Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
SEO for Amazon
SEO or search engine optimization approaches differ based on the platform you are using. Amazon search engine optimization or Amazon SEO differs from traditional SEO for several reasons, though the concepts are similar. How does Amazon SEO differ from traditional SEO, and how do you maximize your product’s rankings in Amazon searches?
Titles for Amazon products and webpages are equally important. Product names and key search terms should be included in the Amazon product title to rank well in Amazon searches. This is one of the few areas where Amazon SEO is almost exactly like traditional SEO.
Search engine results of product directories yield rankings partially on the keyword match and partially on product categorization. Amazon SEO thus depends on selecting the right product category. Don’t just assume “toys” or “building toys” is sufficient.
You should also pay attention to the product options your customers may be interested in (and filter your products out on) like frustration-free packaging, price points, age range and brand. You can search Amazon grocery items on nutrition facts per serving, sugar-free, free of trans fat, free of saturated fat, fat-free, low fat and high daily fiber. In this case, your fat-free item doesn’t need to just say “fat-free” but also have all the other categories selected.
Don’t leave out certifications like certified organic, certified kosher or certified gluten-free. And as Amazon changes its categories and adds new ones, your product categorizations need to keep up. For electronics, making certain that the Energy Star certification is selected if accurate.
Categorizations that Amazon allows someone to exclude products on during search should also be spelled out in the product description text. For example, a printer should have the “Energy Star” category checked as well as a note like “Save energy with our Energy Star printer” in the description. Include explanations of the terms to integrate latent search indexing terms such as “borderless printing: print borderless 5x7-inch photos and documents up to 11x14 inches”. Now you’ve improved your printer’s rankings for borderless printing searches while showcasing the printer’s capabilities without being repetitive.
Alexa, Amazon Dot and Voice Search
Amazon has been promoting sales of Amazon Dot and other information appliances tied into the Alexa artificial intelligence for several reasons. The greatest incentive for Amazon is being able to offer products for sale the moment someone says they need something, capturing sales for everything from baby diapers to meal kits before the person may even think of searching for the item online and considering another supplier.
The end result of the growth of information appliances tied into Amazon is that your Amazon SEO strategy must include conversational search engine optimization. This is why so many Amazon pages have growing lists of customer questions and answers—to capture the questions people ask about a product when interested in it and direct them to Amazon’s product listings.
In short, Amazon SEO gives extra weight to conversational SEO.
An Emphasis on Products
Google sees far greater search volume than Amazon. However, Amazon sees around three times as many searches for products than Google does. That occurs because people search on Amazon when they are considering buying a product. Your product directory listings must include the search terms people would use to find products like yours, such as product part numbers, brand names, general product descriptions and how it is used. Add an emotional layer to the product information so that it isn’t dry and boring.
Your search terms and content like product descriptions need to focus on the prospect or committed prospect of the sales funnel. Among the best types of content to include in product descriptions include the pros and cons of your product, why your product is better than its rivals and comparisons between the model for sale on that page and its siblings.
Where possible, include input from the user community on your product page like customers answering each other’s questions on the products and advice on why one model is better than the other. This generates free, valuable conversational SEO matches about the product that are directly related to the point in the sales funnel where potential buyers need such answers and puts it on your Amazon product page.
Tailor Offers to Amazon Customers
Your product’s listings must be tailored to what Amazon customers want. For example, a sizable percentage of shopping carts are abandoned when customers are surprised by extra shipping costs or additional fees. The solution is being clear on your shipping terms and associated costs up front in the purchasing process. In contrast, Amazon SEO should focus on qualifying for Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime One Day, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Global and other programs that reward customers with low to no shipping costs. Fulfillment by Amazon should be researched if you otherwise may not be able to ship products as quickly as your customers would want them to be. For example, fulfillment by Amazon could lead to much higher sales if you otherwise couldn’t meet the “get it by tomorrow” requirement for people requesting party items, replacement parts for appliances or medical items.
Determine whether or not you can support repeat purchases on a schedule. The “subscribe and save” option is invaluable to businesses that are willing and able to enter a long term relationship with customers, since you now get a nearly guaranteed stream of continued purchases. Whether or not you can tailor your supply chain to support this function and willing to discount the products enough to entice the customer into buying it regularly is a business decision you need to make.
What if the product isn’t available? Update your Amazon product pages to clearly indicate that model A is unavailable new but model B is available with a picture and link to it so you capture the interested buyers. If they truly want model A and it isn’t manufactured anymore, include information on the page on how to buy a used or refurbished model from an authorized source.
One of the benefits of the Amazon product directory is the ability to reference several bundles on the same product page. Thus you can have the printer only for sale with a button next to it for instant comparison of the printer sold with ink, and you can give them the option to pay for professional installation. Make the price of these installation or other professional services clear to prevent shopping cart abandonment. Combine logically related items in bundles with a modest discount for buying them both in order for bundles to be seen as value-added.
Amazon customers reward product listings that have multiple images of the product, at least one from every angle. Professional, high-quality images are a necessity to sell well on Amazon.
Even digital products need images or pictures. eBooks with Amazon's default graphics with the title filled in, for example, don't capture the same traffic or sales volume as those with book covers like the one to the right.
And avoid the mistakes that have occurred when foreign companies were assigned to fill in product directories like the now-infamous case of thousand dollar ERP software having an image of a teddy bear on the product page.
Reviews and Ratings
Reviews are essential in standing out in product search results. This is true whether you are selling your product on eBay or Amazon. However, if you sell your product on Amazon, you must have high average ratings on Amazon. After all, customers can search only for products with an average customer review. For all practical intents, if you don’t have an average of four stars or higher on Amazon, you’ll lose a large percentage of your most likely buyers.
Review your product reviews periodically and have customer support respond to the negative reviews on Amazon. For example, have customer service post a reply that you’re sorry they are unhappy with instructions on how to contact customer support to have a replacement sent. This nullifies the impact of the negative customer review to potential buyers.
How do you get good customer reviews? Encourage your customers to give your product a good review in emails sent after their product arrives especially if they bought the item through Amazon.com. Amazon verified buyers’ reviews matter more to Amazon buyers than potentially faked non-verified reviews.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Tamara Wilhite
Tamara Wilhite (author) from Fort Worth, Texas on October 20, 2017:
Philip Cooper Thank you for the praise. And I'm glad Hubpages has the built in tools to let me know someone has already scraped this article to use on their site to generate hits. Guys, don't you know that hurts your page's rankings?
Guess not, since the duplicate penalty is mentioned here, so you didn't even read the content you're stealing.
Philip Cooper from Olney on January 18, 2017:
Thanks for this. Very informative.