Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
If you’ve been putting off blogging because you’re not sure how it will help your business, it may be time to get on the blogging bandwagon. A recent article in E-Commerce Guide points out that a blog linked to your online storefront can be a great way to build visibility for your business and get customers more engaged with what you have to offer.
We agree that blogging presents a good opportunity to talk directly with your customers – and we also think that if you’re going to spend the time necessary to maintain a blog, then you should make the blog content findable on your site. Naturally, you might be concerned that blog articles would be a distraction to your online shoppers – after all, aren’t they using your site search to find the things you’re selling, and not to catch up on your blog?
However, if you do your blog right -with useful, interesting posts that relate to your shoppers’ needs and questions, then visitors would benefit from your posts – and you want to make the posts easy to find. Here are some approaches you can take to make blog content searchable:
- Show the blog content in a separate section of the search results – for example, on the left, or below the regular search results. This ensures that products have prime position on the results page.
- Create refinement options so visitors can restrict the results to just blog articles, or just products.
- Allow product and blog content to surface in your search, showing the most relevant first. Consider adjusting your ranking settings to place more weight on the products, so that products generally show higher. (If you do this, we recommend allowing the blog articles to move higher if people click on them, so that if they are the most relevant results for a particular keyword, then they will end up at the top of the search results.)
- Consider offering a search box on your blog so that visitors can search just blog articles. (In this case, the blog articles should be the most prominent, but we suggest also showing products in your blog search, perhaps along one side of the results.)
If you’re not sure how to present blog content in your site search, you may want to ask your customers (maybe through a blog post), try some options, and measure the impact on your conversion rate. Feel free to contact us if you’d like any assistance.