If you are selling online, you may have an idea of what SEO is.

Search engine optimization, at its core, is a process that gets people to visit your website or online shop in a pool of thousands of competitors in search engine results.

And not just any people, high-ranking sites and pages can attract high-quality prospects. This means your target market

However, SEO works differently on online marketplaces like Amazon, Lazada and Shopee. 

In this article, we will show you how to achieve high ranks in search results in multi-vendor marketplaces to gain traffic and how to evaluate and track your traffic so you can make the most out of it. 

Importance of high search ranking in marketplaces

Having a high search ranking will give your online shop a chance to be seen by your target market. While Google gives the searchers the most accurate answer to the query, marketplaces, on the other hand, provides the lists of products the searcher will most likely buy.

And you, as a seller, would want your products to be on top of the list. That is why SEO for an online marketplace is an important practice. 

This is how high search ranking will impact your business:

Established authority and good reputation

While building a good reputation is a continuous venture, trust and transparency are a strategic imperative especially in huge and crowded marketplaces where competitors are selling almost the same products.

Having your product or website on the first page of search engine results justifies that your business demonstrates expertise and credibility.

Round the clock promotion

SEO works nonstop and if your product has a high ranking, most likely it will be recommended to any search result that is related to it. Shopee, for instance, has approximately 343 million visitors a month.[*] That number is what you will likely tap if you have a high ranking. 

Organic search traffic

96% of searchers do not trust ads, and admit it, nothing beats free traffic. With organic search traffic, there’s a higher chance that visitors have the intention to know more about your business or buy your listings.

The chance to educate your customer base

Consumers are searching for products online either because they want to learn more about a certain product or they want to compare which ones are the best.

Being the first shop or site to get visited is a huge opportunity for you to educate them about your business given that your descriptions are optimized, on point and can answer FAQ. 

Highlight valuable information from previous buyers who gave you good and honest reviews. 

Cost-effective marketing

Digital marketing is fashioned out of many different processes, including SEO. Returns can’t be seen in an instant. However, if done right, you’ll see long-term benefits including high traffic, high-quality visitors, increased conversion and eventually business growth. 

These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. With the opportunities provided, it’s tough to see any reason not to invest in it. With SEO, you can take the top search result space, allowing you to compete with big corporations, and have the same level of credibility and efficiency in the marketplace. 

Now that we’ve laid top reasons why SEO is a must, where can you start?

How to start optimizing?

Right off the bat, let me tell you that SEO is a slow but steady and surely process. Here are five specific points you can start looking at to optimize your site over time.

Categorize products

If you have 500-2,000 products, you would want the search engine to reach them easily, just like the others. Putting your products in their right categories allows the user to easily navigate and scroll rather than seeing your products all over the place. Plus, products that are listed in categories and subcategories help with the indexing for each section.

Categorizing products also provide a positive user experience that can result in brand or product loyalty, which is conducive to business success.

Help consumers find your product using keywords

Keyword strategy is the main game when it comes to marketplace SEO.

To start, do a keyword search. Study your niche and think about the words your target market will use to find your products.

For example, if you are selling plus-size clothes, your keywords can be “plus size + product” or “online plus size store”.   

The best keywords are those that have high search volume. This means that more people are searching using that particular keyword.

To make your keyword research easier, there are several keyword search tools available. 

In Split Dragon, we have a Lazada and Shopee Keyword suggestion tool that uses actual Lazada and Shopee data.

After selecting the keywords, use them on your title, bullet points and product description that highlights the features and benefits of your products.  

Make sure users understand your product and content

This is very important. 

Remember the keywords that were mentioned earlier? Use it in a way that you can accurately describe your product in the title as well as in the description. 

Let’s focus on the title first. 

Titles are the first information the searcher will learn about your product. Basically, it needs the brand name, key features and quantity. You can also include who is it for. 

Titles also need to be on point and read naturally even though you inserted 1-2 keywords. 

Example:

As much as possible avoid overcrowding your title with keywords so that it won’t look and read 

Crawlers also consider the keywords on the description, so use the high-volume keywords to your full advantage. Highlight the benefits of the features in brief but concise sentences.

Add breadcrumbs to your listings

At Google, breadcrumb lists allow your visitors to quickly navigate to the previous section or to track how far they are from the home page. Google displays breadcrumbs on search results to categorize information. 

