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Aleyda Solis — SEO for Marketplaces and e-Commerce Websites


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These slides were presented at the SEMrush webinar "5 Hours of SEO | SEO for Marketplaces and e-Commerce Websites". Video replay and transcript are available at

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Aleyda Solis — SEO for Marketplaces and e-Commerce Websites

  1. 1. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti SEO FOR MARKETPLACES & ECOMMERCE SITES Overcoming Top Technical Challenges
  2. 2. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Do you recognize any of these Websites?
  3. 3. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti These are the largest and fastest-growing consumer-facing marketplaces
  4. 4. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Marketplaces are some of the largest Websites in the world, with the highest traffic and online revenue
  5. 5. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti They have evolved and specialized to connect and support beyond the initial, discovery phases of the customer journey
  6. 6. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti … and can be found across almost any vertical now
  7. 7. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti From car rental to home decoration or sneakers marketplaces
  8. 8. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Although marketplaces share characteristics with e-commerce sites… Transactional Inventory Driven
  9. 9. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti … they have an additional layer of complexity due to its two-sided platform nature and business model Transactional Inventory Driven Two-sided
  10. 10. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti They need to attract and convert customers, as well as the clients of their customers Clients of Customer Customers
  11. 11. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti ... at scale
  12. 12. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti With products/services that can be found with the same descriptions across many other platforms too…
  13. 13. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti While trying to not becoming obsolete as an intermediary
  14. 14. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Marketplaces can be amazing sites to sharpen your SEO skills … or it’s SEO fun Not sure if it’s fun…
  15. 15. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti …Particularly your technical SEO ones
  16. 16. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Internal linking and indexing of facets with non- standardized attributes Optimizing products pages with limited control and highly dynamic inventory Facing challenges like these, which are also common across big e-commerce and inventory driven sites
  17. 17. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Let’s see how to handle them to help you win survive your marketplace technical SEO process!
  18. 18. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Optimizing products pages with limited control and highly dynamic inventory #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti
  19. 19. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti All paths of your site lead to your products pages, which can make or break conversions
  20. 20. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Marketplaces need to be ready to index and crawl a highly dynamic product inventory, driven by supply and demand that you don’t control
  21. 21. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Your products pages are valuable to attract bottom of the funnel searches
  22. 22. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Product pages tend to be also highly shared and a magnet for backlinks
  23. 23. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti … which can end up making them some of your top URLs traffic wise too
  24. 24. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti It’s easy to generate errors with them though
  25. 25. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Which at an aggregated basis, doesn’t only hurt your Website crawlability, products rankability and user experience …
  26. 26. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti …But also ultimately, makes you lose traffic and conversions that you could otherwise refer to other products
  27. 27. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Automated validation for consistent indexing and internal linking is required through your products lifecycle
  28. 28. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Assist merchants through the product publishing process to give as many details as possible to better describe and categorize them
  29. 29. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Establish minimum descriptions requirements within the system when products are listed
  30. 30. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Don’t allow the same product to be listed twice by the same vendor to add it in many categories or locations
  31. 31. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Define a number of relevant categories the products can be connected with, but don’t add to the URLs
  32. 32. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Create SEO best practices, guidelines and tutorials for vendors to make the process easier for them, while gamifying the process
  33. 33. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Use it to differentiate products metadata & descriptions to be specific to target & rank with these characteristics
  34. 34. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Each product should be listed in at least a full categories>sub-categories>facets path that is indexable
  35. 35. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti These categories/facets should be linked through their canonical URLs, avoiding the usage of parameters Don’t link to canonicalized Category URLs
  36. 36. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Linking and including in the XML sitemaps the original products URLs too Don’t link to canonicalized Product URLs
  37. 37. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti What happens when products are not sold anymore?
  38. 38. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti When the product goes out of stock, it should be then eliminated from listings, internal search & XML sitemap Don’t link
  39. 39. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti If it’s a temporary status or you’re unsure, the product page should remain indexable recommending related products until it comes back or during a minimum time
  40. 40. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Giving also the option to users to be notified when the product comes back in stock again
  41. 41. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Feature a message explaining why the user is redirected If it’s permanent & the page has backlinks, traffic or conversions, 301-redirect to indexable parent category
  42. 42. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Avoid 301-redirects to generic or non-relevant categories that won’t keep the old page relevance
  43. 43. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Another option is 301-redirecting to similar product but it can cause high volume of chain redirects
  44. 44. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Avoid 302 redirects to make sure you pass the old product page value while making sure the destination actually works and is relevant
