Category Archives: SEO

How to do Keyword Research – Website & Amazon

Doing keyword research is the best way to do SEO and optimize your product titles and copy “to sell more products to more people more often for more money.” Quote by Harry Joiner.

There are a few tools you can use to help you with your keyword research:

  1. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
  2. Jungle Scout Chrome Extension
  3. Jungle Scout Web App

This video walks you through how and why to use these tools. If you follow this advice it will skyrocket your organic traffic to your products and help push your sales!

 

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SEO – How to Drive Real Traffic Growth

Get Search Engine Optimization help from an SEO Ecommerce ExpertEverybody knows driving web traffic is a good idea. And thousands of people out there claim to be good at SEO offering even thousands more ideas. It’s overwhelming, and if you’re an eCommerce or website owner how do you even measure your success? How do you know your team (if you have one) is executing properly. How do you know if your website and strategy are sound? You’ve come to the right place to get some SEO eCommerce Consulting from an SEO Expert Consultant.

This particular article is meant to simplify SEO down to two executable things:

  1. Content production
  2. Technical SEO infrastructure

Content Production – Quantity matters, quality helps

If you’re blogging once a week, you’re doing content production right? WRONG. You need to scale far beyond that, you need 500+ pages of content a year. If your team can execute that, that’s content production. 500 pages might break down to blog posts, adding paragraphs of content to your category and product pages, or even building landing pages.

Think big because…

There are nearly 1-billion websites out there.

1-trillion websites

What makes your website special? Why should Google pick your page to outrank the billions of other pages it could use. That 1-billion website number isn’t the number of pages, it’s the number of websites. You need to build a catalog of information. You may have heard the phrase “Content is King” before. Well the reason is in an information age, the more relevant content you produce, the more people can find your site. The more people who can find your site, the more people who may convert and become a customer. Relevant content helps boost your ranking because the #1 SEO ranking factor today is engagement.

Engagement means:

  1. Time spent on site
  2. Bounce rate
  3. How many pages viewed before exiting
  4. Number of interactions (button clicks, sign up for email etc.)

How do you scale SEO content?

There’s a lot of ways you could tackle this. Depending on the size of your organization, here are possible options:

  1. Hire an agency. I recommend SearchSide.
  2. Build an internal content team. Hire writers on staff.
  3. Hire free lancers, meet once a week to brainstorm content ideas.
  4. Write the content yourself.

Technical SEO infrastructure – The best content with bad tech drives zero traffic

Okay you’ve got a content production team, now you need the infrastructure to translate your content in a way that Google understands.

The basics:

  1. HTML title – this is the title of the page as coded <title> of the page. If your title is “Blog” you are telling Google literally that it’s a blog. If you say “Best eCommerce Consulting Advice on SEO ever” that’s going to rank you for those key phrases. This has the strongest SEO impact on your page.
  2. Meta Description – This is the description of your page. It should be uniquely set to include a value proposition. Why should someone click on your page? Put that reason here.
  3. Keywords – Google claims they don’t use the keywords

Taking this a level deeper, you need to build a website with a good hierarchy.

  • Home page
    • Category page
      • Sub category page
        • product
  • Education/news/blog landing page
    • Category
      • Article

Building your url to look like www.brandnamehere.com/category-name-here-/page-title-here

On those pages, you need a layout to give:

  • Headline 1 <h1>
    • Headline 2 <h2>
      • Headline 3 <h3>
      • Headline 3 <h3>
    • Headline 2 <h2>
      • Headline 3 <h3>
      • Headline 3 <h3>

This organizes your content so Google knows what’s most important. Beneath the headlines of course you would have paragraphs of text.

This is just technical organization. The advanced items delve into:

  1. Schema
  2. Markup
  3. Engagement metrics
  4. Page load time.
  5. Responsive design

I’ve linked 5 articles that delve into each of those in depth. But I recommend you tackle all the organizational tech before attempting those.

