This Guest Post was written by Bill Widmer, a content marketing and SEO consultant for eCommerce businesses. In his spare time, he writes about mobile entrepreneurship and living in an RV on his blog, The Wandering RV.
If you run an ecommerce business, and don’t have a blogging strategy in place, it’s time to get started, pronto. A blog can boost your ecommerce site’s traffic, increase conversion rates, and skyrocket sales.
Look at founder of River Pools and Spas founder Marcus Sheridan, for example – a single blog article he wrote drove millions of visitors to his site, and brought him a whopping $1.7 million in revenue.
How did Marcus do it?
He simply sat down and wrote an article which addressed every single question he had ever been asked about pools. According to Marcus, within 24 hours of writing this article, it was listed as the number one result on Google for any fiberglass pool related phrase that existed.
Here’s another, personal example:
My travel blog, The Wandering RV, gets 200+ visitors per day, thanks to content and SEO.
One of my blog posts is all about RV accessories. That post ranks #1 for the term “best RV accessories”. Once I turn the blog into an online shop, I’ll link that post straight to my product pages for free, recurring sales!
Let’s see how it’s done:
Ecommerce Blogging and SEO
As you’ve seen above, the key to creating a blog which will help effectively market your ecommerce store is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This can be broken up into on-page and off-page SEO; the former consisting of utilizing keywords in various elements in your blog articles, and the latter consisting of getting backlinks from high-authority sites.
Of course, this is an over-simplification, but that’s basically how SEO works. It’s (mostly) a one-time effort to optimize your articles for SEO. But once it’s done properly, you’ll be enjoying ongoing organic traffic to your site for a long time to come.
To do this right, you need to target the right keywords. You can use a tool like Ahrefs to find keywords with low difficulty to rank for and high search volume. My favorite method is to plug your competitor’s sites into the tool, then see what they’re ranking for. You can learn more about that here.
Let’s move on to the most common question: How long does it take to rank in search results once you start writing content?
Whilst SEO is a crucial aspect of every ecommerce store’s blogging strategy, it won’t be sending an influx of organic traffic to your site right away. You’ll need to work on an SEO strategy for quite some time (anywhere from 6 months to a few years, depending on your industry and selected keywords!) before you see significant results.
On the bright side, there are other ways in which you can promote blog articles and drive traffic to your site in the short run.
How to Promote Your Blog
Let’s dive in to a few different methods. First off, use email marketing to promote your blog articles to your newsletter subscribers. Just make sure you write a great subject line, because a lot of email gets marked as spam.
With newsletters, there are two things that you need to nail:
- The open rate (dependent on your subject line)
- The clickthrough rate (dependent on your content)
Be sure to use a catchy email subject line that will compel readers to open your email – for example, instead of going with “5 tips for plus-sized women to look slimmer”, try asking a question (“Are you making this mistake when it comes to plus-size fashion?”) instead.
Another promotion strategy is emailing your content to influencers. Just find some influential people in your niche and shoot them a message, like “Hey, [name]! I was just checking out your site and noticed you wrote about [topic]. I actually wrote an awesome piece about [topic] and thought you might be interested in taking a look. Mind if I send the link?”
(You want to ask for permission to send the link to increase engagement. Most people who get these emails ignore them; by asking for permission, you’ll stand out. This is a tedious process; you can use a tool like MailShake to send lots of emails at once!)
Finally, consider investing in ads. With Facebook ads, for example, you can reach out to a highly targeted segment of people and have them read your blog article, all for a small budget (the minimum spend is just $1/day)!
When it comes to Facebook advertising, you’ll have to experiment a bit with the targeting to find your “sweet spot”. Other than targeting based on location, age range and gender, you can target people who ‘Like’ the Facebook pages of your competitors, and even build ‘Lookalike audiences’ consisting of people whose profiles are highly similar to your existing customers.
Because there are so many options available, there’s a bit of a learning curve that you’ll need to navigate. Once you get the hang of it, though, you’ll see how immensely effective Facebook ads can be in driving traffic and sales for your ecommerce store.
There are some naysayers who insist that content marketing and blogs are “fluffy” marketing and that they don’t contribute to your ROI; as you can see with Marcus’s story above, this is clearly not true. Blog articles have been proven to increase conversion rates and sales in multiple case studies, and with access to the appropriate tools (at the most basic level, Google Analytics will get the job done!), you’ll be able to track the amount of sales that each specific blog article brings you. That’s all the clarity you need, right there.