Does SEO work for marketplace websites?
If yes, how do I get started with SEO for Marketplace websites?
Those are the two commonest questions every multivendor website owner ask, perhaps because of how highly competitive the online marketplace is.
Before we dive into the technicalities of SEO for marketplace websites, it is sensible to first explain what a marketplace website is and to also highlight the differences between a marketplace and an eCommerce website.
What Is SEO for Marketplace Websites?
From my personal experience as an online marketplace owner, One of the significances of search engine optimization (SEO) for marketplace is the improvement of your site’s quality in order to increase its visibility for relevant searches and organic traffic to your website from search engines.
There are 4 parts to modern SEO for marketplace websites which are:
- Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the act of improving the technical aspects of a website in order to improve the rank positions of its pages in the search engines.
The key technical components of a marketplace website that must be optimized for SEO are speed, site URLs, crawl update, website responsiveness, structured data markup, etc.
- On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is the act of improving the on-page elements of a website in order to improve the ranking of the site’s pages in SERP.
A marketplace website with a poorly optimized on-page SEO will be difficult to rank for a keyword in SERP.
Some of the most important on-page SEO factors are page title, keyword density, user experience, content optimization, image alt optimization, etc.
- Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is the act of building a website reputation vi link building, citation, PR, and social media.
In fact, off-page search engine optimization is considered the most important ranking factor by Google.
- Content Optimization
Content Optimization ever heard the phrase “content is king”? Content has become the fourth pillar of SEO.
Content optimization simply refers to how your content is structured and your keyword density.
Website content can be a simple blog post, video, podcast, animation, infographic, etc.
What Is The Genesis Of SEO For Marketplace Websites?
Since online shopping was invented in 1979 by Michael Aldrich, the basic objective has been the same; connect customers to products online at incredible speed.
We live in a fast-paced world and the only way to stay ahead of the competition at all times is if customers are able to find your products very quickly.
This need is the same for every online business and what was birthed SEO for marketplace websites.
Customers must be able to find your products before they can buy them and a search engine is a primary way that customers use to find products online.
How Does SEO For Marketplace Websites Work?
Search engine optimization works a bit differently on multivendor marketplace websites.
This is because web pages are dynamically created.
Therefore, sellers on multivendor websites are oftentimes mandated to follow some strict guidelines while adding products to the website.
Some of the important fields that must be added during product set up are:
- Product Title – which can also represent the page title.
- Product images – most multivendor platforms will not publish any product with anything less than 7 images.
- Product description – comprehensive product description which can double as the SEO description of the page. A lot of multivendor websites would mandate sellers to add product descriptions with at least 500 characters.
Once this information is added, it is dynamically fed and optimized into the page property.
What Is A Multivendor Or Marketplace Website?
In short, a Multivendor or Marketplace website is an online platform where multiple vendors come together to sell their products and services.
Basically, all the vendors must be registered on the website in order to sell their products.
4 Easy Ways To Optimize An Ecommerce Website
It is highly important these days for your online marketplace website to rank top on the search engine.
To make this happen, there are certain things you need to know and take into consideration in your SEO for marketplace websites.
- Keyword Research
In search engine optimization, you cannot downplay the importance of keywords. It is important to understand which keyword is best for organic ranking.
Rather than using short-tail keywords, it is more suitable to use long-tail keywords. This gives you a higher chance of ranking.
Short tail keywords are usually between one and two words. They are highly competitive as opposed to long-tail keywords which are usually between 3-5 words.
Keyword cannibalization is also a huge problem in keyword applications. This happens when you use the same keywords on more than one page on your website.
This means that you have duplicate pages on your website trying to rank for the same position. The downside of this is that it weakens your chances of ranking and reduces traffic.
- Optimize Your Website for Speed
This is a technical SEO factor. a Typical e-commerce website should have a loading speed should ensure your website doesn’t take more than 3-4 seconds to load.
Most visitors are not patient enough to wait so long for your page to load. Once so much time is wasted, they exit your website and move on to the next.
This pulls your website down the SERP page when it becomes a regular occurrence.
- Ensure Your Website is Mobile Responsive
This means that it should automatically be able to fit the screen size of the device used to access it.
Many people shop on their Mobile phones and you don’t want to make the process hectic for them.
- Ensure You Add Products Reviews
This is an important local SEO ranking factor and can be an important CTR factor when doing SEO for marketplace websites.
