Search engines love blogs.
The most popular blogging platforms (including our favourite, WordPress) have a fundamentally search-engine-friendly website structure.
The average blog will display many updates, one after the other. However, it’s misleading to think of it as a single, all-inclusive page. Click on a post’s title, and you’ll find each entry is effectively a standalone page, each able to draw dedicated Google traffic with unique niche appeal.
By covering a wide variety of topics and questions, you can find traffic from searchers who would never have otherwise found you.
If your store’s products have descriptions straight from the supplier, chances are that same descriptions appears on dozens of other online shops. As Google ignores duplicate content, you’ll need something extra to stand out from the crowd. The variety and substance of a blog will go a long way in selling your website to search engines as current and legitimate.
The personal touch.
While the “real you” may be hidden behind a professional online shopfront – and probably benefit from it – the blog offers a refreshing change of pace. This is your change to be a little more casual and open about your business journey.
Some business owners will bare their hearts and souls; others will simply share the occasional behind-the-scenes photo or anecdote. Even if your material is strictly utilitarian, a playful personal tone in your writing will go a long way.
This can help build visitor trust and long-term loyalty from those who want to see you succeed. Think of your blog posts as you would a Facebook or Twitter updates: a carefully-thought-out portion of your online marketing strategy, in the guise of a fun, casual update.
Be sure to ask plenty of questions. Ask your readers for their stories, feedback and general comments wherever possible!
Better customer service.
A blog comments section you regularly check and reply to can work wonders for your customer service.
Show the world you’re open, friendly and happy to take questions and requests. Transparency goes a long way in establishing trust. A purchase from your store will feel inherently less risky when the customer knows you can easily be approached afterwards if there are any concerns.
If you manage to build an active community in your comments section, it can also work wonders for the self-esteem. Emails and phone calls are generally reserved for negative experiences and complaints. In this more casual medium, you might find customers more likely to pay compliments.
A way to drum up excitement for new products.
One of our valued ecommerce clients, LanternShop.com.au, is a great case study on how to build anticipation. Their blog and Facebook page will often tease visitors with new patterns and products, as well as photos of shipping containers on the way from overseas.
As such, they often get comments asking how far away the next major shipment is, effectively guaranteeing sales the moment is does arrive. All from sharing an aspect of business most online shops keep completely hidden from the public!
Show off your expertise.
Blog posts don’t need to overtly sell your products (although a link here and can be very useful). Instead, it can be a wonderful way to build trust and establish yourself as an expert with general interest articles, reviews or “how to” guides.
Don’t worry if this only brings you traffic from overseas or outside your service area. The more useful it is, the more likely readers will want to share it (especially if you’ve taken the liberty of ending your blog posts with prominent social media sharing buttons). Better still, other bloggers who enjoy it might even link to you in their own posts.
This, in turn, feeds back into search engine appeal, improving your rankings and ultimately making future sales that little bit more likely.
Need help setting up, updating or generally getting the most out of your business blog? Get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help!
E-commerce website owners: have you benefited from a blog? Got any advice to share with your fellow readers? We’d love to hear from you!