Marketplace SEO vs Traditional SEO

Marketplace SEOSEO
By Yuval Ginor, Oct 19,2023
Marketplace SEO vs Traditional SEO

In this article we will dive into marketplace SEO, explain its importance, compare marketplace SEO vs traditional SEO for reference, and detail how a number of marketplace search engines operate and how to use it for your benefit. We also discuss keywords and their important role in marketplace SEO, as well as describe who to optimize product listings. 

It is no secret that in today's e-commerce world, you cannot get really far with marketplace SEO. Similar to traditional SEO, marketplace SEO means optimizing product listings in order to improve their exposure across different marketplaces and platforms by ranking at the top of the search result page. Marketplace SEO can thus help improve traffic and increase conversion rates. 

In order to bring product listings to the top of the search results pages, marketplace SEO adjusts and optimizes the listings to better fit what marketplace search engines, like those of eBay and Amazon, look for. Sellers who invest in marketplace SEO enjoy a boost to the performance of their listing across multiple marketplaces and rise above their competition. 

In this article we will dive into marketplace SEO, explain its importance, compare marketplace SEO vs traditional SEO for reference, and detail how a number of marketplace search engines operate and how to use it for your benefit. We also discuss keywords and their important role in marketplace SEO, as well as describe who to optimize product listings. 

We will also provide some more in-depth strategies, some utilize AI tools, and other useful insights. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be ready for everything revolving marketplace SEO.

Marketplace SEO Explained

With the rise in popularity of e-commerce in recent years, and especially on the backdrop of the smartphone and social media explosion, marketplaces SEO has gained more and more importance. The number of new marketplaces, joining giants like Amazon and eBay, increased dramatically, and with it - a chance for everyone to become an online seller. However, the ease of entrance into the e-commerce world has made it much more competitive.  

Since the average seller now had to compete with thousands (if not much more) of other sellers selling similar products, the need to distinguish listings from others has risen and in its wake marketplace SEO took shape. 

Marketplace SEO vs Traditional SEO

Marketplace SEO and traditional SEO generally have the same goals - generating more traffic by increasing the subject’s exposure. However, they are very different in the way they achieve these goals. 

While traditional SEO focuses on optimizing a website through keywords, link building, upload speed and device compatibility, among other factors, to promote it in search engines’ results pages, marketplace SEO involves the optimization of product listings in order for them to rank higher in the marketplace search engine’s results. Marketplace search engines’ algorithms differ from traditional search engines in that they take into account other factors, like the listing’s title and description, the quality of image used, the listing’s sales history, customer feedback and more. And since there are numerous marketplaces out there, marketplace SEO requires sellers to know and understand what each marketplace search engine is looking for, and optimize their listing accordingly. For instance, while eBay puts more emphasis on listings’ structure and product prices, Amazon’s search engine is more interested in the listing’s sales history. 

How Important is Marketplace SEO?

The constant increase in e-commerce sales worldwide, which are expected to reach almost 7 billion US Dollars in 2024 according to statista, attracts more and more sellers, making competition tougher and tougher. Distinguishing your listings among thousands of similar others is increasingly difficult.  

This is where marketplace SEO comes in. Through marketplace SEO, sellers can optimize their product listings to increase their exposure and findability, generate more traffic, and eventually obtain higher rates of conversion and increased sales. Marketplace SEO helps boost the listing to the top of the search results page - a critical place to be in order to succeed, since according to a study, 64% of clicks go to the first three organic listings in search results.   

Now that we have our background, let's dive into the practice - how to apply marketplace SEO to product listings. 

Marketplace SEO: How to

How Marketplace SEO Works

The first step to properly applying marketplace SEO is to understand what factors affect the listing’s ranking in the marketplace search engine. Though not all marketplace search engines are the same, they all bear certain similarities in what they look for in a product listing:

  1. Title: The title is the first impression shoppers get of the product listing, and therefore it should be engaging and informative, with well placed keywords, encouraging them to click through. 
  2. Description: In the product description sellers provide details highlighting the product and its benefit. This section should also be informative and engaging, strategically laced with relevant keywords to further increase the listing’s findability and conversion rates.  
  3. Images: First, images are a must. Listings without images generate almost no traffic. Second, using high quality images that provide shoppers with a thorough look at the product encourages more traffic, contributing to the listing’s ranking. 
  4. Customer Feedback: What shoppers say about the product also carries a lot of weight. It is a demonstration of support from a fellow shopper as well as indication of the brand’s credibility.

