Seven tips to market your e-commerce website
E-commerce websites have always had a tough time achieving excellent online visibility: all of those product pages and little else make for a far from enriching experience, detracting Google from doing its magic and ranking your transactional website amongst the echelons of the first page.
The good news is that content marketing can remedy this – but you’re going to need to do more than set up and maintain a blog.
Here are seven ways to really make a good stab at content marketing, if you’re serious about affording your e-commerce website the best possible chance within the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- It pays to be niche
There are in excess of two million blog posts produced each day, many of which are simply variations on a theme. I’d bet that if you ran 75% of that content through some content plagiarism software, a lot of copying and pasting would be revealed.
The content marketing mantra is broken, but only because we’ve been told to ‘produce content’, without any real instructions or specifications.
Your best bet for creating engaging content is to go niche. The more specific your topics, the easier it will be to write original content that actually ranks in search and gets noticed by your audience.
Think you’ve found a niche? Take it one level deeper into the detail and you’re likely to produce something worth reading.
- Video tutorials are great SEO juice
Not only do videos allow you to convey information in a more engaging way, they can also attract significant search traffic.
The formula for this approach is really quite simple, and it never ages: think of a common problem or challenge your customers face, and walk them through the process of solving it. Where relevant, be sure to let viewers know how and where they can buy the products used in your video.
- Seek out guest blogging opportunities
For an e-commerce business, it can be extremely difficult to acquire inbound links. Most sites won’t be interested in linking out to product pages
This is one of the key reasons why it’s so important to provide link worthy, niche content on third party websites.
The guest blog relationship is transactional in its nature: if you want that backlink, you’ll have to produce content that another site wants, rather than trying to shoehorn your ready-produced material into their editorial.
- Create review/comparison articles
Review posts are ideal for attracting potential buyers who are researching a variety of products. Not only can your post potentially rank for a number of product-related keywords, it can provide valuable information and guidance to inform your visitors’ buying decisions.
Do be aware that consumers are becoming increasingly wary of commercial reviews and generally cognisant that you stand to gain if they buy one of your products. Wherever possible, include user-generated reviews and ratings in your posts to boost credibility (see point five, below).
- User-generated content is golden
You can create content until you’re blue in the face, but without objective reviews and testimonials, your conversion rates will suffer. These features increase credibility and act as proof that your business or product is trustworthy.
Here are some ways that you can add social proof to your site:
- Set up review rich snippets so your ratings show up in search (great for getting click-throughs)
- Include social media counters on blog posts and product pages
- Pepper your site with customer testimonials, in the header, the footer or in a lightbox – and keep them updated! This is far more effective that keeping them in reserve just for the dedicated review page
- Use testimonials in your marketing materials
- Use ratings or reviews in social ads and PPC ads
- Meet customers where they are in their buying journey
Not every person who arrives at your site will be ready to buy. Some will be at the beginning of their purchase journey, while others will be ready to buy. Some may not even know they have the problem your product is trying to solve!
For this reason, e-commerce sites need to optimise for the complete customer journey. This will necessitate an understanding of how traffic source impacts the path to purchase, and what type of content you need to provide at each step.
As you write and optimise your content, be aware of which traffic sources are most likely to arrive at a given page. This will then shape content to that stage of the buying cycle, facilitating movement down the purchase funnel.
- Optimise your titles and descriptions
When talking about content marketing for e-commerce sites, we mainly focus on blogging, email and social media. However, optimising your product listings is also extremely important for achieving high search rankings.
Ensure that your meta titles and descriptions are within recommended character limits, target unique keywords between pages and ensure that your tactical metas always read naturally.
This last point is crucial where descriptions are concerned, since the rich snippet is the first thing a potential site visitor will see on the SERPs.
In conclusion, e-commerce sites definitely don’t have to be functional and drab. Using the techniques above, you can turn your site into a genuine content hub – and reap real rewards as far as your bottom line is concerned.
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