(Editor’s note: Want help succeeding on Walmart.com? Our e-commerce team can take the load off your plate or work with you to make it happen! Learn more about our advisory services.)
After a lot of hard work, you’ve finally got your products on Walmart.com. Here’s the question: Can anyone find them?
Millions of shoppers hit Walmart.com each day and immediately start typing in the search bar. Unless they’re specifically searching for your item, your competitors (and a few things not even close!) will fill the results fighting for the customer’s attention.
To improve your chance of a sale, it’s critical to land on the first page of a search and rank as high as possible. Customers aren’t likely to click through multiple pages of results. When you need to improve your search ranking, it’s time to focus on SEO.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, you’re trying to make online listings show up (or “rank”) closer to the top of the list when consumers use a search engine.
Why focus on SEO? Research shows that just over 80% of consumers use search engines to research purchases. Whether a massive search engine like Google and Bing, or a website search engine on Walmart or Amazon, today’s shoppers are reading before buying.
The tips and tricks for ranking higher on different search engines can vary. For the purposes of this article, we’re focusing specifically on Walmart SEO.
About Walmart’s Algorithm
To understand how search rankings work on Walmart.com, you need to understand Walmart.com’s algorithm. All major e-commerce sites use an algorithm to determine what items should show up in a search and how they rank. Most algorithms give higher ranks to items with the greatest chance of landing a sale. However, not all algorithms are equal.
For example, Amazon’s algorithm ranks items higher in searches based on:
- the amount of time the product has been on Amazon
- customer service feedback
- defect numbers
- overall performance metrics
Ranking higher on Walmart.com, however, is different. Outside of sales history, how does your item have a chance to rank high on the page? The following tips will put you in favor with Walmart.com’s algorithm and improve your search engine ranking.
How to Rank Highly on Walmart.com
Tip 1: Make Your Product Headline Unique to Walmart
If you’re selling products on your own website, Amazon, and other retailers, do not use the same descriptive title. You’ll see more search engine traffic when you use a different headline unique to Walmart.com. In 50 to 75 characters, grab the customer’s attention with what they should know at a glance about your item.
Here’s the structure for setting up your Walmart.com description in the Product Name field:
Your Brand + Size Specifications (if applicable) + Defining Quality + The Item Name + Style (if applicable) + Item Pack Count
You know your customer, so make the Product Name field relevant to their direct search. If your item is likely to be searched by color, model number, or another descriptor, include it in the Product Name. Otherwise, product specifications for one or multiple items can be spelled out in the Description or Key Features fields.
Tip 2: Research Your Product Description Keywords
Search algorithms are looking for relevant keywords. The Product Description on Walmart.com is where you take advantage of keyword placement while providing a long description of your product’s benefits.
The essential factor in boosting your search engine traffic with your keywords comes down to research. Make it point to research as many relevant keywords as possible that a customer could use in that search box. Any missed keyword is a potential missed sale.
Need help finding relevant keywords for your product? Here are a couple of quick tips:
- Test on Walmart.com – Type a keyword or phrase into Walmart.com’s search box (e.g. “wireless computer speakers”) and then look at the “Related Searches” Walmart gives you at the bottom. Some of these are likely good keywords to include, as long as they make sense for your product.
- Browse Competitors’ Listings – No shame in learning from others! Find a competitor with a high rank on Walmart.com. Review their keywords to use and build on for your own listing.
- Keyword Research Tools – There are also online tools to help you come up with relevant keywords. Although sites like KeywordTool.io and Sonar-Tool specialize in Amazon, their keyword recommendations will be helpful in your Walmart.com listing.
Keep in mind online shoppers are used to speed. When they’re searching for a particular item, their search queries will be very detailed. Determined customers will type long descriptions in the search box to narrow the results. Statistically, over 70% of online customers’ search queries are long and detailed.
For optimal results, make the Product Description section on Walmart.com around 200 words or more using keywords, phrases, your brand, and the product name. Stay away from the fluff and over-the-top sales pitches. This needs to read like a one-on-one conversation with your customer. You’re selling your brand as much as your product.
Tip 3: Ensure Images and Media Are High Quality
What will make more shoppers click on your product? Words seal the deal, but they’re first drawn to your images and media. Shoppers are quick to forgive a typo, but poor quality photos can end the session every time.
Make your photos professional. The basics of a quality photo are ensuring they’re lit well and in focus. If possible, include zoom-enabled, high resolutions photos of your item, any accessories, and the packaging. To really improve interaction (and a better search engine ranking), consider adding rich content like short videos, product reviews, or 360-degree photos.
Depending on your category, Walmart sets different specifications for photos. The Fashion category updated aspect ratio requirements in 2018. Walmart prefers some products captured in a lifestyle setting, but others in a single shot or product grouping. For the latest updates to category image requirements, refer to Walmart’s latest Photography Standards Guide on Walmart.com’s seller help section.
Tip 4: Keep Key Features Brief, but Valuable
The Key Features section is where you get to hit the customer with fast facts. These details about your item should be short-selling points about your item. It’s a great place to incorporate your keywords within four to 10 bullet points.
While using keywords in the section is ideal, don’t waste the space. Avoid repeating information that you’ve already used from the Product Name field.
Tip 5: Price Reasonably and Check Often
Why do so many shoppers search Walmart.com each day? Just as they do when they physically shop a Walmart store, they’re looking for a great price on the items they need. How you price your item impacts how the Walmart algorithm reads your item and ranks you in a search.
