Quick Brief: This blog elaborates on Search Engine Optimization and why marketplace sellers need a strong SEO strategy to drive more sales on Walmart in 2021. Find out about the importance of the Product Display Page, Walmart’s Listing Quality Dashboard, Listing Quality Score. Get the ultimate SEO guide for Walmart and improve your product visibility by focusing on simple points.
Selling on Walmart has never been easier! Sellers from around the world are onboarding the lucrative marketplace. This also means an increase in competition and a fight to land on the SERP (search engine result page).
Want to know how to drive more sales to your Walmart store in 2021? These simple tips will improve your SEO strategy for 2021-
- Focus on your Product Name
- Be as descriptive as possible
- It’s all about those Attributes
- Use sharp, good quality Images
- Keep Pricing Competitive
- Work towards getting Rave Reviews
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of helping a web page rank on SERP. Aided by keywords and quality content, creating a strong SEO strategy can significantly improve discoverability.
SEO is not a new term. Most marketers, entrepreneurs, and market researchers are familiar with it and have worked SEO concerning their website. However, when it comes to the product listing, especially on a marketplace such as Walmart, sellers tend to ignore SEO.
To be poetic, SEO is a sleeping dragon or a lost magic wand, which can perform unbelievable magic when tickled and dusted-off.
Why is SEO still relevant in 2021?
When the pandemic forced shoppers to research products from within the vicinity of their homes, online searches spiked noticeably. In the same survey conducted by Catalyst Digital, 49% of online shoppers said they scrolled past the first page on Search Engine Results to look for what they want.
“For younger generations, the rate is even higher: 56% of millennials and 54% of Gen X online purchasers scroll past the first page when researching products and brands,” the report mentions. And what’s more solidifying is that 53% of Minellians report that searching is the most significant factor that helps them decide which product to buy.
This shows that search is a big part of a buyer’s purchase journey, and a solid SEO strategy can help you find your place on the SERP.
How can you improve your Walmart Marketplace SEO strategy for 2021 to get more sales?
Whilst most sellers tend to ignore Product Display Page optimization, we highly recommend it. Let’s be clear on one thing- SEO isn’t just for driving traffic to websites but also (and more importantly) for product listings.
How can a marketplace seller play with SEO to drive more sales on Walmart in 2021?
Focus on your Product Name
This will be the ‘Title’ for your product. Make sure that your product title is appropriate. It needs to define the product, make sure to include details. However, overcrowding is a big NO.
Focus on being specific. Be concise and avoid stuffing your title with keywords. Writing good product titles is an essential part of optimizing your product listing. Hence it should be on top of your to-do.
If you’re writing the title for a red sweater, instead of it saying- “Handwoven Red Maroon Pink Christmas Winter Sweater Warm Fuzzy Winterwear Fashion.”
Go for something more straightforward, such as- “Handwoven Oversized Red Sweater by BigKnits.”
Be as descriptive as possible
Product Description plays a big part in your SEO strategy. Be as descriptive as possible by using long and short descriptions to ensure that every aspect of a product is elaborated upon.
Focus on keywords. Let your Product Display Page tell your brand story. Brands today incorporate stories of sustainability and listing people up as a marketing strategy.
Look at the following product descriptions and understand the changing buyer expectation with your display page.
It’s all about those Attributes
Correct attribute mapping is key to landing on the SERP. Most buyers know precisely what they’re looking for, or at least have an idea of what it is that they want. Ensure correct attribute mapping so that your product shows at the right search query.
Customers also use filters and attribute mapping, or even listing attributes in titles and descriptions can help your product get discovered more quickly.
If you’re selling a plant stand that’s metallic and golden, both of these are attributes. So make sure you map the color as gold/golden and the material as metal. Also, make sure to mention these in the title and description.
Use sharp, good quality Images
Image quality is a big part of SEO. Images help buyers visualize how the product would look in their space/on their body, or even in their hands.
Make sure to use images that give the buyer an idea of the product’s size, dimensions, and feel. Images are an essential part of the buyer’s decision-making process. Show the product in a relevant setting, and allow customers to “get a feel of it.”
Pro Tip– Including keywords in Image names can help your SEO strategy as well.
Keep Pricing Competitive
Price is a big thing at any marketplace, especially Walmart, where the most competitive prices win the Buy Box. Product prices also influence buyer decisions, hence focus on keeping costs competitive.
Using a repricing tool to stay ahead of the curve can be a big step in helping you land on the SERP and win the Buy Box.
Work towards getting Rave Reviews
Customer Satisfaction is priceless. There’s nothing that says “buy this product” better than good reviews. Buyers study other Customer-Reviews before purchasing any product, the more “great” reviews you have, the better.
