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7 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Optimise Your Marketplace Product Pages: An Independent Seller’s Guide

January 31, 2019

7 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Optimise Your Marketplace Product Pages: An Independent Seller’s Guide

Shopping on online marketplace

When the post-Christmas blues set in, many turn to retail therapy to brighten up those dreary days and long, dark nights. If you’re one of many sellers who use online marketplaces, this is a great opportunity to freshen up your product pages and maximise your sales by appealing to these types of consumers.

The world of ecommerce is unbelievably competitive. 43% of all ecommerce traffic comes from organic Google searches, and no niche vintage clothes business or arts and craft side project has a chance at out-muscling the ecommerce behemoths that are Amazon and eBay.

But, by selling your products on these platforms you can grab a slice of the action, benefiting from their huge traffic volumes and brand recognition – as long as you get the basics right.

The goal is to rank as high on the first page of the Marketplace search results page as you can for search terms that your potential customers are using. Most ecommerce sites will only allow you to edit certain areas of content, so it’s vital that these areas are properly optimised.

In this article I’ll give you seven easy, actionable tips to optimise your marketplace product pages and improve their visibility. (Yes, I’m even talking to you, person who makes tea cozies for turtles.)

Etsy has such a huge audience already, so I can reach a bigger customer base quicker than using just my own website or other smaller marketplaces. Having good SEO on Etsy is really, really important – as there are so many shops, so many products…. especially in the gifts, home, fashion market! (Karen – Etsy seller)

Step one – Do your keyword research

Putting some effort into understanding the specific search terms that your target market is using is the single most important thing you can do to win the SEO race. Google (and other search engines) will rank pages higher that are relevant to the user’s query, so you can give yourself an edge by tailoring your content to incorporate the right keywords.  

Top Tip: Trying to rank for broad keywords is tricky due to the immense level of competition you’ll be up against. However, ‘long tail’ keywords (longer words that describe your product more specifically, e.g. ‘knitted turkey turtle tea cosy’ rather than ‘turtle tea cosy’) encounter less competition and will give you a much better chance of ranking highly. There are tons of reliable tools to help you gather your keyword data, such as Google Adwords, SEMRush, AHRefs, and Moz to name a few. I’d personally recommend KeywordTool.io if you’re just starting out as it’s totally free, and provides a good level of data on the longer-tail.

For more advice on conducting keyword research and identifying search intent, check out Blue Array SEO Manager Steph’s great post – How to turn keyword research into specific content recommendations.

**ETSY TIP – I have an account with https://marmalead.com. Marmalead is a great tool for assisting Etsy sellers with keyword research and analysis. (Karen – Etsy seller)

Step two – Create attention-grabbing product titles

The product title is often the ‘main heading’ of the page (also known as an ‘H1’) and plays an important role in your product page SEO. This gives the search engines a strong indication on what the webpage is about –  so make sure it’s concise and descriptive, clearly outlining what the product is, and relevant to your chosen keywords.

However, be careful not to over-optimise these. Catchy, concise and attractive titles are far more likely to get clicks than a title that is overloaded with multiple variations of the same keyword.

I try to include as much information as I can. This usually consists of putting useful information into the title like the size, model, brand, etc. (Greg – eBay seller)

Step three – Impress with images

Images are important for showcasing a product’s features and can help get potential customers across the line to conversion. Make sure you pay attention to the format, resolution and image size recommendation of your chosen marketplace. Also, search engines will crawl your image files, so make sure you put together file names that are descriptive and  keyword-rich. This is absolutely crucial if you want search engines to understand the subject matter of your images and improve the SEO value of your page.

Plus, don’t overlook Alt Tags; if your marketplace of choice allows you to add Alt attributes then writing an ‘Alt tag’ for an image is super-duper simple – just say what you see. ‘Black cashmere oversized cardigan’, ‘chicken turtle tea cosy’ (it really is that simple). Having image Alt text has a small amount of SEO impact, but is mainly useful for indexing in Google image search and can assist the visually impaired using screen readers.

Top Tip: 73% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.  Try using gallery photos, 360 angle shots or a product video to really make an impact on conversion.

Step four – Write engaging product descriptions

Unique and engaging product descriptions are key to persuading users to convert into paying customers, so it’s important to invest time on creating unique descriptions for each of your products. Make sure to use your keyword research as well as synonyms of your keywords within the text to really give your marketplace page the best chance of ranking for the words and phrases that you want it to appear for.

