How to Rank on Page 1 on Walmart: The Ultimate Guide
Walmart's Priorities: The Optimization Triangle
You take a huge step forward for your e-Commerce business when you decide to start selling on Walmart.com. Whether you are selling our own products, or are sourcing from wholesalers - or even online and retail arbitrage - Walmart is a wide open space for increasing your sales and profits.
The best way to get started with Walmart.com, is to understand what Walmart wants and how it decides what to show to customers.
Walmart's algorithm uses an optimization triangle to determine the quality and rank of your listing in search results.
The optimization triangle is made up of three elements:
Content and Discoverability checks your product listings for descriptiveness.
Ratings and Reviews See how customers rate your products.
Offer determines the marketability of your offer.
The Walmart algorithm uses this combination to return the best results for its customers, accounting for relevance, customer experience, and competitive services.
The algorithm makes sense when you consider that Walmart's core values are "Service to the Customer."
It also requires more than keyword stuffing. To increase your products' search ranking in this market, sellers must keep the optimization triangle in mind.
Understanding the Algorithm
All major online marketplaces use their own algorithms to determine which products should be placed at the top and which should fall below them based on the search term or keyword that a user enters.
Walmart is an online marketplace. It also has its set rules. This is where Walmart SEO (Search Engine Optimization), comes in. All sellers will try to get the top spot, but only one can win it.
Ever wonder how the Buy Box gets assigned? The specifics remain a mystery, since a giant like Walmart or any other platform will never reveal its algorithm.
An algorithm is the key to any e-commerce platform. It’s also confidential. All sellers experiment with different strategies and optimize their listings. Experts also offer advice through blogs, videos and social media. The truth is, no one knows exactly what factors rank Walmart's product listings. It is entirely based on experimentation, deep learning, and a lot of hard work. Walmart provides some guidelines to help you publish your listing. These guidelines are important and shouldn’t be ignored. They play an important role in organic rankings.
What is Walmart SEO: Walmart Keyword Research
Simply put, SEO is optimizing your listing so that the algorithm likes it. Your listing will improve with every step you take, whether it's a catchy title or a great image or bullet points to describe the features.
It is not enough to just get your item on Walmart. You also need to focus on ranking your products by optimizing your listing using the correct SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Optimizing your listings will result in a significant boost in search rankings. When you rank at the top of search results, your listing gets more eyeballs and more sales.
Keyword optimization is a type of SEO that targets specific keywords that shoppers use to search for products. There are two types of keywords:
Short-tail keywords are short and broad search phrases such as "women's dress".
Long-tail keywords are long-tail search phrases that include specific search terms, such as "blue women short-sleeved dresses”
For shoppers and algorithms to understand your product, short tail keywords are essential. The downside is that short-tail keywords are highly competitive due to their broadness (i.e. your competitors are also targeting the same keywords).
It is important to also target long-tail keywords. Because they are more specific, long-tail keywords are easier for search engines to rank for. They also bring in high-quality traffic which is more likely to click and convert. This improves your search ranking.
It’s essential to use a high quality tool that is specific to Walmart like Sellegr8’s Keywords Discovery function. Don’t try to figure out the keywords on your own. Often, they are quite different from the descriptions you were planning to use. “Long sleeve t-shirt” may seem like enough for the algorithm to rank you, but if most of the customers are searching for “Under scrubs shirt”, you are missing a huge opportunity.
Product Listing Quality: Using Tools for Walmart Sellers
Listing quality is essential for any seller selling online. How can you know how effective your listings really are? Walmart Marketplace's Listing Quality eliminates all guesswork.
Walmart Marketplace developed a sophisticated algorithm to calculate a numerical Listing Quality Score by using a multi-factor approach to listing analysis. This score is expressed as a percentage and can be found at the item and catalog levels for each seller. It is composed of four factors: content, discoverability, offer and ratings, as well as post-purchase quality. The Listing Quality Dashboard in Seller Center allows you to view and track your Listing Quality Score at any given time.
