How to Use Blogging to Maximize Online Sales


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Blogging for webstores, retail and e-commerce

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  • Good morning everyone, For anyone that didn’t meet me in the last webinar, I set up an ecommerce store back in 1999 selling sunglasses, and for the first 6 years we where the biggest sunglasses e-tailer in the UK, based on volume and turnover with a decent profit too.In 2004 Google decided they didn’t like us, we suffered a Google penalty, now Google penalities are talked about and most people have heard about them, or certainly penguins and pandas, but back then no one knew what they where,Overnight we went from top of Google for all our keywords to page 7 and 8!Going through 2 SEO agencies over an 18 month period neither of them could solve the problem, we lost 40% of our turnover, I then found a guy in newyork on a ridiculous hourly rate and within 2 weeks he solved the problem and got us back!Cutting a long story short, I became passionate about SEO and decided to change my career into helping others understand it and avoid the pitfalls of Google! This webinar is the second in a new three-part webinar series:"Finding, converting and keeping ecommerce customers: SEO, blogging and social media for webstores" In the first webinar, I explained how SEO provides the building blocks of a successful webstore. We covered basic SEO for ecommerce in terms of (a) making sure customers can find you online, and (b) setting your webstore up, so that search engines will rank you highly for your products and services.  This webinar is all about how to use blogging to boost your webstore sales.The next webinar is using social media to build long term engagement with your customers, getting to know them and building valuable, lasting relationships with them so they act as ambassadors for your brand. So Let’s begin! twitter: @jrconsultancyt: 0113 320 21 21
  • We are going to talk about sowing the seeds, This webinar is all about BLOGGING. And for me blogging is the core to any SEO or social media Campaign We will cover:Why blogging is great for SEO and Social MediaHow to use blogging to boost your webstore salesHow to write great blogs to introduce your company and your product rangeHow to create engagementHow to add value with blogsHow to convert your website visitors into customersHow to create a followingHow to come up with ideas and blog titles 
  • So we sent a survey out to all of you, just to get a good idea of the audience today, here are the results:85% of you read blogsAll of you have written a blog ( I guess some of you have written blogs but never read them back???)From what I can see 50% of you are in the fashion business, as I said my background was an ecommerce site, it was a sunglass site, selling big brands, from chanel, oakley, guccipradaetc and this was back in 1999, when brands didn’t want us to be doing it! for a number of years we where selling the most volume in the UK of brand name sunglasses. I also was invited as a lead buyer over to italy when davidbeckham was the face of police sunglasses to buy the next seasons sunglasses for Police to sell to retailers in the UK.But 50% of you are not in fashion, we have healthcare, manufacturing and a florist!For those of you writing blogs 15% are doing it weekly, 15% monthly and 70% less often.40% of you measure the success of your blogs and 60% of you don’t
  • This is a cardinal sin, tools like Google analytics, make it so easy to measure where traffic has come from and what happened after they visited. You should all have e-commerce tracking set up and you should all be adding annotations to Google analytics Anotations help you explain trends in data, by adding annotations to your data you can work out what cause increases in traffic, annotations are simply notes that you and others in your organisation write and attach to specifc dates.You can also look at landing pages and show blog posts only to monitor traffic over a period of timeYou can also then attribute this to sales using ecommerce tracking.Anyway there is no point blogging or doing anything on social media if you don’t track it, especially when its so easy to track! Maybe this needs a different webinar, Google anaylitics tracking, and measuring success! But back to our survey
  • Interestingly all of you feel confident about the actual writing of blogsWhat you where eager to know was How to create a followingHow to create engagementThe aesthetics of a blogHow to create more sales through bloggingAnd how to improve your current blogging
  • So just to be clear what is a blog?a blog is the same as news or latest news I suppose it’s not called news because it gives the opportunity not just to write about the latest news, its an opportunity to talk about all the aspects of your products and services, to portray yourselves as thought leaders andto bring personality to your brand.Blog is short for web-log: a post – or log – made online. Blogs are a great way of engaging with customers and sharing information. It’s a way to educate your audience all about your products and servicesIt’s your companies latest newsAn opportunity to show personality To give away advice to your existing client and customers And to engage with potential clients
  • Customers – especially for high value products – now demand detailed information (including photos), they will often search for content about products before they make a purchase. Savvy retailers are now blogging and uploading rich content (photos and videos) to attract customer attention and entice them to buy. Great retail blogs now mix text, images, photos and video content to create an in-store experience for customers. Here are some examples of top industry blogs:For ten years UK fashion blog Catwalk Queen has been bringing fashion fans the latest fashion news and product picks. They help consumers shop for the hottest trends straight from the runway with their catwalk reviews and new season style guides, and get the look with our high street outfit picks. Theyinspire consumers with their celebrity fashion and street style galleries, and even have live award show coverage from well-dressed events like the Oscars.
