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From our Depsters May 22, 2019

Amazon SEO international: Why translating isn’t the right choice

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When you choose to take your Amazon business to an international level, you are faced with the challenge of creating content for different national marketplaces. Many vendors and sellers simply translate their content, for example, from amazon.de to amazon.fr or amazon.com – often at the expense of both visibility and revenue. When in fact, there are several aspects to keep in mind when internationalising your Amazon SEO.

Optimise titles, bullet points and product descriptions per country

The search and purchase behaviour of Amazon users varies from country to country due to different cultures and living conditions. If you ignore the preferences and needs of consumers, you are wasting valuable potential. Those aspects need to be considered for content optimisation and keyword research – a simple translation will not suffice.

For example, a manufacturer is selling a smart thermostat. In France, Amazon users find it particularly important that the smart device has a high-quality design. In Spain, consumers are more likely to buy the device if they can use it to lower the temperature in their home from a distance. On the other hand, German consumers focus on the reporting feature, they want to know exactly how much energy they consume and what the resulting costs are. The information for each country should be strategically integrated into optimised content in order to motivate potential customers to buy said product. Please note that Amazon’s specifications and guidelines for content creation (Amazon Style Guides) may vary from country to country and by product category.

If you want to learn about these differences between countries, you need to conduct a thorough Content Relevance Analysis (CRA) of the product or product groups for each individual country. Start with a number of different sources to better understand your target groups’ concerns and the relevant product characteristics for their purchase decision. This analysis provides the foundation for conversion-optimised content per country. If you neglect this, the probability of site visitors buying your product decreases.

Even if the same language is spoken in different countries, a separate Content Relevance Analysis and keyword research should be carried out for each of them, and country-specific content should be created. Language is not enough of a uniting factor to group countries together by. For example, consumer behaviour in the USA differs from that in Great Britain.

Strike a chord with the national target group

Another crucial point is country-specific peculiarities in the perception of products or product categories as they can affect the content’s (linguistic) layout. For example, in France, dental care products are considered medical products, while German Amazon users tend to place them in the lifestyle segment. Thus, a very objective approach for content optimisation would be advised for amazon.fr, spotlighting the hard facts. However, on amazon.de, the opposite is true, the emphasis is on good marketing and strongly formulated arguments.

There may also be differences in the degree of translation. For example, in Germany, it is quite common to work with English or French terms (Anglicisms or Gallicisms). On the other hand, French Amazon users are generally accustomed to having all terms translated into their native tongue.

Creation of country-specific keyword sets

Regarding visibility, it is also important to consider each country individually. Any country-specific differences can be used to optimise your keyword sets.

To create a high-performance keyword set, editors use the autocomplete feature of Amazon’s search function (Auto Suggest) which shows the most frequent search terms and combinations employed by Amazon users. Differences in consumer search behaviour become apparent when comparing the auto-completion for search queries containing the keyword “shampoo” as an example. On the German marketplace, users are often looking for hair care without artificial additives and for dry scalps. However, users on amazon.com are specifically looking for sets including shampoo and conditioner as well as hair care products for bleached or dyed hair. Thus, consumers are focusing on different product features.

The comparison also shows that the category of “gender” seems to play an important role for German Amazon users in their purchasing decision as they often search for shampoo for men (Herren) or women (Damen). When searching on amazon.com, this characteristic seems to play a secondary role and other categories, such as the intended use or the type of product, determines the buying intention more strongly. Thus, in this example regarding shampoo products, when creating the German keyword set and the optimised content, gender-specific keywords should be prioritised. However, remember that the search behaviour of Amazon users can change constantly. Therefore, the auto-completion offers only temporary insights.

Recap

Neither vendors nor sellers should economise on internationalisation at the expense of Amazon-SEO by simply translating content. Instead, keyword research and a CRA should be conducted for each and every national marketplace. At best, native speakers use this as the foundation for optimising content. Only if you analyse each marketplace individually can you tap the full potential and increase your product sales.

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