Plenty of articles have addressed why websites need an effective content strategy. However, there’s not so much practical advice on how to use content to make a difference on the bottom line.
Perhaps as an industry we have done a poor job communicating this and that’s why so many high profile sites still don't have quality, original content integrated into the areas of their site that actually make them money.
When you ask clients about their content plans, how often do they respond with, “Well, we just started a blog…”
There are a multitude of reasons why you need to do a lot more than simply create a blog for your content strategy to have a significant impact – the main reason being that content on a blog can divert users away from the buying cycle, as it is usually a separate section of the website without any calls to action or links to product pages.
Considering that users are most likely to find a site when they are looking to make a purchase and only click through to the pages relevant to this activity, a blog can often be bypassed entirely.
Why not take a more integrated approach to developing fresh content on your website and include it on product pages, where it will have the greatest impact to your revenue?
To help you with this, here are seven tips for your content strategy to construct awesome product pages.
1. Always Opt for Unique Content
Whatever you do, don't use a carbon copy of the content provided by a supplier. You know your target market best so tailor the content to their individual preferences and interests.
If you're selling travel to a defined group like senior citizens, then what would they expect from your hotel product pages? This is good practice not only from a conversion standpoint, but also from an SEO perspective.
In today’s landscape, it’s nearly impossible to achieve high search engine rankings that bring qualified organic traffic to duplicate product pages.
2. Encourage User Reviews
Encouraing user reviews accomplishes two things:
- User reviews provide reassurance to your users that others are buying from the site and, hopefully, endorsing the products or services on offer.
- They give unique and fresh content for your product page, which is great for SEO.
Don't use reviews from other sites directly on the product page if you can help it. Instead, get your own by emailing your customers after they receive your product and ask for a review. You can even incentivize this with a coupon code so they come back to purchase from you again.
3. Unique Images
Suppliers typically provide you with images to accompany their products, but the problem is those images aren't unique to your site. This gives you an opportunity to go above and beyond by adding images that are more relevant to your target audience.
The product pages on Threadless are a great example of what original non-generic images can provide. Also, when asking your customers for a product review, you should also ask for images and even videos of their experiences using your product and add those to your product pages.
4. Think About Including Videos
There’s evidence to suggest that if a product on a site includes a video explanation, purchases rise and returns decrease.
Perhaps one of the best examples of what video can accomplish on a product page is Zappos, which produced thousands of product videos using its staff members to demo them. As a result, the retailer supposedly saw a 10 percent uplift in conversion, which shows that you don’t need a professional to help you create this content.
5. Link to Related Content Found Elsewhere on Your Site
If, for instance, you wrote an article on the 10 most unique hotels under $200 in Los Angeles, you could link to that article on your product page for each of those 10 hotels. This is a good way to bridge to the content you're creating elsewhere and integrate it into your product page. Just make sure the content you link to helps the buyer complete the purchase.
6. Add a Product FAQ
Sometimes a user doesn’t find what they are looking for in the product description so this is another way to capture their interest before they exit the site. Think about the most common questions they might have when considering making a purchase and spell things out clearly so they don’t get put off by marketing jargon or terms and conditions.
7. Offer Additional Products
Look for ways to suggest related items that would go well with a product a customer is considering purchasing.
Amazon does a great job of this on their product pages, in this case when shopping for a Canon Digital SLR they display related items like memory cards, lenses, batteries, and cases. Or offer alternative options to the product the customer is looking at, which might be more suited to their needs.
This works well in travel where a hotel like The Venetian in Las Vegas may be sold out or have a much higher rate than usual, but by offering alternative properties with a similar star rating and a better price may be more likely to turn that user into a conversion. The more options you give your customer the more likely they are to remain within the buying cycle.
Hopefully this has given you a few useful suggestions on creating killer content to boost your sales. If you have any other ideas on this please feel free to share them in the comments box below.
What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!