Blogging is awesome and can be great for ecommerce websites, especially if SEO is an important part of your marketing strategy.
But when you are just getting started, it can seem somewhat daunting and that is why we created this dedicated guide on blogging for ecommerce, where we cover everything from why it will benefit your site to how to create a well written blog post.
Why Should you add a Blog to your Ecommerce Website?
1. To Educate and Inform the Reader
One of the BIGGEST mistakes I see ecommerce websites make when they start blogging is not understanding what the purpose of the blog should be and they fall into a trap of their posts being:
- A glorified sales pitch
- A self focused post such as how I am or how we did
These two types of posts are destined for failure as 1) most people will spot the sales pitch and click off and 2) most people don’t care about what you did!
But when you look at successful blogs, whether on ecommerce websites or just general blogs, they all have one thing in common and that is that they Educate and/or Inform the reader on whatever the subject of the post is about and when done right, your blog can become a very useful resource for people.
#2 Grow Your Website’s Authority
If you are not sure what I mean by website authority, every site has a domain rating or domain authority and these are provided by some of the main SEO tools (the most popular one is from Ahrefs) and the rating is primarily based on your backlink profile.
And while you can generate backlinks to your product pages, most backlinks are generated from high quality blog posts and when you get these backlinks, it improves your EAT rating, which stands for:
EAT was introduced in a Google update a few years ago and these three elements help Google differentiate good content from bad and the higher your EAT, the more likely Google are to put you higher in their rankings.
Now unfortunately, there isn’t anywhere where you can check your EAT score but in general, the better your backlinks profile, the higher the score.
#3 Attract a Different Type of Visitor
Whenever we are buying a product, there is a process that we all go through and there are 4 main steps.
Most ecommerce product pages are going to fall somewhere between step 3 and 4 but as most blogs are informative, people visit these much earlier in the buying process, somewhere around step 2 and 3.
And this provides a very good opportunity to get your website in front of potential customers much earlier in the buying process and with well written posts, potentially with links to suitable products, you could turn someone who is in the research stage into a paying customer.
Ecommerce Blog Post Ideas
Now you have an idea why you should add a blog to your website, lets take a look at the different types of post that you can create and for ecommerce websites, I have identified six different types that can generate more traffic.
1. How to Guides and Tutorials
One of the best types of blog posts that an ecommerce website can produce is are How To posts as these not only:
- Show how much knowledge and experience you have in your chosen niche
- Generate sales as you can link back to products that you stock
When you are creating a How To post, you want to give as much in-depth information as you can but also remember that you are more than likely going to be targeting beginners, so keep it beginner friendly and don’t go too heavy on niche specific terminology.
There are many different types of How To posts that you can create from small ones such as:
- How to assemble a product, think flat pack furniture!
- How to use a product, might seem obvious but remember, this is brand new to someone and they might not have a clue how to even turn it on, let alone use it.
These are great posts to create and can be very helpful, video tutorials can also be great to embed as well. You can also do much larger How To posts, such as:
- How to do a project
- How to achieve a specified outcome
These are going to be less product focused but by creating super in depth How To posts, where you show your expertise, in builds trust with the reader and can also generate the much prized backlink!
Larger How To guides are great for adding links in to your products and people will be more likely to click through and buy as they can see what benefit having that product will be when they are doing there own project.
2. Buyers Guides
Buyers guides can attract visitors who are at the very start of the buying process, they have an idea what they want but have no idea what they need to be looking for.
And you have the opportunity to educate them on the subject and in these types of posts, you want to include as much relevant information as you can as you really want it to be the best resource on the internet about your chosen subject.
Within these types of post, you also want to include lots of information such as facts, figures and statistics, especially if you can post this information from original research as it is data packed posts such as this that can generate backlinks.
These types of posts can also potentially generate sales due to the trust factor that posts of this type can generate and when they are ready to buy, they may come straight back to your site to make the purchase.
3. Product Comparison Posts
These are quite similar to review posts but instead of a single product, you take two or more and compare them head to head to see which one is the better option.
