Understanding the Importance of Amazon Search

This is the second of our 11-part series on driving traffic and conversion on Amazon.  Here and in part 3, we’ll dive a bit deeper into ways brands can generate more traffic and win at search, and in parts 4 and 5 we’ll examine ways brands can turn that traffic into sales.  

First up, we’ll take a brief look at why traffic is such an important and fundamental metric on Amazon. Later on we’ll dive a bit deeper into ways brands can generate more traffic and turn that traffic into sales.  Finally, we’ll conclude by glancing at how cereal and and computer monitors brands are winning on Amazon in the US and UK.  Also included is a Q/A with Content26 co-founder and president Mark White and gen.video’s co-founder and president Jessica Thorpe, as they tackle several key questions generated by attendees of our most recent webinar, “Driving Online Retail Store Traffic with Paid Advertising and Influencer Programs,” which can be found here.

As we touched on in our intro to this series, driving traffic is the most basic yet important way to drive sales - in both digital retail and brick-and-mortar.

Though there are myriad ways to drive traffic - including content, reviews, price, promotions, sales and more - search optimization is the most effective and impactful.  And while improving performance in each of these areas individually helps to drive traffic, collectively they also improve search performance. To put it simply: all roads lead to search performance, and brands must win search bring in traffic.

Another reason search is such a crucial metric? It’s a proxy for overall eCommerce performance - Amazon’s search algorithms take into account each of those individual dynamics, but more importantly, performing well in search increases traffic to your Product Detail Pages and starves competitors of traffic and sales. So a brand’s share of search almost always paints an accurate reflection of that brand’s overall eCommerce performance. And the biggest and most influential search battleground? Amazon, of course.

Most peoples’ path-to-to purchase begins on Amazon. Not only is Amazon now more popular than Google as an eCommerce search engine, it’s more popular than all other search channels combined.  And with Amazon being the undisputed search leader in retail, brands must optimize their search strategies. Being aware of the subtle differences between search on Amazon and Google is now more vital than ever. Search territory is so hotly contested that brands must capitalize every detail to try to acquire a share of the decisive first-page real estate.

Search on Google vs Amazon

The first step in optimizing search strategy for Amazon and Google is understanding that consumers use the two platforms’ search functions in fundamentally different ways. On Google, people tend to search for the problem; on Amazon they search for the solution. For example, someone having trouble sleeping might type things like ‘insomnia’ and ‘sleep apnea’ into Google, but search Amazon for ‘sleep aid’ or ‘melatonin.’ Likewise, most people don’t search for brand names like ‘iPad’ or ‘Snickers.’ Instead they use generic terms like ‘tablets’ or ‘chocolate bars.’

In other words, to drive traffic on Amazon, successful brands must target natural language keywords (this is becoming even more important as voice eCommerce continues to become more widespread). Product titles in particular should include relevant terms preferred by Amazon users. It may be tempting to load a product title with only branded terms, but more often than not, those terms aren’t the ones shoppers are actually using.

The best way for brands to drive traffic is to win at search. To do that, brands must first optimize their search keywords to have any chance of succeeding in search, particularly the hotly contested first page of results. Next up we’ll take a much closer look at why landing on the first page is so important, as well as a couple other levers brands can pull to move up the search standings.

To go more in depth on how to succeed in this crucial space, download our whitepaper “Turning Amazon traffic into Amazon sales” here, or give our on-demand webinar “Driving Traffic and Conversion with Paid Advertising” a listen here, and check out the rest of this blog series, and all of our expert insights here.

Danny Silverman
Article by:
Danny Silverman

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