Not all of these factors affect the same way. While high quality and optimized titles and descriptions can help improve the listing’s ranking in the marketplace, using high quality images and maintaining good customer feedback contribute to the ranking indirectly, simply by generating more traffic, increasing conversion rates, which translate into higher rankings. 

Considering the Giants of the E-Commerce World 

There are many marketplaces out there, some better than the others. But there are three that absolutely rise above all else: Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay. All three use their own search engines that operate on different algorithms. 

Thus, while Amazon and eBay’s search engines mainly focus on keyword use and placement, prices and customer feedback to rank listings, Alibaba put a lot of emphasis on the listing’s sales history, the seller’s responsiveness and speed of shipment and delivery. 

For sellers who want to succeed across marketplaces and platforms, it is essential to understand the unique attributes and rules of each marketplace’s search engine. We can see that while keywords are always important, other factors, like price, shipping and customer satisfaction might have lesser importance at times. Knowing the requirements for each search engine allows you to benefit from marketplace SEO across marketplaces.  

In the next part, we will discuss practical way to optimize your listings according to marketplace SEO.

Keywords in Marketplace SEO

Proper use of keywords and key phrases is one of the most critical elements of marketplace SEO, as they are the most direct link between what shoppers search for and the products on offer. In order to identify which keywords are most popular for a certain product, it is recommended to conduct a keyword research. The research allows sellers to familiarize themselves with the needs and interests of their customers, and adjust their listings accordingly, to better cater to them.   

Sellers can conduct keyword research themselves, which entails examining which keywords their competitors mostly use, and reviewing the marketplace search engine’s autocomplete suggestions, for instance. 

In addition, sellers can also use a variety of online keyword research tools to help them conduct more extensive research, some free to use and some require fees. Such tools, like eBay’s Terapeak, can provide valuable statistics and insights into product categories, including commonly used keywords and key phrases.  

How to Incorporate Keywords into Listings

After compiling a list of keywords that are relevant to the products you sell, it is time to embed them into the product listings. Keywords should be placed within the content with strategic intent, and not sprinkled around without thought. Remember you are writing to human beings, so the content - titles, description, item specifics etc. - must be clear and engaging. Disregarding this and creating illegible blocks of texts made up of keywords might attract the search engine’s attention, but it will surely confuse and annoy potential shoppers. Down the line this will affect the listings’ performances which will cause them to drop in the search engine’s rankings.  

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are a set of keywords up together as a specific keyphrase, aimed at targeting shoppers already within the purchase funnel. Although long-tail keywords usually are less popular than single keywords, nevertheless, they tend to have much higher conversion rates.  

Let’s now break down how to conduct marketplace SEO optimization on product listings.  

Marketplace SEO Optimization

Product Title

The title is the first thing shoppers ever see of the listing, so it should get the proper attention from sellers. The title should encourage shoppers to click through to the listing, and therefore should be relevant, engaging and informative, and containing popular keywords. A product title should include the name of the product, its type, brand, and any other important attributes, such as size, color, material, etc. And remember, use keywords strategically, rather than stuffing them in the title.   

Product Description

Savvy sellers use the product description section to really stand out. This is the place to showcase your product, highlighting its unique attributes, detailing its benefits to the shoppers, and convincing them that this is what they are after. The product description should also inspire confidence in the product and brand, so the content should be very informative, but also engaging to readers. As always, relevant keywords should be incorporated into the product description, but in a way that is legible and makes sense with the rest of the text.

Product Images

Next to the product title, images are one of the first impressions shoppers get of the listing, so their impact on listings’ performances should not be discounted. Using high quality images that present the product from various angles inspires confidence in the listing, and gives the shoppers more valuable information about the product, contributing to better click through and conversion rates. 


Customer feedback is also an important factor of marketplace SEO, for two reasons: first, positive feedback and shoppers’ ratings help bolster confidence in the brand and increase conversion rates. Second, when ranking product listings, many marketplace search engines take into account the listing’s customer feedback. So having customers write feedback on the product and services can go a long way in improving the listing’s ranking in the search results page.

