How to create a blog in Magento

how-to-create-a-blog-in-magento

Marketing experts agree that a well-curated blog can improve business and increase ROI and conversion rates.  It can also drive brand loyalty and customer retention.  Most large businesses feature a blog as part of their Magento 2 stores.  This is, in part, to improve SEO.

Omnicore found that 81% of internet users trust information they find in a blog and 61% of internet users are more willing to make a purchase based on a recommendation found in a blog.  Hubspot performed a survey of more than 1,500 companies and found that those with blogs integrated into their Magento stores received 55% more traffic to their sites, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more SEO-friendly indexed pages.

The bottom line is your company needs an integrated blog on your Magento 2 platform.  There are a variety of ways to create a blog in Magento.  The easiest is to install a blog extension or to use WordPress.  Either way, learning to create a blog in Magento will pay dividends for your company later on.

Magento Extensions

Many extensions on the marketplace can add a blog to your existing Magento store.  The best extensions keep in place the design and marketing strategy that experienced Magento users already have in place.  Once you have an extension integrated into your software, Magento blog posts will begin to appear in your dashboard.  This will make it easy for the system administrator to track them.

With multiple blog extensions for Magento, and with each extension having a unique set of features, it is vital that you do your homework.  Read online reviews for the extension you are considering.  Ask around in the Magento community to find out what has worked for other Magento users.  Also, ask about problems or issues that have affected their implementation of the blog software.

One popular extension is Mirasvit’s Blog MX.  This free Magento 2 extension gives users the ability to adjust SEO settings with the addition of meta titles and descriptions, as well as URL keys.  You can publish text alone or add images and videos into your Magento blog.  Perhaps the most impressive feature of this extension is its ability to sort your blog posts into various categories.  It’s a customer-friendly addition to a blog site.

Another popular extension is AheadWorks’ Blog.  With this paid Magento 2 extension, a site administrator can choose from multiple tools to make the blog more efficient.  Blog has features such as selective posting to specific customers, sidebar composition customization, and advanced blog scheduling options.  All posts are listed in the sitemap.xml file, so search engines can index pages easily.  Even more helpful is integration with Disqus.  This allows your customers to comment on any Magento blog post using their already existing social media accounts.

Again, there are many extensions available for businesses seeking to create a blog in Magento.  It’s vital that administrators do their homework and achieve product familiarity before deciding on what extension to implement.

WordPress

WordPress is the premier CMS (content management system) for blogging, having reached a market share of 60.2% by 2018.  The WordPress platform allows bloggers to get creative with a wide variety of widgets, sliders, plugins, and other bells and whistles.  This allows businesses to demonstrate a huge degree of customized, creative blogging in a highly user-friendly program setup.

The only problem is if you go through WordPress to run your blog, you not only have to maintain the blog itself, but also WordPress.  This means you have to worry about multiple platforms.  Luckily, there is a solution.  Magento WordPress Integration is a free extension that integrates WordPress seamlessly into Magento 2.  It enables a business to either keep two separate themes or integrate the themes on both platforms into one.  It allows you to share session/cart data, navigation menus, header, footer, products, layout elements, and static blocks by using shortcodes or functions.

You can also create a standalone blog utilizing a separate domain.  By providing your customers with a WordPress blog link, you can bridge the gap between your Magento store and your Magento blog.  Doing so allows your business to access the full array of WordPress features, as well as create a unique design theme for your blog, independent of the one in your store.  In addition, you enhance your store’s security by keeping bots confined to your WordPress blog.

Having said that, there are definite disadvantages to using a standalone WordPress blog.  Making your customers go back and forth between your WordPress blog and your Magento store checkout is a surefire way to frustrate them.  Most customers want seamless integration (i.e., a shopping cart in the header with easy access).  Because Magento and WordPress are different websites, they are also different functional databases.  Because of this, customers will need to sign in twice to access both sites’ features.

When producing a standalone WordPress blog, also consider that your SEO will take a hit.  Your ability to attract long-tail keyword traffic to your Magento store will suffer, as will your store ranking.  You can pepper your blog with links to your store products, but there’s no guarantee that customers will be willing to go back and forth.  You’ll also have to develop two search functions, one for the store and one for the blog.  This increases your overall programming and development time.

If you’re beginning to think that keeping a standalone WordPress blog is more trouble than it’s worth, we recommend utilizing an appropriate extension when you create your Magento blog.

Contact the Experts

At IronPlane, we know how to create a blog in Magento that is not only creative but also adds to your eCommerce site’s overall functionality.  With blog content driving so many sales and SEO, you can only benefit from talking to a team of experts.

Image via Flickr by Got Credit