Amazon currently ranks as the 5th largest website in the United States, which means that it’s competing with some of the biggest online giants such as Facebook, Google, and more. Meanwhile, when it comes to e-commerce, Amazon is ranked #1 in the world.
These are some phenomenal rankings, but how did Amazon achieve these lofty positions? In this post I will focus on Amazon’s SEO and ASO tactics to try and understand the strategies behind their success.
When looking at amazon.com‘s web traffic in the US, the first thing we notice is the sheer amount of traffic the website rakes in. From March 2015 to March 2016, Amazon managed to amass a staggering 22 billion visits on both desktop and mobile.
How Mobile is Amazon?
In an age where users are reaching more for the convenience of their mobile devices, it is not surprising that the majority of Amazon’s US traffic came via mobile devices. When looking at the same period from March 2015 to March 2016, 56% of Amazon’s visits were on mobile, while 46% came via desktop. This number is not far off the US average, as we pointed out in a previous study 54% of traffic to the top 25 US shopping websites came via mobile. Though the US is one of the leaders in the mobile revolution, shoppers in the UK dominate mobile traffic even more, with a staggering 64% of shopping visits coming on mobile.
Of Amazon’s desktop traffic, 21% came via organic search with branded keywords such as amazon, amazon.com and amazon prime dominating the top search traffic.
Outside of branded search, Amazon gets a ton of traffic from a wide variety of product searches. In the chart below, I’ve deliberately left out any products with branded keywords e.g. Amazon Kindle as I wanted to determine which were the most non-branded organic product searches. And, as you can see, the Fitbit and Fitbit Charge HR top the list with a combined 2.3 million search visits, while the generic ‘selfie stick’ is number 3 overall.
When compared to their main competitors eBay and Walmart, we immediately notice that Amazon dominates the traffic, receiving far more overall visits over the last 13 months. Furthermore when it comes to organic search traffic, Amazon takes home nearly ⅔ of the organic traffic share compared to eBay and Walmart. This is a significant share of the market and demonstrates the power of Amazon’s SEO.
However, just because they dominate in overall search doesn’t mean that Amazon beats its competitors on every search word. For example, for the keyword ‘ps4’, Walmart led the way with 48% of the overall traffic, while Amazon came in second with 41%. This trend also holds true for the keyword ‘hoverboard’ where eBay dominates the traffic share and Amazon ranks second with 30% of the search traffic. This is interesting as it indicates that, although Amazon is the number one ranked e-commerce site, this doesn’t grant it complete dominance over specific keywords.
Amazon’s ASO Strategy
As we reported last year, Amazon put their app through a subtle re-branding process, switching the name from ‘Amazon’ to ‘Amazon Shopping’. It was a relatively simple rebrand, but one which helped increase the app’s ranking from 14th to 3rd for the keyword ‘shopping’ in Google’s Play store.
We can also see the impact this strategy change had on ASO and how it affected their in-store traffic sources. For Amazon Shopping, in-store Search is noticeably the biggest traffic source and accounts for almost 50% of the app’s overall traffic. Additionally, there exists a definite correlation between Amazon’s search traffic success and the app’s overall ranking.
The figures say it all: Amazon is the biggest retail website in the world and due to their success in organic traffic, some even refer to Amazon as the 2nd biggest search engine in the world. In fact, a recent study discovered a direct correlation in Amazon’s SEO rank and the Sales Rank of a particular product. If you’re planning on selling products through Amazon, it’s a study which makes for some very interesting reading.