We continue our series of articles on the development of ecommerce projects. Today we will tell you whether an online store needs a blog and where to get ideas for materials.
Online shopping sites are replacing brick-and-mortar stores and traditional offline shopping. We saw a sharp leap in ecommerce last year, and now we continue to see its growing trajectory. According to Oberlo forecasts, global online sales will increase by 26.7% in 2021. Blogs help stores to draw the attention of buyers to themselves.
Imagine a young girl decides to choose an accessory for her graduation dress. It has access to hundreds of sites: from small showrooms to large marketplaces. Eyes run wide. Or a representative of the older generation, instead of the program “On the couch”, turned on a laptop in search of something new to give …
Often the desires of users are not clearly formulated, and if there is a formed need, people are not ready to immediately place an order.
The purpose of the blog
The task of the online store owner is to explain to the visitor who you are and how you can be useful. And to do this with any introductory – a person came to you with or without a specific problem – just a blog will help.
Ben Hunt, in his book Website Conversion, described the concept of the Awareness Ladder. At the first stage, the user does not know what he needs, at the last stage, he has already settled on a specific product.
In most cases, stores work with the last two steps – when they already understand how to cover customer needs. But we can also influence the formation of demand by consistently encouraging sales through content.
What results can you achieve by blogging?
- Attract additional organic traffic.
Each publication increases the number of indexed site pages and search engine impressions. The more articles you have, the more traffic you get and the higher your domain authority will be.
- Increase loyalty to the company.
When users are about to make a purchase, they carefully study product cards, look at reviews, read reviews. Blogging helps the audience make choices and builds trust.
- Increase type-in traffic.
When the reader realizes that your store is useful and helps to understand the goods, he begins to go directly to your site, without resorting to search engines.
When can a blogging idea fail?
- If the site as a whole is poorly optimized: product pages, catalog, section “About us” are incomplete.
- If the company does not take the blog seriously and is not ready to invest resources in it.
A blog is a great space for creativity, but it’s important to be able to manage it. Many online stores, unfortunately, cannot boast of this: they publish articles once a month and in the form of a “sheet” of boring or irrelevant text.
This format of work will not make the audience loyal, will not increase traffic and will not convert it into sales in the future. You need to refer to the strategy for the development of the company’s blog.
Who are we writing for?
Before starting a blog, you need to understand who your readers are and what problems / needs they might have. We cannot tell everything to everyone. For example, if you have an online store of musical instruments, you do not need to tell customers about which wallpaper to choose for the kitchen and how to glue it.
To understand in which direction to move, we advise you to develop a content plan for your strategy.
Schedule your blog posts. Indicate the topics of the materials, the type of publications (news, digest, article, etc.), keys used, terms of preparation, links. You can arrange everything in Excel:
With the help of the table, it will be easier to control the preparation process and the frequency of publication of articles. You will be able to track the results and see which categories readers are interested in.
The content plan should be flexible, as some topics can periodically “come out ahead” under the influence of the general information context. Let’s take an example: a store sells sportswear and equipment, according to the plan in the blog – a review of running shoes. But then the news comes out that Nike has launched a line of innovative walking shoes. It is more profitable for a store to support a fresh event with expert commentary than to follow a plan, as this will attract more readers.
Who prepares the articles?
We share the approach when an article is published not on behalf of a company, but from a specific specialist. The opinion of a “living expert” is credible. Preparation begins with the SEO specialist helping to choose a topic, keywords for ranking in search engines and draw up a structure. Next, the copywriter together with the editor prepares the text. For your convenience, we recommend using Google Docs.
Where to look for topics? We use search queries
- Analyze which publications are published by competitors.
- Go to Google Search Console and see the queries for which your site has already had impressions. Based on this, select topics for your articles. Google Search Console → Performance → Queries.
For example, for a blog of an online dancewear store, the queries “waltz how to dance”, “the history of the waltz” or “the benefits of dancing” are suitable.
