67% more leads. That’s the advantage eCommerce sites with blogs have.

To demonstrate the power of blogging and content marketing, Demand Metric compiled a lot of impressive stats like the figure above. If you’re wondering just how effective a blog could be for your eCommerce store, the numbers don’t lie:

  • Content marketing generates approximately 3 times more leads than traditional marketing, per dollar spent.
  • 60% of people seek out a product after reading about it.
  • 90% of shoppers find custom content “useful.”
  • 82% of customers feel more positive about a brand after reading custom content, and 78% state they form a relationship with brands afterward.

If you were skeptical before, this is the hard evidence that blogs aren’t just for foodies and traveling twenty-somethings. In fact, not utilizing content marketing like blogs made our list of the worst eCommerce challenges.

So how does it work? Blogs aren’t some mythical Field of Dreams where if you write it, they will come. It’s actually quite logical if you break it down piece by piece. And that’s exactly what this article does… Here are 7 reasons why every eCommerce site needs a blog.

1. SEO

At the most fundamental level, blogs are an opportunity to fill your site with SEO-rich keywords. A well-written blog post is a strong net to catch wayward shoppers with questions you have the answers to.

Moreover, blogs only get stronger for SEO with time. The chart from Tomasz Tunguz below shows the compounding returns in page views over time.

Blogging increases eCommerce sales

Source: Tomasz Tunguz

The idea is that the longer you write your blog, the more new people you attract, who go back and read the old articles, which strengthens their SEO effects, which makes them attract more new people, etc. That’s incentive to start or improve your site’s blog ASAP. FirstSiteGuide has a definitive guide to starting a successful blog.

2. Aids in Shopping Decisions

You probably didn’t need the science study above to tell you that customers have questions before they buy — anyone with even a day’s experience in retail knows that. And while brick-and-mortar stores have the luxury of sales assistants, eCommerce sites are stuck having to anticipate and answer customer questions before the shoppers even arrive.

This is where blog content like reviews, shopping guides, and comparison charts come in handy. These blog posts do a lot more than just help bring your own customers one step closer to the sale — they also attract customers from other eCommerce sites that failed to provide the answers.

3. Reaches Out to New Customers

Blogs are one of the best tactics for brand recognition and “getting your name out there.” An informative or entertaining blog article will stick with the reader — and that impression pays off the next time they go shopping online and remember your site.

Some high-quality blog articles impact readers so much, they share the post on social media. That’s not just free publicity among a new audience, but also social proof and a vote of confidence from someone the new prospect knows. How’s that for a first impression.

4. Humanizes the Brand

Among the stats above, it’s noted that people both think fondly of and build relationships with brands that have custom content. This is because blogs humanize the brand.

Blogs are the mouthpiece of your eCommerce site. You’re no longer a faceless vendor from who-knows-where; you now have a personality with your own opinions, style, tone-of-voice, and sense of humor. Blogs enable a conversation with customers, which naturally they appreciate.

5. Implies Authority

Get more authority with eCommerce blogging

Particularly relevant for niche markets, regularly posting blog articles about your industry establishes you as an authority for that topic (as long as your articles are accurate). If you answer someone’s questions sufficiently once, chances are the next time they have a similar question, they’ll go straight to your site.

For example, let’s say you’re a hardware store and post an article on how to build a birdhouse. An amateur craftsperson enjoys it so much, every time they start a new project, they poke around your blog for ideas or inspiration. And where do you think they’ll go to buy supplies?

6. Opens Relations with Other Brands

Merely having a blog opens up opportunities to collaborate with other brands. Article exchanges/guest posting is one of the most effective tactics for link building and the first one we mentioned in our 13 Essential Link Building Techniques for 2017.

You can only do so much for SEO internally, and at some point, you’ll need to branch out and get your name on sites all over the web. Guest posting is a tried-and-true method for this, drawing on the age-old business strategy of “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”

7. Spreads News About Products and Promotions

Last, let’s not forget blogs’ inherent purpose: communication. At their core, blogs are a way to share news, opinions, and ideas; for eCommerce, that also means spreading the word about products and promotions.

Blogs work best when they showcase new or little-known products and generate buzz over promotional events. You don’t even have to write about the news item in the content itself — it’s enough to have a small advertisement or modal pop-up window to notify the reader.

What’s the most effective blog you read? What do they do right? How about the least effective blogs? Share your opinions on blogging in the comments section now.