6 Reasons Online Marketplace Sites Should Listen to SEO Advice Now More Than Ever

March 25, 2020
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The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic means that businesses must adapt to new realities quickly. In every company, all departments will be trying to be the one shouting loudest, espousing their virtues and persuading management of their indispensable nature.

For those in SEO, trying to obtain the holy grail of ‘full management buy-in’ is nothing new. Industry big-wigs and influencers regularly give speeches and write articles about how crucial this is for both sides. Managing a property portal or online marketplaces means you count thousands of indexable URLs as company assets and ought to be at the front of the class when your SEO team has advice.

As the tectonic plates of user behaviour and market forces shift beneath the feet of online marketplaces in all verticals, these are the reasons why now, more than ever, SEO should be front of mind for management.

  1. Google never sleeps. Likely your main source of traffic, and a company whose search team is on record as saying that they change the algorithm daily. There have been signs of big changes in the search results despite the global economic situation. Your SEO team will no doubt already be tuned into these changes and how they could affect your bottom line.
  2. Things won’t be the same on the other side. You can be sure that when things do go back to normal, it will not be the same ‘normal’ as before. The web eco-system you operated in before, the search results your content appeared in and the way in which users find and interact with your listings will have changed. There is nobody at your company better placed to get to grips with this than your friendly neighbourhood SEO team.
  3. Tech is one area that your rivals are not considering cutting back on. This was an interesting point that came to light in Online Marketplaces’ new webinar series. Having gathered feedback from those working in online marketplaces around the world, industry expert Simon Baker revealed that unlike other business areas, most do not plan to scale back on tech.
  4. Your data is gold dust. There are some nefarious operators out there and with authorities likely to be looking the other way, they may see this as the time to turn their attention towards you. Suspicious linking patterns and unauthorized data scraping are things that a well trained SEO team is likely to pick up before they become critical.
  5. There will most likely be a swell of traffic and leads. Conventional wisdom would have it that those sites that do make it through the economic hardships of the present will be rewarded with a veritable cornucopia of traffic and leads in the future. If your site has not implemented structured-data, AMP pages, a robust canonicalization policy and has JavaScript rendering issues (to name but a few common SEO problems), then don’t expect too much.
  6. Downtime is when SEO professionals work best. Away from the hustle and bustle of product-launches, sales-drives and marketing-initiatives your SEO team is probably at home right now thankful for the peace and quiet. SEO professionals who say they have the time to do all the deep auditing work that they really ought to do are a rare breed. Use this time to give them space to audit and they will come back with huge insights.

For full disclosure, I should note that I used to work in SEO for an online marketplace company. I should also add that stakeholder SEO buy-in is for life, not just for crises. Make sure your website thrives in the post virus internet.

March 25, 2020
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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