Many customers are likely to buy from you when they see a positive comment from another customer.
Again, they are most likely to refer their friends to make purchases. Hence, you should leverage this.
Differences Between An Ecommerce And A Multi-Vendor Website?
eCommerce and marketplace websites are very similar, yet, distinctive.
The difference between the two lies in the size of the products and the number of active vendors on each platform.
There are three major differences between a marketplace website and an eCommerce store
- An eCommerce website is basically for a single seller while a multivendor website can have thousands of sellers.
- An eCommerce website usually has a smaller product inventory than a multivendor website mainly because the more the sellers, the more the items in inventory.
- Complexities – an eCommerce website is usually less complex in design and operations as compared to a multivendor website.
11 Common Types of SEO for Marketplace Websites
SEO for marketplace websites becomes easy once you know what type of element to optimize. Below are the 11 common types of SEO for marketplace websites you should be aware of.
To have the best results, they all must work hand-in-hand, i.e. you cannot do on-page SEO only to expect everything to be fine.
You must implement all the types and strategies together.
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Schema Markup
- Mobile Usability
- UI/UX (User Experience)
- Mobile Responsiveness
- Conversion Path Optimization
- Website Speed
- Core Web Vitals Optimization
- Content Optimization
The Role Of Website Health In SEO For Marketplace Websites
Website health is a tool that helps you monitor how your site is doing. When your website is not properly functional, it can affect your website ranking.
There are some tools you can use to check your website site health. However, you can easily check your WordPress site health with these easy steps.
- Step one: Go to your dashboard
- Step two: Click on tools and go to site health.
- Step three: Once you click on-site health, WordPress runs a website analysis. Shortly after, your site health status is displayed.
You will notice a coloured circle at the top of the page. If it displays green, your site is healthy. If it displays yellow, your site needs to be improved.
Lastly, if it displays red, you need to work on your site health immediately.
A website’s health check is one of the easiest ways to determine if your marketplace website is performing optimally or not.
It can also be a big indicator for an optimization opportunity that you can fix with your SEO for marketplace website tactics & strategies.
7 Proven SEO For Marketplace Websites Tips & Strategies
People search Google and other search engines using transactional queries or keywords, which are matched against the information (title, description, etc.) you provide for a product.
Key factors such as the degree of text match to customers’ queries, price of your item, availability of the products, website reviews, and sales history will help to determine where your product appears in a customer’s search results.
By providing relevant and comprehensive information for your products, you can increase your product’s visibility and sales.
Without much further ado, let’s dive into the 10 ways to boost a multivendor rank in SERP through search engine optimization (SEO).
1. Improve Your Website Speed
Website speed is one of the most important factors that affect the performance of your SEO for marketplace websites.
The website speed is a direct and indirect ranking factor. Website speed became a ranking factor since Google released its algorithmic speed update.
Also, website speed can affect the ranking in SERP by increasing the bounce rate and reducing dwell time.
Since online commerce is highly competitive and dynamic, improving your website speed should always come first. A few things you can do to improve your page speed are:
- Reduce your image files (optimize your web images to less than 20kb in size).
- Do not host your videos locally – it is always better to host your videos on YouTube or on Vimeo and link to your website to improve loading speed.
- Setup CDN to improve your website speed – you may need to discuss with your web host to figure this out or reach out to our team to help out
- Migrate your website to a better hosting company.
The above steps are quick simple and easy to implement. Optimize your website speed today to rank your multivendor marketplace better in search engines.
2. Go Secure – SSL
Which better way to show prove your credibility and to show that you are serious about privacy, and the protection of user data other than a secure website?
Asides from the factor that Google already listed SSL as a weak ranking signal, a secure website also adds a lot of credibility to your website.
All website hosting companies have some form of SSL (free or premium) available and you only need to talk to them to get started.
3. Use Microdata Or Schema Markup
Structured Data are formatted descriptions in your web pages that tell search engine crawlers more about the content of those pages.
It helps search engine crawlers to better understand your page and improve the indexing of your website.
Schema Markup also helps search engines (such as Google and Bing) to display additional information about your web pages via the so-called rich snippets.
Rich snippets in search results include additional details such as business hours, reviews, product details, breadcrumbs, etc that appear alongside your web pages in SERP.
Rich snippets generally improve the organic click-through rate of your web pages which is a key component of SEO for marketplace websites.
