Four Reasons Why Amazon is the New Google and What this Means for Brands

As some of you may already know from our announcement just a few weeks ago, I’ll be presenting at the Online & Digital Grocery Summit in Chicago November 5.  For you loyal readers who can’t make it to Chicago, I’m offering some of the highlights from my talk, “Stick, Drive & Convert with Amazon: Or, Why Amazon is the New Google for CPG”.

Though I’ll be focusing on why CPG brands specifically should be thinking of Amazon less like a retailer and more like the product search engine it has become, wise brands will understand the core message applies to any company that wants to succeed at #ecommerce. For evidence, have a look at nearly any piece of news on competition between Google and Amazon in the last few years, or just one of the latest.

So without giving away the proprietary, IPO-level secrets reserved for the paying registrants of the conference (but if you want those too, FYI: you can save $100 if you register with the code “Content100”), I can say that, like all great ideas, my key points can be condensed to an easily-referenced listicle. Without further ado: The four reasons why Amazon is the new Google and what that means for your brand.

Reason #1: Search VolumeSearch-Starts-on-Amazon

Years ago, everyone was talking about how 30% of all product searches started on Amazon. Now, Forrester is predicting that by the end of this year, that number will rise to 50%. Compare that to the comparatively modest 11% that begin like searches on Google, and you get the picture: Amazon is, and will continue to be, the new Google for product search.

Reason #2: Content

(Reader Advisory: Apologies in advance to the geniuses at Moz and every other brilliant SEOer for this simplified summary of SEO practices.)

Amazon-New-Google2To see big results with Google, you need compelling and relevant content that will engage your customers and entice them to share your content with their social network. When your content has this effect, your page authority will increase, and your content will rise in Search Results Pages (SERPs). And, in theory, the more eyes on your pages, the better for your business.

Building great content is the foundation of every successful SEO campaign with Google, and the same goes for Amazon. It’s no coincidence that Amazon is the only major retailer that provides the tools and the freedom to control your own content, and ranks the highest among major retailers.

We have built hundreds of thousands of pages of content for Amazon, and our work with some of the world’s leading brands and retailers continues to show that content delivers a great ROI, in some cases delivering over a 30% conversion increase.

Reason #3: Amazon Media Services DIY ToolsAmazon-New-Google

Like Google AdWords, Amazon Media Services gives you the tools that you need to drive Amazon traffic to your content through keywords and sponsored ads. And they are simple enough to use on your own.

That’s not to say these tools don’t have room for improvement, and several third party keyword tools could help you arrive at a similar end. So while you may be wise to work with an agency on this (hint, hint), it’s good to see Amazon finally taking significant steps toward a DIY model for relevant content and marketing needs without gouging you for needless services.

Reason #4: Data Doesn’t Lie

AmazonNewGoogle2Amazon provides you with a lot of the data you need to make keyword and content decisions. You’ll be wise to turn to other data sources for help, but the DIY tools give you the information you need to build your product pages with the right keywords and drive traffic to your pages with sponsored ads.

By mining Vendor Central for performance KPIs, you’ll know pretty quickly if you are optimizing your product pages for eyeballs and conversion. If the data tells you it’s not working, tweak your formulas and try again.

Bonus Reason: Google SERPS

If you do all these steps well, you can piggy back on Amazon’s SEO authority and Google will begin rewarding your product page by improving its SERP ranking.

You see how this works, right? You SEO the heck out of your product pages on Amazon, which will help your SEO efforts on Google, which will improve your SEO value on Amazon, which will… you get the picture.

And better yet, as search trends change due to seasonality or real-world events (flu outbreaks, fashion changes, breaking news, etc.), you have the tools to revise your content and ads with new keywords to keep your traffic optimized, almost in real time.

Where else besides your own web properties can you do this?

The Takeaway: Amazon is the New DIY

Amazon will continue to move toward a full DIY model with their content and marketing tools. This is great news for all brands, and we’re here to help.

We’ll be introducing new tools and services that can help you manage your content in the next several weeks, and all the when’s and what’s will be detailed right here on our blog. In the meantime, you can join me in Chicago for more on how all the pieces fit together or, if you just can’t wait, contact us any time.