Make it a priority to look at how your competitors are pricing their products on Walmart.com. Moreover, ensure the customer is getting the best price for your item on Walmart.com and not an external website.
Tip 6: Use Walmart’s Free 2-Day Shipping
This is a simple step you can execute right away. Online shoppers are drawn to free shipping. Even if your product is priced higher than your competitor, saving on shipping costs feels like a deal. That’s the first reason to take advantage of enabling Walmart’s Free 2-Day Shipping on your items.
The second reason goes back to Walmart.com’s algorithm. During the site’s last redesign, the search was programmed to favor items with faster shipping. Making a plan to improve ship time will make a noticeable change in your ranking and your bottom line.
Tip 7: Rank Higher With Improved Replenishment
A customer searches for your item. Your item ranks high in the search list. The customer has clicked through to your item page. That’s a lot of wins only to present them with the “This item is currently out of stock” message.
A great item at a great price means nothing when it’s not available. Customers will quickly disqualify you if your products are constantly out of stock. Walmart’s algorithm will as well, causing you to lose position in the search rankings.
Get your replenishment under control. Make sure you have calculated out days correctly, deep dive into demand forecasting, and trace any issues to phantom inventory.
Tip 8: Develop Rich Content Through a Third Party
Customer engagement on your product page will boost your search ranking over time. To keep customers on your page, provide them with rich content. Whether it’s a video, chart, or interactive content, it helps inform the customer more and keep them engaged on your page.
Walmart provides a list of approved content developers in its Supplier Center.
Tip 9: Make Customer Service a Priority
Treating your customers well will have a huge impact on your search engine ranking. That boost comes via online product reviews. Shoppers trust these reviews and major e-commerce retailers encourage the feedback, especially to track partnerships with their third-party sellers.
When working with Walmart.com, there are two types of reviews customers may submit:
- Retailer Reviews – Retailer reviews allow the customer to provide feedback on a seller’s overall service (communication, delivery, packaging, etc.).
- Product Reviews – Product reviews are where the customer rates the item itself (quality, how it matched the listing, etc.).
The better your reviews, the better your search engine traffic. You can increase your chances of getting positive customer feedback by making outstanding customer service a priority on each order.
Start with things you can execute immediately, like returning calls and emails quickly. Build on the simple communication practices by staying in contact with your customer through the entire transaction, providing accurate tracking information, and thanking them for their business.
Larger customer service enhancements to consider range from using a quality fulfillment provider to upgrading packaging for home delivery.
One final note to remember on reviews from your customers: Walmart.com doesn’t just consider them… they encourage them!
After you’ve sold an item, your customer receives an email from Walmart inviting them to leave a review. Also, on your Walmart.com listing, customers can write reviews even if they didn’t purchase your product from Walmart.
There’s an incentive for great customer service all the way around!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I’m using the right keywords in my content?
Never assume you know what consumers are typing into that search box. Build your strategy around what people are actually entering to find items similar to yours.
You can do this by using tools like using the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool or Google’s Keyword Planner. It also never hurts to peek at your competitors’ content (if it’s higher-ranking) and see what terms they’re using that can help enhance your content.
Can I use special characters in my product title?
No. Avoid characters and symbols like @, ½, ™, ^, emojis, etc.
Some sites ask that sellers stay away from characters and symbols in the title because they only serve to draw more attention in a list. However, Walmart.com’s search algorithm has trouble with symbols and characters, making it harder to rank higher in a search list. The Walmart.com page itself also has a hard time with them.
What is “alt text” and how will it help my SEO?
Alt text (alternative text) is simply HTML code that describes the appearance and function of images on your item page.
A search engine can’t see your images. Alt text for an image gives the search engine help in understanding what’s on the page and if it should direct the consumer to it in a search. While your on-page keywords still do the real work as a search engine ranking factor, it is important to create alt text that describes the image and uses a keyword you’re targeting.
How much impact do product reviews have on my Walmart.com ranking?
As much impact as they do on your business!
Yes, poor product reviews on your item page can negatively impact your ranking in search. It’s very important to ask your customers to leave a product review. However, if the review turns out to be a negative one, follow up to address the problem.
Why should my business invest in SEO on Walmart.com?
Putting your resources into SEO is an investment in higher search rankings. Higher rankings lead to more customer traffic… which brings more sales! Ranking higher on Walmart.com is only one piece of the puzzle. Once the customer clicks on your item page, that’s where the real selling begins.
Quality of content, images, video, reviews, and all the factors that contributed to our SEO now have to drive that consumer to purchase. Even if they don’t purchase, the content needs to help them research your product to purchase in the store.
All Roads Lead Back to Sales
We began this article by explaining the Walmart.com algorithm and how products with higher sales rank higher in search queries. In addition to the tips provided here, there are other considerations to drive sales for a higher rank.
Draw in more customers with marketing tactics to boost your clicks. Consider discounts, add-ons, bonus packs, or promotional giveaways. Remember, most shoppers going online to query a product aren’t simply browsing. They’ve already made the decision to purchase; now you’re fighting for their click!
SEO leads to higher rankings and higher rankings lead to higher sales. To get in front of that online shopper, go back and see what more can be done behind the scenes. Use the tips outlined here to make your Walmart.com presence grow in the next quarter.