The concept of Blue Ocean SEO strategy has its roots in a book titled Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.
What it means is, when implementing your marketing strategy, focus on your own, individual strengths and abilities and forget your competition. Additionally, survey a marketing segment that is not served by your competition. The opposite is Red Ocean strategy that heavily relies on what your competition is doing.
According to the book, the Blue Ocean Strategy doesn’t concern itself with the competition. This is because the existing markets are already oversaturated. If you decide to compete with your competitors, even in terms of content writing and content publishing, scores of competitors are already vying to out do you. Unless you are a mega million company, in terms of publishing content and increasing your visibility, it may turn out to be a losing battle. I’m not saying it always must be a losing battle, but in most of the cases, immense effort is required.
Finding your Blue Ocean means finding your market that only you can serve. This can also work in SEO content writing. How?
There are two ways:
Target markets that are not being targeted by your competitors.
Write on topics that are not being written by your competitors.
But then what about all those competitive keywords you want to be found for? Those are still relevant, right?
For example, if I want to be found by people looking for a professional content writer, how does it help me if I target a completely alien keyword?
This is not what it means.
You can use the same keyword, but you can use some different combination. Fewer people might be searching for that combination, but at least, you will rank well, and you will receive quality traffic for that uncommonly used keyword.
Here is a small example:
Popular title: How to find the best content writer for your business?
Less popular title: How to avoid finding the worst content writer for your business
Another less popular title: The nightmares to avoid when hiring a content writer for your business
Another way of looking at it is that most of your competitors are focusing on generating content that drives people to their sales pipelines. Most content is being created for the purpose of driving sales. Nothing wrong in that.
But they forget the primary purpose of content writing and publishing: providing purposeful content that improves lives.
Content writing for your website is all about improving experiences for people. They are less bothered about your business and more worried about solving their problems. If you solve their problems, they become interested in working with you.
So, what is Blue Ocean for you here in terms of content writing?
Shifting your focus from “give me work, give me work!” to “this is how I add value, this is how I help you, this is how you solve your problem.”
Unsurprisingly, prolific publishers have an easier time generating leads than those who are fickle with their content creation.
The key point here? Consistency. It doesn’t matter whether the content is an article, a podcast, a video, or an infographic – regular posting reaps rewards.
2) Compared to content marketing followers, year-on-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders
Innovative content that sets you apart from the pack will boost your website’s views, so take the time to create useful, interesting content that presents you as a leader, not a follower, for an increase in unique site traffic.
More than double the leads and less than half the price. What’s not to like?
Switching from traditional marketing should slash your costs while generating more leads. This could be due to content marketing nurturing your leads and relationships with potential customers in a way native marketing cannot.
4) Compared to non-adopters, conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters
Work smart, not hard.
Why waste time on traditional marketing when content marketing conversion rates are significantly more effective?
5) The most effective B2B marketers spend 39% of the marketing budget on content marketing
Follow in the footsteps of those who do it best and designate a portion of your budget to content marketing.
Some years ago, I published this YouTube video on 6 advantages of content marketing.
Content is everywhere on the Internet. You visit a website and you read its web page or blog post, it is content.
You visit a social media or social networking website, and you go through your timeline, it is content.
You watch a YouTube video, it is content.
Through content, you build your platform. When you regularly publish blog posts on your blog, people visit your blog regularly. They pay attention to what you have published. It becomes your broadcasting platform.
The beauty of content marketing is that people are drawn to your website or blog on their own. You do not need to tell them to visit your website.
Why is content marketing so effective?
Because instead of promoting your product or service, you are providing useful information to people. You help them solve problems. You make them feel informed and intelligent.
It is like TV channels. Only, TV channels do not usually sell products (some do). They entertain you. They inform you. They show your content you love to watch. While you are watching that content, they show you advertisements. They make money off those advertisements. They have built platforms. They have built audiences. They make use of those audiences. The same thing applies to content marketing.
When you provide them useful information, on an ongoing basis, they begin to respect you. They want to keep track of what you are publishing. They will go to extra lengths to subscribe to your email updates or follow you on social media, or make sure they visit your website or blog regularly.
I provide content writing services. When people visit my blog, even if they are reading blog posts on the various aspects of content writing, even when I am not asking them to hire me as their content writer, they know that I write professional content.
It is because my website and my blog are branded in such a manner that you cannot help but notice that I provide professional content writing services.
