Launching an eCommerce, whether it’s an online store or marketplace, is very easy nowadays. But becoming successful is very much difficult. Marketplace SEO plays a big role in this part.
The situation has become such that if you want your online store or marketplace to thrive, you should know the current best eCommerce SEO practices and how to apply them by yourself. If you fail to do such, you will miss something huge –
The global marketplace sales were $3.5 trillion in 2020, and it is expected to hit $8.8 trillion by 2025
Don’t worry. We are going to help you take your share from these huge sales and ensure the growth of your marketplace.
In this article, we will help you learn all the major things you need to know about marketplace SEO – definition, benefits, actionable tips, bad practices to avoid, how to do the SEO by yourself, and the key SEO terms and phrases.
Marketplace SEO or eCommerce SEO- A Short Introduction
Marketplace SEO, also known as eCommerce SEO, is a process by which you can make your products more visible in search results. Subsequently, increase traffic to your store or marketplace site and grow sales.
Marketplace optimization is a form of SEO that mostly focuses on the products of your pages. In this process, you will critically examine all aspects of your product listings, then make some improvements to increase their visibility and sales.
Shopify, the leading eCommerce solutions provider, says marketplace SEO is the process of generating more organic (non-paid or free) traffic from sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to your online marketplace.
Regular SEO vs eCommerce SEO- Any Difference?
Yes, there are some differences although eCommerce optimization is a particular form of traditional SEO.
SEO [Search Engine Optimization] is a technique or set of practices that help rank your content or page higher in the search results. It’s the most effective way to make your website visible to people and gain more organic (non-paid) web traffic.
eCommerce SEO has almost the same purpose but it is product-focused. That’s why the processes of eCommerce or marketplace SEO are somewhat different than that of general-purpose SEO despite the similarities.
Please note that if you know the traditional SEO practices, then it will be very easy for you to learn marketplace SEO.
How Marketplace SEO Can Benefit You
The main benefit of doing marketplace SEO is that it helps your products get more exposure, and increases traffic and sales. We have already discussed it. But there are some other benefits you should know. Marketplace SEO helps –
- Create brand awareness, make your marketplace or brand familiar to the customers
- Ensure long-term growth as the exposure and popularity you will get are natural
- Defeat your competitors in terms of search visibility, traffic, and online presence
- Reduce the cost of marketing and promotion by gaining free exposure and traffic
- Improve user experience and content quality which are essential to boost sales
- Generate future opportunities, like remarketing and targeted promotion
If you aren’t still convinced by the benefits of marketplace SEO, then you should have a look at these jaw-dropping statistics –
- 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine
- 81% of online shoppers research on the web before purchasing
- 24% of eCommerce orders are directly linked to organic traffic
- 70 to 80% of search engine users ignore paid ads
Sources: Search Engine Journal, Millimetric, Business Insider, SMA Marketing
We hope to make you clear about how marketplace optimization can benefit you. Now, let’s check out some of the best marketplace SEO practices.
8 Top Marketplace SEO Tips You Should Follow in 2022
There are some SEO practices, applicable for both single online stores and multivendor marketplaces, by following which you can rank your products higher in the search results – both on Google and within your marketplace.
It’s the best way to give your products more exposure, beat the competitors, and increase traffic and sales free of cost. The best marketplace SEO practices are:
- Build a Fast and Responsive Website
- Make Product Pages Informative & Attractive
- Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
- Do Adequate Keyword Research
- Focus on Visuals and Alt Texts
- Write Readable & Search Engine-Friendly URL
- Use Trackers & Analytics for Personalization
- Promote Your Products on Social Channels
Now, we will explain each of the eCommerce SEO tips in detail. So, stay with us and follow carefully.
1. Build a Fast and Responsive Website
A fast and responsive website is the most important part of marketplace SEO, because nobody, not even Google likes a sluggish site. So, your products will not rank higher in the search results if your site is slow and irresponsive.
Besides, if your pages do not load fast enough, the visitors will leave and go somewhere else – meaning you will face bounce rates, which are very harmful to ranking.
