Search engine visibility of Alibaba
In today’s post we will analyze e- commerce giant, Alibaba, the Chinese site in the American market from the perspective of search engine optimization. To do this, we will use one of the most popular tools, Searchmetrics.
First we will analyze the visibility of the alibaba.com domain over the last two years.
The visibility index indicates how to find the domain that we want to analyze in search engines. To achieve this index, taking into account the number of indexed pages ( URLs) along with the positioning of keywords that can access these URLs and the search volume of such keywords that is waht generates a greater or lesser volume of traffic to your website.
We observe a sharp drop in the visibility of American dominance of Alibaba. Throughout the post we will discuss the most important aspects of SEO to optimize your site . In my opinion, this first chart does not say anything of value until compared with its American competitors.
We see how the great ruler of American search engines in organic searches is Amazon. At the same height, but underneath are eBay and Walmart, while Alibaba is in fourth place, well below its competitors.
- Amazon: 10,228,289 Points
- eBay : 1,754,290 Points
- Walmart : 1,705,174 Points
- Alibaba : 35,844 Points
The importance of Mobile…
Since the Google algorithm change, which favors those websites that are friendly for mobile and differentiating different rankings for Desktops and Devices, the websites that have adapted to mobile, like Alibaba, have increased their visibility in the rankings in Google Mobile either through a responsive model or as in the case of Alibaba, by creating a specific mobile web on a mobile subdomain ‘ m.alibaba.com’
A feature that I love about Searchmetrics is the possibility to observe separately the SEO positioning of Desktop versus Mobile of the same domain:
Knowing that the percentage of Mobile use by users steals more territory from Desktop each year, an aspect worth highlighting and that denotes a good job by Alibaba in Mobile, is that visibility of Mobile surpasses Desktop visibility, although both present a similar trend.
Let’s analyze your keywords!
Searchmetrics allows us to export a list of all your keywords with the following information:
- Keyword position
- Search Volume
- Traffic generating keyword
In addition, due to the importance Mobile, as previously mentioned, we can see a breakdown of the positioning of keywords depending on if you use a mobile or desktop device:
Much more interesting on a global scale is the possibility of exporting a graph where the entire list of keywords in the above graphic are grouped so as to get a fuller picture of what is happening with our keywords.
This is where we see an IMPORTANT PROBLEM. Alibaba hardly has keywords indexed on the first page of search engines, organically speaking. The vast majority of your keywords are grouped in positions where users rarely access: from the second page!
How can we improve the positioning of Alibaba’s keywords?
Answer: By improving its On-Page SEO
There is no need to look absurd solutions or go further to find the solution. Alibaba simply needs to improve its On-Page SEO to improve its performance impressively. With this I am not saying that once the aspects of On-Page SEO we mentioned are improved, we should not also ‘meddle’ with Off-Page SEO working external links or technical factors such as optimizing your sitemap.xml, robots.txt, canonical , pages, etc…
Do not misunderstand me, I’m trying to explain that improving the On-Page SEO alone would see incredible results as it relates to positioning.
And what is all this On-Page SEO that I need to play around with?
- Creating ‘friendlier’ URLs and editing URLs manually with the inclusion of keywords.
- Manually Editing Titles and Meta description titles not optimized by Alibaba
It has become clear that they want to optimize the keyword ‘ Tablet PC’, but repeating it so often in the titles is ‘over-optimizing ‘ the word you want to place .
In my opinion they should create descriptive phrases, both in the ‘ titles’ and the ‘ meta descriptions ‘ with different keywords like:
- Tablet Computer : 49.500 searches
- Cheap tablets : 33,100 searches
- Best tablets : 27.100 searches
- Creating headers structures like so: h1, h2 …
The home, for example, does not have headers h1 or h2 . The header structure starts with header h3. It would be convenient to define those headers and incorporate keywords in a universal study of keywords in the previously analyzed section.
- Optimization texts
- Image optimization
A very interesting feature of Searchmetrics is the ability to see who our competitors are, depending on organic traffic and in an automatic manner, generating a report with keywords indexed for each competitor.
Alibaba vs Amazon
Alibaba vs eBay
Alibaba vs Walmart
The best directories and subdomains
We can also analyze which subdomains/ directories carry more traffic to our website.
- Subdomain: subdominio.dominio.com
- Directory: dominio.com/directorio
In this way, we can know which categories we should put our efforts into in order to optimize them and above all, know which are responding to the best dedicated weekly to the categories worked specifically.
With Searchmetrics we can also analyze external links leading to our website and the ability to compare ourselves with our competitors. We can see Alibaba’s external links in the following graph:
Searchmetrics uses its own metric to measure the authority of a domain or URL that links to our site. They call it SPS, it is a kind of PR that they use to indicate the strength of each domain. In this way we can know which links are benefiting or hurting the position of our website. We can also control the daily progression of links that link us, seeing the ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ links daily as we see in the graphic below. In this way we can have a comprehensive report of all of those links.
In addition, we will analyze the most linked URLs to our website to know what is most popular in our network domain.
Finally, among many other things, the tool allows us to analyze the anchor texts of the analyzed domain, the percentage of image/text used on the anchor and the last anchors used to link to our website:
These are some of the most interesting features of Searchmetrics across the board, but later we will discuss features/ specific tricks that we can use with tool in order to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and thus, optimize our project/ website in an original way.