Educating Your Customers

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When you think about your interactions with visitors to your ecommerce website, you usually think in terms of profit. However, educating your customers can be just as important. Search engines are more and more content-oriented, and so are customers. You can make search engine bots and website visitors both happy by offering an education in addition to a line of products and services. Here are a few tips for adding an educational component to your ecommerce website:

  1. Offer a variety of formats. Most people in modern times are very aware of learning styles; you should cater to these multiple intelligences by creating your educational materials in text, video and other formats. This will ensure that no customer is left behind.
  2. Link to content from your homepage. Your educational material needs to be accessible from your home page and prominently displayed so that customers will see it. In addition, you should link to the ecommerce portion of your website from the educational portion. This cross-linking will give you a higher page rank while also helping your customers to learn more about your products and services.
  3. Link to products from your educational section. If you discuss a certain item, link to it. This will make it easy for interested parties to buy. After all, an ecommerce website is driven mainly by sales; your education portion can be a money making tool in addition to an informative one.
  4. Update on a consistent schedule. People will stop visiting if they do not see interesting information added on a regular basis. Set an editorial calendar that makes sense for your website and stick to it. Adding fresh content on a regular basis will also improve your search engine ranking. You should give information a date and time stamp so that customers can see how often you update.
  5. Be social. You should make it easy for customers to interact with your social networking sites via your blog or other educational content and vice-versa. Include various widgets to make it a one step process. In addition, you should announce new posts and new information on social media. Make it easy for users of one format to interact via the other.
  6. Include educational content in emails. If you have an email newsletter, this should be part of your educational “program”. The more informative you are, the more customers will want to subscribe and actually read your emails. In addition, having good content makes you look like an industry expert, which encourages customers to keep coming back to your website and to take your recommendations seriously.
  7. Spread the love with RSS. RSS feeds automate the spread of your information and make it easier to share with others. These can also be used to announce new blog posts on social media.
  8. Let SEO be your guide. Informing customers is important, but so is building your page rank. You can do both by carefully tailoring your information so that it uses some of the more effective search engine terms. If you can work them into content without compromising quality, you will be making great strides toward building your business.