In my last blog I talked about the top Amazon ranking factors and how influential they are in determining both search ranking and conversion rate. Today I’m going to go through the process that I’ve developed and tweaked for optimising Amazon product listings.
On-Page Amazon SEO
- Keyword Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
1 – Keyword Analysis
As a digital marketer you should have a pretty good idea of the keywords that are successful for your products. Use data from:
- Google Analytics (or your analytics platform)
- Adwords (remember to use google shopping dimensions>search queries)
- Webmaster tools (get organic keywords that don’t show up in GA)
- Amazon PPC data –Amazon Sponsored Products are an amazing way of getting ideas for keywords
Tip: Utilise Amazon autocomplete
Do an exploration of the Amazon searches that relate to your products by typing in the start of queries and see what comes up as autocomplete. These are likely to be high traffic, high performing keywords.
2 – Competitive Analysis
Now that you’ve got an idea of the keywords you want to optimise for it’s time to start prioritising them. To assess the value we need to understand how competitive the terms are.
Looking at the search results for the potential keywords can give you some idea of how competitive they are. Are the products recognised best sellers? Are the listings well written with an obvious attempt at optimising for relevant keywords? There are rank tracking tools that can actually give you sales estimates of products that you’re tracking. By adding a large amount of items to their basket they can actually tell how many products are in stock each day and therefore calculate daily sales.
AMZTracker has a listing analysis that will assess the quality of your product page for a given ASIN. It quickly checks things like the number of bullet points, images and characters in description. You can also give it a list of keywords and it will tell you whether or not they appear in title, description or features. This gives you a pretty good idea of what keywords (if any) your competitors are targeting.
You can also use keyword data from tools like Google Keyword Planner for search volume, CPC, etc. to help prioritise your keyword list. Even though the data doesn’t relate specifically to Amazon, it’s a reasonable proxy for competitiveness and value of the keywords.
Stand out from the crowd, but not too much
At this stage you can also start to think about how your product will fit in. You want it to stand out from the crowd in a way to get clicks and ultimately sales but there’s no use having your product show on a page of products that are extremely different to yours or a page that is a full of lots of different products from different areas.
In a case like this the user is very likely to refine their search in order to get a result that allows them to compare similar products. This can often happen if the search query is very broad or has more than one meaning.
This results page features such a wide range of product uses (for fabric, walls, and glass) that people are likely to refine their search to a more specific term rather than spend a long time trawling through the results for the right items.
Tip: Utilise Amazon advertising data
Amazon sponsored products data is incredibly useful for judging the value of keywords. You can now get data on impressions, clicks and conversions for your keywords on Amazon sponsored products!
3 – Strategy
When I first started optimising for Amazon SEO I added a keyword phrase to one of our top selling products. Overnight it jumped from complete obscurity to the front page. This was a massive ‘aha moment’ for me because it showed just how much you can influence the ranking of products (especially if they have a good history). I also realised just how important the content of the listing is as a business decision. It’s as simple and as important as this: the keywords you choose to optimise for on Amazon will decide the market in which you are selling.
A simplified example:
If your brick sealer product is optimised for the term penetrating damp protection then you are competing against other listings that contain the same term. If your product is optimised for brick sealer then you’re in the same marketplace as the other products that heavily feature the term brick sealer. It’s up to you to assess the search volume and the competition for the keywords and phrases (or experiment to find out!) and decide which of these is better for your business.
Sometimes it’s better to concentrate on a niche with a higher conversion rate and lower search volume; other times it’s more profitable to accept a lower conversion rate in a more competitive environment with higher search volume.
Note: the biggest opportunities for improvement are with products that have a high number of conversions and high revenue because these carry more weight with Amazon. You have more freedom to get those products to show for the keywords that you want.
Tip: Tailor your titles to the Amazon marketplace
Don’t expect the same titles that you use on your store to work on Amazon. Remove things that only make sense in the context of the rest of your products and think about how the market or the customers might vary between the audience on your site & the Amazon audience.
4 – Measurement
Time to get organised and data-driven. You’ve prioritised your keywords and come up with a strategy for where you want your products to show, but how are you going to judge the effectiveness of your changes? How are you going to test your hypotheses about how valuable different keywords are? You also want a measurement process in place for ongoing testing and optimisation of your listings. Here are some of the options for tracking your rankings:
- AMZ Tracker – User friendly interface and some great tools over and above the standard rank tracking.
- AMZ Shark – Easier to set up but lacks some features of AMZ Tracker. I didn’t find it as user friendly as AMZ Tracker.
- Use Excel – This is a free but laborious way to do things. Possibly a good option if you have only a few products.
My tool of choice is AMZ Tracker. It’s fairly easy to get set up, although can take a while to add a lot of ASINS & keywords. You can group products really nicely via tagging and you have an range of other amazing tools such as the product page analyser, product spy, super URLs. Both AMZ Shark and AMZ have free trials so check them out and see which you prefer.
Tip: Get baseline data for later comparison
Be sure to set up tracking before you make any changes to your inventory in order to track the effect of your initial changes and have something to measure against going forward.
5 – Experimentation
No matter how much research and planning you put into your Amazon SEO you still need to carry out systematic testing in order to know the effect of changes for certain. The beauty of Amazon is that the effect of changes in your listings becomes apparent very quickly, usually in a matter of hours. This is great for fairly well controlled experiments as you can change something and then check the results almost immediately.
I can’t stress enough the importance of having a tracking protocol in place to record the changes you make, assess the results via your chosen tracking method and use those results to inform further, more insightful analysis and valuable action. Also don’t forget the overall goal here: conversions and revenue! It’s all too easy to get caught up in looking at changes in search rank and lose sight of this.
- Create a list of potential keywords using:
- Webmaster tools
- Amazon sponsored products
- Amazon autocomplete
- Assess the value of the keywords using:
- All of the above
- Google Adwords keyword planner (or similar)
- AMZ Tracker page analyser tool
- AMZ Tracker or AMZ Shark product spy tool
- Create a strategy based on all the data. Weigh up competitiveness, conversion rate and search traffic.
- Implement a tracking process.
- Test hypotheses
- Use insight to inform new research
- Test some more
- Continual monitoring & optimisation