Amazon SEO vs. Google SEO

How to optimise for both platforms

Once upon a time, SEO meant dominating Google searches for particular terms and not much more. However, the rise of Amazon has complicated the picture, adding a whole new dimension to product marketing.

Now, digital campaigns can't focus on Google SEO alone. In fact, with Amazon now dealing with most online product searches worldwide, marketers need to find ways to rank highly for Amazon queries. Of course, Google still matters, but the internet retail giant isn't something that can be ignored, and not every company has adapted to this new situation.

In this article, we'll look at how Google and Amazon SEO compare. There are some similarities, but key differences mean that succeeding on Amazon takes subtly different skills. And these are skills that marketers need to know about.

Understanding the difference between Google SEO and Amazon SEO

1. A tale of different tails: how keywords have evolved to suit Amazon's rise

Firstly, Amazon and Google have slightly different demands when it comes to how keywords are used.

Google tends to look for a couple of longtail keywords when delivering results. So to take an example, if you are selling garden seating, texts based around terms like "sustainable rattan furniture" might be a good idea.

With Amazon SEO, short tail rules. Complexity is trumped by simplicity and precision, because the search engine assumes that visitors are seeking specific products. So pages that rank best tend to use very short, very simple keywords. "Garden chair" or "sun lounger" would be a great alternative.

2. Frequency matters

It's not just the length of keywords that varies between Amazon SEO and Google. How many times you use a keyword also matters.

Broadly speaking, Amazon pages don't require multiple usages of single keywords. One is enough, typically in the page title. Google is very different. Because the algorithm prizes relevance, pages with many mentions of keywords related to queries will score well. In-depth, detailed content works a lot better in that context.

3. Deep vs shallow content

The same thinking applies to how long your content needs to be for Amazon vs Google SEO, and you can probably guess how this works.

Amazon is a sales platform. Pages need to present information about products clearly and in a short, easy to digest format. So short, punchy texts are always preferable. Things are different with Google, which wants to point users towards detailed, useful content. Word counts of as much as 1,000-1,500 words can score highly if it's focused and well-written, and the keywords are all in place.

4. Get your linking strategy right

Google also tends to like pages that connect users with other relevant websites, so content that includes external links usually enjoys a ranking boost. There are caveats to this. Simply stuffing content with links won't work. But if the links are relevant, they really do help in the ranking stakes.

Amazon doesn't care whether your texts link to extra sources of information. For the retail platform, content should be focused entirely on the product being sold. So external links are irrelevant.

5. Little details can add up to Google success

Another difference is that Google takes much more into consideration than Amazon. For instance, it might privilege sites that are mobile optimised and easy to navigate. How often people return to sites matters, along with how much time visitors spend at sites after clicking on search results.

Amazon doesn't concern itself with so much detail. Instead, its results are much more heavily influenced by raw sales volume. If products sell well, they will rise up the rankings. So there's less room to make marginal gains by tinkering with page design.

6. Amazon SEO tends to come with a higher price tag

Another key difference between Google and Amazon concerns nickels and dimes. At the moment, it costs more to rank highly on the first page of Amazon searches than it does to score well with Google. Costs vary depending on what you are selling, what market you are targeting, and how you commission SEO work, but Amazon still usually costs more. So it's important to be very clear about how you spend your budget, and how you measure success.

7. Translation is important, but not in the same way

Finally, if you want to sell across international borders via Google or Amazon, solid translation matters. But the way translations work differs a little between Amazon and Google SEO.

Google content will generally need to be tailored for different cultures, taking into account popular phrases and norms. It's not just a matter of literal translation. Writers need to use appropriate keywords and appeal to people with different mindsets.

On the other hand, Amazon translations need to be highly precise and factual. They need to translate specifications and descriptions accurately, and use the right category headings for each language's Amazon store. That's a different linguistic challenge, requiring a blend of SEO knowledge and language skills.

Combine Amazon SEO and Google SEO to maximise conversions

Hopefully, we've introduced the key differences between ranking with Google and Amazon. From translation and keyword lengths, to text length, style and linking, there are many factors in play. Getting them right can make the difference between solid sales and flatlining campaigns.

In practice, many sellers like to run parallel Google and Amazon SEO strategies. That's a good idea, but it requires SEO awareness and content creation skills to master. If you aren't sure about how to succeed on the world's two major digital sales platforms:

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