Amazon.com is the hands-down leader in the online bookselling marketplace. Amazon is also a company that prides itself on meeting its customers’ needs. What’s the easiest way to drive sales for your book on Amazon.com? Easy: Maximize the content on your product page and optimize your chances of coming up in search results via Amazon’s internal search engine.
You’ve all heard of optimizing your website, optimizing your web presence, optimizing your blog, and other variations on the same. All of this optimizing is intended to increase your visibility through various online search mechanisms. While self-contained, Amazon.com is a powerhouse search engine by its own right. Despite being a retail site, it should be treated as a search engine from an online marketing standpoint. Think about it: What’s the first site you go to when searching for information on a book? My guess is that you answered “Amazon”. Remember that on top of its own strong brand, Amazon powers the virtual marketplace of Target.com’s backend service (amongst other merchant partnerships).
To leverage Amazon’s power, a major component of your online marketing strategy should involve making your Amazon.com product page as informative, search-optimized, and consumer-friendly as possible. Frequently, optimizing Amazon pages that the product’s rank improves as it collects additional content. Whether search suggestions, tags, inclusion in Listmania lists and so on plus the resulting number of hits have a direct effect on the sales rank formula is unclear; it’s more likely that books with more detailed pages and links to the title information from outside pages simply attract more buyers. Regardless, ensure that your product page does a good job of representing your product with no detail spared.
Amazon offers many features to enhance your title listing that, when properly implemented, can increase page views and potential sales for your title. Understanding and executing these programs has been historically time-consuming work, but since Amazon.com is a content-driven site, the benefits are clear. The more visits you get to your book detail page, the more popular your book will become in the eyes of the Amazon internal search results algorithm. The Amazon algorithm favors the most popular items, so if two different products match a user’s criteria, the more user-popular item will show up first. Our Amazon optimization work has uncovered some powerful tools for influencing Amazon search results, as outlined in very basic terms below:
A tag is most easily described as a keyword or category label that a user places on a particular product. Tags appear on book detail pages and will help users find books on Amazon within a certain category or genre. Each link increases your exposure on Amazon. Time-consuming but worth it.
Listmania! lists are different groups of products that a person finds interesting. Each list can cover any type of category and helps other Amazon users discover your favorite products. These lists are rotated on various search result pages and on individual book pages. A popular list will appear on the product pages of all the books it mentions. The more popular the list is, the more exposure the products within your list will receive. Take the time to carefully research the other books on your list so you are more likely to appear before your target reader.
So You’d Like to… Guides
So You’d Like to… Guides are a way for you to help other customers find all the items and information they might need to discover something new about an interest or hobby. The guide includes a short, informative article targeting consumers interested in your genre and is connected to your book’s detail page and to other similar bestselling books. These guides are more detailed and informative than the Listmania! lists.
By all means, reach out to your friends and family to write reader reviews for your title. Reviews boost the exposure of your book detail page because the Amazon algorithm examines the number of reviews and the review ratings when determining exposure levels. Many distributors and publishers make a listing of the top-rated Amazon reviewers available to clients. Reviews by this elite group are weighted more heavily in the system.
Ask your publisher or distributor if such a list is available to you so that you can solicit these powerful tastemakers’ reviews for your title. Otherwise, a quick search for “top Amazon reviewers” on Google will bring you to the Amazon page ranking all reviewers. Click on the “See Profile” link to read more about the individual reviewers. Many post their direct email addresses in the profile. Send a polite, concise query to the reviewer including a synopsis of your book and an offer to send them a free review copy if he or she is interested in reviewing it. Follow up promptly if the reviewer responds.
Amazon also has a way for users to help customers find items and to provide
tailored information on product pages via Search Suggestions. Like tags, this tool requires some front-end thought and research on your part. Search Suggestions can:
* Associate an item with a search phrase so the item is more likely to be shown whenever anyone searches for that phrase
* Explain the relevance of your suggestion to searching customers and have your explanation and your name appear in search results
* Add information to the product page, which is tailored to the customer’s search
Amazon.com is a constantly evolving site. Take the time to exploit the features outlined above and be on the watch for new offerings to increase your exposure, or hire an expert in the field to do this work for you. The results will increase the number of “eyeballs” you reach and the sales that visibility results in. Never mind what you know about Amazon’s profits; they have millions of registered users and continue to lead the pack in online book sales. In the Amazon realm, there’s no such thing as too much information.