Structured data is also an important piece of SEO for marketplace websites because it increases the chances of your business appearing in Google Maps as well as Knowledge Graph cards.
4. Make Your Website Responsive
One SEO factor for multivendor marketplaces you can’t afford to skip is the responsiveness of your website. This is because more people use mobile devices than desktops in recent times.
Mobile devices are also important channels for researching products and services. A responsive website simply means a website that can be easily accessed on all types of devices.
So you definitely need to improve your mobile conversion rate for SEO for marketplace websites.
5. Improve Your User Navigation
Ever been lost?
Well, chances are that you haven’t.
A website with poor navigation elements or placement makes you feel lost. Users are not able to easily navigate through the website which leads to a high bounce rate.
Good website navigation helps your users to be able to easily find products, categories, or whatever they are looking for on the site.
Although website navigation isn’t a ranking factor, however, it indirectly affects page rank in search engine result pages (SERP).
- Good website navigation reduces the bounce rate of a website.
- Good website navigation helps with user experience.
6. Lower Website Bounce Rate
Since the latest Google algorithmic update, the bounce rate has become an important factor in page rank.
The bounce rate of a website is the percentage of visitors that left the landing page of a website without interacting any further with the page or site element.
The bounce rate of a website measures the relevancy of the site. Search engines believe that nobody would bounce on a website that has interesting content.
Therefore, the higher the bounce rate of a website, the lower the page rank in SERP.
Lowering the bounce rate of a website should be one of the key elements of your SEO for marketplace websites template
7. Supercharge With Link Building
A website with no backlink is a website not going anywhere.
Good and quality website backlinks remain the most important SEO ranking signal. and it is very unlikely for a web page with no backlink or poor backlink strategy to rank in search engines.
The next phase of optimization after fixing all your on-page and technical SEO issues on your eCommerce site is to get backlinks to your site.
What Is The Place Of Keyword Research In SEO For Marketplace Websites?
No SEO strategy is complete without comprehensive keyword research.
One of the major hurdles to overcome when setting up keywords for your SEO for marketplace strategy is how to find the right keyword type.
Keyword research works a bit differently for SEO for marketplace websites.
The right approach is to find long-tail, low competition, and high volume transactional keywords.
There is no negotiation to the fact that you need well-planned and strategic keyword research for a profitable marketplace. The place of keyword research cannot be done away with, as it is the background to every successful campaign on the internet.
You may want to also see my emphasis on the importance of keywords in a previous post I titled SEO Powersuite Keyword Research where I said Keyword serves as a conduit to connect your target audience with your website.
You obviously opted to do SEO for your marketplace because you want some returns on investment, and for this to be successful, you must connect your marketplace website with the target audience for are constantly researching certain terms or queries.
For a proper understanding of Keyword research in SEO for marketplace, I am subdividing this into:
- How to analyze keywords for marketplace websites.
- Additional Sales triggers For Marketplace websites.
How to Analyze Keywords for a Marketplace Website.
So far, I have tried to establish the importance of well-planned keyword research in SEO for marketplace websites.
But how do you analyze these keywords in order to arrive at a promising keyword, especially if you are just starting out?
For new marketplace websites, your chances of survival on the internet depend largely on the following:
- Optimizing for transactional keywords.
- Optimizing for long-tail keywords.
- Optimizing less for short-tail keywords, except in the event that you have carried out a thorough analysis of your competitors and their current strongholds.
- Optimizing for medium-tail keywords.
- Acquiring a good understanding of keyword difficulty.
As the name implies, these are keywords with buying intent. You must know that when your audience uses this sort of keyword, they are either actively researching the items for immediate or near-future purchasing intent.
Your survival on the internet as a Marketplace website depends strongly on your abilities to discover transactional keywords, and optimize for them.
Transactional keywords are ones that contain any of the following:
- How much.
- And so on.
This is another opportunity for you to get found online in the midst of thousands of marketplace websites.
In wordstream’s Long-tail keyword analysis post, long-tail keywords are specific keyword phrases and are also long. Note the word SPECIFIC.
You are more likely to have a higher conversion when a long-tail keyword is used on your SEO marketplace because it combines the short and medium-tail keywords together to form a specific and transactional intent-based keyword.
You may contact our experts if you are still feeling confused about long-tail keywords.
