What to do right now for catalog marketers: Build a blog

SEO copywriting: Building a blog for catalog marketersSure, blogs seems like old news.

“Everyone is blogging,” you say. “How can my catalog company see search engine benefit by creating random bits of blogging fodder.”

Good question. The answer is this: Blogs can help overcome some common catalog marketer challenges without having to change your site. And that’s a good thing.

The challenge with online catalogs is the templates are typically text unfriendly. You have a teeny-tiny word count paired with a site that’s mostly graphics. What’s more, the content is also typically “fixed” — showing a “standard” product description direct from the manufacturer. That means that every other catalog site selling that product also shares the same product description. In an ideal world, you can “touch” the existing page content and make it unique. But if you have 10,000 SKU’s and a rapidly-changing inventory, tweaking the content seems overwhelming.

Enter the blog. Blogging allows you to wax poetic about your products without having to alter your product templates. The writing can be fresh, unique and keyphrase-rich — and allows you to market your products in a unique way that standard product copy doesn’t provide.

Check out Zappos blog as an example. Although the goal of the blog is to promote the brand, the writing does it in a way that’s chatty, informative and fun. For instance, one of the posts profiled snowboarder Charlotte Dutton. Yes, the article is about her. But check out those in-article hyperlinks. Readers are pointed to specific Zappos.com product pages (in this case, “beauty” and “skate park shoes,”) relating to the article. Pretty snazzy, eh?

(Although Zappo’s could have done a better job including keyphrases in the hyperlinks and prequalifying the landing page. The “snowboarding” link took me to the “skate park” page, which didn’t list the word “snowboarding” anywhere.)

Catalog marketers: If you don’t have a blog, talk to someone about the pros and cons (my company, SuccessWorks, creates blogs posts and strategy, and there are many other firms that can help.) See if it’s something that could see positive ROI for your company. As mentioned in a previous post, the holiday season is almost upon us — and a good blog can help drive new traffic, plus gain search engines rankings that may not be possible on your main site.