Marketplaces are multi-vendor websites, like Amazon or Etsy, that sell products by different sellers. Every seller can manage their site as they wish, but the goal is to bring consistent traffic using SEO for a marketplace.
When you use the marketplace to sell, you are not just competing with the general competition. You also need to perform better than the other sellers there.
So, let’s get to the point.
Marketplace SEO is related to ranking your online store on Google and any other search engine you prefer. The goal is to bring traffic to your website but also to convert those visitors into customers.
Still, there is a distinction between the traditional SEO strategy and SEO for marketplace implementation.
While general SEO is all about keywords, backlinks, and ranking, with marketplace SEO, you need to focus on more things and set clear goals. You need to focus on digital customer behavior, and instead of answering questions, you need to offer solutions to those who need to buy from you. This way, you ensure the website visitors will grab the chance and buy from your store.
Marketplace SEO is important because you predict the search intent, provide the best content, and see if the website ranks higher and attracts the right target customers. If you have conversions from visitors to buyers, you are a step closer to accomplishing your SEO and sales goals.
Benefits of SEO for Marketplace
Before you learn how to do marketplace SEO, you must know its benefits. As we said, higher ranks, more traffic, and lead conversion is the main goal for every SEO for marketplace strategy.
Surely, there are additional benefits you can expect, like:
1. Categorizing the Products Precisely
As you define the product categories, you establish nice and straightforward navigation. Additionally, you can create exceptional page descriptions and add more value to your SEO strategy implementation.
Even though categories aren’t a ranking factor, they provide navigational sense to the customers. You can even find more relevant keywords to add to the category page description, which will also ease the categorizing for you. After that, you can be sure you won’t duplicate the same product in a different category too.
2. Users Can Easily Find Products Using Keywords
If you properly implement your SEO strategy for the marketplace, searchers can easily find your site using relevant search queries. We won’t dive into the indexing and SEO signals at this point, but it’s important to know that you need to optimize the product descriptions and related content best. It should be user-friendly, so try to understand what people need in order to find your product.
If you don’t do that, you risk writing robotic texts that search engines will initially grab but won’t find any value later.
3. Search Engines and Users Understand the Content
As we said, it’s essential to offer value for both search engines and readers. When you use proper marketplace SEO, you ensure the search engines find quality in your content and rank it higher than the results that don’t offer the same value.
4. Your Site Appears Trustworthy
People tend to trust websites that rank higher on Google. Most of the potential customers won’t even check the second page.
Surely, getting to Google’s first page is nothing you can instantly do, and you must be patient. But, if you do quality work and avoid bad SEO practices, your marketplace has more chances to rank on the first page.
When you are trustworthy, a significant part of the traffic can become valuable customers.
5. Link Building Options
Do you know what’s better than being relevant to search engines? Yes, we talk about being relevant to the audience, similar businesses, or even competition. If you see that you receive traffic through linking, make sure you grab the chance and improve the current backlinking strategy.
Even when bloggers and writers link your products in their articles, you can quickly contact them and negotiate backlinking collaboration.
Now you have an initial understanding of SEO for marketplace benefits. So, it’s time to learn how to implement an SEO marketplace strategy and which steps you need to take first. We will cover that in the following chapter.
Tips to Implement Marketplace SEO
Knowing the benefits of SEO for the marketplace, we can focus on the most valuable tips on how to implement it properly.
We must note that it’s still a strategy that can make or break your brand, depending on how serious you work on it. If you understand these tips and adequately use them in your strategy, we are sure you will accomplish exceptional SEO marketplace success.
1. Perform a Keyword Research
In-depth keyword research is an essential part of every SEO marketplace strategy. Knowing that online marketplaces are multichannel eCommerce services, it’s crucial to understand how to do marketplace SEO with proper keywords.
For example, if you own an Amazon marketplace, the keyword research can give a nice image of which queries searchers use to access similar online stores. This will help you get to know how to modify your eCommerce SEO strategy to optimize your Amazon marketplace better.
So, determine your marketplace niche, and start exploring different keywords. You need to make a list of as many essential keywords as possible and then go deeper with ideas on how to incorporate them.
You can use free tools (like Google Trends) to do this, but paid ones give more profound insight into keywords that bring traffic.
2. Optimize the Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs make navigation easier. Those are those links usually placed above the product image or description or below the product name. They show you where you are at the moment and can help you get back to the main category.
Usually, breadcrumbs look like this:
Homepage > Category > Subcategory > Product
Every part of the trail is linked to the appropriate page.
Many users love breadcrumbs because they can navigate through the pages or get a few steps back without using the “back” button on the browser.
Also, they are important SEO elements for a few reasons. Because of the linking, search engines crawl and index the pages and understand their structure. Also, Google and other search engines show the breadcrumbs instead of permalinks in the SERPs, making the ranking easier.
