Understanding SEO, Pay Per Clicks, and Amazon Optimizing
With the world slowly evolving around e-commerce (and by slowly, I mean so fast our heads are getting whiplash from all the spinning), more and more people are hearing terms like SEO, Pay Per Clicks, and Amazon Optimizing and PPC.
What the heck does any of this stuff mean and why is it so pertinent for both our sellers and consumers to understand?
I’m going to try to dumb it down for you all and it’s not because I think you’re dumb. It’s more like I’m dumb and it took me forever to learn all of this fancy verbage (and I’m still learning!).
There are a bunch of search engines (think: Google, Bing, Yahoo) that you utilize to find services, products, where to get Chinese food at 11 p.m., or to answer questions like “Who is the President of Yemen?” (Because those are the kind of inquiries you think up at 3 am when you can’t sleep.)
By the way, the answer to the last question is Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
A search engine’s only goal is to get as many people as they can looking for stuff on it. Because companies (like you) know people are looking for things on Google or Yahoo, they generally realize they have to pay big bucks to get their product on the first two pages. Why? Because nobody looks past the second page for items. Heck, we rarely won’t go past the fourth LISTING on the FIRST page, which is why real estate on the first page of google is so valuable.
As you will notice in the highlighted yellow, these are indicators of Google sponsoring the products. Anything else you see after that without the AD sign means it was organically placed either due to great SEO, a fantastic social media account, or word of mouth.
What is the difference between search engines and platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and Shopify? There is a simple and complicated answer to that, but because we all agreed we’re dummies on the topic, let’s work with the easiest answer.
E-commerce platforms strictly exist to push products, which is what all of the aforementioned brands do. (The reason there is a complicated answer behind this is that Amazon is technically a “marketplace” and the other two are “E-commerce websites,” but that’s a discussion for another time).
To put it simply, Google built a search engine to sell ad space while Amazon built a search engine so they can sell products. This creates a difference in how each one measures their success.
Google is successful when you find the answer you’re looking for because you will keep going back to use it since it provides fast and reliable results. Amazon is successful when you to find the product you’re looking for at a great price because you will be more inclined to use it in the future.
Google’s search success metrics will revolve around dwell time, click-through-rate, search refinement rate, etc. Amazon can measure success by revenue or gross margin per search. If Amazon can sell more products by rearranging their search results, they will and it’s a common practice of theirs. That’s why you can look up the exact same thing on Amazon a week apart and there will be different products on the front page.
Let’s put it this way: It’s all a game that none of us laymen are well equipped to handle which is why hiring the big-guns to optimize your search can be quite beneficial. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge – Markethustl can help you with these pesky things.
How Google and Amazon Are Similar in Their Selling and Advertising
I’ll preface all of this by saying I’m picking on Amazon and Google only because they are the most utilized and well-known platforms.
Say you wanted to start a sunglass company and you wanted to both sell on your own website AND on Amazon (probably a wise choice if you have the time and means to do it).
If you choose to build your own website (whether via WordPress, Wix, or any of the hundreds of web-building programs you can use), you will spend a lot of time optimizing “off-page” signals. This means building links, gaining a social presence and following, and finding ways to get Google to measure those signals by calculating the popularity and trust of your website.
What is SEO?
This process mentioned above is, essentially, SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s figuring out the algorithm that boosts your page views and, in turn, putting it at the top of the Google page assuming it generates enough traffic.
All Google cares about is how many clicks you get. And how many clicks you get is hugely influenced by how many keywords you use on your website and listing that people are searching for.
Let’s go back to the sunglass example.
So, you have this awesome website you made (or paid someone else to make), but you aren’t a well-known brand like Ray-Ban, so you are competing with the big-leaguers. You want to figure out how people will look up sunglasses, meaning how they will plug it into the search engine.
Will the average person call them sunglasses? Glasses for the Sun? Sunnies? Or will they spell it differently like sun glasses? Will they specify that they want “women’s sunglasses” or “designer sunwear” or “unbreakable sunglasses? Do they call them something different in other parts of the world that you aren’t aware of?
These are things you NEED to know because how people type in sunglasses will determine what pops up on google first. If you have a bunch of keywords that run the gamut of possible phrases, you are significantly more likely to get more clicks then someone that just keeps using the word “sunglasses.” Thus, farther up the chain on google you will hopefully go. SEO is an organic way of getting more traffic and google recognition.
What is Pay-Per-Click or PPC?
Adwords is a platform that enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engines, operating on a pay-per-click model. You submit keywords (the same ones you optimized before) into a bidding auction system and, based on how many clicks your link gets from the algorithm Google has established, you “pay per click.” The frustrating part is that this doesn’t guarantee the person clicking will be spending money on your business; it just means that you get more “foot traffic.” The good news is that it can drive your page higher up on google.
How Is This Similar to Amazon?
In short, it works almost the exact same way.
You decide to sell your sunglasses directly on Amazon (which, is highly recommended, as many people don’t even search on Google anymore for products –they just go straight to Amazon, cutting out the middleman.)
If the words in your title, your bullet points, or your description aren’t optimized (that’s just fancy tech-talk for “having the most effective and searched keywords”) then you almost definitely won’t succeed on Amazon.
This means you have to figure out how many ways people are searching for sunglasses to try to cover your market. You can do this organically by hiring a company like Markethustl.com to use our systems to systematically search and find what keywords are most searched and how to get your product on page one.
Amazon pay-per-click works almost the exact same way as Google PPC works.
Before you ask –the answer is no, one won’t work for the other. There is some suggestion that if you are keyword optimized on Amazon, it may translate on google search, but if you really want to sell those damn sunglasses, we highly recommend optimizing separately for Google and Amazon. The two companies don’t work together, so one doesn’t translate to the other.
Just like when you are looking for something on google, there are a million ways you can look for sunglasses on Amazon (as I demonstrated earlier in this article).
The proper way to sell your product on Amazon is to outsource a company to find a buttload of terms (dummies use potty-school terms like that, right?)
Once you have all these keywords, you can actually pick and choose which terms you want to bid on Amazon. Just like Google, Amazon has a keyword bidding process and its driven both by how much money you invest into it and, organically, how people search for products. If you are a current member on Amazon, it will run ads and sponsor you if you’re willing to pay. Most of the time, it’s worth it because you are competing with thousands of other people selling a very similar product as you. You get to choose which keywords you want to pay for and how you want the campaign to last, giving you a bit more control over your product than Google.
First of all, don’t panic.
I realize it seems overwhelming and scary no matter how smart and business-savvy you are. These internet search engines, marketplaces and seller platforms are a business just like you and they make their money through advertising. Thus, if you want your business to succeed, you need to pay for that advertising. It’s really that simple. And well worth it in the end.
We’re in the business of knowing EXACTLY how mind-numbingly boring and boggling this process can be, so don’t hesitate to contact a member of our sellers team for questions or help in optimizing your product on Amazon. For more information, check out markhustl.com.
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