Amazon SEO -why it’s not the same as website SEO

It’s common for people to think that SEO on Amazon is the same as SEO for their website. But that isn’t really the case.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the technique of getting listed at the top of relevent Search Engine results.

For websites, the art of SEO has changed over the years. Originally Search Engines tended to rely on the keyword metadata hidden behind the scenes of a website. That went out of fashion quickly as it became heavily abused.

Next came backlinks, getting other sites to link to the site that was being optimised. That is still popular, but has changed a lot over the years. For a while optimisation experts would simply use link farms to create as many backlinks as possible, but that eventually lead to search engines penalising sites for using that technique.

Backlinks are still important, but the relevance and quality of the links are what counts more now.

Significantly different from website optimisation, Amazon like to ensure that items that sell and retailers that have high customer selling metrics are promoted to the top. You still need to pay (a lot) of attention to the listing copy and images, but sales and reputation matter.

As a guide to  Amazon SEO there are 10 tips that you can read up on.

Title: Say what it is! Many people don’t.

Category: Check where your competition are if you are at all confused by what category to use.

Description: Put the effort in – features and benefits need to be in here.

Bullet List: The area that stands out – so make it work for you.

Keywords: Not as important as they once were, but everything you do helps.

Images: Not so much for SEO – but they’ll help conversions, which helps SEO.

Product Technical Data: Where the buyer compares you to others, so put the graft in.

Promotion: Spending on Amazon Ads will help sales, which will help ranking, which will help SEO.

Brand Registry: Protect yourself if you have unique products.

Diligence: Put the work in and check things!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Sell On Amazon Business

The recent Amazon Academy held in Glasgow reminded me that I haven’t mentioned Amazon Business in a while. If this triggers a sudden desire you can get the links on where to sign up at The Seller Dynamics Amazon Business page.

When Amazon Business launched in the USA it quickly generated huge sales and was something that became an instant hit. It’s not generated the same sort of headlines in the UK, but it still remains one of the most exciting retail opportunities that Amazon has launched for UK third party sellers.

So why do I think that?

Buying on Amazon Business

Well in short it gives businesses a procurement system without the hassle. Admittedly if you are procuring highly specialised items and services then Amazon Business is not for you. But if you are buying office, janitorial, or teaching supplies (as examples), then Amazon Business is just the thing.

It gives buyers a simple way to set up a shared account, to set spend levels and to control sign off workflows. So where a business was reluctant to use Amazon due to a lack of control, those concerns are now gone.

The benefits go further, Amazon Business uses all the fulfilment services that Amazon excel at. So rapid and dependable delivery is a given.

They even offer a credit line, when a business would rather pay after receipt of goods, rather than pay on purchase with a card.

And at last Amazon will also generate a VAT receipt for the purchaser, something that had been missing from the Amazon system for too long.

Selling on Amazon Business

It’s not just buyers that see the benefits of Amazon Business, sellers do as well.

Existing Amazon Sellers can open an Amazon Business account without much fuss, just a few pieces of information – nothing onerous.

The same products that Amazon Sellers sell to the public are made available on the Amazon Business side of the site with a few extra options available.

The chief option is to offer a discount (or not) on the public price for a single unit – and don’t worry, only Amazon Business account holders can see that price. And you can opt to offer discounts depending on the quantity purchased, a great way to increase average basket value.

Prices on the Amazon Business marketplace are presented net of VAT, making the shopping experience for Businesses so much more appropriate.

Amazon Business growth

Online B2B is growing fast, as is the Amazon marketplace world, that’s quite a combination.

Business buyers want to buy with the ease that they buy personally, and Amazon Business provides that. And it provides all the controls and paper trails you need – whether buying or selling.

It’s a Procurement System that has thousands of sellers, hundreds of thousands of buyers, endless product lines, and great prices. What’s not to like?

It’s also clear that regardless of what you sell, you might as well be offering it through Amazon Business. Why exclude yourself from a market? You really need to be selling on Amazon Business, and if you start before your competition do then you’ll enjoy being one step ahead.

