How to Create an eCommerce Content Strategy That Increases Revenue and Conversions
July 13, 2023
Most SEO-focused eCommerce content strategies prioritize targeting high search volume, low difficulty keywords to generate more organic traffic. But this approach often fails to generate product sales or acquire new customers.
Instead of focusing on increasing traffic to your site, your eCommerce content strategy should focus on addressing your customer's needs and how your product can solve their problems.
That’s why we recommend filtering every piece of your content strategy (whether it’s a blog post or a product page) through this question: how does this piece of content reach my target customer at the buying stage of their journey?
When your eCommerce content marketing strategies target your customers at the buying stage of their journey, you’re much more likely to get a conversion.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can develop an eCommerce content strategy that will help your site convert more. We look at ways to improve your blog, your product pages, and landing pages. Specifically, we cover:
- How to write content for your eCommerce blog that generates conversions
- How to structure and optimize product and category pages to rank above sites like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay
- How to use user-generated content on your product pages
- How to use interactive content (quizzes, calculators, etc) to increase conversions
By following the methods we outline below, you will see an increase in not just traffic but in conversions (whether that means purchases, sign-ups, or new email subscribers).
Want to learn more about a custom content strategy that will drive conversions to your eCommerce site? Contact us.
Step 1: Target Bottom of Funnel Content for Your eCommerce Blog
As we said above, your goal shouldn’t be to get views, your goal should be to get conversions. When you change that part of your mindset, your entire content marketing strategy changes.
Traditionally, eCommerce SEO blog strategies had writing and publishing top-of-the-funnel blog content (to build credibility within your niche).
For example, if you were an eCommerce site that sold coffee makers, then your blog would consist of articles about “lattes vs. cappuccino” or “the difference between blonde roast and dark roast.”
These are top-of-the-funnel topics. They relate to your industry, but that’s it – they don’t relate to someone buying one of your coffee makers.
Instead, your eCommerce content strategy should focus on high-intent, bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) keywords.
BOFU keywords are generally:
- Lower-volume keywords, but the audience you’re getting is much more targeted.
- Less competitive, so they’re easier to rank for.
So, instead of writing about the differences between types of coffee beans, you will write a buyer’s guide for coffee makers within your customer’s price range, i.e., “the best coffee maker under $50.”
Let’s look at some real examples below from content strategies we developed for our clients.
One of our clients is Tokyo Portfolio, a website for finding retail properties in Japan.
A traditional content strategy would have this blog targeting top-of-the-funnel content to increase traffic and become an authority within their niche (living in Japan). This means they’d be targeting high-volume keywords such as:
“Things to do in tokyo” – which has an estimated global keyword volume of 37k.
And “cost of living in tokyo,” which has an estimated global volume of 1.5k.
But there are much more profitable keywords for this site. The above keywords are too high up the funnel to be considered “buying keywords.” Yes, someone googling either of those keywords could potentially be interested in moving to Japan down the line, but they still have a while to go in their buyer’s journey.
Here are a few keywords we chose to target.
First, “how to move to japan permanently.”
Notice the global volume shrinks to 250, but the intent is much more aligned with our client’s company. It doesn’t matter that you’re getting less traffic to your post – because the traffic you’re getting is much more valuable.
Here’s another keyword we targeted for this client – “tokyo real estate investment.”
Once you get through all of your bottom-of-the-funnel keywords, you can slowly work your way up the funnel to middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) and top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content.
For example, let’s look at the keyword “living in tokyo.” This isn’t as bottom-of-the-funnel as “how to move to japan permanently” and “tokyo real estate investment.” The search is broad enough that it shows the customer is potentially still at the beginning stages of their journey.
But there’s some overlap between this keyword and the target audience of our client (people looking to buy property in Japan). Given its possible intent, and low keyword difficulty, we’d place this keyword later on in the content schedule after we’ve already written a blog post for every bottom-of-the-funnel, high-intent keyword.
In summary, here’s how you want to develop your content creation strategy.