This is also the same in big online marketplaces like Shopee and Lazada. Products that are listed in categories and subcategories help with the indexing for each section.

Make your content useful and interesting

This is where your creativity will be put into action. Product descriptions should explain the features and benefits of your product in a way that it’s informative and at the same time evoke interest and compels the searchers to buy.

Imagine your real buyer. What words do they use? What words will you use to tell them about your product?

Know your target market, what they want and give it to them.

While online lacks the power of touch and face-to-face encounters, you can still introduce your product using the right words and language that resonates more deeply.

Make your site feel and look trustworthy

Admit it, the biggest tip-off when it comes to online shopping is the persistent scammers. In fact, ecommerce scam is the most commonly reported type of scam in 2020.[*] Naming your shop “cheaptech” or “instantweightloss.com” does not warrant respect.

Encourage your customers to review your product by giving vouchers or showing off your trust seals. Lastly, make sure you are clear with your guarantees and warranties and place them prominently in your online store.

Link building

Yes, link building is also applicable in multi-vendor marketplaces.

But how do you do link building for marketplaces?

The best answer is through social media like Facebook, Instagram. Social media nowadays plays an increasingly significant part in organic search visibility.  For example, you can join a Facebook group that belongs to your niche.

Just be careful to not blatantly put your products and follow the group rules so you won’t get kicked out.

Another smart way to build links to your product is to get product reviews from experts and bloggers.

How?

Choose the bloggers that are really interested or better, are experts about the niche to make sure that you are reaching your target audience. Follow them and start commenting and also sharing their content to build rapport.

If you think he or she qualifies, start pitching through an email or message them requesting an honest review about your product and share it with their audiences.

How to evaluate marketplace SEO performance?

One great thing why SEO is effective is because you can measure and track everything related to it. From traffic, ranking to engagement and revenue, SEO provides the right key insights and lets you know how your site or shop is performing.

So how will you know that your SEO is providing ROI?

It’s hard to track performance without a tool.

Split Dragon for example, has a search rank tracking tool where users can track your product ranking. It also tracks the most valuable keywords you can use for your products to improve search ranking performance.

Not just that, it also emails you daily to monthly search rank summaries and easy-to-read reports that can be used for business reports and presentations.

This is one of the easiest ways to know if your listings are performing or not.

You can read more about the Split Dragon Search Ranking tool in this article. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is!

If you already have the tool, here are 5 KPI’s you can use to measure and evaluate your SEO marketplace performance:

Organic Traffic

An increase in organic traffic denotes that you reached your SEO goal which is to see an increase of people seeing your products.

Search ranking

Search ranking allows you to see if you are using the right keywords for your products. Split Dragon’s search ranking tool allows you to monitor your ranking in Shopee or Lazada.

As mentioned earlier, if you have a high search ranking, it will be easy for you to reach other goals like high organic traffic and conversions. 

Bounce Rate

Another important metric to be considered in SEO marketplace is the number of visitors that bounced from your shop without doing any action. 

Generally, a bounce rate should be between 40%-60%. If it is higher than that then it shows that your page is not relevant to the search query and could affect your ranking factor. 

Return of Investment

Calculating your ROI will help you determine if the money you spent optimizing your site is worth it. 

To calculate:

( Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment ) / Cost of Investment 

Just remember that this parameter might come in negative at the beginning of your optimization process. But if you use the right tool and apply the right SEO strategy, you’ll see positive growth within months. 

Watch out for possible missed opportunities

Now that you know your KPI’s, conducting an evaluation will help you determine your missed opportunities and which part of your SEO process needs improvement. 

Missed opportunities may include search queries that are not in your shop or out of stock.

As a reminder, don’t display products that are not in your inventory as this may give a negative customer experience. 

Also, watch out for products that your visitors are searching for but did not come up in search results because they are either not categorized properly or are not optimized well.

In summary…

As you can see, SEO may take a significant amount of your time and it’s an ongoing task. There are algorithm changes and evaluations of benchmarks you need to keep up. 

However, there’s no doubt that if you want to grow in a competitive market, a regular SEO marketplace review can help your products stay on the top search result list.

Split Dragon knows the importance of staying ahead of the game in crowded marketplaces to gain conversions.

That being said, the Split Dragon tools are created with efficiency in mind. It gives real time insights and evaluations so you can come up with a smart content strategy.

Learn more about marketplace SEO and how you can employ Split Dragon tools to increase your conversions by ranking high in search results. 

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