Comparison posts can often lead to the reader making a decision as to which one to go for as they have narrowed the options down to just a couple and want a final nudge into which one to go for.
As with the review posts, you want these to be honest and unbiased but you also want to come to a logical conclusion.
Sometimes it can be a simple conclusion like ‘Product A is better than Product B’ but you may come up with a conclusion that ‘Product A is better in this situation and Product B is better in another situation’. Whatever the conclusion is, you are giving the reader your opinion and that is often enough to help them make up their mind.
4. Best of Lists
Best of lists fall very much in the centre of the buying process as they know what type of product they are looking for but want to know what the best products that are out there.
To add credibility to your best of list, it helps if you have reviewed lots of products that could be on that list and the top 5 or top 10 are the ones that you have rated the highest.
But as with the two types of post mentioned above, be honest and list the pros and cons of each product. You may could also include tags to certain products such as:
- Best budget option
- Best value for money
- Best for beginners
- Easiest to use
- Best feature (if it excels at one thing)
Adding these types of tags gives credibility as to why that product is on the list, it can also help the reader narrow down the products that they might by to one or two and that is why it is worth leaving a link to the full review and also the product page as well, so that they can progress further down the process, while staying on your site.
5. Gift Guides
Not everyone you are selling to is going to be the end user of the product, many potential customers will be friends or family who are looking to buy presents for birthdays or Christmas and gift guides can be great especially for ecommerce businesses built around hobbies or niches.
This is because people outside of these hobbies or niches aren’t really going to know what they are looking for, so you can provide a list of items that are great gift ideas.
6. Informative Comparisons
The first three types of post of very much product orientated and should attract visitors to your site who are at some point between Browsing and being Ready to Buy but the next three are more information based and can attract visitors who are at a much earlier stage in the buying process.
The first of these is informative comparisons and unlike the Product Comparisons, they are more about informing your visitors about the differences between different types of products, for example:
- The difference between Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras
- Impact Driver vs Hammer Drill, what is the difference?
People searching these types of questions aren’t yet at the point of buying as they trying to find out what type of product they are buying, so they in more of a research mindset but posting the odd link to examples of each product wouldn’t hurt (just don’t be spammy).
But by creating a comprehensive comparison between the two types of products, you are educating the reader and in their eyes, you are an authority on the subject.
A secondary benefit to this type of post is that other websites may link to your article as a good source of information, which looks great to search engines.
7. Answer Common Questions
Think of these types of posts as an FAQ page on steroids!
When you are selling products, you will probably find that you getting the same question over and over again and it can be time consuming to type the same answer or slight variation to that answer out every single time.
This can be a great opportunity to create and in-depth and detailed answer to these common questions, this post in fact is very much a case in point as blogging and SEO for ecommerce are things I commonly get asked about, so rather than typing out a lengthy reply, I have simply created this blog post that I can refer people to.
How To Write A Blog Post
The next step is to actually sit down and write your blog and in order to increase the chance of your post being successful, you want to craft it in the best possible way and below is the process you want to go through in order the achieve this.
Step 1: Keyword Research
When you have got an idea about a blog post you would like to create, it can be tempting to just sit down and start typing away but this can be a complete waste of time as you need to find out if people are actually looking for information on that subject.
And this is where keyword research becomes hugely important as it allows you to find out:
- What kind of words or phrases are they use
- If people are searching for information around that subject
- Secondary keywords that you can use and also potentially rank for
- Who your competition is
So you want to make sure that you always do you keyword research before starting an post and lets look at these 4 things in more detail.
Finding The Right Keywords
The first step in your Keyword Research is finding out the keywords or phrases that people are searching for and on of the easiest ways to check this is to use Google Autosuggest, which is very easy to do, simply go to Google and start typing on what your initial idea for the blog post is.
If Google autosuggests the title that you were thinking of, then it means that people have been searching for that recently and is a good indication that there is potential to get traffic for that term.
If however, there is no autosuggestions for the title you were thinking of, then there probably aren’t many, if any people search for that specific phrase and this is where you need to start tweaking your title to see if there are search terms that are similar but worded differently.