Amazon Academy

I started by mentioning the recent Amazon Academy, so let me return to that.

At the end of the day, Head of Amazon Business UK (Marketplace), Nikhil Amin, introduced the Amazon Business Session.

Of all the sessions during the day, this was the one, as far as I was concerned, that offered the best opportunity for new sales, without any hassle, to existing Amazon Third Party Sellers. All you have to do is sign up. That has to be quite a compelling proposition.

There is a brief summary on how to get started on the Seller Dynamics Amazon Business page, so have a look there for all the necessary links. And as you would expect, Seller Dynamics, fully supports Amazon Business, including automatic repricing, stock adjustment and so on.

Give Amazon Business a go – it can only increase your sales.

Amazon Fee Calculator update

Keeping on top of your Amazon account if you are a seller is undoubtedly difficult. One of the most challenging aspects is pricing. With Amazon Fees to think about as well as all the other overheads it would be easy to feel a bit overwhelmed.

We’ve updated our Amazon Profit Calculator to take into account a couple of shifts in the fees that Amazon have made, and the new categories that have popped up since we introduced the Amazon Fee Calculator.

We’ve also made it easier to see what the Amazon Fee is – previously we concentrated on promoting the final selling price to get the profit you needed. Now we (clearly) show both the Amazon Fee and the Final Selling Price that you need to get to make the proft you want on Amazon.

You can find the Amazon Fee Calculator on the Seller Dynamics site, but as way of an interesting distraction we have also popped it onto the Objective Associates site – click to see our update to the Amazon Fee Calculator (it really is an easy way to find out how much you should be selling something for on Amazon).

 

 

 

How to win the Amazon Buy Box

It’s a popular topic among marketplace sellers – How To Win The Amazon Buy Box.

The reason that it is so popular is that over 80% of sales go through it on Amazon – that’s quite a lot.

We’ve explained at the link above what are the key drivers for winning it. Although it’s likely that Amazon tinker with the Buy Box algorithm, it’s fair to say the bottom line is: have stock, have great service, have a great price.

Price is not the be all and end all. Amazon like to ensure that you can deliver the goods and can cope with customers well – so the Buy Box algorithm that they run figures that out.

As an aside: once you win the Buy Box don’t assume it’s yours forever. Amazon now share it around a little. So once you win a sale you may find that another retailer takes over pole position for a while if they have a similar Buy Box score to youself. That seems fair in our opinion, frustrating perhaps, but fair.

If Amazon are competing with you on the Buy Box, you are in for a tough fight. But once their stock runs out, you’ll see your sales jump. So don’t despair.

 

Free eBay calculators

Despite the popularity of selling and buying on eBay, it’s always struck me as a difficult place to figure out what the cost of selling is on the site.

There are so many categories from Health and Beauty to Toys; and then there are all the options: do you want to add a subtitle, or add a gallery. It’s all a bit much to get your brain around.

That’s why at Seller Dynamics we’ve created some easy to use eBay Calculators so that you can find out fast how much it will cost you to sell an item.

There is a Free eBay Listing Calculator: that’s so that you can easily find out how much it is put your item onto eBay.

Then there is a Free eBay Final Selling Fees Calculator: that’s so that you can see what eBay will take from you when you sell the item.

The Free eBay Listing calculator has been built so that depending on what the eBay shop you have (or none) the listing fee will be adjusted. eBay shops have an included number of free listings – so sometimes it won’t cost you anything to list an item (other than the fixed monthly cost).

The Free eBay Final Selling Calculator takes into the consideration all the different percentage fees per category, even the different rates in sub categories. And it even spots when eBay have a maximum selling fee in place.

And for good measure we added in a Free VAT calculator – just because we could.

Hope you find the Free ecommerce calculators helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon: changing YOUR economy

There was a moment this week when I realised just how important Amazon was and that it was changing the world economy. That shouldn’t really have been a surprise to me, but because we work in the world of Amazon all the time, I had started to take things for granted. You just accept that all around you impossible things are happening, and you get on with doing your own thing within it.

