Let’s suppose you’re in charge of SEO for a large ecommerce website.
You and your team have a lot of tasks to do, but as your time is limited (after all, there are only 24 hours in a day), you need to prioritize them. That means you should focus on the things that yield maximum return (in our case, qualified search traffic).
I bet the first thing you pay attention to are technical issues, but let’s assume that all bugs that are critical for SEO are fixed. What’s next? Content? What kind of content will it be? Which pages and products will it be intended for? After all, large online stores and marketplaces have thousands or tens of thousands of web pages, so unfortunately you can’t optimize them all at once.
In order to make that decision, you may rely on the experience of other SEO people, but we offer a more reliable and trustworthy approach, which helps you identify opportunities to maximize search traffic and, on top of that, evaluate the potential search traffic you can get in numbers.
Let’s explore the way it already works for a popular Brazilian marketplace as an example.
One of the TOP10 Ecommerce Sites in Brazil
4+ billion web pages
4+ billion products
Our main aim is to find web pages with high potential traffic. That means demand for those pages should be high, but at the same time their visibility should not be high. Those web pages should be optimized first, as they have a great potential to boost search traffic.
So, let’s dive right in!
The first thing we should do is to figure out which product categories in our catalog have the highest demand in search engines, i. e., the ones our users are looking for most often.
Product catalog of ecommerce
- Product catalog page types
- Assortment on product listing pages
- Products not available for ordering on the product listing pages
- Discounts on product card pages
- Product reviews on product card pages
- Number of reviews on product card pages
- Video reviews on product card pages
- Number of product photos on product card page
The top categories in terms of demand are “acessórios e inovações”, “móveis”, and “livros”. However, only “móveis” ranks high, and “livros” is more than 10 times behind “móveis” in terms of visibility.
So, as we see here, optimizing the “livros” category can significantly increase search visibility and search traffic.
Let’s look at the subcategories of the “automotivo” category. As we can see, the subcategory “automotivo > motos” has the highest demand. At the same time, the subcategory “automotivo > motor” ranks 3 times higher.
That leads us to the conclusion that optimizing the “automotivo > motos” subcategory can significantly increase search visibility and search traffic.
Product catalog page types
There are 2 main types of product catalog pages: listings and product card pages.
Product Listing Pages (PLP)
Product card page (PCP)
The highest demand on our website is for the listing pages, and listings rank 4 times higher than product card pages.
That means optimizing listings is the right way to increase search traffic.
But which parameters and content are worth paying attention to first?
We may have several hypotheses regarding that. Let’s check some and start to implement the ones which will give the most return in terms of traffic.
Assortment on product listing pages
On the dashboard there is a clear correlation between the number of products and search visibility: listings with only one product are ranked 6 times worse than listings with more than 100 products. Meanwhile, pages with no more than 10 products have the highest demand (about 50%).
So, we understand that managing assortments on important and competitive listings can significantly increase search visibility and search traffic.
Products not available for ordering on the product listing pages
Some products may be unavailable for ordering.
Listings with at least one product currently unavailable for ordering account for almost half of the demand. Listings with no unavailable items ranked 30% better on average.
What’s the conclusion? Order availability on product listings does affect search visibility.
Similarly, we can check our hypotheses about what can be optimized first on product cards.
Discounts on product card pages
Are discounts or SALE markings on PCPs important for visibility?
Well, let’s find out.
On the dashboard we see that there is no high demand for products that have a discount. At the same time, the fact of whether we have discounts or not doesn’t significantly affect the ranking.
So, there is no significant influence of discounts on our website ranking, and we don’t need to focus on them.
Product reviews on product card pages
Approximately 25% of the demand comes from PCPs with at least one review. Pages with reviews rank 4 times higher!
And now we get that adding new reviews to product card pages can increase search visibility.
Number of reviews on product card pages
There is a direct correlation between the number of reviews and search visibility. The more product reviews there are, the higher the visibility.
On our website, more than half of the demand is for PCPs with more than 100 reviews. At the same time, PCPs with more than 100 reviews are ranked 6 times better than products with less than 10 reviews.
Thus, adding product reviews on PCPs can significantly increase search visibility.
Video reviews on product card pages
17% of demand comes from product card pages with at least one video, and pages with videos rank 5 times better than pages without videos.
Conclusion? Adding videos to product pages can significantly increase search traffic.
Number of product photos on product card page
Most of the demand (39%) is for PCPs which have only one photo. At the same time there is a direct correlation between the number of photos and PCP ranking: pages with1 photo are ranked 6 times lower than pages with more than 5 photos.
The approach we have described above is universal. It allows you to estimate the impact of any parameters that may affect page visibility in search engines (not only content, but titles, page speed, keywords, etc.). We believe this approach will be useful, and will help you find new opportunities and prioritize your SEO goals.
Just one more thing to add: if you want to evaluate the effectiveness of future implementations in numbers, we recommend running split tests (or A/B tests) and comparing optimized page group visibility with the visibility of the pages that did not have any new implementations. Find more out about split testing here.