  • Design*Sponge is a design blog run by a Brooklyn-based writer. Launched in August of 2004, the site updates between 6-8 times per day and was declared a “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” by the New York Times. Design*Sponge attracts a diverse group of devoted readers across the globe. Design*Sponge currently has 75,000 daily readers on the main site, over 127,000+ RSS readers, 405,000+ Twitter followers and 70,000+ Facebook followers.
  • Wiredexplores the ideas, innovations and people that are reshaping our world. Wiredis your guide to what’s happening nextWIRED makes sense of a world in constant transformation. They tell an ongoing adventure story—the invention of the future. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. The breakthroughs and innovations that they cover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries. They introduce you to the people, companies, and ideas that matter. WIRED reaches more than 30 million people each month! 
  • Discover the latest fashion trends, style updates, edits, street fashion & design with ASOSASOS uses photos of celebrities as inspiration for aspiring fashionistas: I featured ASOS in my last webinar and they are a really interesting one to watch, they introduced something called marketplace a couple of years agoWhy would a company want to promote and sell other peoples products? Asos are completely intouch with their customers needs , they said they wanted to be a global fashion destination, not just a UK shop and profits are up 40%
  • This fashion blogger uses strong images to show products at their best:
  • Chrysler uses video to show its cars in action from every angle:
  • So we have seen some examples , but why should you blog?It forces CreativityIt builds a communityAdds value to your siteIt gives you content for your Social Media and Email CampaignsGets you to the top of Google I believe blogs can increase your sales by helping to Overcomebarriers to purchase – Online buyers don’t have the opportunity to inspect products before purchase, so the more information you can offer to dispel any concerns or queries they may have, the better. Blogs can be used to explain product features and usage, and to show photos and videos of products from every angle.
  • Linked to this is Brand Advocacy – People trust their peers, so establishing a team of brand advocate bloggers from within your target market group, who will talk about your products and other topics of interest to your target market, is a very powerful tool for profile raising and converting new and occasional customers to loyal customers who trust in your brand. Walmart Moms is a great example of this.Exposure to new customers – Interesting, well-written blogs are likely to be shared by readers with their friends, especially if they offer valuable or useful information or are fun and entertaining. Each share exposes your brand to new potential customers.Recommendations – Good blogs allow comments, and comments sections offer an excellent opportunity for happy customers to post positive reviews and recommendations.Cross promotion – You can use your blog to highlight related products, with links to similar or complementary products. An example might be a blog about child car seats with links to foldaway buggies, carriers and slings. If the related products are well-matched and solve a problem, blog readers won’t mind you ‘selling’ to them.
  • For me the Blog is the core of any social media or SEO campaignBlogs provide regular content to share through your other social media sites (which we will cover in detail in webinar 3). The sharable nature of product images is perfect for retail, with sites such as Pinterest seeing huge expansion as consumer demand for visual content has grown rapidly. User-generated content, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ are now being ranked more highly by search engines, so it pays to invest in social media and blogging. As I said I will cover this far more in webinar 3, but lets just think for a moment,Blogs provideStatus updates for FacebookTweets for Twitter- take a blog with the title “top 5 tips”, well all of a sudden you have created 5 tweets, all with links to the blog, don’t tweet them alll in one go, spread them out over the week/month. Stuck for tweets, go back to blogs from 6 months ago!Updates for Linkedin personal and company profilesStatuss for Google PlusEmail campaigns – do you get to start of the month and think, what are we going to put into our email campaing this month? if you have fab blogs, there is your content already written!)They give content for your keywords to be found in Google, search engine optimisatino, you will only be found if you mentino the keyword, and the more times you mentino it the more relevant you are (don’t mention for sake, it must be relevant)A blog should be an integral part of your marketing and comms strategy, but you need to set goals. What are you marketing goals? Need to sell more teenage products, what could we write that would engage with teenagers? Lets give them some information, lets become a resource and during the process, lets build trust with them and let them know what products we have that we could offer them.
