Charlie Merrells, Chief Strategy Officer at Amazon agency Molzi, weighs up the pros and cons of Amazon and Google SEO and discusses how to “beat” Amazon SEO when the e-commerce space is more competitive than ever.
Traditionally, the first step for any online retailer has been to prioritise Google SEO. But in an ever-evolving digital retail space, it is not always tradition which brands must follow to generate the most income. Since two-thirds of consumers begin their online product search on Amazon, and 90 percent check for their desired product on the ecommerce website even if it can be found elsewhere, the value of focusing on Amazon SEO is undeniable.
With Covid-19 creating even more potential for online sales, as consumers are driven off the high street onto online retail sites, it is more important than ever that product retailers formulate the right SEO strategy.
When determining the Amazon/Google mix, brands should carefully consider the aims of the their ecommerce strategy as their functions are distinctly different. Google Shopping examines the entire internet, whilst Amazon, an ecommerce platform, searches only for products and its algorithm pushes brands to achieve hard sales rather than clicks which may fail to translate into sales figures. As a result, it is unsurprising that their SEO algorithms have different prioritisations.
Whilst Google’s algorithm promotes sites with overall strong and relevant content to generate clicks, Amazon’s prioritises sales performance history. The Amazon algorithm tailors to the needs of brands driven by product sales, and when harnessed correctly, it can become an effective tool for success.
The aim for any brand delving into the realm of Amazon retail is to form a symbiotic relationship with Amazon. Simply listing products will not mean they will sell.
Product sales are exchanged for better page ranking which in turn generates more sales in an ongoing cycle. This pattern benefits both the seller and Amazon, each profiting from the sales, and creates an excellent customer experience by promoting the best products on the first few pages of search results.
Achieving a ranking on the first page is critical, since 70 percent of Amazon shoppers never scroll past the first page, and the first three products gain 64 percent of overall clicks.
But how does an aspiring seller ‘beat’ the algorithm to achieve this mutually beneficial relationship?
Amazon wants to provide consumers with the products they are looking to buy, and so the key is to have a deep understanding of how to optimise products for maximum relevancy and sales.
Keywords must be informative and concise, since most consumers find products using the search box rather than through advertisements on other platforms. Products must be retail-ready, with high quality images and available stock. Reviews, price and delivery proposition are also important ranking factors.
Reviews can make or break a product. 90 percent of Amazon customers look at reviews to inform their purchase decisions, and 22 percent of these decisions are directly linked to the number of reviews. Excellent ratings not only create consumer trust, generating sales, but also translate into trust from Amazon, both of which catalyse a consequent boost in ranking from the SEO algorithm.
Additionally, enrolling in Amazon’s Brand Registry can unlock useful tools for retailers, allowing them to detect counterfeit products with similar images, create an Amazon store page on which all their products may be displayed and promote products using sponsored brand advertisements.
Whilst implementing these tactics will help turn Amazon SEO in the favour of the seller, the algorithm is an enigma which many struggle to comprehend, and as Amazon tweaks and improves it, our understanding must constantly be re-evaluated to maintain successful product optimisation. This is one area where investing in Amazon agency specialists and software can bring significant advantage.
In a rapidly shifting environment in which product ranking can change with one bad review or a small adjustment of the SEO algorithm, it is essential to remain on top of SEO trends and product performance. This can be done by tracking sales data, utilising software to highlight a drop in product ranking, and adjusting product optimisation as a result.
With the right tools to master the intricacies of the Amazon SEO algorithm, many product retailers can thrive. So, before online retailers concentrate all their efforts on Google SEO in the future, I ask them this: have you considered Amazon?
By Charlie Merrells
Chief Strategy Officer