In May 2010, I posted tips on Blogging for Sales. Since then, many clients and visitors have asked for more posts on this topic. After all, small business ecommerce sites commonly have to pull extra weight to compete with the big dogs. This includes using methods to keep people inside the web site, especially when it comes to wanting to know more about what you sell and related issues.
While I’ll definitely be continuing discussions on this topic, I want to make sure online store owners realize how a blog affects an ecommerce site, and just how dedicated you need to be.
Consider these when building and working on blogs that are part of an ecommerce domain:
- Expect to see a higher bounce rate on blog posts than on other types of pages.
The bounce rate of a page is measured by how many visitors land on that page from the outside and then leave the site, never clicking through to any other page.
Unless one of your posts is trending across the Internet – and thus, is being shared by thousands – chances are you’re not going to get the number of visits you expect. A low percentage of people will actually convert to visiting the store. Why? Because web actions have changed. Sites like Twitter and Facebook are used to constantly feed us links and action-requests. The result is lots of single page loads. But activity? Not so much.
- Expect to see more people “Liking” and Tweeting about the page, but not commenting.
We are seemingly more pressed for time than ever, or, at least, we want you to think we are. Actually, it’s more a matter of quick-share social media icons doing the work for us. The result? More shares, but less comments – which actually tend to do more for authenticating a specific post, as well as helping with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What can you do? Use anti-spam tools so your blog doesn’t require registration and moderation of comments. Encourage visitors to comment by asking questions.
- Expect less click-throughs to products and services.
With everyone in such a rush, clicking a link is a “second” that seems like an eternity to some. Now’s the time to be creative, emotional, and compelling in your copy to make the visitor want to read more. Simple, honest psychology will prompt more people to click links to your products and services.
- Expect less use of navigation.
While on store pages visitors rely on navigation (top, left, right, bottom) to locate products and services they want, in a blog they’re more inclined to simply read the post. The blog is a great place to put stellar ad graphics that link to the store. Want a better return? Link to category pages or key landing pages created just for blog readers. Some visitors are inspired by ads that hype free shipping or discounts, while others are prompted by unique product lines.
- Don’t expect hordes of email subscribers
Nowadays people think twice before subscribing to newsletters and such because they have trouble handling the amount of messages they already receive. This is why alternate tools, such as RSS feeds and Facebook pages are gaining in popularity (especially on mobile devices).
If you have a Facebook page for your company, install the Networked Blogs app, which posts headlines and summaries of blog posts right on Facebook. And be sure to configure RSS feeds properly – by including copyright info and share links – so those types of readers can still spread the word about your site.
These are just some tips to get you started, and so you know what to expect, including updates you should be making to supporting content. Remember, also, that it takes time to grow a true following, so don’t be discouraged – overnight successes are few and far between.
Image: screen capture from RetroPlanet.com