If you don’t have a blog on your eCommerce website you’re missing out on sales.
A well-planned blog strategy that provides helpful and relevant information and is powered up with SEO (search engine optimisation) can get your website
- Ranking for more keywords and reaching more people searching online
- Getting more traffic to your e-commerce website
- Getting more sales
Online shopping is fabulous if you’re ready to buy.
If I want a new handbag, I search “blue Italian leather handbag” and boom, Google serves up dozens.
But if I’ve got a question about my purchase and I can’t find the answer on the product page or a blog on your online store – I’m leaving your site to find the answer.
And I forget the name of your site or where I saw the bag.
A sale lost.
Every customer has questions – your blog answers them.
And stops them from leaving your website and forgetting who you are.
You can take them from the start to the finish – and get the sale.
Be the one-stop shop your customers want.
What is an eCommerce blog?
When I say blog, I mean any relevant content that invites your reader inside your business and gives them an opportunity to build a relationship with you.
Grab a pen and paper, or whatever works for you and think about your customer and their problems, pains, concerns and desires. What do they want to fix or feel?
Everyone has questions and they are different as they move closer to making a decision. The goal is to create content that gives them the answer – it’s relevant and useful.
- A blog post
- How To video
- Product in action video
- Product review post
- A guide
- Behind-the-scenes videos or articles
- FAQ page
Different content works best for different customer questions. But if it’s relevant, helpful and engaging it can take your customer all the way from asking a question on Google through to clicking the “Buy Now” button on your product page.
But if you want your eCommerce blog to go to the next level…
Build a topic cluster
A more strategic (and the best way to build an e-commerce blog, in my humble opinion) is to use your content to create a topic cluster. A topic cluster is a whole bunch of content about your core area or what you do.
It has a pillar or anchor piece of content that is complemented by other content that expands on the pillar as subtopics of interest.
Strategic internal linking through the content will lead your potential customer through the journey with you and ideally through to the services or product page, where they will buy your offer.
It’s not as simple as creating a heap of long-form articles, it’s constructing content for the buyer journey that is helpful, relevant and trustworthy. Each piece has a role and serves a purpose. It takes a little more effort, but the impact on your eCommerce business can be very rewarding.
What’s cool about topic clusters is it gives you the opportunity
- to create content strategy with intention, rather than writing random blogs no one will read
- rank for multiple keywords in your blogs and across your content
- establish your authority in your business niche
- lead your buyers through all the questions they have without leaving your site
For example, take my leather handbags your pillar post could be “A guide to leather handbags” and then you build out your sub-topics and create content around all the topics or questions potential customers have. These could include things like “Sustainable leather” or “How to choose the right bag for any occasion”. You get my drift.
PS: Stand by for a post on planning your topic cluster (coming soon).
Do you need SEO for your online store blog or topic cluster?
Of course, I’m going to say that – but if you’re making great content – it makes sense to tell Google through SEO.
SEO blogs and topic clusters are targeted and stop you from wasting time writing blogs no one will ever read.
Benefits of search engine optimisation for your online store blog or topic cluster
- It helps boost your page and overall website reputation with Google because it is looking for quality content that gives readers what they want – which translates to increased rankings in the organic search results
- Use topics and keywords to align your content with the searcher’s intent (what they want to know)
- Optimised internal linking with great anchor text to lead your reader through the buying journey and buy. (The customer can read a blog and click through to different content to get more information about your stuff – a one-stop shop.)
TIP: The search engine crawlers use your links to crawl around your e-commerce website page and decide whether to reward your page with a place in its index. It’s like a big spider web and a powerful SEO strategy.
TIP: Want to DIY your SEO? Start with SEO Fundamentals. If it sounds a bit hard, I can do it for you.
How a blog and topic clusters will get sales from your online store
1. Appear in the search results early in the customer journey
I think of the customer journey in three stages
- The information stage
- The consideration stage
- The decision stage
(There’s also a navigational stage where people are looking for information about your brand. Brand searches are winning searches. This is why SEOs bang on about EAT and your About page- because it’s a sales page we neglect.)
Most e-commerce websites focus on the decision stage
Problem is – those keywords are extremely competitive, hard to rank for and often up against paid advertising.
People looking to buy typically use very long tail keywords in their searches because they know what they want.
A long tail keyword is a specific phrase of four to five words, for example, “blue handbag in premium leather for shopping”).
Transactional searches often start with
- A store with a city name
If the majority of your e-commerce website is product pages (often light on words) it’s almost impossible to rank for these searches.
So our content strategy aims to connect at the information and consideration stage where we can build trust.
Content for information and consideration stages
Showing up in the search results in the information and consideration stages is a clear sign your business values your potential customers. You’re not here for a quick buck – you want to help them make an informed decision.
What types of content do you create for the information stage?
Blogs are great. But depending on your online business, an infographic, how-to or video can work too. Be a guest on a podcast or make your own.
Think about the questions your potential customers and the best way to answer those questions.
Use Google autocomplete and “people also asked” sections on the Google search page, online forums like Quora, Reddit or within social media groups. Keyword research and search intent are critical here.
Obviously, the SEO humans with the fancy SEO tools can help here too.
Check out what’s appearing in the search results because it’s a good indicator of the type of content they want to see.
Informational searches start with
At this stage, we’re establishing your credibility as a brand.
Answer questions related to your business area too, not just the products.