- First, target bottom of the funnel keywords. These are the revenue-increasing keywords in your content strategy. They’re more likely to convert readers into new customers. They are generally lower-volume keywords, which means you can potentially rank for them faster and see results sooner rather than later.
- Second, target middle-of-the-funnel keywords second. As you move up the funnel, you’ll still find valuable conversion-driven keywords, but the intent is going to be more mixed, so while your traffic will increase and you will get conversions, you’ll generally see fewer conversions from this content overall.
- Finally, target top-of-the-funnel keywords last. You still want to write TOFU content. Find TOFU keywords that are most relevant to your industry. Keep in mind these keywords are generally more competitive, so they’ll take longer to rank for.
But now that you have an established blog in your niche, you can potentially rank for them faster. When you do, you’ll see a big spike in traffic, and while your conversion rate will be much lower, you’ll still get a few conversions from this new content each month.
For example, say a TOFU blog post gets you 5,000 views a month, and you get a conversion rate of .005%. That’s 25 conversions a month.
By following this outline for your content strategy, you will see:
- An increase in sales throughout the entire length of your content marketing efforts, with the biggest wins coming earlier.
- An increase in traffic. While you’re targeting bottom-of-the-funnel keywords, which often have less volume, you’re still going to see a spike in traffic.
- An increase in backlinks. As you write informative, high-quality, in-depth content, other sites will link to your content. This helps you build trust with search engines, showing that your content is worth promoting.
Tips for Finding Bottom of the Funnel Keywords
When you’re creating your content strategy, you’ll need to do keyword research to find the best topics. You can do this using keyword research tools (like Ahrefs and SEMRush)and looking at other eCommerce store’s to see what they’re ranking for.
You can also look at the internal data of your company – what do potential buyers tell you is most important to them? What do your paying customers say they need the most? What do your product reviews constantly highlight when it comes to a) why they were looking for your product and b) how your product helped them solve their underlying pain points.
But remember you want to filter all possible content ideas through the question of whether or not it’s going to target your customers who are closest to the buying stage in their customer journey.
Here are some tips for finding the right BOFU keywords to create an effective content strategy.
- Think of buyer's guides. What specific products are you selling, and how would a buyer’s guide be beneficial? For example, if you were an eCommerce mattress company, you could create buyer’s guides around the best mattresses for back sleepers, stomach sleepers, side sleepers, sleepers with back pain, etc.
- Think in terms of “alternatives” and “competitors” keywords. For example, let’s say your eCommerce site was selling athletic shoes. You would then write blog posts for keywords targeting other eCommerce brands, such as “Allbird Alternatives,” “Nike Alternatives,” “Adidas Alternatives,” etc.
Alternative posts are great money-making posts because you’re targeting a) people who are in the buying stage of their journey and b) people who want a product that’s similar to yours (but don't want your competitor’s product).
- Think of “how to” posts. “How-to” posts can be bottom of the funnel, as we discussed above with our post on ‘how to move to Japan permanently.” When someone searches a “how-to” keyword, they’re trying to solve an active problem. This can be “how to improve your posture” or “how to reduce blue light headaches,” or “how to quit smoking.” All of those inquiries can be tied back to a helpful product. Think of why you made your eCommerce site in the first place to help you come up with “how to” posts.
- Look for “long tail keywords.” Long tail keywords are keywords on the “long tail” of the organic search volume graph – basically, keywords that bring in less traffic. You can make a keyword long tail by adding nuance and descriptors to a vague phrase. For example, “best vacuum” is likely not a long-tail keyword, but “best vacuum for studio apartment” would likely be. It isn’t a given that a long tail keyword will be BOFU content, but you can look at long tail keywords within your niche to try and find BOFU keywords worth ranking for.
- Always analyze the search engine results page (SERP). All of the above tips should still involve a detailed SERP analysis. You want to see what search engines are ranking within a target keyword to ensure that your good content will have a chance to rank and convert.
Step 2: Optimize Your Product Pages to Rank and Convert
Above, we looked at the importance of publishing great content that is optimized to rank for high-intent, bottom-of-the-funnel keywords.
