Grow your business and sales internationally by optimizing your listings with correct translation and the right keyword strategy
One of the mistakes Amazon sellers make is to use Amazon Automated Translation or Google Translate when doing translations. The problem with using machine-intelligent texts when translating a whole listing is that translation is done without applying context (such as what's the listing, what's the product, what are the keywords, what's the marketplace dynamic, what's the culture, and so on). This results in having a bunch of mumbo jumbo that doesn’t make much sense in the target language. It is therefore important to employ translators with rich Amazon experience and someone who does keyword research. Without appropriate keywords, it would be very hard to find your business online. As a seller, to measure the performance of the given keyword, and to ensure it is equally relevant, always make sure to type it in on Amazon, Amazon.pe, or any other international marketplace and see what product shows up. If the wrong product shows up, then probably that is not a relevant keyword for your product.
An instance where one can possibly use machine translation is when translating bullets, or when you have your PPC campaigns with exact phrases. Using Google sheets with a column containing your keywords and another containing the Google translate formula helps in having a better orientation of the keywords you are using. It is however very important to do the keyword marketplace differently and never translate keywords. This is because there is a chance that the language-speaking country you’re translating such keyword to might not have equivalent relevance for such word.
For instance, during the holiday season, keywords like “Mother's Day arrived” or “Mother’s Day black rug,” when translated into German, might not be relevant if they don't have a day such as Mother's Day. It is very important to do the keyword marketplace differently. In instances such as holidays, one could just go on to Wikipedia and type the name of the country, and their national holidays will show up as there are tons of national holidays. In Israel, for instance, they have a lot of holidays, that don't exist anywhere else. This could form a really good idea for your keyword, especially in the fourth quarter season, as there would be a lot of holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and lots more. Ensure you do the localized keyword research because this will definitely help to optimize your listings. One thing to note when using keywords during the holiday season is to avoid the use of a bullet for every sort of gift (such as a gift for Mother's Day, a Christmas gift, father's gift, Thanksgiving gift, a birthday gift, etc.). Don't just stop with gifts for everything, make it a special gift for one holiday, and put it in context so that it makes sense. Context is key!
Avoid keyword stuffing on holiday keywords, it really doesn't usually go well. Don’t just go all in and put all the holidays in just because they all appear like keywords. For instance, it is wrong for a seller to have something like this “This is a perfect present for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas…” Such seller just literally mentioned about three or four different holidays and one can clearly see that they are keywords, but they are only keyword stuffing which is really bad. Do not use keywords that are too broad just because they are seasonal keywords. You should look out for a calendar or search the internet to find some interesting dates, which maybe competitors would probably not think about because they might likely not do enough research on that matter.
Another mistake to avoid is changing your keyword campaign without having sufficient time to test the performance. It is not necessary to change anything at all if your campaigns are working fine, if you're optimized, and if you're ranking high for certain keywords. You could only maybe invest more in PPC, get your aces higher and don't be afraid to rank on those very relevant keywords. Changing something last minute might not do any good, it might just cause a big mess. The algorithm might not even index you for that and you might lose the rankings and keywords and everything that you’re indexed for. However, whatever you do, if you decide to change the title or words, just ensure you only change one variable at a time. Do not change the title and bullet at the same time, you could just change the title and put the top search volume words, which are today or this week. You should test the changes made using A/B split testing, Spotly, also there's Amazon A/B testing available to people in beta. It is advisable to limit the change to just the title because it mostly carries the biggest impact.
Using listings as optimized keywords
It is a very good idea to use the keywords used in your listings on your PPC ads. This helps to prevent discrepancies where your PPC ad is ranking on page one, for instance, while your listing is not optimized, and it's on page ten.
Do not violate Amazon’s Terms of Service (TOS)
People sometimes don't see how important it is to optimize the listing. People don't really think about that. Some sellers (such as from the US) also don't think so much about the importance of translations. They don't think it’s important. Amazon has been pulling down so many listings because of this negligence. They are trying to make the cut and basically say, “no lousy sellers.” As a seller, you really have to step up your game on all of these aspects. In times past, it might have been okay to have a poor photo, but now, they will suspend a seller because of that. In some categories, they have just recently deleted all subject matter fields, which came as a big shock to a lot of sellers. So, they're really stepping up the game, cutting numerous Amazon sellers in recent times. So, avoid thinking that some things are not relevant, they might just be very, very relevant.
In addition, sellers could now get suspended for having uppercase letters in their bullets. When you check the TOS, it says that it's not allowed to have only capital letters in bullets. Amazon is becoming a stricter place and they are going after every single little thing that's written in the TOS. It is therefore important for sellers to revisit the TOS and make necessary adjustments according to what is stated there to avoid being suspended.
Changing marketplace and “working from scratch”
With the holiday season fast approaching, before moving to a new marketplace and getting to work from scratch, it is important to first consider the category you're selling in, where it is a niche product or not. Also, it is important to consider whether you have a lot of competitors or not. You are more likely to succeed, if for instance, you don’t have to compete with 500 other sellers with the same product. You should also consider how much stock you have left and your revenue. Once all these are okay, and you're not in a much competitive niche, you can consider starting from scratch. However, starting from scratch takes some time. For you to upload and index could take weeks which might make it somewhat difficult to meet up with the holiday season. This makes it very essential to have a clear plan and strategy before making your decisions.
