Finding Answers on Google

By John Willkom, The Mars Agency


If roughly 55% of product searches start on Amazon, then it’s probably safe to assume that most of the rest are happening on Google.


Google has been changing its search experience recently, which you’ll notice in key categories like food and travel. The search experience is becoming more dynamic, engaging, and entertaining. Instead of simply getting direct links to relevant websites, you're starting to see a lot more recipes, videos, and shareable content.


You're also starting to get additional search suggestions if you begin with something generic like “tortillas” (which we’ll examine in a minute). These “People Also Ask” sections, which are obviously based on Google's treasure trove of data, are the search engine’s interpretation of what you actually might be looking for. In this case, the first topic that comes up (as it does in a lot of food category searches, by the way) is, “Is it healthy to eat tortillas?”

So here’s the tip for brands: Knowing how people are searching Google for your category, and what words and phrases are being used, should influence how you speak to your consumers on Amazon and other retail platforms. Not every question being asked will match up well with your brand positioning, of course. (If you have a product that's not all that healthy, leveraging the question above may require a bit of a stretch.) But if you match up well, then you should lean into an insight like this.


To elaborate further, there’s a brand called Mr. Tortilla that happens to be the No. 1-selling tortilla brand on Amazon. Mr. Tortilla has been using the amazing billboard below to tell shoppers that 20 of their tortillas have the same number of carbohydrates as one regular street tortilla. If you were one of those people searching on Google for healthy tortillas, you’d be sold right away if you saw a banner like this.

The ecommerce landscape is constantly evolving, and with competitors increasing their investment in the space, it’s often key insights like these that give you a leg up. Consider Google and the added insights it might provide to your retail business; it just may give you that extra edge you need.

About the Author

John Willkom is SVP-Ecommerce at The Mars Agency, where he helps brands win in the ever-changing world of connected commerce. John has a passion for brand building and discovering "what's next," is an avid sports fan and accomplished author, having penned the Amazon best-selling book, Walk-On Warrior, in 2018. John and his wife, Allison, have two daughters and call Minneapolis home. He can be reached at: [email protected]