In the early 2000s, content marketing for eCommerce companies involved stuffing keywords onto pages filled with copy from the manufacturer — copy that was offered to every other retailer, by the way.
We’re almost two decades into this century, and a lot has changed in the online marketing world. Shoving every possible keyword onto your pages won’t get you to the top of Google search results, and it certainly won’t convert customers. Instead, eCommerce companies need to create unique, high-quality content that’s comprehensive.
The Benefits of Comprehensive Content
The typical e-commerce site is rich with content. You’ve got product content, maybe some blog posts, and user-generated content in the way of reviews. While it all contributes to your marketing efforts, eCommerce brands have more success when they apply a more sophisticated content strategy.
Comprehensive e-commerce content helps you exceed your online marketing and sales goals in many ways. Here are just five things you can accomplish with this type of content on your pages.
1. Boost Your Behavioral Metrics
Value is important: does your content answer all of the questions and needs of the visitor in a high-quality way? Unique content that accomplishes this invites the reader to stay on the page longer, click through to other pages, and return to your site later or share your content with others online.
Those actions feed behavioral metrics such as time on page, bounce rates, and how deep someone goes when they get to your site. Behavioral metrics factor into your RankBrain score, which is an algorithm Google uses to rank your page in search engine results.
You can track these metrics using Google Analytics. Improve them, and you’re more likely to experience improvement in your conversion rates.
2. Cover All Searcher Intents
Searcher intent is why someone enters a keyword query in the first place. According to Google, intents are broken down into three broad categories:
- Go: People want to get somewhere or find a location (such as a store that sells certain goods)
- Know: People want to find out something (such as how to bake a cake or arrange flowers)
- Do: People want to do something (such as buy a new television)
By creating comprehensive content, you can cover all these intents, ensuring your eCommerce website shows up for more relevant searches.
3. Include Numerous Semantic Keywords Without Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing may be out, but semantic completeness is in. People are increasingly searching on disparate devices, using desktop, mobile, and voice-search technology. The way they search on each of these devices is different, which means you have to include more kinds of keywords in your content to show up for various searches.
Luckily, if you’re creating genuinely comprehensive e-commerce content, you likely already cover a lot of the semantic keywords naturally. This means you don’t have to play a backward game of keyword Jenga that leaves your content hard to read and potentially toppling over.
4. Win the Featured Snippet
The featured snippet is position zero on Google. That might sound bad, but it’s prime SERP real estate — it’s a nice, big box displaying part of your content right at the top of the page. Everyone seems to be chasing it these days, and for good reasons:
- The top spot on Google is never a position to sneeze at.
- Getting your answer on a topic featured on Google does wonders for brand awareness. It makes you look like the prevailing expert.
- If you get the featured snippet, you probably land somewhere in the top few organic search results, which doubles your presence on the page and potential audience awareness.
What does this have to do with comprehensive content? When you write content that adds overall value and truly answers common questions, you’re more likely to end up winning this prime spot on SERPs.
5. Create Trust and Authority
High-quality content that covers the subject in a comprehensive — but concise and user-friendly manner — helps build trust with people who visit your site and positions you as an authority in the space. When people trust in your expertise and honesty on a topic, they’re more likely to buy from you. Trust is as important a factor as price for modern consumers when making a buying decision.
So, How Do You Create This All-Important Comprehensive eCommerce Content?
Some online marketers get the message about the need for comprehensive content, but they mistakenly implement it by writing longer and longer pages. That can be a mistake.
How Long is Comprehensive Content?
It’s as long as it needs to be.
Yes, long-form content can perform. In fact, studies and anecdotal evidence from online marketing experts indicate that between 1,500 to 2,400 words on the page seems to be the best length for SEO performance.
But extra words don’t necessarily equate to comprehensive content. You must consider:
- The purpose of the page
- The intent of the searcher
- The subject matter
Example: A product page for a pack of eight crayons for children
- Page purpose: To convince someone to click and buy the product
- Intent of the search: To find out about or buy crayons
- Subject matter: Fairly simple
Thousands of words is overkill here. It goes beyond comprehensive and becomes potentially spammy. A product description for a simple box of crayons might only necessitate 50 to 100 words.
Example: A product page for a gaming laptop with many features
- Page purpose: To convince someone to click and buy the product
- Intent of the search: To find out about or purchase this specific laptop
- Subject matter: More complex
A product description for something this complex might require 500 to 1,000 words or more to explain all the features and what makes this laptop the right choice for the user.
Example: A buying guide on how to select the right coloring supplies for children
- Page purpose: To educate people about all the options and which ones are right for different activities and needs
- Intent of the search: To find out about and compare these products and potentially buy something (now or down the line)
- Subject matter: More complex than a single product
Depending on how many product types you want to talk about, you could easily write 2,500 or more words on this topic without ever repeating yourself or sounding fluffy or spammy.
What Do You Put in the Content to Make it Comprehensive?
Whether you write 100 or 3,000 words of engaging content, each word matters. Comprehensive content must include:
- The best possible keywords you can come up with, used in all the right places
- Answers to the questions people are actively searching for
- Subtopics that are highly relevant to your page and popular searches
- Topics that should be — but aren’t — being addressed by your competition
- Expert-quality information that adds real value for the reader
That might sound like a lot — and it is. Just analyzing all the data to make comprehensive content possible can be a full-time job if you don’t have the right tools and resources in place.
This is why many of our clients at Crowd Content use MarketMuse. Like you, we don’t have the time to devote to hours of complex analytics, and MarketMuse carries that weight for us. It provides actionable insight in real-time to help us create comprehensive content that helps meet business goals — whether they’re our goals or the goals of our clients.
Written by Lisa Rohner