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Blog Content Types Every eCommerce Business Should Use in 2017

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Blog Content Types Every eCommerce Business Should Use in 2017

Oleg Yemchuk
Blog Content Types Every eCommerce Business Should Use in 2017

How many times have you wondered about the most suitable content types for your e-commerce business blog?

I guess there is no need to convince you that every website needs a blog.

In case you still have some doubts, here is some statistics:

Blog content has an immense impact on a website’s success.

The issue here is that 43% of people skim blog posts.

It either means that users can’t digest the continuously growing amount of information available or that companies don’t create content people actually need.

In the age of Netocracy, people are overloaded with data and there is simply no time (and reason) to process the low-value information.

As a result, marketers need to work harder on content creation from year to year.

While it’s relatively easy for general blogs and informational websites to create a decent content strategy, the majority of e-commerce websites seem to struggle with that.

Their “diversity” includes simple blog posts and seldom infographics and that’s just a drop in the ocean.

So what e-commerce websites can actually do to reinvent their content types strategy?

Blog content types that work

► Video Content

Years ago video was considered “the future of content marketing.”

Today, it undoubtedly IS a driving force of content marketing.

In fact, 55% of people consume video content thoroughly and 43% want to see more video content produced by marketers in the future.

I can’t come up with better incentives to include video into your content marketing strategy.

So what video content can an average e-commerce business produce to keep the customers happy?

  • Editorial Videos

The number of "How-to” searches on YouTube grow by 70% each year and this leaves a spot for nearly every business to create editorial video content for the sake of sharing knowledge (and acquiring potential customers of course).

Besides, “How-to” videos help to establish yourself as an authority and show the world that you know your thing. No one wants to buy from an amateur.

In case you don’t know how to find the right topics for editorial videos, don’t miss the “How-To Guides” section below.

  • Product videos

“It's better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”

According to Google’s study, nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.

So if you optimize product videos from an SEO perspective, you can generate additional website traffic and sales.

Moreover, products with video demos have higher conversion rates.

When Zappos added videos to some product pages,  their conversion rates increased between 6% and 30%.

If you have an opportunity, you can go further and create VR video demonstrations for products you sell. More than 170 million people will actively use VR in 2018 and this number will keep growing.

Obviously, product videos should be published at Product Detail Pages.

But if you go an extra mile with video production, each video may be worth a separate blog post (at least you can share bloopers like in the Jackie Chan movies).

The key points to follow while creating a product video are to show the product in action and make it useful (and add some humor if it’s appropriate).

To find examples of great videos, check product videos from ThinkGeek (yes, I’m their fan).

► Webinars

While it’s difficult to utilize webinars in small young companies, they can be an efficient addition to the content strategy of established businesses.

Webinars are often used as a presale stage. 

Find the problem your product solves -> Describe the problem and possible solutions -> Offer your product as a solution.

While this tactic works great to generate extra sales, usually it’s obvious when the speaker tries to promote and sell the product rather than educate viewers.

No doubt that the way you use this tool depends on your business but in case your goal is to establish a brand as an authority, then holding free educational webinars is what you need.

Besides, the webinar recording can be easily turned into an editorial video and a new blog post.

►Text Content types still rule

It’s not a surprise that text content is the most widely used content type among the majority of businesses (including eCommerce).

The problem is that not everyone knows how to leverage it.

Personally, I believe that the main trick is to make the content useful to your readers (forget about counting how many times the keyword was used!).

Not only it will improve a dwell time and lower bounce rate but also increase engagement as 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.

So what text content types you can use in 2017?

  • How-to Guides

As with videos, “How-to” guides are extremely efficient because people love to learn new stuff and look for someone who can help to solve their issue.

The main trick here is to find topics/issues worth covering.

This process has many approaches but I’ll describe only three I actually use.

1) Use SEMrush Keyword Analytics

To find “How to” keywords using SEMrush, start by typing “How to + keyword” into the search field.

Use broad niche relevant keyword.

In my example, I used the keyword “fishing.”

Then navigate to the Phrase Match section (you can go to a phrase match tap first and then search for a keyword).

semrush keyword analytics

Now you’ll see a wide range of fishing-related keywords.

The problem is that they don’t seem that much relevant.

semrush phrase match

In order not to go through the whole list manually you can just filter the results to make them more relevant.

In my case, I just specified that the keyword must include the word “fishing.”

semrush keyword analytics filter

Now the list looks way more relevant, doesn’t it?

Also, I recommend using advanced filters to filter the results by search volume and keyword difficulty.

2) Search through Reddit

Most likely you already know that Reddit is a great place to study your targeted audience.

To find ideas for editorial and how-to guides, search for relevant subreddits and then navigate to questions people actually ask.

reddit search

reddit search 2

subreddit search

3) Use AnswerThePublic

This tool is absolutely fantastic and can help you find a wide range of untapped keywords and topics in your niche.

So you go to answerthepublic.com and type the keyword you want.

As the result, you’ll get a cloud (well, a circle) of questions people ask.

answerthepublic fishing

You can switch to a list view, which is more convenient.

As we are interested in “How to” keywords, I’ve searched for “How to fishing” and received a ton of content ideas.

answertherepublic how to fishing

After you select topics you’d like to cover, I’d recommend checking the search volume of keywords you plan to optimize the articles for.

