eCommerce Content Writing: Increasing Sales and Revenue with High-Quality Content
August 11, 2023
In our experience managing eCommerce content writing strategy across various clients, we’ve seen three critical problems with the typical approach to content marketing:
- They hire any available freelance writers — even if they don’t have industry experience or background in eCommerce content writing — and spend a lot of time editing and publishing mediocre articles.
- They focus more on keywords with high search volumes to increase traffic.
- They never achieve first-page rankings for valuable keywords or see real success (actual sales and ROI) from content.
If you are looking to improve your eCommerce content writing operations — or you want to hire an eCommerce content writing service — this article will teach you how to avoid the mistakes above and write content that gets results.
Specifically, we share-
- Solutions to the three common eCommerce content writing pitfalls above.
- Tips for writing successful content for eCommerce websites — how to determine which types of content to produce at different stages of the purchase funnel and what to consider when researching, outlining, and drafting content.
- Ways to improve content quality and workflows — across your internal teams and when using freelance eCommerce content writers.
First, let’s start by covering the biggest issues with how most eCommerce businesses and writers approach eCommerce content writing.
You can also work with our agency to plan and execute content strategy for your eCommerce business. Get in touch with us to discuss how we can drive more revenue to your store!
Problem 1: Hiring freelance writers without background or expertise in your space
Many eCommerce businesses offload content writing to freelancers to save internal resources — whether they want to forego hiring in-house writers or have jam-packed content plans and need outside help.
However, the problem many teams have is finding high-quality, reliable freelance writers.
They might be able to find somebody who’s available, offers affordable rates, and has years of experience — but they might not have expertise in eCommerce writing or knowledge about a brand’s specific products or services.
Just because a writer is a good writer doesn’t mean they’re experts in every niche category.
In these cases, writers require a lot of upfront training, or editors usually end up stuck with content that requires a lot of reworking. So, by the end, there isn’t much of a time savings — and if you cut corners, you’re publishing low-quality content that isn’t the best reflection of your brand or products (which is more or less a waste of your investment because content won’t perform well or drive sales).
The solution is to source freelancers whose writing backgrounds align with your business offerings and content needs.
Look for writers who:
- Have worked with other eCommerce brands — this means they probably have some knowledge of SEO and copywriting under their belt and will be able to tackle blog writing and draft website landing pages.
- Alternatively, have written for a variety of brands (in general) — this means they’re likely adaptable and able to adjust content writing strategies quickly.
- Have written about products or services that relate to yours — even if a prospective writer has never written for another eCommerce brand, if they have experience creating content about topics, products, or services that relate to what you offer, they’ll likely be able to catch on without roadblocks. For example, if you’re looking for freelancers to produce content for an online skincare brand, writers who have written for other beauty blogs would be good candidates.
Even if you’re careful about writer selection, you should still provide freelancers with ample resources to learn about: your business, brand voice, offerings, unique selling points, target audiences, customer needs, competitors, digital marketing strategies, and any other information that’s relevant to represent your brand accurately (and effectively).
They can do a deep dive into your brand background before working with you, then reference these resources as they go.
If possible, have writers interview members of your organization — for example, your customer experience team or product designers — to learn about your customer base, understand why potential customers show interest in your brand, and gather ideas on how to sell your products across audiences (or record interviews so writers can review them during onboarding).
Being choosier about who you contract and supplying clear training resources for new writers is the best way to build a well-oiled writing team that can strategically sell your brand and engage with target audiences.
Problem 2: Publishing content about any seemingly-related topic to “build out website content” & drive traffic
When eCommerce brands come to us because they don’t see ROI from website content, we look at the content on their website and the keywords they target and appear for in search engine rankings.
Content quality is an issue in and of itself (which we’ll talk more about below). But more often than not, we see that brands aren’t very strategic in their approach to keyword research or content optimization.
Instead, the strategy is typically to cast the widest net — a.k.a. Target any high-traffic keyword relatable to their brand — to get in front of as many potential customers as possible.
Therefore, many teams put too much emphasis on “brand awareness” and increasing website visitors, so they look for popular category keywords… and end up overlooking valuable buying-intent keywords. This is the difference between targeting top-of-funnel keywords vs. bottom-of-funnel opportunities — you don’t have to educate searchers through the entire sales process.
When pageviews are the most important performance metric, driving conversions from content becomes more of an afterthought (and doesn’t feel like an issue until you report on the actual results of content and how it contributes to revenue generation).
