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The Search Engine Journal Show

Aug 25, 2022

Marketplace models drive traffic and revenue while enabling businesses to stay flexible and expand their reach. 

In this episode of the SEJ Show, I talk with Ryan Lee, Founder & CEO of Nautical Commerce, about managing marketplaces, SEO for marketplaces, increasing web traffic with marketplaces, and more, especially as we near the holiday season.

Last year, the holiday shopping season was huge, especially with everything that Google Shopping was rolling out. So getting outside of Google a little bit is the topic of this episode about marketplaces.

The most successful marketplaces don't act like commerce companies. What they are is they’re exceptional customer service organizations. This is because they deliver such a unique and high-value customer experience. –Ryan Lee, 29:36

This idea is that SEO is transactional versus relational. Lifetime value is the relational component. How do you build that relationship with the customer, so they repeat business? Marketplaces are maniacally focused on that piece, whereas traditional commerce companies optimize only for SEO to get the transactional execution. There needs to be equal emphasis on both. It's got to be transactional to get them in the door. But once you get them in the door, how do you create that emotional connection with the buyer? –Ryan Lee, 34:23

One of the most significant differences is that when we talk about SEO, we're thinking about on-site components and optimizing your listing on a third party. –Loren Baker, 20:30


[00:00] - Ryan Lee's background.

[02:19] - What is marketplace commerce?

[04:45] - Larger marketplaces besides Amazon.

[09:58] - Will you have a higher closing rate on a marketplace vs. Google?

[20:18] - Paid & organic opportunities to practice SEO within marketplaces.

[36:32] - Where does Ryan see Google shopping going?

[41:38] - Advantages to marketplace SEO.

[52:36] - Can you lose your loyalty programs by being on marketplaces? 

Resources mentioned:

If you're in-house SEO and you're working in an ecommerce company, and there's a code freeze coming up for the holiday season, take that time that you have away from the site to focus on organic optimizations within marketplaces such as Amazon, Wayfair, and other platforms and then utilize those learnings as a proven backed up a data-driven strategy to implement the following year on your website.  

Once you sell via those marketplaces, work on ways and strategize to bring those marketplace buyers back into the core and back into the site. Then you can sell them on your loyalty programs and everything from there. –Loren Baker, 45:16

I hardly ever see anyone break down whether or not the customer that came from SEO has a higher lifetime value than paid or other channels, which I always hear, but I never necessarily see the data. It seems like many SEOs are held accountable for that first-time sale and not necessarily what's done on the back end. –Loren Baker, 32:40

At the end of the day, you already have the buyer in a place where they can complete the transaction. That's a significant distinction between looking at a car on the side of the street and then actually being at the dealer. You have a higher probability that that person will close at the dealership. –Ryan Lee, 13:12


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Ryan is an industry insider with extensive experience building enterprise cloud platforms that boost business efficiency. 

In everything he does, from payments to technology consulting services like mobile applications to financial management technologies, his passion for innovation can be seen - all explicitly geared towards enabling transformation within organizations across various industries worldwide.

As the founder and CEO of Nautical Commerce, he is passionate about driving growth and building solid teams toward a platform that orchestrates complete lifecycle marketplace transactions. From startups to enterprises, he makes marketplace technology accessible to all.


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