I want to expand a bit on my men’s gift guide review. The concept of using a blog to help promote an eCommerce store is a good one and it’s something every online store should consider if they want to make money on the Internet.
Ever since Google came out with AdWords, they have steadily reduced the number of online stores they show in their SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The reason for doing this is to get these stores to use AdWords to get their position. It’s really a smart, and evil, strategy (one that Google will not admit to). If you have an online store, it’s a strategy that could cost you a lot of money.
Knowing that Google favors content over eCommerce, many eCommerce sites are adding a content element to their operation. The sponsor of our Nintendo Wii contest, 1234Pens.com recently added a blog to their site.
Here are a couple of tips to follow when adding a blog to an eCommerce store.
Decide If The Blog Is Going To Be Stand-Alone Or Promotional
The Men’s Gift Guide is a stand-alone blog with its own unique URL and editorial focus. The 1234Pens.com blog is a company blog with posts that are only related to the company.
From a SEO standpoint, it’s better to separate the blog from the eCommerce site. Google is not a search engine that stands still and is fully aware of eCommerce stores creating blogs to promote themselves. This is where The Men’s Gift Guide got it right. By completely separating the store and blog and having the blog write about and link to different stores, they present a much stronger case that they are an independent blog instead of a promotional arm.
This is not to say company owned blogs cannot show well on the SERP – they can (especially on long tail keywords). However, because of their more narrow focus they may not show up as often. My personal recommendation is to have both a company blog and independent blog that covers the market your online store is in. This will not take much extra time since the company blog can get all its content from the independent blog. All you need to do is rewrite a few words to avoid the duplicate content filter.
Update The Blog
This one should be obvious but you will be amaze at how many dead company blogs are out there. Running a blog and a business can be tough and puts a lot of time pressure on the store owner, who would rather make money online than update a blog. Nevertheless, the blog is part of the marketing strategy and has to be maintained. If you are too busy with running your online store, then consider hiring a blogger to update the blog.
Having a blog as part of an eCommerce setup is one of the best move an online store owner can make. The return on investment can be higher than any other forms of advertising. How much money would you save if you don’t have to pay for Google AdWords to get to the front of a SERP? Moreover, there’s always the added bonus that the blog itself may turn into a moneymaker. 🙂