New Amazon developments to help grow your business and sales internationally
Launch of new marketplaces
Amazon recently announced the launch of a new marketplace – the Dutch marketplace; making it the fifth marketplace. In addition, they also launched Amazon advertising, together with DSP and PPC campaigns to help run most sales. The beta version of Helium 10 will be an effective tool for keyword research in the Dutch marketplace. Another recently launched marketplace is Amazon Sweden. Sweden being the third biggest European country with over 9 million people makes it a very interesting marketplace. They have big e-commerce penetration, a special e-commerce culture of their own, IKEA, H&M, and so many other amazing stores. These make people really pumped on buying and selling on Amazon there. An interesting point to note is that Amazon is in Swedish. It is not also in English, but it is in Swedish only, with about 30 categories. One of such categories is a stock close to Stockholm having a potential of going the long-distance selling threshold of about 100,000 euros as it is in other countries where they don't have the main MBA stock warehouses. As an Amazon Seller, you should definitely consider Sweden because of their very special ecommerce culture and the great potentials it has shown.
Other countries to be on the lookout for are Poland and Czech Republic. These marketplaces were normally scheduled to roll out before the end of the year 2020, however, the plans were pushed back to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Poland is especially very interesting because it already has over 12,000 online stores, and the marketplace called allegro.pl. It is listed in the top 10 worldwide marketplaces, just after Team Wall and Sharpie, which are Singaporean and Chinese very big marketplaces. Also, with Poland having over 20 million people, it makes the marketplace definitely something to be on the lookout for.
Use of video Ads.
The use of videos and promotional pictures are especially useful and suitable for holidays. Amazon offers a free tool that could do this for you, but the output is not always very good. It is therefore advisable to use any of the other numerous available/ paid tools to create eye-catching videos. Video Ads generally perform excellently well and convert a lot of sales. Video Ads are equally available in Europe; however, Amazon guidelines stipulate that the video content (texts inclusive) must be in the target language, otherwise they will not show. So, in order to use video ads in Europe, one has to really jump into that marketplace and understand all the workings.
Videos are very interesting concept. They take a lot of surface; they are really a clickbait. People really want to click on them. But it's very important to have the content and of course, it's very important to localize them. For instance, it is likely not going to work if you were to use the same US video ad that you were showing to the US audience, to Germans or Italians or Singaporeans. It is simply not going to work. One has to localize it the same way you localize your listings. Another instance, let's say one has a “salesy language,” and you're listing to the US, it's not going to work the same in a country such as Germany, because in Germany, people hate the sales pitch. They want to know the benefits. They want to see the structure. They are very straightforward. And this is how your video ads should also be like. They have to convey the right message to your audience. So, localization in video ads, is a very key subject for sellers on Amazon to take note of.
When talking about display ads in European marketplaces, people often confuse sponsored brands with sponsored display ads. Sponsor display ads exist in Europe and custom image variation, or sponsored brand ads doesn't exist there. There are a lot of people who doesn’t really know the difference and they get it all mixed up. Custom image ad doesn't work in Europe, what works there is the sponsored display ad. It is therefore very important for the sponsor display ad that the headline of such ad is also in the target audience language. Essentially, this implies that one has to have the headline in 50 characters limit written in German, French, Spanish, or whatever European language you are translating to.
Improved A/B testing
Amazon recently improved the A/B testing previously known as the headline search ads, or HAS. It is only important that the headline is translated. The ad is added creative sponsor brand ads. So, how it works is that one can write a headline in a different language and then translate it. This is something that Amazon will normally encourage you to do. If not, it will be automatically translated and the headline will be put in machine translated Spanish or German or whichever European target language you are looking at. This is however not advisable. Therefore, whatever you do, always ensure to do the translation the way they should be done. Additionally, you should put a keyword in the headline such that when you have a new campaign and your PPC containing the keyword, you can use them as well as the headline. Therefore, when someone searches for the keyword, the ad will show up with the same keyword in the headline which will only help to trigger such person seeing your product. Sometimes, one may think that the ads are not performing the best, but when you equally think about the sponsored brand ads, they're there to get your brand awareness. It is therefore highly important to compare and track ad sales, PPC versus organic sales, otherwise one could be left surprised.
The testing also allows you to put in the keyword such as in a sponsored brand ad. This would enable you to see how big increase in organic sales you're going to get. It is important for sellers to just follow their weekly performance. The reports function help to compare the data. For instance, comparing Spanish translation versus English or Mexican marketplace, you are able to mark the relevant date ranges, you'll get all the metrics, you'll see one headline versus the other headline for the date range and you can also compare the results you got after and before you changed and translated the headline to some other language.
Note: Sellers should note that when a new advertising modality hits a new market, there's an opportunity for a huge competitive advantage, because some people are going to be really, really slow to act on that new advertising channel as it were. This creates a really great way of getting ahead of competitors and getting in front of a growing marketplace. Acting fast is very crucial!
Grow your business and sales by working with reliable agencies to translate your listings
For active sellers on Amazon, employ the service of a company that offers full Amazon listing translation service. You get keyword research, A plus content, listing optimization, flat file creation, search terms, localization, translation, all from native speakers that have been trained for Amazon translations only. In addition, if you want to do packaging, translation and follow up emails, brands for translation of Questions and Answers, such company will only need your text, and give you a quote. Also, they will help you do keyword research where they deliver complete keyword databases with 300 plus relevant keywords. And in a case where you may be wondering why your listing is underperforming, they offer you a listing analysis to see the performance of your listing and also provide you with a feedback on what can be improved.
Your charges could be in the range of 90 euros or 100 dollars for one listing to one marketplace. For the pan European marketplaces, the charge could be around 85 euros or 90 dollars per listing per language. And it is also likely that you don't have a word limit for your listing. You get keyword research, localization, search terms, PPC, keyword list and so on.
Become great at selling on Amazon
Join our FREE newsletter and receive expert advice for executives managing the Amazon channel.