Writing a blog for your online store is regularly overlooked as something that online retail businesses don’t want to do. Often, ecommerce merchants won’t see the benefit of writing a blog and see it as a wasted investment. However, if it’s done well and it’s part of a wider and holistic marketing strategy, then an ecommerce blog can drive much more than conversions.
In this article we’re going to discuss the benefits of having an ecommerce blog and how to write an article that works for your business. We’ll also look at how your blog can, with a bit of creativity, be part of a holistic marketing strategy.
The benefits of a having an ecommerce blog
There are many benefits to having a blog on your ecommerce site. These can range from encouraging a community around your brand, to communicating effectively new product launches. Here are some other benefits that help grow your brand and drive conversions.
Trustworthiness & Expertise
Building up trustworthiness on an ecommerce store can be invaluable. Trust in a brand is what helps convert users and building up a relevant blog section will help build this up. If your blog section is regularly updated then the user is more likely to trust you.
A blog also gives you the opportunity to show off your expertise. As a consumer, finding an ecommerce brand that understands the product inside and out can help with their purchasing decisions. Trust and expertise signals are often looked at by search engines to work out it’s rightful position in the SERPs.
When building out a blog, it should be optimised as a lead generation tool as well as being used further down the sales funnel. Optimising your site for search engines can provide some fantastic lead generation tools. Mainly because the search traffic is completely organic, and it’s qualified traffic.
When planning your blog it’s worth spending some time to do some keyword research. Optimise the articles to be in line with semantic or long-tail keywords. These are keywords that aren’t going to be your SEO’s main focus. They often drive less traffic than your main keywords, but they’re much easier to rank for.
These keywords can help drive traffic that your competitors may not have thought about. This puts your site in a unique, positive position. When a user lands on a well optimised blog landing page, they’re getting the answer to their search query and they’re finding a brand that knows what they’re talking about.
Part of your Wider Content Strategy
A blog, like any marketing collateral, shouldn’t be left to stand alone. Rather, it should be used as part of a wider content marketing strategy. By including your blog articles in a holistic marketing strategy, you’ll improve other marketing channels and drive more traffic to the blogs. This can have a profound effect on the ROI and conversion rates.
Creating blogs that don’t get exposure might as well not be written. Bringing your blogs into your social media strategy will help you drive relevant traffic to your site. A blog article can be a conversation starter for your existing customers and brand fans. This can be a refreshing change from the usual posts about products and help make you stand out from your competitors.
Creating an email marketing campaign that sends relevant information on a regular basis to subscribers helps build brand loyalty. However, coming up with ideas for email marketing can take its toll over time. By including your blog posts in email marketing, you’re driving traffic to your blog, but you’re also improving the email marketing strategy content.
Retargeting across social media with product based ads can drive conversions. However, retargeting with content based articles can help your brand stand out from competitors. Using blog articles as the landing pages for your ads can be an effective soft-sell option, and depending on your industry and brand, may work better for you than product based adverts.
It may be worth advertising your blog articles for the semantic keywords they’ve been optimised for. This will help get your site noticed quicker in the SERPs and drive qualified traffic. Because the semantic keywords drive less traffic, the cost of bidding will likely be much lower.
Reuse Blog Articles
As your brand grows and you continue to write regular blog articles, there will be a segment of your audience that hasn’t seen the older posts. Reusing old blog articles in email marketing, social and adverts will help bring new life into old posts.
It’s also worth updating old blog posts as they become less relevant. This will help you showcase your expertise and also improve your SEO efforts over time.
How to write an effective ecommerce blog
Blog posts are a great way for ecommerce businesses to show off their brand personality. However, between other marketing channels, day to day business commitments and writers block, articles are often not written. The best way to tackle regular blog setbacks is to create a content plan and stick to it. Here are some other tips to help you create a better and practical ecommerce blog.
There’s nothing worse than a blog section that just talks about the benefits of using a brands product. A good blog covers subjects that your target audience is interested in. Understanding your audience will help you create better blog posts.
Start by doing some market research, competitive analysis and even asking some of your existing customers to fill in a survey. Once you’ve done this, finding topic ideas will be easy and you can start writing.
Open up comments
The idea of your blog is to promote a community around your brand. Opening up the comments section on your blog will help promote a community. The more comments and threads on a post, the more likely someone else will reply and comment too.
It’s important to moderate the comment section on a regular basis though. You don’t want to have spam or trolls taking over your blog. To encourage your customers to interact with your blog, you could integrate into your loyalty program points for comments.
Quality over Quantity
Rather than have several blogs based around one set of keywords, try creating a longer piece of content that embodies all the different semantic variants. This will help you create better quality articles that can improve your trustworthiness and expertise.
By creating a single piece of content rather than several around the same subject, you’re reducing the chance of cannibalising your SEO efforts. This is where you have 2 or more pages fighting over the same keyword in the SERPs and can be damaging to your overall SEO strategy.
Hosting guest bloggers and being a guest blogger on other brands sites will help grow your audience and improve your brand community. Partnerships with another ecommerce brand can be a quick way to expand your audience. Find a complimentary ecommerce store, or influencer and work together to create guest pieces.
Because your post will be shared on social media, found in organic search results and linked to in email marketing campaigns, it’s important to get the post title right. Making it as intriguing as possible will encourage users to read your blog.
- It should include the keywords from your blog
- Short and snappy - 70 characters
- It should be intriguing (don’t give everything away in the title)
- It should be specific enough to not be “clickbait”
If you have a great blog post and you’re driving lots of traffic to it but you don’t have a call to action, then all that effort is wasted. Encouraging readers to subscribe to your newsletter or browse the latest collection will help the user move further down the sales funnel.
Too many ecommerce brands leave off the CTA which can be losing them lots of conversions.
Making your blog post shareable with social share icons and links will encourage your users to interact. This kind of sharing helps promote your content in a very organic manner and can be invaluable to brands. You can encourage users to do this even more by integrating it into a loyalty program.
Once someone has read your post, you’ll want to encourage them to read the next one. Having a feature of the latest posts, or posts in the same category will encourage them to continue reading. This should sit underneath your main call to action so that the user has a choice of actions to fulfil.
At Underwaterpistol we believe that every element of your ecommerce business should be interconnected to help improve acquisition channels, conversion rates and customer service. Using a blog in a content marketing strategy can help drastically improve the user experience and brand reputation. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you with holistic ecommerce marketing.