Guides, Site News By Eshop Hosts 21.2.2012 2 Comments

Why Add A Blog To Your eCommerce Site?

Almost on a daily basis, we have conversations with ecommerce clients who ask for advice or ideas on how they can drive extra traffic to their ecommerce websites and increase sales. Many of them have attractive looking optimised eShops with good product descriptions and content and many have carried out additional off site SEO to increase Page Rank but found this does not necessarily increase traffic that generates those extra sales. Quite a few are also active on Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter in the hope that this will increase visitors and customers on their website but without any real noticable effect.

In most cases eCommerce websites are built on the many Open Source (Free) Shopping Cart software that is readily available such as Zen Cart, Open Cart, Prestashop etc and perform well for the functions that they are designed to do, such as organising Categories and Products into a user friendly structure, utilise different shipping rates and payment modules etc, run product promotions, client and order management as well as many other ecommerce related activites and functions. Many Shopping Cart programs are also easily integrated with the Social Media Sites allowing for semi automated posting of new products and promotions that will be seen by any Fans or Followers that they may have which is obviously a good thing.

The trouble is, by their nature, eCommerce websites tend (or at least appear) to be boring and although practical, they do not allow your visitors to engage with you in any dynamic or publicly visable method that may benefit other visitors to your site.

Why Adding a Blog to an eCommerce site Makes Sense

The list of benefits that adding a Blog to an eCommerce website would generate is extensive and can be done for free or for very little cost using the many Open Source (Free) Blogging Software such as WordPress, Drupal, Movable Type to name a few. WordPress is seemingly the most popular, very easy to use along with a huge array of additional plug-ins that are available to add for free and a massive support network and codex. The biggest investment is the time you spend setting your blog up and creating the content. Here is a summary of 7 of the best reasons that we could think of for Adding a Blog to your eShop:-

Additional Indexible Content for your eShop

Most Shopping carts are designed in a way to streamline and speed up the way a customer completes a transaction so the common view is to keep the number of pages and content to a minimum to allow for this. A blog can be set up to work in conjunction with your eCommerce section by having additional pages offering useful and interesting information that doesn’t necessarily fit in with existing eShop content, such as personal views, ‘how to’ guides or reviews. A blog is also a good way to announce and distribute news of your promotions and new stock arrivals. All this type of information is popular with both new and existing customers as well as Search Engines like Google.

Additional Product Information

Writing additional informative information about your products on your blog pages such as product technical data and manuals, perhaps articles on different ways your products are being used and by whom as long as it is relevant and interesting then your customers love it and be more inclined to buy it from your site.

Become the ‘Expert’ at What You Sell

By writing more detailed content on your Blog about your products and offering well informed opinions and reviews you can easily create the perception that you know what you are talking about. This in turn will give your customers more confidence in buying from your eShop and make it more likely that they will interact with you for advice and guidance on which product is more suitable to them. This type of industry or product knowledge publically viewable on your Blog can give you the commercial edge over your competitors.

Give Your eShop an SEO Boost

It is a known fact that Search Engines love and devour Blog content. Provided that you are writing unique content that is optimised for your chosen keywords with a few well placed links on your Blog pages to your eShop pages then you will in time see an increase in your search rankings for related keywords. Blogs are a great tool for SEO (search engine optimization), mostly due to the dynamic nature of blog content, and the liklihood of regular new posts and vistor comments to keep the content updated and flowing on your website means the Search Engines will be regular visitors, indexing your site pages.

Add Personality To Your eShop

By Blogging on your own eCommerce Blog, you will bring some personality and life into what is usually seen as an otherwise faceless and formal shopping experience to your visitors. By using a Blog, your visitors will be able to interact with you by adding comments to your posts, helping you to engage with them and show them why they should buy from you and not your competitors. Your Blog is an opportunity to convey who the person is behind the scenes and show your visitors that like any Brick and Mortar shop, your eCommerce site is not some automatic machine.

Build Relationships With Your Customers

Your eCommerce Blog will give you an opportunity to interact with your clients that you wouldn’t necessarily get through your eShop on its own. By having the facility for your visitors to post comments and you being able to respond on your Blog pages, you will quickly build relationships, not just with the customers you conversed with but all future visitors who will be able to read how you interacted. This will give them a feeling of familiarity with you making it more likely that they will buy from somebody that they already ‘know’ and trust.

Keep More Traffic On Your Website

Many eCommerce site owners use the Social Media sites to engage with existing or potential customers but operating a blog alongside your eShop is an important and integral component of a Social Media marketing strategy. The extra content and customer interaction/conversations will mean that the social activity is mostly done on your own site rather than on a third party one. Your Blog activity can still be syndicated or auto posted onto your Facebook Business page or Twitter feed which will then appear a lot more personal and less formal than autoposted product details etc giving your Social media accounts a more friendly and approachable appearance.

Adding A Blog to Your eShop Is Easier Than You Think

Adding a Blog, such as WordPress to your eCommerce website is probably a lot easier than you might think. Integrating WordPress and ZenCart is very simple. The most common way to achieve this, is to install your chosen Blog software within a subdirectory to your main eShop eg YourShopName.com/Blog. There are also ways and means to integrate the two so your visitors do not get the impression that they are jumping between different sites when navigating your pages, such as having a custom WordPress Theme created to match the appearance of your webshop along with various modules and plug ins that will display content from the Blog on the eShop and vice-versa.

Want to Add A Blog to Your eShop?

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