How to Get Started with Amazon SEO

PPC and SEO are often thought of like two different bubbles under the Amazon Advertising umbrella that don’t really have much to do with one another. This could not be any further from the truth. In order to really succeed as an Amazon advertiser, you need a strategy that aligns your SEO with your PPC so you can maximize the power of both.

The Link Between Amazon PPC and Amazon SEO

Amazon PPC and SEO are a happily married couple, and keeping one top-of-mind when you work on the other is paramount. Therefore, making sure your SEO is high-quality should be intertwined with your process for setting your product up for PPC.

Amazon SEO PPC meme

Over the course of about six months, for every PPC sale you make, you have the potential to make three SEO sales. By investing in your PPC, you’re telling Amazon’s algorithm that you can convert for the keywords and keyphrases where you’re bidding. That helps you rank organically for those same keywords.

This means that in order to help your PPC and your SEO, you need to be aggressive on your chosen keywords. You could chase a low ACOS, and you could get it within a day, but every other metric would suffer. By setting your bids super low, you wouldn’t spend as much on advertising, but you would stifle your campaigns and lower your overall ROI. 

The keyword tools that you use either for PPC or SEO can give you information on both. Your ideal number of ranking keywords is probably more similar for PPC and SEO than you would think. Some follow the philosophy of “the more keywords where you rank in SEO, the better,” but if you’re indexing on way more keywords than you’re advertising, those unadvertised keywords won’t give you much in the way of clicks and conversions because they’re not getting that boost from PPC.

PPC is great for boosting organic conversions, but it can’t do it alone. Your Amazon PPC needs you to help it maximize its potential by optimizing your listings for different ranking factors.

Amazon SEO Ranking Factors

There are three kinds of ranking factors we’ll cover here: text-based, relevance-based, and conversion-based.

Text-Based Ranking Factors

Text-based ranking factors are sort of the bare bones of SEO. They concern whether the text in your listing – title, description, etc. – uses or references the keywords where you’re trying to rank organically. If you don’t have a keyword or keyphrase on your listing, there’s a really good chance that you won’t rank for it.

Using organic keywords in your listings seems like a no-brainer. However, most people focus on ultra-optimizing for a few keywords when they actually want to rank organically on many more keywords.

The most common mistakes people make here are having product listing text that’s too short or using text in their images. (We’re not talking about alt text here, that can be super useful.) That’s organic ranking power that’s left on the table.

Relevance-Based Ranking Factors

When you’re making sure that the organic keywords where you want to rank are actually relevant to your product and people searching for it, you’re paying attention to your relevance-based ranking factors. Amazon rewards organic results with high conversion rates, and a good way to up your organic conversion rate is to focus on keywords that customers would actually be searching if they wanted to buy your product. 

Keeping your keywords relevant to the listing gives you a better chance of good conversion rates and better organic rankings. If you rank for a bunch of keywords that aren’t actually relevant to your product and you get a bunch of clicks without conversions, your organic rankings are going to plummet because Amazon thinks that shoppers don’t want your product.

Conversion-Based Ranking Factors

Conversion-based ranking factors are all about how good your listings are at enticing your customers to buy.

Amazon, like any business, wants to make money, so it’s in its best interest to favor listings with high conversion rates. The better your conversion rates are, the higher your organic rankings.

Amazon has all kinds of features you can use to help convince buyers to convert. Take advantage of them. Use good, high-quality product listing images, use video if possible, and have rich, informative product descriptions. What your product is, who your product is for, and what problem your product solves are all things that should be readily apparent to anyone who views your product listing.

Don’t get too comfortable resting on your keyword laurels and neglect to pay attention to these factors. Even if you have the best possible keywords, your SEO strategy can totally fall apart if those conversion-based ranking factors aren’t there.

Conversion-based ranking factors are paramount for crisis-proofing your listings. If, for whatever reason, your listing gets pulled and you have to recreate it and start from scratch, spending time on your conversion-based ranking factors can help you get back on track.

How to Start Optimizing your Amazon SEO

The first two things you want to focus on are the search term field and the product listing title.

Search Term Field

The search term field is woefully underused in Amazon SEO when it is one of the most powerful fields for organic ranking. You want to make sure you make full use of those 250 characters. Don’t duplicate words, use commas, or use words from your title. It should just be a run-on sentence with keywords. Because it only ever shows up behind the scenes, it can look as sloppy as it needs to be to get results.

An example of good use of the search term field for Amazon SEO.

 

The way the search term field helps you index for the maximum number of search terms is that it extrapolates out all different possible phrases it can make from the words in that field. That way, you have the potential to index for any of the words in your search term field in any combination.

If you’re wondering what keywords to put in that search term field, Steven Pope from My Amazon Guy has given us a pretty cool PDF that outlines how to use your favorite keyword research tools to get started with Amazon SEO.

Using that keyword research tool, you can reverse engineer your competitors’ ASINs and see where they rank organically. The tool should then optimize the results to give you the keywords that will be best at strengthening the three ranking factors we discussed earlier. This should give you an idea of what organic keywords are relevant for your product and should be incorporated into your own SEO.

The results of a reverse ASIN lookup search owing competitor keywords.

 

Using a keyword research tool is a non-negotiable for Amazon SEO for a variety of reasons. For starters, you can’t outsmart a computer. A keyword research tool is always going to be able to find some high-potential keywords that didn’t occur to you. Additionally, you can’t predict every search term people are going to use to try and find your product. In order to find all these search terms, you can do a reverse ASIN search on your own product.

The results of a reverse ASIN lookup tool, showing valuable keywords for Amazon SEO.

Some of the things you should put in your search term field include keyword misspellings and Spanish translations of your five best keywords. It’s not likely that your competitors will be doing this, so this gives you an organic ranking advantage.

Product Listing Title

When creating the title for your listing, use five words with a hyphen after each to set your canonical URL for Google. This aids your external SEO ranking factors

Make sure you use as much of the 200 characters you’re allotted for your title as possible. The data shows that this helps your organic rankings without damaging your conversion rates.

Traffic generation should come first, then after you’re maxed out there, you should circle back and focus on conversion-driving and running A/B tests. With the A+ module, you can test different listing titles on Amazon and see if they produce different conversion rates.

Key Takeaways

Although some treat Amazon PPC and Amazon SEO as two separate beasts, they can really boost your ROI if allowed to play together and coordinate.

Even if you’re brand-new to Amazon SEO, there are still things you can do to put your best foot forward. Make sure you take advantage of all the SEO opportunities Amazon has to offer, like the search term field, product listing title, and description.

If you’re not already using an Amazon SEO keyword research tool, you should definitely start. You can find the keywords where your competitors rank organically and narrow it down to the 250 characters that will allow you to maximize the power of your search term field.

With your title, follow that same philosophy of using as much of the available space as possible. Use your highest-volume keywords, take advantage of your ability to change your canonical URL, and run A/B tests on your titles once you’re raking in the traffic.

After you’ve built that solid SEO foundation, how do you build on it and keep that momentum going? Join us again next week to find out!

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