Good listings are not about having the lowest prices. They also need to have high-quality images and product descriptions.
Walmart is very specific about what it wants in product titles. Not-The-Same-As-Amazon is a big requirement! Also, the title needs to be short and concise.
[Brand + Clothing Size (if applicable), + Defining Quality + Item Name + Style, if applicable + Pack Count].
Limit the 50 to 75 characters for your title. Do not exceed this limit.
You should come up with a unique name for your product that is not already used by others. A unique product name improves ranking.
Never use special characters or symbols such as 1/2, (tm), @, *, hearts, and so on.
Include the primary keyword for your product if possible.
If the product's color is something buyers are more likely look for, make sure to include it in the title.
If your item is part of a variant group, don't include the color. Instead, list the colors in your description.
Your product name should not exceed 50-75 characters and be unique to Walmart. Customers should be able to read and understand your product name. It should also be appealing.
Remember, you can not include any information regarding yourself or your company, other than the product brand. Avoid special characters and retailer-specific information such as a special deal. Avoid using marketing phrases like "top selling" and referring to other marketplaces (i.e. "Sold on eBay”).
You should not use the same title if you are selling products on your website. A different headline that is unique to Walmart.com will help you get more search engine traffic. Grab the customer's attention in 50 to 75 characters by telling them what they need to know about your item.
3 Benefits on Unique Shelf Description
This is the "highlight" section of the product. Walmart allows sellers to display the three most important benefits of the product. It is a good idea to include keywords. It should be easy to read and natural for shoppers to understand.
In bullet points, list 3 to 5 benefits of the product.
Add at least one or two keywords to this section if you can.
Include specific information about the product to make it more understandable.
Make sure that each bullet point is clear and concise.
Don't write useless information.
Avoid keyword stuffing.
Make sure you don’t have grammar/spelling errors
Short Description should feel conversational
A "short description" refers to something that appears either above, or below, the "shelf descriptions." It is typically a short paragraph that is between 8-10 sentences (or 500-1000 character) and describes the item in a more appealing manner.
This section should be focused on ranking. This is your chance to create a well-written and keyword-rich description that customers will be most interested in.
Include the brand name, product name, as well as potential keywords (with good search results).
You must win the customers' trust. Keep it casual.
A paragraph of 8-10 sentences should be sufficient to describe the product's features.
Avoid spelling or grammar mistakes
Keep the language simple and easy to understand.
Remember, you are helping customers make a purchase decision, be confident with facts and tips. Write clearly and in conversation.
Tip: Don’t repeat information in the product name such as brand or item description. Also, don’t copy product descriptions from other websites – even your own.
Long Description has all features & benefits
This is a very important section of a product listing. It allows you to describe the product in detail. You can write a paragraph or a lengthy list of 250-300 words. Use it to your advantage and highlight your knowledge and expertise with some facts or tips about your product.
This section should be 250-300 words in length.
List all the important features and benefits of the product.
If possible, use product's synonyms
Don't make the section difficult to read.
Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes
Use bullet points to describe it.
To sound like an expert, use facts and figures.
Your product descriptions are your chance at attracting shoppers who are already interested. Your product name, brand name, keywords, and information about features and benefits should be included. It should be unique, show expertise with facts and tips and be helpful and descriptive. Highlight the most important quality of your item (check out what people are looking for to get ideas).
Tip: Avoid keyword stuffing and fluff. Your description should be easy to read for shoppers and have a conversational tone. Walmart recommends that you repeat the product name at least once in your description for SEO purposes.
Product Photos should educate
A picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true for e-commerce platforms, where 50% of the buying decision depends on it. It is therefore extremely important to maintain high quality images.
Images that are attractive and eye-catching will help to establish the product's authenticity. It is important that the image is attractive enough to encourage a buyer to buy your product.
Include more than three images of the product. This gives the buyer a better idea of what to expect from the item.
