Generating new traffic and leads to your e-commerce store is, of course, essential, and building up a blog with an identity is an important step. But it is important to look beyond just the SEO benefits and build a long-term strategy for your blog. Here are the reasons why your e-commerce store needs a blog:
To boost SEO
Keeping a blog is the number one essential in SEO for smart e-commerce stores. There are 3 main ways in which a blog can improve your SEO:
(1) If you’re producing high-quality content then people will link to it and as a rule, the more inbound links you get from valid, relevant sources, the higher your rankings.
(2) Regularly updated content tells search engines’ spiders that your website is active.
(3) You can rank for more keywords by including them in your blog writing, as well as adding plenty of useful inbound links with your chosen anchor text.
Blogging is a good way to deal with common complaints and queries from customers. Every time a new one arrives, address it in detail on your blog. If people see that things they’re worried about, or interested in, are being addressed, then they’ll value your site more.
In a similar vein, blogging on issues that relate to your industry, especially if you go into greater depth than competitors, can lead to your becoming recognised as an industry thought leader by customers, industry peers and, critically, search engines. Plus there’s always the chance that you may get some wider coverage from the media, and an inbound link from a reputable news site is invaluable.
While it may seem a challenge, once you get going it’s not actually that difficult to maintain a blog. You only need post something once a week or so, and it needn’t be of any great length. Plus if writing isn't your thing it’s possible to supplement it with images or video too. If you employ staff then you can encourage them to contribute as well, giving readers a fresh perspective on your business and making it more relatable.
Running a busy e-commerce store can lead to a focus on getting sales at all costs. Keeping a blog enables you to flex your creative muscles a little bit which can then go on to fire inspiration in other areas - for instance announcing a competition on the blog then leads to finding suitable products to give away as prizes, which can help you focus attention on areas which tend to sell less.
Telling your story
Moving pictures have been with us for 150 years or more, but we still read copiously. That’s because text remains the best medium for telling a story - there’s no limit to the imagery you can convey as there is with film (unless you’re a Hollywood studio); it’s easy to digress; readers can pause and come back whenever they want - this is a great way for a brand to share its values, which can really help with conversion rates.
Blog content powers your social media
Updating three or four social media accounts every day can be a chore when you have to think of something new to post about every time. Being able to link back to a blog makes this a little bit easier since you can link to earlier posts too if you want. It’s an extra way to engage with your customer base, and it’s possible that Google may eventually consider volume of shares in how it ranks sites. Bear in mind that videos and photographs are much more likely to get shared.
It’s another doorway
Every time you add a new page to your site, every time you write on a different subject, it provides another point of entry to your website for a new customer. That’s a good reason why your blog should also clearly tell the reader what the purpose of your site is, and link to key pages.
As your blog starts to develop a reputation you may be approached for guest posting opportunities. If handled well, this can expose your business to entirely different markets, as many good writers have loyal followings. But be wary of accepting content just for links as Google is switched on to this tactic.