Practical Ecommerce

How-to Articles Can Boost Sales

Publishing how-to articles on your ecommerce website can be an effective way to boost sales. How-to articles can attract traffic, improve your search position, engage visitors, increase time visitors spend on-site, and help to establish your brand and expertise.

Turn Visitors Into Customers

Writing effective how-to articles can be as simple as creating a series about your product line. People like to compare features before they buy, and they are often searching for timely information on installing, assembling, and using a product.

Some valuable how-to topics would include:

  • What kind of product should I buy?
  • How to choose between product A and product B.
  • Which version is best for me?
  • Why use product X versus other products?
  • How to install and/or assemble product X.
  • How to use product X.
  • Five ways to use product X to create __.
  • Ideas for using product X in your home office, school, and car.
  • How not to use product X.
  • Achieving a certain effect with product X.
  • How to achieve _?
  • Accessories guide for products.
  • Reference and comparison charts for products.

Articles Boost Customer Confidence

Online shoppers are also looking for indications that your store will have the expertise and willingness to help them if there are any questions after the sale. How-to articles can boost consumer confidence because they demonstrate that you know real-world facts about your products.

Articles can also help reduce phone support expenses when you provide answers for the most commonly asked questions. A good article directory makes it easy for potential customers to surf your online store for answers, rather than clicking away in search of answers and into the arms of your competitor’s store.

Articles and Social Media

Social media is the newest ecommerce buzzword, and with all the talk about blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, articles have lost some of their prominence in favor of newer content distribution methods. But, article publication should remain a large part of any social media and marketing plan because articles are still an effective way to attract targeted traffic and engage visitors once they arrive on your site. People still like to read articles, especially how-to articles that are designed to help them better understand your products.

Summary

The simple act of sharing relevant information in the form of a how-to does more than just present facts. It demonstrates that you are interested in your customers’ questions, even before they ask. It shows that you understand their needs and are willing to address them. It also gives you a chance to gently guide potential customers into buying the right product for their needs, leading to fewer returns and more happy customers. And, that is what we are all looking for.

Examples of Effective Article Use

Jan Riley

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  1. Armando Roggio August 13, 2009 Reply

    Great Article Jan. I really liked the examples–Lowes especially.

    I think the folks at [REI](http://www.rei.com/expertadvice) also do a great job with how-to content.

  2. Madelaine August 21, 2009 Reply

    Jan, great articles!
    I always look forward to reading your stuff:)
    I just checked out your site LeadMastersUSA.com!
    I really like it. Lots of good info!
    Madelaine