Does your ecommerce site need a blog?
Although a lot of ecommerce brands have blogs, very few regularly publish content. Blogging is often treated as an afterthought – something non-essential, looked at only when brands can spare the time or the resource.
Because ecommerce blogs don’t produce direct, instantaneous returns, brands don’t always see them as worth the investment.
But despite the fact that blog content doesn’t always result in immediate sales, it’s still an essential part of your wider marketing strategy. Brands that don’t invest in their blog miss out on opportunities to grow their audience and improve their rankings. And, in the long run, the pay-off can be huge.
So, why is content important? We’ve laid out some of the key reasons you won’t want to neglect your brand’s blog.
1. Climb the ranks
Blogging is one of the most effective and inexpensive SEO strategies out there. For all the ‘SEO hacks’ that exist, it’s difficult to beat the results of a thriving, well-written blog.
One of the reasons that a blog is so invaluable for brands is that it keeps your website fresh. Not only does this indicate to your customers that your brand is active and doing well, but it also signals to Google that you regularly update your site – making them more likely to steer people towards your brand. Google prioritises active sites, so if you’re not regularly uploading new content, your rankings will start to suffer.
Blog posts also give you the opportunity to target long-tail keywords, something you might struggle to do elsewhere on your site. By ranking for these specific keyword phrases, you can drive quality organic traffic to your site. For example, if your site sells fishing gear, you could optimise for a phrase like ‘best fishing rods 2019’. Because people searching for this phrase are already looking to buy, you also increase your opportunities for conversion.
2. Generate links
Creating quality blog content is the easiest, cheapest way to get other authoritative sites to link back to you – which is one of the most powerful things you can do for your site’s SEO. By capitalising on trends and offering useful information, you’ll naturally attract links from high-ranking, trustworthy sites. In fact, businesses with a blog were found to have up to 97% more backlinks than those without.
Aside from gathering inbound links, blog content also gives you the chance to generate more internal links. And the more content you post, the more chances you have to naturally point users to other areas of your site.
3. Be the expert
Your blog is an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, whether that’s fashion, homeware, outdoor clothing or food. You can use tips and tutorials to capture people looking for advice, address industry news and guide people through the latest trends.
By branding yourself as an expert, you start to build trust with your audience, which helps reduce buyer hesitation. You can also use your blog to answer any frequently asked questions that might act as a barrier to purchase.
4. Showcase products, launches & news
Blog content is the perfect place to shout about product launches and company news. Although you can use email and social channels for this, your blog gives you the opportunity to go into more detail and really build excitement around announcements.
Your blog is also a good place to showcase individual products, especially when timed with seasonal events or trends. For example, you could create a Christmas gift guide or a post about creating the ultimate summer wardrobe. What’s great about this content is that you’re linking to your own specific products, but you’re also providing your reader with genuine value.
5. Fuel your social media
Looking to add more energy to your social media channels? By publishing regular content on your blog, you give yourself more fodder for social media posts.
It also allows your social feeds to be varied – instead of exclusively posting product and lifestyle imagery, you’ll be able to engage your followers with topics they’re interested in. Try to update your blog weekly as a minimum to keep your followers invested.
6. Increase customer engagement
When you provide your customers with useful, engaging content, they’re likely to spend more time on your site and even visit more pages. Not only does this provide them with a great experience, but it also signals to Google that you’re giving users the information they’re looking for.
One of the main metrics Google looks at for engagement is the amount of time a user stays on a page after clicking the link on a search engine result page (SERP). So it’s no surprise that longer content tends to perform better, with Google’s first-page results containing an average of almost 2000 words.
On the flip side, if customers leave your page straight after they click the link, your site’s bounce rate will skyrocket – and Google will penalise your brand. Put simply, your content has to be great, so avoid keyword stuffing, spelling errors and jargon.
Summing it up
Whether you need to hire an agency or free up some internal resource, blogging is something you can’t afford to not do. But make sure it’s well written, easy to read and, above all, provides genuine value to your readers. Customers can sniff out spam and sale pitches from a mile away, so keep the sales talk low and the interest high.