Short-tail keywords, also often referred to as “one-word keywords” are types of keywords that are very short, difficult to rank for, and made up of one word.
Examples of common short-tail keywords for multivendor websites are “shirt”, “shoe”, “bags”, “dress”, etc.
Short tail keywords are also very broad terms which is why it is never advisable for a new website owner to go after them.
Medium Tail Keywords.
These keywords are seldom called chunky keywords. They are shorter than a typical long-tail and are also longer than a short-tail keyword.
The medium-Tail keyword is considered moderately competitive, and this gives you a little opportunity to get discovered for fairly competitive you would never have imagined you could rank for.
Lastly, you should get a good understanding of what constitutes keyword difficulty (Low, Medium or High). Although there is no rule that clearly outlines this, however, I consider the following to be valuable:
|85-100||Do not attempt.|
You can use any of the suggested SEO platform vendor or Tools listed below to generate any of the points mentioned above. In fact, Google keyword planner, Semrush and Ahref are good at this. You can also choose to combine any of the tools for better results.
Google Keyword Planner.
This SEO tool is completely free and without any hidden cost.
Google keyword planner gives you a piece of detailed information about the CPC Competition score, the highest and lowest minimum bid for a keyword.
While you may argue that Google keyword planner does not contain information about organic results such as SEO Difficulty, have you taken your time to study the CPC.
The amount paid per click tells you how valuable a particular keyword will be in organic search and also how competitive it will be.
While Most People believe that this tool does not possess as much complete and up-to-date data as Google, I have recently come to appreciate the growing accuracy of this SEO tool.
There have been recent suggestions that this is one of the paid SEO tools out there. I have personally not used semrush, but I do hope to try it out someday.
While Google keyword planner alone is free, the others are not completely free. For google keyword planner, you might need to do some guesswork or fall back on previous SEO experience before reaching a decision about a selected keyword as the tool does not currently have an SEO difficulty analysis.
Ubersuggest by Neil Patel is another great tool you will need in your keyword research for SEO marketplace Websites. This tool banks on the years of proven experience of Neil Patel and not really because it is the best keyword research and analysis tool out there.
Additional Sales Triggers For Marketplace Websites.
Apart from analyzing keywords, another area you must look into for a successful SEO marketplace campaign is sales triggers i.e activities in your marketplace that help to convert visitors from your Keyword research effort, into paying customers.
Below are some of the suggested sales triggers:
- Add modifiers to your product titles. Modifiers are prefixes or suffixes that try to trigger curiosity or a need for a product. They may include:
- Add Product descriptions. Writing product descriptions for each product on your marketplace is a key sales trigger and also a worthy task in SEO for Marketplace. Product descriptions if written well can influence buying decisions. According to 2020 statistics from One-Space, Millennials are 40% more likely than other adults to say product content is extremely important to their purchasing decisions.
- Product reviews. Product reviews (positive or negative) are also a great sales trigger. Reviews instil confidence in your site visitors and reassure them about the fact that other people have been using this same product. You only need to ensure that your marketplace website and the products therein reflect what you say it is. This will get you much-needed positive reviews.
Technical SEO For Marketplace Websites
As mentioned above, the success of your SEO for marketplace websites depends on your ability to identify new optimization opportunities.
Technical SEO allows you to touch-sensitive areas on your websites that will drive organic traffic/visits to your site. Some of the Technical SEO tasks you need to take seriously include:
- Analyze your website speed with GTMetrix
- Analyze your website backlink profile with Ahrefs
- Analyze your keyword using Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest
- Spy on your competition with SEMRush
- Check your website responsiveness
- Check for schema markups
- Analyze your on-page with site checker.
Analyzing Your Website Speed.
Website speed is a must-check technical SEO task for your marketplace website. Obviously, your clients will have a negative experience if your marketplace website takes time to load, and that also will be a bad signal to the search engine.
There are several tools to check your marketplace website:
- Gmetrix: This is a great tool to check the speed of your website, and it is pretty easy to use. The result from Gmetrix is trustworthy.
- Google Page Speed Insight: This speed insight tool is directly from Google, and it promises to get you the real speed information about your Marketplace website.
Analyzing Your Keyword.
Recall that I said above that keyword research for your marketplace website is inevitable if you must reach the right audience with your website. Additionally to this, you have to analyze your keyword to check for:
- Search Volume.
- The keyword Difficulty.