But I am not forcing anyone. I get repeat visitors because of my content marketing efforts and over a period, they begin to remember that I provide professional content writing services and I share lots of information on the subject.
The Search Engine Journal author has mentioned the following benefits of content marketing in the above-linked blog post…
Content marketing increases your organic search engine rankings because you publish authoritative content.
Consequently, you get more organic traffic from search engines.
Since your rankings improve, it becomes easier for influencers and blog publishers to find your content and link to it, therefore, sending more referral traffic your way.
More social engagement is facilitated through content marketing as, when you publish useful and relevant content, people talk about it on their social media timelines, or at least, interact with you on your own social media timelines.
You publish targeted content to make customer journey meaningful, engaging, and informative.
You begin to enjoy higher conversion rate because you get more targeted traffic from search engines, social media platforms, as well as other referral websites.
Content marketing inspires you to publish multiformat content. This does not just get your content found through multiple means, it also makes it easier for people to consume your content in their preferred formats.
The content that you publish for your content marketing campaigns is usually evergreen content. If it is relevant today, it is also going to be relevant after a couple of years.
Content marketing also prompts you to use original research data.
There is long-term cost saving. Content marketing costs you much less compared to traditional marketing and advertising.
I always tell my clients that content marketing (also content writing) is not a one-off affair. It is an ongoing effort. Why is it an ongoing effort?
Huge quantities of content are constantly being added and then being crawled by search engines and being displayed by social media platforms. If you think that you can publish content for a few weeks and then go on with what you are doing without publishing new content, your content is soon taken over by people who are publishing content more aggressively, and with a stringent routine.
Hence, content marketing certainly has its benefits, but just like any other marketing effort, it requires persistence and strategy.
Want to improve search engine rankings of your e-commerce store? Want to supercharge your conversion rate? You must start an e-commerce blog.
If you’re wondering why you should start an e-commerce blog, you will find your answer here.
The e-commerce space is quite crowded. With websites like Shopify and Rackspace it’s even easier to start an e-commerce website within a few days without knowledge of programming or HTML.
According to this UNCTAD report, Covid-19 has led to a surge in e-commerce business. Due to multiple lockdowns all over the world, almost everyone ordered from home. Even those who were reluctant to purchase stuff online, started doing their shopping from online retail stores. The share of e-commerce in the global retail trade rose from 14% in 2019 to 17% in 2020, according to the same UNCTAD link.
Starting an e-commerce blog enables you to carve a space for yourself on this crowded terra firma.
Data from IBM’s US retail index shows that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital shopping roughly by 5 years. The non-essential purchases in the conventional, brick-and-mortar department stores declined by 75% in the second quarter of 2020.
It is not just the big e-commerce websites like Amazon.com, JD.com or Walmart e-commerce that have taken a huge proportion of the e-commerce business. There have been thousands of startups all over the world in the wake of not just the Covid-19 pandemic, but also to leverage the fast-changing consumer dynamics. I was recently reading about a new startup called Dukaan (colloquial for a neighborhood shop in India) that came up during the Covid-19 lockdown when the founders realized that the local shopkeepers were no longer able to sell their products even to the traditional customer base. Hence, they built a platform for traditional shop owners to sell their products using the platform. There are hundreds of such examples.
Naturally, the competition has increased. Whereas the bigger e-commerce websites don’t rest on their laurels and spend millions of dollars to maintain their visibility and push their products in front of their customers, smaller e-commerce websites need to rely on search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media marketing to get their share of the pie that is already being shared by thousands of others.
E-commerce blogging can be a big weapon in your arsenal.
There are multiple benefits or advantages of starting an e-commerce blog.
Why do you buy from Amazon.com? It is a known brand. You have already purchased from it scores of times, in my case, even hundreds of times. You know it’s return policy. More or less, you have had a good experience when it comes to addressing your grievances and you know that you can rely on the company in case you don’t receive the product you have ordered or if you have received a faulty product.
Amazon.com doesn’t have to convince you. You are already convinced. It has been on the landscape of e-commerce for more than 20 years. It doesn’t need to win your trust.
But if you’re a small e-commerce website people hardly know, you need to win their trust. All the attributes that are assumed about Amazon.com, you need to establish them.
You need to convince people that not just their money is safe with you, in case they face a problem, you’re going to be there for them. Lack of trust is a big problem among the prospective e-commerce customers because they don’t know you yet. They don’t know whether it is safe to spend their money on your website.
