It takes a significant investment of time and resources to run an e-commerce store as is. Setting up your store, regulating inventory, providing customer service and the like will take up the lion’s share of your attention. It makes sense to want to streamline your workload by focusing on the essential functions. The thought of generating unique content on top of your regular duties may sound daunting at first—or costly to outsource.

So, does your e-commerce store need a blog?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Definitely!

Here’s why.

Crafting an SEO Strategy

A blog is a crucial part of a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. If you want to direct traffic to your website based on search engine queries, you need to rank. And to boost your rankings, you’ll need to produce relevant content.

When you’re deciding how to run your store blog, consider these tips from Search Engine Watch:

  • Aim for evergreen content pieces with over 1,000 words
  • Pursue short and long-tail keywords (three to five words each)
  • Publish content regularly and as frequently as possible
  • Pursue an on-page internal link building strategy for an added boost

It’s no surprise that lengthy, targeted and useful content will perform better than short and generic material. It’s a win-win: It will provide better value to your readers and reflect better upon your site in the eyes of search engines.

Providing Value to Readers

Getting an SEO boost is a primary goal of any comprehensive content strategy. However, it’s important to remember that readers are real humans looking for answers, insights, and links. Including a blog along with your ecommerce store is an excellent way to build trust and authority with readers, as well as provide genuine value in the form of helpful words.

Let’s say you sell cosmetics from home. Why should customers trust your online store? What do you have to offer buyers over your competitors? How can you stand out in shoppers’ minds so they’ll pick up their makeup and body care products from you? These are all questions you can address with carefully crafted content on your blog.

In this case, you’ll want to make your blog a hub around which all things cosmetics revolve. Provide written makeup tutorials with embedded photos or, even better, videos. Help consumers “troubleshoot” common issues like skin problems, color matching and finding the right accessories. Create posts that start discussions, so you become a forum for influencers and new customers alike to post their opinions, swap tips and make recommendations. You can even create weekly recurring columns so old, and new readers alike have something to anticipate ahead of time.

Furthermore, make sure you reveal the people behind the blog, so it doesn’t feel like an advertorial or corporate promotional space. Yes, you want to sound authoritative in each post. But you also want to relate to readers on a human level, so they feel like they’re reading helpful content from a wise friend—as opposed to sponsored content from a stranger.

Become a Thought Leader

Another advantage of blogging is positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. The E-Commerce Times quotes one expert as noting it’s tough for small- and medium-sized ecommerce companies to compete with the giants on price alone, but it is entirely possible to “highlight your expertise” and “specialized knowledge.” Taking the plunge and sharing your blog content will help you build a rapport with consumers and show that you know your stuff.

So, does your ecommerce store need a blog? Yes. Even more so, it requires an active content strategy for SEO rankings and the customer experience.