I’m involved with a number of e-commerce groups and forums and the most consistent question is how do I drive traffic to my store.
Not everyone who starts an e-commerce store should start producing content for their own website. In some scenarios you’d be better served building followings or spending your resources on third party platforms.
But when done correctly a well-crafted blog can drive 10’s of thousands of potential customers a month. If you skip the planning part, and dive straight in content production the odds of success go way down.
This article is going to layout a foolproof way of finding topics.
Why Content Isn’t Right For Your E-Commerce Store
Our store currently receives ~10,000 visitors per month. It’s a year old but the domain is only 3 months old*. Over 60% of those visitors land on an article that I’ve written.
I know you want to know – has it led to any sales? Yes, but that’s only half of the truth.
It has directly led to sales, but only a small fraction.
So what’s the point of investing your marketing resources into content if it only has lead to a small fraction of your sales?
An interesting thing happens when you start to produce content AND promote it. Not only do you rank for relevant informational keywords, you start to rank for buyer keywords. And those keywords, led to a lot more sales.
Those sales often lead to repeat customers, raving fans and online exposure.
Overtime your domain will build authority and as you add content and products it becomes easier and easier to rank for the terms you’re targeting.
Key Considerations When Deciding Whether or Not to Produce Content
Content creation makes sense for the majority of e-commerce stores. But there are some factors, which will make certain stores a better fit than others.
- Do your products have reasonable keyword volume?
Certain products won’t have enough search volume. New products, extremely niche products are a few examples that might fall under this category. Let’s say you sell yellow throw pillows you can quickly check the volume for “yellow throw pillows” and “throw pillows” by installing a chrome plugin called Keyword Keg.
Most products get searched a lot. Often you’ll need to niche down from throw pillows to yellow throw pillows in order to have a shot at competing.
- Is There a Niche or a Shoulder Niche that is Interesting?
Almost every vertical has a shoulder niche that is interesting enough to create blog content around. Let’s use throw pillows as an example again; the niche would home décor or interior decorating.
It’s VERY rare that there isn’t a suitable sub-niche. In some B2B instances you might run into that problem but almost all consumer goods will have a solid niche to work with.
- How Many Unique Products do you Sell?
This one is very important. There was a kick-starter campaign for a product that was built to fiddle with. Who knew it’d raise nearly 5 million dollars? Building a blog around this product may not have been the wisest decision.
Remember when I talked about content and marketing helping you rank for not only the informational keywords but also the product keywords? The more products you have the more buyer keywords you’re going to be able to rank for.
- Do you have Adequate Resources?
I want you to picture the amount of time it would take you to write one, two thousand-word article. Let’s assume four hours of work goes into writing and editing that article. Now I want you to take (at least) a quarter of that time for formatting and publishing.
Now take those five hours and double it. That’s how much time you should spend promoting it.
Yes, I’m serious.
No that is NOT for every single article you write. But it should happen once or twice a month when you produce an epic piece of content.
You need one of two sources of traffic; organic traffic or social traffic. You can’t get around this, if want the snowball to roll down the hill and build momentum you need to give it a push.
Keyword Research & Content Creation
If you’re Hubspot and can afford to throw garbage at the wall until something sticks skip this section.
If you’re a solo-peneur or have a small team with a small budget this step is the most important stage.
The fewer the resources you have the more time you should spend on this step.
- Find Comparable Sites
A comparable site does NOT mean other e-commerce stores. You will rarely find e-commerce stores building high quality blogs with the exception of few of the bigger e-commerce store.
The newer the site is the deeper you’re going to have to dive. Using the Moz Bar find sites with similar or smaller Domain Authorities than my site. If your site is brand new start with 25 as your upper limit.
It’s critical you find them using relevant searches to your own brand.
There are a number of ways to build that list of websites, but without any tools you can simply perform searches on relevant keywords. Let’s go back to our Throw Pillow example.
The blog vertical might be interior design (which, as it turns out is a VERY competitive niche).
I found this keyword: DIY Wall Desk. Which led me toOrgani, a home décor site with a DA of 22.
- Build a List of Keywords
Ideally, you have SEMRush or Ahrefs. If need be, buy a month’s subscription and do all your keyword research in that month.
On the SEMRush plug the URL into the Organic Research search bar. It’s going to give you all the keywords that website ranks for. Now start cherry picking keywords that those sites with small DA’s rank for.
Once you have one site you can use that sites keywords to search in Google to find additional sites that would fit the criteria. Chances are if they’re ranking for a particular keyword, other low authority sites are as well.
From there just rinse and repeat.
If this seems simple, it’s because it is. There is no point writing content that has no chance to rank and what better way to compile a large list of keywords than to use websites that have a similar level of authority as you.
Once you’ve compiled a list of 40-50 content ideas you’re ready to start producing content on a regular basis.
*The reason the domain is 3 months old is because we moved it to a new URL. We began working on the site in January 2016.
About the Author:-
Megan Thompson is a DIY health & beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free and her diet as unprocessed as possible. You can find her work at Gold Mountain Beauty where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram and Pinterest.