CONTENT AT THE FOREFRONT: THE BENEFITS OF CONTENT FOR ECOMMERCE SITES
Content can help grow your business digitally, yet many ecommerce sites skip building a blog or expanding their site’s content offerings altogether. The sites that do have content or a blog often aren’t paying as much attention to either as they should.
Expanding your ecommerce website’s content can help grow your business for users at every stage in the marketing funnel. These basic tips will spark ideas around the type of content that is right for your website and how Stella Rising can help you maximize your content investment.
WHAT KINDS OF CONTENT SHOULD ECOMMERCE SITES PUBLISH?
The strategy behind your site’s content production will vary based on your business goals. While content can be a powerful tool for any site, certain content is better suited for specific goals.
Consider the following types of content and how they may fit into your overall digital and SEO strategy:
- Non-Brand Informational Content: This content generally targets terms not associated with your specific business or brand and allows for topics that more broadly relate to your brand and/or products. Some ecommerce sites publish content that exclusively promotes their products, whereas others may aim to grow brand awareness by simply publishing content that can rank well in highly competitive search engine results pages (SERPs). It is still wise to select topics that have a connection to your brand and your brand’s offerings, but non-brand informational content allows for flexibility and more importantly, creativity.
- “How to” Product Content: Keywords containing “how to” tend to drive significant traffic and they almost always result in informational content ranking ahead of other page types. The following users benefit from “how to” product content:
- Those already aware of the brand and executing a branded search
- Return customers
- Users with specific purchasing intent
All three audiences search for more information on a product and ultimately want to know how to find the right product and how to use it.
- Branded Content: Although branded search is generally a landscape of homepage, collection, and product page results, there are many branded queries that yield informational results. Once brand awareness is established, users may execute branded searches to learn more about the brand. Pages like the About page or an FAQ page may be the most appropriate places to publish content about your brand more broadly, but product specific queries may require their own unique pages with optimized content. For users that have already made a purchase and/or are in the lower parts of the marketing funnel with intent to purchase, searching for information about a specific product may be their final step before adding to cart and checking out. Publishing branded content entices purchase but also fosters a positive, trusting, and long-lasting relationship between brand and consumer as they can return to the content post-purchase.
- Videos and Infographics: Your brand may lend itself to visual aids that can accompany well optimized HTML copy. Videos, even those on YouTube, can be a powerful tool in accomplishing your digital marketing goals. Video and image assets can be used by multiple marketing channels to further grow your brand, establish positive relationships with consumers, and supplement the copy that tells the whole story.
UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS OF CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing can be simply defined as unique and optimized content that is aimed at a given target audience and either promotes brands and products or addresses the audience’s concerns. Content will have an impact on your brand’s digital presence, so it is important to align business goals with your content strategy and tailor that strategy to ecommerce KPIs.
Brand Awareness & Non-Brand Search
For new brands, or those just entering the digital space, site optimization is essential—and content should be a part of that optimization. Growing brand awareness is critical; well-written, properly optimized content can help introduce your brand to the masses. For ecommerce sites, publishing content that targets non-brand keywords and answers commonly asked questions or popular topics can allow your brand to compete with legacy brands and publications in the SERP’s. Starting with non-brand content for users at the top of the marketing funnel ultimately leads to brand recognition and future branded searches, which are more likely to result in conversions.
A food brand just starting content marketing might be interested in content focused on topics like ingredients, which can simultaneously target non-branded keywords and their products. If that brand’s product contains a popular ingredient like avocado oil, searching the term “benefits of avocado oil” may yield a variety of results from major publications. These SERPs, however, are also populated with brand sites’ content pages. Many users searching for the benefits may simply be curious, or they may be interested in introducing products containing avocado oil to their diet.
Brands publishing content on topics like these, targeting high-volume terms, can build authority and grow awareness around the ingredients that make their products special and drive overall brand awareness. The traffic driven to your site through this type of non-brand search may not immediately convert, but that valuable traffic will likely drive branded searches in the future.
