You’ve probably ordered stuff online dozens (if not hundreds) of times.
Maybe you haven’t really thought about why you prefer to order from a particular online store. Is it just the quality of the product that you consider? Or is it something more?
How do you decide the ‘perfect’ store to buy from? Was your decision to purchase just spontaneous or did you do a fair bit of research through their content before hitting that ‘Add To Cart’ button?
For eCommerce specifically, there are lots of tools you can employ to advance your content strategy. Tik Tok, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook the list goes on. Wherever you can post images, videos or text, there is a chance your target audience is browsing there.
For this article, we are going to be looking at the importance of a blog as a content strategy tool for an eCommerce store and why eCommerce stores should have a blog.
The Rise Of Ecommerce And The Importance Of A Content Marketing Strategy
With the rise of eCommerce in the last couple of decades and the convenience of ordering online, it has become all-important for all types of eCommerce stores to nurture their potential markets and customers through clear and consistent content strategies.
You surely heard the term content marketing strategy again and again in relation to online businesses and still many are not fully committed to it.
What Is A Content Strategy?
A content strategy, at its simplest, is all the written, audio, visual and other types of media you produce to help you achieve your business goals. A comprehensive content strategy will help you gain traffic and guide it to your product or service and the unique selling proposition of your offering.
It is how you build reputation with your potential customers, and also, sharpens up the messaging of your brand.
It can be carried out through a number of platforms: from social media to your website or a blog, from your youtube channel to your eCommerce store and it guides your customers through stages of your sales funnel, (a content strategy’s main goal isn’t making the final sale - but to inform and make your products stay on top of the mind for all potential customers. Additionally, you can collect emails and nurture them over time via email marketing campaigns.
Why Is A Blog Important For Your eCommerce Store?
A blog is a powerful tool - and in more ways than one. It is an essential sidekick to your eCommerce store, but its strategic importance is perhaps equally as valuable as your actual store.
It’s How You Rank On Search Engines
When people search for certain words (called keywords) on Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page), then you have hundreds of pages, links and videos that show up. Most people don’t go past Googles search first or second page.
That’s the main reason for Google's first page being a ‘desirable spot to be ranked on’ for any eCommerce store.
If you target the right keywords and answer the user search intent fully, then your content (blog) is graded as being ‘helpful’ by Google and has a better chance to rank on the first page.
But this is not the ONLY criteria for getting your website or store to rank higher. There’s a whole SEO element that goes into your blog for it to be able to show up higher on the results page.
From targeting the proper keywords, to properly optimizing the content and length of your posts to making your website user-friendly (for example: optimal image sizes for faster loading), having reputable backlinks and properly interlinking your website are some basic SEO elements in your journey to rank higher.
Building A Loyal Customer Base
If you’re regularly updating your blog with interesting and useful content that solves customer queries, then your blog visitors will visit again and again to read up on your latest content.
This builds a customer connection with your brand and your blog; and customers may prefer to buy from brands/stores they already know and trust … and most importantly when the content solves some or all of a visitor’s pain points.
Following from the ‘loyal base building’ factor, once you’re posting content and going in-depth about your products and customer problems, then your blog (and your brand) begins to build authority in that said industry.
The more well-researched, interesting and helpful your blog posts, the easier it will be for your blog to build authority long-term.
What you must take care of is to post regularly, and if that’s according to a schedule then that’s even better. Regular posting makes you stay relevant in the industry and tells your readers that you are active and up-to-date with all the latest developments in your niche.
Helps With Your Marketing Efforts
Content Strategy as a whole ties up with your general marketing strategy. Once you have consistent traffic on your blog, you can set-up your squeeze page (for collecting visitor emails), then segment and market to your target audience with targeted ads and email marketing.
How To Start Implementing Your Content Strategy
Knowing about the benefits of a content strategy will only ‘benefit’ you long-term when you know how to properly implement it. Here are some must do’s to start with.
Google Console And Analytics
Just writing and uploading content to your website isn’t enough to guarantee that your blog posts will rank on Google. You’ll have to connect your blog to Google Console so Google could index your pages.
This will help you rank since Google will match and weigh your content against other similar pages on the search engine relative to the user’s search query.
Be Consistent With Your Posting
It will take time to build up your blog (and all the key metrics that are important for you in the long-run) and blogging itself is never a short-term game.
Many individual ‘bloggers’ make the mistake of uploading 5-10 posts and then don’t publish for weeks, then get back to posting another 3-5 blogs, then go off-track again. This is not how a blog will gain traction.
A blog is only as good as the relevant, up-to-date and consistent information that it provides to site visitors.
If you do want to blog consistently, start with posting once a week - or even hire someone so you don’t fall back on your blogging duties. Outsourcing could cost you $20-40 per post and if you are consistent, you can expect your blog to gain some traffic after about 6-8 months.
Set A Uniform Structure For Your Articles (And Website)
Once visitors start consuming your content and come back regularly, they will quickly associate a certain ‘style’ with your blog … this style isn’t coincidental. You create it by following a certain structure for your articles and even how articles are shown up on your website.
Returning visitors look to this structure and it helps them to ‘familiarize’. They already know the aesthetic and style of your website before they even visit.
Another key point here is: Don’t get too salesy. People don’t like to feel that something is being forced upon them. It’s human nature to resist in that instance. Rather, they prefer to naturally choose what they think is the best for them.
The best approach here is to gradually direct them, not to force your concepts or products upon them.
How To Structure Your Blog
Here’s the structure 101, in brief:
- Keep your url short and add the main keywords to it
- Meta title: A great meta title should (ideally) be a max of 50-55 characters. They are a way to tell search engines (and people visiting search engines) what your particular link (your website or a post) is all about. Keeping that length will also ensure that its fully visible.
- Keep your meta description concise, place relevant keywords in the description and make it about 150-160 words (for optimal showing on Google).
- Make sure the blog is properly structured and divided by heads (H1, H2 and H3), so search engine crawlers can index and categorize it properly; but even MORE importantly, so site visitors can easily ‘skim’ the blog and it is ‘easy on the eyes’.
- Keep paragraphs to 4-5 sentences and insert images and videos at regular sections to properly break-up your page for optimum readability.
- Use relevant quotes from well known industry-related figures to further enhance the credibility of your content.
- Unless you’re writing in-depth, research-based articles, the ideal blog length for 1200-1400 words.
- Make sure you interlink properly, so people stay on your website as long as possible and consume relevant for them content.
eCommerce Content Marketing: Key Takeaways
Content Marketing Strategies can take on various forms and it’s up you determine what type of content your target market is more likely to consume. With an eCommerce store, a blog may be one of the main tools you use in your eCommerce content strategy.
To sum up:
- A blog is one of the most powerful tools you can use to keep your store visitors engaged long-term.
- Be consistent when posting, start with at least one post per week
- Keep your posts well-structured and easy to read. (headings, paragraph length and links)
- Connect your blog with Google Search Console so you could start ranking
- Use your main keyword(s) four to six times in the body of the blog, and use related terms as well. Don’t add keywords just for the sake of having them, they need to be logical.