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An Advanced SEO Guide to Top Rankings on Amazon

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Amazon optimization is more than just listing optimization.

Listing and sales optimization on Amazon isn’t always intuitive, especially if you come from a Google SEO background.

While both Amazon and Google are primarily powered through search, what they value for organic ranking is strikingly different.

Amazon’s organic search algorithm is made up of several factors that, like Google, can take some time to understand. Amazon tells us what it values in search:

“Customers should able to find your products before they can buy them, and searching is the primary way they can do that.

Customers search by entering keywords and Amazon matches this against the information (title, description, delivery speed, and so on) that you provide for a product.

Factors such as degree of text match, price, availability, selection, and sales history help determine where your product appears in a customer’s search results.

By providing relevant and complete information for your product, you can increase your product’s visibility and sales.”

Overall, on Amazon, sales beget sales.

Amazon will prioritize listings that it feels has the best chance of converting to a purchase.

While that sounds simple, there are a broad array of factors that influence how the algorithm ranks your product.

Optimizing a listing on Amazon is more than just making it “look pretty.”

Here are some of the considerations you should have as you craft your listings for Amazon.

  • Targeted, buyer-oriented keywords.
  • Maximizing the number of highly relevant keywords you are indexed for.
  • Ensuring your listing is “retail-ready” by focusing on elements that ensure conversion.
  • Jumpstarting sales and conversions for your listing.

1. Targeted, Buyer-Oriented Keywords

When my team and I are reviewing listings for clients, we generally see one of a few common mistakes when it comes to the keywords they use as the foundation for their listing.

Not Being Diligent in Their Keyword Research

Many listings stop with a list of 5-10 keywords they are targeting. This generally is based around the title for product, brand, color, flavor, size, and use types.

When we do keyword research to rewrite listings for clients, we take a much more intense look sometimes harvesting thousands of words.

We then prioritize it based on:

  • The product.
  • Keyword frequency.
  • Estimated monthly search volume.
  • Our target customer profile.
An Advanced SEO Guide to Top Rankings on Amazon

We start our keyword research by looking at the product packaging, company website, customer reviews, customer questions, and by asking this question:

If I didn’t know the name or brand of this product, how would I find it?

Then we expand our search by looking for alternative uses, looking at competitive listings, and potential alternative uses.

We then take each of those words and run them individually through a tool called Merchant Words.

Merchant Words helps us to identify additional words we missed and identify an estimated number of monthly search volume.

We use that data and the frequency of keywords appear to prioritize which words will be used in the listings.

Not Understanding the Role of Keywords

Since customers primarily find products through search on Amazon, keywords are how you target your buyers.

This means not just focusing on what words you would use to describe your product, but what words your ideal customer would use to describe your product.

For example, if you had a 6-line PBX office phone and generally, you find that that type of phone is purchased by smaller companies, where it could be the office manager or the CEO ordering the phone. In this case, you might not focus on PBX as a keyword.

However, for your 12-line office phone, that is ordered by larger companies, and generally by a chief technology officer, you would focus on PBX and other technical specifications focused keywords more than [office phone system].

2. Maximizing the Number of Highly Relevant Keywords You Are Indexed For

I recently wrote an article specifically about making sure your listing is indexed for the words that you feel are highly relevant to your listing.

Being indexed for a word means that on Amazon your product will come up in the SERP for that search term at any point in the ranking.

There are several places you can put words to become indexed for a listing on Amazon.

Additionally, sometimes customer traffic patterns can also allow you to become indexed for a listing.

However, primarily there are a few areas you want to focus on for keywords:

  • Title
  • Bullets
  • Back end keywords
  • Structured or other data

Unlike Google technical SEO, you don’t have to worry about backlinks, schema markup, or duplicate content. However, there are specific recommendations for each segment of the listing.

Title

Amazon has been making a concerted effort to clean up and standardize the ways that titles appear on Amazon.

It has specific style guidelines for titles. Keeping your titles optimized for buyer conversion can significantly improve your keyword ranking, as opposed to keyword stuffing your titles.