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Amazon – Launching a product targeting Conversion & Traffic

When you first launch a product on Amazon, whether you’re a private labeler, or a multi-million dollar corporation, there’s two things you should be focused on. Get traffic to Amazon, and convert that traffic. Getting traffic is harder, so I’m going to start with conversion first. I’ve launched thousands of skus over the past few years on Amazon, and each category is different. But the basic marketing 101 concepts of traffic and conversion are universal. This is a short straight to the point read, as you dive in and work on specific areas you will want to do further research. This is meant as a starting point overview.

Conversion:

Photos: 6+ photos of product. Most brick and mortar focused companies, or catalog companies, tend to provide a single photo of the product. This simply is not enough in today’s world. If you don’t have 6+ photos you are behind the curve. You should have a photo of the front, back, side, lifestyle, group photo of all products for potential upsell if you sell variations or similar products, close up of product in action (like an apple cutter cutting an apple close up shot of just the apple and cutter), label/ingredients if not easily seen on back.

Sometimes you don’t have the ability to get all these kinds of shots. Perhaps you only have access to a single photo and there’s nothing you can do about it. In these instances you can hire an affordable overseas graphic designer to make the image look different with liquids or effects. Such as this Fine Occasion Monogram Wine Glass. Here you’ll notice 5 photo options, all similar in shape and size but the image has different “wines” or aesthetics used on the glassware.

Reviews: Recommend getting 3-5 reviews on each product asap. Once you have that, future reviews will come organically. In a pinch, get some friends and family to buy your product on Amazon from their personal accounts and leave you a review.

 

Content: Spending time on bullet points is a must. Fleshing this out and the product description to really talk up the product, why it’s special, why people should buy it. This copy has to balance having a conversation with the consumer (most important) and putting in keywords to generate traffic (see below keywords section).

 

Traffic:

Amazon ads – Categories like beauty and technology have abnormally high PPC bids. Other categories will be more fortunate like home and goods. Depending on the competitve nature of your category I would recommend a strategy of break even on ads. Factor in all your costs and max your ad spend to break even on your products. That means your ACOS could be as high as 50% on many products. Typically more healthy at 25% but on launch especially you should be spending a lot on ads. If you have 1000 of something in stock at $25 a piece you should be spending at least $5,000 in the first month to launch this product. Every product will be different, but if you are weak in other areas this is the easiest one to do, it just requires you opening your wallet/budget.

Offsite traffic into Amazon – This is probably the hardest thing to do. But any off site traffic you can drive into Amazon will pay dividends. Recommend 2-3 month campaign to push people to Amazon through any means. Could be store traffic, emails to customer base you have (if applicable), sites like www.snagshout.com.

Keywords (SEO) –  The title of your product is the most important thing you do. Be sure to be as descriptive as possible, but do not go too long or the Amazon brand guideline team will truncate your title without consulting you. When I first launched the Fine Occasion monogram wine glass I had about 20 words in the title. Amazon cut me down to 4 words and I had to fight to get it back to the 8 words it’s at today. Second fill in your bullet points. These should be super fleshed out. One technique I employ is to use caps on an important phrase at the beginning of the bullet point and then regular non caps copy that follows. This allows you to convert two different types of people. Someone who is making a decision to buy in under 30 seconds will only read the caps. Someone who spends 10 minutes will read all the copy. Third  fill in keywords in the search terms field of the item editing. If you have a list of commonly used industry terms for each product, it is valuable to have. For instance, one person might call a product shaving cream, and another might call it shaving soap. Need your product knowledge to take advantage of things like that. Third writing rich copy with keywords in product description.

Any friends, family, or business connections you have that can make a purchase on your products will help lift the products off initial ground. Buying a product from your personal account, and getting others to do the same, will start your BSR sales velocity. I’d call this a guerrilla marketing tactic and it’s only good at the launch. Some sales are better than no sales for ranking consideration. In most categories there are just simply thousands of product alternatives and Amazon has no incentive to show your product without prior sales history in their organic rankings.

 

Distribution Control:

For the non-private labelers out there, ie people who sell at trade shows, wholesale, brick and mortar etc. You need to focus on more than traffic and conversion. Distribution control. Right now with the product fresh it could be tempting to allow other Amazon players. Especially since you may be slow to get your product into FBA and launch. I would recommend not allowing additional players to enter Amazon on your behalf however, as IMAP concerns, data issues, and other problems can surface.  Having future partners sign an agreement that says they won’t sell on Amazon is advised. It will save you a headache down the road!