There is no ‘perfect’ word count for a product description, but aim to write a minimum of 300 words – fewer than this can lead to search bots overlooking your page, deeming it too ‘thin’ on content and therefore not offering enough value. This is your opportunity to get creative and bring your product to life – so let users know what makes your product special, outlining any key features, materials and even tell the story of how the product was designed and made.

Top Tip: Readability is key – keep your language clear and easy to understand (use a spell checker). Play with formatting such as headers, paragraphs and bullet points within the product description to make your key product features stand out and easy for readers to notice with minimal effort.

Step five – Introduce reliable customer reviews

Product pages with trustworthy customer reviews are proven to convert 58% more visitors than those without, working wonders for your ecommerce business. Why not use your product description to invite your customers to contribute with reviews and testimonials. Afterall, reviews do a fantastic job of providing that fresh, unique content that search engine crawlers love.

This is your shop front, so use this opportunity to interact with your customers and reply to reviews/questions with friendly help or guidance when needed. Customers will be happy to see a human behind the product, so ‘be your brand’.

Step six – Effective linking

Don’t just upsell – you need to cross-sell too!

Curated online marketplaces such as Etsy and NOTHS allow you to include links through to other relevant listings in your shop.

You should consider providing ‘similar product’ suggestions to help potential customers find related products that you sell. Linking between your product pages improves the overall customer journey as well as providing search engines with clear signals that indicate how pages are related or grouped.

Have you got your own blog, website or social profile? If so, then why not link to your online shop from these external sources? This will help bring in more traffic as well as helping to build the link profile of your marketplace product pages.

If you haven’t already, you can also reciprocate the link to your product page, with most marketplaces allowing you to link back to your blog or website. It’s important to consider that these links will inevitably be ‘nofollow’ (link authority not passed through), however, this can still help to drive more traffic to your site.

Looking to build your brand? Try networking with other relevant sites to get them to feature your marketplace listings. You can also look for mentions of your brand online that aren’t currently linked and ask the author for a backlink to your marketplace profile page. This is less likely to affect your overall ranking, however this should increase traffic to your page. If you want to find out more about how to make the most out of your ‘unlinked brand mentions’ then check out SEO Executive Jordan’s excellent post; Unlinked Brand Mentions: An SEO’s Guide To Finding Opportunities.

Step Seven – Include Extra Facets and Features

What extra product details could you add to help your customers find you? Does your product have customizable options, or perhaps you have a variety of different coloured options available.

It’s always best to include as much information as possible in your listing to help people find the perfect product for them. This is why it is so important to properly tag your products with their respective colour, size and style features to ensure they appear in their relevant filter/tag categories.

‘I would try to include as much information as possible about your listing. Especially in the item’s specifics, these are facets that people can use to filter down the auctions to find specific products that they are looking for. Consequently, by adding these facets you will be increasing the likelihood of your listing selling’’ (Greg – eBay seller)

Are you prepared for voice search?

Did you know 72% of parents who own voice-activated speakers said they are likely to use them to buy something in the next month? A quick bit of advice to help optimise your product pages for voice search is to use natural language in your text. This may sound obvious but remember, we don’t speak-search the way we type-search. Ask yourself, how would you search for your product using voice tech and what sort of customer questions can you answer within your product listing?

Final thoughts

Great, so now you know what you need to do to boost your product page’s SEO credentials, go out there and sell, sell, sell!

Here’s a quick run through of those 7 areas to consider:

  • Keyword research – Know what terms your audience are searching for
  • Title Be concise, descriptive and clear
  • Images Render images at the correct resolution & size, use descriptive file names and Alt tags
  • Product descriptionMake it unique and engaging, play around with formatting and structure
  • ReviewsInvite customers to review, and make sure you reply!
  • LinkingCross-link to other products you’re selling. Focus on gaining backlinks from external sources & chase up any unlinked brand mentions
  • Extra featuresInclude as much information as possible! Utilise tagging & filters to help users find exactly what they’re looking for.

By following the advice given in this guide you should see a noticeable improvement in the visibility of your marketplace product pages. Of course, there is so much more that goes into online marketplace SEO, but these basic steps will set you on the right path.

Nicky is an SEO Executive at Blue Array. He has previously worked in Ecommerce account management and Fashion Merchandising and sees a career in SEO as the perfect way to combine his creative and analytical traits. In his spare time he enjoys making electronic music and recording/producing podcasts.

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