When most people think of “Search Marketing” one word comes to mind: “Google.” Although advertisers can’t really do paid or organic search marketing without Google, there are billions of searches done each day on sites outside of Google.com, such as Amazon, YouTube and Facebook.

Amazon in particular has flown under the radar of many marketers. Amazon got its start as an online bookstore and has evolved into a popular eretail site for nearly every product under the sun. But, underneath all of that, at the core of Amazon’s amazing shopping site is a powerful search engine that offers marketers huge opportunities, if they are willing to think outside the Google box.

Capitalizing on the Amazon Platform

Amazon looks like Google in many respects: a keyword driven search bar, an algorithm-based search results page, ads woven within search results, and a highly coveted top search position that leads to increased sales.

This pressure to constantly increase sales has led to Amazon heavily skewing their search results toward top selling products.

That means advertisers who use high-res images, keyword relevant product titles, in-depth product details, and strong fulfillment backends have a better chance at getting to the top of Amazon’s search results.

In addition to organic optimization, Amazon offers three paid ad types that let advertisers bid on sponsored placement for their products. An aggressive paid campaign can quickly boost sales, which signals to Amazon’s search algorithm that your product is a strong seller, which we mentioned is one of the most important ranking factors on Amazon.

Optimize Based on Expertise

Before you start optimizing your products for Amazon, you need to determine which team will have control of the channel. Should it be the SEO group, paid search team, or eCommerce team? And how will they interact with the merchandising, pricing and inventory management groups? This sort of cross-function dependence needs to be ironed out before you start spending money on Amazon.

Forrester Research recommends that brands who “…are looking to promote their products in the marketplace with already existing resources should ensure that Amazon search engine optimization (SEO) belongs to ecommerce SEO experts” and “Paid advertising responsibility resides with paid search resources.” They go on to say, “Bidding for ads on Amazon is very similar to AdWords with less complexity. That makes your paid search team perfect for managing campaigns on Amazon. And for many enterprise search marketers, that means they are offloading the bidding and buying to their search marketing agency.”