How E-commerce Sites Can Use Content to Enhance the Customer Experience / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

E-commerce sites and online retailers often struggle to implement effective content marketing strategies.

E-commerce sites and online retailers often struggle to implement effective content marketing strategies.

Unlike websites that can rely on blogs and site content to increase traffic, E-commerce sites use product descriptions and imagery.

Search engine optimization rules are the same for E-commerce sites, but site managers may approach them differently. Learn how to get the most out of your E-commerce site’s content for the best returns on investment for your marketing efforts.

Focus on the User Experience

Forrester predicts that by 2020, one million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to E-commerce sites. The evidence to support this statement proves that E-commerce sites could be society’s main form of commerce in the future. However, since face-to-face contact with customers isn’t an option for online retailers like it is for brick-and-mortar stores, E-commerce sites must work even harder to optimize the customer experience.

Related Article:Helpful Feedback: What Customers Like to See in an E-commerce Site

This means tailoring your content strategy to meet online shoppers’ demands. Here’s how: 

  1. Identify your ideal customer. Developing a buyer persona requires a bit of research into what your ideal buyer looks like. Target a specific niche of people who are most likely to be interested in your brand, and steer your content marketing efforts toward them. Use tools like Google Analytics to help you create buyer personas.
  2. Find out what your target audience wants. Customers will get the most from your content if you put yourself in their shoes and ask what you want from a brand. Look at what your competitors are doing right and how they engage with customers. Consider running a reader survey to gain a real-time understanding of what your customers want.
  3. Guide leads through the sales funnel. Convincing leads and turning them into buyers requires providing thoughtful calls to action and cultivating relationships with consumers.
  4. Follow up. Meeting customer demands is only possible if you track your progress and make changes accordingly. Focus on metrics such as site traffic, lead generation, and conversion rates to see where your content marketing is failing and succeeding. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you optimize your site.

Every piece of your E-commerce site’s content should be user-centric. Google’s search rank algorithms reward brands that focus on and respond to users’ needs, customizing the user experience for a specific audience. 

Provide Valuable Information

In your limited opportunities for site content on an E-commerce site, don’t waste space by plugging your product. There is a time and place for pushing a purchase on customers, but the bulk of your content isn’t it. Your website should provide valuable information to visitors, such as facts about products or service and practical information about the industry to help customers make informed decisions.

Related Article:The Essential Checklist: Must Do's When Starting an E-commerce Website

You can optimize your opportunities for valuable content by maximizing the ways in which you incorporate content on your website. E-commerce sites can use many of the same content marketing techniques regular websites do, including:

  • Blogging. A blog is an ideal way to humanize your brand, convey valuable information, and instill calls to action in one fell swoop.
  • Keyword density. Optimizing your content with important industry keywords is still a viable way to improve your Google ranking.
  • Publishing long-form content. Research shows that buyer guides, white papers, and other long-form content generate more traffic than short-form content. The average word count for content in websites on the first page of Google’s search results is 1,890.
  • Testimonials. Including testimonials or a place for customer reviews is a wonderful way to express the value of your company to new consumers without shamelessly self-promoting.
  • Videos. Video content can connect customers to your brand, which is important for E-commerce sites that never interact with people in person. Create a video blog or post videos showing how to use your product or service. They don’t have to be complex to get a point across. Take this 16-second Cetaphil ad, for example:

  • Imagery. The imagery on an e-commerce site can make or break success rates. Your product imagery should be high quality and high definition.
  • Social media. Social media marketing is an outlet for creative content you don’t otherwise have on your e-commerce site. Post photos, tweets, or weekly deals on social media platforms to drive traffic and increase brand awareness.

Your outlet for providing valuable information to customers doesn’t have to begin and end with product or service descriptions. Get creative with the content your brand publishes on the web, maximizing your reach with as many platforms as possible. The more content you put out there, the more leads you’ll generate. 

Related Article: Sales Ahead: 30 Tactics Proven to Increase E-commerce Conversion [INFOGRAPHIC]

Stay Relevant and Consistent

Content is your opportunity to connect with customers in your virtual retail shop. Take advantage of every chance to publish, and optimize your efforts with smart marketing techniques. Stay consistent with your blog or video efforts, and don’t give up if the metrics aren’t as promising as you first expect. Consistent, relevant content pays off the most for E-commerce site owners who stick with it and continuously publish new material.

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