Did you know that adding a blog to your e-commerce site is an easy way to stand out from competitors? Without a blog, your site is missing out on valuable traffic, sales and brand recognition, something that can easily be rectified by taking the time to produce engaging content. If you’re not convinced, here are five reasons why you should pay attention to your blog content…

1. Create Valuable Content

Everyone knows that search engines love content, and having engaging, informative text on your blog will ensure that you’re constantly in their good graces. If you’ve already spent time perfecting your on-site content, your blog is the perfect place to expand the topics you cover by creating longer pieces that search engines will warm to. Posts over 1,000 words are ideal here and many successful e-commerce sites use their blog as a forum to offer customers ‘how to’ guides and answer common questions that crop up in the industry. Andrew James’ marketing manager Adam Jones suggest instructive blog content aids the overall customer experience. “Our main aim of blog content is to educate and engage with our customer base. Particularly as many of our products require a good understanding of cooking, we recognise the need to publish accessible and helpful guides that will assist our customers with what they’ve bought”.

2. Increase Visibility In Your Industry

We’ve mentioned that increased blog content can increase the chances of gaining valuable social shares and backlinks to your site, but why are these important? Creating content that people will naturally want to share and link to will increase the overall visibility and authority of your site. For instance, take the ‘on-brand’ thefixblog by Boohoo which obtained a number of links due to it’s contemporary and savvy content. As a result, their website visibility had increased, whilst simultaneously connecting with their desired audience on a personal level. Gaining backlinks to your site through your content is an inexpensive way to boost your SEO, giving you an edge over competitors and improving your visibility in the search results for key terms.

3. Build Trust & Increase Sales

From a consumer perspective, an e-commerce site with a regularly updated blog that offers valuable content will be viewed as more trustworthy than those that fail to make the effort. Sunglasses and ski goggles designer BLOC Eyewear, have strategised to update their blog on daily basis. Director of e-commerce Russell Godfrey, partially attributes regularly updating their blog to people spending more time on-site. “We feel that content plays a vital part in building up trust in our brand, as it shows commitment to offering more than just products for sale”. The trust Russell talks about, will also lead to one of the most important e-commerce goals, conversions. Consumers are more likely to buy from a site that they have trust in and that they can see are established contributors in the industry. Those new customers are then likely to turn into repeat purchasers as you continue to build your brand through insightful, informative posts.

4. Connect With Your Demographic

Your blog not only represents an extension of your brand but also, a platform for you to connect with your customers. Many brands rely on just their social profiles to interact with their followers, however, a regularly updated blog is a chance to offer more than just a Facebook status or a 140 character tweet! Your blog is also a valuable form of market research, you can gauge the reaction of your customers to certain types of content to tailor your marketing plans going forward. Take fashion designer and retailer Jules B’s blog which originally focussed on fashion content – much like the products that they sell. As time has moved on, they had recognised customers were increasingly engaging with their lifestyle blog posts (which weren’t related to fashion), subsequently changing their blog marketing strategy for the foreseeable future.

5. Let Your Customers Know Who You Are

Finally, a blog on your e-commerce site is your chance to establish who you are as a brand. A common pitfall for online retailers is focusing solely on pushing sales messages and promotions to their customers. Westbrook Cycles marketing director, Phil Harrison agrees that consumers want to know more than solely sales. “Consumers want to know who they are buying from and the principles that the brand holds. As a cycling company we like to visually promote how we work with green initiatives and local organisations to encourage cycling”. This rule should apply to any company that engages in relevant activities aside from selling products – make sure you use your blog to showcase your efforts and achievements. Although online shopping may have taken the personal touch out of purchasing goods, there’s no reason why you can’t use your blog to connect with followers and show that you’re much more than a checkout process!

Blogging is a valuable asset for all e-commerce sites and a vital tool for your content strategy. Taking the time to plan a schedule of engaging blog posts will ensure you stay ahead of your competitors, in a landscape where it pays to be visible.