Creating content for your eCommerce business is the best way to generate organic traffic for your website.
Why read about creating content for your eCommerce business? Because growing your business takes more than good products at decent prices. Customers are required. But how do you get them? Well, there are a number of ways to do this, but online advertising and organic traffic are the top two.
The problem with online advertising is the cost. Who wants to spend $1 per click in hopes of selling a $20 product every tenth click just to break even. Obviously online advertising has its place (for help with Google Ads click here), but there’s a better way.
Organic traffic is wonderful. I mean, who doesn’t want free website traffic? The key is to rank on the first page of Google for keyphrases that will convert to sales. If you can do this your car will always start, your back won’t hurt, and your wildest dreams will come true. Actually, maybe not, but you will have a chance at drastically increasing your eCommerce sales. Content marketing is the way to do that. Creating great content may be a better investment for you than increasing the ad budget this year.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is marketing by giving away educational material that attracts people to your brand. It isn’t directly about you or your products, it’s more about gaining influence by being helpful. As people consume your information they will begin to trust your brand, and they may even become a customer. Common forms of this include producing blog posts, videos, podcasts, instructional courses, and ebooks. However, the goal is not just to win over new customers by giving away content; it’s also about winning over Google.
Google’s ranking algorithm is no longer about keyword stuffing or trading backlinks. It’s primarily about user experience. If you want to rank in Google, you need to produce content that people value. Businesses can do that with content marketing.
How do you choose what content your eCommerce business should produce?
Choosing to create content for your eCommerce business is a great start. However, choosing what content to create is much more difficult. Thankfully, there are a few questions you can ask about content topics to help you make the right choice.
Before we jump in to those questions, you need to make sure you have a tool to do keyword research. We use SEM Rush. We have found this to be a phenomenal solution, but if you don’t want to pay for a tool you can use Uber Suggest. Eventually, you’ll need to buy, but Uber Suggest will give you a few searches per day for free. To learn how to use Uber Suggest check out this quick video.
Is it a relevant topic?
If you own a shoe store, you shouldn’t write blogs about baseball. Even if you create a blog post that ranks number one in Google for the term, “baseball,” you aren’t likely to generate any shoe sales. The topic has almost nothing to do with your brand.
You want your eCommerce business to produce content that is in the same vein as your products or services. That way, if your content does rank well, you will be generating traffic that has the potential to convert to sales.
Is it a rankable keyphrase?
Finding a relevant keyphrase isn’t enough. You’ve got to find a relevant keyphrase that isn’t out of your ballpark. For example, if you wanted to rank for, “Nike Shoes,” you would have no chance of ranking. SEM Rush (who we use) gives it a 90% keyword difficulty score, and a 1.00 out of 1.00 competition score. You’d sooner sprout wings and fly than become the first result for this keyphrase. We recommend that you allow your domain authority to determine how aggressive you are with your keyword choice. More on this later.
Am I suited for this topic?
Opportunity isn’t enough. You need to be able to execute with some great content. Why would you want to rank number 1 for a keyphrase that makes you look bad?
Make sure that you are an expert on the topic before you produce any content for your eCommerce business. Remember, the goal is to provide value. And if you don’t know exactly what you’re talking about but still want to write about something, be willing to do a lot of research.
Improve Your Ability to Rank
As you produce content you’ll eventually want to be able to go after more competitive keyphrases. Maybe you’ll never be able to target “Nike Shoes,” but you don’t want to be forever stuck with long-tail phrases like, “Men’s Brown Leather Shoes with Polish, Size 13.” Luckily, you don’t have to.
The more other domains are linking back to your domain the better. As you provide valuable content, people will reference in their own content and share it. Google will see that people like the content of your eCommerce business. The more this happens, the higher your domain authority will go.
Domain authority is a website score between 1-100. It indicates how reputable you are in Google’s all-seeing eyes. The higher your score, the more of a nudge they will give your content. Google trusts some domains more than others.
You can use various tools to check for domain authority. Here’s Nike’s ratings through Moz’s domain authority tool. They have an incredible domain score, and if you scroll down you see more of the top keyphrases they rank for and backlinks that they have earned.
We recommend that you try to produce content that has the same or lower keyword difficulty score as your domain authority. If you happen to have a domain authority in the 90’s like Nike you may very well be able to rank content on the first page of Google for some incredible keywords.
Everyone knows that to see maximum results in the gym, you go at random times, do random things, and eat whatever you want. Nope, you may see some results doing that, but for optimal results, you should follow a structured plan. Likewise, you need a structured content plan for your eCommerce business.
Internal links allow you to send promote blogs from other blog posts. For those of you that may not know what an internal link, it’s when you link from your content to some of your other content. Here’s an example. “Thanks so much for reading about producing content for your eCommerce business. If you enjoyed this content, check out our post about outsourcing eCommerce marketing.” When Google visits this post they will see that I left a link to my blog post about outsourcing marketing.
Internal links are also an SEO factor. In fact, if I didn’t put an internal link on this post, my SEO tool, Yoast, will leave me a little red frown to remind me to add one. Not only do they help with SEO on the post they’re on, but they can also help rank other posts too.
Implementing an internal linking structure allows you to tell Google which posts are most important, which ones you want to rank. You are able to create a pyramid of links that point to a cornerstone piece at the top of the structure. This tells Google, “Hey, at the top, over there, please rank that one!”
You can have many of these pyramids that help you rank for more difficult keywords. The key with each one is to make sure that every post is related to the top of the pyramid.