Traffic & Conversions
Once there is a solid foundation of brand awareness and a level of trust between the brand and consumers, you may want to focus your content strategy on branded search. Branded search, or searches executed using your brand name or other proprietary brand terms, is often one of the key drivers for conversions on ecommerce sites. While much of branded search may bring users from Google to collection or product pages, content has a place in branded SERPs as well.
At Stella Rising, “How to” content for our client brands has proven to be a successful part of an ecommerce strategy. One example:
- A Stella Rising color cosmetics client published content targeting “How To” terms and saw:
- A YoY increase in organic clicks of +18.9% over three months
- A +314% in sessions for a single “how to” page on their blog. That page made up over 7% of total sessions for the site during that time
Building Authority & Backlinks
Most sites that perform well in organic search and consistently rank on page one of Google likely have successfully obtained positive links and mentions from authoritative links from external domains. Backlinks from authoritative domains effectively signal to Google that other reputable sites trust your content and consider it high quality. Beyond links to your product pages in listicle articles on major publications’ sites, backlinks pointing to content can be one of the most powerful drivers of organic link acquisition. Well-written, well optimized, expertise-backed content drives links without even conducting outreach.
A Stella Rising client recently organically obtained a link from The New York Times that pointed to an article that our team optimized. That same client’s backlink profile saw 14.63% of the 3,000+ backlinks gained in the last six months pointing to their content pages alone.
BEST PRACTICES FOR CONTENT PRODUCTION
Whether building a blog on your ecommerce site or just expanding some of the existing content found on other pages, there are key practices to put in place that will take your content to the next level.
- Find writers that understand your brand voice: writing content for a brand site should not conform to a single style or format, but your brand may have a standardized tone, voice, and message behind all copy on the site that you’d like to see translated into your content strategy. The voice coming through the copy on your product pages should also come through the content on your blog posts. Build a strong relationship with writers so that you can publish content that accomplishes your goals and exemplifies your brand.
- Keep up with trends: identifying trends and learning what’s new in your industry can put you at a great advantage in publishing relevant, up-to-date content. Driving traffic to your site and seeing conversions is important and being experimental and current can help you to reach new users.
- Keyword research can and should inform content ideation: keyword research, and even competitive research, should be a key component of your content strategy. A talented SEO can identify topics that not only align with your overall content goals, but also offer the best chances at driving meaningful traffic to your site.
- Consider subject matter experts where needed: for highly technical topics, topics that offer personal or business advice, medical topics, and more, there is often a desire amongst users to know the information source and whether they can trust it. This need for trust and expertise-backed information is true for Google as well, and through signals of trust and authority, a single content piece can be looked on favorably by Google. This process positively impacts your entire domain, too. Citing sources and applying optimized author bios for each contributor to your blog can reassure users and impact your domain’s performance.
- SEO optimization can help your content pages rank: SEO optimizations during and after the writing process are essential. Applying optimized headers, adding instances of target keywords, adding contextual internal links with optimized anchor text, applying schema markup, optimizing images with alt text, and so much more can be done with the help of an SEO dedicated to seeing your content at the top of the SERPs. For content like recipes, specialized schema can help a page appear in the recipe SERP features, drawing users’ eyes right in and driving click through rate up.
Produce Content That Both Consumers and Search Engines Love with Stella Rising
With so many options to consider, so much work to be done, and so many goals to keep in mind, Stella Rising can offer the support needed to get your content ideas onto your site. Our collaborative approach will produce content that answers your audience’s questions, grows your brand and site exponentially, and transforms your ecommerce site into a hub of shoppable pages and informational content. Stella Rising’s content services are results-driven and SEO-backed to offer full-service optimization at every step. Building out a blog or a content hub on your site can work in lockstep with our technical and on-page SEO offerings to comprehensively optimize your site and help you accomplish your goals.