More than half of all product searches are no longer happening in Google – they’re happening within marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart. That means getting the SEO right on your product pages is more important than ever. Pauline Shiu from listing automation platform Zentail joined Teikametrics’ E-commerce Marketing Manager Liz Downing and Senior Account Executive and the Head of Affiliate Partnerships Andrew Johnson for a webinar to discuss the tricks sellers can use to improve their product page SEO and get more conversions. Watch to learn how to find the best keywords for your product, the secret to a great title and description, and how advertising fits into your SEO strategy.

We covered:

  • How SEO has evolved
  • Setting up your sales page for SEO success
  • Why reviews are important for the algorithm
  • & so much more

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Key Teikaways

8:19 – Don’t keyword stuff

Pauline said the best keyword strategy for SEO is to put them in the important places and make sure they’re reader-friendly.

“One of the best components for me to come out of the evolution of SEO, if you will, is that it’s no longer about all the keyword stuffing. If you want to get technical, your H1 headlines and your website titles and description, obviously we’re gonna talk about today are really important. I’m glad we’ve moved beyond the keyword stuffing. And now we’re really concerned about the user experience and how it reads to your end-user. Having keywords and descriptions in general that are human-friendly keywords and descriptions really goes a long way because that is the person who’s digesting your content at the end of the day. And making sure that it resonates with your buyer is the most important.”

10:53 – Sales page SEO is key to conversions

Pauline said pulling people in with good content is key to higher conversions down the funnel.

“50-60% of product searches are starting within the marketplaces. I’m sorry to our friends at Google. A lot of it’s transitioning off Google directly to the marketplaces. And so you want to make sure that you are hooked up into kind of their backend, as well as for just general SEO and just to cover those bases. And then from there further, it’s something that we find really plays into all of this discoverability are the filtering aspects. So when you think about your long-tail keywords, not everyone is going to type in size two, whatever color dress, style. They’re going to type in dress, go-to style, size, go to sleeve length, whatever. And all those filters really, really matter. We all know this by now, 70% of customers aren’t clicking past that first page. And so getting there at the top of page one is key. From there, you’re going to click into your products, landing pages, product detail pages, product listings, whatever you want to call it. But that also has a 10-15 conversion rate, right? So it’s all a numbers game. It’s all just going to funnel down. You need the eyeballs, you need the clicks, you need the conversions, the sales, the checkouts. And so again, really good titles, bullet points, descriptions get you those conversion rates.”

14:33 – Paid advertising won’t help if your listing is bad

Andrew said make sure you have a well-structured listing before trying to improve with advertising. In fact, Walmart won’t even let you advertise until your organic performance is solid.

“You have some customers that have very terrible listings. Definitely advertise as a great way to get more traffic to your products, but if your listing isn’t a great listing it throws maybe one or two pictures, not high def, poor descriptions, a couple of words here and there, you can do all the best advertising in the world and it’s not going to really do much. So that’s definitely one thing you’ll see. Sometimes too, I’ve seen that people maybe will have a really tough campaign structure. The way on Amazon, how it works is you have to have a really well thought out structure as something like the foundation of your advertising. Just to make sure it’s in a really good place. So sometimes I’ll talk to people that may not have a really good approach to that. So it really depends on the user, but advertising is a great way to help you, and we’ll talk about this further, increase your SEO if you used the right way and it’s important to have the right setup and make sure that you actually have the right foundation built. Otherwise, it’s going to be tough.”

20:20 – Automation can keep you up to date on requirements

Pauline said if you’re unaware of requirement changes, you could have your listings removed if they don’t comply. Automation platforms like Zentail keep your listings up to date.

“We call them taxonomy changes. Categories, attributes, requirements, things like that. When there are changes sellers don’t always know about them, which then result in listing errors. If you have listing errors that are critical listing errors, then exactly, your listings are removed, they don’t meet requirements. And then you do kind of have to rebuild. Something that Zentail does is something called change management. And because we know the taxonomies of all the different marketplaces and then how they work together. Again, we talk about Zentail’s central catalog. We make that one change within Zentail and then we push that out. So speaking about what’s going on now, if I can go back a couple of years, Amazon changed its shoe requirements. There were different requirements for, I want to say it was like target age and gender, things like that, as well as, additional requirements for sizing guidelines. So we made the change core to the catalog so that sellers had to maybe do a couple of clicks, but all their listings were automatically updated, which reduced their downtime and kept their listings active. So, yes, unfortunately, if you don’t have something like this, you will first have to find out what changed, make the change, re-push. And you’re going to have to find a way to drive that traffic again, get back in good graces.”

24:45 – Advertising is an important piece of SEO

Your advertising should boost SEO, which will boost your organic sales.

“Advertising, while it’s definitely great for driving ad sales, really the most important thing here is going to be the organic impact from that which ties directly in with SEO. So the way it works in Amazon is, of course, as you’re advertising and using advertising as the best way to drive more positive actions quickly to your listing. So more impressions, more clicks, ideally more positive reviews and conversions. As more positive things keep happening on your listing, both Amazon and Walmart, of course, their biggest interest is happy customers, right? So the more positive things happen on your listing, as part of their algorithm, to some extent, they’ll definitely start giving you more organic shopping, which will result in more organic sales, the more positive things keep happening on your page. So our flywheel, we definitely, I think it’s a good graphic here, but essentially as you’re advertising more, as long as you’re doing it effectively, you should definitely be seeing more ad sales of course, or more importantly, more organic sales, which of course is a great sales you’re not paying any advertising piece for. So as all these sales start to increase, you can reinvest this increase in sales back in ad spend to make this flywheel type of snowball situation.”

