Last week I wrote about how you need to make sure your e-commerce platform can sell your products. Once you determine that a platform can handle your base needs it's time to start looking for those extra features that can make the difference between just scraping by or having an avid fan base that buys your products as soon as you release them. I'll be writing about one feature each day this week. Let's get started with the first and probably most important feature…
Selling a product is great… but if you can't get people to your site you're still not going to sell anything. You can either pay huge monthly costs for ads or you can find an organic way to bring people to your site. One of the best ways to do that is to use content marketing. That's a fancy word for creating amazing content so search engines know you're the most relevant result so they show your site in the search results.
Writing excellent content for your site isn't just a fluffy aspiration. There are numbers behind it – my numbers.
My Own Results
I've been blogging here for two years here and in that time I've gone from 15 visits a month to over 8,000. I haven't ever optimized my site for SEO and I haven't ever spent a dime on Google Adwords. All of this is organic traffic driven from my blog.
Back to E-Commerce
Blogging is great but let's take this back to e-commerce. Here's the whole point I'm trying to make: the more articles you write about your store, your products, and your industry the more relevant your site will be to end users and the more often your site will show up in the search results. This is basically free advertising.
Search engines don't want users bouncing from site to site they always want to show their users the very best results. In the e-commerce world that means being the definitive resource from start to finish. If customers leave your site to look for product reviews then add reviews, if customers want video tutorials then add video tutorials, if customers want comparison articles then add those. If they want guides to use your product add those. The more quality (and original) content you add to your site the better resource you are to the user. Search engines will see this when they see low bounce rates and fewer searches. Once they determine that your site is the ultimate resource they'll send users to you first.
Blogging for E-Commerce
So why is a blog so essential? It's the perfect vehicle for content. When it comes down to dollars and cents 8,000 visits a month could easily cost a business $2,000 – $20,000 depending on what keywords you're targeting. Rather than spend 2K a month on ads hire a professional copywriter to write articles for you each month. It will be more cost effective to you and your users will have a wealth information at their finger tips.
This is exactly why when someone asks me which e-commerce solution to choose I always point them to one that has blogging functionality built in. Either that or be prepared to spend thousands on ads.
If you want to learn more about content marketing I highly suggest you read some of Bill Belew's articles.