In the previous post Kinga shared with us some crucial tips about e-commerce SEO. You’ve learned how to properly optimize an onsite content. Today you will also find out what types of content you should publish at your online store.
Words are vital tools in the world of e-commerce. Used effectively, they create a compelling sales proposition that not only persuades people to buy, but has them coming back for more. Use them badly, however, and they could well be sending that prospective buyer straight to a competitor’s website.
Success means including 5 must-have types of content:
1. Killer category descriptions
A category description is the verbal net that ideally captures a large volume of traffic and drives it towards a site’s sales pages. It is written around a general keyword representing a specific group of products, either of a certain type – such as surfboards – or those of a particular brand, and needs to be well optimised to feature prominently in search engine results.
This requires a careful choice of keywords that a site has the potential to rank well for, ideally avoiding those that are too common or non-specific for the page to rise to the top in response to internet searches.
Do’s & Don’t’s
- Do: Know your audience and what they are looking for.
- Do: Tell them how this group of products will meet their needs.
- Do: Provide a few links to other categories.
- Don’t: Mention specific products as the range may change in the future.
- Don’t: Cram the text with keywords – use them naturally.
2. Compelling product descriptions
The product description page is the site’s virtual salesperson, the place where the sale is won or lost, and it has to do its job fast before the reader clicks away. This means knowing the customers and what they are looking for, and then convincing them very early on that the product will deliver exactly this.
Choosing a tone of voice they can relate to will help in getting their attention and keeping it. Features should not just be listed but shown as positive benefits, such as “Inner lining for all-day comfort”. Above all the text needs to captivate the readers and seduce them into buying.
Do’s & Don’t’s
- Do: Write for the reader not the search engines.
- Do: Break up the text with subheadings featuring the benefits.
- Do: Keep paragraphs short so the text can be scanned quickly.
- Don’t: Waffle about the product or use meaningless superlatives.
- Don’t: Lie about the product.
3. Blogging for success
It is common knowledge that a regularly updated blog can help in ensuring a site ranks well in search engine results, but that is only part of its potential. A blog is also an excellent way of engaging with a brand’s customers and winning their loyalty if, and this is a big if, it delivers content that entertains, informs or provides added value.
A blog from a hair product company, for example, excites no-one if it concentrates on company news. If, however, it provides advice on hair care or styling tips, readers are more likely to engage with it and come back for more.
Do’s & Don’t’s
- Do: Blog regularly – the more you post the more the visitor numbers will grow.
- Do: Feature topics that relate to your product range and link to them, sparingly, where appropriate.
- Don’t: Use it as a sales pitch – visitors do not expect to get sold to in a blog.
- Don’t: Accept spammy links from other blogs – Google will not approve.
4. A helping hand from how-to guides
How-to guides are a very effective way of giving customers the kind of excellent service that wins their loyalty and encourages them to return for their next purchase. Ideally linked to from the product description they should be written concisely and laid out in a way that gives the visitors the information they need in the shortest time possible.
Numbering each stage of the guide is probably the best way of achieving this, but further clarity can be provided by highlighting important steps or information in bold or italic type and adding video or photographs to illustrate the process.
Do’s & Don’t’s
- Do: Write simply and concisely but avoid patronising the reader.
- Do: Put yourself in the position of a first-time user when writing it.
- Don’t: Use jargon or technical phrases that non-specialists would not understand.
- Don’t: Go on about how wonderful the product is – leave that for the sales pages.
5. Nailing it with newsletters
Once the customer’s loyalty has been won, it can be further secured by offering a newsletter. This should be tailored to specific segments of a company’s client base to ensure customers are only sent information that is relevant to them.
Someone who has bought a pair of men’s shoes, for example, will probably not want to hear about the latest trends in women’s fashion. Additional personalisation can come from addressing a newsletter to a customer using their first name and including references to their recent browsing history on the site.
Do’s & Don’t’s
- Do: Keep it short and relevant – readers are busy and easily bored.
- Do: Make it personal and friendly.
- Do: Subtly motivate the reader to re-visit your site.
- Don’t: Use the newsletter as a purely promotional tool.
- Don’t: Patronise the reader with information they already know.
The bottom line
Used in combination these five elements will add muscle and impact to any e-commerce site.
The key is to ensure the content offers value to the visitor, even on the sales pages where the value comes from them being able to access the information and make an informed decision quickly.
Value added content not only wins customers and keeps them; it also encourages them to spread the word via social media channels. And, importantly, it keeps Google happy so it is great for SEO.