The probability of bounce increases 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds!
Every second the site loads faster, the conversion rate improves by 17%!Google, Bidnamic
Therefore, you should build a fast and responsive site or improve your existing one. To do so, you will have to –
- Use attractive yet fast and responsive eCommerce themes
- Buy fast and secure hosting services (dedicated hosting if possible)
- Use lightweight media files, and compress them before uploading
- Stop installing unnecessary plugins, only install essential ones like forms plugins, SEO plugins, security plugins, etc.
The usability of your eCommerce site largely depends on how fast and responsive it is. So, you should be very careful about it. Read this article if you need to know How to Build a Website Like Amazon.
2. Make Product Pages Informative & Attractive
Product page optimization is very crucial for marketplace SEO. Because search engines, like Google and Bing, will crawl (scan) your product pages and check whether they contain the necessary information or not.
We will suggest you follow the tips below to make your product pages more informative and attractive to give them higher exposure and get a better rank in the searches:
- Make your product page simple and easy to navigate
- Give all necessary information, and arrange them nicely instead of stacking
- Include specifications or product details
- Use meaningful images, useful videos, and demos
- Give an attractive price tag, try to use charm pricing (prices ending in 9)
- Use ratings, reviews, and reactions to create appeal among customers
- Include accurate shipping information – charges and taxes
- Keep sufficient filter options for product searching
Besides, an attractive and informative product page can help nudge your visitors and convert them into customers as it is your storefront. So, this part shall get high priority.
We will suggest you make the contents of your product pages easier to understand by investing sufficient time there. Don’t use unnecessary jargon. Stick to the words that your customers use every day.
3. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Mobile device users are dominating the entire eCommerce industry. Making your site mobile-friendly will help you ensure access and attract these users to your marketplace. It will also improve the usability of your site, and gain more traffic.
About 73% of global online shopping is done via mobile devices at present!Statista
Therefore, if your e-commerce site isn’t mobile-friendly, you will definitely lose out on a large amount of traffic and sales. You might have already understood how crucial it is for eCommerce SEO.
To make your e-commerce site mobile-friendly, thoroughly examine its mobile compatibility. It’s better if you create an AMP [Accelerated Mobile Pages] version of your site.
4. Do Adequate Keyword Research
Keyword research is the basic practice for general-purpose SEO, but it is also very important for marketplace optimization. Because search engines will crawl and rank your product pages based on the keywords people use.
Check out these keyword research and optimization tips to rank your marketplace higher in the searches:
- Find out search volume and keyword difficulty before finalizing the keywords
- Set the words with higher volume but less difficulty as your main keyword
- Try to ensure the difficulty of your main keyword is less than 40
- Select compelling and self-explanatory keywords
- Keep your main keyword in the title of your product
- Put the main keyword within the first 120 words of your product description
- Use the main keyword 1-3 times organically on the rest of your product page
The area of keyword research is vast. Know more about keyword research and tools.
5. Focus on Visuals and Alt Texts
Using sufficient visuals on your product pages will make your marketplace attractive and user-friendly. And search engines will consider those pages worth giving a higher rank. That’s why visuals are so important for marketplace SEO.
Besides, if your pages are attractive, they will encourage the visitors to stay on your site longer and interact more, creating an opportunity to convert them into buyers.
So, you should maintain the following practices:
- Use high-quality yet low-file-size images and videos
- Keep a 360-degree view option for your products
- Include zoom features for your product images
Now, you will have to focus on the alternative text, shortly alt text. It is a very important image optimization technique. Unfortunately, many people avoid it. But remember it’s very crucial for marketplace SEO.
Search engines can’t actually “see” your images. So, how do they know what’s in each picture? It is the alt text, which works as the caption to the search engines.
Therefore, you should write proper alt text to each of the images, containing your target keyword. And try to be as descriptive as possible. You may also follow these practices, like using “PNG” file formats for images and compressing them when necessary.
