“Customer is King” is an age-old business mantra. You have to give them the Best. Don’t you like to be treated like a King/Queen when you go to a Salon or say a Restaurant! They do too! Why do you think the 5 Star Hotels like Hilton, JW Marriott, Taj, Grand Hyatt, etc. charge such ridiculous amounts of money? Not just because of the consumption power of people but also because these hotels provide “LUXURY”. The ambience, the rooms, food, facilities are all top notch. Why won’t people with the spending power want to enjoy it!
Similarly, when people come online to shop, your website should give them a feel that they are in the right place. As Marketers, you have to be easily accessible to them. When people search for your products and services, you would want to appear as high in the rankings as possible right.
What do searchers do when they search? Do they just search once and then decide on what they were looking? No right? They edit their search terms look again and again until they have finally made their research and analysis. So, the more you show in these search results the better recall value the customers have of your product.
Just like you there will be other Marketers who would want to attract customers towards their products. Internet didn’t just make it easy for people to communicate with each other, it also has opened a myriad of options
How will you make sure the customer comes to you? It just takes a click of a button to make or break a deal.
Amazon: The New Search Engine
Having said how important the customer is, how and where do we place ourselves for them to find us? Usually when someone says “SEO,” we immediately think of Google. So, who do you think would be a competitor to Google…Yahoo right? But I was surprised to know that it is Amazon not Yahoo that isGoogle’s main search Engine competitor.
We don’t think about Amazon as a Search Engine. Home to over 480 million products, Amazon is an online retail monster. However, what makes Amazon even juicier than Google is that, unlike Google, the majority of people who go to Amazon are buyers. They aren’t there to do research or look up some fact. They have a product in mind and are ready to purchase.
Google built a search engine so they could sell ads. Amazon built a search engine so they can sell products. That creates a basic difference in how each measures success. While eyeballs on Google often equate to browsers and researchers come, Amazon attracts buyers.
A good conversion rate on an Amazon product detail page is widely considered 15%. That’s really high, right? For Google AdWords, the average landing page CVR is 2.35% but the top 25% of the accounts have 5.31% which is still lower than that of Amazon.
This is because Amazon product page traffic is already in the purchasing mind-set. It’s like the Wikipedia of shopping.
In today’s time when people are looking to buy something they very often skip Google search and go straight to Amazon.
Amazon’s Lines Of Business-Revenue Streams
Amazon sells commodities like electronic accessories, office supplies, groceries and household products, clothing under a variety of its brand names etc. Amazon is coming up with various other products that will be a part of its in-house inventory.So, you may ask what is new with in-house brands, grocery stores and big-box retailers have been doing it for quite some time now. But this is DIFFERENT!! Amazons move into consumer packaged goods gives it a greater opportunity to pad its bottom line. Growth in retail is all going to be online, and Amazon owns online.
If you are in the business of selling consumer goods, or you want to, you should be on Amazon. More than 320 million users worldwide shop at Amazon.
It is the online shopping network where other retailers can sell their products. Amazon Marketplace is like a Shopping Centre. It charges a fee for their service from the sellers. It takes a percentage of each sale completed between another seller and the buyer.
Amazon also has a subscription based business model through its Amazon Prime service as well as a small electronics product line.
Under the Prime account customers pay an annual fee to get free two day or same day shipping on items eligible as prime items and have access to digital music, photo storage, streaming movies, TV. Prime Video offers exclusives from some of the World’s best story tellers.
Amazon also generates money from Kindle, its e-reader. However, they make no money out of the Kindle itself, it’s more of a content driver. Each Kindle Fire comes with one-month free Prime subscription. Once the users get a taste of the vast content and benefits of Prime, they are more than willing to pay the annual fee to subscribe to Prime.
amazon Kindle money
AWS – Amazon Web Services
From the time of its inception, AWS has expanded into world’s most comprehensive, widely adopted cloud service. It is being used my more than a million customers from organizations of every size e.g. Airbnb, McDonalds, Pinterest, Johnson & Johnson, Philips, Adobe, GE etc. AWS provides good scales and broad set of services and features. As time passes by most companies will choose not to run their own data centres, instead they would opt for cloud.
All of Amazons Competitive Strategy revolve around the central idea that the customers experience is of utmost importance. Amazon realizes that what the customers want more than anything is the quick delivery of the products they order.
Amazon uses Cost Leadership as its generic strategy for competitive advantage. This strategy pushes Amazon to minimize its price levels. The low prices are significant in attracting customers.
Differentiation conveys two ideas:
- Providing superior benefits
- And providing different benefits versus competition.
Advantages Of Being On Amazon
1.) Although you can sell your products through local business website, most people will still have hesitation doing business with you. Amazon is a trusted online store and your business can leverage on their credibility.
