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How To Make Blogs Work For Your eCommerce Site

06/03/2015

For a long time, blogs and ecommerce websites were mutually exclusive. Blogs were not set up to make a profit, and ecommerce sites focused more on products than on posts.

But now the two worlds are colliding and the importance of a blog on your ecommerce website is becoming a priority.

As an ecommerce website, you still might need some convincing before putting the time and effort into creating and maintaining a blog. However, there are a number of reasons why it can be very beneficial, including helping to get your website crawled regularly, adding value to what you are selling and giving you better insight to engage with your customers.

So, with all this in mind, what do you need to know before you create your own ecommerce blog?

Keyword Research

One of the most important steps when writing blog posts is to spend some time doing initial keyword research. This is to ensure that people are searching for (and are interested in) what you plan to write about. Keyword Research can also help you tweak the titles of your blog posts;

Keyword Research blogging

If you skip this step and start writing without any initial keyword research, you may find yourself writing content around a topic which people have no interest in. If you use keyword research correctly, you will find that engaging with your readers is much easier and in turn, this will drive more traffic to your website.

As an example, let’s say you’re planning on writing a blog post explaining what a blog is. You may have decided to make the title of your article, “What are Blogs?”, but if you were to spend a little time doing keyword research on the term, you would see that the search term “What is a Blog?” has over 10x the number of monthly searches.

Whilst keyword research should never be the only thing to consider when writing, it can definitely be useful at giving you a push in the right direction when it comes to article titles and keywords to mention in your blog post content.

For more information on this step and why you need to spend time on it, have a read of Phil’s post on why keyword research is important.

Quality of Information

Every article or blog post needs to have accurate information in it so remember to double check your sources. Do your research before you start writing – make notes and back up everything you are saying with facts or industry opinion if possible.

Remember: You are writing blog posts to fulfil a need for your audience – answer questions, write how-to guides – fill a gap in your readers knowledge and they will come to you.

Google Trends is very useful for gathering related information to your chosen topic. It can also help you uncover new avenues you hadn’t thought of going down. For example, when looking for the term ‘Wedding Dress’ in the UK in the last 30 days, the following results were shown;

Google Trends

As you can see, there are a number of relevant searches that have been made that you can explore to back up your original topic. Supporting your statements with relevant citation links will back up what you are says and give your post authority. The better the trust and authority of your article, the more likely it will be shared.

Quality of Writing

You want to impress people with your knowledge but they will never get past the first sentence if it is poorly written.

When it comes to writing blog posts, the first thing you should be asking yourself is, ‘am I confident in my writing ability?’

Play to your strengths – if you have a fantastic, original idea for a post but your writing skills are sub-par then outsource to someone else in your team. Here at Spiral Media, we divide and conquer when it comes to content. Each member of our team has their own strengths and we use them to create unique content.

Additionally, even if you write the post yourself, you should always get another pair of eyes on any written content before it is published. Even the greatest writers in the world often use a proof reader – if they didn’t, then eventually a spelling mistake or grammatical error would slip through.

Diversity

The written content is vitally important to any post but don’t forget the rest – imagery, layout and video can all play a vital part.

Break up your text with screenshots or images to highlight your points and, where possible, embed videos (with the owner’s permission).

You should start by looking around at what other blog designers are doing – you can pick up some excellent tips!

After reading Donna Moritz’s article on PicMonkey, I went and tried designed an image myself. The image below took me about 10 minutes in all, including sourcing the quote online (bearing in mind, I’m not a designer by trade);

Design Quote

This is super simple and, by exploring your creative side, you can produce some amazing things for your blog.

Presentation

Not only should your post be original, it also needs to look good. Your post should look like you’ve put a lot of effort into it.

This doesn’t just mean just adding great looking images or videos in, but ensuring that the overall aesthetics of the page look good as well.

It is a good idea to put together some posting guidelines before you start so that everyone who writes and posts is working together. At Spiral Media, we have a distinctive look for our blog in terms of font, spacing and layouts that doesn’t take away from the individual’s style of writing.

Before you publish, you should always ask yourself the following;

  • Is your spacing easy on the eye? – Too much space and the page looks empty, too cramped and the page looks overloaded
  • Are your paragraphs too big? – Break up big chucks of text into manageable pieces of around three or four sentences
  • Is the article balanced? – Make sure you have a balance between text, images and videos. The text is the main event and the images and other graphics should work with it, not drown it

After all – you’re trying to show off your dedication and commitment to potential clients, so it’s worth making the effort.

Phil-Quote_blog

Internal Linking

Where possible, try to link your current blog posts with pages on the rest of your website. It will help potential clients and other users to find relevant evidence relating to the blog topic whilst creating strong internal links.

The key point to remember is that clients will often look at your blog to check three things;

  • Relevance
  • Frequency
  • Quality

Over time and with enough good content, the page rank of your blog post will increase. This should eventually equate to leads and revenue for your business over time as more people visit your website and your traffic grows.