It is no secret that in the world of ecommerce, search engine optimization (SEO) is extremely important. It’s often the deciding factor in whether or not your content reaches the right audience (an audience that will convert), so optimizing for search engines is vital.
While putting efforts into SEO is important, it can be hard to attribute revenue to SEO initiatives. As a result, marketers may struggle to get necessary SEO resources approved. Budget, time, and people are all essential in creating a successful SEO strategy.
So, how can you demonstrably prove that SEO is worth that investment? That’s what we’re here to unpack. But first, let’s compare how SEO on Amazon differs from traditional SEO.
It starts with search intent.
On a traditional engine – like Google or Bing – users are largely research-focused. They are looking for answers to broad topics, like what kind of dog toys are good for large breeds or what is the best vitamin C skincare serum. In this area, user focus is on finding specific products from a wide variety of options.
Conversely, users searching on Amazon are largely product-focused with an intent to purchase. These individuals have already done the research into which products they are looking for and are merely trying to find them on Amazon.
Due to this difference in search intent, it is necessary for companies to adjust their verbiage when writing for their website vs their Amazon listing.
A company’s website should be optimized for the research stage of a consumer’s purchasing journey. People use Google when they have questions, not necessarily when they’re looking to buy. So, companies should ensure the content within the site is informative and helpful, allowing consumers a better insight into how the company fulfills their needs.
To increase the likelihood of users finding their website, companies should research and identify relevant, long-tail keywords. To incorporate these keywords into their website, companies can publish blog posts, provide FAQ sections, and include keywords in headers, meta content, and image alt text.
By providing consumers answers they are looking for, companies are better able to highlight why their product or service matches consumer needs.
On the flip side of SEO, a company’s Amazon listing should optimize for product-specific searches because that’s how consumers utilize the search engine. Instead of answering questions and focusing on long-tail keywords, like they would on their website, companies should craft their Amazon listing to optimize for more product-focused and shorter keyword searches.
Identify keywords that customers may be searching for, then incorporate them into the Amazon listing’s title, bullet points, and product description. While it is important to optimize for the Amazon algorithm, it is also important to curate content in a way that is audience friendly. If a listing is designed purely for the algorithm, the writing may come across as unnatural, deterring shoppers from purchasing a product. Learn more in our post, “Writing for the Amazon Algorithm.”
Bonus tip: A+ Content is not indexed by Amazon’s search engine, but it is indexed by Google. When creating A+ Content, research discovery keywords for Google as well.
For both traditional and Amazon SEO tactics, it is extremely important to do keyword research prior to drafting the copy. The keywords used in both search engines are likely similar, but their differences can significantly impact each of their success.
To put forth the best content on these pages, companies should utilize various research tools to get a grasp on what exactly users are searching. Helpful tools for identifying trending searches include SEMRush, Moz, and Buzzsumo. For Amazon, JungleScout, Helium 10, and MerchantWords are also helpful keyword research tools. Curating content around the words identified from these sources will allow the company to best optimize for each search engine.
So, once the changes are made, how does one measure SEO success?
Determining the success of an SEO initiative can be difficult, but it can be done. For brands with websites, success can be determined by looking at site metrics. These include:
Comparing these rates to the rates before the SEO changes can be helpful in attributing success to the optimization work put in.
The success of SEO tactics can also be determined through revenue calculation. To calculate a company’s return on investment from search engine optimization work, one can begin by calculating the monthly website revenues. To do so, multiply the industry’s average conversion rate by the monthly organic search traffic and then by the average dollar sale amount. These three metrics multiplied together will estimate the dollar amount attributed to a company’s SEO efforts.
Average Conversion Rate x Organic Search Traffic x Average Sale Amount = SEO-attributed revenue
To then get the return on investment, a company subtracts the fixed and variable costs for the SEO work done from the monthly website revenue. The fixed costs likely include costs from SEO tool subscriptions and maintenance agency services while variable costs include costs attributed to SEO-specific labor and content writing.
SEO-attributed revenue – costs (labor, tech, etc.) = Return on Investment
Amazon has its own specific metrics that can be utilized when determining SEO success. The first of these metrics, discoverability, refers to how easily a consumer can find a product. Key metrics to determine this include a product’s sessions as well as the search engine results page (SERP) placement. Sessions are given to a company through Amazon’s Business Report and the SERP can be measured manually or through a third-party tool. Success is determined by these two metrics through their rates; the higher the rate, the higher the revenue is expected to follow.
Another metric to measure Amazon SEO success is a product’s buyability. Buyability refers to how persuasive a product’s listing is at convincing consumers to convert. This is measured by a product’s sales and adjusted conversion rate.
Amazon’s conversion rate – the unit session percentage – was flawed in its approach to measure product-specific conversions, so Kaspien solved this issue. We created our own adjusted conversion rate in order to look at specific product’s conversions, rather than conversions of related products. To calculate the adjusted conversion rate, multiply the listing’s overall sessions by the buy box percentage. Once this is figured out, divide that number by the listing’s units ordered.
(listing sessions x Buy Box percentage) / units ordered = listing conversion rate
How does a company know an SEO change is going to work before completing an entire change?
Here at Kaspien, we set out to determine which practices on websites produced the best results and higher conversions. Through a set of A/B testing, we found that simplicity is key. The easier a website is to navigate, the happier customers are, and the more likely they are to purchase from the website. Through this test, we also uncovered that the messaging, product placement, and pricing all play major roles in a customer’s decision whether or not to purchase on a company’s website.
Before switching up a website completely, we suggest running some A/B tests as well to determine if a change would be beneficial or not in a company’s success. To do this, change one portion of the website – whether that be placement of certain products on the page or reworking the listings in a section. Once this is done, track the conversions to see if the change made a difference in site revenue.
To determine how well these tactics worked, compare the results from the original site layout to the updated site through the metrics provided above. Doing so will allow a company to successfully determine whether or not certain changes are necessary to boost sales and overall product revenue.
Increasing the scope of company SEO tactics can greatly impact profitability and consumer recognition. SEO’s impact on discoverability and buyability are generally well recognized, but notoriously tricky to quantify. However, learning how to measure and estimate material impact is essential for getting your SEO efforts the resources they deserve.
For more information on this topic, watch our on-demand webinar, “How to Turn SEO into a Measurable Revenue Generator.”
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