Essential Content Types for Online Sales

July 31, 2020 / Marketing

Essential content for online sales

Great content is essential if you want to sell goods and services online. It’s what informs, advises, and persuades your visitors that buying from you is the right decision. Google, meanwhile, hails high-quality content as its most important ranking factor, enabling content-rich sites to increase their traffic. Content, however, comes in different forms and here, we’ll look at the different types needed for selling online.

  1. Product descriptions
    The most basic and yet fundamental form of content is the product description. This is the copy on a product page that gives vital information about the product and which also helps to persuade the customer to buy.
    On a website, product descriptions, images and customer reviews are the only things a visitor has to help them make a purchasing decision and the description, therefore, needs to provide all the information a customer could find out if buying from a shop. This includes the products’ features, specifications (dimensions, weight, colour, etc.) possible uses and benefits.
  2. Category descriptions
    One step up from the product page is the category page. Many eCommerce sites simply fill these with product images and short descriptions. Others make greater use of content to give general information about the products found in the category. The importance of this is that such content is likely to be keyword-rich and this can benefit the page from an SEO perspective, helping it to rank on search engines.
  3. Tools
    Most people don’t consider website tools as a form of content but they can be incredibly useful. On eCommerce sites, perhaps the most advantageous tools are product search boxes and filters. Rather than visitors having to browse page after page of products, they can simply type in what they are looking for and then filter the results, e.g., by colour, size, customer rating, etc. Product comparison tools are also quite common.
    You’ll find tools on other types of website, too. For example, garages have tools that let customers type in their registration number to find out the exact tyres they need and supermarkets provide tools for customers to book home delivery slots. They are all there to make the experience of buying easier and more convenient and, in doing so make themselves highly valuable.
  4. FAQs
    Customers often ask the same questions about the products and services that a company sells. If the answer isn’t in the description and they are unable to find it on your site, they can be discouraged from buying. One increasingly common type of content that provides a solution for this is the FAQ section. Simply make a list of the most regularly asked questions, answer them and put them in the most appropriate place on your website. You can always link to it from other pages if needed.
  5. Customer reviews and ratings
    Reviews and ratings, whether about individual products or about the company itself, have become an essential element of the business website. Customers want social proof that the things you say are true and will look for independent verification from your previous customers.
  6. Self-help
    User forums and knowledgebases are found on many sites where customers need ongoing support about the products and services they have purchased. Found on countless sites, they provide expert guidance and community help with a wide range of needs and even enable customers to ask advice about specific issues. Websites use them as they help develop long-term relationships with customers. What’s more, they are often full of important keywords and can be searched online, enabling new visitors to find your website.
  7. Blog posts
    Blogs are one of the most valuable types of website content. They enable the company to attract new visitors by providing information and advice that helps people solve problems. In doing so, companies can recommend their products and services as part of the solution and increase overall sales.
    What’s more, a blog positions the company as an expert in its field, improving its reputation which helps generate even more sales as well as creating loyalty among its customer base. Furthermore, as blog posts are indexed and searchable on search engines, they help attract more new visitors.
  8. Videos
    By far the most popular medium on the internet, videos are created and consumed in huge quantities every day. While you can post videos on social media sites, they also play a valuable role on websites. Indeed, there are increasing numbers of websites who use videos as buying guides for products and services. They can help customers find the right type of product or service (ideal for blogs or category pages) or they can be used to explain the features and benefits of a particular product or service.
  9. Infographics
    Infographics are one of the most user-friendly pieces of content because they take long and detailed content, cut it down to its essential information and then add illustrations to make it easier to understand. And all this is done in a way which is attractive to look at and interesting to read. The final result is a convenient, nicely presented, potted version that saves people time. For some visitors, this will be enough to lead them to the next step of the sales funnel, for others, it will make them want to find out the more detailed information – in both instances, however, it begins the process of engagement and keeps the visitor on board.


The breadth and quality of a website’s content play a significant role in how well it generates sales and grows long-term customer value. Indeed, it also performs many other useful functions: improving customer experience, developing SEO and enhancing company reputation.

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