This guide is going to show five of the main characteristics of Amazon and eCommerce SEO.
We will be discussing the SEO techniques themselves, the similarities and differences between the two stores’ SEO methods and how to solve any solutions they may face.
If you want to run an effective Amazon or eCommerce SEO campaign, you must start with keyword research. This is a key similarity between the two and every other SEO technique centres around it.
Without keywords, you will not be able to optimise product listings or, for eCommerce stores, your page’s URL.
No matter if you’re an Amazon business or not, using Amazon to find keywords is one of the easiest keyword research techniques.
Enter a keyword into the search bar that describes your product. Amazon will likely show a variety of long-tail keywords as they convert better than just a single word.
This also shows that customers are specific with their searches, so when choosing your keywords, make full use of the long-tail variety.
Amazon is also a great resource for finding category page keywords.
For example, let’s say your store sells swimwear.
You’d go to Amazon and click on “water sports”:
From here, you’d click on “swimming”.
Then choose “swimwear” from the list
Amazon will show you the keywords they use to describe their swimwear related products and in the sidebar:
These are all keywords to consider using for your category pages.
Specifically, for Amazon businesses, use a keyword tool as part of the keyword research phase to track rankings. We have developed a tracker that automatically tracks and reverse engineer what marketing and promotional techniques have been working.
At the end of the day, the sole goal for your Amazon products should be to increase organic rankings.
There are other methods to find keywords for your product, such as using the Google Keyword Planner, but for the purpose of this article, we aren’t going to go into more detail than this.
If you want to know more about the importance of keyword research and other keyword research methods, check out our article:
The best keywords for your SEO campaign satisfy the following three conditions:
- Search volume
- Commercial intent
If your keywords don’t accurately reflect your product, regardless if you’re selling on Amazon or as an eCommerce store, conversion rates will drop.
Even the slightest differences can have dire consequences.
Before doing anything else, make sure that your keywords are what you sell.
If you come across a keyword that could be used for a separate product category, don’t use it. This could be something to keep in mind for future opportunities, but for now, stay with the keyword that directly targets your product.
Aside from relevancy, keyword search volume is the most important metric when deciding on a keyword.
If no one is searching for it in the first place, it doesn’t even matter how relevant it is to the product!
The Google Keyword Planner is a great free tool that will help you check on the number of searches your keyword is getting.
Finally, before deciding on a keyword, check the level of competition.
Again, the Google Keyword Planner is your friend:
The ‘competition’ column reflects how many people are bidding for it in Google AdWords. The more people that are bidding on it, the more difficult it is to get your product top of the rankings.
On the other hand, the more competitive the keywords, the more lucrative they are.
However, specifically for Amazon, there is a much better way to determine if a keyword is worth pursuing: keyword tracking.
Get in touch to find out more about our keyword tracker:
This is all about optimising your product pages. For Amazon and eCommerce stores, this will drive sales, improve conversion rates and rise in organic rankings.
There are lots of similarities and differences here so let’s get to it.
This is the most important piece of text of the entire product listing. Product viewers must be able to tell what the product is straight away.
This brings a key difference.
Amazon SEO titles focus on the actual product itself. They don’t have to worry about the page’s title tag as that is the Amazon website’s job.
However, eCommerce stores will have their own product pages and categories to deal with. This requires writing title tags themselves.
Amazon product titles should be full of information, using as many long-tail keywords as possible but integrating the primary keyword as close to the beginning as possible.
You should also be including any of the product’s USPs and secondary uses of the product for maximum effect.
Here is an example of a great Amazon product title:
On the other hand, eCommerce title tags should be including ‘modifiers’ to show up for more long-tail keyword searches.
Some common modifiers that people search for include terms such as:
So, if we were writing the title tag for the product page for this coconut oil brand, we would have something along the lines of ‘Premium Organic Coconut’.
When it comes to the product title itself, don’t include as many keywords or secondary functions.
You can see the difference for yourself on the seller’s own website:
Keywords are also an important part of a product description. as they help Amazon and Google can understand what the product page is about.
Products on Amazon are best optimised when their descriptions are written in bullet points or breaking up the benefits with pictures.
There is so much information on a product page that it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Shorter descriptions keep the visitor flowing through the buying cycle.
Here is an example of a bestseller item:
Amazon product features should also be focusing on how the product will be of use to the customer. Tell them why they should buy it rather than what the product does.
When a product description is fully optimised, it may even be used as the meta description on a Google listing. The chair above shows this in practice:
Google thinks that the information here is more useful to the customer so ignores what Amazon suggests; in essence, the product description is thought to be more clickable.
If you want to know more about optimising a product description, we have an in-depth article for you here:
Product descriptions for other eCommerce stores work slightly different due to Google’s ranking criteria.
