3 Ecommerce Blogging Myths + What Actually Works

0


Ecommerce and blogging may sound like two things that don’t mix, but there are many businesses that make it work. 

Of course, tons of businesses don’t make it work, and that’s probably why there are so many misconceptions about the practice. 

In particular, three of them are worth investigating and debunking so that you can learn a few tactics and make ecommerce blogging work for you. 

3 Myths About Ecommerce Blogging

Myth 1: Ecommerce blogging isn’t worth it 

It’s easy to believe this myth if you’ve never stuck with blogging long enough to see good results. 

Depending on your niche, it can take anywhere from six months to a couple of years before your blog starts gaining traction—and that’s assuming you’re consistent with an optimized posting schedule. 

Meanwhile, in addition to posting high-quality content on a regular basis, successful blogs also rely on other tactics such as link-building, guest posting, developing content pillars, and, of course, extensive keyword research. 

This mainly has to do with how Google ranks content in user search results. 

For example, Google prioritizes content from websites it deems credible, authoritative, and genuinely helpful—otherwise, Google wouldn’t have a good reputation or loyal user base. That said, it often takes a long time for Google to treat your website the same way it treats other giants within your niche.

Think of it like going to the gym. Since you won’t get jacked after the first couple of workouts, you need to put in the time and effort to see results. Nevertheless, you can still take a few “performance-enhancing” shortcuts to win the algorithm’s favor a bit quicker. 

Prioritize long-tail keywords

Although they have lower search volumes than their shorter counterparts, long-tail keywords deal with less competition. This means you’ll have a lower chance of getting outranked by larger web pages when covering a similar topic. 

For instance, you can look up a short-tail keyword like “mountain bike” in a keyword analysis tool.

Keyword analysis for mountain bike

That same tool will show very different results for “full suspension mountain bike,” a related long-tail version of the same keyword.

Keyword analysis for full suspension mountain bike

Long-tail keywords also generally attract visitors with high-purchase intent. This is because they tend to be more specific, and users who type these phrases in the search bar have a better idea of what they’re looking for and usually intend to purchase it. 

Long-tail keywords go well in content like how-to guides, purchasing guides, product round-ups, and more. Just make sure to implement them when they make sense—no keyword stuffing. 

Repurpose content 

Adapting blog posts into other formats is a handy way to build up your online presence, drive more traffic to your website, and catch Google’s attention. 

For example, Nomad Capitalist does a good job of turning snippets from its blog posts into video content. 

Nomad Capitalist article titled Hong Kong's Offshore Profit Tax Claim

In Nomad Capitalist’s case, it often adapts its blog content into videos for its YouTube channel. 

Nomad Capitalist YouTube video titled How to Set Up a Company in Hong Kong

Repurposing content into multiple formats is an excellent way to maximize brand awareness and attract traffic from multiple channels with content you already have.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to blow your budget on camera equipment and video editing software. Instead, you also turn your blog posts into newsletter content and share snippets across social media.

Optimize content for People Also Ask results

People Also Ask (PAA) results are the expandable boxes that usually appear at the top of Google search results after you look up a specific keyword.

Once you click on a box to expand it, you’ll see the answer along with a link to the web page covering the topic in more detail. 

Google's People Also Ask results for full suspension mountain bike

Optimizing content for PAA is an excellent way to drive more traffic to your blog. For starters, your web pages don’t even need to hit the top spots of organic search results to get featured here.

PAA optimization is also great for creating content your target audience is genuinely interested in, and the PAA results themselves are handy for topic ideation. 

Google generates these questions based on multiple factors, such as current search trends, user intent, and how people interact with other PAA boxes. These factors help Google determine what questions its users are most interested in when looking up specific topics.

For some users, the snippets of information in PAA answers will compel them to visit your website even more than the standard meta title and description. It’s also possible for your site to be featured under multiple questions in the same PAA box, which increases your overall visibility on the search results page.

So, how do you get featured in PAA results? 

Once again, long-tail keywords are useful here—except you’re better off phrasing them as questions this time around. On average, 86% of PAA boxes are triggered by queries that start with “what,” “how,” “why,” and “where.” 

These interrogative words can also help uncover common pain points relevant to your audience so you can create content around them. Tools like AnswerThePublic are good for doing exactly that—simply type in your seed keyword and see what pops up. 

Another handy tip is to incorporate question-based long-tail keywords into your blog’s headers. Search crawlers often check your headers to understand your blog’s contents and structure. 