The title is where you put your most relevant keywords. This generally includes the brand name, product name, size, flavor, and words describing the product use.

Titles should be brief but descriptive, and avoid keyword stuffing.

Your title and images are all that is visible “above the fold” for most smartphone users.

This makes having a highly relevant title that makes it clear what the product is and that helps customers identify that your product is a relevant search result for their query.

Bullets

You want to include brief but benefit laden bullets for your products. I recommend around 100-250 characters per bullet.

This is where you can put a larger quantity of keywords. However, you again want to focus on making the bullets appeal to your target buyer.

The bullets should answer the most common questions a customer would look for if they were able to touch and feel the product. This includes size, flavor, uses, compatibility, material, and what problem does that product solve.

Backend Keywords

You can enter up to 250 bytes in the backend keywords. You do not need to repeat any words in the title, bullets, or other structured data.

The backend keywords can be a great place to put alternate uses that you may not want to be publicized on your main page or simply words that didn’t make sense within the other areas of data.

Structured Data (Other Data)

An Advanced SEO Guide to Top Rankings on Amazon

One common mistake I find when auditing a listing is all data that ends up being customer-facing (title, bullets, description) end up being completed by whoever created the listing.

Amazon provides a lot of category-specific opportunities to select genre, fabric type, age ranges, etc.

This allows you to identify that your Star Wars Apron is Cotton, Unisex, etc. even if those particular keywords don’t fit well in the bullets or title of your listing.

You want to complete as many of these fields as are relevant to your product as they can provide additional words you are indexed for organically.

It used to be the only way to access these item-specific data points was through uploading your listings via flat file. However, recently Amazon has added these additional fields in the interface under “more details”.

An important side note, because the fields available in the “more details” section of the listing is dependent on the subcategory for the product and because of many other reasons.

Live relevancy for Amazon advertising, it is vitally important that your product is in the appropriate subcategory.

3. Ensuring Your Listing Is ‘Retail-Ready’ by Focusing on Elements That Ensure Conversion

Up to this point, I have been talking about techniques to get your listing to show up in relevant searches. However, none of that matters if your listings are missing elements that aid in the conversion of those products.

If you are unsure if your product is not selling because it isn’t getting enough traffic or it isn’t converting the traffic that it is getting, you can look at the Detailed Sales and Traffic Report to see your:

  • Pageviews.
  • Sessions.
  • Order session percentage.
  • Buy box percentage.

Here are some of the primary areas I focus on for conversion:

Multiple High-Quality Images

You want to use as many images as you have available to you.

In addition to including an image your product, use infographic images that mirror:

  • The benefits you highlighted in the bullets.
  • Any product transformations (i.e., showing an expandable duffel bag both expanded and folded down).
  • Images showing scale and size.
  • Lifestyle photos of your product in use.

Fulfillment Method/Prime Eligibility

Underestimating the power of having your product be eligible for a Prime offer can be another common mistake.

I have seen increases of over 400% in sales velocity when we move products from Merchant Fulfilled to a Prime eligible offer.

There are currently three ways you can make your products Prime-eligible:

  • Selling your product through Amazon Vendor Central.
  • Utilizing Amazon’s fulfillment by Amazon through Seller Central.
  • Utilizing Seller-fulfilled Prime through Seller Central.

Every once and a while, we have a client that for one reason or another doesn’t feel comfortable using Amazon FBA or SFP.

You might want to look at utilizing a 3P seller in this situation or be aware that your product velocity may not have the same growth curve as products that are made available with a Prime offer.

Pricing

There are two different ways you need to be watching your pricing on Amazon.

The first is pricing on the same Product Detail Page. This would be making sure you are Buy Box eligible against other sellers on the same listing.

Most customers simply click the “Add to Cart” button when they are ready to purchase, because of this most of the purchases on a product detail page will happen with the merchant that currently has the Buy Box.

You can see your Buy Box percentage for a product detail page on the Detail Sales and Traffic Report mentioned earlier in this article.

You also need to be watching your price against similar products.

One of the ways we start to identify if a competing product is taking market share because of a better offer is to look at that same Detailed Sales and Traffic Report.

