Maher Ghazal, Chief Growth Officer at PiWheel, sheds light on how eCommerce businesses can track the full customer journey on Amazon and use data signals to optimise content, tell compelling stories and take faster informed business decisions.
Here’s a quick take on Amazon content.
What you need:
These are the words and phrases your customers are using to search for products in your category.
What you do:
Optimise product detail page content
Tune your content to match the language your customers are using to search within your category, increasing your relevance in the ‘eyes’ of the search algorithms, and helping your products climb the search results ranks.
What you get:
Higher organic search rank and conversions
The goal of content optimisation is to drive your products higher in the organic search rankings by demonstrating their relevance to customer’s specific search terms. Once they’ve clicked on your product, the motivational power of your fabulous product detail page content will inspire them to purchase.
What you measure:
Organic share of voice
You’ll measure the effectiveness of your optimised content by how much your organic share of voice increases, i.e., the proportion of unbranded and branded searches that are “won” by your product (when a shopper clicks on your product after their search).
Let’s climb those search ranks.
One of the best parts of our job is helping clients tackle work that can get them big results without big budgets. That usually starts with helping them make the most of what they already own: content.
Not only is great content essential to reinforcing key messages about your products and converting customers at the moment of truthuthit’s also an essential component of a strong SEO strategy.
Nearly three quarters of all shopper's head to Amazon to learn more about a product before making a buying decision. More than a quarter of shoppers browsing in retail stores say they go to Amazon.com while they’re shopping in the store to research products, reviews, and competitive pricing. More than half of Amazon shoppers start their product search on Amazon.
As a brand owner and advertiser, you can take that as clear evidence that your products are getting scoped on Amazon at every stage of the purchase funnel. Which means no matter how carefully coiffured your content looks in other channels, if your Amazon content isn’t keeping pace and showing up in organic search results, you’re losing business.
Just like Google, Amazon has developed a proprietary ranking system that governs which products show up and in what order when your prospective customer types “lip balm” in the search bar (or any other keyword or keyword phrase).
When it comes to Amazon content and SEO, brands need a “first page or bust” mentality. In fact, “how do I get on the first page of search results?” is the top question we get from new clients on this theme.
You’ve got two ways to do it:
You can pay for sponsored placement through a Sponsored Product or Sponsored Brand campaign. (More on that in our Paid Search Overview.)
You can win organic placement by tickling the fancy of the Amazon search algorithm with product listings that are optimised for its ranking criteria.
A savvy ecommerce strategy will include both strategies, but here, we’re focused on what you can do to earn your wins before you start paying for them.
So let’s talk ground rules. Amazon’s A9 search algorithm judges against a variety of manageable factors that we organise into “primary” or “secondary” based on influence.
- Sales velocity
- Relevant content
- Product price
- Product availability
- Fulfillment method (priority is given to FBA)
- Premium content (A+ Content and Enhanced Branded Content)
- Advertising spend
Amazon is famously customer obsessed, and we can reframe these criteria by simply thinking in terms of what will make the most delightful, straightforward shopping experience for customers.
Among the drivers and contributors, content is the low hanging fruits. And to optimise content, you need to understand your customer. It’s their language and preferences that will drive how you communicate the value of your product, not only because that’s the right approach creatively, but because that’s the right approach for SEO i.e., for getting your products in front of potential customers when they’re hunting to fulfil a need that your product can serve.
Of course, the work of “understanding your customers” is a far larger undertaking and has implications beyond the digital and e retail channels. But for our purposes, we can derive much of the insight we need by scrutinising their behaviour as shoppers.
And the most important order of business the key to unlocking your products’ organic potential is to figure out exactly which words they’re using to search in your category. Because those are the same words you need to use in the titles and descriptions for your products. Think of it like a game of bingo. You want to have a match for everything the caller shouts out. The more matches you get, the better you do.
It’s an imperfect metaphor, but the content game is played similarly. No matter what a potential customer puts in that search bar, you want to have the matching word or phrase in your content, with one obvious caveat: the content needs to accurately describe your product. No matter how badly we want to win the game of search, packing content with descriptors that aren’t true to the product is a sure-fire way to get penalized in the long run. Don’t sacrifice customer LTV and your ratings & reviews to win another few percentage points of organic share of voice. (Amazon will figure you out.)
How do you identify which keywords to use?
For some young ecommerce brands, this starts as a guess and check exercise. An ecommerce manager pours over competitive product detail pages, interviews customers, talks to the marketers, and studies existing product descriptions to come up with the list of words and phrases that he or she thinks describe the product best.
If you’re trying to sell a peach flavored, glossy lip balm with SPF 30, maybe you’ve wrangled every permutation of these goes to product attributes and loaded up your content accordingly.