6. Write Readable & Search Engine-Friendly URLs
Search engines take URLs, simply the links of your pages, very seriously, and they are an important ranking factor. So, you need to be very careful with this traditional SEO technique which is also very necessary for eCommerce optimization.
The practices you should follow for the URLs:
- Write a readable URL instead of using random numbers
- Use the focus/main keywords in the URL
- Make it relevant to your product
- Keep it short and simple
- Use hyphens to separate words, not underscores
- Try to use HTTPS protocol for security
The practices we asked you to follow are very mandatory if you want to make your products stand out from the crowd. We will also suggest you never change the URLs once you have created them unless it is extremely necessary.
7. Use Trackers & Analytics for Personalization
Trackers and analytics tools allow you to track your visitors’ behavior and show them personalized products and offers. It’s important for marketplace SEO because it enhances user experience which is valued by search engines.
To leverage the benefits of personalization, you should follow the tips below:
- Integrate trackers and analytics tools into your website
- Get deeper behavioral insights through those tools
- Personalize onsite search results
- Adapt homepage banners to user behavior
- Use visitors’ locations to provide personalized offers
You may use the tools like Google Analytics, Hotjar, or Facebook Pixel to give your visitors a more personalized experience while they enter your marketplace.
8. Promote Your Products on Social Channels
All of your efforts will go in vain if your products don’t get publicity. To get more exposure, you must carry out some free promotions, especially on social media and community forums.
Prepare an engaging brief of your product by letting people know why is it special and why they should buy it. Then, share the brief along with your product image/video and the product page link.
Don’t get hesitated. If you don’t promote your product, then who else will?
The Bad Marketplace SEO Practices to Avoid
The ethical SEO practices (that follow the search engine guidelines properly) are called “white hat SEO”. The unethical ones are called “black hat SEO”, and the things in the middle are called “grey hat SEO”.
You should avoid both black and grey hat SEO. Now, we will discuss them in detail and share with you some tips about avoiding bad marketplace SEO practices.
Top Tips to Avoid Bad SEO Practices
The things you should avoid while doing SEO for your eCommerce site:
- Never and ever do keyword stuffing
- Must avoid clickbait or using hyperbolic titles
- Don’t copy any text from anyone
- Give a reference or use the source link if you really need to copy
- Must not duplicate your own content
- Never use links from infamous websites
- Don’t use hidden links and texts
- Don’t use too many ads on your page
We hope you will practice the best eCommerce SEO practices, like the ones we have shown here. At the same time, we will humbly request to avoid bad practices.
How to Do SEO by Yourself on Online Marketplace
Doing SEO in real life is not difficult. You will be able to do SEO for your online store or marketplace by yourself if you follow our guide properly.
Now, we will let you know how can you do SEO by yourself under three circumstances.
- SEO Considerations for an Online Store Owner
- SEO Considerations for a Marketplace Owner
- SEO Considerations for a Seller on a Marketplace
Please check out our top marketplace SEO tips if you haven’t already as it’s very much relevant to what we’re going to tell you now.
SEO Considerations for an Online Store Owner
If you are an entrepreneur who wants to be an online store owner in the future, you will have to follow all 8 marketplace SEO tips we have shared earlier – from site-building to promotion.
If you already have an online store, you may skip tip 1 but will have to follow the rest (2 to 8) properly.
Since it’s an online marketplace, you obviously don’t have internal competitors. So, you should look at what other online stores are doing. It’s better if you do a SWOT [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Treats] analysis of your site to find the differences with the competitors.
SEO Considerations for a Marketplace Owner
If you want to launch a marketplace in the future, you shall follow our tips 1, 3, and 7 properly; 2, 4, 6, and 8 partly. Because apart from tips 1, 3, and 7, the rest are mostly dependent on the vendors enlisted in your marketplace.
If you are already running a marketplace, you may skip the tip 1 and 5 but will have to follow 3 and 7 properly; 2, 4, 6, and 8 partly.
As a marketplace owner, you won’t have any internal competitors as well. But you will have to monitor the other marketplaces and do a SWOT analysis.
