Running a successful online auction house isn’t just as simple as uploading your lots right before the auction and hoping for the best. Those who have been in the game for a while know that running a profitable, busy online auction business can be just as involved as running the live version. Luckily, there are a few simple tips you can follow today to provide an immediate boost to any online auction business by encouraging visitor engagement and boosting your site’s SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the ways that your site is interpreted and ranked by search engines. The higher your ranking, the easier it will be for visitors to find your site. This ranking is done by complex algorithms that organically determine what the most relevant sites are for a given search (meaning no paid boosting). Luckily, the secrets of these algorithms are not hidden from us, and there are tried and true methods of increasing your standing with them.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, the following tips are sure-fire ways of keeping bidders coming back and business booming.
1.) Keep content up.
If you only take one thing away from this article, let it be this. A vital part of creating a busy, thriving online auction house is maintaining a sense of activity. There should never be a time when bidders come to your site and don’t see either a live or upcoming auction. An empty auction house can create two negative effects for your business – a psychological one and a technical one. The first stems from the fact that an empty site makes your business look dead, or inactive. In reality, you might just be briefly in between auctions, but the bidder has no way of knowing that. For all they know you haven’t had business in months, and they may mentally cross you off of their list. The technical harm comes from the fact that an emptier site is severely undervalued by SEO algorithms.
Keeping some form of content on your site, even if it’s in the form of simple “previews” of possible upcoming auctions, will maintain a sense of activity that will keep bidders interested and coming back. In addition, the more content that you have available, the higher your SEO will be.
Even if you don’t have specific dates or items to list for upcoming auctions, any kind of details you can post (along with a picture or two) will let people feel that there is always something coming down the pipeline. You can create previews weeks in advance for either online or on-site only events. This can be a fine tactic even if you have no actual items to display yet. Just make sure to include a few key descriptors in the catalog to help paint the picture.
The more content you have available to look at at any given moment, the longer visitors will stay on your site. Duration of visitors is a key element to SEO ranking, and this fact alone should provide a powerful incentive to keep content available.
2.) Boost with multimedia.
In the past we’ve covered the various ways in which multimedia can benefit your auction house, but it bears repeating. In addition to the boost that the “interactive” elements of videos and pictures provide for your site’s SEO, studies have shown that pictures and videos drive user engagement and interest. This is true even in cases where a picture is purely cosmetic (such as on this blog), but especially so in instances (such as online auctions) where picture and video serve an actual, valuable function as buyer information.
The mere presence of multimedia makes your site 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of results from Google, according to wirebuzz.com. That alone should be reason enough to start putting up pictures of everything right away, but when you also take into account how much more attractive and lively your site will appear to visitors, it really becomes a no-brainer.
3.) Be descriptive.
You should pack your listings and catalogs with as many relevant keywords as possible. The more descriptions you have, the more opportunities search engines will have to direct various queries to your site. Keep your meta keywords up to date, and be sure that your categories are diversified and highly descriptive. In addition to strong descriptions in your catalogs and listings, be sure to include all relevant search terms in the meta descriptions on your actual site.
The more content you have (as referenced in our first point), the more opportunities you have to include full descriptions and boost your SEO. Every bit helps. Anticipate what your potential bidders might be looking for, how they might phrase that query to a search engine, and reflect that language in your descriptions. The bots deployed by engines to determine your SEO fitness will reward you for it.
Content is key to keeping your online auction house in top form. Whether it’s previews for your upcoming online or on-site auctions, informative, attractive multimedia, or thorough indicator keywords, a constant stream of relevant content will keep you at the front of bidders’ minds and at the top of SEO rankings.
Don’t have an online auction house yet, but want to give it a shot? Sign up for a free trial with us today!
Now that your content is on point, make sure your bidding platform is, too. Sharp Auction Engine offers a free 30-day trial.
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