Written by Caroline Cox on Oct 4 , 2021

Having quality content on your website is one of the most effective ways to improve your e-commerce SEO rankings.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How content benefits e-commerce brands
  • How to determine your content topics
  • Why visuals are key to quality content
  • How to define your brand’s content voice

Quality content and SEO go hand in hand — and that includes e-commerce sites. If you don’t think your website needs content, you may be opening your brand up to being lapped by the competition. 

Whether you write it yourself, leverage a team member, or outsource to an agency, these are the elements you need for e-commerce content that’ll make your brand an industry thought leader.

e-commerce businesswoman writing content

The most effective content speaks to your audience in their language and with terms they know well. (Image via Pexels)

Define your brand voice

Hopefully, you already know exactly who your target audience is — from where they shop and what they like to do to how they search. 

Your brand voice should reflect your audience while being true to your company’s mission and values.

The most effective content speaks to the audience in their language and with terms they know well. If your target audience is millennials or Gen Z, for example, you’ll likely have different messaging than you would if your target audience was affluent couples over 50.

Once you define your voice, consider codifying it via a brand-specific content and style guide so that everyone on your team is on the same page. This can also be referenced by the person writing social media posts, since brand voice should be consistent across those platforms as well.

Pinpoint where your content lives

Content can be many things: from videos, blog posts, and your “About Us” section to landing pages, social media, product descriptions, and more.

Not all these content types will make sense for all e-commerce companies. But if you think a content strategy has no place in your business plan, think again!

Look at all the content your brand produces and ask yourself things like:

  • Is your tone consistent?
  • Is the audience you’re speaking to consistent across your various content spaces? (This excludes landing pages that may target different audience subsets)
  • Does the verbiage across these content spaces accurately reflect your brand?

Leveraging these content areas can be super beneficial. Not only can they help your brand stand out, but they can also show your target audience you’ve taken the time to craft clever, eye-catching copy that speaks to them on their level.

E-commerce brands in particular can leverage content in a number of ways. If a photo you post on one of your social media accounts does well, you can consider adding that photo to a blog or other page of your site.

The same goes for professional product photoshoots you do for products — consider using those images on social media in collages, carousels, or even Shopping ads if they resonate well.

Pro tip: To determine what social media platform to use, see which platform’s demographics and presentation style most match up to your own.  

Highlight what makes your e-commerce brand unique

It’s a simple fact that no two brands are exactly alike. Because of this, content is a great way to showcase what makes yours unique. Write about your company’s mission, journey, and origin story.

Do you source your materials sustainably? Did your grandmother ignite your love of fashion design? Are your products cruelty-free?

These days, an increasing number of consumers want to buy from brands that are trustworthy and sustainability-minded — content can remind them that there are people behind your business.

man taping up a cardboard e-commerce package box

No matter the type, the most effective content has great storytelling at its core. (Image via Unsplash)

Use e-commerce content to educate and problem-solve

Content marketing shouldn’t be about trying to game the search engine system. Rather, the primary role of your e-commerce content should be to educate your consumers and help them solve problems.

This can have many different interpretations, depending on your industry. If you sell camping equipment, you could highlight how certain products could be best used in warm and cold climates.

If you offer career coaching, you could post a blog article highlighting all the different professional stages where talking to a career coach could be beneficial (and how).

Other kinds of e-commerce content that tend to work well include comparison guides to help customers choose between options, how to determine if you need the product (i.e., “how to know if you need a new water heater”), and articles explaining all the ways a product is useful.

Curious how we help e-commerce brands improve their SEO, SEM, and more? Let’s chat.

Focus on storytelling

How-tos” are widely understood as one of the most effective types of content you can publish. But while this may be true in the B2B space, B2C can be a bit more tricky. 

No matter the type, the most effective content has great storytelling at its core.

Storytelling allows you to effectively connect with potential buyers. Not only that, but it can also aid in generating site traffic and social engagement.

Think about the marketing campaigns or pieces that stick with you. Most likely, there’s an emotional element to the story the brand is telling, which helps make it more memorable to the reader.

Great storytelling comes from great writers. If your team doesn’t have the expertise (or the time), you can consider partnering with an agency or hiring freelance writers via sites like Upwork.

As far as topics go, think about the stories you want your brand to tell. It could be anything from an inspiring customer journey to the way your business gives back.

using a phone to make a store purchase

User-generated content (UGC) can be an effective way to add a visual element to your content while highlighting your customers. (Image via Unsplash)

Add visuals to keep content interesting

Visuals can take your content from good to great in a flash. Not only do images help us retain information better, but content with images often results in more engagement and shares as well.

It’s also a good idea to make sure the graphics on your site are accessible to visually impaired people through descriptive text or captions.

Like your brand voice, the images on your website should be in line with your mission and audience. Add visual elements to your e-commerce content through things like:

  • Licensed or free stock photos
  • Well-designed graphics
  • Videos
  • User-generated content (UGC)

Speaking of user-generated images, this can be an effective way to add a visual element to your content while highlighting your customers. See if someone’s tagged your business on social media. If the image is high-quality (and in line with your brand’s aesthetic), use it!

Just be sure to ask their permission before sharing. If you let the person know when the content is published, they can re-share with their networks for an extra boost of exposure.

Pro tip: When uploading any images to your site, it’s important to title the images beforehand to serve as alt text, which helps improve your SEO.

The takeaway

For e-comm brands looking to boost visibility and sales (and what brand isn’t?), implementing a solid content marketing strategy is the way to go.

By publishing e-commerce content that’s authentic, in line with your company ethos, and speaking directly to your target audience, you can continue to see your SEO rankings improve.

This article has been updated and was originally published in December 2019.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of reading, yoga, quick vegetarian recipes, and making lists.

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