How to Take Your Marketplace SEO to the Next Level
Published Nov 16, 2020
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of refining a website’s structure and content to gain more organic traffic from web search engines like Google. It is one of the most powerful tools we have in digital marketing today, so naturally, marketers and website owners would want to capitalize on this gold mine. But how exactly does SEO impact multi-vendor websites or marketplaces?
Marketplaces like Amazon are a wonderful platform for vendors and customers to buy and sell their products. The one major drawback of operating in a marketplace, however, is the tough level of competition. But before we discuss the technical side of SEO in these marketplaces, it’s essential that we clearly define what a marketplace is and how it operates.
What is a multi-vendor website or marketplace?
Essentially, a multi-vendor website or marketplace is a platform where vendors come together and register to sell their products or services. Noteworthy examples of these include Amazon and Alibaba.
And while you may be tempted to liken a marketplace to an eCommerce website, they’re not actually the same. eCommerce websites typically operate under one brand or company only, so their product assortment is much more limited than a marketplace’s. multi-vendor websites connect many different vendors, sometimes reaching the thousands, and house a wide array of products and services.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of increasing your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher your website ranks, the more organic traffic you can pull to your site. Search engines exist to answer people’s queries. They’re there to discover and organize the vast content on the internet that they believe is relevant to a user’s search query.
Search engines follow a basic three-step process in coming up with results for a search query:
- Crawl. Scour the internet far and wide by looking through code for each URL they find.
- Index. Store and organize the results found during the crawling process. Once a page is in the index, it has a chance of showing up in the SERP.
- Rank. After pages are indexed, search engines determine what content is most relevant in answering a search query. The links that best address the search intent show up first with results ranked by relevance.
SEO is the process that ensures your site gets crawled, indexed, and hopefully ranked, too. It does this by referring to the three main pillars of SEO, which are:
- Technical SEO. Technical SEO refers to the optimization of your website for the crawling and indexing phase of the process. With it, you ensure that search engines can freely access, crawl, interpret, and index your website. The term “technical” indicates that it has nothing to do with the website’s content, but rather, this pillar focuses on the infrastructure of a website.
- On-site SEO. “Content is king” is one of the most well-known sayings when it comes to on-site SEO. This is the practice of optimizing elements on a website, including content and HTML source code.
Off-site SEO. Off-site SEO refers to the set of actions taken outside of your website that make it rank higher in SERPs. This involves increasing a site’s reputation and authority by getting backlinks from other sites linking to yours
How do I improve my marketplace or listing SEO?
Marketplace website owners are in quite a unique position. On the one hand, they have to attract clients or vendors to register on their platform. But on the other, they should also attract customers to purchase their vendors’ products.
SEO also works differently on marketplace sites, mainly due to the dynamic nature webpages are created. Because of that, marketplace sites require a multi-faceted approach to meet this unique need. This makes technical SEO all the more relevant. Technical SEO can make or break a marketplace, especially where navigation and internal linking are heavily involved.
Quick SEO Solutions To Make Your Marketplace Rank Better
Perform a Site Audit
Performing an overall site audit gives you a picture of how your website is faring at the moment. Some of the key measurables in a site audit are the following:
- Loading speed
- Content issues
- Meta tags
- HTTPS security protocols
- Internal linking
- JS and CSS errors
- AMP implementation
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
- SERP Simulator
- Web Page Word Counter
Improve website speed
Page speed refers to the time it takes for the content of a page to load completely. It’s often confused with “site speed,” which is actually the page speed of a sample of page views from that site. Page speed has become so important to Google that they included it as a factor in page ranking. They’ve since provided website owners with the necessary tools in improving this aspect too.
To improve your page speed, here are the SEO best practices, according to Moz:
- Enable compression
- Reduce redirects
- Leverage browser caching
- Improve server response time
- Use a content distribution network
- Optimize images
Security seems to be one of the emerging trends on the internet. HTTPS is a well-known ranking signal that establishes trust in your users. While Google views security as a weaker ranking signal, establishing a good reputation and credibility with your clients and customers is key.
When you install an SSL on your server, your website can only be accessed through https and not http. This lets your users know that any data (personal information, usernames, passwords) exchanged between them and the website is strictly encrypted.
Use schema markups for “rich snippets.”
Rich snippets are the search results that display additional information under the page title, description, and URL. Rich snippets have been shown to improve the click-through rate, a leading indicator of organic traffic.
Rich snippets show up only for specific content and if you’ve provided useful information using schema markups. Schema markup is the additional code that helps search engines interpret and display your content better in search results.
Make your website user-friendly.
Users expect websites to provide them with quality and a great overall experience. So, it’s not uncommon for users to bounce when they’re met with the smallest of inconveniences.
This is especially the case when your websites are not optimized for mobile devices, where the majority of users access websites these days. Improving responsiveness across multiple devices will certainly favor your mobile conversion rates.
Have you ever traveled to a foreign place, not knowing where to go? Stressful is a nice way to put it, but website navigation feels exactly the same.
If your users access your website, not knowing which links to click, this can lead to a high bounce rate. Good navigation means users can easily find what they’re looking for when they’re looking for them, and this can also contribute to user experience.
Content is king once again.
Bounce rate is one of the crucial factors that Google accounts for when ranking pages. If a customer happens to land on your website and doesn’t find it appealing, they’ll most likely bounce, which won’t bode well for your website.
Search engines have this notion that people won’t bounce if a website has relevant and high-quality content. So, on-site SEO, including content and aesthetics, can help your pages retain many of its visitors.
Backlinks function as “votes” from other websites, essentially vouching for the credibility of yours. Quality backlinks establish authority and are an important ranking signal for search engines.
Websites with little to no backlinks or poor ones very rarely rank on SERPs. Once you’ve settled most, if not all, of the technical and on-site SEO issues, off-site SEO is the logical next step.
Hire The Digital Marketing Experts
Here at Correct Digital we take online businesses and turn them into online empires through smart online marketing strategies and procedures. Our team of digital marketing experts are trained in SEO to help you rank higher in search results and ad management to ensure your message gets seen by the people you want. Need a new website? We also specialize in website design and online sales optimization to help your business grow like never before.
About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.