Sources from the ad industry have shone a light on how fast Amazon ad budgets are growing. Reports from various media agencies show that brands have been moving up to 50 percent of their previous Google search spend to Amazon ads. With shifting budget comes the need for more intentional Amazon SEO.
A report by Jumpshot notes that what used to be Google’s share of product searches just three years ago is now Amazon’s and vice versa. The report says that by 2018, 54 percent of product searches began on Amazon compared to those that began on Google, at 46 percent. Granted, shoppers who found products through Amazon took relatively longer to make a purchase. Additionally, Google has a more diverse field for advertisers to play on — YouTube in particular.
Nonetheless, Amazon is proving to be a serious contender in the Google-dominated space. To marketers, this means the work is only beginning when it comes to optimizing product copy for Amazon’s algorithm, Amazon A9.
Amazon is being used for product discovery
This trend shows that Amazon is becoming a center for product discovery. On the other hand, Google is being used to validate the purchase. To understand the pricing, quality standards or brands, consumers still have to turn to Google.
According to Jumpshot, almost 90 percent of product views on Amazon result from search and not advertising, product aggregators or merchandising.
As a brand, now you know that most of your customers are searching for your product on Amazon right now. They don’t have time for banners and merchandising placements. They type in a product name, and within seconds, they have what they need. To be found on Amazon, you’ll have to understand Amazon SEO.
How to be found using Amazon SEO
Here’s how Amazon describes its search process:
Our work starts long before a customer types a query. We’ve been analyzing data, observing past traffic patterns, and indexing the text describing every product in our catalog before the customer has even decided to search. As soon as we see the first keystroke, we’re ready with instant suggestions and a comprehensive set of search results.
In simpler terms, Amazon’s algorithm considers the best selling products, those that have brought visitors back to the site and their relevance to the searcher’s intent.
Bringing it all together: You need product views to generate more views. Huh!
Understand Amazon’s ranking factors
If the goal is to be found by matching the buyer intent, then you just have to find the right keywords and sneak them in your product copy. Right? Sadly, that’s not the case.
Amazon’s A9 takes into account several factors, which may be a clue to how you can improve your ecommerce sales in 2019. According to Amazon, once relevance is established (through keywords), two main factors further influence product ranking:
– conversion rate and
– sales velocity.
Amazon goes on to explain that factors such as Best Sellers Rank (BSR) and customer reviews don’t count. However, you’ll find they do count, considering these are among the factors that increase conversion rate and sales velocity on the site. Remember, the more easily you can be found, the more views you can potentially gain, which should result in higher ranking.
The following is a list of factors impacting your ranking on Amazon.
Relevance is used to describe how appropriate the product suggestion is to the context of the search. Generally, the searcher’s intent is manifested in the keywords they use.
Thus, a great way to establish relevance is to use relevant keywords in the product copy. This includes the product description, product features and specifications and brand number (for the more savvy customers).
Best sellers rank
Within the product listing, Amazon assigns a value that shows how well that product is selling compared to others within the same category. It’s called the Best Sellers Rank, and Amazon updates it every hour.
It’s an automatically updated value that can be useful to you as a marketer. You can use it to understand your competitors better. By constantly checking how competing products are performing, you can see whom you’re up against and what they’re doing right.
While customer reviews may not directly influence A9, they can improve other areas that boost ranking.
As customers research your product category, they are likely to look for information in the reviews section. More than 90 percent of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. And 85 percent trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations, according to research by BrightLocal.
To get good reviews, ask your customers for them — once you deliver great customer service.
A9 probably does not use customer satisfaction as a ranking factor, but actions of satisfied customers can help align your product with the intent of a future customer.
For instance, when a customer is satisfied and they come back to not just Amazon but your product page, it shows the site you’re generating traffic for them. This, as you’ve seen, is important to Amazon when ranking products like yours. If the customer buys from you again, your BSR goes up. If you have many customers doing this, your conversion rate increases; your BSR remains on top; and you generate significant traffic for Amazon.
Thus, customer satisfaction can influence Amazon ranking.
Amazon SEO doesn’t stop with optimizing your product copy so A9 can find the product. It’s about ranking on the first page of results because 70 percent of Amazon shoppers won’t explore beyond that.
To raise your position, you have to understand how Amazon ranks you. But you have to go deeper than the obvious. You have to know what influences A9. And this includes the product relevance determined by its copy, how frequently people buy your product compared to the products of your competitors, customer reviews and customer satisfaction.