High-quality photos attract potential buyers. Images used to show your item must be professional, sharp, focused, well-lit and not include accessories. You should upload at least four high-resolution zoom-enabled images of your product, packaging and accessories.
There are two main types:
Image of the primary product
Additional background/lifestyle images
The primary product image must show the item from the front with a seamless background (255/255/255 or 255 RGB). To make the item stand out, crop the image (don't resize).
Additional background images should be included with multiple angles of your item. These images will allow you to showcase your item(s), such as a pair of shoes being worn, or a playset in the yard.
Rich content, such as product reviews, interactive tours and 360-degree imagery, can be provided if it is possible. Check on the manufacturer’s website for marketing assets.
Make sure each variant listing has its own swatch photo (as well other supplementary images) as well as clearly labeled. Some sellers only provide a text description of the options rather than showing them visually. Your products can have a huge advantage with swatch photos.
Use the Attributes
When searching for a specific item on Walmart, product attributes are displayed on the left side. There are 24 product categories available on the marketplace to help you define your product's attributes.
Walmart’s search filters allow shoppers to narrow down their search results by price, size, and brand. The higher your product ranks in the results page, the more exact and precise you can be with it.
A Walmart listing will have specifications that help shoppers filter search results. For example, if you're selling a cellphone, the brand and storage size would both be attributes/specifications that shoppers can filter for.
Attributes are additional characteristics that a product has that can be used to organize and filter products. They make listings more visible to customers when they do searches. These attributes are part of the Content and Discoverability element in the optimization triangle.
To ensure that your products appear when customers search them using the filters at the top, make sure you include all relevant attributes in your product listing. The right category will give you the best set of attributes for the product. Examples of attributes include tech specs, color and size.
When you choose your product category for listing on Walmart.com, the attributes that Walmart thinks are most relevant will be available. Complete as many as possible! Even if they see repetitive or irrelevant, the more attributes you provide, the better the algorithm is at finding your items.
Walmart takes pricing very seriously. Its core mission is to offer the lowest prices to customers. So even if you have no competition for a particular item, Walmart is checking the price on other eCommerce platforms to make sure no products are overpriced.
It’s not just about winning the Buy Box - Walmart will suppress listings they consider to be outside of acceptable pricing perimeters, including shipping fees.
You can’t just set the price and forget about it, either. Checking prices regularly using a tool like sellegr8.com to monitor buy box ownership and price changes is essential.
Positive feedback is not only important for building credibility for your product, but it also helps to improve your rankings.
Ask customers to leave reviews on your product page. Communicate with unhappy customers to resolve their problems. Delivering the product on time is a great way to keep customers happy and satisfied. Late shipping can cause poor reviews and a negative impression.
Walmart also displays the total number and product ratings on its results pages. It is worth noting that you can collect two types of reviews: product reviews and seller reviews (these reviews are focused on you, the seller).
To increase both types of reviews, you can follow best practices such as minimizing ODR and delivering items quickly. Also, make sure your listing is rich in detail (to avoid returns).
Using Walmart Keywords Tools
A higher-ranked product listing is more likely to appear in search results. That increases your sales opportunities because more traffic is arriving to your listing. Sellegr8's Keywords Discovery can be used to find the most effective keywords for your product on Walmart, as well as to boost sales, and keep your products competitive.
You can also leverage your competitors' keyword ranking strategy to improve your own listings. Sellegr8's Keywords Discovery is key in launching new products successfully and bringing more eyeballs to your listings and awareness to your brand.
Whether you are using the Keyword Discovery feature to get keywords ideas from your competition and adding them to your listings or to check on which keywords you are already ranked for, the next steps would be to add the new keywords you found to Sellegr8's Keyword Ranking Tracker. By doing so you will be able to track your organic and sponsored positions and making sure you are winning those valuable page 1 ranks. Making this a part of your recurring standard operating procedures is a vital key allowing many sellers to win on Walmart.
Do your Walmart Product Research
Search algorithms look for keywords that are relevant. Walmart.com's Product Description allows you to take advantage of keyword placement and provide a detailed description of the product's benefits.