Using this method of finding what people are searching for can often lead to you creating a few different options for titles of your post.
Are People Searching For This Subject?
This is basically answered by the autosuggest method above as it only suggests searches that have been made recently but you can delve into this a bit deeper with Google’s Keyword Planner search volume tool, which gives you an estimate of the number of searches made for that term.
As you can see in the image below, the average number of searches (across a 12 month period) ranged between 1k and 10k a month, meaning that there is people searching for this term.
This tool also lets you see if there has been any changes in terms of volume for this search across a three month period and also compared to the same point the previous year.
Many people pay too much attention to the Competition column but the Keyword Planner is primarily for Google Ads and this only shows the competition if you were to run ads for this term, not the competition for organic results.
You can also use paid tools such as Ahrefs or Ubersuggest (you get 3 free searches on Ubersuggest a day), which give more specific estimates but once again, these are only estimates, not exact figures.
You want a primary keyword or phrase for your post but also want to look for secondary keywords that you could also potentially rank for as you want to get the most bang for your buck with each post you create.
Fortunately, Google’s Keyword Planner can also be used for this as they have a tool for discovering new keyword that are similar to the main search query that you entered and this can provide some very useful ideas and in some cases better potential titles for your post.
Another source for finding secondary keywords is the related searches option that appears at the bottom of most Google results pages as this shows searches that are similar to the one made and if it appears here, it means that people have been searching for these terms recently.
You want to do this for all of the potential blog post titles that you are thinking of using and this will give you a good selection of keywords and phrases that you can include in your blog post.
Also take a look at the titles of the posts that appear on page one in your search, are they using that specific title or something slightly different? If titles aren’t all the same, then there may be an opportunity there for you to rank your post.
You can also use the alternative titles that others are using and do some search analysis around these terms as well.
For pretty much any search term, you are going to face competition but you can increase your chances of ranking higher by focusing on search terms with easier competition and here are a couple of things to look for:
#1 Do the Search Results Exactly Match the Search Query?
If all of the results on page one match the search query exactly, then you are probably facing stiffer competition for this search term.
If however, the posts don’t exactly match the search query and especially if none of the top posts actually answer the question, then it improves your chance of ranking for it.
#2 What Type of Sites Rank on Page 1?
If all of the results on page one are websites or blogs, then the competition for this search term is quite high as these sites have established that they can potentially get traffic for this search term.
But if there are only a couple of blogs and question sites like Quora and/or Reddit alongside forums, then it shows that the competition is quite low as these types of sites don’t rank high if there is stiff competition.
#3 How Strong Is The Competition?
Next up is how strong is the competition and this is based on the EAT of the site that we talked about at the start of this post and if the DA (Domain Authority) of the sites on page 1 is high, then you are going to have a tougher time ranking for this search term, especially if your DA is low.
To check the DA of your competition, Ahrefs Domain Checker is one of the better ones out there.
If the competition is somewhat average, look at their posts and ask yourself 3 questions:
- Is the content any good?
- Does the content really answer the question?
- Can I produce a much better quality post?
If the answer to the first two is its ok or no and you know that you can write a much better post, then it is definitely a post that is worth considering.
This can also sometimes be the case with some of the big names in your chosen niche as they have a half decent post that ranks well but if you can produce a really top quality piece of content, then you can out rank them.
Step 2: Plan out the Content
Now you know what the post is going to be about and have a list of keywords that you want to include, you need to plan out your content, so that:
- It makes sense
- It has a logical flow
- It answers the question
Now obviously, you need to plan what you are going to write but there are a couple of other elements you want to think about before you start bashing the keys!
The title is the sales pitch for your post and writing a good one can be the difference between people clicking and not, so when you are creating a title, you want to:
- Include the Main keyword or phrase for the article
- Keep to shorter than 60 characters
- Make it read organically, as if you was saying it to someone in person
When thinking about your title, you also want to consider your URL and try and match the two up as close as possible as this keeps continuity for the page
This is where headers come into play and a way to think about how to use these are:
- H1 – This is the main header tag and is used for your post title and the page should only contain 1 of these.