If your pageviews and sessions are close to the same number, that tells us that when people leave your listing they are not coming back and we need to look at the price or listing quality to increase conversion.

Enhanced Brand Content & Video

If you have a live trademark, you can participate in the Brand Registry program.

This gives you the ability to add videos and Enhanced Brand Content (A+ Content is used to describe an almost identical feature on Vendor Central).

Enhanced Brand Content can increase conversions of about 7-11%. Video can have an even more dramatic lift on appropriate products.

Adding videos to your listing is another of the many benefits to being part of the Brand Registry program. You can easily add video to your listing.

Video is also available on to Vendor Central clients as well.

Reviews

If you have been selling on Amazon for a long time, you have been probably waiting for me to talk about reviews. Reviews used to be the way people would bolster their search rankings.

As with all things SEO, marketers exploit the loophole, and it gets closed.

Most of the review focused methods of bolstering your search ranking are not as effective as they used to be.

Amazon has reduced its value for search and has been actively banning sellers who have not come into alignment with the community standards for reviews.

However, reviews are still very important.

Jeff Cohen, CMO for SellerLabs, the company behind software Feedback Genius that helps sellers garner more reviews from their organic buyers, says,

“Reviews are the final pieces that tie the flywheel together. The let the search engine know that a search term was entered, a product detail page was viewed, a purchase was made, and the customer liked/disliked the product. Customer feedback and is a critical component to the voice of the customer and ensure that Amazon is showing products that people want to purchase when looking for a particular term.”

4. Jumpstarting Sales & Conversions for Your Listing

On Amazon, sales beget sales.

So once your listing is optimized, part of organic rank relies on you getting some initial sales to signal to Amazon that your listing will be a good fit for the keywords you are targeting.

Here are a few ways you can use to help jumpstart those initial sales:

Concentrating Traffic

One of the first things I do when taking on a new client is to look for duplicate listings and any appropriate listings to move into a parent-child variation (sometimes called a “twister”).

Making these adjustments allows us to focus the traffic on a smaller number of listings, which naturally decreases the rank of the product.

One note of caution, make sure you are only merging exact duplicates and only moving listings into parent-child relationships if they approved variation types for that category.

Amazon has been suspending vendors and sellers who have been using the parent-child relationships of products to manipulate sales rank.

Clippable Coupons & Promotions

Since Amazon has made purchasing products about as low friction as possible, there are only so many things you can do to lower the friction to encourage buyers. One of those is to offer a discount.

I recommend that you use a coupon or a promotion code instead of simply lowering your price if you are offering a significant discount, as it can cause you to end up with a Suppressed Buy Box which can hurt sales long term.

Black Hat Tactics

There is always a lot of chatter about what is working on Amazon.

However, I have an important recommendation for those looking to have a long-term relationship selling on Amazon.

That is to make sure you are staying with approved white hat tactics for optimization.

Part of Amazon’s culture is being customer-obsessed.

If you are manipulating the system or causing a negative customer experience, Amazon could suspend or ban you from the site completely.

There are black hat tactics that still work on Amazon. However, as the search on Amazon gets more sophisticated, those tactics predictably lose their efficacy.

Chris McCabe of EcommerceChris.com a company that focuses on reinstatement for suspended sellers says this about black hat tactics.

“Sellers must be aware of the increasing signs that Amazon’s feeling the pressure to investigate the groups behinds fake reviews and sales rank manipulation. Once they devote more resources to this issue, many fewer sellers and services will be able to rely upon past bad practices. Beyond that, when Amazon eventually sues a service (as they have before) part of that process may involve the black hat’s disclosure of a client list. That means you could be named, or outed, or included in whatever actions that come next.“

Overall

Like Google, Amazon SEO is not a “set it and forget it”. Amazon is constantly changing their guidelines and the search algorithm that powers the site itself.

Continue to test new copy, images, and optimization techniques to find what works best for your products.

However, the items outlined in this article will give you a good start for how to begin to capture more sales on Amazon.

