Amazon has made it easier for brands to reach a wider customer audience locally and internationally. But, while Amazon has a 54% market share of product searches, making it the most popular ecommerce marketplace in the world and surpassing Google, it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll rank and make sales.
This is because Amazon IS concentrated; they currently have 9.7 million sellers worldwide, and 1.9 million are actively selling on the marketplace.
So, how do you ensure that you get your ideal customers’ attention both locally and globally? By using SEO tactics and product listing optimization.
Let’s get into the why and the how-tos below.
Why brands should care about product listing optimization
Multichannel commerce can be the driving force that helps small businesses drive more sales and reach more people. And, since Amazon currently has 16 marketplaces, it’s allowing sellers the chance to sell across the globe. But with different brands all trying to catch customers’ attention, it can be challenging.
Reaching those customers is a battle of having the right keywords, optimized product listing titles, high-quality images, rich product descriptions, and positive reviews. This is why focusing on SEO, particularly product listing optimization, can play a vital role in ensuring that potential customers find your product online.
Customers’ purchasing decisions aren’t primarily based on a brand’s name; it’s based on convenience (which is great for SMB’s trying to attract more customers). This also explains why 83% of customers say convenience while shopping online is important. It also makes sense why so many people are starting their product searches on Amazon, not only for its convenience but also because they know they have a high chance of finding what they need, at a lower price.
Now, being on Amazon is only half the battle.
The second half before winning comes with ensuring customers find you and that you rank on the first page because only 30% of customers visit the second page.
This is where local and international product listing optimization comes in.
What is a local product listing?
Local SEO tactics are what help you reach customers within your region.
- It helps improve your product’s performance
- Places your content in front of the right local audience
- It helps you attract local searches, new customers, and existing customers
Relevancy is a weapon that allows you to target customers who are your specific target audience rather than targeting people who need your product but aren’t within the region. When focusing on local SEO, you're likely to bring in more qualified leads with a higher rate of converting into paying customers.
What is an international product listing?
The purpose of global SEO tactics is to help scale your online visibility by enhancing your rankings globally. But, why is this important? Well, let’s you sell your products in five different countries through Amazon, not just locally.
When you have optimized your content for each country with region-specific keywords, your product could potentially rank first and reach customers in those countries. However, when you don't incorporate global SEO tactics into your overarching strategy, your products will not appear to your audience, and thus stopping you from reaching a wider audience and bringing in sales.
If you have or are considering having a multilingual web store, customers can also choose to repurchase directly from your web store. This helps grow your business globally. And, even if they choose to stay on a marketplace as most customers prefer repeating purchases on marketplaces, it still works in your favor—you are wherever they are, making it easier for them to find you.
How to win at product listing optimization
Now that the difference between the two is clear, having both can be a turning point for your business. You’re strategically targeting all your customers, whether they are cross-border or locally. Focusing on one or the other won’t help your business; you need to be everywhere your customers are. If you're tired of a basic storefront, the internet is your playing field. You just need to know where to play.
To win at product listing optimization both internationally and locally, you need to:
- Research local and global keywords associated with your product
- Improve on-page elements for your website such as content, image optimization, title tags, meta descriptions, structured data, and more for search engines and potential website visitors from marketplaces
- Manage reviews and ratings to help rank better on Amazon (54% of customers read reviews before making a purchase)
- Have relevant backlinks that will educate Google on what your website is about, and, in turn, boost your chances of landing qualified leads
- Improve your website structure for international SEO strategy
- Focus on technical SEO signals. This helps search engines crawl and index your website more effectively helping improve your organic rankings
- Consider GEO and demographic targeting to help search engines target potential local customers through organic search
- Incorporate international link building
But, PLO doesn’t end on your website. It can also help you win and comply with Amazon’s requirements and Amazon’s A10 Algorithm, helping you rank first.
