If you’ve thought about investing in your blog to drive traffic and increase ecommerce sales, your mind is in the right place. Content positions you as an authority in your space, while also makes your brand memorable. If you can solve a problem, and provide value before they ever buy from you, you’re more likely to get the sale later.
To get started with fresh content or level up your existing content, try these five easy tips to create a blog that drives more ecommerce sales.
1. Create Educational Content
If you’re stuck on what to write about, create a content strategy that drives sales with with instructional or informative content at its foundation. Recent research shows that consumers are 131 percent more likely to purchase after consuming educational content. Not only are you able to provide value to potential customers, but educational content allows you to target a range of SEO keywords that will drive targeted traffic to your site over time.
As you strategize your educational content, don’t get stuck on product demos or overly promotional content. Instead, create content outside the box, and brainstorm ideas that relate to your industry or niche that still helps your target audience. A jewelry designer could write articles on how to properly clean jewelry or store it for travel. An interior designer could publish blog posts with home design tips.
For example, Au Fit Fine Linens include sleeping guides and bedding tips in their blog.
Make the most of this content by promoting it through your email newsletters as well. Instead of simply selling to past customers and subscribers, provide them with something of value. Au Fit Line could easily tie their blog post about a “cool summer’s night sleep” into a newsletter during the month of July.
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2. Drive Ecommerce Sales With Blog Ads
If you hate the idea of using pop-ups and slide-in opt-ins on your blog, consider creating a sticky bar, sidebar, in-text ads, or post-content call to actions (CTAs) that highlight deals and promotions for your products. RetailMeNot found that 80 percent of shoppers are more likely to make a first time purchase after they find an offer or discount, so use this as an opportunity to share discounts that will get your readers to act.
The key is keeping the ad relevant and branded. If it fits with the overall design and aesthetic of your blog, readers are more likely to take note—and won’t be turned off by blatant advertising that’s not related to what they’re reading.
Notice how BarkBox promotes their introductory offer in a sidebar ad alongside their blog post.
These types of ads are non-invasive to your reader, but also effective in making the most of the valuable real estate on your blog. Notice how the Bark Box ad is well-branded—the font is similar to the blog header and it feels relevant to the content, making it fit into the overall experience.
If you want more resources on blog ads, refer to Grow and Convert’s in-depth guide.
3. Include High-Quality or Helpful Visual Elements
Images and graphics in a blog post not only break up the text, but also engage the reader, and help them visually understand the stories you tell. For example, Vinebox, a wine seller, published a blog post about heart-healthy wine drinking. When outlining the correct amount to pour for a glass of wine, they include a visual descriptor.
This is helpful for the reader, while also giving you an opportunity to include product images in blog posts. However, note that this image provides value. Don’t add images simply to include them. When choosing imagery for your blog post, consider the following factors:
- Quality: Poor stock images make your brand look bad, avoid them.
- Value: Does the image make the content easier to understand?
- Relevancy: Is the image related to to the text?
- Shareability: Is it a shareable image that readers may post to Twitter or pin on Pinterest?
4. Test Different Blog Post Formats
You can publish more than text-based articles on your blog. You can create engaging content via interactive graphics, videos, and imagery that will still engage and educate your customer, leading them to purchase. As you consider the various mediums to test, here are a few to start with:
- Video or vlogs: Embed product demos videos or other related videos in your blog post to boost sales. More than 50 percent of internet users looked for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store, according to Google. What’s more, video agency Eye View found that putting a video on a landing page increased a client’s conversion rate by 86 percent.
- Infographics: If appropriate within your vertical, create an engaging infographic to visually illustrate a process or information. Content Marketing Institute explained how Shutterstock used this format to gain six billion unique site visits and more than five thousand social media shares—that’s a lot of new brand awareness and traffic to your site which can then turn into ecommerce sales for your business.
- User-generated content (UGC): Reviews and testimonials are the most common form of UGC. According to recent reports, 60 percent of consumers say UGC is the most authentic form of content. Another report found that 90 percent of shoppers were influenced to purchase because of UGC. One way to do this is to create blog posts from long-form testimonials or reviews from happy customers. Look at how Natural Curly has multiple articles written as first-hand accounts from their customers.
5. Understand Basic Blog SEO
Lastly, if you take the time and resources to increase content production for your blog, you want to ensure it gets in front of your target audience—the people who will buy your products. You can increase traffic to your site, and ensure the right customers find you with some foundational blog SEO tactics.
SEO is hasn’t been a nice-to-have for a long time. It’s critical for getting your content to rank in search engines and drive traffic to each new blog post you create. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start optimizing.
Get the right tools: If you’re not an SEO expert, start with Yoast SEO, available for WordPress users as a freemium plug-in. It makes SEO easy for even the most novice eCommerce business owners, allowing you to set up meta descriptions, keywords, sitemaps and more.
Start using keywords: Keywords are critical for SEO-optimized content. Not keyword-stuffing, which was popular in the early 2000’s, but appropriate keyword use that guides content creation and drives rankings.
Start by researching industry- and product-related keywords and phrases that your audience would search for on Google. For example, valuable keywords for a jewelry designer might be “local handmade bracelets,” or “customizable necklaces.”
Use these to come up with content that a potential customer may be interested in. For example, “10 Reasons Customizable Necklaces Make the Perfect Gift.” Yoast will walk you through the steps on how to do this, but if using keywords is all new to you, download this free keyword research guide for help.
Add a meta description and title tag for each post: The title tag is the link that shows up in the search engine results page (SERP). The two lines beneath that is your meta description—see below screenshot. Take the time to customize both for each blog post. Think of it as the elevator pitch for an internet user to click on your site.
Finally, don’t forget about technical SEO, which may require you to work with an SEO consultant or SEO-focused developer. This involves assessing and updating page speed, URL structure, HTTP and HTTPs, mobile-friendliness and more. If you want your content to be found, you have to play by Google’s rules—and Google says to optimize.
Still stuck on SEO? Download the Big SEO Checklist for Content
Increase Ecommerce Sales Today With Your Blog
Your blog is a powerful tool for driving ecommerce sales, but you won’t see a single dime if you don’t put in the work to get your content right. With some optimization, ads and content creativity, you can turn your blog into a sales-driving machine. What’s more, it will continue to be a valuable resource to your target audience, allowing you to keep them engaged and interested before and after they buy from you.