Colin Campbell

Try Googling “content marketing for ecommerce.” Take a look at some of the recommendations out there. You’ll probably see advice like:

  • Use a lot of big images
  • Make interactive web content
  • Make product demo or how-to videos
  • Promote your content in social media
  • Include content in your email marketing campaigns
  • Create infographics

Those are all great tips, but none of them are really specific to ecommerce. I’d recommend that all my clients do these things, whether or not they operate an ecommerce site. But I have noticed one thing that my B2B clients seem to ‘get’ that my ecommerce clients sometimes don’t:

The pages that describe and introduce your products need good content, not just a list of items.

My clients that sell software all have great pages that talk about the problems their prospects face and the solutions their software provides. Those pages attract organic search traffic because people looking for a solution often type in the problem they face, or the solution they want.

Makes sense, right?

One of my ecommerce clients operates retail clothing and footwear stores in the New York City area. For the past two years, we’ve been helping with a variety of business objectives by writing short blogs (with lots of big images) for the website’s lifestyle section.

Missed keyword opportunities means more money for competitors

Just recently, the company re-designed its site and created landing pages for some of its most popular items: Jordan and Nike shoes. But these pages were lacking some of the obvious key search terms you might expect, like “Nike shoes”or “Jordan shoes.” I knew the website would be missing out on search traffic if it didn’t use those keywords. I showed the client a few numbers and they added content to each of those pages within days.

I searched for “Jordan Shoes” in Google. Within the top four results, there were two competitors of similar size, not owned by Nike or Jordan: and

In a SERP for Nike shoes, it became clear competitors were outranking a client because they had more content on their sites.

According to a study by Search Engine Watch, the 3rd and 4th positions in organic search results garner 11 percent and 8 percent of total clicks, respectively. That means that out of the total monthly average searches for the term “Jordan shoes”, gets about 27, 060 visits per month, and gets 19,980 visits per month just from that one search term.

Both of these results pages contain well-written, keyword-rich content: Nice Kicks had two whole paragraphs, and East Bay had just three sentences.

Coincidence? Maybe, but how much effort does it take to write three sentences? (Hint: not much.)

Small changes, huge impact

The fact is, it’s not just traffic ecommerce sites are losing by not including written content. Here’s the case I presented to my client to sum that up:

We found that a client could be getting much more revenue if they targeted certain keywords.

That’s a quarter million dollars per year that my client was missing out on. Needless to say, those three sentences started looking pretty valuable at this point, so my client went above and beyond by adding SEVEN sentences of content about Jordan Shoes. That all happened right at the beginning of February. A few months later, here’s what we have to show:

The results prove why it would have been valuable for the company to target different keywords.

The Jordan page is now generating 175 percent more entrances to the site via organic search. In January, this page was coming up as the 114th result in Google SERPs for the term “Jordan shoes”, according to a great plugin called Rank Checker. Now, the page is ranked 25th.

Coincidence? Probably not. Content marketing isn’t just creating posts about your products or other things your target audience is interested in, and juxtaposing those with your products. You really need to think about your entire site as consumable content or you’ll miss opportunities to make money.

Smart content captures revenue

Web marketing isn’t the differentiator anymore. It’s the norm. Your future customers are out there searching for products, and your competitors probably have the same lists of products on their sites. Make your product pages stand out to crawlers – and consumers – by putting a few simple, unique sentences that convey your brand personality and use the right keywords. You’ll see the results in the ROI.