The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

All

Finding the “secret sauce” for social media popularity is this century’s Holy Grail. Everyone wants it, few find it. But perhaps we’re looking at it the wrong way. Instead of looking for some cookie cutter formula we can mass replicate, maybe we should be looking at the psychology of what people actually do online. What really gets shared online, and why?

social media

Why Do We Use the Internet?

Using the Internet is a far different experience than it was in 1993. Back then, the Internet was vastly a place to get limited information. Now, you can do just about anything online, it’s like Vegas for media junkies. What happens here, stays here… forever.

There are basically two main reasons for going online: information and entertainment. You might pull up a webpage to find the store hours of your local home improvement store, or get a phone number for the nearest pharmacy. You may be researching the latest diet craze or that new medication your doctor prescribed.

The Internet helps you solve problems:

  • I need a good pair of running shoes.
  • How do I get my puppy to stop barking?
  • My computer is making a whirring noise.
  • Who’s running for president in 2016?
  • When is the next Game of Thrones episode airing?

These are problems that require information-based solutions. The Internet is a limitless resource for quickly garnering basic information about a problem. The best solutions to the biggest problems get shared the most online.

But the Internet isn’t just a tool for solving problems.

Enter the cats. Nearly every nook and cranny of the Internet is filled with cats, dogs, babies, people doing stupid yet funny stuff (-but mostly cats. Why? They got there first and claimed the best spots. It’s what cats do.).

And this (arguably) meaningless stuff gets shared like crazy. LOL CatZ do not solve any problems. They don’t tell you how to fix a stuck microwave carousel or why your right ribcage hurts after you eat a cheeseburger and milkshake from McDonald’s after the age of 40. But they do entertain us- and that’s where the magic happens.

You see, we’re media addicts. We carry around smart phones and tablets that are connected 24/7. We check our screens in the middle of the night and while we use the bathroom. We can’t eat a meal without a screen of some type glowing in our faces. The entertainment stream coming from our devices soothes our frazzled emotions and feeds our busy minds. The more we get, they more we want. So when something catches our attention, we share it with others, because we know they too are looking for a good entertainment fix.

Meeting the Need

Which of these two needs does your social media meet? Do you provide stellar information or star-quality entertainment? What gets shared online informs or entertains, or in the rare case, does both. And it does it well. If you want your media to be shared, you don’t need a secret formula, you just need to feed the beast.

Creating Shareable Media

Creating popular media isn’t rocket science.

Let’s face it, the strangest things tickle our fancies.

We like cute and funny things that distract us from our lives.

We have similar struggles and fears.

We have the same needs.

But not all great media goes viral. Why?

It doesn’t get seen by enough people and it’s “shareable hot streak” cools off when the next BIG THING comes along and replaces it. Its moment in the sun isn’t enough to microwave a leftover burrito.

Getting Seen Online

A few really phenomenal things go viral organically, like Charlie and his choppers:

But if you can’t get your kids to do something spontaneously adorable, and then find some way to monetize it, you’re going to need to promote your media.

Promoting your media is a lot like coordinating a well-planned military maneuver. You need to strike the masses with your information or entertainment and generate enough heat to not only nuke that burrito, but burn it to a nice golden brown. If you gain enough momentum, your media will snowball into a shareable tidbit that generates lots and lots of buzz and traffic, which translates into revenue for you if you’ve set up your website properly in advance.

So what are you sharing today? What’s caught your eye and prompted you to give it that highly coveted click?

Welcome to the final installment in our How-to discussion on SEO for Amazon Products. You can find the first two posts here, and here in case you missed them.

Last Saturday we ended up with a list or spreadsheet of keywords with high search volumes that are related to our Amazon product. But what the heck do I do with these phrases now? We analyze the data and put those phrases to work in our product listings.

Analyze Keywrods

Keyword Analysis

If you’re not the analytical type and just want to grab a few keywords as quickly as possible you can wing it. If you’ve only saved a few terms and are in a hurry, just click on the magnifying glass on the right and look through your keywords.(Google automatically saves your last plan, so you can come back to it or start over at any time.) Pick five or so and go with those. If they’re on the list and are relevant to your product, you’re good to go. Even the most rudimentary researched phrases are better than the ones you pull out of thin air.

If you want to use the power of Google’s tools to make a scientifically-backed selection of keyword phrases, you’ll need a few more minutes of analysis. Ideally, you’d want the highest search volume terms with the lowest “competition”. You can get this information from the spreadsheet if you download it. Click on the right on the little downward facing arrow and save the spreadsheet to your desktop.

