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

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.

Inbound Marketing

Do commercials in the middle of your favorite TV show annoy you?

They do me. They interrupt the story of the show. And most of the time, they tell me about products I’ve got no interest in.

Bleugh…

TV commercials remind me of the kid at school who got all the attention by misbehaving. He’d dance on the tables while we waited for the teacher to arrive. Everyone would laugh. Then, the teacher came in, and he got caught and sent to the principal’s office. That was even funnier.

He wanted people to notice him, and that happened. But ultimately, his approach was bad news for him. He wanted to make a joke. Instead, he became the joke.

Do brands who advertise on TV know that this is how we see them?

“Look at me!” the commercials scream. “Please notice me!”

David Meerman Scott is a guy with a brain for marketing. He says that companies like this “buy, beg, or bug their way in”.

When a person – or a brand – seems desperate to be noticed, what happens? One of two things:

  1. They get ignored.
  2. They attract all the wrong people.

Do you really want this to be you?

Thankfully, with the rise of the internet, there’s another way.

This is where inbound marketing enters the scene.

Hello, Inbound Marketing!

What is inbound marketing? Let’s turn to Wikipedia for a helping hand:

Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention.

Sounds good, right? Instead of you SHOUTING about your brand, people come to you. Inbound Marketing is all about attracting customers to your business.

One question: How do you make that happen?

Wikipedia again:

Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.

Did you get the key concept there? Interesting Content!

What is interesting content? It’s content that’s published in the right place, and at the right time. On top of that, it’s helpful to your audience.

Make your content sparkle, and you’re an inbound marketer. The folks over at HubSpot call it “marketing people love.” They’re about right there.

You’ve got a choice.

Will you be the naughty kid? Or will you draw people in with your good attitude, your style, and your willingness to share?

Which type of marketer will you be?

Facebook Networking

We all know that LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. It’s the place to be if you want to connect with like-minded professionals looking to get ahead in their careers.

Yet increasingly, business related groups are appearing on Facebook – and people are putting them to good use. These days, I’m finding that a lot of my business networking happens on Facebook. I’ve used Facebook to connect with my peers around the world, and to discover potential clients.

We’d still recommend LinkedIn as the top business networking tool (and Twitter is especially powerful if you need to make connections fast). But Facebook has a lot going for it, and it’s certainly something you should consider.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Facebook networking. Once we’ve done that, we’ll take a look at how you can use Facebook to connect with other professionals in your field.

Why Facebook Makes a GREAT Business Networking Tool

Most of us use Facebook as a personal tool, to stay in touch with friends and family. But that doesn’t mean we should automatically write it off as a business networking tool.

In fact, Facebook makes a GREAT business networking tool, for several reasons.

You already spend time on Facebook. American Facebook users spend an average of 40 minutes per day on the network. That’s close to ten times as much time as the average American spends exercising every day. And it’s more than we spend on any other social network.

As you’re already spending so much time on Facebook, why not use it to help achieve your business or career goals?

Facebook is built on trust. Why did Facebook succeed where other social networks failed? One reason is that they placed (and still place) a high premium on trust. You can only use your real name on Facebook. And to begin with, Facebook only let users sign up with a college email address. Every user was verified.

Also, think about what you share on Facebook. Chances are, you reveal more of yourself on Facebook compared to other social networks.

All this has created a social network with a culture of trust. And trust is a fantastic foundation for business networking.

More people use Facebook. Facebook has close to 1.5 billion active users. That compares to LinkedIn’s user count of 300 million. More people mean more opportunities for networking.

Facebook business groups are often private. This also helps to create an environment of trust, because you need an invite to join a group.

Those are the advantages of Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that everything is rosy. Here are a few of the downsides of using Facebook as a business networking tool.

Work-life balance. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital if you’re to perform at your best. We all need time to rest and recuperate. Having clear dividing lines between work and leisure can help you maintain this balance. Using Facebook as a networking tool can disturb this balance – because you’ll receive notifications on business groups even when you’re home for the weekend, or on vacation.

A work-time distraction. Using Facebook as part of your work may sound like fun, but unless you’re careful with how you use it, you’ll find that hours can disappear down the Facebook black hole.

Facebook business groups are often private. We previously listed this as an advantage, which it is. But it’s also a disadvantage, because it means good business groups can be hard to find.

Now you know the pros and cons of Facebook networking, how can you get started?

How to Network with Business Professionals on Facebook

When it comes to networking on Facebook, you’ve got a couple of options:

  1. Networking using your Facebook page. This is ideal for getting the attention of influencers. We cover it in depth here.
  2. Networking using Facebook groups. I’ve found this is the best way to connect with other professionals and uncover opportunities. This is what we’ll look at in this article.

Where can you find these groups to network in?

Facebook search. Using Facebook’s search tool, you can find public and open groups. It’s the perfect way to dip your toes in the water of Facebook networking.

How can you find groups? Search for “business networking”, and Facebook will direct you straight to the top business networking group. That’s good for getting started, but what if you want to find more?

Type this into the search bar:

Find all groups named “business networking”

Then, you’ll get a list of hundreds of business networking groups – some general, some specific to a country or city, and some industry-specific. You’ll even see groups where your friends are already members.

When you’re looking for groups to join, check them out before you sign up. Look for active groups where members share useful information and advice.

Subscribe to email lists of business professionals you like. I’ve found this to be the most fruitful way of discovering hidden gems. Increasingly, small business owners and bloggers are offering access to a mastermind Facebook group if you join their email list. Some are great, some less so. It’s worth checking out as many as you can to find the gems.

Ask your friends and business contacts. The people you already know in business can help you find great Facebook groups. Ask around to see if any of your business contacts are part of a private Facebook group. Knowing someone in a group can be a way of getting yourself invited to the group.

Over to You

Do you use Facebook for networking? What do you like about Facebook as a networking tool? What have you found is the best way for uncovering Facebook groups?