2.) Amazon has the largest affiliate programs on any online merchant site. By listing your products on the Amazon site, you have equal access to the millions of affiliates who refer customers to the site. It’s better than setting up your own affiliate program.
3.) Amazon gives you reach beyond your town or city location as long as you are willing to ship long distances. Can also list your products on the Amazon international sites.
4.) Reviews help sellers look at what their competitors are doing and have the opportunity to make changes in their own product by knowing the bad reviews.
5.) No Website Building Needed- Amazon allows to start making money without taking the trouble and risks. Designing, building, testing, and maintaining a website of your own can easily cost thousands of dollars every year. Amazon allows you to start making money without taking those risks first.
6.) Higher Conversion Rates- As consumers come to Amazon with the intent of buying.
The Unknown Algorithm – A9
To help you get your products or your clients products to the top of Amazon’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP), let me introduce you to A9. Have you heard of it?
Amazons search engine algorithm has a name, it’s called A9. Yes, you know now!! It has the sole responsibility of placing the right products in front of the right customers. Unlike Google, Amazon’s agenda isn’t to send traffic to other sites but to find the product that will provide best sales conversion.
A9 Ranking Criteria
- Immediate Sales– A9 doesn’t care about the overall number of sales for a particular product over a long period of time, only how many sales occurred recently. You heard it right!
- Verified Reviews– While sales are important, customer experience and satisfaction are equally valuable. A verified review is when a user not only bought the product but also used the same Amazon account to leave a review. If sales are high but not the reviews, then Amazon lowers that products ranking. You wouldn’t want that right!!
- CTR Vs CTS– A9 doesn’t just rely on the click through rate(CTR) it relies on the overall click to sales (CTS). So, it doesn’t only look at how many viewed but most importantly looks at how much sold.
- Sales Page Content– Most of the SEO tactics apply for Amazon as well. Remember Amazon is the main search engine competitor to Google!!
Therefore, text ratio, keyword density, headers etc. are essential to figure out what a page’s content is about. Since we do not have much control over a product page here as we do in our blogs, we have to be extra careful about placement and structuring of content on Amazon.
Keyword Research is the core of Amazon SEO. For Amazon, we have 7 areas where we can place our keyword.
- Product Title
- Product Description and Bullets
- Product Picture File Name
- Editorial Review
- Name of author, editor etc
- Amazons own Special Keywords
There is a lot to be written about how to optimize Product Title, Product Description, Price, Image guidelines, what to do and what not to but that’s for another blog. I have taken sometime to layout the basics before I go to my topic because as a seller even before I get to the tips or tricks, I should have a basic understanding of the Amazon Eco-System, Why be on Amazon, Their Revenue Streams, What’s my role as a Seller and my Benefit being a part of it. I hope we have a fair understanding of the same.
Now let’s quickly jump to what my Blog Title talks about!! Phew!!
7 Amazon SEO Tips To Attract And Convert Customers
Finally, the wait is over!! …
Well at least for those who have shown interest in my blog and have had the patience to read till this section. For those who didn’t find it very intriguing, this is truly my first blog and I shall thrive towards making my future blogs more interesting!!
#Tip 1: Long Tail Keyword In Product Name
Long tail keywords help customers identify your products more accurately. When a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy. If your product is appealing (going by the image quality, product description, product title guidelines) you’re sure to make sales.
If you want to get the most out of Amazon’s search engine, focus on long variations of head keywords. For example, instead of targeting “wireless headset”, you can rank highly if you target “afterglow wireless headset ps4” in your title and create useful content around that keyphrase. Listing product features like colour, sizes, Brand Names lead to more conversion thereby leading to more sales. Amazon makes 57% sales from long term keywords.
#Tip 2: Unique Content
One major mistake new Amazon seller make is creating a “me too” product. What that means is they create products that are exactly same as their competitors but doesn’t add any extra value. This is not the way to build a great sellable brand. So, following are the ways you can stand out.
- Find What’s Working– The best way do this is to look at the Best Seller category for a product. Look at the product images and you will quickly see what’s drawing people. Having boring manufacture content isn’t going to help conversions.
- Differentiate yourself from your competitors by providing more product data. Always give the user as much information about your product as you can.
- Avoid huge walls of texts, use easy to understand language, take advantage of formatting techniques like bullet points, bold text etc.
- Check Out What’s Not Working– Look at the reviews for this. You will get an idea of what not to do with your product.
- Aggregate Your Findings- With the above steps you will be able to focus on which problems to tackle first. Ask questions like what will make this product better, what modifications to make etc. Work towards it.
If you don’t think about optimizing your product for Amazon, you don’t have far to go.