Research is the key to increasing your search engine traffic using your keywords. It is important to research as many keywords as possible that customers could use in the search box. A missed keyword could result in a missed sale.
Are you having trouble finding keywords that are relevant to your product? Here are some quick tips to help you find the right keywords for your product.
Test on Walmart.com: Type a keyword/phrase into Walmart.com's Search Box (e.g. Look at the "Related Searches", which Walmart will give you at the bottom. These keywords are good keywords to include if they make sense for your product.
View Competitors' Listings. Learn from others! Locate a competitor with a high rank at Walmart.com. Look at their keywords and make your own listing.
Keyword Research Tools - like sellegr8.com Keywords Discovery.
Statistics show that over 70% of customers search online for long and detailed queries.
But! Don’t assume that you know what search terms consumers are using. Your strategy should be based on what people are actually searching for.
Pay attention to the listings of your competitors and ensure that you offer customers as much or more than they do. You can increase sales and improve your rankings by offering more value than your competitors in any industry you sell products.
E-Commerce success is built on the principles of competitive shipping rates and satisfaction. The Walmart Marketplace offers a variety of expedited shipping options that make it easy for sellers. You can explore a range of options and decide what makes sense for your business when setting up your shipping settings.
Two Day is a great option for both you as well as your customers. You can get eye-catching 2-day delivery tags for items in your catalog that are capable of keeping up with 2-day shipping. These tags attract attention, increase Buy Box wins, and drive more sales. According to Walmart data, the two-day program can result in a 50% increase in conversion for sellers.
The Three Day program is another great option if you don't have the budget for 2-day shipping on all your items. 3-day shipping is an alternative. According to Walmart data, sellers see an average 30% increase in conversion for items that have a 3-day delivery promise.
Fulfillment solutions: WFS, Deliverr
Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), which was launched in 2020, is a low-cost fulfillment option that Marketplace sellers can use. WFS allows sellers the opportunity to take advantage of Walmart's supply chain capabilities. WFS leaves the picking, packing and shipping to Walmart. Sellers who are approved can simply send their inventory directly to a WFS fulfillment center. Products are stored securely and ready for shipping when orders have been placed.
An alternative for WFS is Deliverr.com, a fulfillment service that allows you to fulfill your online orders, not just those of Walmart.com, but also Amazon, eBay, Shopify and more. It could be an advantage to use their service if you sell on more than a single platform and whish to consolidate your inventory for better management and cost savings.
Stay in Stock
Out of stock products will lose the buy box now, and possibly in the future.
If the item isn't available, a great product at a great price is meaningless. If your products are always out of stock, customers will quickly disqualify. Walmart's algorithm will also disqualify you causing you to drop in the search rankings.
Get your replenishment under control. You must ensure that you have correctly calculated the days, do a deep dive into demand forecasting, then trace any issues to phantom inventories.
It's difficult to predict when or if your item will be back at the top of search results if it runs out of stock. Walmart wants its customers to have a positive shopping experience. Out-of-stock items can disappoint buyers and lead to overselling.
Your Walmart SEO will be boosted if you have your most popular items in stock. Customers will see them when they search for them. This is essential for both the Ratings and Reviews and Offer sections in the optimization triangle. Make sure you have enough inventory, especially for items that sell quickly.
Focus on Service
A new Walmart Marketplace innovation is the Pro Seller Badge. All Walmart Marketplace sellers must pass a rigorous vetting process before they can sell on Walmart.com. The Pro Seller Badge helps drive attention to the best products on Walmart.com.
Pro Seller Badges are a guarantee of quality customer service, on-time delivery, and free returns in-store and online. This badge is displayed beside the "Sold & Shipped by [Seller Name]" banner on Walmart.com. Customers can hover over it to view a brief description of the criteria.
Criteria are updated twice per month. Listing Quality is tied with eligibility -- scores must reach at least 50% for 60% of sellers' most popular items. Walmart Marketplace automatically grants and takes away badges based on the criteria. These can be viewed in the Listing Quality Dashboard.