  • If you need some more inspiration, here are some brands that are doing social media well…
  • If you manufacture or sell products online, engaging with the top bloggers and reviewers in your industry, and getting them to talk about your brand on their can, expose your products to whole new audiences. Bloggers are highly trusted sources of information about new products, and readers of industry blogs are already interested and engaged, so conversion is easier. You can see how this blogger (sytle bubble) credits and links to the brand website: 
  • Guest blogging is really key to this too, it’s a free and credible way to spread your brand and build links for SEO back to your siteIt’s a way to meet new audiencesGrow your own communityMakes you creatuive and improves your writingHelps develop authorityThese are just some of the sites I guest blog on, all relevant to my industry and all small to medium business focused.SEP is a canadian company!
  • Blogs have power,This advert shows the power of blogging to start a new product craze. This British mum-of-two started a global fashion craze from her kitchen table. The film charts the rise of Julie Deane & The Cambridge Satchel Company. From creating the satchel idea to becoming a hit with vloggers and bloggers and then exploding onto the fashion world; we see how Julie used the web to go from kitchen to catwalk.
  • So this is all great but how do we come up with content? We need to feed ourselvesSubscribe to competitorsSubscribe to industry related news and professional bodies Keep notes of questions customers ask youCreate Google alerts on niche topics ( this is a great tool simply Google Google alerts and try it out!)Thing about all the products/services you offerKeep a journal/voice recorderInvite Guest blogs from customersWrite about your passions? tw: @jrconsultancyt: 0113 320 21 21
  • When blogging, it’s really important to keep in mind who you are talking to,,,, why,, and what both you,, and they,, want to get out of it. Know your audience – Understand who your customer is and what they are interested in. Be clear – are you writing for B2B or B2C? A particular age group? A particular income bracket? What other things are they likely to be interested in? What problems do they have that you can solve? Really get into the mindset of your target customer, and write directly FOR and TO them. Choose your products and themes – Create an Editorial Calendar to plan ahead (we’ll have a look at these next) Tell a story – a good blog should have a clear beginning (introduce your topic, grab the reader’s attention), middle (the meat of the blog – a list of tips, a description of a problem, a funny story etc) and an end (how the problem is solved, what to do next). Call to Action (CTA) – All blogs should have a ‘Call to Action’ – what should the reader do next? Find out more (link to another blog), fill in a form, subscribe to our blog, buy a product, follow us on twitter, like us on Facebook etc. Aim to engage your reader and get them to keep reading, make a purchase or give you some information about themselves to help you connect with them again in future.
  • An editorial calendar will help you to plan ahead, link blogs to seasons and events, and ensure you have a good variety of blog topics to appeal to all your customers and showcase your whole product range. If you have more than one blogger, it also helps you to know who is writing what and to plan submission and posting dates.  Make the calendar work for you. Yours might include things like: season; theme; products featured; keywords; target reader segment; date etc.I tend to mention these and people think it needs to be fancy and detailed.There are two main advantages, planning and accountabilityThere are loads of ways of creating one, but lets keep it simple!
  • So make a list of key dates for the year, think of yourProduct launchesEvents / trade showsMarketing campaigns & PromotionsHolidays & Major Sporting eventsAny Key milestones
  • Then simply add these to your road map, this is nothing more than an excel sheet with jan – dec along the top and the categories down the sideSo we can see valentines day in february for exmaple
  • Then think of all your products and services, do any of these fit nicely together,Is there a product that goes well with world tennis tournement?What about one that fits nicely with Easter?Would talking about service x go well with Trade show Y in September?Can you find ways to make your products and services seasonal at all?
  • My suggestion is to use a Google spreadsheet, especially if there is more than one of you in the business, this helps share who is going to be writing the content, it gives accountability and it lets you have one document you can all refer to and edit at the same time.It’s a live spreadsheet and it should haveWho the author isWhat the title of the blog is going to be Any keywords that need to be used in the blogWhat will the call to action be? Make it different each timeAny notesAnd most importantly deadlinesOnce you have this, I suggest doing a 6 month or 12 month calendar, you don’t need to wait until february and think oh no what will I write about, instead if you get a free hour, write the valentines blog now, it will still be valentines day in february!Of course leave space for topical / news worthy blogs, but I would suggest most blogs can be written well in advance.
