How Data Drives Our Customer-First Content – Q&A with JanSport

We sat down with JanSport’s eCommerce Director, Victoria Reuter, to talk about how JanSport uses Conductor Searchlight to build great, discoverable content focused on customer- and search-friendly language.
JanSport-logoJanSport is the original backpack and outdoor gear brand, founded in 1967. Owned by the VF corporation, JanSport is one of the world’s largest apparel companies.

You’re the eCommerce Director at JanSport.com. What are some of your marketing challenges and goals?

It’s important to balance both commerce and branding goals.

We want our site to be a perfect mix of being a high watermark for the brand but also a place our customers can easily shop on the go.

 
A snapshot of the JanSport homepage:

jansport-homepage

Is organic search a major marketing channel for JanSport?

I describe it to my team this way: if you’re building a house, you need a sturdy foundation. And SEO is the foundation of marketing. It can be easy to get distracted by flashy new marketing ideas and initiatives, but ultimately, you have to make sure that foundation in organic search is strong first.

Overall, organic search is a huge marketing channel for us. Any opportunity to convert that traffic more efficiently has the potential to drive significant ROI.

One of the initiatives you’re working on is making sure the language on your site matches what consumers search for. Could you tell us about that?

We want finding and engaging with us online to be easy and intuitive. To accomplish that, we’re using Conductor to help make sure we’re using the language our customers choose when they search.

For example, last year we had an exciting win: we were in the top organic position for “laptop backpacks.” But we didn’t always call our product line that — before we used Conductor, we used the term “digital bags.”

Digital Bags in Audience Intent Explorer

Conductor helped us realize that consumers didn’t know what a “digital bag” was or think about our products that way. The fact is: you can have an amazing product that people love, but if no one can find it online, you won’t drive interest or traffic.

jansport-keyword-changes-msv-border

Was it difficult to make the case that you should change some of JanSport’s branded language to more customer-friendly terms?

We want to put our customers first, but we were just missing the data to help us make those changes.

Conductor has helped us spot those opportunities and provided the analytical backup to make the case internally. With insights from Conductor, I was able to show our senior management that we were leaving money on the table. That got attention and buy-in throughout our organization.

“Conductor has helped us spot those opportunities and provided the analytical backup to make the case internally. With insights from Conductor, I was able to show our senior management that we were leaving money on the table. That got attention and buy-in throughout our organization.”

What else do you use the Conductor platform for on a day-to-day basis?

We rely on Conductor to show us how visible our content is in search, and what impact our optimization strategy is having. The platform provides so much context and insight about why we see losses or gains, and what we can do to improve or iterate.

We also use Conductor to help us make decisions about how to build better content. For example, we use the platform to identify over-saturated pages. Once we do, we break them up into more focused content. Content needs focus to really drive traffic.

Is Conductor an important part of your marketing stack?

Absolutely. If you’re investing in SEO and content and you’re not using a platform like Conductor, you risk pulling in so much siloed information that you completely miss the big picture.

I love logging in to Conductor… everything I could possibly want to look at is there, and it’s easy to build a report to look at things side-by-side. That context is critical for making good decisions in digital marketing.

“I love logging in to Conductor… everything I could possibly want to look at is there, and it’s easy to build a report to look at things side-by-side. That context is critical for making good decisions in digital marketing.”

And important as the technology is, it’s the people at Conductor who really help us understand and act on our organic marketing data. Our Conductor Customer Success team helps us build smart workflows, solve problems, and find opportunities. It’s invaluable, especially for a small team, to have a partner like Conductor.

Are you choosing customer-centric language to maximize your organic opportunities? See how you can with Conductor Searchlight.