E-Commerce Content Strategy: It Starts With Unique Product Content

Dec 9, 2016 9:22:22 AM

by Virtucom Group Team

Everything you read says a content strategy is essential. But the task sounds daunting -- you must use content effectively, and you can only do so with the right strategy in place. So how do you define that content strategy and get started? Over the coming weeks we'll review some content tools to help you form the foundation for a successful strategy, and today we'll begin with some ideas on unique product content. This is a topic we address frequently on the blog, primarily because unique product content should be the cornerstone of any e-commerce firm's content strategy.

What is unique product content?

When we talk about product content in general, we're referring to the content used on a PDP, or product description page. This includes the product name, product description and the feature bullets. Unique content means populating each of these elements with fresh copy that is not in use on other parts of your own site, on supplier and distributer sites or by other competing e-commerce sites. This ensures that each PDP speaks specifically about the product in question in a tone that is tailored to your customer base.

Using unique content means that you stand out from other sites that rely on syndicated content or simply use information acquired from suppliers, making you a distinct voice in a sea of repetition. Unique content informs, but it also engages, giving customers the information they need to make a confident purchasing decision and creating a feeling that you offer something special that can't be found at other e-commerce sites.

Why is unique content important?

First and foremost, there's the SEO factor. Google favors uniqueness over duplicate content, but because their algorithms are so complex there's no precise percentage of unique content that will guarantee great search results. Instead, it's best to aim for uniqueness whenever you can to minimize the impact of duplicate content that may prove unavoidable. While it may be tempting to recycle information received from vendors to save time and effort, keep in mind that you'll be sharing that copy with dozens of other e-commerce sites. That makes it extremely difficult to come out on top of Google's SERP (search engine results page) for any given query. When your content is unique, you stand a far better chance of rising to the top of the results and getting more eyes on your offerings.

But that's not the only reason to get started with unique content. Today's online shoppers are extremely savvy, and they don't just want information that's clear, detailed and correct -- they expect it, and will navigate away in its absence. When they find recycled content that's not created with your customers in mind, it's very likely they'll be put off by discrepancies and careless errors that make a poor impression. Just as important, consumers need to make a connection with your offerings and see them as relevant to their needs and their identity. This is why unique content, and unique lifestyle content in particular, can be such a powerful tool in growing conversion. Offering a one-of-a-kind experience that's tailored to your average customer's persona keeps shoppers satisfied and builds the trust that brings them back to your site again and again.

How can you start using unique content?

When you're ready to commit to unique content, it's imperative that you begin by defining your buyer persona. Who shops at your site, and what do they need to feel brand loyalty and buy with confidence? This will help you determine the style of content that will be most effective and the overall voice you'll employ when creating unique content. To learn more about buyer personas, you can check out one of our recent blog posts. It's also important to craft standards for normalization. Doing so ensures that every record is consistently formatted, which supports on-site comparison shopping, as well as cross-selling and up-selling efforts. With standards in place, you can begin to think about how you will roll out your new content initiative. Will you begin using unique content only for all PDPs going forward, or will you also revise existing records? How will you eliminate existing duplicate content to improve your site's overall performance?

If this sounds like a lot to handle, you're not alone -- many e-commerce firms put off creating unique content or imagine it's too much for them to tackle simply because of time and staffing constraints. After all, a company with thousands of products online faces the necessity of a significant time and resource investment to create new content and refresh existing copy. In many cases, working with an outside provider can be a good way to minimize the strain on your existing team, develop standards that work for you and ensure that you can continue to focus on the products and services that define your business while allowing someone else to make them shine in the online marketplace.

In our next installment, we'll take a look at category content and why this could be a valuable addition to your e-commerce site. In the meantime, we'd love to hear about how you put unique product content to work for your company, or any questions you have for us.

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Data integrity, time to market and increased conversions are vital to all e-commerce retailers. Our product data management and unique content creation program ensures consistent product names, robust product descriptions, complete and accurate product attributes and an array of digital assets are at your disposal, providing time to market and quality improvements that will outpace your fiercest competition. Contact our team and get started with Virtucom Group today.

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