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/an-seos-advanced-guide-to-top-rankings-on-amazon-2/317343/#close

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Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops

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When one of my compares recently wrote that a Best Buy salesperson assured him Windows laptops were better than Chromebooks, I was reminded of that old joke: “What’s the difference between a computer salesman and a used car salesman? The used car salesman knows when he’s lying.” 

Now, there are Best Buy people who know their stuff, and there are Windows users who should stick with Windows. If, for example, you live and die by one or two native Windows applications, there’s no point in even considering going elsewhere. And, if you’re a die-hard Windows gamer, Best Buy will be happy to sell you a top-of-the-line Alienware gaming PC. 

But there are also many good reasons to use Chromebooks. Here are the top reasons.

CHROME OS IS MORE STABLE THAN WINDOWS 10

WIndows, especially lately, has been prone to one update problem after another. The latest example: Microsoft broke Visual Basic programs for many users. I mean, how do you break the Visual Basic 6 code? The language has been part and parcel of the Microsoft family since 1998! 

Windows updates have become a nightmare over the past few years. Today, Windows users hold off for as long as possible before “updating” their PCs. Chrome OS users, on the other hand, have their systems updated every six weeks without a hitch. And, I might add, these updates take a minute or two instead of an hour or two.

Chrome OS is also more secure than Windows. WIndows security violations pop up every blessed month. Sure, Chrome OS has had security holes, but I can’t think of one that’s been significantly exploited.

CHROME OS MAKES IT EASY TO MOVE TO NEW HARDWARE

Want a nightmare? Try migrating from an old Windows PC to a new one. Even if you’re jumping from Windows 10  to Windows 10, there are no easy ways to do it. If you have a Microsoft account, rather than a local account, you must manually move your local files from third-party programs such as Photoshop  

Procuring software packages for the organization is a complicated process which involves more than just technological knowledge. There are financial and support aspects to consider, proof of concepts to evaluate and vendor negotiations to handle….Tools & Templates provided by TechRepublic Premium

On Chrome OS, you log in to your new Chromebook and — ta-da! — you’re back in business. No fuss, no muss. 

WITH CHROME OS, EVEN IF YOUR CHROMEBOOK BURST INTO FLAMES YOU LOSE NOTHING.

Say you drop your laptop, and then the screen cracks. If you’re running Windows, you’d better hope you have a good recent backup, and you’re able to restore it to a new one without too much trouble. Good luck with that.

When I did that with a Chromebook, I got a new machine, signed into it, and in three minutes I was ready to go again. Using a Chromebook means never losing your settings, applications, or data again.

CHROMEBOOKS WORK JUST FINE OFFLINE

One of the great myths about Chromebooks is that, without an internet connection, Chromebooks are just expensive door-stops. Wrong. 

With an offline Chromebook, you can still read and write Gmail, use your calendar, watch movies, listen to music, edit photographs, or work in Google Docs. People who claim that Chromebooks are just a Chrome browser and nothing more are clueless and haven’t actually used one.

CHROMEBOOKS RUN FAR MORE THAN JUST CHROME OS

Although Google dropped its effort to dual-boot Windows in Chromebooks, also known as Project Campfire, you can still run Android applications and Linux programs on modern Chromebooks. And thanks to CrossOver Chrome OS, you can run some Windows programs on Chrome OS.   

Chromebooks are the most versatile laptops around these days.

Are Chromebooks right for everyone? No. For some people, Windows and MacOS machines are still the best.

But, for most people, a Chromebook is ideal. 

If you want a laptop that does all the bread-and-butter internet and office work, get a Chromebook. If you have a friend or relative who needs a safer machine, give them a Chromebook. If you need a flexible system that can juggle Android, Linux, the web, and a bit of Windows, get a Chromebook. You’ll be glad you did.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/five-reasons-chromebooks-are-better-than-windows-laptops/

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Samsung devices lead in fast download speed – Report

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Users of Samsung devices experienced faster download speed than Apple and Huawei users in about 14 countries, a latest report by Opensignal has shown.

The 14 countries, according to the research firm, represented 35 per cent of the countries examined.

