Nearly 50% of the customers don’t go past page #1 on Amazon. If you’re not there, you’re nowhere. Without placement on this coveted and limited digital shelf, you’re risking visibility and sales velocity in the marketplace.
There are two marketing strategies widely used by sellers to rank higher on the SERPs: Amazon SEO & Amazon PPC.
Not sure what’s right for your Amazon business?
In this article, we’ll break them both down, provide insights into their pros and cons, highlight how they complement each other to drive sales and show the imperative of including both PPC and SEO in your ranking strategy.
What is Amazon SEO?
Amazon SEO is the process of enhancing your product’s visibility and organic ranking in the SERPs. When you are investing in SEO, you are increasing the likelihood of your product ranking on page #1 organically.
Pros of Amazon SEO
#1: Cheaper than PPC
The biggest advantage of Amazon SEO is that it’s cheaper than PPC in the long run. You won’t have to “pay” for your shoppers to find you in the SERPs and when a shopper clicks on your product, it comes at zero cost.
#2: SEO results will outlast your efforts
Another advantage is that SEO is an investment that’ll bring dividends for years to come, as long as you keep on optimizing and tweaking your product copy. With PPC marketing, results are instant but temporary.
While SEO is the slow tortoise, PPC is the hare. We all know who won at last.
Your products will rank high in the SERPs as long as your advertising budget dries up. Amazon SEO is like owning a place on page #1 and Amazon PPC is like renting it for a while.
#3: Organic positions are trusted better than paid positions
Almost every shopper these days knows which results are “sponsored” and which results are organic. Organically ranked products gain shoppers’ trust and credibility. Most shoppers recognize sponsored results, dislike them, refuse to click over them, or simply don’t trust them.
#4: It’s a prerequisite for Amazon PPC
To show relevant results for PPC ads, Amazon picks keywords from your listing that match customer search terms. Optimization also helps make your listing “retail-ready.” If your listing is not “retail-ready,” bringing any traffic to your listing is like throwing money down the drain as it won’t convert.
Cons of Amazon SEO
#1: Amazon SEO can sometimes test your patience
Although Amazon SEO is a worthy investment, it can take quite a while for the product to rank higher in the SERPs. It’s a tough climb, especially when your product/brand is relatively new and lacks social proof (reviews).
#2: Amazon keeps on updating its algorithm
Did you know Amazon has recently introduced the A10 algorithm? Most sellers don’t. To maintain your organic ranking, you must keep up with the latest algorithm changes.
#3: You’ll need to optimize regularly
Your job isn’t done when your listing is ranking on page #1. You’ll have to optimize keywords and your copy regularly so that your listing continues to rank. Optimizing can include adding new, more relevant terms to your listing and editing content by looking at the customer’s feedback and competitor listings.
#4: Ranking organically demands high skill and experience
Unless you are an Amazon SEO consultant, you should not attempt to DIY listing optimization. It’s time-consuming, overwhelming and highly technical.
Always remember what Peter Ducker said, “Do what you do your best and outsource the rest
What is Amazon PPC?
PPC is a form of marketing tool where you create a campaign for your ads to appear higher in the SERPs and pay every time a shopper interacts with your ads. Amazon PPC is especially useful if you don’t have the sales velocity you need to rank your products organically.
Pros of Amazon PPC
#1: You’ll see instant results
Amazon PPC is undoubtedly the fastest way to get your product rank on page #1. When created the right way, it’ll just take a few hours to see results from your PPC campaigns.
#2: Amazon PPC ads are placed above organic results
Amazon is increasingly inclining towards showing paid results everywhere on its SERPs and product detail pages. If you use Sponsored Products or Sponsored Brands (types of PPC ads), your products will appear above the organic results, making them highly visible.
#3: PPC ads have become an indispensable part of every marketing strategy
Amazon is getting competitive with every passing day. If you need to make yourself heard in this crowded marketplace and quickly get in front of customers, you have no option but to include PPC in your Amazon marketing strategy.
Cons of PPC Ads
#1: Not every seller can afford PPC ads
Your visibility dries up as soon as you stop paying. If you have a tight marketing budget, you probably cannot run PPC ads. Running PPC ads is especially pricey if you sell in a competitive category such as health & household or beauty.
#2: Low profits
With Amazon SEO, you get to keep all the profits earned in each sale. But as PPC is a pay-to-play set-up, your customer acquisition costs are much higher compared to organic sales. If you would like to calculate how profitable your PPC campaigns are, look at your ACOS.
Ideally, if your ACOS is below 10%, your PPC campaigns are profitable.
#3: PPC is not dependable
You cannot just depend on your paid traffic. Your advertising should have a snowball effect; gradually, it should lead to organic sales and brand awareness. If that’s not the case, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your Amazon PPC expert and rethink your Amazon marketing strategy.
Difference between Amazon SEO & Amazon PPC
Although Amazon SEO and PPC have the same goal – increasing product sales – they are fundamentally different.
Amazon SEO helps boost the product’s organic ranking and visibility by including high volume, relevant keywords into a well-written and informative copy that compels the visitors on your detail page to click on the “Add to Cart” button.