Low competition keyword phrases are not being targeted by others in a PPC or AdWords campaign, and are less likely to be in use by your competitors.

Relevance to your product is the first and weightiest factor in determining your keyword phrases, search volume is next, then competition.

Other Tools

The Search Bar You can also pick one or two high search volume keywords that are relevant to your product, enter each one into Amazon’s product search and analyze what keywords the top results are using. Pick the ones you think are relevant to your product and include those in your title.

Google Instant & Google Trends You can also use Google Instant and Google Trends to find high volume keywords. If you have Google Instant turned on in your account settings, Google “predicts” what you’re typing, as you type it. Pay attention to what pops up in the instant search choices. These are usually the most used terms based on the one or two words you’ve already entered.

Google Trends shows you what’s hot in search terms right now. Just try out a few searches and see what you can find related to your product

WHY it Matters

Why go through all this trouble?

Because you, as the seller, do not think like you, the consumer. Let’s take a look.

For our iPhone cord example, our keywords that have the highest search volumes are:

  • iPhone lightning
  • lightning to USB
  • lightning USB
  • iPhone charger cable
  • apple iPhone charger
  • iPhone 5S cord
  • iPhone lightning cable

As a seller, I would describe my product as an “iPhone lightning charging cable” but there isn’t a high search volume for that keyword phrase. You see, it matters if you call it a charging cable, but consumers search for a charger cable, or even a cord. In our minds, these things are all the same, but Amazon’s search engine isn’t as intuitive as Google’s and it may not display the same results based on the wording used in the title or description. That’s why you see some product titles that are R E A L L Y long.

If you want to get your product in front of consumers who want to buy your product, you have to know how the majority of shoppers are searching for that product. Being “close” might get you on the tenth or twentieth page of results. Do you really want a buyer to see twenty pages of similar products sold by other sellers BEFORE they get to your product? Will they even make it to that twentieth page before they purchase an item?

Pick Your Poison

Once you’re armed with keyword phrases, pick out a few with high search volumes and use those in your product title. This will put your product in front of shoppers when they use those same words to search for a product.

You can also use a few in your product description, but don’t overdo it. ALWAYS, write for the shopper (people) first, and the search engines (computers) second. If your title and description reads like a list of ingredients or keyword stuffed nonsense, you’re going to discourage shoppers from making a purchase. You’ll be giving your product a cheap, spammy image and the shopper will buy from someone else.

What Not to Include in Your Amazon Product Listing

Pay Here

Amazon limits how many characters you can use in your product title and description, so we have to be a little bit picky about which words we choose. Our results from last week included title details like “8 Pin”. And while 8 pin is the technical description for the lightning cable, most consumers don’t know that. The lightning cable has eight tiny “pins” or connectors embedded in the hub of the cord, but have you ever taken the time to count them? An IT guy might call it an 8-pin cable, but do you want to limit your sales to IT guys?

In my case, the “8 Pin” description actually caused me to hesitate and be unsure if this product was actually what I was searching for- was it compatible with my phone? Confusing your customers doesn’t help close the sale. Save the technical details for the product description unless they are used by a the majority of consumers. Limit your product title to high-volume, relevant keyword phrases and unique features of the product (if you have room).

In the case of an iPhone lightning cable, buyers usually want to know length, color, and connection. Does it have a USB end? Does it plug into the wall, computer, or car? Is it pink so my boys won’t want to steal it (hehe!)? Is it at least four feet long to reach the corner of my desk where I keep my phone? This is where knowing your customer’s needs comes in handy.

Looking at the Big Picture

SEO isn’t going to miraculously create hundreds or thousands of sales for you on Amazon. The fact is, SEO is only going to get your product in front of shoppers. It won’t help you get people to put your product in their virtual shopping carts. You have to employ SEM and traditional marketing principals AND have a product people need or want. I can be selling the best darn lint balls on the planet, but if people don’t know they need or want them, they’re not going to buy. Good marketing is selling that same darn good lint ball as a firestarter for boy scouts, hikers, survivalists, and campers. Good SEM is advertising my lint balls on websites and forums were these people hang out, where they go to get advice about camping or share a bear-in-the-woods story. It’s running a PPC campaign targeting words like survival gear, emergency firestarters, and guaranteed fire starter.

It’s not enough to have an in-demand product in the world of online shopping. There are too many choices online. The chance of a shopper stumbling upon your product while browsing are slim to none. Don’t get lost in the search box shuffle. Use SEO and marketing to boost your Amazon sales.

