Content Marketing for E-commerce
Have you struggled endlessly to drive a traffic increase to your e-commerce website? Let us guess, the effort was fruitless, right? There are tons of methods out there for e-commerce content marketing that are pushed onto SEO newbies that simply don’t work, some even cost quite a bit. What’s the secret?
There’s no secret. There’s no “quick fix” to getting internet traffic, especially the kind that generates sales. You can’t cheat the system, and no matter how much you pay, unless you’re hiring a webmaster, you’re not going to get genuine results that help you reach your goals.
The good news is that despite website a solid content marketing plan not being one click away, creating one is not hard to do. There are a lot of different aspects of what makes a website rank on google, and what drives visits to become conversions. The idea is to touch upon each one of these aspects and incorporate them into your own website, so you get the visitors you want and the sales you need.
Before you start to make changes to your website strategy to improve traffic, you should check your current site’s analytics. That way, you give yourself a starting point. From there, you can learn what works, what doesn’t, and best of all: you can see how far you’ve come from day one. Pay special attention to metrics like page views, pages per visit, unique visitors, average time on site, traffic sources, bounce rate, and exit pages. These give you a solid look into how visitors are using your site, and over time you can watch the numbers rise.
What to Look for in Google Analytics
Is one exit page especially common? There may be something there deterring people from giving you the time of day. Are the sources of traffic repeating? That means you’re doing something right there, and you should do more of it or perhaps put more effort into another channel. For example, if some of your traffic sources are coming from Facebook, it may be time to put some effort into your Twitter as well. Just don’t abandon the source of what’s working!
Check back every so often to make sure you’re on the right track. You need to know that the changes you’re making are worthwhile. And while it’s unlikely that any of them will hurt your traffic, it’s good to catch mistakes or outdated advice early if they come. It’s recommended to check your analytics at least once a week, but three times a week is ideal.
While the tips below are proven effective, keep in mind that what makes for effective e-commerce content marketing is constantly changing. While these aspects won’t hurt your content marketing strategy, getting the highest amount of traffic and conversions depends on keeping up with current trends and search engine algorithm changes.
With that said, try incorporating these aspects into your content marketing strategy, and you’ll finally get the internet traffic you’ve been pulling for all this time. The best part? None of them will cost a dime. Free traffic is the best traffic!
Content Marketing Strategies That Work
1. Create a Content Marketing Plan.
How do you do this? You need to look at your e-commerce site objectively and prepare yourself to dismantle and rebuild it if the need arises. If your traffic is plateaued and too low for comfort, the very basic source of the problem is in content marketing. That’s where your plan comes in. Your plan details what you’re going to market, and where you’re going to market it. You’ll also focus on how you’re going to go about e-commerce content marketing. Your plan needs to include things like: videos, podcasts, blogs, eBooks, infographics, and photos. Buzzfeed is a solid success story of what keeping a variety of content types can do for your website. Yours is no different. The more variety you have, the better your content marketing plan is.
However, your content marketing strategy doesn’t start and stop with types of content. You also need to review your website as if it were a business plan. What do you hope to gain? Who do you hope to gain it from? What do those people want? How can you provide their want for them, and what makes your solution better than others’? After that, you need to consider how often you should post and how you can get your content to be seen by a wider audience.
2. Ensure your e-commerce website content is worthwhile.
What does this mean? Your website content needs to be relevant and direct. Think of when you use Google in your own daily life. Which results do you typically click on? You click the ones with the headline that’s the closest to what you’re inquiring about. Getting the click is only half the battle. Your content itself has to be high quality in order for it to be worth visiting, re-visiting, or sharing.
As far as content goes, this is where you really cannot afford to cut corners. You should always start with a strong headline. Nobody will click if your headline is dull and lifeless, and nobody will click if your headline begs to be clicked on with baiting wording. Then there’s the rest of the webpage, blog, or article to worry about. Creating “hooks” to grab attention will draw readers in. Shorter paragraphs and stories will keep them reading. Not sure if your writing works? Read it out loud to yourself. Photos and videos also work wonders for keeping people interested in what you have to say, and to drive traffic to your website. Photos need to be high quality, eye catching, and relevant.
Want to keep people from reaching the dreaded exit page? Use internal linking to keep them clicking. Internal links are links to other pages on your website that are placed within the content of another page. While you shouldn’t abuse this (4-5 is generally best for anything under 1000 words), it’s great for adding to your readers’ experience and directing them to where you want them to go.