But there are two primary goals of investing in content marketing, and you have to focus on both sides of the coin to see ROI:
- Drive brand awareness and establish your online presence to build authority in your industry and attract new website visitors, and
- Create conversion-focused website content tailored to search intent and leads to sales.
If your only goal is to insert your name in every relevant conversation, you’ll miss out on the ones most important to your business — with the readers actively interested in your offerings and about to make a purchase.
To see real results from content, you should:
- create a strong content plan of the keywords that make sense for your brand
- plan and prioritize high-buying-intent keywords, and
- put in the research to create unique content that hits on relevant topics and portrays your brand offerings in the best way to different target audiences.
We’ll talk more about how to execute this keyword research and content creation below. Before we do, let’s talk about the last issue we see eCommerce brands experience when building out website content — poor rankings.
Problem 3: Not seeing rankings or results from new content
The only way to consistently see results from website content is to earn top rankings in search engine results. Otherwise, website content will only perform for you as long as you invest resources in promoting it.
However, you can’t achieve page-one rankings without on-page SEO strategies — and it’s very rare for all content writers to have this background or know SEO best practices.
As a result, business owners publish un-optimized content that never ranks. Or, teams have to perform an extra edit on content edit before it’s published, and the process of optimizing content usually falls on one or two people, which can create stress and cause delays.
The best way to mitigate this issue is to adopt a content optimization tool that shows writers how to produce SEO-friendly content within their existing workflows. Writers can use these tools to guide content creation (research, outlining, drafting, and optimizing content), and most solutions are very intuitive, designed to “decode” SEO, so all of your writers can easily optimize content as they build outlines and drafts.
There are several content optimization software you can try, including Clearscope, MarketMuse, and Surfer.
Making the extra investment in content optimization software has several benefits and allows you to see better results from content:
- You can ensure all new content is optimized for target keywords and checks all of the boxes to perform well in organic search results from the get-go. There’s no need for an extra edit; then, you can shift gears and think of ways to promote content.
- You can see what topics writers are working on by checking the status of content reports. Most solutions have shareable reports so you can unify internal teams and freelancers to manage everybody in one hub.
- You can look back at previous reports and create a content inventory to monitor what already exists on your site; this helps you avoid duplicate content and plan new website content.
Of course, technical SEO and website health play a role in search engine performance: it’s a good idea to perform a technical audit and address any issues that could impact your site (e.g., broken links, slow load times, confusing URL structure). However, these audits are typically done by a technical SEO expert periodically.
Each piece of content you produce requires on-page optimization — finding a solution that you can roll out across your writing team is the best way to manage SEO on a piece-by-piece basis.
How to Write High-Quality Content for eCommerce Sites
Now that we’ve covered the things to avoid when assembling your writing team and delving into eCommerce content creation, let's walk through our content marketing strategy to identify valuable keywords and create high-quality eCommerce content.
1. Use a mix of brand awareness and buying-intent keywords in your content plan
Remember problem #2 — focusing on brand awareness isn’t bad but it isn’t the only goal. You need to target opportunities that will put you in front of readers actively interested in what you offer. Then you see results from content much sooner.
For example, if you sell workout and wellness supplements, you should target keywords that directly relate to your products: “plant-based protein powder,” “creatine for women,” and “best liquid vitamins.”
It doesn’t hurt to also target keywords like “how to get rid of sore muscles” because you have valuable information to offer those readers, and they might be interested in making a purchase with your brand; those keywords just don’t indicate as much buying potential as brand, product, or service-specific keywords.
Here are a few other examples of types of keywords that show buying intent:
- Product or service keywords — these are usually pretty easy to figure out; they’re the exact terms somebody would use to search for a product or service you offer. Re: “plant-based protein powder” and other examples above.
- Brand-specific keywords — somebody is searching your (or a competitor’s) brand name and wants to learn more - see what you offer, read product reviews, and check user feedback. For example, “GNC online store.”
- Keywords that mention a competitor name + “alternative” or “competitor” — these indicate that somebody knows about a competitor in your industry and wants an alternative solution. For example, “Vitamin Shoppe competitors.”
- “Vs.” keywords — Brand #1 vs. Brand #2 — these expand upon the idea above; the user is researching two competitors and looking to make a purchase. You can look for “vs.” keywords that mention your brand or find ones that mention competitors and determine how to join the conversation. For example, “GNC vs. Vitamin Shoppe” or “Vitamin World vs. Vitamin Shoppe.”
- Long-tail keywords that mention a problem or task your products or services solve — think about your customers’ pains and why they buy your products/do business with your brand. If we consider our example workout and wellness brand: targeting a keyword like “how to choose a protein powder” would make sense because they could educate readers on how to compare products and present a solution to their problem (their protein powder).