Amazon’s Backend Keywords

Backend keywords are hidden keywords that only Amazon sellers can see. They are used to signal Amazon’s A9 algorithm that a specific keyword is relevant to your listing. Basically, it allows sellers to incorporate keywords they could not use in the product description. This way sellers can create engaging content for their listing, while still ensuring that Amazon’s search engine indexes all keywords relevant to the product. Therefore, backend keywords can really help improve exposure and boost conversion rates.

Advanced Strategies for Marketplace SEO

Incorporating AI tools

The recent boom of AI tools has transformed the digital marketing world, and the e-commerce world within it. Sellers can now use a myriad of online AI tools to significantly change and improve the way they conduct marketplace SEO. AI tools may be used to conduct in-depth keyword research and product analysis, to provide market trends and insights, and to generate content. 


E-A-T, which means Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is a concept within Google’s algorithm and a part of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. It basically means that Google ranks pages according to their creator, the website to which they are connected, and its credibility. Taking this into e-commerce, it means that marketplace search engines rank listings according to the credibility of the content and seller. 

Having a good sales history, meaning performing well in terms of click-throughs, conversions and sales, selling top quality products, and showcasing high percentages of positive feedback, all go towards improving your listing’s E-A-T and thus to their marketplace ranking. 

Structured Data

Structured data is a key element of SEO that pertains to the way a website’s data is organized. Like traditional search engines, marketplace search engines look for listings’ specific data structure to extract information about the product on sale. Structured data optimization includes proper product categorization, as well as maintaining standardized naming conventions and product identifiers. 

Since structured data is directed solely at search engines, it does not impact listings’ ranking directly. However, optimizing listings to be more search-engine-friendly can have a very positive impact on their exposure in the marketplace.  

Listing A/B Testing

In A/B testing, two variations of the same product listings are tested to see which is more successful. Such variations include the same product but with different titles, different product description, varying prices, different keywords, etc.

The data collected in A/B testing can indicate certain strengths and weaknesses, and provide insights as to what and how to optimize to boost performance.  

Let us now see what the future of marketplace SEO has in store for us. 

What is Next in Marketplace SEO

Voice Search

More and more shoppers are now using voice-activated assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, to search for products in marketplaces. This requires unique optimization of listings, as voice search, contrary to typed-in search, is usually in the form of a question rather than a phrase. To gain more exposure in voice searches listings must focus more on long-tail keywords and frequently asked questions. A recent study showed that voice commerce transactions are expected to increase from 4.6 billion USD in 2021 to 19.4 billion USD in 2023, and is still expected to grow by 54.63% in 2024.


Behind the rise of voice searches is the revolution of mobile commerce. Another recent study predicts m-commerce sales to hit $534.18 billion, or 40.4% of ecommerce sales, in 2024. In light of this, optimizing listings for mobile devices has become critical for their marketplace performance. M-commerce optimization means making sure the content and images are displayed clearly on the smaller screens of mobile devices.

Advanced AI Tools

We have already discussed the use of AI tools in marketplace SEO. Although they can significantly assist in many optimization tasks, these tools are still in their initial stages and their products require diligent review. However, as the technology progresses, the capabilities of AI tools are sure to expand and become much more accurate and reliable. With such tools, content generation, product performance analysis and keyword research will become more efficient and have an even greater impact on marketplace SEO.  


In recent years, we can see marketplaces put more emphasis on personalized content, meaning search engines provide search results not only based on listings’ data, but also based on the shoppers personal preferences, as learned from previous searches. This means that sellers need to extend their marketplace SEO efforts to include personalized elements in their listings to better cater to their customers. 


Marketplace may not be a simple task, but it is absolutely necessary for e-commerce success. Each one of the strategies detailed here - title and description optimization, keyword research and incorporation, images etc. - can help your listing perform better, and taken all together, may have a significant positive impact on your business. 

As new technologies seem to disrupt the e-commerce world more frequently than ever, it is important to keep up to date with all new advancements, such as AI tools and voice search. Adjusting and optimizing in order to keep up with these advancements will give you an edge in the highly competitive e-commerce world. 

Finally, remember that marketplace SEO work does not ever stop. As the market keeps evolving, so do sellers must keep up with it, constantly optimizing and adjusting their product listings in order to get the best out of marketplace SEO, which directly translates to better performance.   

Request a demo



    PhonePlease, indicate the full number. Ex.: +9720501234567