Here’s how you can improve local and international ranking:
1. Target keywords
This is what will set you apart from your competitors as Amazon focuses more on optimizing listings to get people to purchase a product. So, make sure you have a local and international keyword set. Use an Amazon-specific keyword research tool like Sonar to help you find the right keywords. Add your chosen keywords in your product description, title, and incorporate backend keywords of your listing.
2. Optimize product titles
Your title should be detailed enough to give your customer the information they need about the product. The level of detail can also increase your chances of getting your product on the first page and, hopefully, Amazon’s Buy Box.
The Buy Box is known as the white box located on the right side of the Amazon product detail page. This is where customers can add items for purchase to their cart. According to this article, 84% of Amazon sales go through the Buy Box and even higher on mobile devices. To get there, your product needs to stay continuously relevant and always rank high on the search results to get a spot.
And being on the Buy Box will help your sales and conversation rate to steadily increase. Your product title is what customers see first and it should be optimized enough to make them click. Since you are targeting local and international customers, be sure to check that your spelling for other countries is correct.
3. Quality imagery is important
People shop with their eyes, and in a market like Amazon, images tell a story. Have images that showcase how valuable a product is (as per the image above).
According to this article, quality imagery helps customers familiarize themselves with your product before they purchase it. So incorporating high-resolution images can help you catch consumer attention, increase conversions, and even promote positive reviews on Amazon. Additionally, Amazon requires:
- High-quality images of at least 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels
- The image needs to be directly related to your product
- Ensure there is no marking that takes away from the product, and hero images need to be displayed on a white background
- Optimize your images with alt text to improve ranking potential
- Have an SEO-friendly title that explains to search engines what the image is. Here, you can incorporate additional keywords to help push your rankings
4. Optimize product descriptions and features
As with keywords, you optimize product descriptions and features according to your audience and location. Amazon also has specific guidelines that you need to follow for their internal searching algorithm for instance:
- Be creative, don’t just copy and paste a manufacturer's description
- When writing product descriptions, titles, and features, stay away from using all capital letters or any promotional language
- Be mindful of your grammar and punctuation for any region's listings
- Don’t be promotional about your business and other products you’re selling, stick to the product
Instead, list valuable information in the feature selection of what your product can do, how it works, warranties, and guarantees. For your description, you’re allowed 2,000 characters, where you can add up rich information and use more keywords.
For your features, you’re allowed 500 characters. Be mindful of keyword stuffing as you can get penalized. (A friendly reminder: Good descriptions are what convert a customer who is browsing to one that purchases your product. So, add targeted keywords and tell them why this is the product they need.)
5. Pricing matters
Selling on Amazon is competitive, and having the best pricing is what will have a customer adding your product into their cart, and Amazon knows this. 64% of customers said they shop on Amazon because of pricing. So, make sure you find a sweet selling spot for yourself that benefits your bottom line and increases sales.
Update your prices (and currency) for local and international products because you don’t want to lose on a sale simply because a customer saw the wrong pricing.
6. Prioritize good reviews
Lastly, good product reviews are very important for ranking on Amazon and their Buy Box. Amazon has strict guidelines on how you can earn reviews.
Work on how you can earn those reviews as it influences buying decisions and can help you rank better as 84% of people trust reviews. To get good reviews:
- Encourage your customers to review your products after purchase through an email marketing campaign.
- When packaging your products, add a product insert asking people to leave reviews
- Request reviews through newsletters
- If you have a new product, join the Amazon Early Reviewer Program which is a program from Amazon where they send customers a gift card in exchange for their review
- If you have less than 30 reviews you can submit products on Amazon Vine which is when you send 30 products to Vine reviewers for free
Store your Amazon product information in PIM
Our product content management tool makes marketplace integration easier by allowing you to store, update, manage, and distribute it to Amazon hassle-free. The same can be done for any other marketplace you choose to sell on.
Instead of having various spreadsheets, manually having to update them for Amazon’s requirements, Plytix PIM simplifies that for you with the help of the Channels module. Automated feeds make multichannel sales management faster and ensure your products are consistent and accurate across every touchpoint.
Download our whitepaper for more information on the PIM market.