  • I wanted to share some personal blog experiences with you to help you see how this can fit into your business.One of my marketing goals is to appear high in Google, for this I need to build links with relevant websites, this blog was written on a topical subject about big data, everyone in the digital industry is currently talking about it.I took time to really research what it was all about and throughout the research I formed my opinions from my own experiences and wrote a really informative blog
  • Danny Brown lives in Burlington, Ontario. He is a multiple award-winning marketer and blogger – his blog is recognized as the #1 marketing blog in the world by HubSpot and voted one of Canada’s Top 50 Marketing Blogs coming in at the number 3 slot.He has delivered results for some of the biggest organizations in technology, digital and consumer, including BlackBerry, British Telecom, Orange, Microsoft Canada, IBM, Ford Canada, FedEX, Scotiabank, Vodafone, Dell and LG Electronics.He has spoken at numerous business conference and events, and is regularly quoted in publications and news media, including Marketing Magazine, Canadian Marketing Association, Toronto Star, Fast Company and City News Toronto on the topics of influence, social business, data-driven business intelligence and digital marketing.So what happens, he comments on my blog!.......If that wasn’t good enough
  • He tweets a link to my blog to 35,000 of his followers…
  • It got better…. He wrote another blog the next day and referenced my blog and linked back to it!So not only did my blog get tweeted to 35k people from someone who is extremely influential, I got a well deserved link from a page rank 5, top domain authority blogger!
  • You can see the effect the tweet had on my traffic that day, nearly double the average traffic for a week day.
  • This one is for another one of my goals this was to open more doors with web design agencies, for me this is a perfect avenue for more work, most say they offer SEO and social media, but most outsource it!I wrote about my frustration with web agencies and whether going for their own content management system is really the best way forward, as too many companies get tied it and find it very difficult to move to a differenct agency at a later date.As you can imagine this turned into a debate, this time on linkedin with lots of designers and developers all having their say, but what happened in the process, I built relationships with them, and am currently working with a couple of them!
  • When I set up my business I knew that one of my key services would be to offer paid speaking.Ive understood the power of blogging since 2005 and began bloggin myself in 2007.I knew that blogging was always going to form the core marketing of Jonny Ross Consultancy.It’s a weekly blog on all things digital, all related to my products and services I offer.Its non saley and highly informative, and all blogs are NOT written for SEO, but have SEO in mind.I talked about keywords in the last webinar and the need to work on not just 10 or 20 but hundreds.I have a keyword list of around 1800 keywords. And I always try to see if I can use keywords when I am writing blogs, don’t get me wrong if they don’t feel right in a blog I don’t use them, but if I can I will, ultimately you will only be found for a particular keyword or phrase if its present on your website,.I wrote on online vs offline marketing a couple of years ago, I get a phone call out of the blue, its from a company that will remain namless! But lets just say they are a major player in a particular sector in the UK.I’ve never gone online with this story before, its something we must all remember, the moment you say or write something online it is there forever!!Anyway what they didn’t know is that I hadnbt been paid to speak before and more so I had never spoken on social media publically for more than 5 or 10 minnutes.The call came and it went along the lines of….Hi, we have just googled online vs offline marketing ( back then I was top for this phrase!!) and you came up top of Google.They then, because I was at the top of Google , made some assumptions…..They said, you have obsiously done a massive amount of reasearch on this topic, I said…. Errr yes pretending I had done more than I ad.You obviously speak at many conferences on this topic…. Errm yesWould you consider speaking at our annual conference in a few months time…. Errm it depends on how much you are willing to pay me!!Anyway 4 months later, I spoke in front of hundreds of delegates and got amazing feedback and have not stopped working with many of the delegates and that particular sector since.I think its quite a succes story and it really simply came from 1 blog post.
  • The last story I have was regarding a heated debated on linkedin, the debate was about should you trust the number 1 slot on Google to be the best result and how people cheat Google by buying exact match domains, and multiple domains known as doorway pages.The debate was focussed on SEO companies in Leeds, England where I live, there is a fight for SEO companies to appear top of their home town for some reason and I decided to demonstrate how easy this would be and therefore how meaningless it would be to appear high up for it.Anyway this blog post is one of my most visited blog posts! It probably brings me 25% of my work I took myself from position 84 in Google for SEO leeds to position 3, without doing anything but writing a blog post!It was written over a year and a half ago and still gets comments, the last one being 5 days ago!I firmly believe blogs build relationships, communities, audiences and give you and your brand the opportunity to be one step ahead and reach out to your audience.
