Editorial Content at PetsMart.com
Editorial Recommendations have become increasingly popular in recent years and appear on more and more eCommerce websites across the Internet. From Amazon to Walmart and Target, they are used in many different ways, and taking a look at the way they are used can tell us many different things about these articles. The various retailers making use of Editorial Recommendations on their sites all have their strengths and weaknesses regarding the way they are utilizing these articles. We’re taking a look at these retailers in our own mission to understand the world of Editorial Recommendations better.
PetsMart Puts a Paw in the Ring
People love their pets, and PetsMart has long been one of the biggest retailers for pet products. Recently, this large pet retailer has begun to host its own Editorial Recommendations in its “learning center,” featuring articles designed to help pet owners searching for information about various types of pet products. Examples of the types of articles in their learning center include choosing the right type of food for an adult dog and what a new pet owner needs to purchase when bringing home a new cat. These articles come with links to additional Editorial Recommendations as well as links to products readers might be interested in if they are reading the article.
These are all great articles. However, there are some issues with the way their Editorial Recommendations are set up on the PetsMart site. Among the bigger issues is that there are no bylines. This means anybody who reads the articles in the learning center can assume that any of the opinions are within those of PetsMart itself. This is a bit of an issue, as people tend to be swayed more by third-party opinions, especially if they are searching for items to buy. After all, they are not looking for an advertisement – they are looking for real information and real recommendations to help them in their search from someone who is a true authority.
There are also some other issues with PetsMart’s current program, including the lack of dates, which leaves you unable to know how fresh the content is, and the site only showing ten articles. Additionally, the site’s Editorial Recommendations do not render in search results, so they are ineffective for those users who are actively searching for products. This means these articles are likely being written for SEO purposes rather than for active shoppers.
PetsMart Could Do So Much More
PetsMart has the ability to step up its game in a big way if it were so inclined. Many publishers and many pet bloggers are currently out there working on the type of content PetsMart needs. These publishers and pet bloggers would be thrilled to begin crafting Editorial Recommendations for the retailer, and reaching out to them would be a tremendous move in the right direction for everyone involved. Among the biggest benefits of utilizing publishers and pet bloggers to write their editorial recommendations would be having those third party voices. As mentioned above, third party voices would lend their Editorial Recommendations an air of independence from the brand. The articles would be coming from sources who, rather than attempting to sell products, are attempting to educate the audience and care about what they are saying. Likewise, the articles would carry a certain level of authority on the subject matter, especially in the case of established publishers and pet bloggers with experience when it comes to writing about pets and pet care.
Another positive move would be to have the articles show up in the search engine results page (SERP). It is important to note that when people are already on the PetsMart search page, it can be assumed they are likely to be purchasing items from the retailer. Having an article such as “What Do I Need to Take Care of My New Cat?” would be a great choice to have show up when an individual is searching for cat products. After all, many people browsing for cat products will be bringing home a new cat and would be highly likely to click on an article with that title! And finally, regularly refreshing content and ensuring it’s up to date would be highly beneficial for SEO.
PetsMart Should Hire a Third Party Manager
Of note is that PetsMart is not primarily a publisher. It is a retailer, and because of that, it should not be influencing its writers. Having a third party would keep any conflicts of interest separate and allow PetsMart to focus on the customer experience. The retailer is in a terrific position to work on its Editorial Recommendation program as it would be able to craft many exciting and interesting topics. People love their pets, and there are numerous types of products to work with. However, at present, PetsMart simply has not done enough. It will be interesting to see what PetsMart does in the future with its program.