- As ecommerce businesses vie for digital visibility, blogging can be a valuable asset that adds an extra push to engage, inform, and acquire consumers
- Blogging can be used to attract people who are at the very beginning of their buying journeys
- As ecommerce SERPs are highly competitive, blogging opens opportunities like featured snippets, clustered results, and People Also Ask rankings
- Your blog can serve as a knowledge hub to build trust and expand your marketing channels
- Add elements on your pages to let readers continue their buying journeys across your site
Many ecommerce brands choose not to create a blog because it’s time-consuming and they do not want to distract buyers. Ecommerce websites are more about engaging their traffic in direct sales, creating an outreach list, and making sure to reach and connect with potential customers.
After all, when you’re selling specific products and services, there is only so much you have to say, right?
Unfortunately, this is an all too common assumption for ecommerce websites. On the surface, blogs seem like a fine way to write about creative topics relevant to a company, so ecommerce sites often assume that the idea of a blog is great, but just not for them.
Too many ecommerce brands start a blog for no reason by copying competitors. The common strategy, “If they have a blog, so should we,” is doomed to failure.
And most brands struggle with developing a successful blogging strategy.
Ecommerce blogs often exist as islands. Someone (often a freelancer or an external agency) is tasked to publish a certain number of articles that often have nothing to do with that brand’s value proposition. Additionally, no one ever pays attention to whether that blog is driving any clicks, or whether that traffic is doing the site any good.
As a result, blogs are neglected, and employees are in no way motivated to make their ecommerce business blog a success.
Blogs can do wonders in terms of attracting new customers, but only when ecommerce blogging is done right. In this article, I outline the key factors of creating an ecommerce blogging strategy that holds the power to add value to business objectives.
Attract a wider audience
Obviously, your primary audience is those people who are looking for the products you are selling.
But that is limiting in many ways. That primary audience consists of people who already know exactly what they want.
How about those that are at the very beginning of their buying journeys? Those who are looking for ways to solve their problems without realizing your products could easily do that for them.
This is where blogging comes into play. You can utilize your content strategy to provide solutions to multiple problems for your future customers.
Having a buyer’s guide on your product pages is great, but sometimes people want to know more. Most of the time those who are at the very early stages of research will not only want to read the information on your blog but will appreciate that it’s there in the first place.
Keyword research is how you can figure out how people are searching for relevant problems and what kind of content can solve them. Go through your keyword lists and identify keywords that reflect informational intent and create your blog’s editorial calendar based on those search patterns.
Try using ChatGPT to identify keywords with possibly informational intent that can be targeted through your blog. Simply use the prompt “identify keywords with informational intent from the list below” and copy-paste your keyword list into the tool:
These keywords would need to be checked for search volumes before you start incorporating them in your content.
Let SEO drive your blogging strategy
Blogging is a great way to capture additional SERP opportunities, including:
Featured snippets rank on top of search results, immediately below the ads. They tend to show up for informational and semi-commercial queries that require an immediate answer. Product pages rarely rank as featured snippets because there is no intent match: Product pages are intended to sell, not answer questions.
Featured snippets can be in a form of a definition box, a list, or a table. To get a featured snippet, make sure to instruct your writers to answer related questions, summarize main points as lists, and create comparison charts.
Google has introduced clustered results to enhance SERPs where the initial search intent may be unclear, a searcher may be interested in either reading or buying. Hence clustered results often cater to both of those needs:
Complimenting your product page with a how-to blog post targeting the same topic is a great way to get both ranking for your target query as clustered snippets.
People Also Ask (PAA)
People Also Ask boxes suggest searchers follow-up questions and encourage them to continue researching a topic. Getting your blog URL rank as an answer to at least one of those follow-up questions is a great way to generate more traffic from Google:
Ensure that your blog enables the buying journey
Too many ecommerce blogs give no hint that there is a company selling related products behind that content.
This happens because of the organization silos: Blogging employees are not involved in the sales process and they are in no way motivated to sell.
Make sure your blog writers know which products your company prioritizes to create contextual CTAs.
Depending on your content management system, you can automate some of those conversion funnels. WordPress has a variety of conversion optimization plugins that also support Woocommerce. CMSs Wix have a powerful built-in conversion optimization functionality, and Shopify integrates blogs into store functionality pretty well.
Look at The Home Depot which generates related products for each guide they publish:
Other ways to automate conversion funnels from your blog include AI-powered conversational technology, like chatbots and Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
Become a knowledge hub to inform buyers and build trust
Blogging is not only about expanding your organic search opportunities.
It is also about building your brand, which is the only way to achieve success. You need to become an entity to maintain a consistent search presence.
This can help you establish a connection with visitors and it also shows that your company is more than just a business trying to sell something – you actually care about the industry and about connecting with the community.
Use blogging to build credibility: the more you know (and can show that you know) about your industry, the better. Keeping a blog updated shows that you know your niche. Use a blog to elaborate on your value proposition, and get creative by including videos, podcasts, or expert interviews.
Even if some of the topics aren’t perfectly on point with what you’re selling, knowing relevant information can go a long way. It shows that you’re in tune with not only the industry but with those who are visiting your website. Think about what your audience may want to learn more about and write about something related.
Focus on quality rather than quantity
Blogs to expand and diversify your search rankings allowing you to rank to varied search queries. Many refer to this as having more “entry points.” In other words, the more pages you have on your site the more options you have to bring people to your site and then send people to your product pages.
And yet, avoid focusing on the sheer quantity of those entry points. Instead, focus on measuring and improving your results. Instead of publishing new content every week, devote at least a week to analyzing, updating, and surfacing your existing content.
Through internal linking and including related articles on your blog pages, anyone who lands on an article has an opportunity to funnel into a product page and hopefully convert.
If you only had product pages, you would be limiting how someone gets to your site in the first place and you would be extraditing those who aren’t yet ready to buy.
Let blogging expand your marketing channels
Visitors are far more likely to share a piece of blog content over a product page simply because it is more interesting (or they landed on that page, to begin with).
Furthermore, blog content gives you something to share with your supporters and followers on your social accounts. Sharing product pages over and over can get boring, so you’ll want to start sharing content and hopefully get some re-shares.
The more of a presence you can have on social media, the better chance you have of someone clicking through to your website. This is also a great way to uncover more marketing opportunities. Avoid relying on organic traffic.
Use blogging to attract backlinks and drive visibility
This goes right along with the last point. Everyone knows that the more quality, natural backlinks you earn for your website will help improve your rankings on Google SERPs. Although Google has made it clear that you should not build backlinks for SEO purposes, that doesn’t change the fact that natural backlinks (those you didn’t necessarily try to build) are positive.
If you have a good number of blog posts, you have a better chance that people will refer back to your articles whenever they are writing something or leaving a comment. You have more information to offer, which means it’s more likely that somewhere down the line your website will earn more links than it would have without a blog.
You also have the option of putting external links in your articles, which will draw attention to your blog from those publications. Hopefully, somewhere along the line, they will return the favor.
Blogging is a serious investment of time and resources. But it only works if your team knows what you want to achieve. Integrate blogging into your overall marketing strategy by including your SEO team, design team, and even product development team. Make them all part of the success, and blogging will work for your ecommerce brand.
Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.
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