Recently my wife purchased a kurti from an unknown online retail store that sells women’s garments. The piece of clothing cost double than what such a piece of clothing would cost on Amazon, but my wife liked it so much, that she bought from this website. It was a complete set containing upper and lower garments.
They sent the wrong color. They sent just the upper garment. When we called them, no one picked up the phone. Our email to their support elicited no response. We found that there are lots of negative reviews and feedback on Twitter about the company.
Such companies make it harder even for those e-commerce websites that mean to serve their customers well. This is an unnecessary hurdle created on the way of the well-meaning companies.
Blogging can fill this gap. It can familiarize people to your presence. It can establish a space of trust. Being a small e-commerce website, through your blog, it is easier to engage your customers at a personal level.
This Hubspot report says that e-commerce websites that publish a blog get 55% more traffic than those that don’t. Further, e-commerce websites that publish blogs get 97% more inbound links, and have 434% more pages indexed by Google.
Listed below are 5 reasons why as an e-commerce website you should publish a blog.
1. Blogging improves search engine rankings of your e-commerce website
Although a major part of your business comes from repeat customers (a universal trend among e-commerce websites) if you are an e-commerce store, in the beginning, you need to be found on major search engines like Google and Bing.
Before buying people look for information. For that they use a search engine like Google. They want to read about the product. They look for reviews. They look for opinions. They try to find the ratings.
In terms of improving your search engine rankings through an e-commerce blog, think about your own e-commerce store. It may be unique. It may be quite different from a bigger retail store like Amazon.com. Maybe you’re selling just 10 to 15 items, or even less. You need to educate people about the benefits of purchasing those items from your website. This you can achieve through regular blogging.
Blogging in itself is search engine friendly. Assuming that you update your blog regularly (1-5 times every week) Google crawls and indexes your e-commerce website with greater regularity because it expects to find fresh content. The Google crawler is engineered in a manner that it is constantly looking for fresh content, and even the Google ranking algorithm prefers fresh content over comparatively older content.
Make sure you choose the appropriate blog post titles that include the names of your products and their features. For example, if you sell ladies garments, you can publish something like “How to choose the best evening gown for the upcoming spring ball?” Or something like, “How we can help you if you’re not satisfied with our delivery”.
If you regularly publish a blog, people come to your website regularly. Research has shown that before buying, people need to come to your website for at least 4-5 times.
Regular blogging also gets you back links which are important for your SEO as well as wider visibility. Other bloggers and online publishers may link to useful posts from your blog. Also, blog posts are shared on social media with greater regularity.
2. Regular blogging establishes you as a thought leader
Trust matters a lot when it comes to shopping on an e-commerce website. Trust, coupled with familiarity. Familiarity comes from regular visibility. Trust comes from regular exposure to your knowledge, experience, and good advice.
Remember that having an e-commerce website doesn’t always mean having an online retail store where you list scores of products. Even if you’re selling one e-book, it is an e-commerce website, and to make people buy your e-book from your e-commerce website, you need to establish your presence among them as an authority figure.
3. Build a community of loyal customers around your e-commerce blog
The very nature of a blog makes you attract people who are interested in reading what you have to say. If you publish interesting and useful content on your e-commerce blog, they keep track of your blog. They leave comments. They respond to other visitors’ comments. They feel connected to your community. When they feel connected, they show their connectedness by following the footsteps of the community. If many of your community members buy from your e-commerce websites, the others will too.
4. Publishing targeted content is cheaper than advertising
Organic search engine rankings don’t just increase your search engine visibility, they also reduce your reliance on online advertising.
A problem with online advertising, especially when you are spending money on a PPC campaign, is that you pay for every click. Whenever someone clicks your link on Google, for example, and if the link is not a part of organic search results, you pay for that click. Whether the person buys from your website or not, you spend money on the person for visiting your website.
Being an e-commerce website with multiple items in your catalog, you may need to bid on multiple keywords. For example, if you want to draw traffic for, let’s say, 50 items in your e-commerce catalog, you will need to pay for individual clicks for all those 50 items. On an ongoing basis. You can easily guess how much money you will end up spending.
With blogging, the only money you’re spending is the money that you pay to your content writer. If your listings begin to appear in organic search results, whether you get 100 clicks or 1 million clicks, you don’t pay anything. All the traffic is free.