Take our Italian handbag example. People also asked about: Sustainable leather, different types of leather, leather grades, how to care for leather and where leather comes from.
Answering these questions boosts your street cred and puts you in front of more people because you’re ranking for broader keywords.
What types of content do you create for the consideration stage?
It’s comparison time. Your content aims to highlight your unique selling point and why your solution is the best.
Consideration or comparison searches often start with
- Size, colour and product specifics
- Alternatives to
Content to try
- Product demonstration videos (with a link to testimonials or feature testimonials)
- Product comparison videos showing use cases
- Product reviews (Google has guidelines for best practice product reviews
- Blogs that expand on the details in the product descriptions
Competitor pages are fantastic in this stage
If you have a direct competitor or people are looking at alternatives, create pages that address the differences in your products or services. Highlight why your thing is better but NEVER disrespect the competition. Not cool.
Or if the options are a leather handbag vs a smartphone cover with storage – write about that.
All consideration content has links to product pages to encourage people to click over and buy.
And that’s how we move lookers to buyers, friends.
2. Rank for more keywords and get in front of more qualified buyers
When your e-commerce website ranks for a broad range of keywords (and has topical authority) the more likely it is to appear in the search results.
The way to rank for searches and keywords is by having great quality content that’s relevant, useful and trustworthy.
Choose keywords with high search volume to get in front of as many potential customers as possible. But don’t forget to drill down to more specific searches for your sub-topics as you move through the buying journey.
It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
If your store is dominated by collection and product pages (which are often very thin on information) you’re limiting yourself to people ready to get their credit cards out.
And let’s face it, how often do you walk about with your credit card out?
Buying is a journey – find your potential buyers early.
An eCommerce store without a blog is a brochure – not a store.
3. Get more traffic from more warm buyers
Not only can you bring more visitors to your e-commerce store because your SEO is working and you’re in the organic search results – you have content to promote to your email list, your social networks and other content marketing channels.
You can link to particular content and direct your website traffic based on where your audience is in the customer journey. This traffic is good traffic because they’ve clicked on your stuff so they’re interested and Google gets a warm fuzzy feeling when it sees people coming to your site.
TIP: Google also takes notice of how long visitors stay on your e-commerce website – the longer the better. It tells them you are considered trustworthy and reputable, which is essential for SEO.
4. Get topical authority and boost your E-A-T
Google rewards pages and content that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T).
For ranking purposes, the Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines talk about the quality and quantity of the content on the page. Did it take time, effort and expertise to create the content? Does the content meet the search intent?
It then looks at what information is available about your website – is it popular or an authority in the area (this could be backlinks from other sites or mentions online). It looks at the reputation of your site and the author – so a positive digital footprint is what you’re aiming for. If you’ve got a load of crappy reviews – do something about the service or product you’re offering, stat.
In fact, along with a lightning-fast website and exquisite user experience your EAT is one of the most important signals for Google.
That doesn’t mean you need to be the world authority or a PhD on a topic but your content must be knowledgable, trustworthy and meet the needs of the searcher – you’ve gotta know what you’re talking about.
If your life experience demonstrates your expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, Google may also reward your EAT in rankings.
NOTE: Websites with pages about topics that have the potential to cause harm (Your money, your life topics) have much stricter E-A-T thresholds. (Drop me a line if you work in this space.)
You can find all the E-A-T requirements in the Search Quality Rater Guidelines but here’s a little snippet Google talks about regarding “expertise”:
“Think about the topic of the page. What kind of expertise is required for the page to achieve its purpose well? The standard for expertise depends on the topic of the page.”
E-A-T and backlinks
When you produce content that is rich in information people want to read you’ll find other websites will refer to it and backlink to it. Backlinks and mentions across the internet tell Google you know your stuff.
TIP: Don’t write thin content that replicates everything everyone else is doing. Put your stamp on it, show the world you know you’re stuff and the Goog will notice – and give you a gold stamp for your efforts.
5. Give people a reason to buy from YOU
Buying from Big Brand Suzi is the easy option – the comfortable default because it’s easy and predictable.
I believe most humans like to support small online businesses and are looking for a reason to make a different choice.
Show people who you are, what you stand for and why you do what do. Don’t be afraid to take a stand about things your care about and the things you don’t. Build your brand voice, use it everywhere.
No one likes reading the same robotic content.
Give it some jazz and make it an enjoyable reading, viewing or listening experience. It gives people a reason to relate to you when you humanise your brand and form relationships.
People buy from people.
Are you ready to start your SEO e-commerce blog?
Remember, the aim of the game is to cast a wide net with content for high-volume keyword searches so you rank when potential customers they’re looking for information. You want to build trust and gather them under your wing with your reliable and helpful content. It’s the key to a competitive edge.
People hate being sold to. We’re sick of it, right? We can spot it a mile away.
So keep your messages focused on relevant questions and answer them. And give potential customers pathways to click internal links that take them to more detailed information that demonstrates your product in action and then offer a link to the product page.
You don’t have to achieve everything overnight – small steps make a big difference. And it’s much easier than trying to compete for the small volume, long tail transaction keywords that Big Brand Benny is paying to advertise.
Be the informative, helpful eCommerce store people love to love and make sales.
SEO content strategy and writing blogs so if you need an SEO copywriter to help you get sales from your eCommerce store, drop me a line.
We can take it one blog at a time.