You can improve reviews by being honest in your product description. Maintaining a communication channel with customers, ensuring quality products, keeping shipping simple, and providing valid tracking information, among other things.
Negative reviews turn customers off towards your listing.
Walmart’s new ‘Listing Quality Dashboard’ and how to make use of it
The Listing Quality Dashboard is one of the more essential features introduced by Walmart in 2020. The dashboard is directly aimed at product SEO and improving visibility.
The new dashboard helps sellers analyze the overall quality of their listings, understand the components that influence it, and find innovative solutions to drive more sales on Walmart in 2021.
The dashboard also focuses on Post-purchase Quality, Pro Seller Badge status while also providing item-level scoring for all published items.
Listing Quality Score
Walmart sellers can find “Listing Quality Score” at the dashboard, an analysis of 4 factors that influences buyer decision and visibility of the product:
- Content & discoverability:
- Ratings & Reviews
- Post-purchase quality
Post Purchase Quality is the measure of your customer experience. This includes delivery defects, order cancellation, and return rates.
What is a Product Display Page, and why do you need to think about it?
Product Display Page is the page that opens up when you click any product listing. This page provides comprehensive intel on the product, its features, and specifications. The PDP often contains images for custom reference and detailed description of the manufacturing or “behind the scenes” story of the product’s inception.
A study conducted by Catalyst Digital revealed that, among all online purchasers, nearly half (45% of the surveyors) indicated that they visited a PDP at the time of purchase.
Why is the product display page more relevant in 2021:
- Since the pandemic, the frequency of online searches has increased.
- Most buyers (56% of Millenials) say they conduct extensive online research before buying any product.
- 49% of all buyers say the product display pages influence them.
- Quality Product Display Pages improve product visibility and aid its SEO.
- PDPs help buyers decide which product best suits their lifestyle. This includes sustainability, background story along with product price and features.
Good SEO/Bad SEO: What not to do in the name of optimization
Now that you’re aware of what good SEO practices look like let’s take a look at what needs to be avoided. Sellers often make mistakes that are more overkill and less helpful, so if you’re looking to optimize, stay as far away from these as possible:
Sellers often overstuff their titles and descriptions with keywords. As we know, keywords are vital for SEO; however, overusing them can turn the bots against you. Most search engines and crawlers are smart, and they can smell overstuffing from far away. It tells them that you’re trying to cheat and thus raises a red flag for your listing.
Over-Attributing is the highest level of sin. When listing a specific item, sellers often end up being too-specific about their product.
For example– a red hoop earring can be over attributed as- Oversized Geometric Vermillion Earrings with Polka Dots. Sellers often map these attributes to unnecessary extents, i.e., they can map the color from red to vermillion, size with oversized, and pattern with Polka Dots.
In this case, if a buyer is just searching for “Red Hoop Earrings,” they’re highly unlikely to come across this listing.
Dirt Cheap Prices
Now, competitive pricing is a big thing for Walmart sellers. It can also be a boon. If an item is priced too-low than its standard industry counterparts, the buyers become suspicious of the item.
This signals that something is wrong with the product, or else it wouldn’t be priced so low. Matching prices to industry standards is a great practice since it assures the buyer of your product quality.
Wrong Keyword Selection
Wrong keyword selection is another issue that sellers need to be aware of. Often sellers pick the more uncommon, the less popular keywords for their products and end up with a lower ranking.
For example, using the word “TV Stand” instead of “Entertainment Unit” or “Ankle Bands” instead of “Anklet” can make your listings rank low since most people search for the latter keywords.
Improper Classification/ Category Mapping of Products
Sellers also often miscategorize their products. Intentionally or unintentionally, miscategorizing your product can land you in a world of trouble as buyers are likely to scroll past your listing or even rate it low.
For Example– Categorising a Coffee Table Cover under ‘Furniture’ or ‘Coffee Table’ instead of ‘Furnishing’ and ‘Table Accessories’ will land your product on the furniture search page and not when buyers actually search for a table cover/mat!
Note: Sellers can often miscategorize or wrongly name their products when selling prohibited items under false pretenses. This is an offense that Walmart takes seriously, and if found, your account can be suspended immediately.
Search Engines are also quite smart when it comes to your content. Putting boiler-plate content on each of your listings and hoping they rank better is a pipe dream. Remember, the more unique your content and product description, the better chances you will have to land on the 1st SERP.
What we’re saying is: Although Walmart has made it quite simple for sellers to optimize their listings, SEO is often overlooked. To drive more sales on Walmart in 2021, you need to pay more attention to optimizing your product display page, your listing quality, and your customer satisfaction. Walmart Marketplace sellers especially need to use the new Listing Quality Dashboard and find innovative ways to strengthen their Product Display Page. Follow this ultimate SEO guide for Walmart and learn new ways to improve the visibility of your products!
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