Also, inbound traffic – people coming to your website when they come across your content on Google and other websites – always converts better than the traffic that you get through advertising. This is because when people come across your relevant content, they decide on their own to come to your website. Knowingly or unknowingly, they are aware of why they are coming to your website. This makes it easier for them to decide in your favor when they need to buy something, and you offer it.
5. An e-commerce blog builds you are broadcasting platform
What is a broadcasting platform? It is a place where people come to read about your views, get to know about your products, and display interest in your ideas and opinion. With regular blogging for your e-commerce website, you can generate massive amounts of traffic within a couple of years. Something to the tune of 2-3000 visitors every day.
This gives you the ability to broadcast your side of the story in case some dispute happens. You will have a ready-made audience with you. You won’t have to depend on other websites to tell your side of the story. In case something tarnishes your image on the Internet, you can immediately take corrective measures by publishing an explanatory blog post on your e-commerce blog.
Should you publish an e-commerce blog on your own website or use third-party blogging platforms?
I strongly suggest that you publish a blog under your own e-commerce website. This way you completely own your content. All the traffic that you generate comes to your own e-commerce website.
There are certainly some benefits of publishing your e-commerce blog on a high traffic website like Medium (or LinkedIn), but then you will be diluting your traffic as well as search engine benefits. You may start an e-commerce blog on Medium, and you may get visibility faster, but most of the visibility belongs to the Medium platform. Whereas, from the beginning itself if you start publishing your blog on your own e-commerce website, it may take a while to build traffic and presence, but by the time you have built an audience, you will have your own strong presence.
Content syndication can take place in two directions: you syndicate your content, or you publish syndicated content on your website or blog.
Syndication means when your content is republished by a third-party website. Content that can be syndicated includes blog posts, infographics, videos and articles.
Just as someone may be interested in publishing your content, you may also publish someone else’s content.
Many news websites use content syndication. For example, many newspapers syndicate content from Reuters and Associated Press. These are independent news gathering services. Newspapers and magazines pay them a fixed fee and based on the agreement, they get a certain number of news items or images that they can syndicate from the agencies.
Content syndication can also be a good content marketing tool.
What is the difference between guest blogging and content syndication?
You must be wondering, if your content is being published on another website or blog, how is it different from guest blogging? After all, in both the cases you should be getting backlinks or getting your content exposed to a different audience.
Guest blogging is when you write a blog post or an article, preferably exclusively, for another online publication. This blog post or article shouldn’t be published elsewhere, not even on your own blog or website.
Syndication on the other hand allows you to publish your content on multiple websites and blogs. In most of the cases, an API/RSS/XML connection is used to distribute the content.
If someone uses your RSS feed or an XML link to extract content from your website (based on your permission) and then publishes the content with due attribution, it is syndication. The content exists on your website. It also exists on other websites.
You can syndicate product reviews, movie reviews, authority blog posts, or even social media feeds. Syndication can be paid or free, depending on your agreement with the publishers.
The basic idea behind content syndication is that your content appears on multiple websites. Doesn’t it create lots of duplicate content?
Yes it does?
Does Google penalize you for having duplicate content scattered all over the web?
Google says no.
But you need to take care that the websites and blogs publishing your content link back to your website or blog with attribution. You should also advise them to use the canonical link (that tells Google that the original content belongs to your URL).
Most of the content syndication tools automatically insert link to the original website. Content syndication is supposed to be automatic anyway. For example, if someone uses your RSS feed to extract content, whatever script is used to extract content also extracts the original URL and then links back to it.
The benefits of content syndication
There are many. You can promote your best performing content on bigger websites if they are ready to syndicate your content because of its quality and relevance.
Your old content, if it is still relevant and useful, can be repurposed and syndicated.
You generate backlinks automatically sometimes, which in turn benefits your SEO.
You can also use professional content syndication platforms such as Taboola and Outbrain to spread your content on other websites and blogs.
How to find content syndication partners
You can search on Google. You may use the following phrases when searching Google:
• “published from”
• “originally published in”
• “original source credited to”
• “republished with permission from”
You can also combine these phrases with the niche you’re looking for. For example, you can search for [“originally published in” “content writing tips”]
I have used  just to club the two phrases together, you don’t need to use these brackets. The above combination should bring up websites that have published on the topics of content writing tips and somewhere they also contain the phrase “originally published in”, which indicates that they may have syndicated the content from somewhere else.