An SEO Guide to Amazon

Natalie Hapgood

Senior Director, Brand Planning, Jellyfish

Our retail and shopper marketing series will cover a range of critical topics for brands and agencies.

As eCommerce sales have soared to unprecedented volume since the onset of COVID 19 in the United States, the entire retail industry has shifted. Amazon has been THE leader in the space for a decade and remains a crucial partner and platform for brands. Named for the largest river and rainforest in the world, it has become the largest shop on the planet. Yet many brands have yet to invest in optimizing their approach to insights, strategy, content, and analytics. How do you stay ahead of the curve? 

Like Google, Amazon (and its subsidiary A9), has created an algorithm that is constantly being optimized through artificial intelligence. The techniques to influence it are quite simple to integrate, but not always obvious.

In the United States, Amazon has surpassed Google as the top search engine for shopping queries.

“55% of queries are directly typed in the retail giant compared to 45% in Google,” says Alexandre Sigoigne, co-founder of Myposeo (a subsidiary of Webedia).

In 2018, it reached $232.9 billion (31% more than in 2017), relegating all other e-commerce players to the bench.

To perform well on Amazon, the SEO tactics are both similar and different to some known SEO techniques for other platforms. The greatest distinction lies in the technical aspects (speed, linking, UX, etc.) of the content. You have no control over this as all content is hosted on Amazon’s platform and therefore they control this. But, some things you must pay attention to include, the quality of the service and pricing offered by the brand.

So here are some tips to win over the algorithm and appear among the first search results:

Study the Competitive Marketplace

Before you position yourself in the marketplace, it is essential, as in all sales strategies, to study the strategy and tactics of your competitors. Watch and learn from those who perform well and those who struggle. Observe their pricing policy, the description of their offer, the content they deliver, and then decide on your strategy to be competitive in this space…

Look closely at your consumer reviews to define your USPs (Unique Selling Proposal) and design and plan around those elements that will enhance your visibility. Listening to what you consumers are talking about is key to understanding their needs, pain points, or what makes them happy with their purchase and the product.

Enhance the Product Page

1. The title

It must be 80 characters maximum and 70 in the mobile version. Of course, it must mention the brand and the name of the product as well as distinctive information (use, color, and size for example).

2. The description

List 5 points (USP) that will be highlighted in the form of bullet points. They must make up information that will influence conversion (quality, quantity, warranty, material, etc.).

Next, write a more complete description that should not exceed 2000 characters and that will give more details about the uses of the product and additional technical elements. Use the consumer feedback to fill this out more thoroughly and let the questions and reviews guide your description and what elements of the product you address.

Illustrate your descriptions with quality photos and videos to stage the product and enhance its use. Make sure your images show the size, clear details and info on the packaging. A short instructional video is also a key tool.

3. Keywords in the Background

Keywords in the background don’t appear on the screen but they contribute significantly to the performance of your product listing.

4. Typography

This may seem surprising, but A9 seems sensitive to the proper use of language and compliance with typographical rules. Use capital letters at the beginning of a sentence and create the best style for the rest of the text.

Optimize the Shopping Experience

A9 strives to highlight the best sellers, in the same way, Google promotes options based on the search term. This is based on qualitative but also quantitative criteria. In practical terms, in order to get featured, you must perform in all areas:

  • A selling price aligned with the market
  • The performance of your description (conversion rate)
  • The number of sales
  • The speed of your sales
  • The frequency of purchases made
  • A limited number of returns
  • The quality of consumer reviews
  • Meeting delivery deadlines
  • Everything else that contributes to user satisfaction

Here the rule is simple and common to all retailers: The Customer is King!

Analyze and Monitor Your Strategy

Finally, analyze your performance regularly, from acquisition to conversion in order to optimize your strategy according to what you see.

Welcoming a new format

Last year, Bloomberg announced the launch of a video advertising format currently in testing at Amazon. The idea is to offer brands premium formats reserved for large budgets to be included in search results. These video formats have since been pushed on the IOS and Android mobile apps. Some recommendations have already been released by Amazon:

  • Budget at least $35,000
  • Design a spot of 15′ to 30 seconds max
  • Use subtitles

It is easy to see that Amazon is tackling a large chunk of the market, competing with Google to carve out a leading position in the world of online advertising. The race is on…