So you’ve heard having a blog on your e-commerce website can help you reach more people and turn them into potential customers. But where do you start?
You may think you can just set up a blog on your website and start writing to draw people in. In reality though, there is a lot of planning and thought behind a successful blog. It needs a purpose, and the best way to build a valuable blog is with the right strategy. Keep reading to find out what it takes to develop a strong blog strategy.
1. Define Your Goals
Before you just start typing, you need to define your goals. And, to define those goals, you must first determine the purpose of your blog. Many blogs are used to:
- Drive more traffic to your site
- Educate customers and show you’re an expert in your field
- Increase sales and generate leads
Goals should be quantifiable and results oriented, and you should have tangible ways to track progress. You can use key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine if you are hitting the goals you set for yourself. KPIs might include metrics like sessions, bounce rate, and conversion rate, among others, which we’ll discuss further in Step #7.
Understanding why you want to incorporate a blog on your website and what you hope to accomplish through your writing is an important step in keeping you on track towards your goals. If you have a reason behind all the hard work, it makes it easier to keep moving forward and stay focused on your goals.
2. Determine Your Audience
Once you’ve come up with the purpose of a blog, you should think about who you will be writing for. You want to write blogs with a specific audience in mind. You know who your customers are based on their demographics, but you need to take it one step further.
What are their major needs when it comes to your business? What kind of pain points do they deal with? What are some of the challenges they face, and, by extension, what valuable information can you provide to help them overcome those challenges? By deeply understanding your ideal audience, you can write content that meets their needs or solves their problems.
3. Perform Topic and Keyword Research
You have your goals and you know who you’re writing for, so now it’s time to start writing!
Optimized content has a specific topic and uses keywords that relate to that topic. Keywords are used by Google and other search engines to understand what the content on web pages is about. These engines pair the keywords used in content with a user’s search terms when they type queries into the search box and present them with the most relevant results.
To make sure your content appears among those top results, you’ll want to conduct keyword research when you’re starting to write a blog. You will need to identify what search terms your audience is looking for and ideally use the ones that have high search volume and low competition to ensure your blog makes it to the top of the search engine results page (SERP). You can use these keywords as inspiration for a post topic, or you can try to find a keyword to match a topic you already came up with.
Keep in mind you can’t have an effective blog strategy without the right keywords. Without targeting specific keywords with high potential, your posts won’t do well for SEO, which is crucial to people finding your content. By writing a thoroughly researched and properly targeted blog post, you’ll be able to connect your insights with those who are seeking out that information and, ultimately, bring new readers and prospective customers to your site.
4. Establish Your Voice
Another important part of your blog strategy is to establish your voice. A blog is an extension of your brand, and your posts should reflect the unique voice you’ve defined in your brand guidelines. Your tone and style should match the audience’s expectations and preferences while also being easy to read.
These are just a few examples of questions you might ask yourself as you define your brand’s voice:
- Should writing for your brand be authoritative or playful?
- Are you hoping to convey luxury and exclusivity or should your brand feel approachable by anyone?
- Does your brand use bold slang or stick to a more formal vocabulary?
As previously mentioned, you want to combine your unique voice with keywords to make sure you’re reaching the right audience. However, you should always write for human readers first and search engines second. What we mean by this is to make sure the tone of your blogs flows naturally. You want to avoid keyword stuffing, which is the act of overusing keywords throughout your writing. Your use of these terms should feel natural when you read it.
5. Create a Content Calendar
To help you stay on track, you should create a content calendar. By having your blog posts laid out on a calendar, you’ll keep a consistent schedule with writing and publishing.
You may have heard that updating existing content is also helpful, so why would you constantly need to write and publish new blogs? The more content-rich pages your site has, the more opportunity you have for search engines to index your content and rank it higher in search results. By extension, the higher your pages rank in relevant searches the more traffic will find its way to your site.
When you’re consistently posting new blogs, your audience will stay engaged, and your identity as an industry leader continues to grow.
6. Promote Your Blog
So you’ve written blog posts with SEO in mind, and they’re up on your site waiting to be indexed by search engines. This process can take a few weeks, so in the meantime, you should be proactive about sharing your posts with as many people as possible.
Add a link to a relevant blog post in your next email blast. Share your blogs on social media. Utilize link building strategies by linking to the post in relevant spots on your website.
While organic search is how most blogs gain the most traffic, promoting your blog through other channels will only increase traffic.
7. Measure Performance
You’ve written and published your post, but there’s one last step in the process: measuring the performance of the post. The only way to know if your hard work is meeting your goals is to monitor your blog. You’ll want to do regular content audits to ensure the posts are performing well and your blog strategy is working as intended.
Through analytics platforms like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and SEMrush (among many others), you should plan to monitor metrics like:
- Overall traffic to your site
- Number of page views per post
- Traffic to your post by channel
- Time spent on page
- Bounce rate
- How often your blog was viewed by a user who then completed a purchase
If any of these metrics aren’t hitting their mark, take a look back at the post to understand what could be improved and continue to optimize your posts over time for the best possible performance.
Many businesses add a blog to their site to gain traffic and potentially convert readers into customers.
With a well-thought-out blog strategy, you will meet these objectives and grow your business. If the thought of starting a blog and coming up with a content strategy seems overwhelming, we would love to create a blog strategy for you! Contact us to learn more about how we can create a blog plan for your site.