Opensignal in its Mobile Network Experience study across 40 countries found that Apple users were faster in 17.5 per cent of the countries and in the remaining 48 per cent, two or more of the brands tied in a statistical dead heat.

According to the findings of the study, none of the countries saw Huawei users experience the fastest download speed, but the smartphone brand had tied in download speed in 17.5 per cent of countries.

Analysts at Opensignal noted that in the United States, which is a strong iPhone market, Apple users experienced download speeds 8.2 Mega bytes per seconds slower than Samsung users.

“Perhaps most striking is the experience of Apple users. Given that Samsung makes a wide range of models from cheap to premium, while Apple only offers premium-priced models, this is an even more impressive result,” the report stated.

“In Brazil, Apple users experienced speeds of 2.3 Mbps faster than second-placed Huawei’s users. Samsung’s position here is more intriguing because it offers a similar range of models to Huawei, but Huawei’s users experienced speeds 3.5 Mbps faster than Samsung’s.”

The country differences, according to the study, represent other factors beyond the network capabilities of individual smartphone models.

It explained that Huawei users experienced notably slower speeds in the US and Japan because they were not strong markets for Huawei, and because users had chosen cheaper models with less-capable modems.

Opensignal said Apple’s success in markets like Brazil, Taiwan and Costa Rica was an indication that users preferred premium-priced devices and premium mobile tariffs than in other countries where iPhone adoption was more widespread and mainstream.

The study observed that smartphone models with a higher LTE category tend to be more expensive and support more network technologies.

“All 5G smartphone models support at least LTE Category 16 and would count as high-tier devices in this grouping. However, there are very small numbers of 5G smartphone devices in the market, at least for now,” the report stated.

When we compare the users of the three largest smartphone makers into three groups based on the network capabilities of their smartphone, the report said in the high-tier smartphone category, Samsung users experienced the fastest download speeds.

This, according to the study, is because their users enjoy 26.6 Mbps globally compared with 25.1 Mbps for Apple users and just 24.4 Mbps for Huawei users.

In the mid-tier smartphone category, the report said, “Apple users are slightly faster than second-placed Huawei users. iPhone users experience 16.5 Mbps, compared with 16.3 Mbps for Huawei and just 14.4 Mbps for Samsung users. This category makes up the bulk of Apple users, however, these iPhone models have often been priced at a similar level to Samsung and Huawei high-end models.”

In the low-tier smartphone segment, Opensignal said Huawei users experienced the fastest speeds with 12.1 Mbps, compared with 9.7 Mbps for Samsung users and 8.9 Mbps for Apple users.

This last category, according to the research firm, makes up 49 per cent of Samsung users and is the largest tier in Samsung’s user base.

Source: https://punchng.com/samsung-devices-lead-in-fast-download-speed-report/

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Why 2019 is the best year ever to buy a smartphone

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In late 2017, Apple released the iPhone X and while it was a joy to use it also raised the bar for smartphone prices, starting at $999. After seeing flagship sales stagnate over the past year and a half while companies like OnePlus push innovation forward at lower prices, 2019 is the year that smartphone buyers reap the benefits of pricing and technology.

It’s easy to find a great phone today. In fact, current flagship devices are so good you really don’t need to be replacing them every year.

While ZDNet’s Jason Perlow argued that 2019 is the worst smartphone year ever primarily due to price and minor updates, I argue it is the best smartphone year ever with more affordable flagships with stunning camera performance, reliable all-day long battery life, fast performance, and attractive designs that now mean buyers can keep their phones for two or more years without compromise. Chinese smartphone manufacturers continue to push innovation and smartphone technology forward, but that doesn’t mean others are standing by while the US government restricts sales of Chinese companies from the likes of Huawei and ZTE.

Jason stated:

“All in all, this has shaped up to be a pretty unexciting year for smartphones. They lack significant innovation compared to the previous year, and quite frankly they all look dull and even downright ugly with the big camera bulges.” 

