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Many businesses don’t realize that organic strategies cannot exist in silos. SEO in 2018 is focused almost entirely on the user experience. In the end, your performance in organic search will be as successful as your understanding of your digital consumer.
Today’s ecommerce consumer uses a variety of different applications, platforms, and devices to purchase products. Retailers must create a marketing strategy that dominates all the touchpoints within the customer journey. This includes paid search, display, social, organic, and Amazon.
A 2017 study published by Raymond James found that 52% of consumers now use Amazon as their first touchpoint for product searches (Source: GeekWire). Retailers are missing out on a huge section of potential customers if they have no presence on Amazon.
There’s significant friction between retailers and marketplaces like Amazon. While brands are still relevant, the ability to retain consumers on brand loyalty alone has diminished. As a result, a symbiotic relationship needs to be established. Retailers must extend their brand on Amazon to capture the best of both worlds, reaching consumers on both their online store and Amazon.
Search engines don’t always provide the same value for product discovery and purchases. Merchants convert at 3.32% using traditional marketing tactics, while Amazon converts at 74% for Prime customers and 13% for non-Prime customers, according to a study by Millward Brown Digital (Source: Digital Commerce 360).
Since Amazon focuses so much on buyer intent and not as much on informational intent, optimization becomes more streamlined. Amazon’s algorithm guides the shopper through a step-by-step process at every click. This process is very interactive and intuitive, regardless of device. While you remain unsure of a buyer’s intent on a typical search engine, you’ll always know it on Amazon.
As stated previously, 52% of consumers now use Amazon as their first touchpoint for product searches. That number has likely increased since the study was conducted, which is why we’re emphasizing it. Retailers simply can’t afford to ignore Amazon if they want to maximize their online success.
Fortunately, Amazon Stores offer brands the ability to make microsites for free within the Amazon environment. That means you can truly own your branded experience on Amazon. Plus, consumers get the peace of mind that they’re shopping directly with your brand and not through a private reseller or imitator.
You can properly optimize your brand on Amazon by taking advantage of these features.
Right now, there are limited ways for consumers to discover your brand store and most are heavily reliant on branded searches. These include:
However, you may still experience obstacles in trying to establish yourself on Amazon. These include the following:
Simply creating a brand store isn’t enough. You also need to ensure the store is consistently optimized so it ranks better. Keep the following in mind:
A9 is the name of Amazon’s search algorithm. Amazon uses this algorithm to rank the results for product searches on its site. However, ranking well on Amazon isn’t the same as ranking well on Google. To help your products separate themselves from the pack, consider these core factors that make up the A9 algorithm:
Several other elements don’t directly factor into the A9 algorithm but can still affect your ranking. These include:
Pay attention to every element of the A9 algorithm. Amazon focuses on products that convert, not those with the most keyword usage. In short, Amazon is already utilizing what Google is now moving toward.
“Optimizing for customer conversion first, while including important keywords will help with the A9. Brands should recognize that Amazon product listings show up in the top paid and organic spots on Google search (sometimes above the Brand’s own site) so how you optimize your titles and bullets plays a key role in what off-Amazon customers see.”
— Joseph Hansen, CEO of Buy Box Experts (Source: SEMrush)
Keyword research remains extremely important on Amazon search. However, your focus should be on keywords with high conversion intent rather than high volume. Borrow keywords from your search marketing campaigns to get started. Find the keywords most likely to match the purchase intent of your customers.
The Amazon algorithm is based on its category index. Placing your brand or products in the incorrect category can cause you to become invisible. Be very specific to avoid any confusion for users. Learn the category requirements via: https://services.amazon.com/services/soa-approval-category.html
An effective product title is the most important ingredient, as this gets you the highest CTR. You should leverage keywords without stuffing. Be brand-focused and concise. Optimized titles should have both the brand name and product name. Consult the Amazon guide for the format to use for each specific category. An example is:
[Brand] + [Feature] + [Material] + [Key Ingredient] + [Product Type] + [Model Number] + [Size] + [Package Count] + [Color] + [Flavor]
This is where you can gain a competitive edge. You have 250 characters including spaces for optimizing search terms. Utilize the keyword research you’ve done. Use synonyms and associations, but don’t repeat keywords. Focus on long-tail keywords and one or two competitive terms.
This is where you add competitive keywords or highly searched terms. The algorithm does utilize product features, and this will help your products convert better. The descriptions need to be specific to what the user is searching for and what they want to read. Add links, bullets, and be clear. The minimum length is 200 characters and accuracy becomes essential.
Optimizing your organic listings will have a big impact on your search listings as well. If you’re using auto-targeted sponsored campaigns, having optimized product details will help quickly identify keywords and search terms that convert the most. This will allow you to create manual sponsored product campaigns and bid more aggressively for top converting keywords.
With so many consumers now turning to Amazon as the first stop in their purchase decisions, retailers risk losing these potential buyers at their own peril. Creating an Amazon brand store is an easy way to sell your products on Amazon while retaining your own brand identity and distinct branded experience.
To make sure customers are finding your products, understand the Amazon A9 algorithm and optimize every part of your product pages, including categories, titles, search terms, and product descriptions.
As you establish your brand on Amazon, always remember to learn from your experience. Use historical data and CTR, competitor trends, pricing/repricing, and more to improve your performance.If you missed any of our #SEOWeek webinars, you can view them on-demand at https://www.netelixir.com/university/all-webinars/