Managing an E-commerce Blog Effectively with the Blog Extension
When arranged correctly, a blog becomes a powerful tool that helps online businesses to drive more sales to their web stores.
In this article, we will consider which aspects of the e-commerce blog management should be taken into account by content marketers and describe how the Blog for Magento 2 extension by Aheadworks can help them there.
Obviously, when doing blogging in a web store, businesses should provide quality content in their blogs. Still, the look of blog pages, including their design and layout, is the aspect that should also be carefully considered by content marketers, since ugly looking blog pages will hardly encourage visitors to read them.
According to the study conducted by Google, people find more visually appealing websites less complex. In other words, the smaller is the number of elements “overloading” a blog, the more visitors it will attract.
Another study conducted by Kissmetrics proves that the articles containing visual data, attract more attention than those with a plain text. For example, articles with images get 94% more views than articles without them, while posts with videos included can bring almost 300% more inbound links to a blog. Infographics also remains a powerful visual tool, as Hubspot claims that they are liked and shared on social media three times more often than ordinary posts.
When creating a blog post, the length of it should also be taken into consideration by content marketers. In e-commerce, the optimal length of a blog post published on a site depends on the industry in which the related business operates.
Recently, Neil Patel, the well-known SEO specialist, conducted a study of the optimal length of blog posts depending on the topic that guarantees high conversion rates. For example, in the Gadgets industry, the optimal length of a single blog post is 300-500 words, while for the Fashion industry, this value is notably higher – 800-950 words. The unsurpassed leader here is the Film industry with the 1500-1700 words average length value.
Such differences between length values in various business industries are explained not only by their specifics, but also by the preferences of their target audiences. Obviously, people that are interested in gadgets prefer to read short descriptions of product specifications, while movie amateurs like to read long film reviews.
With the WYSIWYG editor provided by the Blog extension content marketers can easily follow the above specific requirements and publish only efficient blog posts. The editor provides all the necessary tools for writing and designing blog posts, including text formatting, HTML editing, adding URLs and media content, inserting widgets etc.
To provide visitors with a smooth browsing experience on their blogs, content marketers should consider organizing their blog posts by categories and tags.
Both categories and tags notably improve blog navigation for visitors. Categories are related to broad topics listed on a blog page, in which related blog posts can be grouped. Tags, in turn, are more specific than categories and act like keywords used by visitors when they search for a particular topic on the blog.
Suppose, you want to find a particular information in the e-commerce blog and you need to find it quickly. Due to the categories and tags provided in the blog, you can easily narrow down your search or, inversely, broaden it by looking through particular categories and/or tags related to the information you want to find.
With the help of the Blog extension, content marketers can quickly assign categories and tags to the related blog posts as well as create new categories. To provide visitors with even broader navigation opportunities, they can also add the Recent Blog Posts by Aheadworks widget to their blog pages.
One of the ways to enhance the marketing power of a blog provided by our extension is to add blocks with related products under each blog post. Such blocks not only promote products related to a particular blog post but also further contribute to the user navigation experience.
By providing links to related products in these blocks, marketers allow customers to proceed to the pages of these products right from blog posts. By this way, they effectively cross-promote their products among customers.
Alternatively, when you want to buy a smartphone but can’t make a decision only from its technical specifications, you can add related blog post right to those product pages. From that tab, customers can proceed to the blog post containing detailed device reviews and comparisons, video presentations, etc. to make sure that this is exactly what they need.
The study conducted by MarketingProfs among 255 marketers operating in the B2B and B2C domains proves that content types that bring the highest customer conversion rates include research reports, video and motion graphics, case studies, again, infographics, and the like.
With the Blog extension, content marketers can also determine positions of related products blocks on blog pages, specify their layouts, decide whether to display the Add to Cart button in them (so that customers can proceed to the checkout right from the blog post), and choose the product pages where tabs with related blog posts will be displayed.
A commenting system of a blog plays an important role in driving customer engagement. With a convenient and adjustable commenting system integrated into a blog, content marketers can initiate discussions among visitors and encourage them to share their product experience.
According to the statistics provided by Builtwith, the most widely-used comment management system is Disqus. The system itself smoothly adjusts to the look and feel of any website, perfectly works on various types of devices (desktop and mobile), and supports more than 70 languages. In addition, customers can leave comments in Disqus through their social network profiles.
The Blog extension users can smoothly integrate their blogs with Disqus and take advantage of all its benefits.
The ability to schedule blog posts suggests creating a reliable content plan. With the content scheduling functionality, marketers can determine specific dates and time of publications and schedule posts conveniently. This is particularly important in case of special events, such as new product releases, holidays, weekdays, vacations, and the like, for which the content should be prepared in advance.
Scheduling blog posts is particularly important for those online businesses that have only a few content marketers. So, when going on a vacation, they can just schedule their blogs to avoid the decline of the customer activity on the blog during that time.
We can also imagine the situation when a content marketer needs to postpone a blog article for a specific time, say, at night, which is especially useful for international retailers.
The Blog extension provides marketers with a powerful scheduling tool. They can precisely define the day and time (including seconds) for the blog posts to be published at.
Search Engine Optimization
There is no need to say how it is important for online businesses to be ranked in Google so that customers could easily find their websites. The more pages of a single site are visible to Google, the higher is the traffic. That’s why XML sitemap, SEO-friendly URLs, and accurately composed meta descriptions are the necessary tools when gaining high positions in Google.
The Blog extension is ready to offer a solution here. All blog posts are listed in the sitemap.xml document, so marketers don’t have to worry about the visibility of their newly published posts on the internet. Moreover, with the extension, content marketers can manually specify URLs and meta descriptions of each particular blog post.
As far as the e-commerce environment is mobile and changeable, a lot of businesses constantly look for better options for their web stores and official blogs, as well. So, website migrations to new e-commerce platforms or better content systems are common in this domain. And, the Blog extension is able to facilitate those movements significantly.
For example, in the case you run a site that works on Magento 1 and already uses the Blog extension for this platform, you can smoothly migrate your blog to Magento 2 and to the new version of the extension, accordingly. The additional information on the process is provided in the Migrating from Blog for Magento 1 section in the Blog extension User Guide.
Moreover, the owners of the WordPress blogs have also not been overlooked. Blogs that run on WordPress can be easily imported into a Magento 2 store blog via the provided migration functionality. The WordPress Import section of the extension User Guide explains the workflow in details.
In general, the Blog extension by Aheadworks serves for the convenient and efficient organization of e-commerce blogs on Magento 2. With all the necessary tools utilized, content marketers can create interesting and engaging content on their blogs just easily.
For the additional information about the Blog extension, please visit the Blog for Magento 2 product page, read the related user guide and the related blog post to learn about the new features of the extension.