At the bottom of the pyramid, companies should produce content aimed at reaching long-tail key phrases that are easy to attain. They may not be that lucrative, and the key phrase you’re targetting may not be one that will convert. For example, a shoe store might target, “Can you wear patent leather shoes in the rain?” I just looked up this term, it has almost zero competition and keyword density. On the flip side, it only gets 10 searches a month. This could be a great bottom of the pyramid blog post for a site with low domain authority.
Once you’ve established the foundational bottom layer of the pyramid, consider writing content a step up. Here, include posts about things more specific to the ultimate keyphrase you want to rank for. Maybe “Soaking leather shoes in water,” would be a good choice. It has low competition and it gets a respectable 50 searches per month. You would then link your lower-tier articles to the mid-tier articles in strategic ways.
After finishing this, write your cornerstone piece. It should be the best piece of content you produce. Make it lengthy, include graphics, and maybe even video. Whatever you choose to include, make it a great piece. With it, you’ll go after whatever key phrase you’ve been coveting all this time. Maybe, “Waterproof leather shoes mens,” a key phrase that is geared to generate sales for the company’s special waterproof leather shoe line. It gets 140 searches per month. Producing this kind of content will help your eCommerce business have a fighting chance of ranking for competitive terms.
What Content Medium Should My Business Use?
All of them… They all work. Podcasts, ebooks, blogs, YouTube videos, social media, and more will work as mediums for eCommerce content. We don’t recommend that you only use one.
Each type of content can help build your brand, and they can cross-promote each other. Include a link to your podcast in a blog, share a blog post on social media, and talk about your new eBook in a YouTube video.
However, we have found that distributing content with blog posts has been the most helpful for our eCommerce businesses. Actually 86% of content marketers prefer blogging as their most important form of content marketing (source). It is much easier to target key phrases and build a presence with google than with anything else. And since we prefer blogging to other forms of content, let’s talk about how to make a great blog post.
Create Exceptional Blog Posts as Content for Your eCommerce Business
Mediocre content might rank… All you’ll need to do is travel 10-11 years back in time. If this isn’t an option for you, consider producing the absolute best content that you can. There are well over 600 million blogs on the internet (source). It’s going to take above average content to rank. Let’s think about it from Google’s perspective.
At the center of Google’s mission statement is making the best information easily accessible (here’s their full statement).
They want to show the best stuff first. How are they serving their customers if they rank mediocre content over great content? They won’t do it, because Google benefits when their users have quick access to the best information available. If you want to rank, you’ll need to produce something that provides serious value to visitors. And that applies to blog posts. Here are a few tips to write excellent posts:
#1 Provide Detailed Content
Most likely, someone has already written about whatever you’re writing about. In order to be better, you need to provide more information. Research what competitors said about your topic (just make sure you link to them if you reference their content). Think about the information that they aren’t including. Spend some time thinking about how you can provide more detailed content than what’s already out there. Here are some ways you can add more value than your competitors:
- provide a tool
- give step by step detail how to do something
- link out to resources that might be helpful
- include a video
- provide statistics and data
No matter how detailed a competitor is, you can probably do better if you try hard enough.
#2 Make it Visual
Movies and YouTube videos are a lot more popular than books these days. Reading is considered far more laborious than looking or watching something. The more visual you can make your content, the better. For relevant open domain images, check out unsplash. In addition to images, you need to be using graphics to illustrate your content. Infographics are one of the most effective forms of graphics as content for eCommerce businesses. In fact, articles with infographics in them are shared around 3 times more on social media (source).
How to Get Quality Graphics
1. Use graphics that have already been made by others. You can usually find some great graphics to use with a few quick Google searches. However, you’ll need to link out to them and credit them for their work.
2. Create your own. We prefer this route for the following reasons:
- the ability to create graphics that reflect our brand theme and colors
- flexibility to create exactly what we want
- we can provide graphics to others and earn links (feel free to use graphics from any of our posts)
We use Canva to create our graphics, and we highly recommend them. They provide thousands and thousands of templates that you can customize to make just about anything you want. It costs $9.95 per month when paid annually and $12.95 per month when paid month to month. They also provide a whopping 30-day free trial so you can use it thoroughly before making a decision to buy.
One feature we recommend for every Canva is building a branded color kit. You can add your brand colors as standard color options on their pallet. This allows you to easily create graphics with your brand’s theme without searching for colors all day.
#3 Your Content Should be Highly Actionable
You want visitors to learn something from your content, but you also want them to be able to use it. You need to tell, or even show, visitors how to use the content you’re providing. Don’t just say, “Create awesome graphics.” Tell your visitors how to create awesome graphics, maybe even show them.
Using screenshots along with explanations is a great way to make your content actionable. Notice how Neil Patel uses a screenshot with an explanation, making his content actionable. He is telling and showing visitors what to do.
Here are some additional ways to make your content actionable:
- provide step by step guides
- instructional videos
- answer questions before they even come up
Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to having highly actionable content for your eCommerce business.
Creating excellent content for your eCommerce business is a phenomenal way to increase profits. It may not yield results as quickly as standard advertising, but the eventual payoff of organic sales makes content marketing worth it. Follow the steps laid out in this article to streamline the process.
If you remember to select the right keyphrases, give away premium content, and use great linking structure, you’ll be ranking on Google before you know it. If you find yourself needing help with anything eCommerce, contact us for a free consultation.