It may appear that users don’t care much about the topics you believe would “rock.”

  • Buying Guides

If you sell any tangible or virtual products (and even if you don't) it’s easy to come up with several ideas for buying guides.

The key here is to make a comprehensive guide and answer all possible questions a visitor may have.

So this piece may be 5,000, 10,000 or even 20,000 words long.

Yes, you’ve read it right, 20,000.

I’m sure you’ve heard that internet users are too busy to read and you already know that 43% of people just scroll blog posts.

While it’s true for the majority of cases, it doesn’t mean that the content should be short!

Just check articles at TheWireCutter. Some of them are 14,000+ words long and have hundreds of comments.

Long comprehensive content acquires more links and ranks better in Google.

Even considering that users scroll through the article, they pay attention to key points and headings.

So even if your article is super long but is well structured, the chances that the user will read at least a part of it are high.

You don’t even want anyone to read articles word-by-word but to answer particular question and help to solve a specific problem.

Buying guides are great because, if done right, they can have an enormous effect on your website and business in general, from generating additional traffic and sales, to growing brand awareness and authority.

  • Interview an Expert

Well, an interview is not necessarily a “text” content, but let’s be honest, the majority of interviews on the web are presented in a form of text because it’s less time-consuming and easier.

Sure, if you have a possibility to create a video or audio interview — go for it and reuse this content by creating a transcript.

Interviewing an industry expert you create a win-win situation.

Interviewee receives bonus exposure and builds self-brand while interviewer produces unique valuable content not available anywhere else.

Regular interviews can bring you a ton of exposure and links/mentions as 96% of B2B buyers want to read content with more input from industry experts.

  • Lists

Lists are extremely popular among internet users because they are perceived as the “ultimate extract” of useful information on specific topic.

Moreover, titles that include numbers have higher CTRs in SERP.

This content type has been popular for a while and lists keep growing from year to year.

In the past, you’d see lists including 3-10 units but today an article named “124 Ways to Become a SEO Guru” wouldn’t cause any surprise.

Skyscraper Technique seems to work great for this type of content.

Frankly, it works great for any content type I can think of.

I’d advise to avoid listing the “pretty” number of items (“Top 5”, “Top 10”, etc.) and they seem artificial.

If you make a list thoroughly, the chances you end up with 10 items on the list are pretty low.

Also, check the SERPs before creating a list.

If everyone is using the same number, say 5, be unique and use the different quantity so when you get to the first page, your CTR will be higher that the competitors’.

Each business is unique and each content strategy highly depends on business goals and peculiarities.

There are many additional content types you can use: lookbooks, podcasts, quizzes, infographics and so on. You can also work on producing user-generated content. The sky's the limit.

If you have your favorite content types, want to share a success story, or have any remarks feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Oleg Yemchuk is the marketing manager at Maven sharing office space with eCommerce business experts and software developers. Oleg is marketing expert by day and geek by night. As a geek culture fan, he spends his free time playing video games and reading comics.
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Hi,

You state that "Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages." I have searched the web and it all comes back to an info graph done in 2013 (which you link to in this post) which refers to smallbusiness.yahoo.com that seems to get its information from a 2009 study reported by Hubspot. No one says if this is still true 8 years later or how this is even possible. Can you elaborate on this statement and let us know how this is possible? It seems high. Thank you.
Oleg Yemchuk
Dennis Plink
Hi Dennis,

I can't find newer data on this and I don't plan to conduct the research myself (though it might be a good idea), so It's hard for me to say the exact % which would be true in today's web.
From what I understand, your main concern is that it's too high. It varies from niche to niche. For example in our case mavenecommerce.com has about 15 service pages and several pages of portfolio. At the same time we have 120+ blog posts. In our case blog creates a huge difference in the amount of indexed page. The same is true for inchoo.net (also a website from our niche). Sure, if the eCommerce store has 50k products, there is nearly no way they will have even the same number of blog posts.
So I can't provide you aggregated data for all niches as of today.
But I wouldn't consider this statistics as a nonsense and it might be true even for today.
Oleg Yemchuk
Thank you for your reply, Oleg.
Greg Beddor - Portland SEO Expert
What do you recommend if a client wants to do SEO and a blog every month, but can't afford to do both?

Do you try to incorporate a blog still but just do one blog post per month?

Or possibly one blog post every other month so they at least have some momentum moving with a blog.
Oleg Yemchuk
Greg Beddor - Portland SEO Expert
Hi Greg,

The general answer would be "It depends". If under a blog post you mean a thorough research, cool case study or any other type that requires a lot of work, is newsworthy and can bring links and authority to the website, then yes, even one blog post "every other month" would be enough. But if you mean a typical 800-words article aimed to collect long-tail keywords, you should post more often (and it's not that expensive). Still, the first variant seems better to me as you can incorporate tons of long-tail keywords in one in-depth guide, which in theory could be divided into several smaller articles.
Miljana Mitic
Hi Oleg, I'm glad you started your post with video because it's undoubtedly the most attention-grabbing and engaging content that encourages visitors to stay longer and browse deeper. Apart from creating own videos, ecommerce store owners can also curate user-generated videos from social media as a way to add social proof that creates trust and can boost conversion rate up to 80%. Here are a few examples https://blog.goodvid.io/how-to-use-user-generated-videos-in-online-retail-to-drive-sales/