- You can also find article ideas in Yandex.Webmaster. Go to the section “Search queries” → “Manage groups” and look for queries related to the theme of your store.
- Help with the topic and queries from search tips. They can be found both manually and using the service of collecting tips from Arsenkin. For example, we look for the query “buy corgi”, go to the search tips, select informational queries and write an article.
Or, in the service for collecting tips, we write a request and, as a result of checking, we get an approximate topic and structure of the article.
We advise you to use the questions “How?”, “Why?”, “Where?”, “What?” When searching. For example, there is a query “a person does not see what glasses close up.” You can suggest the article “We select glasses for people with hyperopia.”
- Another interesting topic selection tool is Answer the public. When working with it, you can use queries in different languages. And understand what customers want to know before buying a product.
- Yandex.Wordstat provides parsing of requests of a given length (2–7 words) with the entry of a key request. It can also help with the selection of topics: for this, we open the service and in the search we write the query in quotes the required number of times, and then we look at the results.
- There are also paid services: Key.so, Serpstat or Ahrefs. They “highlight” interrogative search queries, on the basis of which you can write an article.
For example, go to Key.so → write “buy a phone” → select the section “Complementary phrases” → download the file → filter the data according to the criterion “Is it a question”.
In Ahrefs, choose Keywords Explorer → specify a query, for example, “buy lenses” → see the “Questions” section with a frequency of up to 0-10. The tool will also help you create a Q&A rubric.
In Serpstat, specify the main query → open search suggestions parsing → select the one you need from the proposed options.
How many queries should I use?
No more than 20 basic traffic-generating queries are enough for all points of the article. When the material is published and indexed, the keys with the “long tail” will catch up on their own.
For example, for the topic “Bruises under the eyes – causes and remedies”, we used the queries “black eyes”, “why are dark circles under the eyes”, “dark circles under the eyes”, “black eyes is the reason”. Ranking for low-frequency queries after indexing happened by itself.
Where to place keywords?
Suitable places for keys:
- Beginning and end of text.
- Meta tags title, description and headings H1 – H6.
Services Overlead, Rush Analytics or Analysis of Highlights from Arsenkin will help to correctly distribute key queries on the page and not get pessimized by search engines.
Service “Turgenev” identifies problem areas and stylistic errors in the text. He also assesses the risk of falling under “Baden-Baden” – Yandex’s algorithm for detecting unnatural, over-optimized texts. If the content has received 8 points or more, we recommend reworking it, following the recommendations.
Structuring the text
How to maximize the topic and make the article interesting for the reader? It’s simple. We open the parsing of H1-H6 tags, enter the main key request (or specify a list of URLs) and check the hierarchy of competitors’ tags.
As a result, we will get a list of titles that are already in the TOP. It will help you understand what the article should be approximately in structure. You can add additional points and expand the topic even deeper, and due to this, you can rank for more queries.
And, of course, when structuring your text, don’t forget about headings and subheadings. They will make the article easy to read.
How to fill an article so that it works for sales and attracts buyers?
- Include photos and any other graphic content. For example, in an article about shooting a competition, DNS posted GIFs and videos.
- Use linking with product pages. For example, let’s take another DNS publication: at the beginning of the article about installing a kitchen apron, the company placed a block with goods (goniometer, drills, etc.). This information will be useful to the reader – he will immediately understand what he will need for work.
- Place CTA (call-to-action) buttons with a call to share material or subscribe to the newsletter.
- Include a block for reader comments. Discussions will increase the time users spend on the site.
A blog is a great tool for promoting online stores. It provides an opportunity to talk about business, products / services, the latest news and events. In addition, through useful materials, the blog helps the company to increase sales and shape the image of an expert, a leader in its industry.
However, before you “jump into the maelstrom” and start developing your blog, we advise you to write a couple of test articles. This will help you understand how much resources are required to create content, and also gauge the reaction of the audience.