Walmart.com’s SEO Best Practices Pay Off

The results are in: Walmart’s product page views have more than doubled year over year since improving SEO tactics.

A decade ago, Amazon was the trailblazer in SEO. They’ve long understood its value and the role of smart content in a powerful product page. Now Walmart.com is catching up.

For the past two years, we’ve been monitoring 857 Walmart product pages. We’ve noticed an increase in traffic to these pages since October 2014. We think Walmart’s SEO efforts are responsible for this increase in traffic. And while we have no idea what SEO tactics Walmart employed to bring more customers to their site, it’s working. Congrats Walmart.

WalmartSEO

Shift in Focus to SEO Brings Sizeable Results

We’ve been tracking these notable changes since July 2013. In July 2014, Walmart documented their concerted shift in focus on SEO, and sent out an “SEO Best Practices” instruction PDF to their retailers around the same time.

Our data shows what we have to assume are results of the implementation of their new team members’ strategy. And the results are everything an online retailer could hope for. In October 2014, site views tripled before settling down a bit over the course of the next year. Then this summer, the number of views beat the initial record from 2014.

Universal Benefit from Focus on SEO

The 857 unique product pages we’ve been monitoring are from 46 brands and/or manufacturers on Walmart.com’s U.S. and Canadian sites. These brands reach across retailer aisles with product categories in Health and Personal Care, Grocery, Baby, and Consumer Electronics, proving once again that the power of good content is universal.

Walmart.com’s SEO Best Practices

The “Best Practices” document from Walmart encourages vendors to improve content specifically on product pages. They place a special emphasis on the elements we know produce results, such as uniqueness and specificity. Walmart’s SEO-optimized pages have exclusive product descriptions focused on features and benefits and product titles include brand names and top attributes. Product names are also repeated within running text. These practices yield higher search rankings so listings appear more often on Google’s shopping module.

And Walmart knows unique content doesn’t stop at the written word. They’re pushing for more rich media—and lots of it. High-resolution zoomable images, videos, and how-to and buying guides–all labeled and named with product keywords–create a full buyer experience while improving that ever-critical search ranking on Google and other search engines.

And because Walmart knows corporate sites tend to rank higher on SERP (search engine results pages), linking from corporate brand sites to Walmart.com product pages is also recommended. Well-known sites are viewed as more trustworthy, so shoppers are more likely to click “buy”.

Great SEO rankings are also a matter of organization. Walmart highly suggests an active partnership with their vendors. Aligning marketing schedules and sharing product launches, campaigns, promotions, and marketing materials can help vendors get the most from their pages. Open, active communication improves sales and ensures products are accurately represented on the site.

Want to read more about Walmart’s innovations and insights? Check out the Walmartlabs blog.

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In the meantime, we’ll keep our fingers on the pulse of the online marketplace as always and continue reporting our Walmart findings. Stay tuned.