While most people don’t think of Amazon as a search engine, it’s actually one of Google’s biggest search rivalries (just ask Google).
We recently sat down with Dave Chesson, Amazon SEO expert and founder of Kindlepreneur.com, to talk about how sellers can increase their search rankings on Amazon.
Here is a portion of our interview with Dave. To hear more, make sure to tune in to our webinar, How to Market Your Brand at Amazon.com.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background and what got you interested in Amazon SEO?
Dave Chesson: When I first got into online marketing, I actually started with Google. With Google I found that by optimizing your website and your posts and everything, you’d be able to basically convince Google that your website should be ranked near the top. When you get your website to the top, you get the traffic, and hopefully you’re getting the sales.
While I was making websites rank at the top of Google I made a connection. I found out that if I self-publish my own book on Amazon, I could redirect the Google traffic to Amazon to my book and that was great. Then I started noticing that by doing that my book started ranking higher on Amazon.
It was at that point that I had the online marketer “aha” moment and realized that Amazon is just like Google. It’s a search engine. It’s called the A9 algorithm. It’s got some different factors. For instance, it focuses more on sales conversion then Google does because it’s not sales it’s more like clicks.
When I had that realization, I started to take my SEO background and I really focused on Amazon and started experimenting and doing the same things I used to with Google but just on a different platform.
Q: Could you give us a quick overview of the A9 algorithm?
Dave Chesson: There are two parts to the A9 algorithm. There’s the on-page optimization and the off-page optimization, just like with Google. First, we need to convince the algorithm that the product actually deserves to be in that same search result.
If you’re creating a special organic soap then you need to have things on your page that make the algorithm think that this is a product about organic soap. That starts with things like the title, the subtitle, the description, some even say the title of the pictures that you upload. The algorithm will search the page and it will find things like this and say to itself that this page is definitely about organic soap.
The next part is what you do on the outside to make it so that your soap ranks higher than the other organic soaps. That comes in on the click-to-sales conversion, which I think is the most important factor for ranking at the top of Amazon. The click-to-sales conversion is basically the process where a customer goes to Amazon, and types in the keyword or search term that they’re looking for. In this case, we’ll say it’s organic soap. Then they scroll down and find your organic soap, they click on it, and then they purchase it. That is the greatest signal to Amazon that you belong at the top.
Q: So, conversion rate is king?
Dave Chesson: The beautiful thing about the A9 algorithm is that it’s almost built to correct itself. Say you create a product and do all of the amazing tweaking in the world, and promote it and everything. But if you get shot up to the top of Amazon for this keyword ranking and everybody keeps selecting number 2 or 3 or 4 in the ranking and not yours, then you drop. That’s it. In the end you can do everything possible but if you don’t convert the sales you will fall and you won’t hold the top. If you can get those conversions, you’re going to sit up there pretty for a very long time. It’s all about the conversion.
Q: If you had to choose one on-page optimization technique to tell sellers about what would it be?
Dave Chesson: When I write my descriptions, I like to treat it like sales copy because that’s exactly what it is. Secondly, understand that people are lazy. We’re not going to read blocks of text. We want to skim.
Lastly, I really love to leave a call to action. Think of it like a sales page because that’s what it is.
Q: Are there any main takeaways regarding Amazon SEO that you would like Amazon sellers to walk away with?
Dave Chesson: Since the creation of FBA and KDP and all these other functions that allow just about everyone and anyone to jump in to the Amazon sales platform. Since that creation, the amount of competition is exponentially increasing. That doesn’t mean that Amazon is not a place where you can make money. It’s still an amazing place for it. I think that because of this and because of the increase in competition, it’s even more important that you understand how you can change some of the factors. If you can get your product to the top it means you’ll enjoy even more success than you could have 5 years ago.
If you would like to hear more insights from Dave please tune in to our webinar How to Market Your Brand at Amazon.com on Wednesday, March 16th.