All major online marketplaces follow their own algorithms to decide which products should be positioned on the top and which items should fall below them, based on the keyword or search term a user enters.
Now, talking about an online marketplace like Walmart, it also has its set of rules. This is precisely where the concept of Walmart SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in.
Ever wondered why? Well, the algorithm finds it apt enough to put that specific listing there.
But how? It is still a mystery because a giant like Walmart or any other platform for that matter will never reveal how its algorithm operates.
If that information is open to the world, then everyone would follow the same and there would be no “competition.”
An “algorithm” is the “key” to any e-commerce platform and hence, it is always kept confidential. However, when a few sellers optimize their listings and experiment with different strategies, they try to share their opinions on social media, videos, or perhaps, their own blogs.
On the other hand, a few experts might also give their suggestions. This is how the tactics spread, more people then write in-depth about it, a few of them experiment it and share it via videos, and sellers implement those ideas practically.
That’s how the ideology behind SEO has been working so far. So, no one accurately knows what helps rank the product listings on Walmart. It is completely based on experimentations and deep learning.
Nevertheless, officially, Walmart gives you a few important guidelines before publishing your listing. These make sense and should never be ignored, as they play a significant role in the organic rankings.
On that note, let us comprehend how Walmart SEO works and what you can do to rank your product listings on Walmart.
According to Wikipedia, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of increasing the number of visitors to a website organically through search engine results by understanding how it works and what strategies can be applied to meet its requirements.
A website could possibly be a blog, a news site, an e-commerce, a tutorial, a social media network, and so on. Once you comprehend what the algorithm does to rank a website, nothing can stop you from ranking on the top search results.
However, that’s exactly where all the mystery lies. You can unveil a few but not all. Even if you succeed, you cannot be 100% sure, as the platform you are targeting to rank on, would have never revealed it. They might throw some hints or give you a few guidelines, but will not leak it.
What Is Walmart SEO?
The term “SEO” occurs only when an “algorithm” is involved. In simple words, you are optimizing your listing in a way so that the algorithm will like it. Every little step that you do – be it a catchy title, a great image, or writing the features in bullet points – eventually, improves your listing.
All these help the Walmart’s algorithm to recognize your listing and if it finds apt enough, it ranks it on the top, making you win the so-called BUY BOX. This is called Walmart SEO.
If you have topped the result for the keyword that you have targeted for, it means that your optimization efforts have shined, provided that you have implemented a few other selling aspects.
How To Improve Listing Rank On Walmart?
Understand that just getting your item listed on Walmart isn’t enough. So, the important question is – how to rank products on Walmart? The answer is, by optimizing your listing with the right SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices.
The moment you optimize your listings, you will notice a good incline in the rankings as well and when you rank on the top of the search results, ultimately, you get to win the buy box.
To do all of that, you need to be aware of what goes into Walmart SEO. As said above, it plays a significant role in getting shoppers to locate your product for the keyword/search term/query/product that they have searched for in Walmart’s search box.
Walmart has its own set of guidelines, and when followed, it can help you rank your products up.
This video can give you a sense of what you need to improve your listings. WATCH:
Guidelines To Improve Product Listing Quality On Walmart
Here are the most important ones to make a note of:
1. Product Title Should Be Concise & Clear
This makes sure that the readability is perfect and even the listing part has been done. A product title that exceeds this character count might lose out in ranking higher on the search results.
Yes, this word count is too low, as Walmart is very particular about the product information that they want to show it to their customers. To keep it precise and yet creative, ensure that the title is appealing enough for the buyers with potential keywords in it.
The formula to come up with an ideal product title is:
[Brand + Clothing Size Group (if applicable) + Defining Quality + Item Name + Style (if applicable) + Pack Count].
Keep the title within 50 – 75 characters and do not exceed this.
Come up with a creative name for your product– something that has not been used by other sellers. A unique product name improves ranking.
Do not use special characters or symbols like ½, ™, ^, @, *, hearts, etc.