That’s all-worthwhile groundwork, but what you might be missing is the growing share of category searches referencing “natural,” “moisturising,” and “tinted.” If you don’t key into those emerging search trends, you’ll be missing out on high quality traffic (or, further upstream, high-quality ideas for product innovation), and you can bet your competitors will exploit your blind spots.
customers click. This data goes well beyond what Amazon will provide through its Amazon Retail Analytics Premium reporting but is nonetheless essential to your content strategy. Start with your top selling brands, products, and ASINs, and work your way through your list.
Above is a hypothetical topline list of the highest volume unbranded keywords in the Lip Care Category. When you have your own keyword long list in hand, it’s time to prioritise. Prioritisation in this regard mixes the science with the art. Take advantage of opportunities to index on keywords that are gaining volume along with those that are already well established for your category. And run a keyword gap analysis that identifies sources of competitor share of voice.
Auditing competitor content provides great insight into tactical positioning and can highlight opportunities to move up the ranks on unbranded keywords your competitors may currently be winning.
So you’ve identified the hot keywords in the category. Where do they go?
Think of your keywords like Legos you can use to build compelling, high converting brand and product detail pages. Our software’s handy content algorithm will score your content and help you figure out what to tackle first.
The chart below shows how we score the primary components of content and the trajectory your score should take when you infuse your content with the right keywords.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A killer product title structured in accordance with Amazon’s rules
- 5 bullet points that showcase the spiciest details about your product’s best assets
- A description that brings it all together in compelling prose that packs a punch
- A flawless, impeccably shot product image worth at least a thousand words and up to eight alternate images that showcase unique product features and angles
- A+ Content that creates a rich, immersive brand experience on your product page
- Video that shows off the functional and lifestyle benefits of your product
(And don’t be afraid to use some basic HTML in your product detail page to give your product description some additional structure and oomph.)
What about backend keywords?
You can provide a list of ‘backend keywords’ that will influence product discoverability while remaining hidden from shoppers. These keywords do not show up on product pages and are used in Amazon’s search algorithm not the metatags, so they won’t show up in the long tail URL of your product pages.
Keep in mind these keywords must be “phrase match,” so the order of the keywords matters. “Organic SPF 30 lip balm” is different than “Organic lip balm with SPF 30” when it comes to visibility, i.e., when and where your product shows up when a shopper enters a given search.
Let the left brain and right brain work together to help you climb search ranks and inspire purchase.
Positioning content development as a wholly scientific process does not do the critical influence of the left-brain justice. Your product detail pages like your display ads are a realm of your ecommerce business not totally governed by the data. The deployment is science; the execution, not totally. In fact, we remind clients that the quality of their creative images, video, copywriting will create the upper bound of their performance potential. This is one of your finest opportunities to showcase your brand’s differentiating substance and style.
What will it look like when it all comes together?
This Sky Organics example from the Lip Care Category showcases the creative potential of your content, which should look and feel like the sweet poetry of the ecommerce world even as it does the hard work of selling.
How will you know your dazzling content is doing some work?
It’s critical to benchmark your organic share of voice- how many clicks your organically ranked product listings receive when a shopper search in your category so that you can monitor the effects of your content updates.
Your analytics provider should be able to baseline your organic share of voice for both brand and category keywords.
Optimising your content can do two things for your products at two different stages of the funnel.
It can help you reinforce your differentiation and improve your conversion rate at the bottom of the funnel by showcasing the most relevant value to the highest intent shoppers. And it can help you improve your organic search rank to drive more traffic to your product pages.
The key to content that can do this work?
The right keywords and adherence to a few straightforward steps:
- Conduct a share of voice analysis to benchmark your product’s current organic search ranking and traffic.
- Conduct a competitive audit to identify what competitors are saying and not saying through the claims, keywords, and visuals in their content, and find out which keywords drive their organic traffic.
- Identify top searched keywords and keywords with increasing volumes and figure out where there’s credible overlap with your product’s attributes.
- Scrub existing content for opportunities to tell a keyword infused story about the benefits of your product and brand.
- Inject top keywords in titles, bullets, and descriptions on your product detail page.
- Track your share of voice to chart progress in your organic traffic gains.
- Forecast category trends and emerging shopper priorities by studying their search terms and finding out if there are product attributes, they want that you’re not yet providing.
We love all the tools of ecommerce business building, but we confess that optimising content for search and conversions has a special place in our data led hearts. Your Amazon content is the showcase for everything that’s special and compelling about your products and brand. It’s a time to apply data driven insight in creative ways and see some immediate results.
You’ve got the keywords to the kingdom, my friend. Wield them well.
PiWheel is an eCommerce intelligence and consultancy company based in Dubai and founded by a group of Amazon veterans. We enable FMCG and CE eCommerce brands in India with data tech tools and services to increase profitability and market share. Our technology also covers marketplaces in the Middle East and SEA regions and activates data, automates execution, and optimizes eCommerce marketing performance complemented by our eCommerce consultancy services which grant brands access to the highest level of eCommerce expertise to scale and convert more shoppers with improved content, advertising, and operations.
Check out more about us here: https://piwheel.com/