Top 3 Content Formats for Boosting Organic Traffic

Ads can get quick results, but content marketing is playing the long game. Investing in building up your brand as an expert people turn to for answers, not just to buy, can really pay off in the long term. But which kinds of content are typically the best at boosting traffic?

Sure, you’re running your online business to sell your products, but people often need a bit more convincing beyond your typical “Hi! We exist, come buy our awesome stuff!” ads. Having a robust library of content on your site can help with establishing your company as a thought leader in your space. Most importantly, content marketing has been shown to have a massive impact on conversions over time.

Are you selling sustainable shoes? Don’t just talk about how your brand is amazing. Talk about how you source your fancy faux leather or how you support local artisans for your unique packaging.

But what are the content formats that tend to bring in the most visitors?

We’ll explore three of the top types of content to help boost your organic traffic.

1. Ultimate Guides

Comprehensive guide articles are really great for two main reasons:

  • They answer the big questions your customers are asking all in one place
  • They allow you to hit the top keywords and build up your SEO

These guides can be on anything related to your industry, but don’t necessarily have to relate specifically to your product. Your goal is to bring people to your page, establish your brand as an authority on the subject area, and educate them on something they’re clearly interested in.

This ultimate guide on faux leather from LaBante London, an ethical handbag brand, is an excellent example. You’re typically aiming for a piece that asks and answers frequently asked questions, is about 2,000 words long, and allows you plenty of opportunities to include your keywords. LaBante London is clearly looking to rank for “faux leather,” “vegan leather,” and “vegan handbag” just from looking at their H2 tags in this article.

Just as with all longer bits of content, you want to break up your long pieces of text, including bullets or numbered lists where appropriate. Make sure to add in stats (infographics are great too), relevant images, or videos to add to your points.

2. Ranked Lists

You’re reading one right now! Ranked lists are a great way to get attention in a super simple format. We’ve all gotten very used to listicles as a format–thanks, Buzzfeed!

Lists allow people to skim easily. Let’s be honest, most people aren’t going to read your content all the way through. Studies have shown that most people spend about 15 seconds on a page and skim articles to get to the specific piece of information they need. In a ranked list, they’re likely only going to be seeing the first 2-3 things listed, which correspond to the F-shaped skimming pattern documented with eye-tracking software.


Source: Nielsen Norman Group

A ranked list is also a good tactic to position yourself against your competitors.

What? Linking to your competitors and talking about them on your own site??

Yes, because ranked lists will crop up all over and on your site, you get to control the narrative. Are you better than a competitor on a specific feature? Highlight that front and center. People compare when they shop, so if you’re already comparing for them then they’re more likely to continue with their purchase.

If you optimize your article and beat other sources to the punch, you’ll likely be on top of the search results.

Of course, make sure to rank your own brand number 1! As we’ve already said, people skim and they won’t go too deep into your article.

3. Step-by-step tutorials

Tons of people are searching for how to do things, so tutorials and how-to instructional articles can drive a lot of traffic. For example, to continue our faux leather theme, many people might be wondering how to care for various types of sustainable leather.

A company like LaBante London, or one of their competitors, would likely benefit from this type of post. While it doesn’t directly sell their vegan handbags, it does answer important questions their target audience is asking, which will keep their brand relevant.

Some things to keep in mind when crafting these types of posts:

  • More detail is better

These articles tend to be 2,000+ words. People who are searching for a how-to are interested in all the steps, details, and possible mishaps that they may encounter. Make sure to cover everything in your guide, since there’s nothing worse than coming away from a tutorial still unsure of some points.

  • Use stats or create an infographic

People all digest information in different ways. Some will want the details written out, but sometimes a diagram or infographic will convey the information better. Why not do both?

Infographics are also very shareable and other sites may use it and point back to your original post.

  • Make a video

Continuing off that point and going back to what we mentioned on point 2, a lot of people won’t read. Video has been the king of content for a while now, so if you’re able to make a short video, that would be a great addition.

Video would also open up Youtube as another organic channel for getting people to your site. This is a perfect opportunity to leverage the power of influencer marketing as well.

  • Don’t make it an ad

If you’re talking about how to care for a type of product (that you also carry), don’t then turn the tutorial into a commercial. It will turn people off since they came looking for information, not to be sold to.

  • Tie it all together

Make sure the tutorial relates to other things you’ve talked about in other articles, so you can link out to them. You still want to create internal links in your tutorial, just without coming off too salesy about it. For example, if there is some handbag cleaner that does help with the long-term care of your products that you also carry, it’s totally ok to link off to that in your how-to article.

Want more tips?

If you’re looking for more information on ways to make your eCommerce brand stand out, check out our Resources section.

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