Marketplace SEO

Scalable SEO strategies for marketplace growth.

So what do you need to consider when doing search engine optimisation on a marketplace website? Here are some basic tips:
  • The most important: when you think about how can you optimise your pages, think about how can I optimise a set of 2000, or 100,000 pages rather than that one or two pages. Making improvements across thousands of pages at once will result in quicker results. These changes can be URLs, product titles, descriptions, internal linking structure, product/business image optimisation to name a few.
  • Search engines love unique content, so when it comes to product descriptions, they need to be unique. Period. If they are not unique those products won’t rank number 1 in Google.
  • Using internal linking from category pages to link to relevant sub-category pages to drive relevancy between your related sub-category pages.
  • Using backend search terms you can start to gain an insight of additional search terms your users are using which can feed directly into the creation of category and sub-category pages you may not have thought of when you originally built out the website taxonomy. More optimised targeted pages will result in better rankings and more sales. Each new URL you create is one more opportunity to be found in Google.
  • Allow users to filter out Out of Stock products so they are not browsing through out of stock products. And/or do as Wayfair do and clearly mark products:
  • Brainstorm how you can mobilise your users to create quality content for your site.
  • What content are you creating apart from more category, sub-category or product pages?
Example marketplaces Barry can help with their SEO:
– eCommerce marketplaces that have sellers and buyers. These can be local or national, or niche specific.
– International marketplaces that require an international SEO strategy.
– Job/talent/task marketplaces such as job boards or freelancer websites.
– All types of classified sites such as cars, property/real estate, pets, animals, auctions and digital goods.

How Barry helped double organic traffic on, the UK’s leading wedding marketplace.

When Hitched, the UK’s number one wedding services marketplace, hit a web traffic downturn, MD Matthew Gerry turned to SEO expert, Barry Magennis, to investigate.

The results? Double the web traffic, a huge increase in wedding leads and continued growth for the business.

hitched marketplace seo

“Approachable, smart, Barry immerses himself in markets to really understand customer behaviour, which leads to excellent results.”

Matthew Gerry – Managing Director at Hitched

Hitched is the UK’s leading wedding services marketplace, supplying hundreds of thousands of wedding leads to the industry each year. Hitched is also the UK’s largest wedding planning website, giving couples the tools they need to find and book premier venues and suppliers.

When Barry Magennis was put on the case at Hitched, the company was facing three major challenges.

A decline in organic traffic.

Facing declining organic search traffic and new entrants to the market it was important that Hitched solidified its leading market position to continue providing the best leads to wedding businesses.

No clear ‘Pay Per Click’ strategy.

The PPC budget was divided across a selection of keywords which, while wedding related, were not targeting the audiences that were most likely to generate leads for wedding vendors.

An underperforming SEO agency.

Hitched had been working with another SEO agency for some time, but had not seen the results needed to boost traffic or leads.

Finding solutions, not plugging leaks.

With no single, clear explanation for their problems, Hitched needed a highly experienced SEO consultant to put their business back on track. The company also wanted to drive future growth, in order to avoid slipping back into this position.

Hitched needed audience development expertise, and they needed it fast.

With a decade of SEO experience, Barry is not fazed by complex, challenging projects, focusing on problem solving and increasing growth.

Barry spoke with the Hitched team, to fully understand the business and its users; their behaviours, their motivations, their pain points and their attributes. As so many of the UK’s major wedding suppliers and premier wedding venues use to advertise their services, it was important to understand what would appeal to their target audience and influence their decision making.

He also reviewed the company’s website’s performance, before devising a new marketing strategy that was data driven, intelligent, actionable and would provide results.

How things were turned around.

  1. Barry performed an extensive keyword research, to find relevant keywords that Hitched were not ranking in Google for. This provided the keyword intelligence needed to create new content pages – over time, these would ultimately increase web traffic and generate wedding leads.
  2. He then made an analysis of current keywords, before adding additional, relevant search terms to the list. This information helped Hitched to optimise content that was underperforming, along with increasing the number of keywords this content would rank for.
  3. As well as equipping them with a new, data-led content strategy, Barry coached the editorial team in SEO best practices and helped them apply these to new and existing content.
  4. Barry also began carrying out a monthly technical SEO analysis, finding and resolving hundreds of issues. Barry worked with the website development team to resolve these issues.
  5. He audited the Google Ads account, and then implemented new geo-targeted ad campaigns, aimed at providing the most valuable traffic at the lowest possible cost.
  6. Barry implemented an intelligent Facebook advertising strategy. Through the power of design and data, coupled with multivariate testing of images, messaging and audiences, Barry delivered engaging campaigns which delivered strong ROI’s.

“Barry is obsessed with building bigger, more relevant audiences. It’s great to have someone who avoids getting distracted and just focuses.”

Matthew Gerry – Managing Director at Hitched

  • Over 300 technical SEO issues were uncovered and fixed.

  • Organic traffic increased from 650K to over 1.2 million unique visitors, per month.

  • PPC advertising, through Google Ads, generated thousands of additional leads per month. Cost-per-click was reduced by over 50%.

  • Leads from Facebook and Instagram became an integral part of the company’s growth strategy.

  • Wedding leads from SEO and paid traffic increased by more than 25%. That’s thousands of extra wedding leads per month.

  • In 2018, PPC delivered over £100 million worth of wedding venue leads.

“Barry is a dedicated, knowledgeable SEO and experienced Pay Per Click marketer. He cares deeply about success.”

Matthew Gerry, Managing Director at Hitched

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