 

 I’ll be making an appearance on Stephen Peterson’s www.ecommercemomentum.com podcast in August, 2017. Be on the lookout. One of the topics I cover is why you should acquire a business when entering a new market instead of doing it from scratch.
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SEO – Winning the Answer Box

When you win the “Answer Box” in SEO with Google, it’s like winning a beautiful free paid ad that leap frogs your website to the top of the competition. Answer boxes come in many forms, depending on your industry, and have been nicknamed “position 0.” They were created by Google as a way to deliver the BEST result possible to the user, and the user generally gets a lot of valuable information from the box of information displayed. There are several ways to optimize for the answer box.

Just this week my company website that specializes in Gold Spot Prices published a change to our historical price tracker page that resulted in us winning the answer box in less than 24 hours.

APMEX has a live gold spot price tracker

There are several things you’ll notice about this particular answer box.

  1. It has an image of a beautiful Gold American Eagle coin.
  2. There’s organized information.
  3. It’s a copy of the live updated information portrayed from the website.
  4. It still links to the information.

Users who want to know specific information, get that information instantly from their Google search. Many users will not even need to click on the result because they already know what they were seeking. YET – many users do still click. A significant portion of them will end up clicking on the answer box, and at a higher proportion than a regular organic listing because they already know the credibility of the source. Many users will want to know even more information from this new trusted source they found.

In the example above, after winning the answer box, we added column headers for “Gold Price Today” and “Spot Change” to make it even more understandable to the search query. Google had the updates displayed within a couple of hours. So it’s entirely possible to optimize the answer box, even after you win it. I think Google has gotten even better at this recently because some of the blog posts out there from a year ago on answer boxes suggested that Google would cache the result and maintain it even months after the content of a page was gone.

Reasons why optimizing for the answer box is a good idea:

  • Gives you #1 Organic Position
  • Generates more clicks than a regular #1 Organic Position
  • It’s free
  • It doesn’t look like an ad
  • BUT – it’s as beautiful as an ad

Prediction: Answer box results are on the rise, and will inevitability reshape search over the coming 3 years

Back in September of 2014, Moz was tracking the percentage of answer box results. On 9/26/14 the use of answer boxes doubled to 3.5% of all results. SearchEngineLand found that answer boxes led to incredible click through rates of 33% (that’s like double a “regular” #1 organic listing). In February of 2015 one study showed 20% of all search queries were rich answer box results. I personally found that number too high compared to Moz’s study in a short time period. So it’s possible that latest study was true for only some industries.

With that said, I believe we could see answer boxes double, triple, and even quadruple in 2016 year over year. And than over the next 3 years, we will see answer boxes appear in as many as 33% of all results. So if your SEO team isn’t optimizing for answer boxes now, you’re missing the inevitable strategic shift of opportunity in SEO.

Some SEOs think Google will eventually monetize answer boxes. I think that’s possible, but I think it’s more likely Google will only monetize answer boxes for retail, and leave the factual information gathering answer boxes alone. For example, Google might end up monetizing “Best place to buy (fill in blank)” just like they did with PLAs, paid search, and other products in the past. The primary payers of those systems? Retail.

Okay – so how do I optimize for the answer box?

You’re going to need a website with high site authority to begin with. If you just launched a website, chance are your authority isn’t established enough to even compete on this scale. If you have some great content that already gets thousands of visitors, it will be easier to optimize that than to launch a new page. Building something that has schema, markup, or at least a direct answer to a question, are good starting points to winning the answer box.

What is Schema SEO?

In short – you’ll need a page of content that has meta tags optimized, relevant information that answers a query, and keywords in the copy.

Resources you will need:

  1. Good content
  2. High site authority
  3. A developer
  4. An SEO expert to marry all of those things together.

If you need help with your SEO, contact me for consulting in the evenings and weekends.

Relevant continued reading:

Answer Box – Search Engine Land

How Google Triggers Answer Boxes

Schema Markup SEO

Schema Structure Data – Moz

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