When all else fails: conduct an audit of your content. Sometimes, you can just have too much and it’s best to trim the fat. Redundancy and irrelevancy can be tempting sometimes, but ultimately, it’s awful for your metrics and SEO ranking. To do this, organize your content onto an excel spreadsheet. Then, comb through and decide what should be kept, what needs to be improved, what should be consolidated, and what should be deleted altogether. Then, act according to your sheet.
3. Make the most out of your social media presence.
Social media rules the world. Many people in our modern world start and end their days with social media. It’s essential these days for business plans, content marketing strategies, and for anybody that is looking to make their name known.
Social media is first and foremost a social platform. Keep in mind that most features exist with that concept as the primary focus. Because of this, certain features aren’t helpful for driving traffic to your website. One feature you shouldn’t use is the automatic “share to” feature that takes whatever you post on Twitter and also posts it on Facebook, or whatever you post on Instagram goes to Twitter. This is an easy way out and your followers will notice. Each social media site has to be optimized individually. What is eye catching on Instagram may not be noticed on Twitter? Hashtags trend differently on different platforms, quality is different on different platforms, etc. It’s worth looking into each platform to see how you should best use it for your website.
How often are you posting on social media? Again, it depends on the platform for how much you should. But for most success stories, once a week isn’t enough. Once a week posting will get your pages put in a cardboard box, taped up, and stored in the garage; never to see the light of day. Three times a week is the general rule of thumb for social media posting, but on certain sites, such as Twitter, it depends on the post. Twitter pages benefit from engaging with other users, replying to posts, retweeting, and conversing. But for your informative posts, you should use a posting schedule site to create a queue for posts, so you can post on time at the correct volume. You can also look up each individual platform’s peak time and schedule your posts so that they appear on time. This keeps you from over posting, under posting, and keeps your page on track.
What are you posting? If you were your target audience, would you click your link? Does it sound spammy? Spammy sounding posts will instantly deter an audience. You shouldn’t constantly be posting links or trying to drive traffic but should instead act like someone you’d want to follow. Post a mix of content, share others’ content, and be responsive to your audience. If one type of post seems to not be working, ditch it immediately.
Which social media platforms are you using? Twitter and Facebook are the obvious ones, Instagram is common as well. However, many make the mistake of neglecting Quora and Reddit. These platforms allow you to share your knowledge, experience, and casually reference your own site to help drive traffic to it. However, on these sites, it’s extra important that you don’t sound pushy, spammy, or provide false information. Here, you can lose credibility very quickly.
4. There’s publishing content, and there’s republishing content.
Republishing your content on large websites is great for getting your message out there to new audiences that wouldn’t have otherwise come in contact with you. Good content goes a long way, especially with republishing.
How do you utilise republishing to increase free traffic to your website? First, you need to find relevant large publications that are looking for content. That is, of course, if you’re absolutely certain that your content is solid, SEO friendly, and relevant to the industry of the publisher. Not sure where to start? Huffington Post and Lifehacker are two extremely popular publications that allow content republishing. However, there are many out there as large publications need a lot of content to keep up with consumer demands.
After you’ve settled on a publication, double check through your content to see if it matches their style and their voice. If it doesn’t, edit it. If it doesn’t even come close, write a new piece. If it really, really doesn’t, try a different publication.
Then, it’s time to pitch your content to the publication. You have the best chances of getting republished if you’ve already contributed to the site in the past via original guest posts. This will help get your foot in the door. Then, you have to write an email to the editor. Be sure to use a strong subject line and in the body of the email, include a link to the content or an attachment, and explain how you believe your piece will add value to their publication and why their respective audiences will appreciate it.
Even if you get republished, don’t start neglecting your guest posting. Guest posting is great for SEO and getting your name out there. Plus, it adds value to your industry and makes you more respected within. Being a reputable poster on various sites will be essential for getting your foot in the door for future publications, as well.
E-commerce Content Marketing isn’t Rocket Science
Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll see a clear path to kicking your website up a notch. There’s no need for gimmicky tricks, tips, and get hits quick schemes. Those don’t work, anyway. Start by ensuring your content is worthwhile, your message is clear, and make sure you’re catering to the right audience. On then can you then focus on how you’re spreading your message. Being strategic in how you share your content with the world is the key to getting traffic from the audience you want to your site, and relevant traffic results in higher conversions – meaning more money. By having a content marketing strategy and implementing these changes, you’ll start seeing your analytics numbers climb up in no time. It’s well worth the effort in the end, especially if your content is solid. It doesn’t have to be difficult. It never had to be. And the best thing about these methods? They’re totally free.