 

 

Hey! Did you know the folks at REV Media Marketing do this stuff professionally? They’re web-savvy and up to date on marketing tactics that really work. Hire a pro if you feel like you’re like you’re in over your head with selling your products on Amazon. You won’t be disappointed. Call 513-334-0605 or drop an email at: info@revmediamarketing.com.

 

Welcome back to SEO Saturday and Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate.

Last week, we talked about why you lose sales on Amazon with a haphazard product listing. Today, we’ll cover how to remedy that problem. The solution is SEO for Amazon.

Your Amazon products need SEO.

Amazon is a search engine universe all its own and isn’t affected by Google’s algorithmic changes. But we can use research tools designed for traditional SEO to help us with our Amazon listings. Let’s use our example from last week of the iPhone lightning cable product.

The First Step: Know Your Customers

marketing to your customer

The first step in selling any product or service is to know your customer base. What are they looking for? What are their needs? What need does your product meet in their lives? What words do they use when describing or searching for your product?

These are crucial questions to ask.

Why?

Let’s say you are an artist. But you’re not just any artist. You’re an expert at identifying colors and you produce stunning paintings custom made to match a customer’s home decor.

 

When you list your latest artwork on Amazon, you’re likely to name it,

“Sunset hues of deep magenta and gradient crimson

featuring male mallards in flight.”

While that’s a terrifically accurate description, it’s a flop if everyone is searching for “red painting with ducks.”

Both phrases relate to the same product, but knowing which one is being used is critical. In theory, it’s a wonderful name.

In practice, it doesn’t produce sales. So it becomes a case of, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to sell paintings?”

Alright, how do you find out what words people are using to look for products similar to yours? You do some SEO research.

Tools for SEO Keyword Research

First, we’ll use an analyitical tool designed to help people select keywords to use in a paid Google advertisement, known as a Pay-Per-Click ad (you pay Google) or AdWords campaign (Google pays you).

Go here: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner, and sign in with your Google account (or create one if you’re still partying like it’s 1999). Once you sign in, you’ll get a screen like this:

 

Screenshot 1

You’re going to click the first option, “search for new keywords”.

Finding High-Volume Keywords to Use for Amazon Products

 

Next, we’re going to enter the most basic information about our product.

You’ll end up with a box that looks something like this:

 

Screenshot 2

 

And now the magic happens. Click, “Get Ideas” when you’re done entering your phrases describing your product.

There are lots of extra qualifiers available in this tool, but they don’t really apply to what we’re doing today, so you can ignore them.

 

Analyzing Search Volume Product Keywords

 

Your next screen will look like the one below. And since we’re not actually planning a PPC or AdWords campaign, we’re going to click the tab that says, “Keyword Ideas”.

SCreenshot 3

 

We’re going to ignore that fancy bar graph at the top and scroll down to the actual results. The first box shows results of the phrases you entered, and the next box shows phrases generated by Google based on actual search trends.

Step One: First, click on the, “Avg. monthly searches” to sort the results according to search volume. Search volume is the number of times that keyword phrase was entered into Google in a calendar month. This is what we’re interested in since we need to know what words people are using to search for products like ours. Clicking once on the heading sorts the results so we see the highest search volumes first.

You can ignore the rest of the data in the table since we’re doing research for Amazon product listings right now.

Step Two: In the first box, if the keyword has a decent search volume, go ahead and click the “Add to plan” >>. If there is no number and only a “-” in the search volume space, no one is using this term and there were less than 10 searches in a month.

The second box is where you’re going to have to do a little work. You’ll need to scroll through these results and decide which ones are RELEVANT to your product. If there’s a high search volume for, “iPhone 6+” but you’re selling a CHARGING CABLE for an iPhone 6+, you can ignore that keyword. Choose keywords that describe what you’re selling. When you find a keyword that describes your product, “add it to the plan”.

This process can take minutes, hours, or days. Try not to get too caught up in searching for keywords, since we’re only going to be using 5-10 relevant keyword phrases with decent search volumes right now. One you get 10-50 keywords selected, we’re ready to pick our keywords.

You’ve now got a list of the most searched for terms related to your product. This list isn’t specific to Amazon, but it’s specific to Google, so it isn’t too big of a stretch to believe Amazon users are entering the same terms.

Next week, we’ll learn how to analyze the keywords we’ve gathered and put them to use in our Amazon product listings. Check back in with the Social Caffeine Team next Saturday for the third and final installment in this How-to on SEO for Amazon Products.