Someone has to tell you. Even if your social game is strong and your website’s sales funnel is working well, your eCommerce store really does need a blog.
Why do we say this, when we know you already have so much to do as an online business owner? Because blogging—good content on a regular schedule—can help you grow your business in at least seven different ways.
1. Blog posts can improve your store’s SEO
The past couple of years have seen more businesses moving into eCommerce. Lots of local brick-and-mortar stores, retail chains, and even manufacturers that used to sell only to other businesses have all added eCommerce to reach customers stuck at home and make up for lost in-person sales.
That means there are a lot more eCommerce stores to compete against for visibility in search results. And that means you need to rev up your SEO engine.
Regular posts create new site content that can improve your search result rank. So can posts that include the kinds of keywords your customers search for, whether that’s “Bluetooth workout earbuds,” “organic hamster food” or something else.
2. How-to posts can draw new and returning customers to your store
Whatever you sell, chances are there are customers out there looking for tips on how to use it. This is true for everything from skin care products to sports equipment to home improvement supplies. So, give those customers what they’re looking for, and make your how-to and tutorial posts so useful that people will bookmark them and keep coming back to learn more.
For example, Lowe’s offers an extensive library of how-to content, each of which include product links, instructions and more. This is the kind of content someone might save and refer back to as they complete each step in their home-eco-makeover project.
You can probably do something similar for the products your store sells.
3. A good blog can help grow your eCommerce site’s email list
You probably already know that your email list is the foundation for effective marketing. If your blog offers content that your customers like and can use, it can help you grow your email list so you can get your exclusive offers, promotions and product news in front of more customers, faster.
You don’t have to use a pop-up box to get people to subscribe, either. Beauty brand Orly takes a less hard-sell approach with a simple, linked call to join their email list at the end of its blog posts, just above its social links.
4. Lifestyle posts can help your ecommerce blog become a hub for loyal customers
Building a community around your brand is a next-level marketing move, and it often starts with a blog. Notice that outdoor-gear retailer REI doesn’t highlight its products in these recent posts.
Instead, these blog posts cover topics that their customer base cares about, like conservation and wild destinations.
To create a blog that helps associate your brand with your customers’ lifestyle, you need a good understanding of your customer personas. And you might want to start small, with a single category on your store’s blog dedicated to lifestyle content. If it does well, you can gradually add more.
Even if your customers aren’t into one particular lifestyle or set of causes, they all want to get the right products—no matter what those products are. That’s why buying guides are such popular content on eCommerce blogs.
You can create “evergreen” content that draws readers year-round, like Lush’s blog guides to picking hair care products.
You can also turn out holiday- and event-specific buyer’s guides for virtually every occasion, including the Festival of Lights, as Chewy shows with its buyers’ guide to Hannukah dog gifts.
Don’t sell squeaky gelt? No problem—you almost certainly sell things that people want to give as gifts or things, and anything you can give as a gift makes a good subject for a buyers’ guide blog post.
Your blog posts will get more visits if they include great, original images. And those images can help your posts get shared more on social media, so you can find new customers and drive new visitors to your store’s blog.
Here’s an example that truly has it all: part gift-guide, part lifestyle post, this Etsy holiday-themed product roundup post with Nicole Richie has influencer cred and lots of well-styled product photos perfect for sharing on social media.
Even without an influencer-sized marketing budget, you can use your phone and some expert tips on taking product photos to turn out blog images your readers will want to share.
7. Your eCommerce blog can help you find your next employees
If your store is growing, you may be looking to hire new employees. Posting job listings on your blog is one way to let your customers know, but what’s even more effective is creating a blog category that shows visitors what your company is like, who works there and why they like it. PetSmart does this with an entire blog focused on their employee experience, with employee profiles and features on community-service projects their stores host and sponsor.
Yes, Your eCommerce Site Needs a Blog
So, that’s why we think your eCommerce store needs a blog: better search visibility, more site visitors, a bigger email list, more customer loyalty, more sales, a bigger social audience and a way to attract job applicants who are a great fit for your business.
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Machielle Thomas curates content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.