3. Enhance the Site Loading Speed
Site speed is an essential factor for your SEO ranking. Knowing that you usually use some marketplace to sell your or third-party products, you can’t really affect the general loading speed. But, you can surely optimize your page by using smaller but quality images and allowing automated compression when needed.
Still, you can choose to disable complex templates and themes, avoid using third-party widgets that slow your page, and turn off all pop ups and redirects (except when they are necessary).
Additionally, check on the mobile responsiveness. Mobile versions load faster on mobile than desktop versions of the site. Even though it rarely happens nowadays, some sites still use their unresponsive desktop site for mobile. It loads slowly and affects your ranking badly, so make sure you resolve this issue on time.
4. Generate a Sitemap
If you try to follow marketplace SEO guides or tutorials, you will often see this tip. But what is a sitemap, and how to access it?
It’s a file that lists all the valuable information for your website, from pages and files to multimedia and videos and their relationships. If you provide a sitemap file and submit it to Google or any other search engine, it quickly and effectively crawls your website.
This way, your content and pages rank on search engines. It looks like a list of links and codes, which you may not understand or read, but search engines can.
In general, there are two types of sitemaps, HTML and XML.
An HTML sitemap is a page with a links list that navigates to the most important categories, sections, or pages.
On the other hand, an XML sitemap is a file you can find in the site’s root folder. It contains all important SEO parameters suitable for Google or any other search engine. Submit it to Google Search Console, so you can show the engine which pages to crawl and index.
5. Content Marketing on Point
You will often come to the phrase “Content is a King,” and indeed, everyone who says that is entirely right. So, no matter if you run a marketplace website, eCommerce shop, or any other type of site that sells something, you have to pay attention to content marketing.
What does it mean?
Content marketing is just a tiny aspect of the general digital marketing strategy. It usually covers creating and delivering relevant content to the audience and trying to engage them.
Since marketplaces consist of a large number of sellers and an even more significant number of potential buyers, you need to provide valuable and powerful content to them.
In the first place, content marketing brings value and persuades the customers to check on a specific product or store.
In general, we can summarize the content marketing strategy like this:
You start with social media posts and curated content as the most widespread types the audience consumes. After that, those who are still interested will look for short blog posts, which leads them to more functional content like multimedia, infographics, documents, and presentations.
At this point, your audience will get smaller but more focused on the final part of the strategy.
So, the next step is the long blog posts that provide value, which finally leads to eBooks, whitepapers, or other vital documents. They can ultimately help the reader to decide if they need the product or service or not.
Steps in Implementing SEO for Marketplace
When you know the benefits and most essential SEO tips, you can quickly implement the strategy in your marketplace.
These are the steps you can take to do that:
1. Diagnose and Resolve the Website Speed and Loading Issues
Website loading speed is the time your site takes until it completely loads the content. In ideal cases, it should take less than three seconds, even though most marketplaces provide a loading time of about 0.8 or 0.9 seconds.
One of the first things you can do is to optimize the image sizes. They must be of clear quality, but large sizes spend loading resources when it’s not really needed.
Next, you can optimize the code, including removing irrelevant parts, spaces, and unnecessary styling items.
No matter if you have your eCommerce website or you use a marketplace to sell products, it’s crucial not to overload your store with high-res images and multimedia content that may cause lags and delays. Marketplaces are usually optimized to support many pages and stores, but people can overload them, causing problems loading.
2. Run the Needed Audits
Marketplace SEO includes audits, just like every other website.
The technical audit checks the technical aspects of the page or site. It’s primarily performed by engineers and technical professionals to check if your marketplace satisfies all the development, design, and security requirements.
Mostly, tech audits are performed using audit tools. It’s an integral part of SEO marketplace enhancement, and it’s done just like eCommerce or general tech audit.
During this process, the chosen tool checks on the sitemap, domain authority, subdomains, product pages, and indexed pages.
Then, it reports eventual issues with the marketplace site structure, hierarchy, and URLs and gives you an insight into canonical tags, so you can know which issues to resolve.
No matter how hard we try, there is always someone who runs a similar business or sells similar products. At this point, you have to discover what they do better than you and which keywords they use to rank higher on search engines.
Also, you can monitor their site and social media profiles and turn their strategy to your advantage. Indeed, we don’t suggest you copy their way. We are sure you can find something to do better than them.
Pay attention to their marketplace, and see if they use the proper SEO signals to accomplish better ranks.
SEO marketplace audit is all about your site. You need to diagnose and resolve any potential on-page and off-page issues and check if your site provides a valuable user experience on every device.
Also, you can run keyword research to improve the current content or give you an idea for new ones.
The SEO audit for the marketplace can also help you figure out why you may lose organic traffic or decline in sales.
So, choose your favorite SEO audit tool, understand the factors that affect the current ranking, check on your competitors, and then reorganize your strategy. Also, this audit will help you resolve the duplicate content issue, redirects, site indexing, and site speed.