Amazon PPC can give your products an immediate boost in sales and ranking (temporary). Your products can appear on Page #1 camouflaged within other organic results.
Here’s how it works. You bid on a particular keyword that is relevant to your product. If a customer uses that specific term in their search, your ad will pop up in the SERPs.
The results of Amazon PPC can be seen almost instantly, but you’ll have to pay a price for it. As the name suggests, in Amazon pay per click (PPC) ads, you pay every time a customer clicks on your ad.
In short, PPC is a sprint, while SEO is a marathon.
|Amazon SEO||Amazon PPC|
|What is it?||Creating an informative, detailed copy and optimizing it with relevant high volume keywords.||Developing and optimizing campaigns targeted to increase sales.|
|Goal||Increase organic rank and conversion rates.||Get an instant boost in visibility and sales.|
|Benefits||It’s free. Long term benefits include an increase in organic ranking.||Very helpful to increase product sales during the first few weeks of product launch and beyond.|
|Placement||Within SERPs||Within SERPs|
|Costs||No costs||You pay every time a customer clicks on your ad|
Amazon SEO vs Amazon PPC
When sellers ask us if they should focus on Amazon SEO or PPC, our only answer is: why not both? Asking which is better is like asking do I need water or air to survive? Of course, you’ll need both.
Success on Amazon depends on a solid reinforcement between Amazon SEO and PPC. Amazon SEO is a prerequisite for successful Amazon PPC campaigns and Amazon PPC ultimately leads to an increase in organic ranking.
Instead of choosing between both, why not integrate these two strategies and create more outstanding results for your Amazon business? When combined together, you can get the benefits of both with minimal downsides.
How Amazon SEO helps improve Amazon PPC results?
Amazon displays ads based on relevancy. Your ad is relevant only if the search term customer is searching for is present in your detail page copy, i.e., product title, bullet points and description. Therefore, PPC campaigns work only if your copy is keyword optimized, a.k.a Amazon SEO.
With PPC campaigns, you can bring visitors to your detail page, but they won’t convert unless your detail page gives them all the information they need to make a confident purchase decision.
How Amazon PPC helps improve Amazon SEO results?
Sales velocity impacts your organic ranking more than anything else. Unfortunately, it can take weeks and even months to rank your product higher in the SERPs.
Sales generated through PPC campaigns can have a positive effect on your organic ranking. You can also strategically bid on a specific keyword to your product’s organic ranking for that keyword.
Amazon PPC is crucial for new products as they lack sales history and social proof – the two most important factors affecting organic ranking.
Benefits of running SEO & PPC together
- Increase visibility and awareness by having a strong organic and paid ranking
- You can test your keywords using Amazon PPC before adding them to your copy
- PPC helps identify relevant and important keywords missing in your listing
- PPC gives you a list of converting keywords and non-converting terms for your listing
- Bid and convert on your brand name and root keyword present in your listing to ensure you always organically rank for them
Do Amazon PPC & SEO compete against each other?
No. Your PPC and SEO results don’t compete against each other but support each other. Let’s say you advertise on a keyword when you’re already ranking first in the SEO results. When a customer keeps on repeatedly seeing your ad on the search result page, they’ll position you as a trusted brand and a master player in their mind.
Amazon SEO best practices
- When optimizing your listing, place the keywords in the hierarchy of importance. Place the most important keywords in your title and bullets, then description and the remaining keywords in your backend search terms.
- Avoid keyword stuffing. There is a thin line of difference between too many keywords and just enough keywords. Keyword stuffed copy and titles can negatively impact the flow and clarity, ultimately resulting in poor conversion rates.
- Always use tools like Helium10 and Merchant Words or hire professional Amazon keyword research services.
- Bullets should be clear and concise. There should be no fluff or filler information. The bullets should read well and the keywords should not look forced.
- Do not forget to optimize the backend section of your detail page.
- Use high-quality Amazon infographic images that visually depict the crucial features, benefits and specifications of the product.
Amazon PPC best practices
- Bid aggressively at first. Profitability is important, but if you’ve just started, you’ll need to bid aggressively to get noticed.
- Don’t ignore exact match keywords. Exact keywords, also known as long-tail keywords, tend to have better conversion rates and profitability than broad match keywords.
- To improve profitability, avoid using generic keywords. If you need quality traffic on our listing – which obviously you do- target your keywords.
Amazon PPC or Amazon SEO? Why not both?
Amazon SEO and PPC are like two peas in a pod. They are both effective methods to increase sales on Amazon, but their effects can be amplified when both are used combined at the same time. SEO builds a foundation and PPC helps build a building. Working together, PPC and SEO can feed off each other, creating a powerful marketing tool that’ll propel your products to the number 1 spot.
Although both are poles apart, there is one thing common between them. You’ll need help creating and executing a PPC and SEO strategy. At eStore Factory, we have specialized departments for PPC and SEO experts. Hire our Amazon consultants and let us create a marketing action plan while you watch the profits roll in.
Tushar Kapadia has a passion for the helping customer and thrives on seeing businesses grow through the use of online eCommerce marketplaces and platforms such as Amazon and eBay and Social Media Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. When you speak to him, you quickly realise you get honest advice.