5 Reasons to be Blogging Online if You’re Selling Online

Selling online is getting harder these days. As more and more big-box retailers shift their focus to ecommerce, remaining competitive takes more than low prices and a website. This is especially true if your products are not unique.

One easy way to break out from the pack is with a blog.

Why a blog?

An ecommerce blog can really make a difference if it’s done right. That means keeping it updated, keeping it fresh, and posting interesting and relevant material that your customers want.

Luckily, it’s easy to get one started. Using WordPress, the most popular and free blogging platform, is as simple as a few mouse clicks. Our clients can install a blog right from the Account Manager.

How can a blog help your online store? Here’s 5 ways it can have an impact…

1. SEO SEO SEO

It’s no surprise (at least to me) that a blog can help with your search engine rankings. Google loves updated content. They also love content that is written in a way to be appealing to living, breathing humans.

As Google’s search system evolves, it’s gone beyond measuring keywords and links. It’s now looking at how well a web page will resonate with readers. Does it contain information people want to find? Is it being shared at places like Facebook and Twitter?

A blog fits this mold perfectly. You write a title for a post that appeals to your customers. The content is about a single theme and is relevant. Google realizes this and gives your blog post a higher ranking for the topic you wrote about.

BUT, make sure each blog post is focused and contains words and phrases related to your product line/ industry. The more focused, the better it will rank with the search engines.

2. Connect with customers

Although people buy products based on price and ease of ordering, they also will buy from a website they know and trust. If your website is just another store that doesn’t stand out, you’ll have a hard time swaying people to buy from you as opposed to a big-box retailer.

One powerful way to make a connection with your customers is through your blog. Personalize your company. Show them that you are more than a website with products.

Speak to them (and with them) through your blog so they see you as a source of knowledge and understanding. This type of connection can create a customer for life.

3. Introduce new products and new trends in your niche

Is there a new product on the horizon? New uses for an old product? You just came back from a convention with killer ideas? Use your blog to bring this information to your customers.

However, do NOT make your blog a walking billboard for your company. No one wants to read ads. Sprinkle in a product or two, but that should not be the focus of your posts.

Bring value to your readers. Keep them up to date on the latest happenings in your industry.

4. Provide information that your customers want

How to get the most out of XYZ. A great video of your product being used. Maybe a post about what you don’t like about one of your products (controversy can spark discussion).

Find out what your customers want to learn about, and give it to them. They’ll become loyal followers, and hopefully loyal buyers.

5. Highlight your customers

You want your blog to be about them? Make them the focus of some of your posts!

Get permission to post part of their testimonial as part of your blog. Interview them. Use one of their videos. Ask them for input or to even write a post!

The bottom line – When you focus on your customers, it makes them feel like part of your company. And that’s something more powerful than Amazon or Wal-mart.

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8 Comments

  1. Vert Studios says:

    Hey. Great article overall, and I believe more small businesses should enter the blogosphere.

    However, the statement “As Google’s search system evolves, it’s gone beyond measuring keywords and links”

    Seems completely unfounded. The good old backlink is still very much alive. Social signals are now taken into account, but I think their effectiveness has been grossly overestimated.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I agree that the old fashioned back link (but not if Google thinks it’s not relevant to the page, i.e. blog comments, forum signatures, etc…) is still powerful in terms of SEO.

      However, Google has been heavily hinting (especially Matt Cutts) as of late that quality, relevant and updated content is what Google is looking for when it returns the top results. The algorithm is changing to be more than just links and keywords.

      It’s looking at the total page as it relates to a theme, social factors (sure small right now, but gaining traction), and how the links to a web page inter-relate.

      A blog is a perfect match (when well written) for the things Google is saying it wants to see.

  2. Steve says:

    Question: is there a difference between “blogging” and simply “posting” new content to the website in terms of SEO / Google?

    Assuming that the blog posts won’t generate any comments, is there something special about, say WordPress, that gives it an SEO edge over posting the same new content via Joomla or Dreamweaver?

    • Great question Steve! Google loves updated content. It doesn’t have to be a blog post, it can be any form of content (html, cms, video, podcast, etc…)

      What’s great about a blog, like WordPress, is each post is optimized for SEO in terms of title tags, h1 tags, keywords (tags), cross-linking of related posts, easy to follow navigation for spiders, etc…

      A blog is just an easy way to not only publish updated content, but have it optimized “out of the box” for Google and company. But you can do this sort of SEO using any medium / software. It might not be as easy is all.

      Matt Cutts, “Mr. Google”, has a great video and slideshow talking about Google, SEO, and WordPress:
      http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-for-bloggers/

  3. I used to think that the Gold Rush of 1849 was the last chance for anyone to get rich. Now e-marketing is our present day repeat of the Gold Rush. SEO and social networks, and blogging are valuable tools in this exciting new frontier!

  4. Kevin Warhus says:

    Great post. Blogging has certainly changed so much about business and online commerce. Businesses can better build relationships by connecting and sharing with custoemrs in new, personal ways that were never available before. It is a great way to keep people up to date with the things your brand does, but it’s also a double edged sword. If a brand does not stay up to date on their blog and social media, customers can often find the brand untrustworthy and unreliable due to that inactivity. So, if you are going to do it, be sure you do it right.

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