Building a Lasting Amazon Strategy

Many brands look primarily at data to drive customers to their Amazon product pages. They work with data analytic agencies that often stress the importance of optimizing product titles because the data says that’s what makes an impact on page traffic.

But there are other factors that play a role in page traffic, and taking them into account is necessary to be a success in the digital marketplace.

Amazon regularly changes their search algorithm. Just because titles have the most impact now, doesn’t mean that will always be the case.

To prepare for these changes, brands need to optimize their Amazon presence by following Jeff Bezos’s customer-centric philosophy. We know that Amazon will always put the customer experience first and brands that do the same will succeed on Amazon.

Content Makes a Difference

Content26 has built unique detail pages for over 600 brands since 2004, and we manage an ever-growing amount of Amazon Advertising dollars. Our goal is to drive traffic to Amazon product pages and brand stores that are not only optimized for search but, more importantly, optimized for the customer.

Agencies that put an emphasis on product titles and page traffic as a metric of success will encourage brands will pack their product titles with keywords without taking in to account the customer experience. Instead, brands with complete detail pages that aim to inform the customer will be more successful in inspiring a purchase.

Packing titles with keywords to optimize page traffic is especially shortsighted when you consider the new technologies that customers are purchasing with, like Alexa. Customers trying to shop with voice-powered devices as they read off rambling strings of adjectives and model numbers run the risk of being less likely to purchase and less engaged.

Navigating Amazon’s Data-Driven Landscape

One of the reasons why brands feel like they need to turn to third-party data agencies to give them direction on their Amazon strategies is the scarcity of data from Amazon itself.  This lack of transparency across Amazon’s data landscape leaves brands to look for agencies for guidance.

We know that Amazon has complex algorithms that determine which products or advertisements surface based on customer search behavior, and we know that essential content, including titles and bullets, significantly factors into these algorithms.

Unfortunately, we don’t get up-to-date data from Amazon about the effect content has on sales and search. We know that A+ content is not currently indexed in all categories, but we still have a lot of unanswered questions. For example, does the presence or absence of content affect search results rankings? Is the effect minor or significant? There’s no way to be certain with the current resources available.

We do know from working on the Amazon platform for more than a decade that Amazon values a best-in-class product catalog to provide an excellent customer experience and maintain its status as the number-one product search engine in the world

Brands need to deliver complete product pages that engage customers on varying types of content. Otherwise, they will be left playing catch up when Amazon starts focusing on another part of the product page besides keywords and essential content.

The Importance of Finding Balance

Data isn’t bad. Brands need data to give them insight into what works and what doesn’t. But brands also need to realize that the ecommerce world, and the Amazon world, moves quickly. A comprehensive strategy that takes both data and the customer experience into account will have much more longevity in the rapidly shifting scheme of things.

Instead of focusing on one or the other, brands need to find a balance between including relevant keywords within content and providing an attractive and informative branded experience online. Prioritizing long-term growth over short-term gains will benefit brands on Amazon in the long run.

Until Amazon provides more guidance for brands around how to optimize product pages, the best approach for brands is to align with Amazon’s customer obsession and develop a strategy that doesn’t sacrifice content for keywords. This approach is best for Amazon, agencies, brands, and, most importantly, customers.

Editor’s Note: On September 5, 2018, Amazon rebranded its advertising platform. Amazon Marketing Services changed to Amazon Advertising and Amazon Advertising Platform changed to Amazon DSP, among other changes. This blog post was changed on October 5, 2018 to reflect those changes.

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