#Tip 3: Competitor Analysis
Don’t just focus on the obvious facts stated in front of you. Get real insights on how to beat your competitors. Ask questions like:
- What Keywords are popular
- What Keywords are your competitors ranking for?
- How are the competitors placing their Product Titles
- Reviews- Again Reviews are an important aspect for the sellers. They offer a huge amount of information for your competitor’s product. How many reviews have your competitors got therefore determining where you stand. More Reviews (Good ones definitely!) more the competition. You can use it to your benefit as well. Is there anything that jumps out of the competitor’s review that you can improve upon.
- Who Are The Sellers- Look at who the sellers are. Is Amazon selling the product, if so it’ll be difficult to compete with Amazon? Their scales give them better pricing. You wouldn’t want to mess with The Big Daddy!! See the Other Sellers on the Product Page. That’s your true competition. If there are a lot of Sellers for the same product its best avoided unless you can provide a different feature or advantage over your competitor.
- Pricing- it’s Amazon so competing on price isn’t a good strategy because it would eat into your margins and eventually mean selling the product will not be worth. Look at how you can provide the products that are similarly price yet different.
- Listing Quality- Attack on this point! The quality of the listing, including keywords and descriptions, may be something we can improve as compared to our competitors. Look at weaknesses which you will be able to correct:
- Lack of keyword use
- Very short description
- Weak bullet points
- Missing information
- Low-quality images
- What more can you add
Look for the signs which suggest that this is a product that has demand from buyers and competitors who you can compete well against.
#Tip 4: Accurate Data & Product Imagery
Just like page SEO, Amazon SEO is all about giving as much information as possible helping the users make the right decision. With new risks and pitfalls appearing as technology evolves, it’s no surprise that security is the top of the priority list for consumers.
- Consumers are constantly looking for information before they make purchases-price points, colours etc. Consumers say that best shopping experience is when they have easy access to information about the products. If not the consumer might get frustrated and exit.
- Experience Is King- The moment a consumer is on Amazon looking at your product they are building experiences. Make it worth their time. Guide them the right way.
- People like to zoom on images, therefore, include high quality product images with various angles of it. Keep the background clean. Amazon mostly wants white backgrounds as it helps the search results on Amazon to appear clear, uncluttered and uniform.
- Dimension of the product must be clear. So that users know the exact size of the product. Remember how disappointed you were when you ordered that dress or T-shirt and then swore never to buy from them again. You even told your family and friends never to buy from that site again. That’s what’s going to happen if you don’t pay attention to these details. Keep a reference object beside your product for the image so that the dimensions are more clear.
#Tip 5: Customer Reviews
As already mentioned a couple of times above Reviews provide a forum for sharing feedback about products and services both positive and negative. Customers are increasingly reliant upon online reviews when making purchase decisions. Good Customer reviews lead to more sales.
Amazon knows the importance of its review system. Therefore, it has also warned of legal action on publishing fake reviews. Customers trust that they can shop with confidence on Amazon.
- Reviews provide valuable market intelligence. This freely available information can be used by merchant to make strategic placement decisions and even to create entirely new products and brands to fill in the limitations in the current offerings.
- Smart sellers monitor Amazon reviews. Reviews play an even more important role for third-party merchants. It helps to understand the psychology of the customer and thereby helping in making better business decisions.
- Encourage people to leave feedback by including a review prompt in the parcel or in your emails. Don’t be too pushy and try to offer an incentive like a Coupon Code that allows a cheaper price next time they visit the Amazon site.
- Don’t be afraid of the occasional negative review or seller feedback. It’s not realistic or truthful to have a 100% positive feedback.
#Tip 6: Awesome Customer Service
- Follow up with the customers regarding your product. This also leads to better reviews.
- Question and Answer section is the most underutilized marketing opportunity of an Amazons product listing.
- A unique feature is that the answers to these questions can be submitted by both other customers or by the sellers.
#Tip 7: YouTube Videos
Last but not the least, and the most exciting tip. Showcase your product on YouTube. You have a face talking about the product and people connect more. This helps in brand recall and drives extra traffic to Amazon. Since you have a face to your product the reliability is also more.
Just a good demonstration of the product, its features, how it works, the price, your edge over the competitors gives a good understanding of your product to the customers. After which they can approach your product with more confidence on Amazon.
To end with I would say think of yourself as a customer. What would you like to see when searching for a product, what will catch your attention, what factors will finally compel you to buy. Here I would like to end this blog with the Empty Chair Theory by Jeff Bezos. Jeff is known to keep an empty chair in most of his important meetings. Wonder what the Empty Chair is? It’s the Customer “the most important person in the room”, basically reminding everyone that the end goal is customer satisfaction and loyalty.
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