Amazon SEO: How It Differs from Google

For product searches, Amazon is the new Google. Before purchasing a product, 38% of consumers start their search on Amazon (35% start their search on Google), and that number is rising every year.

Yet despite Amazon’s prowess in product search, many brands make the mistake of treating Google and Amazon SEO as one and the same. This results in wasted advertising dollars and poor discoverability on what is often brands’ most important online sales channel.

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Before detailing how to succeed with Amazon SEO, here’s a refresher on Amazon vs. Google search.

Paid Search for Google

The word Google is now so ubiquitous with search that the company’s name is effectively a verb that means, “to look something up.”

Google’s paid search service, AdWords, is currently the largest such service available online and nets the company more than $100 million per day. AdWords utilizes sophisticated algorithms that allow brands to target searchers in specific ways at different points throughout the shopping journey, based on:

  • Keyword
  • Location
  • Language
  • Device
  • Audience
  • Context
  • Topic

Additionally, AdWords allows specific placement of ads on sites within the Google Network, which includes 2 million websites and reaches roughly 90% of people on the internet.

Google: Discovering What’s Out There

The targeted marketing strategies offered by AdWords give advertisers greater control of remarketing capabilities. With focused advertisements, brands can serve ads on specific sites with different call-to-action messaging that corresponds to where the customer is in the shopping journey.

Many shoppers on Google are in the research phase of their journey, where they are more interested in learning about specific products than they are in actively buying them. Therefore, Adwords campaigns typically have a lower Return On Advertising Spending (ROAS) and higher keyword Cost Per Click (CPC) than ad campaigns on Amazon Marketing Services (AMS).

Amazon: Ready to BuyInfographic_Digital-Shopping-1_OU_AC_20160403

Amazon Marketing Services offers vendor brands the tools they need to drive Amazon traffic to their content through sponsored ads via keyword, product, and interest targeting.

Because customers who are searching for products on Amazon are already actively shopping and thus farther along in their shopping journey, ads run through AMS are more likely to result in higher conversion rates than with AdWords.

Amazon: More Bang for Your Buck, But Limited Control

Because AMS is a relatively new service, the competition for keywords is currently relatively low, resulting in a lower CPC for keywords than with AdWords. For a primer on the types of CPC ads available from Amazon, take a look at our previous post: How Does Amazon Marketing Services Work?

Though Amazon Marketing Services offers more competitive CPC rates than Google Adwords and is strategically placed further along in the sales funnel where searches become conversions, AMS advertisors are limited in the control of their campaigns compared to AdWords. However, as Amazon continues to develop AMS, this is likely to change.

The Unending Cycle of Amazon SEO and Google SERP

When products achieve Amazon SEO dominance, Google rewards these product pages by improving their Google SERP ranking. A better Google search ranking sends more people to the Amazon product page, and so on.

Once set in motion the two can continue to piggyback, continually improving each other in a self-sustaining loop like an SEO ouroboros.

Advice for Brands

Brands should approach advertising within Amazon and Google carefully. Since those searching on Google are likely to be at a different stage of the shopping journey than those searching on Amazon, the keywords used for each search will differ between the two search engines.

For example, if your company sells cameras it would make sense to use the keywords “SLR camera for sale” in Google AdWords, whereas in Amazon Marketing Services you would use “SLR camera” because the customer is already on a site where that product is for sale. The customer might be at the same level of the purchasing funnel, but would use different search queries depending on which search engine they use first.

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The Takeaway:

As Google and Amazon jockey for search superiority, it’s important for brands to understand the most effective ways to advertise using both.

Download The Definitive Guide to Amazon Marketing Services to start optimizing AMS campaigns and get the most out of your ad spend.

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