The Importance of Content for Your E-Commerce Store
*This is part two of a three part series focusing on SEO for e-commerce websites. Part 1 focused ‘What Ecommerce Websites Need to Know About SEO‘ while Part 3 will be focusing on Link Building for E-Commerce websites.
It’s naive to think that e-commerce is all about the quality or price of your product.
You could sell the best-value products in your niche – or even a revolutionary product that’ll change the world – and it’s likely that you still won’t be successful if these products are all that’s on your website.
To succeed in the world of e-commerce, you need to create useful, interesting or entertaining content as well.
An e-commerce website that doesn’t create content is akin to building a shopping mall in the darkest depths of the Amazon rainforest; it’ll be too hard for the masses to find.
Below, you’ll discover why online content is crucial if you want your website to be found on search engines and social media, plus how it can turn more visitors into customers.
How Does Content Improve your SEO?
For the fullest understanding of how content will help your e-commerce website climb the search engine results pages, it’s important to explore how Google measures the value of a web page.
The words on the page
It is believed there are hundreds of factors that influence the Google search algorithm, but one of the most basic is the content of the words on the page. Without copy explaining what the page is about, how is Google meant to know? If you want to appear on Page 1 of Google when people type ‘best dog houses’, you’re going to need that phrase on the page somewhere.
You’ll need plenty of signals that your page is the best page about ‘best dog houses’ too.
It’s not enough to have it in the page title, a correctly-tagged image and a short product description. There is plenty of research which supports the theory that pages with lots of words rank better in Google search engine results pages. On a very basic level, the more information there is about ‘best dog houses’ on the page, the more valuable it is to the user (in the eyes of Google anyway).
It’s not enough to just useless keyword-heavy mumbo-jumbo though, nor can you copy and paste content from elsewhere. Google has taken huge strides to punish websites which engage in practices like this by making their domains plummet down the search rankings.
With this in mind, you must take care to only create unique, naturally-written content. This isn’t always easy, especially when you’re constructing product descriptions for similar items, but it’s essential. For more information on the importance of this, read up on the Google Panda update.
Another key signal that Google uses to measure the quality of a page is the amount of external links pointing towards it. The theory here is that people are more likely to share useful pages than they are poor-quality ones.
While some website owners might be motivated to link to an external web page with cool products on it, it’s safe to assume that they’re more likely to point their readers towards content that is useful, interesting, or entertaining. (In fact, if you look at the search results for “best dog houses”, most of the top organic results are information-based web pages rather than product pages from e-commerce websites.)
The SEO juice from links is calculated on a per-domain basis, as well as per-page basis (this is how a brand new page on a popular website can climb the search rankings quickly), so it’s beneficial to have shareable content peppered all over your website.
In order to boost their backlink profile, some business owners will compose ‘guest posts’ for popular third-party websites with a link to their domain included. This is a common strategy to boost SEO and brand awareness, especially among owners of small businesses that don’t have a lot of traffic yet. However, once your business starts to grow, it’s likely be more time-effective to create brilliant content on your own site that people are naturally motivated to share.
Internal links are another factor of that quality signal that Google pays attention to. If a page that has lots of internal links pointing to it, that’s a clear sign to search engines that it’s an important page in the context of the whole website. With this in mind, it’s recommended to link to your home pages and product pages whenever you can within blog posts. This practice will help keep people on your website for longer too.
Another signal which is widely accepted to improve the value of a domain in the eyes of
Google is the frequency of which new content is produced. A website which is frequently updated with useful new content is deemed as more valuable by Google.
This is the reason why so many e-commerce websites maintain a blog on their domain – and it’s why you should do the same, and post to it often.
Content Marketing for E-Commerce Websites
Improved SEO isn’t the only reason why so many online businesses write blog posts. This is also done to demonstrate their expertise in the industry. This process has been dubbed ‘content marketing’ and is widely accepted to be one of the most cost-effective strategies to attract new customers online.
It not only improves your SEO and your reputation as an industry-thought leader, it’ll make it far easier to grow your brand’s social media engagement too. People are far more likely to follow and engage with a social media page that shares useful, valuable content than they will with one that’s purely self-promotional. In fact, it’s difficult to find one example of a successful social media page which focuses on the latter.
Pay-per-click ads and other direct mediums still have a place within the regions of an online marketing strategy, but content marketing is a better method of attracting customers further up the customer cycle who are still learning about your brand and need to gain trust before they make a purchase.
By making subtle nods towards the benefits of your products within your content, you can groom these new readers into future customers. It’s a longer sales funnel than you’d get by purchasing a banner ad on a high-traffic website, but this is usually what is needed to win over consumers who haven’t even heard of your brand before.
Great Content is Crucial for Businesses of all Sizes
It’s telling that most online businesses have blogs, most product pages are stuffed with content and most SEO companies offer a content writing service…
Creating great content isn’t optional for online success.
Unless your only goal is to match the success of the best dog house store in the Amazon, you’ll start creating it on your e-commerce website.
Get in touch with Paul for an SEO consultation to lead your e-commerce business to SEO success. He will help assess your trouble areas and provide insights on the best course of action for driving organic traffic & developing high ranking content that will bring you solid results.