Incorporate a few good attributes. For example, Estee Lauder Compact Powder Matte Finish. Here “matte finish” is an attribute that describes the product.
If possible, include the primary keyword for the product that you sell.
If your product’s color is something that buyers are more likely to look for, then make sure to insert the color in the title. However, this is optional.
Avoid including the color if your item has a variant group. Instead, list the colors in the description.
If you see the above example, you will notice that this product has been precisely described and yet clearly inserted with the potential keywords that shoppers search for.
The product listing begins with the brand name (Olay) followed by the defining quality (eyes ultimate) with a set of keywords (eye cream for wrinkles, puffy eyes, and dark circles).
2. Product Shelf Description Should Highlight Three Benefits
Now, this is the section that is more like a “highlight part” of the product, where Walmart permits the sellers to have three most vital advantages of the product. Hence, it is advised to include proper keywords here. If you have missed including keywords in the title, this is part where you can play. But be precise and do not stuff the keywords too much. It has to be natural and rich for a shopper to read.
List 3 to 5 important benefits of the product in bullet points.
If possible, add at least 1 or 2 keywords here.
Add specific information about the product and keep it understandable.
Ensure that every bullet point is precise and simple.
Avoid repeating what the product is.
Do not write meaningless information.
Do not stuff the keywords too much.
Avoid grammar mistakes.
If you look at the above example, this product listing has mentioned four important benefits of the product, each in bullet points with precise details.
This is something will captivate the potential buyers. So, make sure that this is appealing enough to them.
3.Product Short Description Should Win The Customers Trust
A “short description” is something that appears either above or below the “shelf description.” It is usually a small paragraph that is 8-10 sentences long (or 500-1000 characters), describing the item in a more appealing way. It is important to utilize this section as much as you can to outrank your competitors. With a generous word count, you have the opportunity to come up with a keyword-rich and well-crafted description, which customers are most likely to look for.
Ensure that you incorporate the brand name, product name, and potential keywords (with good searches).
Try to win the trust of the customers. Keep it conversational.
Define the product’s features clearly in a paragraph of 8-10 sentences long.
Do not make grammar or spelling mistakes.
Keep the language simple and understandable.
Use relevant keywords that buyers are more likely to search for. Say, for instance, if you are selling sweaters, use related keywords like “cardigan.” Don’t stuff the keywords. Use them in a way that they appear natural while reading.
Make sure that the product description is not copied from other websites.
Keep it appealing and yet unique.
Keep the description useful for the customers.
Mention the key terms that the buyers look for.
Avoid excess repetition. Keep it informative and specific rather than generic or fluffy.
Since you are assisting customers in making a buying decision, show authority with tips and facts. Be conversational and clear while writing.
Some slang might be acceptable but as long as it does not break a straightforward and authentic tone.
If you see the above example, the product has been described clearly in a small paragraph with proper keywords and clear features.
4. Product Long Description Should List All Features
Now, this is another important section for a product listing, where you describe the product in-depth. It gives you the freedom to write a paragraph or a list containing 250 – 300 words. This is indeed a generous count, where you can use it to your advantage to highlight your knowledge and proficiency with some tips or facts about your product.
Keep this section within 250 – 300 words long.
List all the benefits and important features of the product.
Use product’s synonyms (if there are any).
Use 1- 2 keywords but it should look natural to read.
Do not make the section awkward to read.
Avoid spelling or grammar mistakes.
Use bullet points to describe it.
Use figures and facts to sound like an expert.
If you look at the above example, you will see that this product’s long description has been clearly described in bullet points with key features and benefits. This actually attracts the potential buyers. So, make sure that you keep it appealing enough for them to make a purchase.
5.Product Images Should Be Of High Quality
They say that “a picture speaks a thousand words” and is true, especially for an e-commerce platform, where buyers 50% of the buying decision relies on it. This makes it even more crucial to keep the images of very good quality. Adding attractive and quality images build the product’s authenticity. Since a buyer cannot feel or touch your product, it becomes even more important to keep the image attractive enough for him or her make a buying decision. Besides keeping the product image of high quality, it is also vital to add more than 3 pictures of the product increase the conversion rates. Moreover, this gives the buyer a clearer idea of what he or she can expect from the item if bought.