- Organic or Paid Difficulty e.t.c.
There are SEO platform vendor or tools (Paid and Free) with which these can be done:
- Google Keyword Planner: This is a completely free tool from Google itself. While some argue that you can only use this tool to analyze difficulty and volume for paid keywords, that might not be correct altogether.
Google keyword planner can also be used to analyze the difficulty and search volume for organic keywords…
HOW? Let’s dive into it:
Deciding on the best organic keyword to optimize your SEO for marketplace website using Google keyword planner can take a little bit of your time to think critically. Let’s analyze the Keyword: BACKLINK Target location: UNITED STATE. (You can choose yours.)
Note from the above images that Backlink has a monthly Paid search of 1k-10k for my target location and a top of the page (Low range) Bid of $3.40 & (High Range) $12.35.
Two factors to consider before deciding if this keyword will get you the desired ranking organically:
- Ponder over the Costs (Low range and High Range).
- The Paid Volume.
- The Paid Competition.
For the above keyword, No doubts the Volume is high (1k-10k in a month), but the question I would ask is:
Why would a marketer pay as High as $3-12 for the keyword?
The ready answer would have been: Because he feels the chance of ranking it organically is slim for a website like his. Meaning, the organic ranking potential for the keyword is slim, hence, he resorts to the paid alternative.
When the above analysis is done, you might need to take it a step further by spying on your competitors i.e. Those who are already ranking for the keyword:
Notice the first 5 results from the SERP all have:
- Domain Authorities of Not less than 60.
- Backlinks of not less than 100.
N.B: Download Moz Chrome extension or Ubersuggest Extension to do this.
While the above analysis Using Google keyword planner might not be totally correct, it gives you an insight into what a particular keyword will look like in organic Optimization.
Apart From Google Keyword Planner, another keyword analysis tool I highly recommend is the AHREF. Here, you are given a free 7 days trial, after which you are expected to upgrade your account for improved keyword analysis.
There a whole of things you can do with Ahref apart from Keyword analysis:
- Explore Keyword.
- Site Audit.
- Rank Tracking.
- Content Explorer.
- And a host of other things.
Spying on Your Competition.
The only reason you are spying is not that you want to replicate the exact same things they do, but you want to learn their tactics and create something better for your SEO for Marketplace Websites.
There are a handful of tools you can use to do this, but I highly recommend SEMRUSH TOOL.
Check Your Website Responsiveness.
Responsiveness simply means optimizing your website for mobile users. Since most users surf the internet with their mobile devices, it will be wise to optimize your site for mobile in order to reduce your bounce rate, and also increase your conversion. Google Mobile-Friendly Tester should help.
Checking for Schema Markups.
Schema markup is very important, as it helps Google to better understand your website content. Your website will rank better for all kinds of content types.
There is data markup for a ton of different types of data; Products, site link, article e.t.c For a detailed schema Markup, I highly recommend Technical SEO.
Analyzing Your On-Page.
Your on-page SEO is critical also to your marketplace SEO. Find below a quick checklist of on-page SEO for your marketplace Website:
- Ensure that your focus Keyword Features in the URL.
- Use your focus Keyword in the Images alt text.
- Ensure your focus Keyword features in the Product Title.
- Ensure that your URL is shortened (Not unnecessarily long).
- Use the focus keyword a good number of times in the product description.
- Sprinkle some LSI (Latent Semantic Index) keywords inside the product description and subtitles.
- Link to other resources within your website.
- Link to other resources outside your website (In this case, maybe your social media pages).
- Add at least one h1 tag, and your focus keyword must be found there.
Definition Of Few Terms.
- Marketplace Optimization: Marketplace optimization also known as SEO for marketplace is the improvement of your site’s quality in order to increase its visibility for relevant searches and organic traffic to your website from search engines, and this definitely begins with properly planned Keyword research.
- SEO Platform Vendor: These are platforms or tools which offer free or paid SEO tailored services. As already explained above, these services include and are not limited to Keyword research, competitor analysis, keyword difficulty analysis, word count, keyword density check e.t.c.
In order to increase sales and revenue via your multivendor marketplace website, you must be able to drive the right traffic to the business website with the SEO for marketplaces tips I have shared.
Implementing the quick strategies discussed in this marketplace SEO guide will help you to attract the right audience and increase your revenue.
Not sure how to get started with the best SEO marketplace strategy? Talk to us!