For online retailers, the most important part of your website is your products and the facility provided to allow people to purchase from you. Often the items you sell, the functionality behind enabling these sales, and the paid advertising to promote it all will take precedent over other parts of your website. But retailers shouldn’t underestimate the power of a good blog or neglect a blog they may already have in place. Done right, blogging can improve your SEO, increase conversion rates, and build brand loyalty.
Here are five ways you can improve your retail blog to make it more informative and useful for your customers, and in turn increase your conversions and profits.
1. Remember your purpose
Before you revamp the way you’re blogging, let’s get back to basics. Why are you blogging – what is the purpose of this activity? By remembering the point of doing this, you can do it more effectively. For example, you may want to blog in order to increase product sales or engage with your customers and build relationships.
Blogging should tie in with your ultimate business goals, so if you want to increase sales to a certain figure, that’s what you need to bear in mind when you’re creating a blogging strategy and writing your posts. It may be that you want to focus more on a particularly profitable product type, and in knowing this you can decide what to blog about and bear in mind your target audience and how you are going to encourage them to buy from you. Knowing your goals will also help you to figure out whether or not your blog is helping you to meet them.
2. Be customer focused
It isn’t just important to know why you are blogging, but to keep in mind the intended benefits for the customer. If someone is coming to your website and considering buying something, what will they want to know? What sort of content would be interesting or useful for them, and what is the incentive for them to continue visiting and reading your blog posts on a regular basis? You need to know because that will help you to forge relationships, build brand identity and gain loyal visitors and customers. So, make sure your blog is customer focused. You can do this by carrying out research into keywords people are searching for (which you should be doing anyway as part of your SEO work) and researching what your potential customers’ problems are, what they want, and what they may be reading about elsewhere. In terms of incentives, your blog might be informative or entertaining, and it may also provide customers with exclusive information, such as a first look at new products, to make them feel special and show that it’s worthwhile for them to visit your site. While you want to use your blog to promote your business and your products, you need to write posts that help your customers. Blog posts that only serve to promote your products without helping or informing your readers won’t help you to show off your expertise or show you care about them, and that means you won’t get many repeat visits.
3. Connect the dots with internal linking
Your blog posts don’t have to promote your products all the time – in fact, blogging is often a softer approach to marketing, offering a different type of content to the rest of your website. Blog posts for your retail website might take the form of:
- Explanations of products and their features (e.g. “How to Use the Focus Lock on Your Nikon”)
- Buying guides or product comparison articles to help customers decide which product they need (e.g. “DSLR Buying Guide: Which is Right For You?”)
- Guides for how to use or get the most out of a particular product (e.g. “5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Nikon D3500 DSLR”)
- Advice on more general topics surrounding your products (e.g. “How to Take Great Portrait Photos”)
In all of these examples you can mention a particular product, even if the product is not the main subject of the blog post. In the last example, while the main focus is on providing advice to the user, there is an opportunity for linking to a product on your website which would be ideal for taking portraits. Internal linking is important because it can help to improve your SEO as it makes it easier for bots to crawl your website. But equally importantly, it makes the website easier for your customers to navigate and provides you with opportunities to lead customers to pages where they can find out more about your products and make a purchase. So if you think blog posts aren’t important because they don’t help you to directly sell something to a customer, think again. It’s all about how you use it.
4. Find gaps in your content
If you’ve been working on your blog for a little while, it’s understandable that you might get stuck for ideas, or bogged down thinking you’ve done everything already. But conducting an audit of your blog can help you to identify gaps in your content, and looking at the products on your website can help you to fill those gaps. For example, you may have written lots of buying guides but there may be some products you are yet to do this for, and listing out all of your content can help you to see this. Or you may have written some broad blog posts about a topic but not homed in on one particular aspect to discuss it in more depth or from a different angle. By looking at the products on your website and your existing content around it, and considering what you customers might want to read about, you can create more content ideas – that’s more opportunities for increasing website visits and sales.
5. Promote your content
There’s not much point in creating content if people aren’t going to see it. So if you’re blogging, you should be shouting about it. You might share your content on social media, through email marketing, by promoting it to the homepage, or all of the above. If your blog posts are helping you to promote your products, then you should be committed to promoting them as much as you promote your product pages themselves. Then, when a potential customer visits your social media pages for example, they won’t simply see a lot of social posts with links to things you’re trying to sell. They’ll see blog posts you’ve written about how they can improve their lives, learn something new, do something in a better way, be more successful, improve their business, and so on. Your blog’s job is to promote your products and your business and build relationships with your customers. By spreading your content far and wide you’re helping to further facilitate this, reach more people, and potentially get more sales.
At SilverDisc we love to help retailers make the most of their websites, through offering a comprehensive marketing service tailored to your business. Contact us to find out how we could help you not only with your content and blogging, but a whole host of marketing and web development services.