Building a Better Brand Experience on Amazon: Don’t Set It and Forget It – Rob Gonzalez, Salsify

Salsify Co-founder and VP of Business Development, Rob Gonzalez, shares insight on how brands can rank higher on Amazon by continually testing and optimizing Amazon content and advertising. Here, he talks about three ways that brands can improve their presence on Amazon. 

Make sure you sign up for the upcoming Salsify webinar on May 9th, 2018. Content26’s Mark White will join Rob Gonzalez in talking about ways you can use content and advertising to get your products discovered on Amazon’s digital shelf.

There is a massive shift in the way that successful brands are operating when it comes to Amazon. Unlike traditional retailers, most decisions on Amazon are largely made by an algorithm. You can’t charm or apologize to an algorithm. Instead, you must continuously test and learn how to get every product page to rank higher and convert more often. It’s a ready, fire, aim approach.

Understanding which factors influence Amazon’s A9 search algorithm can help you decide where to invest your marketing and merchandising efforts.  There is a long list of factors: product availability, SEO, price, reviews, advertising, images, A+ content, conversion rate; and more. Here I’m going to focus on just three key important things you can do to compete and continue to improve.

#1: Avoid Being Out of Stock.

For Amazon, this matters more for your visibility than almost anything else. If your products are out of stock, they’re going to be repressed from search. Moreover, it takes months for a product that goes out of stock to recover its rank.

#2: Leverage the right keywords.

A majority of product searches start on Amazon. People search for generic keywords based on their needs. The experience on the product page has to match that need and expectation. You’ve got to make difficult decisions across the organization starting with the search terms. What’s in the consumer’s mind? What are they going to put in the search bar? What’s going to satisfy the algorithm?

If you are looking for a place to start, Amazon Vendor Central makes the top million search key phrases available for download.  Search for phrases that impact your category or work with one of many ecommerce analytics service providers. Salsify Insights analyze trending keyword data and product page information to make suggestions on which relevant keywords will have higher ROI. It then suggests whether you should include those terms in the product title, bullet points or product description. Another way to learn the terms most important to your shoppers is to survey them directly or analyze your product review information for phrases and terms that people are using.

#3: Use product images to boost your SERP ranking.

If your products don’t have many high-resolution images, Amazon will depress your search ranking. Why? Because high-resolution images lead to conversion, and Amazon’s algorithms reward things that lead to conversion. Salsify data has shown that 53% of the time, a listing with more images will convert at a higher rate and outrank its competitors. And just as with counting cards at a blackjack table, a slight advantage over time compounds itself to an insurmountable lead in the algorithm.

The real question is not simply how many images will win, but also which images will help you win. Do your images tell a great story? Are you calling out key features of the product detail page so that as shoppers scroll through they are faced with specific benefits or features of your product? And if you’re short on images, use images that have just plain text.

Ultimately, the only way to win on Amazon is to test, measure, iterate over and over and over again.. If you want to get a sense of what’s working on your Amazon pages today, Salsify built a free product page grader to get you started. I also hope you can join Mark White of Content26 and me for our upcoming webinar, where we will go into more detail and take your questions about how to build the best product experience on Amazon.

Author Bio:

Rob Gonzalez is a co-founder of Salsify, a cloud-based platform that helps brands and retailers create, manage, and share all product content across the supply chain. Hundreds of brands with millions of products use Salsify, including Coca-Cola, 3M, L’Oreal, Lego, and GSK.

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