One of the key factors to improving your online store’s visibility is to improve your onsite content. You may be thinking: Why bother with onsite content? Isn’t link building more important?
Not necessarily. Having quality onsite content helps develop trust and authority within your industry. Offsite content helps with this too, but it’s difficult to get high-quality publishers to give you backlinks unless your onsite content is fire to begin with.
It’s true that modern-day shoppers are more visually-oriented, but this still needs to be balanced with succinct yet interesting text. Avoid long-winded descriptions, but have just enough words to pique interest and establish yourself as an expert.
Having an abundance of well-optimized onsite content is also the best way to acquire long-tail search traffic, which usually consists of people who are closer to the bottom of the sales funnel (and therefore ready to buy).
There are three types of critical onsite content for an eCommerce store and we’ll cover the best way to tackle each one:
- Product descriptions
- Sales copy
- Blog content
It’s tempting to turn your product descriptions into one of those recipes you see online, where the author tells an excessively long and uninteresting story before finally leading into the five bullet points that actually constitute the recipe. Remember: you’re trying to make a sale, they’re trying to increase their average time-on-site. Still a noble effort, but not the primary effort you should be making.
When it comes to writing product descriptions, there are three criteria to keep in mind.
Keep it concise
Avoid what Shopify refers to as the “yeah, yeah” factor. In other, don’t fill your product description with fluff that makes your customers roll their eyes. Be super specific, but don’t get caught up in convincing the customer why the product is so great.
Don’t get bogged down by your desire to turn this into a creative writing project. Customers are looking for precise information. In fact, 76% of shoppers rate Product Specifications as the most important content to them when trying to decide on a purchase.
Know your audience
Highlight the qualities that you know your shoppers are looking for. What does the customer profile for your business look like? College-educated? Mostly female? Widely introverted? Having a persona in mind matters.
Look at this example of a product description for a simple t-shirt from Pact, a retailer known for organic cotton basics.
Because of the nature of their product offering, Pact knows that their customers value practicality over flash and that eco-friendliness is an important deciding factor in their purchases. That’s why their product description highlights the gallons of water saved during manufacturing, the lack of toxic chemicals, as well as the clean presentation of facts about what it’s made of, what it looks like, and how to wear it.
Sales copy refers to the small tidbits of text you’ll find on landing pages, homepage banners, and similar areas on your site. The main idea is succinct, sales-focused copy that will hook a potential customer and get them to want to learn more about your brand or product offering.
For this, focus on unique selling propositions. What sets your business apart from its competitors? For example, if it’s that your fabric is locally-sourced, mention that. Or if it’s the fact that you’re a small, family-run business with a strong focus on customer service, highlight that personalized level of attention you can provide.
Strong sales copy usually also contains action words, like Buy Now, Learn More, Act Fast. This example from a sales banner on Eddie Bauer’s homepage is a prime example:
It contains an action phrase (“Stock up”), describes what they’re selling (items for warm weather), and tries to hook you by stating they’re “must-haves.”
Blog content on eCommerce sites is so vastly overlooked, yet so important. Keeping up with consistent blog posting can have an impact on your business, as the statistics will show:
- Small business with blogs generate 126% more leads
- 61% of U.S. online shoppers move forward with a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog
- Websites with blog content have 434% more indexed pages than those that don’t, resulting in much higher search engine visibility
Despite the awesome results blog content can deliver, it’s important to not get carried away with making it too sales-focused. It should be indirectly related to your business and industry, with relevant calls-to-action for products or services throughout.
Check out this example from StitchFix, a personal style service, on a blog post about how to stretch overly snug boots. The topic is not directly related — their business does not involve helping people get their shoes to fit — but it’s unique and informative enough to get people interested in their “expert advice” call-to-action at the bottom.
After all, if they offer great advice with helping you get your boots to fit, then they can probably offer great advice about your entire wardrobe.
Be content with your content
The key with quality eCommerce content is this: Don’t focus on selling, focus on what your audience is interested in hearing/reading. From there, find a segue into how your product or service relates or provides a solution to a problem they’re researching.
Remember also that a light, conversational tone is the way to maintain mass appeal. Don’t make it overbearing, at too high a reading level, or too verbose. The average person’s online attention span is short, so you have to hook them and give them all the answers in as few words as possible.
And of course, always take SEO into account. Whether it’s a headline for a sales banner or a long-form blog post, think of a focus keyword and build your content around that