Lastly, remember that your blogs need to be in-depth, well-structured, and straight to the point—all at the same time. This tells Google that your content has both topical expertise and sentences that can fit within a PAA search result. 

Aiming for about 40-50 words per paragraph is a good rule of thumb. This also applies to featured snippets. 

Myth 2: Blog visitors won’t make a purchase anyway 

Most visitors who land on your blog via organic search results are probably looking for more information on a given topic rather than looking to purchase one of your specific products—that much is likely true. 

Still, a compelling blog post that appeals to visitor interests and genuinely educates them about the topic in question will probably make them trust your site and lead them to come back as a returning visitor. Of course, they may also poke around on other sites before ultimately deciding that your product looks to be the safest option. 

It’s the same story for existing customers; a blog with interesting topics gives them a reason to stay in the loop and potentially make another purchase. 

You can also use a few tricks to help turn blog visitors into customers faster. 

Implement lead magnets

Lead magnets persuade website visitors to give out their contact details in exchange for free goodies, like ebooks and newsletters. These can also be much bolder, offering exclusive discounts and/or free shipping on certain purchases, for example.

You can implement lead magnets in your blog via pop-up, exit-intent, or embedded website forms. The company Glossier does a good job of using lead magnets on its Into The Gloss blog/website.

Into the Gloss popup

Good design practices here include using a straightforward pop-up form that invites visitors to sign up for something like a newsletter, while also being very clear with the user about what they will get upon signup. 

With that in mind, it’s important to avoid adding extra form fields so you can keep the focus on nudging users to enter simple details like an email address and nothing more. Ask for too many details, and visitors will feel like they have to put in too much effort to sign up. 

Remind visitors you have an online store

Although it sounds unnecessary—since the whole purpose of your blog is probably to attract attention to your store—remember that many visitors land on your posts via organic search results.

Once again, these visitors are also likely to be looking for helpful articles around a given topic, and not for a particular product. Therefore, unless you include a pop-up that screams, “Hey, this is also a store, so submit your email and get a discount,” some visitors may not be aware they can purchase from your store in the first place. 

In Glossier’s case, its blog brings awareness to its store by including a button at the top-right corner of the screen that leads visitors to the brand’s online store. The button is intentionally subtle, but it’s also sticky—which means users will see it no matter where they are on the page. 

Glossier shop button

Following Glossier’s lead, it is a good practice to give users quick and constant access to your store without distracting them too much from the reading experience. 

Set up pixel-based retargeting campaigns

Pixel-based retargeting campaigns send advertisements across Google and social media networks to users who specifically visited your website. When users visit your site, a pixel (a piece of JavaScript code) is embedded in their browsers via cookies. 

This pixel then signals advertising platforms like Google, Meta, Pinterest, or LinkedIn Ads to send users tailored advertisements based on their browsing activity. 

Retargeting campaigns are handy for getting users who visited your website but didn’t make a purchase or enter their contact details to re-engage with your brand.

You can implement retargeting campaigns by installing a tracking code on your website through Meta Pixel, Google tags, or Pinterest tags, for instance. After that, you can roll out ad campaigns using your desired advertising network.

Myth 3: Blogs are the only way to attract organic traffic to an online store

Some business owners think that there’s no way to drive organic traffic to their ecommerce sites other than blogging, but that’s simply not the case. 

If you really don’t want to build a blog, you can still do well without one. In fact, loads of online stores occupy the top stops in search results and don’t have a blog. This is partly because SEO strategy involves a lot more than writing quality content. 

For example, your website’s performance and crawlability are also huge factors, and these are just a few pieces of the puzzle. 

Prioritize image SEO

Image SEO optimizes your website’s visuals to rank high in both regular and image search results.

Google image results for Skullcandy headphones

Since your ecommerce store probably includes loads of visuals for products, this step is a must.

Focus on your image alt tags—these snippets of HTML code let search engine crawlers understand your image’s context and index it accordingly. As such, they must be descriptive and ideally include keywords.

Image alt text for Skull Candy Uproar Wireless On-Ear Headphone - Black

The same idea applies to your image file names—Google uses these to understand and index your images. Having a default file name like “IMG0001.JPG” is not helpful. Instead, apply the same practice as in alt texts, but add hyphens in between words. 

Keep in mind that search crawlers treat hyphens as space bars. Not including them leads search engine bots to treat your image file name as a single word, which can cause indexing problems. 

