Does your business have a blog? If you haven't started one yet, here's why you should.
We’ve all seen blogs – both personal and business – launch with great imagination and aspirations, only to eventually fade away and fail.
A company blog is a tremendous asset for e-commerce companies and the benefits are numerous.
Four Reasons E-commerce Sites Need Blogs
If you’ve yet to start a blog for your e-commerce website, then it’s probably because you don’t understand the value it could provide your brand. Let’s take a look at a few of the top reasons why thousands of e-commerce sites have made the plunge and the investment.
1. Blogs give your brand a voice
Today’s marketplace is filled with noise, but the reality is that you control very little of it. Customers go to social media to voice their opinions in an extremely public fashion. Internet message boards pick apart your products and services. Competitors can make claims against you and distribute these ideas via their own channels.
While it’s not all negative, it’s a little scary to know that other people control your brand’s story.
When you launch a blog, you’re in total control and can express thoughts and ideas without having to go through another channel.
This does a few things for your brand:
Establishes trust. Imagine that a new customer lands on your site. What type of experience do they have? Are they greeted by cold product pages and commercialized sales tactics, or do they feel at home? If you don’t have a blog, it’s possible that your website lacks a personal feel. A blog builds trust with your visitors by humanizing your brand and breathing life into the onsite experience.
Builds thought leadership. Think about the different thought leaders in your niche and then consider what it is that fuels this perception. In almost every case, they maintain active blogging presences and consistently publish content under their name. Well, the same is true for e-commerce brands. If you want to build thought leadership, a branded blog is the best way to do so. Over time, a regular commitment will give you a chance to become labeled an “industry expert.”
Clarifies your beliefs. Your story will get told. And as previously mentioned, you tell your story or someone else will tell it for you. We can all agree that the former is preferred. Should someone attack your brand , your blog is a space where you can safely and quickly respond.
2. Blogs generate traffic
Website traffic is obviously important in e-commerce, right? Well, blogging is one of the best ways to generate targeted traffic and monetizable leads.
Here’s a little visual to help you understand just how helpful blogging is for generating traffic. Pretend you just built a massive department store in downtown Manhattan. It’s a beautiful building right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of New York City. But there’s one problem: The building only has a single door on the side. It has no signage, windows, or anything. The only way someone would find the door is if they were looking for it.
See the problem? There are people all around you, but there’s nothing welcoming them inside. In fact, even if they want to come in, they have to work hard to find the entry point. If you have an e-commerce site without a blog, this is essentially what your website looks like on the internet. Sure, they can find their way in via the homepage or an individual product page, but it’s nearly impossible.
Now, let’s assume that you realize that your department store in Manhattan has a problem and decide to add a total of two more entrances with windows, branded signage, and lights. Suddenly, more customers start shopping at your store. Then you add two more entrances, complete with an escalator that goes directly to the second floor. Now you have more shoppers than you know what to do with.
This is what it’s like to add a blog to an e-commerce site. With each new post, you’re creating an additional portal to your site. Blogs increase your site’s visibility and generate traffic – it’s that simple.
3. Blogs help you with SEO
A blog is your way of telling Google and other search engines that your website is active and relevant. This tells them to crawl your site more frequently and ultimately enhances your chances of ranking for particular keywords and search terms related to your niche.
While many e-commerce companies focus on plugging keywords into their site copy and product pages, the efficacy of these actions pales in comparison to the value that can be extracted from consistent blogging over a long period of time. Naturally incorporating long tail keywords into quality blog posts does far more for SEO than blatant keyword stuffing.
4. Blogs are cost effective
It would be incorrect to say that blogging is free. There’s a huge opportunity cost associated with blogging – and you may eventually have to hire a team of writers to handle things in the future – but it’s comparatively cost effective.
In order to get the kind of exposure and lead generation benefits that you’re afforded with blogging, you’d have to spend thousands of dollars on sponsored posts, PPC advertisements, or social media. Depending on the “stickiness” of your topics, you can continue to generate a return on individual blog posts weeks, months, and even years after publishing. And the more you post, the more your traffic compounds and you begin to see tangible monetary benefits.
What are you waiting for?
Blogging isn’t something you can just put on cruise control and step away from. It’s either going to require a lot of your personal time, or you’ll have to allocate a percentage of your monthly budget towards hiring a writer. Regardless, it’s going to take a commitment on your part. With that being said, the benefits of launching, growing and maintaining a thriving e-commerce blog far supersede the work that goes into the process.
If your e-commerce site is still sitting on the sidelines, then it’s time that you make a decision. Are you going to continue watching other brands surpass you, or will you get your hands dirty and start working?
The benefits are clear, but the decision is ultimately yours.
See related: 10 Do's and Don'ts of Corporate Blogging
Photo credit: Undrey/Shutterstock