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Every minute, there are more than 4,000 items sold on Amazon by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a 2019 Amazon report. Behind these purchases are shoppers who started their buying journey by typing in a few simple keywords.
For brand manufacturers across industries, making it to the top of the search results can be challenging — especially as there are over 2.5 million sellers on Amazon alone. But by establishing an ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, brands can improve product discovery, gain critical market share, and increase conversion and sales.
Ecommerce SEO helps brand manufacturers rank higher within search results. Similar to traditional SEO, the foundation of a robust strategy relies on updating pages to improve discoverability for relevant searches.
If a customer is searching for granola bars on Amazon, for example, they will see over 2,000 results — minimizing the chances for most brands to appear at the top of the search results.
But most shoppers use descriptive search terms, which can be leveraged with ecommerce SEO to rank higher within the search results. Adding in relevant keyword phrases like “vegan” and “gluten-free,” for example, halves the results and pushes other brands to the top of the page.
A strong ecommerce SEO strategy requires four critical steps to both measure and meet success: establishing clear goals, gaining insights, developing a streamlined update process, and ensuring easy access to engaging content experiences.
Finding success starts with defining success. As with any winning strategy, establishing clear goals at the start can help ecommerce teams stay focused. From the development and publication of product content to review and optimization, having clear SEO goals will keep teams aligned and offer clear markers for improvement and success.
When setting goals for ecommerce, conversion and sales are often the most important metrics for ecommerce teams, but consider how other measurement areas could help with meeting goals.
Improving share of search (i.e., the percentage of the search results featuring a specific brand), for example, could help teams increase brand presence and gain a tactical advantage over their competitors.
Without clear insights into ecommerce performance, brands lack the information needed to make decisions. Without insights, every step is taken in the dark. Implementing an analytics dashboard, such as Salsify Insights, can help brands gain a holistic view of product performance to develop data-based strategies.
Using machine learning technology, the Salsify SEO Report creates keyword suggestions for Amazon product pages. Using these suggestions, brands can help their products rank higher in search — without the need for manual, time-consuming keyword research. It also highlights how competitors are using keywords within their product pages, helping brands gain a competitive advantage.
If a brand was selling men’s sneakers, for example, the Salsify SEO report might suggest, “training sneaker” or “running shoes” to boost search ranking and capture new customers.
The Salsify Share of Search Report also identifies all relevant search terms and calculates a brand’s percentage, or “share,” of the search results compared to the competition. Sometimes, competitors aren’t outselling a brand based on quality or price, but because they’ve made their products easier for shoppers to find.
For teams using a manual process, keyword research is critical. Rob Gonzalez, co-founder and CMO at Salsify, suggests asking the following questions to identify top-performing ecommerce keywords:
Brands are familiar with managing a wide range of retail content requirements. From site to site, each retailer wants their shopping experiences to be unique, which requires brands to update and adapt content to fit each channel. For ecommerce teams without a streamlined syndication and activation solution, this process is time-consuming and limits the team's ability to make the regular updates needed for a robust SEO strategy.
The Salsify Syndication solution helps brands maintain multiple versions of their product content — each one unique to the retailer — and easily update product content across these channels. This means brands can regularly implement SEO updates to ensure continual optimization.
Optimization is the key to success for leading brands. Using a streamlined syndication and activation solution, brands can regularly review and update product pages to improve search rank. The cadence and frequency of this process depends on your team's bandwidth, but reviewing the monthly Salsify Share of Search and SEO reports is an excellent place to start.
Good content is the root of every top-performing SEO strategy, and ecommerce is no exception. The SEO journey doesn’t end once a product page has been updated with relevant search terms and published to a retailer site like Amazon. Shoppers want engaging content experiences, and providing useful and compelling product content helps them experience — not just view — products.
Salsify Enhanced Content helps brands create these engaging online experiences for shoppers. Brands using enhanced content have seen up to a 10% increase in conversion across categories, according to 2019 internal Salsify data.
Enhanced Content Features:
These multimedia elements help to bring a product page alive and provide the information buyers need to make final buying decisions. This content is essential for a strong SEO strategy, as it helps avoid drop-off and helps you better connect with shoppers.
How many of your products will be part of the 4,000-per-minute purchases on Amazon? With clear goals, a streamlined launch and optimization process, and a focus on quality content, your brand can find success on the digital shelf.
Watch our on-demand webinar with Tinuiti, "3 Principles for Growth on the Digital Shelf," to discover the challenges traditional organizations face in adapting to the digital shelf.
Dom Scarlett is an experienced writer, editor, and marketer based out of Boston, Massachusetts. She is the senior content marketing manager at Salsify and specializes in B2B and B2C marketing, commerce, media, travel, technology, and finance.
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