You are familiar with the concept of Skill Store Optimization (SSO) but don’t know where to start? You are in the right place! Have a look at the tips below, and you will find everything you need to know to get started with Skill Store Optimization and increasing the traffic of your Alexa skills. Need some help crafting your SSO strategy? Reach out: we will be happy to help.
1. Audit your current performance
Before jumping right into optimizing the Skill Store Optimization Stack’s different elements, you must first audit your current performance. How are the current elements of your metadata performing? Is your Alexa skill ranking at the top for keywords you want to rank for? What about the ones you inserted in the skill one-sentence description? Do these keywords drive traffic for you Alexa skill? Simple research will make sure you don’t remove any keywords driving visibility and ultimately enablement for your Alexa skill.
With Voxalyze, you can see all the keywords your Alexa skill ranks for. Additionally, we will be releasing “volume” metrics – estimating how often the keyword is searched for – in the coming weeks.
2. Benchmark your competitors
One of the first steps we recommend is to identify which Alexa skills you are competing with and their strategy for keywords. At this stage, you should consider not only direct/obvious competitors but also Alexa skills that could be competing for the same keywords. Before jumping to keyword research, look at what your competitors are up to when it comes to Skill Store Optimization: are they taking skill store optimization seriously? Do they update their skill often? Do you see major changes in keywords ranking? This will give you some great insights and a view on which skills you could outrank with limited efforts.
3. Find relevant keywords
Now it’s time to start with keyword research. The important thing to keep in mind is that what matters are the keywords used by Alexa users when searching for your service or product. If you rank first for a keyword that describes your skill well, but no one is actually searching for that keyword, that won’t bring you anything traffic-wise.
A good place to start is to browse your competitor skills on Voxalyze to find out which keywords they are ranking for and which ones they are using skill title or one-sentence description as the correlation is normally pretty strong. Then it’s about finding those unique keyword opportunities: keywords with high search volume and for which your competitors do not rank well.
4. Update your metadata/skills assets
Once you have built a list with keywords relevant to your Alexa skill and that describe users are searching for, you need to pick the keywords you should add to your metadata. When doing so, keep in mind the followings:
- Choose keywords that provide an answer to a user query or intent.
- Choose keywords that are most relevant to your skills.
- Choose keywords with a high search volume.
- Make sure to add the most important keyword(s) to your skill title.
- Add the other keywords to the other skill assets (one-sentence description, long description, keyword set, launch phrases…etc.)
As picking the right keywords involves several iterations, it is wise to establish a testing plan and timeline. A point not mentioned in this paragraph is the potential of long-tail keywords where competition and search volume is lower. I will cover this in a separate article.
5. Gather user reviews
Ratings and reviews significantly impact Skill Store Optimization and should be a key part of your SSO strategy. If you haven’t done so yet, ask friends and family to review your skill. Then consider joining forums, Facebook groups, and asking for (as well as replicating) favors. While those are considered grey hat SSO – i.e., they could be seen as not in line with Amazon’s vague guidelines – they are common practice. You should also follow Amazon’s changing guidelines on the topic: what isn’t possible at a given time could become the norm later.
6. Monitor rankings and visibility
Now that you have followed all the steps above, it is important to regularly monitor your skill visibility. Not only does Amazon update the Alexa search algorithm from time to time, but your competitors may not be sitting still, and new ones could be appearing. Lastly, user search behaviors slowly change over time. So, make sure to follow what is happening and adjust your keyword strategy accordingly when necessary.