September 25, 2020

How Organic Rank & Paid Rank Influence Walmart SEO (+ Strategies to Win)

By Michelle Thompson / Walmart.com, Advertising, Ecommerce SEO

While Amazon remains the largest U.S. ecommerce marketplace by a fairly large margin, there’s no question that the platform has struggled to meet demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Sellers are struggling to send in product deemed non-essential, and fulfillment centers are trying to keep up with the continued surge of online orders.

So why not mitigate risk and diversify?

Walmart.com is the second largest marketplace in the US, surpassing eBay at the beginning of the year. During Q2 of 2020, Walmart ecommerce grew by 97%, and Walmart Marketplace, home to third party sellers like Pattern, experienced over 100% growth. With the introduction of Walmart Fulfillment Services and Walmart+, Walmart ecommerce is just beginning.

How Walmart SEO works: Organic vs. paid

What is the secret to increasing sales on Walmart.com through SEO? While many factors contribute to your revenue, one of the largest influences is organic search rank.

There are two different types of search rank on Walmart.com, similar to other marketplaces: organic rank and paid rank.

On Walmart.com, high organic rank is achieved by relevance and the listing quality. Nearly everything the seller does to optimize a listing on Walmart helps with its organic rank.

Paid rank is achieved through Walmart advertising campaigns, made easier through Walmart’s new Campaign Dashboard.

So, which one is more important? Where should you focus your time to increase sales and SEO rankings on Walmart? Organic rank or paid rank?

Organic rank is priority

While both should be included in your Walmart selling strategy, one could argue that organic rank is more important. Unlike other marketplaces, Walmart.com only places two paid search results on each page. Most real estate is given to listings that have gained organic rank.

Walmart Advertising can help get your listing to the top, as long as your product is already winning the Buy Box. It’s now easier than ever with the new Campaign Dashboard to set up campaigns for individual listings. With a strategized campaign, you can get your listing on the first page of results, but then how can you maintain that coveted position when your campaign is over?

As stated above, nearly everything done to optimize a listing helps a product’s organic rank for Walmart SEO. In large part, organic search rank is determined by content quality, pricing and shipping, and the customer experience.

Strategies to win on Walmart SEO

As discussed in our blog, 2020 Guide to Optimizing Walmart.com Product Listings, premium content is directly related to product placement on site. To ensure you have the best content quality, we recommend following the tips in our guide, such as using Walmart’s guideline for optimized product titles, using professional imagery, and including detailed product descriptions and accurate attributes.

While you’re at it, try checking out Walmart.com’s new Listing Quality Dashboard for tips on content optimization and listing discoverability.

Your product’s listing price will also affect its organic search rank. Walmart prides itself on low prices, and your listing might lose rank if its price isn’t competitive. Other than price, additional factors increase your listing’s competitiveness such as shipping time, shipping price, and in-stock rate. A listing with 2-day shipping may outrank a listing with standard 5-7 day shipping. Moreover, if your product is out of stock consistently or over extended periods of time, it may lose organic search rank.

Additionally, take time to ensure a quality customer experience both on site and post-purchase. Quick response times and easy returns both affect organic rank.

Need help optimizing your listings and achieving top organic rank on Walmart.com and many other marketplaces? Schedule a demo below to see how Pattern can help you today!