Thursday, July 16, 2015

SEO for Amazon: A Few Simple Tips

Yesterday was Prime Day,'s celebration of its 20-year anniversary. The shopping "holiday" was heavily promoted as "Black Friday in July," and, at least on Twitter, heavily panned as an egregious disappointment.

We took a spin around this site yesterday morning, and we had to agree with much of the commentary: the navigation was incredibly confusing, the "deals" were nothing to write home about, and the exclusions were plenty--basically everything you'd actually want to buy.

In fact, the best thing about #PrimeDay, were the tweets.

Despite the total fail of Prime Day, however, there is no doubting's supremacy. As Market Watch noted in anticipation of Prime Day:

"Amazon’s stock has surged 50% year to date, making it the fourth-best performer among S&P 500 components this year. The company’s market value has increased by $72.25 billion this year to $216.8 billion. That is higher than the value of 22 of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which Amazon isn't a member."

That's a whole lot of money, of course, yet many people don't realize precisely how much of Amazon's business is generated by third party sellers.

As Amazon itself says:

"Since 2000, Selling on Amazon has been helping individuals and businesses increase sales and reach new customers. Today, more than 40% of Amazon's total unit sales come from third-party selection."

If you're a small business, we hope this is not news to you. After all, it would be foolish to ignore a marketplace with this sort of sales potential. The key, of course, is not to simply sell on Amazon, but to sell well on Amazon. To do that, you need to rank well in Amazon's search results. I think you can see where we're going here...

Yes, you can perform SEO for your Amazon products--in fact, you must, if you want to share in the success.

Here are a few tips. (Hint: use keywords, a lot of them!)

Use Precise and Abundant Keywords for Your Product Title

When you sell on, you must create a Product Detail Page. As Amazon notes:

"Detail pages become a permanent part of the Amazon catalog, and you - along with other sellers - can create listings for these products on Customers can find the pages and listings you create through search and browse, and add them to their Amazon shopping cart or Wish Lists."

To attract these browsers, of course, you want to detail your page with the most explicit information possible.

Your "Product Title" is, of course, the most important detail. Thankfully, you have a 500 character limit to describe your product in detail with juicy keywords.

500 characters might seem like a lot, and stuffing a title with keywords is antithetical to today's SEO practices, but as Search Engine Journal notes:

"Here is the key to ranking on Amazon. You only need your keyword to appear once. If you can get that keyword into the title, you do not have to worry about including it anywhere else. With 500 characters, you can pretty much include every possible keyword in the title."

Write Clear Bullet Points and a Descriptive Product Description

Bullet points appear under the title and can be as simple or complex as you prefer. Just remember, here too, you have the opportunity to add keywords that might help your product rank better on Amazon

Simple Bullet Points for Vans Authentic Sneakers: Canvas, Rubber sole, Metal eyelets--all viable keywords. If you prefer, you can be more descriptive.

The "Product Description" is important for both SEO and conversion. By writing a precise product description, you give Amazon more to work with--ditto the search engines, like Google, who might use text from the product description to rank your product.

By telling the story of your product here, however, you also give potential customers who happened to have reached your page (presumably because of your keyword-rich product title), an inducement to buy--what we call conversion.

The product description here tells a intriguing story: 
"Vans' storied history, and our connection with skate and surf culture, began in 1966 Southern California with the rolling out of a single pair of shoes."

Get Product Reviews from Your Current Customers 

Reviews are important for both SEO and conversion. First, a review, by nature, is the exact sort of unique content that an SEO specialist loves. The more reviews you have, the more your product will be revealed in search results by both Amazon and Google. Second, the more reviews the more trusted your product will be with consumers. So once you've attracted a potential customer, the reviews will help convert that customer.

To get reviews, ask your customers! You might do what many Amazon sellers do: send an automated email to those who have recently purchased your product. And, of course, if you have a list of loyal or repeat customers, reach out to them for reviews.

Just remember, don't write bogus reviews for your own product. This is unethical and rarely effective.

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