Then you can sprinkle in other types of content to generate brand awareness or build topical authority: write blog posts around industry topics or current events, create a testimonials page or write case studies for your website, and create content for your social media channels.
Let’s briefly discuss our client Posterjack, an eCommerce photo printing brand. They offer custom prints (in several styles and formats), wall art, frames, and personalized items like photo books, mugs, stickers, and cards — but their primary offering is custom photo printing and frames.
When they came to us, they already had existing website content, but it wasn’t ranking well, so we split our attention between optimizing old content and building new content around high-buying-intent keywords.
Our approach was to research keywords around custom photo printing services. Still, we also wanted to find opportunities to sell Posterjack’s frames and personalized products, so we looked for additional keywords that could introduce Posterjack to wider audiences.
Here are some of the keywords we found and targeted with blog content:
- Best canvas print services
- Best places to print large photos
- Where to print out panoramic photos
- Printing Etsy digital downloads
- Father’s Day gift ideas
- Valentine’s Day photo book ideas
- How big can I print my photo?
- Photo frame size chart
2. Determine the content strategy for each keyword on your plan
There are plenty of avenues to build content on your eCommerce site, including:
- Product and category pages
- An FAQs page (and other “About Us” type pages)
- A reviews page
- Coupons and discount pages
- Blog content
And it’s safe to say you already have a good deal of content already published.
So the first step is to look at your list of keywords and determine:
- If you can re-optimize existing web pages to target new keywords — you can follow our tips on writing high-quality content to determine how to update existing web pages.
- Where it makes sense to create new content.
Then, when creating content, the first step is to determine the type of website content to build and the goal of each content piece.
- For a product-specific keyword, you could create a category page that links to your brand’s popular products in that category.
- Or, for a “Vs.” keyword, you could create a website page that compares your brand to competitors.
- You can create (or re-optimize) a “Deals” page to rank for high-converting, brand-specific keywords (e.g., “GNC online discounts”).
- You can also leverage your site’s blog to build content for virtually any keyword you want to slot in your content plan.
The best way to make this judgment call is to perform SERP research and see what Google is already ranking: what sites do you see, what is the search intent, and how are competitors targeting the keyword?
3. Develop your content’s unique angle and positioning
Now, you want to brainstorm your approach to each content piece. You can do this by:
- Performing research to understand search intent — what is the end goal of the Googler?
- Comparing competitor content — what do others say, and how can you deliver something original that engages customers?
- Determining your solution for readers — what product(s) should you promote, or what information do you want to convey?
This last step is arguably the most important because it ties your brand to the readers — think about:
- What products, services, or solutions does this customer want?
- What does your brand offer that meets readers’ needs?
- How could readers use your products (or offerings) to achieve their goals?
- Why is your solution the best option for readers?
Then you can start outlining website content.
- If you’re designing a product page, you can draft product descriptions, list the main features/benefits, and decide on additional sections to include (like size or cleaning guides).
- If you’re drafting a “vs.” or “alternatives” guide, you can flesh out the criteria to cover in your brand reviews.
- If writing a blog post on how to accomplish a particular task, you can hone in on the recommended steps.
You can begin writing once you have a clear idea of your strategy and approach for each keyword. If you’re passing content off to a writer for the next steps, ensure they have enough background (about your brand and the goal of the content piece) to prevent confusion and heavy edits later down the line.
4. Write value-driven, SEO-friendly content tailored to readers’ goals
It’d be easy to say, “Just write high-quality content!” But we all know it’s not that simple — to produce content that converts, writers need to understand the audience and intent of their search, the main idea of the content, your brand’s competitive advantages, and your angle to engage with prospective customers.
Here are a few tips for writers to remember:
- Demonstrate clear value to readers early on to create interest in your solution and keep readers on your site.
- Use clear, scannable outlines so readers can easily gather key takeaways from content.
- On that note — convey the main talking points or benefits in headings so they stand out.
- Ensure content offers readers real benefits (and don’t just stuff content with any relevant detail). It should provide clear information, give realistic advice, suggest products readers would be interested in, and deliver helpful insights for shoppers.
For example, when writing a product page for an eCommerce clothing brand, writers should list the care instructions. On the flip side, if writers were creating a blog post about shopping for jeans online, they could provide helpful advice about taking measurements and comparing size guides while plugging products.
- Write content with conversions in mind. You want to appeal to readers while also presenting your solution. You shouldn’t be overly pushy or salesy, but you want to tie the content back to your products and services where it feels logical and natural.
