If you were somehow under the impression that SEO (search engine optimization) didn’t matter in terms of the success of your marketplace, you may want to think again. According to one recent study, a massive 93% of all online experiences still begin with a search engine – and tech giant Google owns an equally impressive 70% of that particular market share. At the same time, between 70 and 80% of all users totally ignore paid ads, instead choosing to pay attention to organic results. Because the first organic search result will get almost 33% of all clicks (and 75% of users will never scroll past the first page of results), SEO essentially becomes your top priority in terms of getting the attention and recognition that you’re looking for.
But at the same time, simply focusing on SEO isn’t necessarily enough to get the job done. You need to laser focus your efforts on getting the right message in front of the right people at exactly the right time – an uphill battle on the best of days, to say nothing of how tricky things can become if you’re on a budget.
Luckily, improving your marketplace SEO isn’t necessarily as difficult as you may have thought. There are a variety of new, innovative and highly effective ways to do it – you’re just going to need to keep a few key things in mind.
Finding Relevant Keywords
As always, keywords are going to be hugely important in terms of improving SEO for your marketplace – just not necessarily in the way you might think. If you’re an electronics retailer from Cleveland, it’s important to know that the days of just cramming “electronics” and “Cleveland” into as many pages as possible and improving your ranking are long gone. Instead, you now have to go deeper.
There are a wide range of keyword tools that will help you select the best terms to target, including Keyword Discover, WordTracker, SEMrush and others. Pay attention to the searches that your ideal customers are already performing and craft your efforts around those. Don’t be afraid to “go long” with it, as long-tail keywords can definitely help when it comes to attracting the attention of not just buyers but qualified buyers.
Also, don’t be afraid to take a peek at what your competitors are doing. Which keywords are they targeting with their efforts? What kind of success are they seeing? Is there anything you can steal and adapt into your own campaigns? Remember – all is fair in love, war and SEO.
Facebook and Google Ads (and More)
Another invaluable resource that will allow you to improve your marketplace SEO involves ads on popular platforms like Facebook and Google. Yes, it’s true that we’ve already established that most people ignore paid ads and instead focus on organic results. However, 1) this isn’t everyone, and 2) the momentum generated by those who DO click on your paid ads will still help improve the rest of your campaign substantially.
Start by using resources like Google Analytics and Facebook’s own Audience Insights tool to learn as much about your audience as possible. These will allow you to find out more about who your audiences is, what they’re looking for, what they like and what they dislike – all of which will be hugely beneficial in terms of creating the best campaign possible moving forward.
Once you’ve used these resources (and others mentioned above) to help choose the right keywords, craft ad campaigns with action words AND those keywords for the best results. This will help create better targeting, which will ultimately improve performance.
You’ll also want to create unique sets of Facebook and Google ads for each segment of your audience – something that buyer personas will help a great deal with. Break your audience down into a series of unique chunks and craft a “fictional ideal buyer” for each one. You would obviously try to sell to a 45-year-old single mom from Iowa differently than you would a 25-year-old single professional male from New York City and your ads need to reflect this. Build ads around the same basic ideas, but adjust the language and action words to attract the attention of unique groups of people.
Then, make sure that all of your ads push visitors to a landing page instead of a specific product page. Not only will this improve the SEO of your entire domain as opposed to just one product, but it also gives you the opportunity to educate a buyer before you ask them to make a purchase – something that will result in higher conversions at the exact same time.
As you can see, improving SEO for your marketplace is less the product of one single move and more about a series of little ones. Getting better keywords and crafting better social ads may not seem like much on their own, but when taken together they add up to something much more powerful and important – superior visibility and awareness across the board.