Running a supplementary online store is a savvy way to generate interest in your business and offerings. However, if that store is going to provide meaningful income, you’ll need to attract attention its way. One of your best options for accomplishing this is to run a blog alongside your e-commerce site.
Visitors who find and enjoy one of your posts via a search engine will be perfectly primed for a call to action directing them to your products or services. In this article, we’ll explore five ways you can make sure your new blog is highly effective. Let’s get to work!
What a Blog Can Do for Your Online Store
If you’re going to generate revenue through your online store, you’ll need to attract a lot of visitors. E-commerce conversion rates vary by industry, but are generally in the 1-5% range. The more potential customers you can entice to visit your product pages, the better.
However, many forms of direct advertising can be expensive, which is problematic if you’re running a fairly small, supplementary store. Ideally, you’ll bring in as many people as possible through ‘organic traffic’ (visitors from search engines and other websites).
Optimizing your product or service pages is a solid starting point. That said, you’ll be competing directly with lots of other businesses trying to rank for similar content. To make a bigger impact in search results and attract more clicks, you’ll want to have as many relevant, valuable, and attention-grabbing pages on your site as possible.
This is the primary benefit of starting a blog for your online store:
Each new post is an opportunity to bring people to your site who might never have stumbled across your business otherwise. You can then direct them to your e-commerce shop and try to land a sale.
5 Effective Blogging Tips for a Supplementary Online Store
So, how do you start your new e-commerce blog off on the right foot? Investing some time into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is valuable, but there are other strategies that can boost your blog’s effectiveness, too. Let’s explore five of the best ways to get the most return on the time and resources you put into this new venture.
1. Craft Goal-Oriented Posts
Blogs can have many purposes, but yours will be designed to increase your e-commerce store’s revenue. To succeed at that, you’ll need to have clear goals in mind for your content as a whole, and for individual posts.
Some of the most useful goals for your blog may include:
- Generating leads
- Boosting email subscriptions
- Increasing awareness about your products and services
- Educating current and potential customers about how to get the most from your offerings
- Promoting specific products, sales or campaigns
- Encouraging direct sales
- Upselling or cross-selling current customers on other products/services
For best effect, it’s smart to create posts designed to accomplish a variety of these objectives. Just make sure that each article has a clear CTA that’s directly relevant to the goal you want it to achieve.
2. Publish New Content Regularly
If your blog is going to be effective, you’ll need to post regularly. Sites that are updated frequently tend to gain traction quicker, and you’ll create a larger backlog of revenue-generating content. What’s more, a highly active blog is more likely to gain a loyal readership.
There’s no ‘golden rule’ for how often you should publish new posts. However, if you want to maximize organic traffic, it’s ideal to shoot for three to four articles per week. It’s also important for that content to come out on a consistent schedule, so people know when to expect new posts.
That may sound like a lot at first, so don’t be afraid to start small. Plan and publish one or two posts per week, every week, on the same days and at the same times.
Then you can ramp up the frequency over time. You may even want to cultivate a reliable lineup of writers so the weight of your content doesn’t rest on a single team member or contractor.
3. Vary Your Content
It’s no secret that people enjoy variety. If all of your blog’s posts are exactly the same, readers may lose interest. Varied and high-quality content, on the other hand, can keep people around long enough to make the jump from your blog to your e-commerce shop.
Variety can mean a lot of things, including:
- Publishing posts with different structures. You might feature ‘listicles,’ how-to articles, reviews, and so on.
- Addressing lots of topics. This includes the latest news and updates, as well as ‘evergreen’ content that’s not likely to go out of date.
- Making sure your posts aren’t just walls of text. Your textual content can be supplemented with images, videos, infographics, and even GIFs or social media posts.
This is another reason it’s an excellent idea to have a content team, rather than a single writer responsible for all of your posts. Multiple contributors offer contrasting styles and a larger variety of ideas, enhancing your e-commerce blog’s diversity.
4. Make Your Posts Shareable
Search engines aren’t the only place where people may stumble across your content (and therefore your supplementary store). Social media dominates the online landscape, including e-commerce:
You can increase your blog’s visibility immensely through social media, which means more eyes on your content and more click-throughs to your store. Posting your latest articles to your own accounts is best practice, but you can also get your audience to do much of the work for you by making your posts ‘shareable’.
To accomplish this, you can:
- Focus on creating posts that answer a specific question or solve a common problem.
- Add lots of media to your posts. People love sharing images, infographics, and videos.
- Invite readers to share directly by including ‘social share’ buttons and ‘click to tweet’ opportunities in your posts.
This is an important area to focus on, as it can open your store to brand-new audiences. When readers share your content with their own networks, they put your blog (and consequently your store) in front of potential customers you might not have reached otherwise.
5. Track Your Blog’s Analytics
If you follow the above four strategies, your blog should be off to a strong start. However, you’ll need to know what kind of effect it’s having. Otherwise, you won’t be sure if your investment is paying off.
In other words, it’s just as important to track your blog’s analytics as those of your e-commerce store. The right metrics can let you know if people are finding your posts, and how many of those new arrivals are ultimately making purchases.
At a minimum, for each post you’ll want to keep an eye on:
- Pageviews: How many people see the article?
- Average Time on Page: Are visitors arriving on your post and then quickly leaving, or are they staying around to read the whole thing?
- Average Pages per Session: Do people read only a single article, or are they encouraged to explore more content?
- Conversion Rate: How many readers click on your CTA and take a desired action (such as making a purchase)?
Of course, there are many other metrics that can be valuable as well. If you’re new to analytics tracking, the best place to start is with Google Analytics. It’s free and can offer a wealth of valuable insights about your blog’s effectiveness.
Blogging and e-commerce may seem like separate activities, but they actually go hand-in-hand. An active, varied, and goal-oriented blog can drive more people towards your supplementary store, increasing its contribution to your business’s revenue.
Do you have any questions about how to get your e-commerce blog off the ground? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Artem Beliaikin.