Generating site traffic is the key to increasing an online store’s sales and building its customer base – something that every good business brain is well aware of. But while many ecommerce owners pump money into advertising, digital marketing and fancy site designs, very few grasp the importance of one very simple tool that can catapult your business into the limelight: a blog.
Yes, the term may conjure images of tween girls posting cutesy pictures on Tumblr, but in reality, a good blog can separate a business from its competitors and make it a go-to for consumers in the industry.
And the best part? It will cost you nothing but a little time if you feel confident enough to write the posts yourself or a minimal amount of money if you outsource the job to a copywriter.
So how can a blog boost your online sales? Here are just 10 examples…
- Improves SEO
This is probably the most important thing a blog can do for your site. A high SEO ranking means your site is one of the first to appear whenever a potential customer searches keywords that are relevant to your store, providing you with the opportunity to sell them something. Regular blogging aids this process by creating new pages, featuring relevant keywords and providing extra internal links.
- Supports Your Marketing Efforts
Blogging can be a strong cornerstone of your digital marketing plan and as we highlighted earlier, it’s far more cost-effective than most other strategies. In fact, 34% of Fortune 500 companies were found to be actively blogging in 2014. On top of implementing social media and advertising plans, you should blog regularly to create the brand identity you had in mind. What better way to attract the right customer and rack up a few extra sales than by drawing them in with your own words?
- Encourages new customers to trust you
Tweeting links to product pages will never be enough to generate consistent sales; you need to give people a reason to trust you’re not just after their money and that’s where blogging comes in. Writing helpful pieces that resonate with your potential (or current) clients gives people a legitimate reason to visit your store. This is especially beneficial if these pieces can include links to relevant products on your site.
For example, if you’re selling photography equipment, a post titled “7 ways to solve your lighting problems” could contain one or two points that direct readers to helpful equipment you sell. Be sure not to overdo it though; the post should be genuinely helpful and include tips that don’t cost the reader money.
- Creates a community around your brand
Just as social media interaction can encourage a sense of community, blogs offer people a chance to connect with you and your brand by discussing topics you’ve written about and even offer their own advice. Once people begin to interact with you and others in the community, they’ll develop a subconscious loyalty to your store. Just be sure your blog settings allow you to approve comments before they go live.
- Personalises your brand
Let’s face it – most customers don’t like buying from cold, faceless corporations. They like to feel understood and want to buy from companies who represent their ideals and know what they’re talking about. Tweeting and posting on Facebook is a way to interact with the industry, but it rarely says enough about you as a brand. Blog posts are a great way to tell a story and personalise your business allowing customers to connect with your brand.
- Increases social media reach
Every link to your site from Twitter, Pinterest and other blogs tell search engines that your online store is important. Creating interesting content means people are more likely to share links to your site on their social media accounts or even in one of their own blog posts. As well as boosting your SEO ranking, it also helps you reach new potential customers.
- Establishes your brand as an industry leader
Regular blogging about industry-relevant topics allows you to prove your brand is a notch above the others and shows customers that your company knows what it’s doing. This means customers have further reason to trust you and therefore spend with you.
- Connects you with other brands and sites
As we said before, internal links have their benefits and should never be ignored, but when it comes to real pulling power, links from other sites are the golden eggs. As well as bringing more traffic to your store, forging relationships with other brands and influencers through exciting and helpful blog posts offers you an ongoing source of support from respected internet personalities.
- Encourages loyalty
Brand loyalty is how you get repeat sales from returning customers and blog posts can help you do this. Regular posting is a way to draw customers back to your site without direct selling, and also provides them with useful advice for free, which is something that makes them think of you favourably when they’re ready to buy. You can encourage customers to sign up to your company ezine to receive updates about posts.
- Makes your customers feel good
While creating a community is a useful strategy, highlighting customers is also something that a blog is great for. Promoting diet programmes? Feature success stories from customers. Running an online fashion store? Showcase how customers are wearing your clothes and interview them for style tips (remembering to link to relevant products on your site!). Showing how real people are using your products is a great way to boost sales.