So what was the moment that made me sit back? It occurred when I was writing a little paragraph about one of the Amazon Web Services (AWS). It was barely a hundred words.

For those that know us, you’ll know that we run Seller Dynamics, a marketplace management service that supports, among many other markets, Amazon.com, .co.uk etc. What you might not know is that we use AWS as one of our platforms to provide that service.

Because we use AWS day in, day out, I’d chosen to explain a little about AWS on our corporate site at Objective Associates, basically the site needed some fresh content.

We develop using a range of the services within AWS and one of them is AWS Kinesis, it processes data streams in as near real time as you can. It lets you run queries against each data element that comes in, against the previous 24 hours worth of data that has streamed by. We sort of take that for granted, but the sentence I wrote that made me sit back, was the little throw away, closing sentence at the end of the paragraph.

“There are no end to the possible uses, even video analysis is possible with AWS Kinesis.”

Hang on, let’s just swallow that properly. How on earth can you do that?

You see, Kinesis is a pay as you go service. This isn’t some huge capex program you need to fund. You don’t need a team of expensive consultants to consult with, analyse with, and then develop with, over several aborted projects and redesigns. If you want a platform that can support video streaming analysis you can buy it on pay as you go with a Barclaycard – that’s something else.

That little closing line just left me a bit dumbfounded to be honest. I’m not suggesting video analysis won’t require some design work – but here is a platform that casually says it can be used to analyse video, and it’s cheap enough to buy in the same way you buy the weekly groceries.

Take that Kinesis capability and add to it their AWS RDS and AWS Lambda offerings and you have the ability to run in a “serverless” environment – i.e. you don’t have to manage the servers, you just get out the Barclaycard. AWS RDS lets you create SQL databases on the fly as you need the capacity, AWS Lambda runs your code when you need it to run. You only pay for it when you use it.

Cloud experts will be rolling their eyes at me – fair enough.

But it’s important to emphasise that when Cloud Computing first started getting marketed at us, it was a lot of nonsense. It wasn’t scalable as the marketing literature said it was, the word elastic was a joke.

“Cloud Computing was as elastic as the elastic you’d find in a 10 year old pair of Primark pants – the elastic snapped.”

Originally the idea of running on the cloud seemed like one that Microsoft would own, but here is Amazon, a bookseller, (a bookseller), running infrastructure platforms that are awe inspiring.

So this bookseller has not only reconstructed retail, its reconstructed computing as well; and as we know, it’s now constructing space rockets.

Amazon has become something very important to the world economy, we all know that, but I don’t think we truly realise just how important.

They now own something like 50% of all online retail in the USA. They are the number one place to go to if you want to research a consumer product. More than half their retail marketplace sales come from third parties. They’ve revolutionised the delivery side of internet shopping with next day and even same day delivery. They are opening up marketplaces in Australasia and Scandanavia. Their Prime users are over 60% in the States. They’ve opened up markets to manufacturers and retailers from anywhere in the planet, to sell into anywhere in the planet without any hassle. Jeff occasionally cashes in a Billion dollars now and again to fund his space program. And… and… and…

In the office we wondered over a coffee why their cloud computing was so awesome. It’s pretty obvious really, if you are using it to run your own intergalactic empire and power your own fleet of space cruisers, it simply has to work and work well. You never saw Ming The Merciless in Flash Gordon stuck for a few MIPs, did you?

The ease with which you can create database instances, scale up, scale down, envoke idle code and process in realtime data streams from multiple sources is changing the computing world and it will change your business regardless of the sector you work in.

Amazon is changing the economy you work in, not just in retail, but in computing; and that will affect you. Just as retail and retailers have had to change because of Amazon, so will the software & computing worlds. That won’t come as a shock though, and the reason it won’t, is because we are all just taking it for granted.

[Initially posted on LinkedIn]