The product image should be professionally lit, focused, and photographed.
Include pictures of the product showing in all angles.
High-quality pictures increase the sales of a product.
Avoid using placeholder images.
Do not show extra accessories that you are not going to sell with the item.
Every image should not violate the Trust & Safety standards set by Walmart. This particularly applies to products like CDs & DVDs. Do not keep nude pictures or anything similar as its cover.
Avoid using images that contain additional illustrations, watermarks, logos, graphics, texts, or overlays.
For additional background pictures, you can include a background relevant to the product that you sell. For example, a grill in a proper patio setting.
Keep the background of every image white (RGB: 255/255/255)
High-resolution images not only highlights your product listing from others but also gives buyers an idea as to what the product looks like.
You can re-size and do some editing work on the photo as long as they fall under Walmart’s image guidelines.
The above example has a clear picture of the product, each in a white background and with more than three images taken at different angles.
6.Product Attributes Should Not Be Overlooked
Product attributes appear on the left-side while searching for a particular item on Walmart. The marketplace offers about 24 different product categories to define your product’s attribute. This information is very useful for buyers, as these attributes can be filtered. Buy only if you have mentioned the key term as an attribute, shoppers will be able to see your product in the narrowed or filtered results.
This information is very useful for buyers, as these attributes can be filtered. Buy only if you have mentioned the key term as an attribute, shoppers will be able to see your product in the narrowed or filtered results.
Add relevant and important attributes to your product for better ranking.
Do not select the category “other,” as it decreases your product’s visibility.
Shoppers use Walmart’s filters to narrow their search results by size, color, brand, price, etc. The accurate or more precise you are with your product, the higher your product ranks on the results page.
7.Product Price Should Be Competitive
Once you have presented your product by following all the key factors mentioned above, the utmost factor that decides if a product should be ranked on the top or not is “price.”
It helps win the buy box and maximize the sales. To know better about your product catalog, download the inventory report frequently and check the price quoted by you versus the walmart buy box winners (or your competitors).
This data helps you to know where you stand in the competition and how well can your product perform if you had quoted a better price.
The above example has the search term “lavender essential oil 4 oz” entered. This shows up a few results but the one with the lowest price has taken the top position. This shows that Walmart sticks to its vision – “provide products at the most affordable prices to the customers.”
8. Product Reviews Should Be Majorly Positive
Last but not least, customer reviews play a key role in ranking too. In fact, they can make or break your business! Positive feedbacks not only play a key role in building credibility for your product but also helps improve your rankings.
Ask your customers to leave their reviews on your product page. Also, reach out to the unsatisfied customers in order to address their problems. A great way to keep your customers satisfied and happy is by making sure that you deliver the product on time or much earlier than what it has been stated. Late shipping can leave your product with poor reviews, creating a negative impression overall.
The higher your product ranks, the greater are the possibilities that a potential customer will see your item over other options.
A product’s Organic ranking completely relies on the way it is presented and described. Clear product descriptions that explain every detail of the product isn’t just enough.
They should also incorporate SEO tactics such as keyword optimization, precise descriptions, use of bullet points to describe the key features, concise titles, and so on to help prospective customers as well as search engines to find what exactly they are searching for.
As said above, the essential takeaways include entering proper search terms in the Title, Description, and Features (with Bullet Points). But there is a balance between going too granular and too vague.
Your product listing on Walmart.com must include proper attributes of a product, which is something discussed in detail below. With a few strategic planning, you will be able to understand how to master
Before you start optimizing your product listing first decide and use what keywords will suit your product and how competitive they are. Once you have the keyword list, it is time to use them at the correct spots on your item’s listing.
Arishekar N has over five years web development experience and is the senior digital marketing strategies at SellerApp, Specialist in SEO, SEM and best conversion rate optimisation strategies that deliver industry leading ROI. Arishekar has helped companies through more effective search engine marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies.