As the high street continues to struggle, our reliance on online retail has never been so strong. And with that, so the competition among e-commerce businesses has become ever fiercer. This means your content has to be as good as it can be. Here are 12 ways to make your e-commerce content sing.
1. Sell the product
You haven’t got long to persuade people to buy your product. Fifteen seconds, in fact. So, you’d better make sure your headlines are eye-catching and your copy leaps off the screen. Don’t expect customers to read every last word of your carefully crafted content – get their attention as early as possible.
2. Explain the benefits, not the features
Every product or service will have special characteristics or attributes, but the trick with e-commerce is to explain how this benefits the consumer. Rattling off a flashy tech spec might look impressive, but unless the consumer understands how it helps them and what the product actually does, it’s pointless. Explain the good points of the product carefully.
3. Have a consistent tone of voice
This may seem obvious, but a consistent tone and voice is essential in e-commerce. If your copy jumps around from serious to wacky and all points in between, you risk alienating your customers, not to mention confusing them. Customers like to feel they’re being addressed by a single person, someone they understand and can engage with. Once you’ve decided on your tone of voice, stick with it.
4. Keep your content short and sweet
People just don’t have time to read big chunks of content. They want to know what the product/service does and will it help them? Don’t go into great detail about minor features; just give people short-and-sweet soundbites. Imagine if you had 20 seconds to convince a friend to buy something – what would you say? If you’re struggling, a copywriting agency could be the answer.
5. Avoid jargon
You sell whisky online, and you’ve got this amazing new Scotch to sell. Which of the following two statements will resonate more with consumers?
– this whisky was aged in first-fill bourbon casks for 12 years then finished in sherry casks for an additional six months
– this whisky has tempting notes of butterscotch, vanilla and pears, with an extra layer of dried fruit and aromatic spice
I know which one I prefer. Technical jargon is very off-putting to customers, and you should avoid it wherever possible.
6. Use titles and subheads effectively
Make sure you optimise your titles (H1s) and subheads (H2s) with your e-commerce content. Google prioritises keywords found in H1s and H2s than those tucked away in body copy, and this approach makes your content likely to rank higher. Titles and subheads still need to have consumer impact, but if you can find a way to combine this with SEO-friendly headers, you’re winning.
7. Stay on-trend
Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it is part of the wider world and will be shaped by current trends and opinions. If green issues are getting plenty of coverage in the news, make sure your company’s green credentials are easily visible, to reassure customers. Or if a celebrity talks about a product you sell, get out there and maximise potential publicity, whether that’s via your blog or social-media channels, or a press release or PR campaign. Showing that you’re aware of what’s happening around you helps you stay one step ahead of the competition.
8. Embrace infographics
A good infographic can say everything a 1,500-word article can – but more quickly and in a more attractive way. Infographics are easy on the eye, they explain complicated subjects and – crucially – they’re quick to digest. Good examples will be shared on social-media channels, thus increasing your reach. Infographics can take a long time to craft, but they’re always worth it.
9. Write evergreen content
Evergreen content – that’s content that will not date and become irrelevant over time – is essential for your e-commerce website. If you’re a travel company, then you’ll need some country/destination guides. Selling clothes? Then a buyer’s guide with a glossary or trends section is a good idea. People see the internet as their first port-of-call if they want answers, and if your website can provide them, you’ll fly up the search-engine rankings.
10. Don’t forget visuals
Visuals are a great way to complement your written content, whether it’s in the form of a product-image magnifier or video that explains your product or service. Text-heavy websites are a real turn-off, and while you need to use copy both to entice customers and for SEO purposes, a great-looking site will always draw in more people.
11. Use the active, not passive voice
It’s a subtle difference, but you should always use the active voice where possible. It’s punchier, more direct, and has more impact with audiences. Here’s an example: ‘Pair these jeans with funky high-tops’ sounds snappier than ‘these jeans can be paired up with funky high-tops’.
12. Make your URLs keyword-friendly
It’s not just your titles and subheads that need to catch Google’s eye. Your URLs need to be easy to understand not just by Google, but by your customers, too. Here’s an example:
Which one would you click on? Google will definitely give more credibility to the first one, as will most users.
It’s one thing selling products and services that people want, but that’s only half the battle. Communicating them in an easy-to-understand, compelling way is just as important – and that’s where the need for great e-commerce content comes in. The 12 tips above are all common-sense, proven ways to make your site more attractive to customers.
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