SEO for Marketplace Websites

SEO for marketplace websites is the art of improving the organic traffic of an online marketplace or an eCommerce website through quality on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.

Without high-volume and quality traffic, multivendor websites like Amazon, Instacart, Fiverr, and MamiMarkets will neither be profitable nor survive the very competitive landscape they operate in.

SEO for marketplace websites has proven key to helping multivendor platforms get a consistent stream of organic traffic from Google, Bing, and other search engines.

What is a Marketplace Website?

An online marketplace platform is a type of e-commerce website that allows multiple sellers to offer their products and/or services to end-users.  They are also called multivendor websites or platforms and multichannel e-commerce.

In recent times more and more marketplaces are spring up in different parts of the world, bringing buyers and sellers even closer together. Some popular multivendor platforms are Amazon, Instacart, Alibaba, Aliexpress, and more.

While some marketplace websites are niche-specific like Instacart which focuses on online groceries, others like Amazon or Aliexpress allow vendors from a broad range of product or service categories to sell on their platforms.

Why SEO for Marketplace Websites?

Generally, search engine optimization helps businesses get a consistent stream of high-quality traffic from search engines. Since 95% of all online purchase starts with a search, SEO for marketplace websites can help online markets get consistent high-quality traffic.

No multivendor website can survive without a cosistent stream of high-quality traffic that SEO brings.
Tayo Olayinka

16 Easy Ways to Boost Traffic with Marketplace SEO

Three people talking about seo for marketplace websites

SEO for eCommerce websites works differently than for many other industries like Accountants, Lawyers, Dentists, or other professional services.

First, online marketplaces and eCommerce websites can easily have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of pages while many other professional websites can have less than a hundred.

Therefore, the first thing you must keep in mind when thinking about SEO for marketplace websites is scale. How do you scale your SEO efforts for thousands or hundreds of thousands of pages?

But, before we get into scaling your search engine optimization effort for an online eCommerce website, we need to look at what to do in terms of optimization that can move the needle and help you get the traffic you need to scale.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO for marketplace websites refers to optimizing server and website elements that help search engine bots or spiders crawl, index, and rank your website pages efficiently. Some ranking factors that can move the needle in terms of organic traffic and visibility are:

1 Website Speed

Website speed optimization for eCommerce websites is the process of improving the loading time of your web and product pages. To run a successful SEO for marketplace websites, you need to optimize your website for speed.

The online marketplace is very competitive and users generally expect a website to fully load and become interactive in 2.5 seconds or less. Available statistics show that cart abandonment increases significantly with slow website speed.

Not only does a website speed matter for a good user experience, but a good website speed is also good for improving your crawl budget (we’ll get to that later), making it one of the most important search engine ranking factors.

If your website was built with a content management system like WordPress, Joomla, or Webflow, you can use many of the available plugins or extensions to improve the speed of your website.

The other practical things you can do to significantly improve your website speed are reducing your image sizes to 100 kb or less, using a good website hosting company with very good, using a content delivery network like Cloudflare to improve speed, and more.

2. Canonicalization

Generally speaking, Google hates duplicate or near-duplicate pages. But is often difficult to prevent pages from becoming duplicates or near-duplicates of each other on eCommerce websites.

For example, it is very common to have products or services attached to two categories and exists under two URLs, like: https:www//yourmultivendorwebsite.com/black-shoes/black-and-red-shoes/ and https:www//yourmultivendorwebsite.com/red-shoes/black-and-red-shoes/.

This kind of website structure can cause duplicate issues because Google sees the two pages as duplicates of each other

To solve this kind of problem in SEO for marketplace websites, you can use canonicalization to select a preferred URL for search engines to index.

3 Page Experience

Page experience measures how users feel when browsing your website and is an important ranking factor for search engines.  Like website speed, page experience is another important search engine ranking factor that can negatively impact your marketplace website performance in search engine results pages if not properly optimized.

There are four major page experience ranking factors, specifically, cumulative layout shift (CLS), largest contentful paint (LCP), first input display (FID), and first contentful paint (FCP).

These page experience factors are generally referred to as core web vitals. The other page experience factors that must be considered while designing a strategy for SEO for marketplace websites are the time to interactivity, render-blocking, and more

4 Crawl Budget Optimization

SEO for marketplace websites isn’t complete without a good crawl budget optimization strategy. Crawl budget refers to the amount of crawl and indexing resources Google has associated with your website at any given point in time.

While the crawl budget is determined by Google, webmasters can use technical SEO optimization strategies to increase the crawl budget for a given site.

Improving the crawl budget of your marketplace website can prove vital to how fast your pages are crawled, indexed, and ranked on Google. To improve the crawl budget of your marketplace website, you should consider adding more content to your site, removing broken pages, fixing server problems, eliminating redirect chains and loops, and more.

5 Removing 404 Pages

If you have been using the internet before today, the chances are high you have come across 404 pages, otherwise known as broken links. Search engines like Google and Bing do not like broken links and encourage webmasters to fix them as soon as possible.

The challenge for online marketplaces and eCommerce websites is that web pages are dynamically created, i.e. product pages are created every time vendors add new products. In the same vein, website pages become 404 when vendors take down a product.

To this end, SEO for marketplace websites best practices advice that webmasters run regular checks to find broken pages and remove them with a redirect, 410, or some other strategies. Some best SEO tools for finding these broken links are SEMRush, Ahrefs, Google Search Console, and Screaming Frog.

6 Redirects Handling

Improving the organic traffic and conversion for your marketplace website also means creating an efficient redirect handling process. This is because search engines do not like redirects. In fact, Google and other search engines do not index redirect pages – that is how bad they don’t like it.

