospect customers.
Touching upon popular topics also makes it easy for the customers to relate to your business. This makes them more inclined towards making a purchase. And if you’re actually providing value to a common problem, it also holds the potential to go viral. In short, blogs boost your conversion rates.
5. It helps establish a loyal online community
Businesses using blogs allow their readers to drop comments on their blog posts, making them feel that their view on the topic is as important. This feeling helps establish a loyal online community of blog followers. It works best when you ensure that you’re actively responding to each of the comments and private messages you receive from people.
Blogs alone might not be able to create that big a community, but when clubbed with social media, the results can be stupendous! As long as the posts are relevant, fun and informative, you’re contributing towards building the community.
And if you’re worried about getting spammed, you can always set up plugins on your blog site to prevent them from coming in. Our favourite is Akismet. Then again, you do always have the ability to approve/disapprove comments.
Tip: If you’re associated with a social cause, don’t forget to highlight that on your blogs. About 94% of people switch brands simply because they want to become a part of the cause. Anything that talks about your values and the good you do, must go up on the blog.
6. It’s the most cost effective platform for marketing
Irrespective of what your marketing budget looks like, blogs have proven to be a highly effective and cheap form marketing. While you can choose to promote posts on social channels, they also bring in an ongoing stream of organic traffic when optimized well for search engines.
In fact, some posts continue to remain relevant for months, and the traffic just keeps flowing in without you having to invest time and money on it. Marketing on a budget – check.
It also serves as the best place to make product and event announcements without seeming too pushy about it. And the best part? Those who have subscribed to your blog, automatically get notified via emails – the most effective channel for direct marketing. But before you utilize emails for the same, we suggest you read:
Over to you
What’s your take on this topic?
Do you think ecommerce businesses should invest their time and money in running an active blog, or does it not serve the purpose of an ‘online shop’ at all?