Another key aspect of your eCommerce strategy is optimizing your product pages and landing pages to target your potential customers at the buying stages of their journey.
In this section, we cover:
- Ranking your product pages for a specific keyword
- Using user-generated content
- Creating interactive content
Make Sure Your Product Pages are Optimized to Rank for a Specific Keyword
First, your product pages need to be targeting a specific keyword. This keyword should reflect the product being displayed, which essentially makes it a bottom-of-the-funnel keyword.
The keyword – or some variation of it –should appear in the following:
- The product page’s URL
- The product page’s headers
- The meta description
- In alt texts for images
For this example, let’s look at Poster Jack’s product page for its satin photo paper option.
You can see it’s targeting the keyword “satin photo paper” in the first header on the page. Also note, there are three clear CTAs (call-to-action) on this page: 1) the “create now” button, 2) the “create your poster print” button, and 3) the “20% off” coupon.
The keyword appears again further down the page as a header to the product description section.
By placing the keyword in the right location, this eCommerce site is increasing its chances of ranking for its target keyword.
Plus, You Can Increase Brick-and-Mortar Sales with Local SEO
At Cove, some of our eCommerce clients have retail locations. These clients want to increase sales for both their eCommerce store and their brick-and-mortar locations.
To help increase sales at the brick-and-mortar locations, we will optimize their location pages with the best practices in local SEO. This involves optimizing both their site’s content, its URL structure, as well as the company’s Google My Business listing.
For example, one of our clients is the Mattress King in Oklahoma. They drive sales through their eCommerce store but also through their five brick-and-mortar stores throughout Oklahoma.
We optimized each store’s location page to rank for local search queries (i.e., “mattress stores in [city name].” For example, here’s the landing page for their mattress store in Norman, Oklahoma.
This location – and all of the Mattress King’s locations – rank in the top 3 in Google Maps.
Step #3: Use User-Generated Content to Nudge Customers Towards Converting
User-generated content (UGC), like customer reviews, ratings, testimonials, and case studies, helps explain your product to your customers.
eCommerce companies often speak about their product in more elevated language – using jargon or wording within their industry. But a reviewer will speak to your product in plain terms, terms, and words that resonate with your target audience.
PosterJack uses user-generated content in two key ways.
First, it includes actual photos from satisfied, loyal customers in a section called “Ideas From Our Community.”
This lets prospective customers see the final result of ordering their satin photo print from PosterJack, i.e., what their printed photos can look like in their very own homes.
Then, further down the product page, PosterJack has a section for all of its customer reviews.
Prospective customers can sort through the reviews and search for specific phrases within a review.
Step #4: Use Interactive Content (Quizzes, Calculators, etc.) to Increase Conversions
Another way to optimize your product page – or any landing page – is to create interactive content that your customers can use.
For example, you can make:
- Shareable infographics
- Or configurators that help customers choose the right product can significantly increase engagement and conversions.
This type of content is great for getting customers to sign up for your email marketing efforts, which means you can then work at getting them to visit your online store.
Here are two examples from the eCommerce site Perfect Keto, which sells keto-based snacks and supplements.
You can take the quiz, which asks you questions about your lifestyle goals, body type, and food preferences.
After you answer each question, you’re prompted to enter your email address to get your results and an exclusive discount code.
Perfect Keto also has a Keto calculator that prospective customers can use.
You enter in information like your body weight, body type, and goals and then the calculator tells you the macros that will help you reach your goals.
Again, you’re prompted to enter your email address to get your results.
Next Steps: Implementing Your Content Marketing Plan
Above, we looked at content marketing examples designed to drive actual conversions/sales.
By focusing on:
- Writing quality content that targets a buying intent keyword for your blog
- Optimizing your product pages /landing pages with different content types (like tests and quizzes and user-generated content)
You can also re-purpose this valuable content to create:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Video content
To learn more about how to develop a conversion-focused eCommerce content strategy, contact us.
Naman is the founder of Cove. He has 10+ years of experience executing SEO and growth for eCommerce and SaaS companies.
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