  • So enough about my stories, I just hope they help make some sense of all of this!Blacks solicitors is a lawyers in leeds, they are amazing on social media, tweeting all the time. The have some fabulous blog writers and amazing content, but one of the issues they had was they couldn’t get engagement with the blog.I was very kindly asked to come and do a blogging workshop for some of the senior partners and lawyers and this was one of the slides I used for the workshop.I am no expert in photoshop but for me this slide helps show some key elements that are required in a blog
  • Instantly you can see the entire blog feels more inviting.I guess you are drawn to the images and the sharing, but also the sub heading and bullet points,Let me remind you of the last slide--------As I said this helped me come up with some key elements for them
  • How should the blog look? Beauty is everythingEnsure you use images to break up your contentUse headings and sub headingsUse bullet pointsLook at how newspapers and magazines present contentFor SEO, a good blog should be:650-850 words long1-2% keyword densityVideo blogs – 2 minutes or using things like Vine just a few secondsA catchy title – I will come on to this! tw: @jrconsultancyt: 0113 320 21 21
  • Use social proof to make sure we think like sheepUsing plugins like DiggDiggwe can show how many other people have shared and engaged with the contentUse call to actions to get us to do something at the end of the blogIf you liked this subscribe for moreFollow us on TwitterLike us on FacebookContact us for more tw: @jrconsultancyt: 0113 320 21 21
  • Make users feel welcomeFacilitate engagement by Asking questionsTalk to the reader directly using words like you and yoursEncourage comments asking readers to comment belowHave an image of your self including your name to allow the user to connect with you tw: @jrconsultancyt: 0113 320 21 21
  • Ensure the foundations of the blog and website are sound, going back to my 1st webinar we need to ensure we Optimise meta tagsUse Alt Tags for imagesAdd breadcrumbs for users to find their way aroundLink out to resourceful contentLink to your best tw: @jrconsultancyt: 0113 320 21 21
  • Blog titles are key, your title needs to be inviting, engaging, grabbing and truthfulUse the tried and tested formulasUse a number (7 Secrets to success)Teach me (How To Do..)Ask a question (Are you king of twitter?)Talk to me (use you and your)Just say no (Don’t buy this)Use celebs/brands and popular trends (Pizza Express is the winner – Email Marketing)Be controversial Make an unusual association (How Lemons help your HR) tw: @jrconsultancyt: 0113 320 21 21
  • So how can we be good authors? We should write thought leadership blogs. Glen Lopis from Forbes says“A thought leader is a person who identifies trends, common themes and patterns within a particular industry or functional area of expertise to help others identify new opportunities or solutions for growth.”Showcase product and industry trends to become a respected source of industry information and spark interest in buyers to increase chance of converting them keep customers up to date on the latest trendsshow how to use different products togethertips and tricks on how best to use productsproblem solving and trouble shootingspark debate with controversial blogs In webinar three, we will pick up the discussions on interactivity and discuss how to use social media to build deep engagement and long term loyal customers/brand ambassadors! tw: @jrconsultancyt: 0113 320 21 21
  • Does anyone want to challenge me, does anyone think this is all a load of nonsense?Feel free to submit questions thoughts to Tri-CityFor Tips, Tricks and more free advice Subscribe to my blog at JonnyRoss.comCarry on the conversation with me on twitter @jrconsultancy
  • How to Use Blogging to Maximize Online Sales

    1. 1. How to use BLOGGING to maximise online sales by Jonny Ross w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
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    16. 16. Brands using Social Media well include • • • • • Walmart on Facebook Major League Baseball on Twitter Nike on Youtube Gamestop on Google + LL Bean on Pinterestt w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
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    22. 22. How to create an Editorial Calendar? w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
    23. 23. Editorial Calendar sounds so complex… • People think it needs to be fancy and detailed • Two advantages; planning and accountability • There are lots of ways to create an editorial calendar, but let’s keep it simple w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
    24. 24. Step 1: Make a list of key dates for the year • Product launches • Events / trade shows • Marketing campaigns • Promotions • Holidays • Sporting events • Key milestones w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
    25. 25. Step 2: Add these to your Roadmap w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
    26. 26. Step 3: A comprehensive list of all your products and services • Do any of the products and services fit nicely with your roadmap so far? • Split them evenly throughout the year w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
    27. 27. Step 4: Open a Google Spreadsheet • • • • Sole Trader or maybe 4 staff..? Use Google so it’s easy to share and update Everyone with permission can have access It’s a live spreadsheet w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
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    43. 43. Thought Leadership Blog “A thought leader is a person who identifies trends, common themes and patterns within a particular industry or functional area of expertise to help others identify new opportunities or solutions for growth.” Glen Lopis, Forbes w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross
    44. 44. Challenge Me? Does anyone want to challenge me, does anyone think this is all a load of nonsense? Feel free to submit questions thoughts to Tri-City • For Tips, Tricks and more free advice Subscribe to my blog at • Carry on the conversation with me on twitter @jrconsultancy w: tw: @jrconsultancy LinkedIn: /jonnyross