Are you an online seller looking to boost your SEO strategy? Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s consider the two biggest competing search engines: Google and Amazon.
Wait, did I just say Amazon?
Yes. When it comes to product searches, a 2016 study found that 55% of online consumers begin their search on Amazon. And 90% will check Amazon even if they’ve found the product elsewhere. Of course, Google is still king when it comes to general information searches—but for product searches, Amazon is the clear winner of the two.
This is great news not only for Amazon vendors, but for third-party sellers as well, because it means they can use Amazon SEO to compete on the same playing field as bigger vendors.
But does that mean your SEO strategy should be the same for Google and Amazon? Absolutely Not. It’s important to learn the difference so that you can strategize accordingly.
Here are 3 simple yet essential differences to consider when seeking to maximize your SEO for Google and Amazon:
- Keywords: Long-tail vs. Short Tail?
It’s always crucial to integrate the most popular keywords into your Amazon listing—but which kind? When it comes to Google, using a few long tail keyword phrases is a must. (This is because most people searching on Google will ask questions directly, like “How do I rank higher on Amazon?” or “What’s the best deep fryer for home use?”) Short tail keywords are less valuable on Google; they will cast a wider net and pull up a much broader listing of your competitors.
Keep in mind that just a one-time use of a high-volume phrase likely isn’t going to cut it if you’re aiming to rank on page one. So be sure to carefully repeat your targeted phrase in your copy, while avoiding keyword stuffing.
Unlike Google, Amazon’s algorithm gives more weight to individual short-tail keywords. And using the keyword just once is generally enough. A best practice is to include the top 2-3 keywords in the product title and the other keywords sprinkled around within the bullet points and description. Note that breaking up long-tail keywords and using those broken up phrases throughout the listing (e.g. half the phrase appearing in the product title and the other half in the description) will still allow you to rank for the full phrase.
- Links to External Sites: Do They Matter?
For Google’s algorithm, external sites that link back to your page will have a tremendous impact on search results. Your website’s importance is largely determined by how often it’s linked on other sites—especially those in your industry. So if you sell kitchen appliances, you’ll do better on Google if your product is linked on a site that reviews kitchen appliances.
The Amazon search engine, however, is totally self-contained. It’s not only that it’s not important to use external links in your amazon listing, Nor, you should avoid that at all costs because it can cause your listing to be flagged for removal. So the Amazon algorithm doesn’t care at all whether your product is linked. All that matters is its performance within Amazon’s platform. The more you sell, the better you will rank.
- Clicks vs. Sales: Which Matters More?
For Google, customer interaction has a profound effect on search engine results. The number of clicks your page receives, where those clicks are coming from, and what your bounce rate is are key factors in how you’ll rank. That being said, SEO specialists will often be able to manipulate SEO for a new or lesser-known site to raise a site’s ranking.
With Amazon SEO, it’s much more difficult to “hack” your way to the top. Amazon SEO relies much more heavily on the popularity of your product, reviews, and your conversion rate. As stated before, if your customers are buying, they boost your page to a higher ranking. It’s that simple.
There are some big differences between SEO strategy for Amazon and Google. But that doesn’t mean you have to choose one over the other. Google and Amazon SEO can and should complement each other. The more successful your Amazon page, the better it will perform in Google’s search results. And the higher it ranks on Google, the more traffic will be directed to your Amazon page.
Just beware: Trying to apply Google SEO best practices only to boost your Amazon listing probably will hurt you instead of help you. And vice versa. A solid, two-pronged strategy will not only be good for sales but give you more stability in the long-run.