Many eCommerce business owners feel discouraged from blogging regularly. A number of factors play into this: They’re not sure where to start, they’re not sure how to generate ideas, and blogging (rightfully) seems like a lot of work.
While starting and maintaining a blog does take time and effort, there are countless reasons why it can be beneficial — and even a major driver of traffic and revenue — to regularly publish blog posts to your site. Here’s an example that might make you stop and think: Louis E. Page, a B2B distributor of industrial fencing and mesh (thrilling, right?) saw an 850% increase in sales since launching a blog, according to Maximise Social Business. If a fence company can publish regularly to a blog, so can you.
Here are 6 reasons why your eCommerce business needs a blog:
1. Your blog can attract site visitors
At its most simple, a blog is a platform for you to connect with your customers and share helpful information with them. This does not have to be exclusively about your products and how to use them; you can also blog about other topics your ideal buyer persona would find interesting, or explore issues (and their problems) relevant to them.
As you share this interesting content on social media, you can drive traffic back to your site. The more compelling, useful, or timely your posts are, the more likely they’ll be shared by others, exponentially increasing your reach as a brand.
2. You can establish your brand voice
Your blog provides you with long-form opportunities to show potential customers who you really are. Think about your ideal customer — how do they talk? What content do they enjoy reading? Make sure you’re writing the content they would want to read, the way they’d want to read it. Depending on who your buyer persona is, you can write content that is hyper-conversational — like you’re talking to a friend — or content that is authoritative and educational.
With every word written, you can demonstrate to your customer that you know them, you get them, and your product will help them.
3. Your blog fuels your site’s SEO
Your blog also creates opportunities for visitors to find your website via search engine. Without a blog, you probably have a limited number of pages for search engines like Google to index. Each time you blog, you’re creating another page — and a page full of awesome, relevant content, at that! — for Google to index. This tells Google you’re an authority in your space and that your content is worth serving to people searching for those topics.
What’s especially exciting about improving your site’s SEO is that search engines can provide stable, long-term traffic the way social media cannot.
Imagine you post a blog you’ve written to Facebook. You’ll likely see a spike of traffic as users click on the link and head over to your site to read your content. However, traffic will likely die off within a day or two as social media feeds fill up with newer links.
Let’s consider a site that sells auto parts. According to Google’s Keyword Tool, 18,100 people search for the term “how to change a tire” every month.
If an auto parts store wanted to create useful content for their customers, they could write a helpful blog post that tells people exactly what to do when changing a tire — a topic they know has a high search volume.This is the perfect opportunity for people searching for that content to find you via search engine. The more relevant content you write, the more likely you are to rank for keywords important to your business.For example, the type of information that ranks for the term, “how to change a tire” is a mix of videos and articles on the subject.
The more helpful and thorough your post is, the more likely it is to rank well— which could ultimately lead to major traffic and sales for your business. A great example of this is a blog post by Marcus Sheridan of River Pools and Spas. He wrote a great piece of content that answered questions he regularly received from customers about the costs of fibreglass pools. “Within about 24 hours of writing that article, it was No. 1 for every fibreglass-pool, cost-related phrase you could possibly type in,” Sheridan told the New York Times in an interview about his success.
4. Your blog builds your authority
When writing blog posts, you have the chance to present yourself as a knowledgeable source on topics related to your product. Regularly publishing content that is helpful to your target demographic will help readers see you as an authority and thought leader on the subject. This makes readers more likely to trust you and — when the time comes — buy from you.
5. You can leverage your blog’s analytics
Don’t just blog about anything and hope the content sticks. Keep an eye on your blog’s analytics to see what content your customers are interested in, so you can create more of that. What’s more, you can track click-throughs, shares, and comments to gain insight into your audience. Not only will this help you fine-tune your content strategies and blog topics, but your blog’s analytics can help you make strategic decisions for ads.
For example, you can use analytics to see where in the country (or world) your blog readers are from. With that knowledge, you could strategically target those regions with geo-targeting ads.
6. Your blog provides content to use elsewhere
To successfully market your business, you’re going to need to bring visitors to your website from multiple sources: This could be search engine results, social media, or email marketing. We already discussed how blogging directly influences your SEO, but what about the other two?
When creating email announcements, segmented email campaigns, or posting to social media platforms, you’re going to need insightful content to regularly push out to your subscribers and followers. Your blog posts make prime material to share via email and social media. You should build a plan for your business to utilise the content you are creating and use it for other channels in order to maximise your efforts. If you’re looking for ideas on how to get started, Digital Marketing Institute has a great resource on how to re-purpose blog content for social media.