Share of Digital Shelf: The Importance of Measuring, Assessing and Optimizing

Share of digital shelf in its simplest definition is the percentage of traffic a brand gets from a keyword inquiry. For example, when someone searches for “laundry detergent” on Amazon, what percentage of the time does Tide appear as a return on that search? Brands looking at share of digital shelf want to keep a few things in mind. First, it’s vital to come up on the first page. Shoppers generally don’t move past the first page of results when looking for a product, so that first-page position greatly increases the likelihood of purchase. Ideally, the product will be the first entry on the first page.

How brands get on the first page may vary. Some will come up through organic placements. For brands that are well-established and sell a lot of product, organic placement is likely. Others, like new and emerging products, will need to sponsor search results to start. The more people that click on your entry, be it organic or sponsored, the more likely it is that the product will be returned organically over time. The more a brand sells, the higher they will appear on the list, causing them to sell more, and so on.

In order to make sure your brand is getting the largest share of search possible, it’s valuable to measure, assess and optimize performance. We must be reasonable when assessing. You’re never going to win every first-page slot but making an effort will increase the odds. Let’s break down the process:


Look for keywords that matter the most and check keywords of top competitors. Checking out reviews is a great way to identify new keywords. Reviews also can affect organic placement, so make sure you’re monitoring reviews and engaging with customers in a professional and helpful manner. The content of your product pages can also determine placement in results. Make sure your content pages are up-to-date and SEO-optimized.


Look at who else is in the market. What competitors are showing with your keywords? If you’re missing the first page for certain keywords in the organic search, that’s an opportunity to engage sponsored posts to get more visibility with those certain keywords. You might consider an ad for the entire brand that would appear at the top of the page, instead of doing ads for each individual product.


Are you organically at the top of the page for certain keywords? Maybe you can reduce the budget for those keyword sponsorships to support other keywords where performance is low. That being said, keep your eyes open for new entrants into your space that might also be purchasing sponsored posts. You don’t want to lose your foothold if the competition is tight. If you’re spending a lot of money on a specific keyword, and still not getting on the front page, it’s time to reevaluate. Check your descriptions, titles and the keyword itself for compatibility. If the keyword isn’t really suited for your product, you may want to abandon it in favor of a better keyword match.

Know the Competition

Even though the marketplace online is larger, your brand is also competing with brands that you would find in a brick and mortar store. Samsung competes against LG and Sony across all retailers. If you walk into Best Buy there will be an Insignia house brand there too. House brands might not always be on page one, but they are also still competition. If your brand is competing against major first-page brands and has a good share of search for returns on the first page, your brand is in the prime location to be visible to potential customers. Once that’s achieved, it’s crucial to consistently measure, assess and optimize to maintain first-page placement.

Authored by Reza Farhangi, Director of Strategic Initiatives for PriceSpider

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