Most traffic on the web is driven by search engines. So if you want your Amazon products to sell, you need to know about how to create content that will attract those search engines, a practice known as SEO, Search Engine Optimization.
If you get it right, SEO will deliver people who really want to know about your product. That’s better than advertising in a magazine or on TV, where a lot of the readers or viewers aren’t interested in your product at all. If someone searches for “dog food” then they probably want to buy some dog food, if not right now, certainly later.
Search engines ‘crawl’ the web and then evaluate your page’s content. They then use algorithms to find pages that most closely fit the search terms that have been entered. These can be very advanced, but basically the search engine is looking for a number of characteristics:
• High quality and relevant information. So if a user enters “clogs”, a page with information about how clogs are made, how to get clogs that fit well, and where to buy clogs, will rank above a page which mentions clogs once in a travelogue about visiting the Netherlands.
• Other pages that link to your site. For instance if your page on clogs is referred to by museums, education departments, and press as an authority, then the search engine knows lots of sites see you as an important resource, and will push you up the rankings.
• The uniqueness of your content. If you have unique tips and tricks, for instance on how to smarten up an old pair of clogs, or the history of painted clog designs, then the search engine will boost you in the rankings.
One thing you can do to help your site rank well is to find out what people are searching for. What keywords do people enter when they’re looking for clogs? “Clogs”, obviously, but they might also look for “wooden shoes”, or the brand name “Scholl”, or “Dutch souvenirs”.
You need to know how many people are searching for that keyword. If you have a very specific product, it might be better to target generic searches. So if there aren’t too many people searching for “clogs”, you might want to look how many people are searching for “healthy footwear”, “gardening shoes”, and so on.
You also need to know how much competition there is for a keyword. You can find out all these things through Google’s Keyword tool.
Now you’ve found out your keywords, you need to use them on your page, not just in the text but in the title tag, image alt text, and the first hundred words or so. For instance you might decide your best title is not “Clogs” but “Comfortable, healthy, heavy-duty footwear for gardeners”.
What you mustn’t do is what’s called keyword stuffing. If you’ve ever read a page that just repeats a word over and over again without really telling you anything interesting, it’s been stuffed. Google and other search engines are getting smart enough to work this out, so make sure your page offers useful and readable content for ordinary humans and not just keywords for search engines!
There’s a lot more to learn about SEO and there are more things you can do to enhance your page’s chances, such as encouraging bloggers to link to your listings. But if you get the basic principles right, adding bells and whistles is much easier than you’d think.
Learning about the way keywords work is also a huge help when you’re thinking about pay per click advertising on Amazon. Keyword research will pay off both for organic sales (when customers come via the search engine) and for advertising, and your advertising will be all the more powerful if it’s linked to a thoroughly optimized listing page.