How to Overcome the Content Challenges for eCommerce Websites
Content creation is without a doubt the most important part of your online marketing strategy. For websites that are resellers (including Amazon.com type of websites, but also small affiliate websites – all who aren’t selling their own, but someone else’s products), the issue of duplicate content is the biggest one, since they’re all using the same product descriptions as the original product seller/owner, which got a huge slap from Google’s Panda update; and even if you’re the only one selling the particular products, content on product pages is something that can easily give you a headache – apart from technical description, people usually don’t know what else to put in there.
Ecommerce websites are facing the real challenge with this, because Google, the master free traffic provider, values the content that’s unique and useful, that’s longer than a few sentences and that is creating some sort of social buzz.
That means that you have to provide more detailed and more interesting product descriptions, and here are two tips you can use to achieve that.
1. Give people a reason to buy from your website
A girl looking to buy a pink cotton sweater online goes to Google and types in “pink cotton sweater”. Google returns thousands of pages which, guess what? – all are featuring the same product, with the same description, same images, price, sizes, free shipping. One of these websites is yours. Why would she pick your website over your competitor’s?
Ok, you’re a reseller and you have the same product as the rest of them. But you have to come up with a reason why she should buy from you. A simple thing that will set you apart will do: if you’ve bought the sweater and taken the picture of yourself wearing it (or found another one on the Internet – quite often a forum search can provide you with some great real life pictures of the product you’re promoting); if you have suggested a skirt or shoes that would go well with it, or even made a free report on “10 ways the pink sweater will make you the coolest girl in the club” – that kinds of things will differentiate you from the others and turn the surfer into a buyer. Even better if she opts in to receive the future updates from you (which you can accomplish with the free report) – even if she doesn’t buy the product you’re offering right away, you will have more chances to market that and other related products to her.
2. Ditch the duplicate content
If you’re running a small affiliate website, changing the copy on the product pages shouldn’t be too hard to do. You can simply re-write the existing copy from the manufacturer, or provide more value to your visitors by actually researching the product and giving them a full review (again, the forums are priceless for this sort of “insider” info).
On the other hand, if you have hundreds and thousands of products, it’s understandable that you can’t go and change the product copies for each of them. But you can do something else, so that your page is no longer an exact copy of the manufacturer’s (and of those of other resellers): allow comments and ask for testimonials, pull in your Twitter feed, or your blog feed (posts that are related to the product); create a “related products” or “suggested products” widgets, link to the webinars or other events where you’re promoting the product, or just giving the tips on how it can be used for the best results.
Doing this will, first, make Google love your website more than the others’; but even if you forget about Google, adding value to your customers will allow you to enter the marketplace as a serious player – the customers will have a clear reason to buy from you, and that essentially is what they are looking for when a product can be bought on more than one place. If you don’t give them that reason, they will go looking for it elsewhere.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Andrew is a marketing manager at a Long Island company with a substantial background in eCommerce.