SEO Considerations for a Seller on a Marketplace
If you are a seller on a marketplace, you will have to follow our tips 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 properly. The rest will be taken care of by the marketplace management.
You won’t have to do a SWOT analysis [again it’s the owner’s job], but you will have to face both internal and external competition.
We will recommend you keep an eye on what your competitors – vendors from inside or outside your marketplace – are doing better and try to practice those in your store.
Key SEO Terms and Phrases You Should Know
There are some key SEO terms and phrases that you need to know if you want to optimize your marketplace site. It is called an SEO glossary, and it’s huge. We are going to discuss only the major ones that you must know right now.
Some of the terms we have already discussed. You can get familiar with them here if you haven’t yet. If you already know about all the SEO glossaries, you may skip this part. We are going to order them based on your need, not the glossary style.
|SEO terms||Short descriptions|
|Bot/Search Bot/Crawler/Spider||Bots, also known as search robots, crawlers, spiders or wanderers are automated software that systematically travels the internet and collects information about websites.|
|Crawling and Indexing||Crawling is the process by which search engines discover, collect, and update data from websites. After crawling, the search engines store and organize the web content to provide fast responses to the search queries. It is called indexing.|
|Search Intent||Search intent indicates the primary goal of the users when they make queries in the search engines.|
|Search Volume||An analytical metric that shows how many queries users are making with particular keywords.|
|Keyword Difficulty||Search or keyword difficulty determines how difficult it will be to rank (Google’s first page) your content using a particular keyword.|
|Keyword Density||Keyword density refers to the frequency of keywords used within every 100 words. If the keyword density is 2%, it means that the keyword is used twice in a hundred words.|
|Keyword Stuffing||Injecting your keywords within the content unnaturally, unnecessarily, and excessively is called keyword stuffing.|
|Long-tail Keywords||Long-tail keywords are typically longer variants of the main keyword. For example, a longtail keyword for the query ‘restaurants near me’ can be ‘pizza restaurants near me.’|
|Backlink||A backlink is a link from others’ to your site or page. Search engines consider backlinks as “votes” for a specific page.|
|On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO||on-page SEO includes keyword research, internal linking, meta, and URLs you follow within your page or content and off-page SEO includes link building and promotion, outside your content or page to get a higher rank in SERPs.|
|Sitemap||The sitemap or site map is the blueprint of your website that helps search engines find, crawl, and index all of your site’s content.|
|Alt Text||Alternative text or alt text describes your images to the search engines. It works as the alternative to your image when they are missing or not visible, that’s why it’s called alt text.|
|Meta Description||When you search for anything, you see results – titles with links and some texts or descriptions underneath each of them. This text is called meta description, a very important part of SEO.|
|Bounce Rate||Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking action, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase.|
FAQs on SEO
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO techniques ignore searcher intent and attempt to bypass best practices by cheating the system and gaining search visibility through unethical practices.
Some marketers choose black hat SEO over white hat because they think to improve their search visibility faster by fooling search engine algorithms. It might give you good results temporarily but create a long-term negative impact.
What is Grey Hat SEO?
Grey hat SEO is the optimization practice that combines white hat and black hat. Grey hat SEO is riskier than white hat SEO because it exploits the search engine guidelines. But it’s not severe as black hat SEO practices.
However, it is also harmful to your eCommerce site in the long run like the black hat SEO. So, avoid both of them.
What is Semantic SEO
Semantic SEO is the practice of optimizing your content for the meaning of words, rather than the literal meaning.
In other words, Semantic SEO is about creating content that is relevant to the user’s search query, rather than just using the right keywords.
Final Thoughts on Marketplace SEO
We have helped you learn almost all the basic things about marketplace SEO. Now, it’s your turn. We hope you will apply your learning in real life and make your eCommerce initiative successful.
The eCommerce industry is booming globally. It is experiencing an average of 10% growth every year. If you don’t follow the best eCommerce SEO practices and make your marketplace ready to compete, you will surely lag behind.
If you are looking for the best solution to build a marketplace with WordPress, you may consider powerful plugins like Dokan, WCFM, WC Marketplace, etc.