An eCommerce listing's health is dependent on its reviews. Reviews provide social proof and let shoppers know that others have bought and enjoyed your product. To increase your chances of being reviewed on Walmart, provide seamless customer service. Answer emails within one day, use reliable fulfillment providers, and provide accurate tracking information.
Walmart has two types of reviews: product reviews and retailer reviews. The retailer reviews are focused on the customer service and how the items arrived. Customer product reviews focus on the items and appear in your listings.
Walmart makes it easy for customers to review an item. Walmart employees are also welcome to give honest feedback. Walmart customers can leave reviews in three ways
Walmart automatically sends your customer a request to leave a review within a few weeks of their purchase
Customers can click on the order number of the order detail page. Then click "Review this Product"
Customers can click "Write A Review" beside the Review Snapshot for a listing. This is even if they haven't purchased that item from Walmart.
Your job as a seller is to provide great customer service and a great product.
Monitor your KPIs for customer service excellence
Walmart considers customer experience important because it sets Walmart apart from other online marketplaces and is what customers return to. Walmart will promote your listings more if there are more customers who return to your listings.
You can monitor and improve key KPIs with the Seller Center Analytics and Reporting dashboards:
Order defect rate
Shipping rates on time
On time delivery rate
Safety and trust
In-sourcing external expertise and outsourcing tasks can help you deliver excellence in any of your KPIs.
Tip: Increase your speedy delivery rate by disbursing stock through a network fulfillment centers. This will reduce the distance stock must travel and increase speed of delivery.
Make customer service a priority
Your search engine ranking will be greatly affected if you treat your customers well. Online product reviews can help you get that boost. These reviews are trusted by shoppers and major e-commerce retailers encourage feedback, especially to track partnership with third-party sellers.
Your search engine traffic will increase if you have positive reviews. If you make customer service a priority for each order, you can increase your chances to get positive feedback.
Start with things that you can do immediately, such as returning calls or emails quickly. You can build on these simple communication skills by staying in touch with your customer throughout the transaction, providing accurate tracking information and thanking them.
You can improve customer service by using a quality fulfillment provider or upgrading packaging for home delivery.
Walmart Best Sellers: Selling what sells
Walmart lets you see product Best Seller Ranking (BSR) in Seller Center, so merchants are able to research what items and categories sell best on Walmart. When researching products in Walmart, be sure to look for items that are sold by 3rd party sellers. Just like on Amazon, don’t try to compete with the platform! If Walmart is selling the item - and is regularly in stock - it’s tough to compete.
Another great way to research products to sell on Walmart is to check out best sellers on Amazon. Since Walmart is still such a new marketplace, there are plenty of items not yet available there. Doing your homework and comparing high turnover items on Amazon to what’s not yet on Walmart can uncover some fantastic opportunities for early Walmart Sellers (YOU!).
Higher product ranking sells!
The way a product is described and presented will determine its Organic ranking. Clear product descriptions that detail every aspect of the product are not enough. They should also include SEO tactics like keyword optimization, precise descriptions, use bullet points for key features, concise titles, etc. to help potential customers and search engines find what they are looking for.
Before you begin optimizing your product listing, first decide what keywords are most relevant to your product and how competitive they will be. Once you have a list of keywords, it's time to place them in the right places on your item's listings.
The most important tip for Walmart SEO is to be consistent. Walmart can't guarantee the #1 position in search results overnight, but it can take it down overnight. You can secure the top search result position by optimizing your listings, improving your customer experience, and offering the best shipping times and prices. It is crucial that you keep these Walmart SEO practices in mind to remain competitive.
This means that you must constantly monitor keywords and adjust prices. You need a great partner like Sellegr8 to get to the top and stay there!
About the Author
Alon Saggie is an entrepreneur, Sellegr8's co-founder and a veteran eCommerce seller, who helps other sellers crush it on Walmart.com.