It seems that an online store is just an online storefront with products, and that interaction with customers occurs only there. For example, I need a phone. I go to an online store, look through the catalog, choose the item and order it. Why, in this case, the online stores owners began to launch blogs and spend time writing articles? How does content help them sell products and make a profit?
Let’s see how many questions such a simple task as buying an Iphone raises. Which Iphone should I choose? Should I spend money on the latest model or should I buy an outdated one but save money? What is more fashionable: the classic black case or the rose gold case? Maybe it’s better to buy a Samsung phone? And in general, where should I order a phone, if only a dozen options are presented on the first page of search results? Thinking in this way, a potential customer may never get to your online store. So it’s time for content marketing and blogging.
In short, a blog helps to attract new customers, increase the loyalty of existing ones and promote the site to the first positions in search results. You can read more about the importance of a blog in an online store and the best way to launch it on CS-Cart below.
1. The blog generates search traffic
As long as your article is ranking in Google for relevant search queries, you will receive a constant influx of visitors to your online store. This is free traffic from search engines that you do not spend any money or effort to attract. At the same time, the more people visit the site, the more potential buyers and the higher brand awareness there will be. By posting quality content on your blog, you can manage SEO and bring your store to the first pages of search results. \
2. The blog has a positive effect on SEO
To get more organic traffic (free traffic from search engines) and rank higher in search results, you need to work on SEO. The blog will help with this.
First, it increases the amount of unique content on the site.
Secondly, you can insert links to online store products into articles, thereby increasing the volume of internal links. And when readers share their favorite content on social networks, forums and other sites, the number of external links will increase as well.
Thirdly, you can insert target keywords into the text, make linking with other blog articles, and register page meta tags.
Google perceives all this as an indicator of quality content and ranks such a website higher.
For example, according to the Google search query “the best Korean eye patches”, the second and some other places at the top of the search results are taken by blogs of cosmetics online stores. You can read the review and buy the product you like on the same website.
3. You can directly sell products using articles
You can add a recommended products block to articles, or make reviews on what you want to sell first.
For example, Automated Now publishes a review of a new smart lighting system for the home:
At the end of the article, the author offers a clickable selection of products which can help organize this lighting system. One click and the customer goes to the purchase.
Source: Automated Now
4. The blog increases the loyalty and trust of visitors
Sometimes customers know exactly what they want to buy, but more often they need help to choose the right product. If a user finds an article on your blog that will answer his questions and help make the right choice, he will understand that you are an expert in your business and will more willingly buy the product from you.
For example, here is the article “How to determine the authenticity of silver” on the blog of the Russian online store “Guru’s Gold”:
Source: “Guru’s Gold”
This online store sells golden and silver jewelry and tells in this article how to distinguish a fake. The article provides clear tips that will be useful to all readers, not just store customers. Such content assures that the store owner understands the needs of customers and he is not afraid to reveal production secrets. The confidence in the store is increasing.
Or remember our example of buying an Iphone from the beginning of the article. Thinking about which phone to buy, the user will find by search queries the information in the online store blog. So he will compare the characteristics of three popular Iphone models, repost testing Iphone and Samsung cameras on his social network, and then he will buy the phone he likes in the same online store. This is, of course, the ideal story. In reality, many more factors will affect the purchase: price, delivery terms, guarantees, site usability and much more. But blog information can be an incentive to order.
5. The blog is a source of leads
A lead form is an element of a page with fields where a user can enter their contact information in exchange for something of value. For example, you give him useful content and offer to subscribe to new articles. So you get a customer email address. It will come in handy to keep in touch with the reader and work on his loyalty in the future. A blog lead form can be more than just a subscribe form. You can add feedback forms for a call, consultation or quick order directly to the article.
6. The blog collects feedback
An important part of blogging is feedback. First, you show users that you value their opinion and are ready to engage in dialogue. Secondly, customers often ask clarifying questions about the goods or services in the comments to the articles. It can help you to tell customers about the assortment, to work out objections or invite users to leave their contacts.
Sometimes, you need to provide a link to a detailed product description to answer a question. This is not only about helping users, but it will also increase the depth of site browsing and improve behavioral factors. All blog comments are unique content that you don’t make any effort to create.
Finally, comments are ideas for developing your blog. By focusing on what your readers are interested in, you can plan content, improve customer service, change product descriptions or catalog structure to present products in a better way.
7. The blog is an additional traffic from social networks
If the reader liked your article, he may want to share it on his profile in social networks. This will give you free social media traffic: just one viral post can bring hundreds of potential customers to your online store website. Even if they don’t make an instant purchase, your brand awareness will increase. Make sharing on the social network convenient for the reader with the help of special buttons.
A blog is not a direct sales tool for an online store. Its goal is to become a source of useful information about your products, to build trust between your brand and your customers, to generate traffic to the site and improve its visibility for search engines.
There are two options for organizing a blog: as an online store part or as a part of a specialized platform. The first option is preferable, since we need traffic to our site, and not to someone else’s. CS-Cart supports blogging even in the “boxed” version of the platform. But you can upgrade the standard features of CS-Cart with the CS-Cart “Power Blog” add-on. Using it, you can publish not only articles, but also image galleries, videos, publications about events with marks on the map. The blog interface can be customized to the design of any online store. There are more add-on’s cool features, you can read about it in the detailed page CS-Cart “Power Blog” add-on. Dozens of CS-Cart online stores have already experienced its benefits.
For your convenience, we have compiled the best examples of how our clients use the “Power Blog” add-on in one list. We hope this will inspire you to create your own online store blog.
Goods for smart home
In the blog there are reviews of new products, tips for arranging a smart home, non-standard technological solutions, news about software updates. At the end of each article there is a selection of products, so you can start shopping right away.
Service for the Russian wines and cognacs reservation
The blog has a convenient system of headings: news, reviews, results of tastings and changes in legislation. This information is useful not only for customers, but also for marketplace vendors. The result is perhaps the largest knowledge base about Russian winemaking. Each article has a block with recommended products, sharing buttons and a view counter.
Design and construction of houses in Moscow and the Moscow region
The blog is just beginning to develop, but it is already noticeable that it will have a good visual component. The content will be useful both for ordinary people who are renovating their own apartment and for professional builders and designers.
Multicategory online store
Cool useful tips and delicious recipes for Georgian cuisine.
Various post formats: reviews, tips and life hacks, interviews, gift ideas and much more. The result is an interesting and useful media that you want to subscribe to. It is convenient to go from articles to shopping for goods.
Games, puzzles, hobby goods
The blog contains not only text content, but also video reviews of board games. Indeed, it is easier to once watch a video, where the rules of the game are explained, than to re-read its description a hundred times and still not figure out how to play it.
Lamps and products for lighting
The blog mainly contains reviews about technological lamps and interesting interior solutions. Lots of stylish videos that present products in all their glory.
Online jewelry store
The blog has good navigation by headings and content that will be useful to everyone who has ever bought jewelry. For example: “How to determine the authenticity of silver”, “How to distinguish a fake”, “How to correctly determine the size of the ring” and the like.
Eco products marketplace
An environmentally friendly approach is manifested not only in products, but also in the blog. The emphasis is not on selling articles (although there are some), but on trending topics: self-development and psychology, a positive attitude towards life and care for nature.
Let’s summarize. An online store blog is a useful tool to help build relationships with existing customers and bring new ones. A good blog on the CS-Cart platform is most conveniently launched with the CS-Cart “Power Blog” add-on.
In the next articles, we will continue to tell you about blogs in online stores: what you can write about, what publication formats to use, and where to go for new ideas.