3. Use an eCommerce Site Structure as an Example
Even though they are similar, eCommerce sites and marketplaces are not the same. But one thing you can do is to follow the general instructions for eCommerce site structure and implement it for your marketplace SEO strategy.
The most intuitive structure is adding general categories and subcategories if needed. Every category and subcategory page must be accompanied by a title, description, and a list of products.
When you click on a product, make sure there are breadcrumbs that show where on the site you are currently.
Marketplaces are made for more than one seller to sell products and services, but the main eCommerce structure will work great, especially regarding sitemap, navigation, and SEO ranking.
4. Optimize the Product Titles and Descriptions
Product titles and descriptions must be SEO marketplace optimized to bring traffic and conversions.
How to Write SEO Optimized Product Titles?
Product titles are the first thing the buyers see and determine whether they will click on the product or not. Before buying, every customer researches a few resources and, in most cases, goes for those that seem appealing.
The product title gives a short but transparent product description and targets the customers.
So, keep it short and pay attention to grammar and spelling. Don’t make it promotional, and don’t add CTAs in the product title.
Capitalize the first letters of the words, but don’t use caps for the whole text because people often find it too overwhelming. Also, put the words in importance order, for example:
Product + Type + Color + Brand, or
Material + Product + Brand.
For example, if your marketplace sells waterproof raincoats, don’t make the product title:
Waterproof Coat to Protect You on Rainy Days
Instead, use a format like this:
Black Waterproof Raincoat One Size, or
Waterproof Raincoat – Female “Brand Name”
You can even add more features, but make sure you keep it short and direct.
SEO-Friendly Product Descriptions
Once you are done with the product title, you need to write an announcement, introduction, and persuasive product description.
At this point, you need to be honest and transparent by focusing on the product’s advantages. Use powerful and engaging words to create a bond with the customer. You can also add bullet lists of a few most important features (3-5 per description) to highlight them properly.
Supposing that you’ve already run keyword research, you can easily optimize the product descriptions.
Be careful not to duplicate product descriptions because unique copies are what search engines appreciate most.
5. Blogging and Guest Posting to Build Backlinks
When working on a content SEO marketplace strategy, you need to cover important aspects, like blogging and guest posting.
What is Blogging?
Blogging helps you build authority and offer value to customers. While reading your blogs, they understand the purpose of some products and learn about the potential benefits of buying them, but they also decide between a few of them based on descriptions and experience.
If you have a blog section, you can publish helpful content and then use the links to share on social media, link to other blog posts, or include external links to build authority.
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posts are usually more general compared to blog posts. They can be entertaining too. The most common practice is to target your specific page with an anchor keyword and publish that article on another website.
At some point, when you build authority and appear on the search engine’s first page, other writers will link your content to their articles to support and provide relevance.
It’s a long process, but it’s worth the effort, no matter if you have an eCommerce site you run alone or you are a part of a more significant SEO for marketplace strategy.
6. Enable Reviews
Google trusts when reviewers are honest and give proper ratings and reviews to a particular product or service. Review comments and testimonials may not be SEO-optimized, but they provide an excellent insight into what you offer, how satisfied the customers are, and how to boost your authority online.
Also, it’s not crucial if you have two, twenty, or hundred reviews since their relevance is what Google finds vital for SEO.
This can be pretty useful if your marketplace works locally. Local reviews are among the top factors that enhance site authority and online presence. Furthermore, about 90% of the customers will decide if they would buy or not based on these reviews.
So, you can enable reviews in your Google My Business account but also add a comment and review section under every product or service page.
7. Add Call-to-Actions
No SEO for marketplace strategy is complete without adding CTAs (Call-to-Actions).
Your marketplace exists to serve a purpose, i.e., to sell some product or service the public can benefit from. We must know that the public is mostly made of visual consumers.
People prefer to see something nice, neat, and clear instead of messy and overwhelming sites.
If you follow the tips and steps above, you have only one thing to do at this point.
Add Call-to-Actions to encourage the people to take action, like subscribing to your newsletter, blog, or even purchasing the product.
The intuitive urge is to use the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button, but you can make a lot more than that. So, we get to the point we mention the best CTA practices, including:
- Brief and snappy
- Inspiring and persuasive
- A direct and clear message
- Don’t use a lot of text
- Don’t use too many CTAs per page
- Make sure the button stands out
- Highlight it with a vibrant but pleasant color
- Place it smartly
- Give the users a reason to click on it
The Final Thoughts
SEO marketplace can use both general SEO practices and eCommerce SEO strategy steps to make things work almost perfectly. Still, the most important part is following search engine updates and guidelines since things may change daily. That means updating your SEO marketplaces strategies is needed and completely recommended.
Sometimes it needs just a few adjustments to make things work right, and other times you may need to make significant changes.
It’s a continuous job for your team or for a marketplace SEO agency, so get ready to put a lot of effort and dedication into it.
At last, the more you are focused on this part of your business, the better your marketplace will perform on the internet.