- Use content optimization software to guide the SEO side of website writing — this ensures your content is set up to perform well in search engines without the need to learn every SEO strategy or guess if content meets all the important requirements.
Then, once content is live on your site, you can employ strategies to promote it:
- Run paid ads (via Google or Bing) to get your content at the top of search results and drive traffic.
- Share your content on social media.
- Determine ways to repurpose content for new projects. For example, if you published a product review guide, you could repurpose it to create YouTube content with videos of customer testimonials.
- Establish link-building relationships and build backlinks to content.
- Work with partner sites and media agencies to syndicate content.
Bonus: Don’t forget about other content marketing strategies
We’ve already mentioned a few ways eCommerce companies can promote website content, but there are also other strategies to attract new customers and improve customer retention via content marketing.
- Invest in email marketing and stay in contact with customers via email newsletters. Your writing team can use these to promote new products, sales and promotions, upcoming events, and more.
- Get active on social media. Yes, social channels are helpful to promote content and post updates, but a lot of marketing teams leverage these to establish (or revamp) their brand personality and connect with target customers.
We all know the importance of social media in today’s digital age, so it should go without saying that having a strong online presence and investing in social media marketing can prove advantageous.
- Fill in your Google Business Listing and respond to customer questions — you can also share updates (say, if you want to promote content) and include extra information about your brand. This can help your performance in Google search results, too.
- Optimize your Amazon listings (if you have an Amazon storefront) for product or category-related keywords so you appear for those searches. This won’t necessarily improve your website performance, but it’s an effective way to use your content marketing skills to boost online business.
Best Practices to Improve eCommerce Content Writing Workflows
Now that we’ve touched on what to avoid and our strategies to write successful eCommerce content, let’s finish with a few tips to improve your content writing workflows and keep website content working in the long term.
First, as we mentioned earlier, using content optimization software to guide and streamline your writing processes is helpful. Most of these solutions have keyword research tools and features to guide writers as they research topics, build outlines, and draft content — so you can accomplish a lot under one roof. Plus, you can use these tools to improve collaboration and manage writers (internal teams or freelancers): you can see what everybody is working on and reference past content to provide feedback and plan future keywords.
You should also have clear and consistent processes for your writing team. Then, everybody has the resources and know-how to produce high-quality content that meets your requirements. This makes editors' and content managers’ lives easier because everybody follows the same steps while writing content — there are no questions about the research process or if content is optimized for SEO.
Remember: it helps to supply new writers with the training resources we talked about earlier so they can learn how to write about your brand and offerings.
Then, after content is published, you should report on the performance of each content piece (web page) so you can make improvements to what isn’t working and double down on what does. We recommend monitoring:
- Website traffic — also look at traffic sources to see where visitors are coming from (paid ads, organic search, referral links) and view traffic by URL to see which web pages are most popular.
- Where content ranks in organic search results — you can build custom rank trackers to see where your website ranks for specific keywords and track movement in SERPs.
- Conversions from content — you can also calculate conversion rates for specific content pieces so you know which types of content are most successful.
There are a variety of SEO tools you can use for this research, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, and Semrush.
Then, you have the data to guide future content marketing strategies and troubleshoot problem web pages. For example, suppose you see a particular product page with a high number of pageviews that doesn’t convert or drive sales. In that case, you can examine the page content to determine the disconnect — why isn’t it hooking or engaging potential buyers?
Then you can make more insightful decisions during the update: edit the product description so it’s more engaging or easier to read, update page headings to clearly illustrate feature benefits, or add extra details about products that readers might want to know before purchasing.
Monitoring content also means you can strategically plan updates to prevent rankings or traffic from slipping. All content requires updates to remain relevant and competitive, but timing updates are more or less a guessing game if you don’t keep tabs on performance. If you see rankings for a particular web page decline or traffic slow, you can look into the cause and potentially slot the content into your schedule for a refresh.
Our team is available to manage your content marketing strategies. We’re a full-service agency that offers:
- Website research and design — we can design your entire site, including home pages, product pages, navigation, blog content, landing pages and more.
- Development and maintenance — we have experience in Adobe Commerce (Magento), BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce and custom eCommerce sites. We manage headless development and site migrations as well.
- Marketing strategy — after we meet to understand your big-picture goals, we develop plans to build your website presence, improve social media marketing, manage email marketing, and more. We can handle everything from keyword research to content writing and search engine optimization.
You can choose exactly how and where you need our support, and our team can fill in the gaps. Schedule a consultation with us to talk about your current challenges and where you want to improve.
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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