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SEO

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.

Shopping is supposed to be fun. But for many consumers, the thought of fighting mall traffic and crowds… digging through racks for hours to find the right size… and waiting in line to checkout is preferable to getting a root canal, but it’s a close second.

SEO for Amazon

The Wall Street Journal states a whopping 70% of consumers report a preference for shopping online and Forrester Research states 2014 saw a record $248.7 billion in online sales. Online shopping has seen a steady growth due in part to the popularity of tablets and smartphones, for good reason. Why run to the department store for Johnny’s birthday gift when you can order it from your phone… and have it delivered to your door in two days or less… without ever having to speak to another human being? It seems like a no-brainer.

But if you’re selling your products on Amazon, you could be missing out on hundreds or thousands of sales.

Why?

Because just like your business website, your Amazon products need SEO to be found by the consumers who are looking for them.

SEO isn’t new, but it has changed drastically over the years.

Ten to fifteen years ago, you could do A then B and link to C, and BAM! your website was on the first page of SERPS for the keywords you were targeting.

But then search engines got smart. Google and Yahoo! now have complicated algorithms that can “sense” what the user is actually looking for because getting the right products and services in front of the right consumers is big business for search engines. (Search engines are actually advertisers first, and “free” search tools second. That’s how they make their money.)

Amazon SPAM and SEO

One of the biggest reasons Google and Yahoo! invested the time and money to create such complicated algorithms in the first place is to weed out spam. You know what spam is; it’s crap content disguised as legitimate worthwhile websites that infuriate you when you’re trying to find the good stuff.

It ends up in your email, in pop-up boxes, in redirected websites that say they’ll take you one place but really deliver you to another. It’s the stuff you scrape off your Internet sneakers like hot gum in a parking lot. And guess what? Amazon’s not immune to spam, it’s just disguised as the product you don’t really want.

The Amazon Experience

Amazon Product SEO

Amazon spam is cleverly disguised as the products you want by using words that don’t really relate to the product. Here’s an example:

A Half-Hour of Your Life- Gone Down the Drain

4:00 PM Let’s say you have an iPhone 5s and you need an extra charging cable because your kids’ iPad mini takes the same cord. The little thieves in your house keep stealing your cord when they lose theirs.

You grill them in turn about ‘fessing up to the current location of your cord, but no one snitches. You tell them a story about how in Medieval times, thieves got their hands cut off (while trying to look menacing). But they don’t buy it and just snicker with tightly closed lips.

So you come to terms with the two options available to you: a) sit in the car while your phone charges on the mobile charger, or b) buy a new cord.

4:15 PM While sitting in the nice quiet car for an hour, alone, actually sounds pretty tempting, you have stuff to do, and it’s cold in Ohio in February. So you pull up Amazon to order a cord. Go ahead, open a new tab and bring up Amazon’s page. Type in “iPhone lightning cable” and see what you get.

4:18 PM I got 20 pages of listings, not to mention the “sponsored” listings W A Y over there on the right. Did you get about the same thing?

4:19 PM The first thing I notice is some products are listed as “certified” which is confusing to me. None of the sellers listed are Apple, and I know Apple isn’t going to “certify” someone else to make “official” iPhone charging cables. That’s silly. Apple wants you to buy from them, not some other company. So I’m tempted to click through and see what exactly they mean by “certified”. But then my squirrelly too-much-coffee brain notices something else….

4:22 PM Some of these are different colors. If I got a NEON PINK cord, the child thieves would be foiled. Bwahaha! Mom wins!

4:25 PM Oooo, and look! Some of these are really, really long. Wouldn’t that be nice?I don’t know. It could get stuck on my chair wheels or the cat could use it as a chew toy….

4:28 PM But one of these is like eight inches!? What in the world would you use that for?

4:30 PM But do I really need a super long cord? A flat cord? Is my phone an 8-pin? What the heck is an 8-pin? Is there more than one type of lightning cable? OH, THE HUMANITY! TOO MANY DECISIONS! I JUST WANT A CHARGING CORD!

4:35 PM I pull up the Apple website and fork out the extra cash for a truly certified OEM, straight from the factory, iPhone cord guaranteed to fit my phone and charge it without setting fire to my house or blowing up my phone. I pay $20 more than the supposedly “certified” cords on Amazon, but at least I know what I’m getting and I didn’t have to wade through the hundreds of products to find it. The time I saved is worth my $20 bucks. And YOU, the Amazon marketplace seller who has a boat-load of iPhone lightning cords in the warehouse for only $10, just lost another sale.

Can you relate? Maybe you’ve been overwhelmed by too many choices on Amazon, or just didn’t have the time to sort through all the wordiness.

Maybe at one point you just decided while shopping online is great for some things, other things are just better bought at a brick-and-mortar store- where you can walk in and know exactly what you’re getting, right?

Your Amazon Listing on SEO Steroids

Amazon Product SEO

Well, if your Amazon product listings are using current SEO practices, consumers won’t experience any confusion over exactly what they’re getting. Using SEO for your Amazon product, when a consumer searches for a 50″ LED 3D plasma TV with TWO USB ports, they’ll get YOUR product returned as the top search result because that’s what you’re selling, just as nature (and Amazon) intended.

As an SEO and SEM savvy shopper, I know that the “sponsored listings” on the right side of the screen are probably my best bet to the fastest route yielding what I’m looking for, because those sellers PAID to have their ads displayed when someone typed in “iPhone lightning cable”.  I also know I can use the search tools on the left to narrow my search and weed out some of the spammy results.

But if my husband is shopping online for something, he’s going to give it about 8.5 seconds of scanning the first page before he gives up and heads to the store.

He doesn’t click.

He doesn’t narrow.

He doesn’t analyze.

Because HE’S THE CONSUMER, and he believes it’s NOT HIS JOB. It’s yours, as the person who is trying to part him from his hard-earned cash. And he’s not alone.

Lots of consumers shop online in a similar manner, and you’re losing their business for lack of a basic understanding of SEO and the effort needed to actually advertise your product to attract the consumers who want to buy it.

You don’t have the time to learn SEO practices and market your product? Then call us here at REV Media Marketing and hire someone to do it for you (the number’s at the bottom of this page). But don’t leave the hard work up to the consumer. End the SPAM INSANITY and SEO your product listings!

You don’t go to a restaurant and cook your own food, wash your own dishes, and still pay full price for a meal. Why would you expect an online shopper to do the equivalent? Proper product SEO is part of the online shopping experience consumers deserve and expect.

Next week, we’ll talk about how to DIY your own Amazon product pages for current SEO practices. Amazon SEO is how we combat Amazon spam, and get your product in the hands of the people who want to buy it. If you’re the DIY type, be sure to check back in or subscribe to our posts (up there, to the right, you put in your email addy and hit “SUBSCRIBE”).

If you’re not a DIY’er, give us a call instead, 513-334-0605 or drop us an email at: info@revmediamarketing.com.