I’m not sure which phones Jason has been looking at, but Samsung has lovely Prism and Aura color schemes on its S10 and Note 10 lines, Google provides a fun color with bright power buttons as an alternative to black and white colors, there are four color options for the iPhone XR in addition to black and white, and the OnePlus 7 Pro Almond and Nebula Blue colors are downright gorgeous. The rumored iPhone 11 appears ugly in pictures, but we’ll have to wait and see what it looks like in real life to pass judgement. You also cannot have amazing camera performance without space for sensors and other than the rumored iPhone 11 there’s nothing that obtrusive about current smartphone camera designs.

AFFORDABLE FLAGSHIPS

A month after Apple launched the XS and XS Max last fall, it rolled out the iPhone XR at $749. This is $250 less than the XS and $350 less than the XS Max, which is a significant amount. The Apple iPhone XR is the reasonably priced choice and it turns out it is a crowd favorite with colorful back options, the longest lasting new iPhone battery, and a big display to help you get work done.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 series in March with the Galaxy S10e currently priced in the $700 range ($750 was the launch price). The S10e is $150 less than the S10 and $250 less than the S10 Plus while still having nearly all the same specifications and functionality. The S10e fits well in small pockets and can even be plugged into an external monitor and power a PC-like experience with Samsung DeX.

Google went a long ways with carrier support with the new Google Pixel 3A launching on Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular at launch. The 3A starts at just $399.99 and has nearly the same camera as the higher priced Pixel 3 with a mid-level processor that still satisfies the needs of most people. It’s an affordable option that is guaranteed to get updates for three years while offering all the functionality you could want in an Android smartphone.

TechRepublic and ZDNet smartphone experts discuss the features, specs, and pros and cons of Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Find out about battery life, ease of repair, and viability for business use. The introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone…Downloads provided by TechRepublic Premium

OnePlus launched the OnePlus 6T on T-Mobile and followed that up with the OnePlus 7 Proon the carrier as well. While it would be great to see broader US carrier support from OnePlus, lining up a US carrier is a big win that has resulted in solid sales for OnePlus.

In addition to carrier support, OnePlus was the first to roll out UFS 3.0 support for internal storage while also providing buyers with a beautiful display with 90 Hz refresh rate. Warp Charge 30 provides one of the fastest charging standards available on a phone, beat out only by Huawei’s Super Charge system. It was also one of the first to launch with 12GB of RAM. OnePlus is not sitting idly by and there are rumors that an incremental update, possibly the OnePlus 7T, will launch with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus.

Apple rolled out the iPhone X with a large center display notch in 2017 and over the next couple of years manufacturers tried out different ways to include sensors and a front-facing camera while maximizing the viewable display area. OnePlus pushed the innovation forward even a bit more with a retractable front-facing camera that makes using the OnePlus 7 Pro a sheer joy for work and media experiences.

We have also seen wide adoption of multiple camera lenses on the back of phones so that nearly any phone you purchase today can serve as your only camera with little compromise. This is one area that is sure to continue innovating as sensor makers push things forward too.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one area that demonstrates the power and capability of today’s mobile processors, but hasn’t yet realized its full potential. We see AI primarily being used today for helping us frame and capture better photos. However,  it’s an area ripe for further development as components improve and use cases evolve. Our phones today are smart enough to take care of regular tasks we perform daily. Samsung and Apple gave us a glimpse of what is to come with Siri Shortcuts and Samsung Bixby Quick Commands.

Although the first Galaxy Fold failed, Samsung is planning to release it again next month. Huawei also continues to work on its foldable phone which we should see in the next couple of months. Even though these first generation foldable phones are sure to be only for early adopters, it shows manufacturers are testing new technologies and methods to help us use our handheld computers in new ways.

I’m not sure what people expect their smartphones to do that isn’t being done now and as we look at prices and innovation in 2019 it’s pretty clear this was a fantastic year for smartphones with hints of greater things in 2020. We look forward to full 5G adoption, AI doing more for us without requiring direct user feedback, and so much more. With affordable options being offered by the major players we can also expect more for less in the years to come.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/why-2019-is-the-best-year-ever-to-buy-a-smartphone-affordable-flagships-galore/

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