How to Boost Sales with Blog Content for eCommerce Brands

Ronald Dod, CMO & Co-Founder of Visiture
October 30, 2020
Crafting informative content is one of the best ways to convert a consumer into a customer. However, cultivating a relationship with readers who will come back for information time and time again is a far more challenging task.

The fact is that content marketing can help an eCommerce brand immensely, given that content is a foundational element for visibility in the SERPs, social media engagement, the cultivation of thought leadership and industry authority, lead generation and other vital business activities.

But the reality is that most blogs fail, and for a variety of different reasons. One of the most prevailing is that it doesn’t generate immediate results, ultimately discouraging future content creation.

However, there are various tactics that merchants can use to cultivate traffic to blogs and boost conversions as a result of those visits.

For merchants who want to take advantage of the benefits that content marketing has to offer, here are seven ways to boost conversions with eCommerce blog content.

Focus on User Intent

One of the best ways to gain more site visitors who turn into paying customers is to create content that targets the intent of the user.

Of course, “user intent” is the reason behind the individual’s Google search. It is the outcome they aim to achieve.

For instance, if a consumer searches "best Bluetooth headphones," the intent behind the user's search is to obtain information that will narrow down their purchase options to just a couple of products.

When looking at how people search, there are three main types of user intents, often referred to as “Do, Know, Go.” Those intents are:

  • Transactional (Do): Here, a consumer is aiming to make a purchase or some other form of transaction.
  • Informational (Know): With this type of search, people are looking to learn, as in the aforementioned headphones example.
  • Navigational (Go): When conducting such a search, users are trying to get to a specific website or location. These can often be branded searches.

When creating content for a blog, merchants will likely be targeting information queries. These types of searches will result in a consumer finding high-ranking materials that relate to their search for knowledge.

Alternatively, a transactional search will often lead shoppers directly to product pages.

However, this isn’t to say that sellers shouldn’t link to their item listings within information blogs, assuming that the product is relevant to the piece. This can actually be a great way to pull a shopper from the top of the funnel down to deeper stages. More on this momentarily.

The sales funnel model is something that marketers use to delineate the path to purchase that consumers take. While there are numerous iterations of this model, the basics are that:

  • Consumers become aware of a product
  • Prospects then begin to consider the product, research and compare their options
  • Consumers make a decision and purchase a product or service

The job of site owners is to get consumers to move through the entirety of the brand’s sales funnel. Since awareness and research are highly dependent on the content offerings available to shoppers, merchants must craft quality content that targets top-of-funnel prospects.

Optimizing top-of-funnel content relies on uncovering and integrating long-tail keywords into various pieces. Since long-tail phrases are highly-specific and generate less search volume (and more conversions) than broad-head keywords, these phrases are a must.

Fortunately, a variety of tools such as Answer the Public, Keyword Tool, Ubersuggest and many others are geared specifically towards this task.

While all of these tools are extremely useful, Answer the Public is a favorite as it provides long-tail keywords questions that consumers are searching, thereby cluing in retailers even further as to what precisely potential buyers want to know.

In addition to these tools, sellers can also mine incredibly useful information about consumer queries from sites like Quora, Reddit and similar boards.

Optimize for SEO

While this idea was touched upon slightly with targeting long-tail terms and phrases, there is a lot more to optimizing content for conversions than just plugging in a few keywords.

For retailers to get the visibility required to earn clicks and conversions, it is necessary to optimize blog posts according to Google’s SEO ranking factors. Some tactics that merchants will want to utilize include:

  • Optimizing for the targeted keyword
  • Employing keyword variations
  • Adding images and optimizing alt tags
  • Linking to authoritative, relevant external pages
  • Including related links to internal destinations
  • Ensuring content is readable/scannable
  • Creating a proper meta title

Additionally, while meta descriptions have no bearing on SEO performance, they do influence clicks, which does impact rankings. Therefore, crafting a concise, alluring and accurate meta description is also a necessity.

Link to a Relevant Product

Linking to a product within a piece of content is a simple yet effective tactic for driving clicks to product pages and earning conversions.

However, the key thing to remember here is that the item must be relevant to the content. If sellers create a blog centered on ways to remedy plantar fasciitis and then include a link to great running shoes, that link will generate very few clicks and even fewer sales.

Alternatively, if a seller talks about and links to shoes or inserts for plantar fasciitis, it is far more likely that the content will earn sales as a result of the internal link.

The point of the post is to solve the reader's problems. If merchants have a product that can achieve that goal, then it is vital to include a link to the item. That said, do not promote products that are not relevant to the piece just for the sake of promotion. Doing so could damage a store’s credibility in the consumer’s eyes.

Employ Social Proof

Social proof has become a necessity in the eCommerce industry. With all the shady dealings that are happening online, consumers want to know that what they are getting is the real deal.

Therefore, including social proof within content and on product pages is a powerful strategy for increasing conversions and encouraging that elusive second purchase.

Some excellent forms of social proof that can be deployed in content or on product pages include:

  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • User-generated content from social media

By providing the evidence that other customers love their purchase, others are more likely to follow the same path.

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Utilize Visuals

Visuals are a critical element for content.

Including images throughout blogs dramatically increases the readability of the piece and helps consumers to retain more of the information contained therein. The fact is, nobody likes reading massive walls of text.

Therefore, several ways that merchants can increase the readability of a piece and keep it engaging include:

  • Using screenshots to demonstrate ideas, topics of discussion or uses of a product
  • Employ visual indicators like graphs or charts to highlight figures
  • Summarize blog posts using embeddable, easily shared infographics

There are a slew of tools out there for creating such visuals, including Canva, Pablo, Easil and many others.

If merchants are looking to create content that converts, visuals are a must.

Include a Clear Call-to-Action

No matter if merchants are looking to drive traffic to product pages, get readers to share a post or simply generate comments, including a clear, direct call-to-action is vital to meeting that goal.

The fact is that if a merchant wants to achieve something with their content, they often must make it explicit by letting consumers know what step they should take next.

By including a call-to-action at the end of a piece for visitors to check out a product page or other content, retailers are far more likely to generate conversions than if they were to leave consumers to their own devices.

Retarget Content

For retailers who employ tracking pixels, those who visit their site can be retargeted to on Google, through social media and other popular online destinations.

Retargeting is an essential tactic for earning more conversions as consumers have already shown interest in a brand’s offerings–be they content or products.

While some consider retargeting to be an off-putting practice, looking at the facts about retargeting shows that this strategy is extremely useful in reaching consumers, generating sales and optimizing conversion rates.

In today’s attention economy, merchants must remain top-of-mind. Retargeting adverts help them achieve that end.

Final Thoughts

Creating eCommerce content that drives conversions is critical for merchants to compete in the increasingly crowded online retail industry. Moreover, by targeting user intent with such pieces, sellers can reel in new readers and bolster their customer base while still catering to existing shoppers.

Utilize the strategies listed above to help ensure that your company’s content earns the visibility it needs to generate clicks and conversions from shoppers–new and old.

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