Amazon isn’t just big; it’s enormous. In fact, new research forecasts that the digital giant will occupy almost 50% of the U.S. e-commerce market by the end of 2018. Of those sales, nearly 70% are “marketplace” sales, which refers to third-party sellers on Amazon. What’s more, growth shows no signs of slowing, with Amazon’s Q2 2018 sales numbers up a staggering $15 billion from the year prior.
Translation: For brands looking to grow their business, Amazon is the platform.
But we didn’t need to tell you that. If you’re here, then you already know the enormous opportunity Amazon provides for both established, growing and new brands across a variety of categories. While migrating products over to the platform can feel like an accomplishment in and of itself, any savvy seller’s understands that seeking out Amazon optimization services is a fundamental first step for ensuring success on the platform.
Understanding Amazon SEO
It’s easy to forget that aside from being the world’s biggest e-commerce destination, Amazon is also a massive search engine — one that possessives a powerful and often-mystifying algorithm, A10. As such, a smart Amazon optimization strategy is essential for any seller seeking success on the platform, but traditional SEO tactics may not garner success on Amazon.
Unlike other major search engines – Google, Bing – Amazon A10 prioritizes search results based off of sales: The more a product sells, the more its search ranking improves. Period. Furthermore, Amazon does not publish search volume data or trends. Utilizing traditional SEO tactics and strategy that take these metrics into account can lead to disappointing results.
Amazon Optimization Basics: Keyword + Competitive Research
This isn’t to say that keyword relevance and other hallmarks of traditional SEO strategy aren’t important to consider when crafting an Amazon SEO strategy. They are. After all, most Amazon shoppers aren’t just looking for a quick and easy transaction; they’re trusting Amazon to provide them with the most relevant search results — and they’re ready to buy, ASAP.
That noted, targeting the right keywords — and the right keyword variations — is a fundamental first step for a successful Amazon SEO strategy [MARIA – link to new /amazon-seo page on GTM site]. Amazon-specific research tools like Magnet or Keyword Tool’s Amazon auto-search feature are valuable places to conduct this all-important step.
Engaging in competitive research, too, is important in order to hone in on potential opportunities within the market. Forecastly recommends examining competitors that occupy the top five search placements for the given keyword(s) you’re targeting, focusing on competitors that possess less than 300 reviews. The rationale? Products with thousands of reviews will be tough to topple in an ever-competitive search environment.
One key component of Amazon’s product listings? Seller backend Search Terms, a “hidden” feature that helps sellers rank and consumers find their products. Per recently updated parameters, these seller terms must be 250 characters or less, contain no punctuation (aside from commas to separate terms) and be free from spelling errors and profanity. Amazon warns against duplicating the same search term over and over, but subtle variations on keywords are important, ensuring you’re catching all potential search volume.
Optimization Basics: Creating and Refining Content
You’ve completed the requisite keyword research, added in your seller terms — now it’s time to craft engaging content that compels the shopper to buy.
This is often the first – and only! – part of a product listing that consumers read; it’s all-important in Amazon’s eyes. Furthermore, titles are also pulled as advertising copy when marketing on Amazon. So, where to start?
Per Amazon’s guidelines, a product title should contain pertinent details like Brand, Product Name, Material, Color, Size and Quantity. Furthermore, your most relevant keyword(s) should be integrated, ideally at the start of the title. Ensure your product title is clear and concise and avoid keyword-stuffing, (an SEO no-no regardless of the search engine!). To help circumvent the latter, utilize punctuation, such as dashes (-), to break up keywords and make them more digestible. Referencing top competitors’ titles is also a good idea when conducting this step.
Five bullet points
Amazon shoppers scan, not read! Bulleted content — formatting which Amazon prioritizes — helps accomplish this; think of this section as the “elevator-pitch” for a product listing, where key details and differentiators are articulated through succinct copy points.
Knowing the aforementioned consumer behavior, bulleted content should be “shoppable,” with language that is impactful, straightforward and concise. Content should be prioritized in order of importance; likewise, keywords should be prioritized according to relevance and ranking, integrated naturally and consistently throughout.
A longer, more narrative section ideal for brand storytelling and in-depth information, a product description helps to seal the deal, so to speak. Shoppers head here to learn even more about your product and the brand itself. Content should be keyword-rich, yes, but it should also compel, engage and excite – this isn’t the time to be overly sales-y, technical or tactical.
Ready to move beyond the basics? Contact Galileo to learn more details about our Amazon SEO services.