Therefore, for SEO for marketplace websites to work, you must find an efficient way to handle redirects and broken pages. The general rule of thumb is to always redirect broken pages to live on, but that is not a will not work when it comes to SEO for marketplace websites.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO for marketplace websites is the art of optimizing off-page elements in order to improve website’s position in Google.

7 Disavow Toxic Backlinks

Disavowing toxic backlinks is another way of saying “removing” toxic domains from your website. Toxic backlinks can be very damaging to a website.

When a website has many toxic backlinks pointing to it, search engines like Google quickly see the site as a spammy site and may de-rank the site from the index.

One of the things multivendor sites must strive to preserve is their online reputation in Google. To this end, it is good practice to always monitor and remove toxic backlinks from your website.

8 Anchor text Optimization

Anchor text optimization is the art of using primary and secondary keywords of a page as anchor text to that page from a source page. If you have a page that sells al Aldo shoe, then it will be more beneficial for you to build internal and external links to that page with words or phrases related to Aldo shoes.

On-page SEO

Off-page SEO for marketplace websites is the process of optimizing on-page website elements to improve the rank and organic traffic to a multivendor website.

On-page SEO for marketplace websites plays an internal role in positioning a website to excel in Google. In this section, we have identified the most important on-page ranking factors for marketplace sites and show you how to update them.

9 Internal Linking

An internal link is a type of hyperlink from one page to another on the same website. Internal linking is one of the easiest ways to significantly improve the position of your multivendor website in Google for organic traffic.

A good internal link strategy for an online marketplace can easily move your web pages from lower pages in search engines to a much higher position overnight and is a key element of a terrific SEO for marketplace websites strategy.

10 Keyword Research

If the content is king, then the keyword is the life of the king. Every piece of the content revolves around a topic. For example, this content is about increasing the organic traffic of marketplace websites through a comprehensive “SEO for marketplace websites” strategy.

for this reason, every SEO marketing strategy should begin with a comprehensive keyword strategy. Since most online marketplaces are product-oriented, it means that you are looking for users who are ready to buy “now”.

Therefore, your keyword research effort should focus on finding transactional and commercial keywords that your target audience is searching for and trying to rank for those search queries.

11 Page Title Optimization

Page titles in one of the most important parts of any solid SEO strategy. It is the first thing that Google crawlers see when crawling your website.

A well-optimized page title will have the product name and title page modifiers, E.g. if you have a product page that sells Macbook Pro 15.5, then your page title can look like [Buy {Product Name} Year – Your Website Name].

Structuring your page title this way helps Google to easily understand that users can “buy” the “product” from “your website”

12 Structured Data

Structured data are page additional code snippets that make it a lot easier for Google and other search engines to understand your web pages. Although many categorize this as a part of technical SEO for marketplace websites, I included it as an on-page SEO factor because the snippets are injected into the pages of the site.

Some popular snippets relevant for marketplace websites are product snippets (to help Google better understand your products), breadcrumb snippets, review snippets, etc

13 Image Optimization

Multivendor websites are known to have thousands of images at any given time. This is because website users like to see the products they want to buy in different shades and colours before making a purchasing decision. But Images are very notorious for slowing website speed if not properly optimized.

To mitigate this, webmasters must ensure to not use images larger than 100 kilobytes. Some other SEO for marketplace websites strategies for image optimization is using a CDN, leveraging browser and server cache, etc.

14 Product Description

What would you do if you found a product you like but could not find a description? My guess is as good as yours.

Asides from the fact that a comprehensive product description makes your website look legit, it is also a good way to optimize your product pages for SEO.

You can use the description section of your page to inform the user what the product is, how to use it, the pros, cons, and everything in between. If you have a multivendor website but have never considered description, then this is a good time to add this to your strategy.

15 Review and User Rating

SEO for marketplace websites is not complete without providing a system for your users to review your products.  For example, 79%of online shoppers say trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Also, 54.7% of customers read at least 4 reviews before making a purchasing decision on a marketplace.

This is why reviews are an important factor when it comes to optimizing a marketplace website for organic traffic.

That said, you must also ensure that only users who have bought the product can review it. This is because once users find out that your reviews are fake, then you may not be able to regain their trust.

16 Content Optimization

Content is one of the most important elements of any SEO strategy. Be it SEO for professional websites or multivendor sites. The most common type of content is text content.

A good approach to SEO for marketplace websites must ensure that content is long enough, descriptive, and have good keyword density.

Conclusion

Now that you know all about SEO for marketplace websites, I guess the right question to ask at this time is what are you going to do about it? Truth is that you can use the information in this post to do it yourself and you will certainly achieve great success.

But, as a startup founder, you may need to wear many hats and may not have the time to learn and implement SEO. This is where we come in. As a leading digital marketing agency in Canada, we help eCommerce and multivendor platforms scale their SEO efforts.

Our in-house SEO team have decades of experience in auditing, analyzing, and ranking marketplace websites on Google. We have helped many multivendor platforms like yours get to top search engine result pages with custom SEO for marketplace websites.

Click on the Get a Quote button above to begin, about us to learn more, or contact us to ask any questions you may have.

Tayo Olayinka

I'm Tayo Olayinka, a Sr. SEO Specialist with 8+ years of experience optimizing websites in different verticals such as Online Gaming, Enterprise Companies, Blogs, Affiliate Sites, and more for search engine results pages. Further, I also volunteer as a Senior SEO Mentor on ADPList, helping new SEO specialists find their way around ranking websites for SERP.

https://www.theseohive.com/

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