Optimize website loading speed

Page speed is a direct ranking factor. Slow websites tend to experience high bounce rates and lower page dwell times, which are also ranking factors. Meanwhile, images play a key role for ecommerce stores, and they are one of the heaviest hitters in terms of site speed. 

Always compress images before uploading them to your website with tools like Compressor.io. Stick to JPG image formats, as they shed the most weight during compression. 

Other handy tactics to boost page speed include using Content Delivery Networks and enabling lazy loading for images. 

Set up FAQ pages with the right markups 

Another trick for making it on PAA results without writing a fully-fledged blog post is to have thorough FAQ pages. These include question-based headers and straight-to-the-point answers, which is exactly what Google likes. 

One important thing to remember here is to use dedicated FAQ Schema Markups, which are code snippets that go into your webpage’s HTML. These snippets use pre-defined labels to let search crawlers know exactly what a page is about and how to index it accordingly. 

You can see what this code looks like with an example from Google’s guidelines covering FAQ pages.

Google FAQ schema snippet

The “@type” : “FAQPage”  label tells search engines that they’re looking at a FAQ page. Meanwhile, the “@type : “Question” and “@type” : “Answer”  tags highlight each specific question and answer.

You can also implement these markups in dedicated FAQ sections at the end of each blog post. 

Keep in mind that you can use many other Schema Markup types throughout your website. Make sure to check Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to learn more about them and see how you can implement them on your pages.

Tips for Ecommerce Blogging Over The Long Term

Although it requires a lot of time, a sizable budget, and probably a few dedicated writers and editors, ecommerce blogging can easily be worth it.

If you’re serious about ecommerce blogging, the aforementioned tips can help you get quicker results—but there are many other factors to consider.

Publish your blog and online store with different tools

In general, ecommerce website builders don’t take blogging well and vice-versa, especially in SEO. 

For instance, site builders like Shopify and Wix make website design a breeze, but they are not very flexible in customization. In particular, they don’t offer the option to tweak your site’s HTML code for better crawlability. 

These website builders are also loaded with built-in codes for features you may or may not use—and since more code equals heavier pages, that means lower website performance and SEO trouble. 

Furthermore, most blogging tools are not designed to handle many product images, and some may even lack ecommerce-specific features like checkout pages.

If possible, it’s best to build your store on platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce and your blog on WordPress. Or, if you still want to keep your online store and blog under the same roof, you can use WordPress plugins dedicated to ecommerce like WooCommerce.

Either way, you’ve got many options—each with its own pros and cons. Take your research seriously and review multiple ecommerce solutions to see which suits your needs the best. 

Build topic clusters 

Topic clusters are groups of pages that cover multiple aspects of the same topic in detail. Topic clusters are made up of the following components:

  • A pillar page: This covers a high-level overview of the topic in question 
  • Cluster pages: These go into detail about all the subtopics related to the pillar page
  • Internal links: These are links that drive readers from the pillar to the clusters, and vice-versa

Topic clusters can do wonders for your blog. They help establish authority within your niche (which Google loves), and their solid internal linking structure allows search engine bots to crawl through your site and index your pages more easily. 

At the same time, they are also excellent at keeping visitors to your website, guiding leads along the sales funnel via educational content, and keeping dwell times high and bounce rates low.   

For example, Burpee has a blog that covers anything and everything gardening-related. Its website includes topic clusters that range from gardening tips to details about each specific flower, vegetable, fruit, or herb. 

Burpee's Gardening 101 webpage

In any case, covering topics and sub-topics relevant to your target audience is what’s most important here. 

Sifting through PAA results and doing long-tail keyword research will help reveal good content ideas. If you already have a few published blog posts, try to find a way to expand on them and turn them into topic clusters. 

Leverage your blog to build up a community 

Unlike promotional content, blogs add proper value to readers by addressing pain points without necessarily asking for anything in return. 

This helps audience members establish a stronger connection with your brand and makes them more receptive to your calls to action, which is a perfect starting point for building a tightly-knit community. 

However, rather than pushing your products at the end of each post, consider inviting readers to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media instead. This will draw readers into your ecosystem and help you close the gap between you and your audience. 

At the end of the day, if you regularly engage with your user base across all possible channels, many of them will eventually turn into customers—and loyal ones at that. 

Conclusion 

Admittedly, there is some truth to the myths about ecommerce blogging—because it isn’t really worth it unless you’re in it for the long run. Of course, if you’re willing to commit and have the resources necessary, ecommerce blogging can yield excellent results.

Just remember to follow the tips and tricks we discussed above. 



Source link

You might also like