  45. 45. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Don’t show 404s for out of stock products w/ backlinks, you miss value & is bad experience
  46. 46. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti You can use 410 http status for permanent out of stock pages with no backlinks nor rankings/traffic Personalize your error page to be usable and relevant
  47. 47. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Schedule continuous crawls to run & be delivered automatically to identify remaining crawlability issues Ryte
  48. 48. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Set real time SEO monitoring and alerts, to be warned if your product pages change their crawlability or indexing status Little warden & content king
  49. 49. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Integrate Web traffic and rankings data to alerts validations, prioritizing the ones of those product pages with certain minimum value Little warden & content king
  50. 50. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Configure the alerts to be directly delivered to your communication or PM system to facilitate their validation Zapier, Integromat
  51. 51. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti It's about aligning the crawling and indexing of your products to their lifecycle to maximize their value
  52. 52. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Internal linking and indexing of facets with non-standardized attributes #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti
  53. 53. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Should a shoe query of a specific model and color be targeted by a product or a listing page?
  54. 54. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Should you canonicalize a facet after a certain level of depth to its parent category?
  55. 55. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti You want to avoid a sub-optimal targeting and rankings with a too specific product page …
  56. 56. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti … or a still too generic sub-category that won’t be as relevant for the user, who will need to filter further
  57. 57. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Sometimes this happens because the relevant indexable facet doesn’t exist on the site
  58. 58. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Sometimes it does exist but is not self- canonicalized
  59. 59. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti … or it hardly has internal links because the navigation towards it is not crawlable #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti
  60. 60. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti But you also don't want to waste your site crawling on not worthy to be indexed nor ranked URLs…
  61. 61. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti It's about aligning your Web taxonomy indexing and internal linking with the audience demand and your providers supply
  62. 62. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti On one hand, it depends on the demand volume and intent: How many searches does the query have and what are the characteristics?
  63. 63. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti … on the other, the existing supply: How many of these specific products do you have to offer?
  64. 64. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Also, can these queries generate conversions that will compensate the optimization efforts of the facet? >
  65. 65. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti So, those facets with too little products or targeting non- popular queries should be canonicalized to their parents levels
  66. 66. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti While obfuscating their internal linking, to avoid crawling not meant to be indexed pages
  67. 67. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti However, you want to start indexing and optimizing facets that target worthy queries for which you have enough products
  68. 68. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti How can you identify these opportunities with so many category levels, facets and products on your site?
  69. 69. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti You can quickly validate the most popular sub-topics searched along your products categories/ brands with keyword research tools that will group and show searches for them directly Semrush
  70. 70. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @oraintianalytics Monitor your internal search results queries: repeated, relevant ones that you’re not targeting yet
  71. 71. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Do the same with your trending products per category: what are their brands, characteristics and/or locations?
  72. 72. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @oraintisistrix Look for ranked but cannibalized categories/ products queries results w/ non- trivial search volume
  73. 73. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @oraintisemrush … Verify if your ranked pages are continuously switching in search results for these queries
  74. 74. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @oraintisurfer What are the top ranked pages above yours: What type of pages are they? What kind of information do they feature? Do they provide a better experience than yours?
  75. 75. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @oraintisemrush Check and compare the indexable facets of the competitors consistently outranking you
  76. 76. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti How can you differentiate and organize your Web listings to better address users needs in their journey? Category Sub-Category Facet Sub-Facet
  77. 77. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Remember that is not only about start indexing and linking to them, but optimizing their offering to fulfill the user search experience and facilitate its conversion
  78. 78. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti It should be about effectively showcasing the existing supply to satisfy a non-trivial audience demand
  79. 79. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti ... indexing & linking your Web taxonomy, including facets, accordingly
  80. 80. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Remember that is not about indexing more pages, but better pages
  81. 81. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Sounds like too much and rather not possible?
  82. 82. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti It's doable when you have resources and flexibility to optimize the platform configuration accordingly When changes are released
  83. 83. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti Surviving winning marketplaces technical SEO challenges is possible…
  84. 84. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti ... and it can be highly profitable and worthy when it happens!
  85. 85. #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti I’m Aleyda Solis *SEO Consultant & Founder at Orainti *SEO Speaker at +100 Events in +20 countries *Author “SEO. Las Claves Esenciales.” *Crawling Mondays YouTube SEO Video Series Host *#SEOFOMO Newsletter Wrangler *Blogger in Search Engine Land & Search Engine Journal *Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post *European Search Personality of the Year in 2018 Thanks! Questions? #seomarketplaces by @aleyda from @orainti