Clayton Lainsbury said that he watched too many businesses face a shortage of original content for thousands of products, while working as an online marketing consultant for three years. That problem would ultimately affect the way their sites ranked in Google search functions.
And with Google all but telling ecommerce businesses that it won’t boost their SEO rankings without fresh and specific wording, Lainsbury witnessed the plight of solution-hungry ecommerce founders.
“One marketer would get ‘Google slapped’- Google looked at their website, it was thin and had no content and they dropped them off of the first page and gave them a low quality score. Email marketers were getting blocked more and more, and their emails were going into the spam filter,” Lainsbury told Betakit. “The answer every time to solve that was more quality content, that was always the solution.”
At the time he was working for a Victoria-based online marketing company called NeverBlue, and saw that content would be huge in marketing. Couple that with an affinity for crowdsourced work, and Lainsbury had the idea for Crowd Content.
Crowd Content is an online platform that connects ecommerce businesses looking to fill content need with just over 1000 writers from around the globe into one place. It allows brands and businesses to easily access content needs, whether it be blogging, product descriptions, home page and other website content, social media content or even ebooks. Freelancers go through a process to be accepted into Crowd Content’s community of writers and are ranked based on a four-star scale. The company also implemented a motivational gamification system for writers that allows work performance to earn them higher or lower rankings.
Integration capability with the likes of Hootsuite allows one-click ordering of tweets or facebook posts that will show up automatically on clients’ Hootsuite dashboards. Another integration with Shopify businesses allows them to install an application and immediately gain access to Crowd Content’s freelancers for whatever content needs they have.
“We’re solving a major pain point for ecommerce stores because over the last few years we’ve seen algoritm updates like Google Panda, Hummingbird and more. Today Google is basically demanding that you don’t have any duplicate content on your website, and if you do they’re basically going to ignore it and it’s not going to rank well in search enginges,” said Lainsbury.
He gave the example that a store could be loading up 1000 new products from their manufacturer with 1000 product descriptions that are already on the manufacturers website, which will hurt its SEO score. “So it’s a single problem to just re write those product descriptions but when you get into mass volume you gotta think a lot of these stores don’t have writers on staff and if they’re not writers themselves it becomes quite a problem to complete that process,” he said.
And Lainsbury said his clients have been showing their needs for his services. While he declined to share revenue numbers, the CEO said the company has experienced month-over-month growth over the past 12 months along with a 20 percent growth in revenue.
Most recently the company came out with the launch of its new “product description creation and management tools”, where ecommerce stores can reduce the time, effort, and cost spent on writing, re-writing, and managing product descriptions. It’s all explained quite clearly in this blog post.
There’s clearly no shortage of tools available for Canadian ecommerce businesses, but Crowd Content comes in with a fresh, crowdsourced offering that should partner up a lot of businesses with talented writers. Lainsbury said the clients are the one’s who ultimately judge the value of the content providers.
“I’m a firm believer that if you review someone’s application or sample, you can get a decent indication of their skill level, and we let our clients determine who the cream of the crop is.”
Photo from The Times Colonist (Victoria)