Why Write Articles
Below is some information on how and why to generate article content. I don't know if I could use a gun reference to a wide audience these days; it would probably be taken poorly by a lot of people who would then miss the point, but I know you are not likely to be tripping about it, and it's a great example that I came across just this very evening.
Now I'm not a "gun nut" but inquiring minds want to know things when we read about them, so tonight I happened to do a Google search for what the difference is between two pistols: a Glock 43 and another called 42. The first article that comes up is well written, clearly written by someone who understands, who totally knows, these two products, accompanied by large high quality images. It turns out the article is on the shopping cart store website for a holster company. I did actually get the information I wanted. I didn't feel ripped off like they faked me out to get me to their holster website with crappy content, and now that I'm there, and educated, well by golly if I wanted one of those guns I certainly would be needing a holster for it, and there I am looking at an awesome product from people I already feel beholden to for having given me such good content. They got me, their target market, to see their product before I was even searching for it yet.
However, I would hazard to presume that it is likely the holster company bosses could care less about sharing their thoughts on those two guns, but their web marketing department saw the search phrase "difference between Glock 42 and 43" being used a lot so created (or bought from someone that really knows the subject) quality content to fit it. Then they promoted it and worked the backlinks so it came up for my search.
I like to say that it doesn't matter how people get to your website, so long as they get there. Make the focus of the website about valuable information that people are searching for so if you have a clothing store website, when people search for "difference in thread count to fabric softness" for example, if there's an article on your website on the subject that is cogent, reads like it's written from someone that actually knows the industry, has the usual backlink requirements, and it rises to the top of Google for that search phrase, well a bunch of your target market who didn't even know about you before just landed on your website.
The power of this is if one slowly adds articles to the site addressing different search phrases people are currently using for different industry related subjects, your website becomes the main place people go to in order to get that information. One can easily grow significant additional audiences merely by the inclusion of quality content on those subjects. As seasons change or search strings change one can go back in and tweak the pre-existing articles, so once an article is written, it can continue to work in new ways for little additional effort.
But don't forget, each of those articles needs quality backlinks.
Backlinks are challenging to acquire (and I have many suggestions on doing that), but one can generate one's own backlinks by owning other websites on other domain names focused on those highly searched subjects, with links to your various product pages all over the articles. A shopping cart store website is generally clunky for adding frequent content (certainly doable, but a shopping cart website really isn't designed for that); it's designed to be an awesome shopping cart primarily, but a website built on a platform designed around easy content creation (like Joomla) makes it easy to manage the articles, while also creating valuable backlinks and providing additional streams of traffic going to your shopping cart site.
We have a neutraceutical client that has a shopping cart website on a poor domain name and a very capable (read expensive) shopping cart software that is challenging to use for frequent content changes, so they have other Joomla websites like www.hopeforfatigue.org which are full of articles about the various causes of fatigue with links to the vitamins over on the shopping cart site to help the issues. As a result, the shopping cart site has both increased search juice by virtue of the good performing, relevant backlinks which Google requires, but it's also getting traffic that comes from clicking on the product links on the backlink site.
These articles can't be "blog" posts. They have to stand on their own two feet as separate articles of relevant content, with proper category structure to make for search engine friendly URL's.This clean category structure is another reason to use a platform focused on content over store. (Also, this easy content management software can live inside of the store's website, it need not be on a separate domain name...there are several ways to work this). Easy content management software solutions include Wordpress and Joomla (with Joomla being far superior and is my recommendation).
We need more backlinks than that though. ahrefs.com has tools that lets one see what backlinks your competitor's website has, which you can then go replicate. It also has a tool to show what people are searching for when your competitor's site is being displayed as a search result. If you duplicate those backlinks (as much as you can) and also create superior content for the same subjects (and that is often very easy to accomplish with so much fake content out there), yours will likely be the top result.
As with everything in this world, this all takes either money or time. The article writing should be done by someone intimately familiar with the subjects related to the business or industry, typically the owner who likely is the most knowledgeable person. They need not be long (half a dozen paragraphs is likely enough in most cases), nor frequent (though that would be best at the beginning). If one's writing skills aren't that great, at least get the knowledge part written down and a content creator (I can write) can fix the grammar and make it search engine friendly.
Indeed most of the rest of the rest of the requirements the business owner can do as well. She can go to the Google keywords page and ahrefs.com and go follow up on backlinks she finds competitor businesses using. It's not hard, it just takes time. One should spend a couple hours a night on it, or pay someone to do it, but when she sees the traffic start building and sales growing I think it will become addictive.
There is much more to this story of course, and other techniques and tools, but this is an overview of a few of the main search performance improving things people are doing today with article content creation and backlink building campaigns. It doesn't have to cost much, and it really works.
Content is king and links to that content are queen.
There is another subject: Once traffic starts coming to the site, one needs to work to convert them into taking action, perhaps making a purchase, or signing up for a coupon or newsletter. Conversion rate and how to tweak it and work it is a whole 'nuther subject you should have in your awareness.
To that end, I would also want you to be aware of another modern tool being used: landing pages. The term is often misused as a catch-all phrase and is often assumed to be any page on a website that has some outside links to it, but that's not it. The concept of a landing page is a page on your website that has no links on it to the rest of the website, and there's no links on the rest of the website to this page. The focus of the page is to have the visitor take only one single action, either buying one thing, or signing up for a newsletter or a discount, or whatever, but only one thing. Then, that page is marketed on social media, print, or online placed ads. If you create a landing page for only your Facebook ad, and another identical page with a different url that you advertise in print media, you can track which are working. You can see the visitor count to each page and you'll know how many signed up for your newsletter or bought the product, so now you can tweak your ads to improve on the conversion rate by trying a different image or different font, different words, or perhaps different ads on different platforms to appeal to slightly different audiences or demographics in order to find the marketing messages that have the best results.
These changes should be done rapidly and frequently. We don't want to let our marketing money and effort sitting out there unchanging with what may be lackluster performance.
Often the landing page is created with a content based website platform installed in a folder inside the shopping cart software, or even on a separate domain or sub-domain. This makes it very easy to replicate for the different targeted marketing being done as one merely has to duplicate this "website within a website" into a folder with a different name to generate a different url address to send people to.
There are several ways to accomplish the above listed goals, and there is much more we could explore, but those are a few ideas.
Now after spending several hours generating the above quality content for an email to a client, it seems like I oughta put it on my own website, right? And in fact, any time you write an email like this to someone explaining something about your product or business you just created usable content for your website. Article creation need not necessarily be a separate activity from the writing one already does.