- H2 – These should be used for the main sections of your page, for example on this post, all of the Steps use the H2 tag.
- H3 – These should be used for sub-sections, such as the Header Tags above. This helps break up your content so that it is easier to read.
- H4 – These are ideal for sub-sub-sections and as with the H3 header tags, they can help break your content up into smaller, more easily consumable chunks.
There are also H5 and H6 tags which follow on from the H4 tags. Now you don’t need to over do these header tags, just use them where it makes sense, for example moving from one section to another. These header tags also help search engines understand a little better what the content is about.
A good practise is to fill out all of your header tags before you start writing your post as you will then have an outline for your post. This makes it easier to write a post, rather than just having a blank screen in front of you.
Using images in blog posts can be very beneficial as they provide visual stimulus for the reader as a long post of just text is pretty boring to look at!
Using images correctly throughout your post can really help keep people engaged and depending on the type of post, they can also help the content.
For example, if you are producing a How to Post, showing images of the different steps can help the reader understand your content and as they say, a picture can be worth a thousand words.
I also highly recommend that you use original images if possible, a stock image here and there is ok but using too many of these stock, generic images doesn’t really add any value to your blog post.
You have already looked at a couple of these in this post! Layout elements are different ways of displaying your content and one of my favourite ones is using bullets points or numbered points and it makes it easy for the reader to digest that content, rather than it being in a normal paragraph likes this.
Other popular elements include tables and quotes but there are many different ones to choose from and they do vary depending on the platform, page builder and plugins/apps that you are using.
As with images, these can help to break up your content and provide a different visual stimulus for the reader and when done properly, can help the reader process and digest the information you are providing in a much easier way.
Step 3: Writing the Content
Bet you never thought you would get to this point!
If you lay out your blog post well before starting write, it becomes so much easier to write! And you can also produce content much quicker as you aren’t trying to do everything at once.
When you start writing your post, there are some best practices that you want to apply to your post:
1. Use Short Punchy Paragraphs
One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is writing big blocks of texts, like you would on an essay in school and while it might have got you an A then, it won’t on your blog.
This is because many people skim read blog posts and short, punchy paragraphs are easier to read, with a max of 4 lines being ideal.
One of the biggest benefits of doing this is that it makes your posts much easier to read on mobile devices and as mobile now makes up over 50% of traffic, you want to make life as easy as possible for potentially more than half your audience.
Using smaller paragraphs also makes it easier for you as the writer to go through and proof read the article after you have written it.
Stay ON Topic!
Lots of bloggers do this as they want to add word count to their posts but this is counter productive as you are wasting time writing irrelevant content that most people aren’t going to read.
Instead, keep the post on topic and make sure that it answers the question that your post set out to do.
If it started talking about ecommerce conversion rates or social media marketing in this post, you would probably click off as you want to learn about blogging for your ecommerce site.
Word count doesn’t matter, it’s not a ranking factor and your posts need to be as long as they need to be in order to answer the question, whether it is 700 words or 2,500 words.
Not Adding A Conclusion
It is amazing how many blogs don’t have a conclusion and studies have found that lots of visitors will actually go to the conclusion before they even look at the content. So spend a little time creating a conclusion and give a short summary of what you have covered in the post.
Step 4: Proof Read/Editing
Once you have finished writing your content, you want to save the draft and then walk away from the post. Proof reading after writing often leads to mistakes being over looked.
It is much better to come back a day or so later and proof read the post with fresh eyes and you may also want to do some tweaking to the layout of the post so that the formatting is better.
It is also advisable to proof read the post a couple of times as mistakes can slip through the first read through.
So there they are, 6 blog post ideas that you create for your ecommerce website.
Now, I do want to be completely honest here and say that you probably aren’t going to see results from creating blog posts for a while as it can take anywhere from a couple of months to a year plus for posts to start ranking in search engines.
Obviously, this is dependant on your sites authority, competition and how well optimized your posts are for SEO. In the mean time though, you can share them on social media to get them potentially in front of peoples eyes.
If you want to learn more about Ecommerce SEO, then check out some of our other posts: