8. Ranking an ecommerce site is hard
As Kissmetrics point out there are many difficulties in ranking an ecommerce site. It is damned hard.
Why? Remember what we said about the importance of content and links?
Making your product pages stand out with unique content and descriptions requires a vocabulary and dedication to creative writing few business owners have (which is why they employ marketers and writers).
No one links to product pages unless you’re Amazon or they’re absolutely stellar.
Take a lady’s business outfit for example. There are only so many ways you can say “lady’s business outfit”. There will also be other retailers selling the same product – all with the same descriptions pulled straight from the same producer’s catalogue.
Instead create content around trendy women’s business attire, or a video of a fashion event, or the top 20 fashions this Christmas, and link to your products from there.
Believe me, people will be far more interested and engaged with your content when you start providing help.
9. Content improves your online statistics
In addition to the importance of content and links, other well-known ranking factors concern what people do when they’re on your site.
Among other factors search engines look at are:
- The amount of time a visitor spends on your site
- The bounce rate
- A long click vs. a short click
- Which pages are viewed
- What interactions people have with your website
These are all great signals for search engines.
If people are staying on your site for a long time, clicking around and downloading your PDF guides, guess what? It provides tons of useful info that your site is worth looking at.
10. A strategy provides great content for email campaigns
Do you use email marketing?
Email should always be opt-in which means people have agreed to be sent your information. I subscribe to tons of newsletters (too many in fact) but it’s all highly relevant and very interesting.
If it’s not what I was looking for I unsubscribe and I’m done with it.
But what do you put in an email newsletter?
Your latest guides, articles, reviews, download links, offers or promotions.
Not only can you keep your business at front of mind with email it’s also a great opportunity to offer discounts.
I am genuinely grateful to Matthew Woodward for giving me a discount to software I subscribe to by simply being on his email list (oh, and if you were wondering how links work this link to Matthew will give his website a thumbs up in the eyes of the search engines)!
Here are some brief stats from Campaign Monitor that caught my eye recently:
- Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter
- 72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media
- A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook [to be honest this seems pretty small to be. Only 5x?]
- Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%
- Employees spend 13 of their working hours each week in their email inbox (on average)
However, you know what I’m going to say don’t you? Your email content has to be engaging otherwise people will never click on it on the first place.
11. A strategy gives you content to share on social media (your content, not someone else’s)
A social media content strategy is imperative for most businesses. In a similar vein to email marketing a content strategy provides, dare I say it, content for your social media campaigns.
And I always find the following slightly funny: I see my competitors’ websites saying “We will “do” your social media for £100 per month.”
Well, bugger me with a fish fork! (Not literally, of course!)
You get what you pay for chums.
I guess their response would be that it’s bait. That’s just the start.
But I’ll let you in on a secret: you’re not going to get a lot for £100. And I know it happens as a business I met recently is paying just that price for a company to “do” its social media.
The content they produce is awful-to-non-existent (seven poor excuses for posts in 12 months) and he has no idea what return he gets or who visits his website.
My guess is if you’re paying this amount your social media will:
- Have bugger all of your own content to promote
- Have little in the way of a strategy
- Have little in the way of reports and results
My point is: your social media strategy must share your own content and if you don’t have any content to share you will be royally buggered!
Beware of the cheap social media con man! You have been warned.
You will end up only sharing other people’s content. What is the use in that? If you don’t believe me, look at the opportunity you have.
Below are the social sharing stats for the keyword “leadership management”.
Armed with this type of data – and a strategy – with your knowledge of your industry, how long would it take to put together a piece of content based on one of these topics? Not long, I guess.
And you’ll probably really enjoy doing it as well because you enjoy your work. That’s why you set up the business in the first place. You’re an expert. So tell people.
This data absolutely tells me that:
- LinkedIn and Facebook are the best platforms
- “What” posts and “List” posts work well
- Between 1,000-2,000 words are mostly shared
- And time management is the most popular topic
Now you’re armed and ready. With a well-thought out strategy is there any reason you couldn’t produce content? Believe me, without it you’ll just be posting someone else’s content.
12. A content strategy gives people a reason to come back for more
We’ve spoken about engagement before. Great content is engaging and great content will give people a reason to come back.
This gives you more opportunity to sell your products and services and make you stand out as an authority.
It will give people more of a reason to bookmark your site rather than faff around trying to remember it. People will be more likely to sign up to your newsletters after a second or third visit. Your business will become more memorable and the more people return and click around, the more people will link to you, and the better you’ll stand in the eyes of search engines.
13. Proper content is not advertising
I’m going to say it again: content is helpful. It answers questions, it’s engaging, interesting, informative and fun.
While there’s a debate on whether people like advertising or not I think it’s safe to say people generally dislike being sold to. Indeed this is why we’ve seen the meteoric rise in adblockers on the internet.
This is why behemoths of websites like the Guardian are genuinely concerned about their future revenue streams and why Google recently announced it’s banning of pop ups and interstitial advertising.
Creating content that is worth reading is the best thing to do.
14. You don’t have a strategy? Your competition does
A friend gave me some good advice the other day (not the one about the key to finding happiness is completing the things you didn’t finish, so I polish off the bottle of wine, box of chocolates, pizza, the rest of the vodka and so on. No not that one.)
He said “If you wait until you’re ready to do something, you’ll never do it.”
He gave the analogy of having kids. “We could never afford them but we still had them. We now have four.” (Four? That’s just being greedy, Mark!)
My point is, if you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never do it.
So start now. Don’t delay another day.
You can bet your bottom threp ny bit that your competitors are making and creating content and they’re probably doing it well. It’ll be focused, targeting the same clients as yours and probably pretty good.
So, what are you waiting for?
Have we missed any out? What are your thoughts? Comments are welcome below.