Amazon is a very popular search engine. (Over 70% of shoppers visit Amazon for new product ideas, and over 50% start their product search on Amazon.) Amazon isn’t just an e-commerce site; it’s also a search engine. And as a search engine, it has its own search engine optimization, or SEO.
Amazon’s search engine is called A9. It operates on its own algorithm and comes with its own unpredictable updates — similar to Google. A9 is similar to Google in another key way: it cares about its buyers (a.k.a. searchers), and its buyers alone.
This is great when you’re shopping … but not so fun when you’re selling.
However, it’s important to remember this as a seller, too. Think like a buyer, and you’ll get along with A9 just fine.
When it comes to A9 and Amazon SEO, you want to optimize your content for three things: discoverability, relevance, and sales. In other words, you want shoppers to see, click, and buy your products.
Let’s talk first about discoverability. Think: What will help shoppers find my products?
- Invest in Amazon advertising (as we discussed above) as well as Facebook and Google Ads to drive traffic to your product pages.
- Create product titles that read naturally and reflect a handful of relevant keywords. Use special characters (like | or — or ,) to make your title more readable.
- Place the most relevant, searched-for terms first (in an order that makes sense).
- Look at competitors’ titles, especially those in the first few spots on the SERP. They’re doing something right if they’re ranking that high.
- Take advantage of Amazon’s backend Search Terms, found under Keywords as you edit a product listing. Amazon allows for up to 250 characters (including spaces, commas, etc.), so use this space wisely. Use hyphenated words (like water-resistant) to cover all possible combinations and the individual words, too.
Next, relevance. Think: What will help shoppers click on my products?
- Ensure your product images are crystal clear and display your product in the best light … literally. Shoppers will decide whether or not to click based on your main image.
- While your product bullet points can’t necessarily influence your product’s ranking, they can support product relevance once a shopper lands on your page. Use relevant keywords in your bullet points (especially those you couldn’t fit in your title) to further entice shoppers to buy.
- The same tips apply for your product titles, too. Shoppers will judge these for product relevance.
Finally, sales. Think: What will help shoppers purchase my product?
- Ensure your product page delivers on what your product title and images promise.
- Optimize your product page for conversions. We talked about this at the beginning of this guide.
- Feature as many customer reviews as possible. We talk about how to do this next.
Customer reviews and ratings are important. They’re even more important in the world of e-commerce, where shoppers can’t physically see or touch a product before buying. In the case of Amazon, almost 90% of shoppers have said they wouldn’t purchase a product with fewer than three stars.
Amazon recognizes the power of customer reviews, and — true to their buyer-first mindset — make reviews a major part of each product page. Shoppers can view customer images, filter reviews by suggested keywords, search for content within reviews, sort reviews by stars, and review customer questions and answers.
As a seller, you should also prioritize reviews. They can make or break a shopper’s decision to purchase — perhaps more than your optimized product pages.
While you can’t incentivize reviews anymore, you can kindly ask your customers to complete one. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Include a thank-you note and review request in your product shipment
- Send a follow-up email with a review request
- Sell a reviewable product
Finally, Amazon allows sellers to respond to reviews. This is yet another way to engage with customers, express gratitude, and address issues or complaints.
A lot of Amazon marketing takes place within the platform (through advertising and SEO), but some sellers follow traditional direct marketing methods, too. While they require extra work, they can be beneficial for creating loyal customers and eventually bringing business off of Amazon to an e-commerce site (if you’re interested in that).
Note: Be sure to read through Amazon’s prohibited seller activites and actions to ensure you remain compliant.
Have you ever ordered something off Amazon and received an email from the seller afterwards? I have. I’ve received emails thanking me for my purchase, asking for a product review, and even offering a discount code for my next purchase.
The first few caught me off guard (I was only used to emails from Amazon about my purchase), but I could appreciate the seller’s intent. Many sellers opt to conduct separate email marketing practices to promote their store and grow their list.
Some Amazon sellers also create social media profiles for their brand. This serves as another avenue through which to connect with customers and potential customers.
Use your social media to share product updates, announce sales and giveaways, and invest in some paid advertising.
Did you know that over 80% of Amazon sellers also sell through other channels, like eBay, brick-and-mortar, and third-party websites? It’s not uncommon to own and operate a separate e-commerce website in addition to your Amazon store.
While Amazon can help you be discovered and subsidize your shipping and customer support cost, creating a separate website can help build your brand beyond Amazon and aggregate customers and email subscribers of your own.
I’m a big fan of those product round-ups published by Buzzfeed or other bloggers. It’s so easy to scan a list of recommended products and — best of all — be sent directly to Amazon to check out the ones I’m interested in.
Have you ever wondered how those products end up on the list? Through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is essentially marketing your products through an affiliate — in this case, Buzzfeed. In exchange for your product being published/mentioned/shared, you pay a small fee if readers click and purchase. It’s a win-win and helps you drive sales, collect reviews, and build awareness.
You’re Now the King ? (or Queen) of the Jungle
Amazon doesn’t seem so scary now, does it? The platform may be 12 million products wide, but as a seller, your priority should be on your products alone.
First, optimize your product pages so that your marketing efforts can drive buyers that convert. Next, apply these Amazon marketing strategies above to capture new traffic and more profit.
In two simple steps, you’ll see your Amazon products meet consumers wherever they are — whether they’re researching products, comparing prices, or looking to buy.
For help with your SEO on Amazon schedule an appointment with us today!