Google is looking for as much information about a page as possible as longer content gives customers a better understanding of their purchase.
You should be aiming to write at least 1,000 words about your product as part of the description.
Product reviews are essential for both Amazon and eCommerce SEO rankings. They provide social proof that gives future customers assurance they are buying a great product.
It’s hardly a coincidence that the above product is Amazon’s choice for that niche.
Amazon and eCommerce stores both have the same problem though – getting the reviews in the first place.
There are various methods you can use to get customers to leave positive feedback, such as follow up emails after the product has been purchased, or simply just by asking for them.
However, the difference is that Amazon has product review capabilities built in. Most eCommerce stores will have to write code into the product page.
There is great benefit to getting your product’s rating on Google as it will have a better understanding of the product.
Bear in mind though that just because you have the code doesn’t guarantee it showing but if you don’t have it, there is a 0% chance.
Fortunately, Amazons stores don’t need to worry about solving technical SEO issues. Most, if not all, of the traffic will come through Amazon’s search engine which has completely different ranking criteria than Google.
Amazon’s algorithm, namely A9, focuses on product listing optimisation for ranking in its own website.
A9 doesn’t care about ranking in Google; people are coming to Amazon for product research more than Google, which leads to more purchases, making them more money.
This means it rewards stores that are optimised with better rankings in the SERPs and punishes those that don’t make the same effort.
On the other hand, eCommerce stores are reliant on rankings in Google to attract customers.
Most eCommerce stores have many pages that need managing, meaning they are susceptible to technical SEO issues. This can be frustrating and costly for stores that have hundreds or thousands of individual pages.
With this in mind, here are some of the most common technical SEO issues eCommerce stores can face and how to solve them.
There are three common causes of duplicate content:
- Product categories creating unique URLs for every selection a user makes
- Copied product page descriptions
- Other identical text appearing on multiple pages
To solve this problem, noindex pages that don’t bring in search engine traffic but are causing duplicate content issue.
Once you have done this, use canonical tags. These tell search engines that certain pages are exact copies or slight variations of the same page. When a search engine sees a canonical tag on a page, they know that they shouldn’t treat it as a unique page.
Alternatively, you could write totally unique content for each individual page that haven’t been assigned noindex or canonical tags.
This will obviously require a lot of time and effort but if you want to compete against the products that rank first on Google, unique content is best.
With duplicate content comes thin content.
Most eCommerce stores that suffer from this problem because they find it tough to write totally unique content for similar products.
If they can’t write at least 1,000 words for one product, how can they do it for another?
Solving this problem does require writing the content but doing it in a structured manner can help increase the word count.
Here is a good but basic template to follow for writing content:
Too many pages
You may have great, unique content on all your pages but if you have too many, this could be doing a lot more harm than good.
Because each product requires a different page, the site can rack up a lot of pages quickly, each with their own URL.
The solution here is to noindex product pages that aren’t bringing home the bacon.
It’s likely that you have a lot of product pages that haven’t had a sale for a long time – some may not have made a sale sold in a year!
So, rather than improving these pages, you should give them a noindex tag or just simply deleting the page altogether.
The final eCommerce technical SEO problem is site speed. This could be because of large files or slow hosting services.
The solution for this is easy: make files smaller and upgrade your hosting.
You can see how fast your website is by using this Google tool:
eCommerce businesses use content marketing as part of their SEO campaigns to boost organic traffic and sales.
Find out where your customers ‘hang out’ online and create content based on frequently used keywords. Tutorials tend to be the most popular style as they provide solutions to customers’ problems.
Insert links in the content to product pages and the number of sales will rise.
Amazon SEO has no purpose for content marketing because they do not have a platform ie a website to publish their own content.
However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage.
Content marketing is part of the inbound marketing methodology; its purpose is to attract leads to your website and convert them to customers. Content marketing looks to increase rankings in Google to get the website and product in front the customer.
However, Amazon is such a giant in the retail world that it already dominates the Google product search results.
If the product listing has been fully optimised, it will be high in the SERPs for both Amazon AND Google.
When customers read high quality content of value:
- They are more likely to buy
- They are more likely to share/link
Both Amazon and eCommerce stores get more customers from publishing great content with links back to their product and/or category pages.
Amazon businesses benefit from link building because it generates organic traffic to their product page, increasing organic rankings in the Amazon results pages.
The same logic applies to eCommerce businesses increasing organic rankings in Google, but with the added benefit of building authority within that niche.
If you want to learn more about link building and content marketing, Ghost Marketing have created an in-depth resource on its importance and have some killer strategies:
By now you should have a clear idea of the similarities and differences between Amazon SEO vs eCommerce SEO in terms of keyword research, on-page SEO, technical SEO, content marketing and link building.