27:14 – How to find your keywords

Pauline recommends basic Amazon and Google tools, but mostly she encourages sellers to explore different phrases and spellings, even misspellings, for your product to see what is most relevant.

“When you’re looking for keywords, there’s a couple of things you can do free of charge. So you can, this is a suggestive search. So as you type items into the Amazon search bar, it gives you other alternatives. You can kind of start there. There’s also Google Trends. That’s a free service that you can use. See how they provide you the trend of that keyword as well as others that are relevant to it. And then there’s just like a plethora of tools, especially around the Amazon ecosystem for discoverability, things like that, paid services that go a long way. The thing that was really interesting to me here is that with content, you have to, again, keeping the user in mind, you have to consider what are all the ways that someone can search for your product. So I did the difference here between spelling out BBQ and then abbreviating BBQ. And you can see that it’s close, but it’s different, right? How the search results pull up, what the other options are. So exploring all of this is really important.”

35:42 – Use great titles

Pauline recommends including the most important keywords into the first 50 – 70 characters for mobile shopping content.

“So when you think about what comes first, I think the larger picture to keep in mind is character count, right? So your Amazon and Walmart character counts can go up to like the hundreds plus. Focus on the first 70. It could relate into mobile shopping and that really, they see the first 50-70 characters on mobile. And so you want the most relevant keywords to show up earlier on. Same thing goes with your bullets. Your bullets can be like 1,000-1,200. Focused on the first 700-800. And so yes, the brand name is important. I would make sure it fits in that first 70. If I can kind of go back and forth between the answer, it doesn’t have to be first, again, we know that not all of your customers will be shopping by brand name. That comes into the longer tail keywords in a way, but it does have a lot of importance in terms of what Amazon looks for and Walmart, what both marketplaces look for in titles.”

44:34 – Focus on a clean listing and test often

Pauline said that while Amazon allows a certain amount of misspellings, you want to focus on an easily readable listing and testing which keywords work for you. Don’t make one listing and never update it.

“The other thing that’s interesting is that Amazon to a degree will, I don’t want to say turn a blind eye to misspellings and things like that in grammar, because of what we talked about earlier, right? Like we know that people are purposely putting misspelled items in to get to those weird keyword searches. And maybe that’s why they’re showing up that way. But again, you have to make sure that you’re putting them in a way that it still makes sense to the reader because if it’s just littered with all these things that when grouped together don’t make a lot of sense, my guess is that you’re not going to have a lot of conversions, my guess is that your placement within the algorithm is going to go down and you’re not going to want to do that. So it really comes down to have a testing framework, have a spreadsheet that says, this is what my product description was for these two weeks. These are the results. Try something new, next two weeks, compare the difference. Optimizing your product listings is something that some people do as a set it and forget it. And we don’t recommend that.”

46:06 – Reviews are very important for the algorithm

Pauline said reviews not only have weight in the algorithm, but they’re also a good way to find new keywords.

“Reviews absolutely factor in, not even just the review, the content words themselves…So you can look at review content for what keywords you should be using. Competitors, search box, et cetera. Reviews absolutely matter. It’s all of that written in content, is what goes towards the algorithm. And then further it’s the ratings and the reviews, right? So it’s the number of stars, your star count, and the content within those reviews that all feed into the algorithm. Absolutely. Great question. That’s one of the reasons why people go to Amazon. Sorry, I’m one of those people. I won’t buy something if it doesn’t have the ratings and reviews. I can’t say I’ve never heard of this brand, company, product, or whatever, I’m just going to throw some money into Amazon and see what happens. I want to at least know that it’s been used, tried, loved, and abused, and it’s got the stars to prove it. And so Amazon knows that’s one of the big things that really set them aside to start. And obviously is a continuous success strategy for Walmart and Walmart sellers as well. The reviews are key. People want to trust the product and that’s how they do it now.”

54:22 – Competitor insights can help you improve your strategy

Andrew said that using a market intelligence tool like Teikametrics can give you insight on what is working for your competitors – whether it’s ads or listing keywords.

“One big thing we’ve done on our side here at Teikametrics is we’ve created something called market intelligence. So I think it would potentially help in this scenario, you can actually type in or have your analyst who is for you, is figuring out your top search terms. In this example, you could type it in and we could figure out who your top competitors are. What percentage of the time they show up on that first page compared to your own brand. I can give you a really good idea of really what percent of the time are they beating you either organically or through advertising? So in this example, you might find this one brand, maybe you have a much better product than them, more reviews, all that. Just an overall better listing, but maybe you can find on this, that they’re actually really doing a great job with advertising. That could be the one example where they can kind of come in there and beat you then in that situation, or as Pauline brought up, maybe with the two-day shipping or other factors that might also come into play, but often advertising, if someone’s going to really have a lot of go in heavy on certain keywords that can make a big difference. And of course, rank them higher too definitely. Something we can do is, part of our program now is to find those competitors that are really kind of ankle-biting right now and figuring out ways to try to strategize around them and either set up competitor campaigns, PAT campaigns, and just make sure we can help you out.”