Blogging has changed the world of media forever. Now, retailers can have their own voice, generate their own publicity, provide engaging content for branding and thought leadership and drive search engine optimization organically.
The first step to successful corporate blogging is setting up your blog. While the blogosphere offers plenty of options for a platform, Wordpress is perhaps the most user-friendly hosted software available. Some eCommerce software solutions integrate their own blogging solutions into their platforms as well.
Here are five best practices for eCommerce blogs.
01: Don’t try to sell your product
It’s easy to get caught up blogging about your organization’s products and services. But blogging isn’t meant to be a direct sales channel; it’s meant to engage your target audience with relevant content that positions your business as a leader in the industry. For instance, if you specialize in gardening equipment, post content that reflects new trends or technology in the gardening industry, tips and tricks for starting your own backyard garden or pictures and success stories of customers and their gardens.
02: Give your customer a voice
Businesses are confused about user-generated content, and a lot of them fall into the trap of censoring the customer’s voice. You don’t want negative content about your company floating around on a site branded for your business, do you?
Common sense says no. Online media experts say otherwise. In fact, letting your customers contribute positive and negative feedback alike offers a chance for you to build trust with your customers. If a negative comment appears on your blog, respond in a timely manner with a friendly tone. Promise better service. Your customers will thank you for your honesty and transparency.
NOTE: Offensive and non-relevant content should always be removed swiftly.
03: Clearly display links to your websites, social media and other branded channels
While your blog isn’t a direct sales channel, there’s no harm in pointing potential customers in the right direction. If they’re really intrigued by your opinion, they’ll want to know more about the people behind that opinion. Giving them easy access to your sales channels in a non-intrusive way of bringing in new customers.
04: Don’t be afraid to use SEO
According to a recent SERPS behavior study, 62 percent of search users click a link on the first page of search results. There is no doubting the value of SEO, and linking key phrases from your blog to your website is a great way to promote organic growth by drawing in new customers. Insert two key phrases in each post and link them back to relevant pages on your website.
05: Write short, concise posts
How long is your attention span when you surf online? If you’re like us, you won’t last very long, and neither will your audience. Posts between 300-500 words are your best bet for keeping your audience’s attention long enough for them to learn something. If you create posts that are longer, your best bet is to split them into a series of articles. Recurring series leave a great cliff-hanger—or, if the content is older, it’s a great way to get visitors to view multiple blog entries.