I initially posted this in the Partners forum, but realized it would probably be more useful here.
I saw a post asking about ranking against Amazon recently.
It's not impossible - in fact, done 'right', you can outrank Amazon or any other mega-etailer.
The truth is, it's not terribly hard or unrealistic to compete against Amazon - or Walmart, Wayfair, Alibaba, etc.
It's really about 'choosing your battles' - understanding which battles are worth fighting, and how to win them.
The short answer is to uncover 'longer-tail' and 'lateral' buyer-intent searches, and then optimize of them.
While these tend to be relatively low volume, they are also very high converting - and there are bazillions of them!
I wrote an article recently detailing the 'what' and 'how' for anyone selling products 'against' the retail giants:
I've done it, dozens of times, and you can too.
Glad to see that you moved from Volusion to Shopify; I used to be a Volusion Partner as well until I decided to focus exclusively on Shopify.
If you read my article, you'll have a successful strategy for outranking Amazon!
What an amazing article Mike! Seriously! It was motivating and very insightful. Thank you for sharing more than one website that'll help us out with our 'seed search terms'. It was awesome because it validated the ones I am using and showed me new ones to incorporate which I plan to do. I am ready to do just that and want to integrate your style of "Create a separate ‘Page’ or pages that you will use as your ranking target." I pulled that from this paragraph of your article,
"To optimize a product page for a particular search phrase, you should:
The question I have about the separate page that I create - can it just be a list of the seed search terms I know and just discovered? Do you have an example of what the separate page should look like? From my understanding, it'll optimize my search ranking through this separate page but it won't be visible on my actual website. Further explanation is greatly appreciated!
Mahalo from Hawaii!
Aloha Amanda - and thanks for the kind words!
(I had the great experience of spending 10 days in Maui about 6 years ago - absolutely fell in love with it, can't wait to go back!)
While I can't give you live examples - we give all our clients a committment not to post their URL's - I can expand a bit more.
First, the pages we're talking about absolutely are visible; they wouldn't be much use otherwise.
Second, they can be your 'standard' Shopify product page, or a separate 'Page'.
The basic idea is a) find 'lateral buyer search terms', then b) optimize a page for a given term.
The main reason we use 'Pages', rather than standard product pages, is that we have more latitude to optimize them e.g. more content, images, meta-tags like page title, etc.
What you're aiming for isn't simply a list of these terms - though having those terms appear somewhere would in fact help.
The reason this works is that you are creating pages that will rise above competing pages BECAUSE they are optimized for these searches - which is accomplished by having more relevant, phrase-related content, phrase-related images, phrase-related URL (title tag), etc.
When Amazon, Walmart, Target, Wayfair, etc., 'outrank' you for a lateral buyer-intent phrase, it's almost entirely due to the underlying strength, or authority, of their domain.
While that's enough to outrank you for a term neither of you are optimized for, some basic optimization (on-page, which is the page optimization above - and off-page, which is just some backlinks) will far outweigh domain authority for most searches for which they aren't optimized specifically for.
Hope that helps~