It’s a common myth that running an e-commerce business is easy. Sure, you don’t have to worry about staff overheads or paying rent on a store, nor do you have to spend money on training staff to deliver face-to-face customer service. However, running an e-commerce business has its own challenges. There’s the pressure of the competitive online marketplace and the need to have a well-designed, regularly-updated website that stands out in a sea of competitors.
The good news is that you can make some simple changes to your website that will make your e-commerce business more competitive. We’ve rounded up some of the best below.
Add content to your product pages
Your product pages are, perhaps, the most important on your website. In the e-commerce world, product pages serve as an alternative to the tangible products that your customers get to hold, touch, smell and taste in real world stores. So you need to do everything you can to persuade customers to part with their cash and hit the ‘add to cart’ button.
There’s no excuse not to populate your content pages with rich, search engine-optimized content. Even if you have an e-commerce website with thousands of pages, it doesn’t take long to write descriptions and overviews of your products, or take photos and videos of your products to give customers a taste of what they’re buying. This is the bare minimum.
Set aside time to add a 200-500-word description for each of your products, and consider the benefits of outsourcing copy writing if you don’t have time to do it yourself. Oh, and you should avoid duplicating the same content from other pages or from manufacturer websites and catalogues, as duplicate content can cause your pages to be penalized by Google.
Write more about your categories
The chances are that your products are categorized by type, brand or gender, so make sure that you write more about each of these categories. Each category page should include an overview, a 500-word description and some keyword-rich content with internal linking.
You could then turn these category pages into “product hubs”, where you also write gift, size and style guides, and provide an all-in-one solution that services all of your customers’ needs. Doing so can offer endless benefits to your website and help you compete against e-commerce giants like eBay, Amazon and Google Shopping.
From an SEO perspective, this means you can target an entire category products and increase the authority of “hub” pages, instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket by promoting individual products, only for them to be discontinued in a month’s time.
Start blogging once a week
The benefits of content marketing are endless – and so writing a weekly blog post is the best way to grow your domain and boost traffic from search engines and social networks. Growfio wrote a blog article on the importance of small business blogs. You don’t need to be an expert to write engaging content – a simple 500-word blog post is often all that you need to drive customers to your website and encourage them to buy from you.
Content marketing often serves as a ‘sales funnel’ – you write an engaging post (whether a gift guide, an overview of a new product category, a seasonal post, a round-up of new styles, etc.) and then mention and link to your products and services. Interested parties will then click through to your products and buy direct, while others will finish your post and follow your call to action (that could be signing up to a newsletter, receiving a coupon code for a discount on their next order, or following you on social media). Every pair of eyes is another potential customer, and another chance for you to market your business.
If you’re not sure what sort of content you should be posting, here are a few ideas:
- 5 of the best X products to consider this Halloween
- Christmas gift guide: our favorite X products
- X product review/comparison
Content marketing can be time-consuming and hard to get your head around, but as soon as you make it part of your ongoing marketing strategy, you’ll see the benefits of your labor.
Accept user-generated content
When it comes to e-commerce websites, user generated content can be a powerful tool. Not only can it help you gain a better understanding of your target audience and increase on-site engagement, but it can increase customer satisfaction and help you build a community. What’s more, user generated content offers SEO benefits and increases the trust between your brand and your customer base, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
It’s up to you how you encourage people to create content for your website. Perhaps you could run a social media competition, where customers take photos using your products and services, or maybe you could ask people to submit content direct to your website? Of course, offering a reward in exchange for their time and content is the best way to get people to do what you want them to do, so consider coupon codes, giveaways or prizes.
As soon as users generate content and send it to you (whether it’s a photograph or a blog post), create a new section on your website to display it, or add it to your blog posts.
Consider guest blogging
Guest blogging is one of the best ways to build backlinks and drive traffic to your website – and it’s a strategy that you should consider for your e-commerce business. Reach out to bloggers and influencers in your niche and ask them whether they’re accepting guest posts, and then write an engaging piece of content that fits their audience and interests. Oh, and remember to include a natural link back to your products or services in your content, too.
If you’re new to guest blogging and don’t know where to begin, then we recommend giving it a go and “learning on the job”. Check out these guest blogging outreach email templates from Kissmetrics and give them a go for yourself – you’ll soon be glad that you did!
Nobody said that running an e-commerce business was easy, but by creating high-quality content on a regular basis and keeping your audience informed and educated about the services you offer, you’ll soon find success online. Wishing you the very best of luck!
About the Author
Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a marketing agency specializing in content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization.