When we usually think about SEO, we think about techniques that help our web pages rank on Google or similar search engines. But we know the world of SEO is much bigger than search engines.
If you're a business selling products on Amazon, chances are you've tried optimizing your product listings to rank higher. You want customers to find your products easier; one way to ensure your products are seen is get them to “rank” higher for certain search queries.
In this guide, we'll take a deeper look into how this optimization works. We'll explore what Amazon SEO is, why it's important, and how to get your products to rank higher in Amazon searches.
What Is Amazon SEO?
Amazon SEO is the process of getting your products to appear higher in Amazon’s search results. Like traditional SEO, Amazon SEO is all about optimizing your product listing for certain elements, like
- Keyword Usage
- Product Title
- Product Features
- Product Description
- Backend Keywords
- Product Images
- Product Review
- Pricing Strategy
Why Is Amazon SEO Important?
Optimizing your product listings can help your products rank higher in search results, so more potential customers can find your listing. More eyes on your listing can lead to an increase in sales.
Not doing Amazon SEO could mean that your products receive fewer views. According to a 2019 study by Feedvisor, 45% of Amazon consumers do not advance to the second page of search results. Optimizing your product listings can help you secure a coveted spot on the first page.
How Is Amazon SEO Different From SEO?
Traditional SEO and Amazon SEO do share similar principles. Both require some kind of optimization to rank higher. However, there are a few important differences.
Unlike Google, Amazon is an ecommerce site; its main goal is to drive sales. Google’s goal is to provide a good search experience so users come back.
Amazon ranks products so it can make as many sales as possible in a quick, efficient manner. To do this, it needs to work differently from Google and other search engines. Amazon uses different algorithms to the likes of Google.
What Is the Amazon A9 Algorithm?
The algorithm that Amazon uses to rank its products is known as the Amazon A9. It works with fewer ranking signals than Google’s RankBrain algorithm.
The A9 algorithm assesses product listings to provide the best results for a customer’s search. Amazon then ranks products based on how likely they are to lead to a purchase. It does this by assessing the relevancy and performance of your listings.
Amazon’s Relevancy Ranking Factors
The Amazon A9 algorithm considers how relevant your product listing is to the search. It reviews where and how your keywords are used, as well as how relevant your keyword is to the search query.
Amazon will consider your:
- Product Title: Your product title is an important factor that the algorithm will assess for relevancy. Your listing's title should include the most relevant keywords for your product.
- Seller Name: Your seller name is another ranking factor that Amazon will use to assess your relevance to the search. If you have keywords that appear in your name you are more likely to rank.
- Keywords: Although your keywords aren't visible to customers, Amazon can see and use them to understand what your product is. Keywords tell Amazon what your product is and which search queries your listing should appear for.
- Brand Name: The brand field is displayed just below the listing title and is visible to customers. Amazon uses this field to connect products to each other, so make sure you spell your brand name the same way on each listing.
- Product Description: Amazon will read every letter of your product description to understand how relevant it is to the search. You should aim to include as much detail as possible and use the most relevant keywords.
- Product Features: Similar to your description, product features help Amazon understand how useful it would be to include your product in a search. It's important to include keywords and product features so Amazon knows your product is relevant.
You can see from these 6 ranking factors that keywords are a big part of displaying your relevancy. If your product listing doesn’t have the right keywords in the right places, it probably won’t appear in Amazon’s search results.
This is why keywords and optimization are so important in the world of Amazon SEO. But they aren't the only factor that affects how you rank.
Performance-Related Amazon Ranking Factors
Remember: Amazon is an ecommerce platform with a goal to sell. Its algorithm wants to understand how likely your products are to sell. The aspects of your product listings that Amazon uses to make this judgment are known as performance ranking factors.
The Amazon A9 algorithm will consider your:
- Click-Through Rate: Your product listing may get more clicks from one search query over another, based on buyer intent, color, size, or other product features. Amazon considers the click performance that your listing has earned for past queries.
- Conversion Rate: Amazon is interested in how many listing clicks resulted in a sale, so they will factor in your conversion rate data. The higher your conversion rate the more likely Amazon is to show your product to its customers.
- Product Price: Since the conversion rate is a ranking factor, your product's price will come into play. A customer will not pay more for a product when they can get it cheaper from another seller. The price of your product will ultimately affect your conversion rate, so it is an important factor to Amazon.
- Product Images: The quality of your product images is important to customers and will affect how likely they are to click on your product from the search results (affecting the click-through rate) and how likely they are to purchase (conversion rate). In response, Amazon reviews the quality and optimization of your images.
- Product Reviews: Customers are more likely to trust a brand with positive reviews. The more reviews your product has, the more trustworthy you appear, and the more likely visitors to your listing make a purchase. Amazon’s algorithm factors in review count and rating when judging your performance.
Performance ranking factors drive Amazon’s goal of selling quickly and efficiently to as many people as possible. Being able to prove to Amazon that customers will buy your product when they see it is an important part of ranking.
How To Improve SEO on Amazon
Now you know what Amazon's ranking factors are, you need to optimize for them. Making even a few changes to your product listings can generate some positive movement in your Amazon listing's rank.
You can start optimizing them for Amazon’s ranking factors by:
- Improving your relevancy
- Choosing the right keywords
- Improving your performance metrics
How to Improve Your Relevancy
Relevancy ranking factors are all about keywords, so improving your listing's relevance should focus on using your keywords in the:
- Product Title
- Product Description
- Product Features
- Backend Keywords
How To Optimize Amazon Product Titles
Your product titles are the first thing that a customer sees when they search for something, so they're both an important ranking factor and crucial to your overall sales.
Your product titles should include relevant keywords, but be wary of keyword stuffing. Using too many keywords in your product title will make your title appear unnatural and spammy.
Instead, your product title should include the brand name, any specifics (like color, quantity, size, or model number), and the most relevant Amazon keyword.
Don’t include information that is not relevant. You have a limited amount of characters available for your product title, so keep it concise and easily readable.
Your Amazon product title should meet the following guidelines:
- Must be 80-250 characters
- Must use title Case
- Must use words (avoid symbols)
- Should use numbers
- Does not use punctuation
How To Optimize Amazon Product Descriptions
Your product description needs to be as informative and detailed as possible. You should include relevant keywords and important information like features, dimensions, specifics, and brand names.
Write clearly in full sentences, and make sure your product description makes sense to both customers and the algorithm. Use subheadings where you can to make your copy easily scannable.
Add keywords into each subheading where relevant. Try to use your main keyword in the first sentence or paragraph of your copy.
Your Amazon product description also needs to meet the following guidelines:
- 2,000 character length
- Highlights the key product features and specifications
- Includes care instructions and warranty information as necessary
- Is easily scannable
- Doesn't include any company contact information or links to your websites
- Doesn't use sale buzzwords like “free shipping” or “on sale now”
If you are struggling to write your description, check out our guide on creating ecommerce landing page copy for a few ideas. Amazon is an ecommerce platform, so the principles of ecommerce are useful when writing product descriptions.
Product descriptions on both Amazon and an ecommerce site should be readable, compelling, and rich with well-placed keywords.
However, that doesn’t mean you should just create exciting copy that makes bold claims. Your copy should be truthful.
Bold copy might help you sell, but it will affect the quality of your reviews. Reviews are another type of ranking factor, so you'll be working against any SEO value gained from your copy.
How To Optimize Amazon Product Features
Your Amazon product features should be somewhat similar to your product description, but they should be easy to read. Product features appear as bullet points that many customers review first. They should tell your customer what your product is and how it will benefit them.
Include 5 bullet points with clear and concise sentences. Include your keyword where relevant to do so, but focus on providing an overview of your product.
Your Amazon product features section also needs to meet the following guidelines:
- 500 characters max
- Should Use sentence case
- Must feature 5 bullet points
- Include 1 sentence per bullet point
- Be specific with features like size, dimensions, color
- Don’t use punctuation at the end of your bullet point
- Don’t mention sales, promotional pricing, or shipping information
How To Optimize Amazon Backend Keywords
Your Amazon backend keywords are tags that tell Amazon what your product is. Customers can't see them, but the A9 algorithm can, so it’s important that you fill all five fields in.
Optimize your product listing with Amazon backend keywords by selecting the five keywords you want to use for your listing. These keywords need to be both relevant to your product and varied enough to apply to different variations of your user's search query.
Whatever keywords you use should also be included in other aspects of your listing, like its description and features.
Your Amazon backend keywords also need to meet the following guidelines:
- 50 character length per keyword
- Avoid punctuation where possible, except commas
- Be inclusive of misspellings and variations
- Do not repeat the same keyword
- Don’t include brand names or product names
How To Find The Right Keywords for Amazon Listings
Increasing your traffic and improving your Amazon SEO will involve choosing the right keywords. Finding good, relevant keywords starts with keyword research.
As with traditional SEO, Amazon SEO keyword research is all about choosing the right keyword for your Amazon product listings. You'll still need to consider the same two metrics that we mentioned above:
- Relevancy: you need to consider how relevant the keyword is. Choose a keyword that your customers are using to find products like yours.
- Performance: you should also choose keywords based on their potential to perform. Consider the keyword's search volume as well, or you run the risk of limiting the number of customers that you reach.
Of course, there are plenty of keyword research tools available to help you find the right keywords and their search volumes. There are also specific tools that can tell you what people are searching for on Amazon and how many people are searching for it.
These tools include:
- Amazon Auto Fill
- Amazon Automatic Campaigns
Keyword Research Using Amazon Auto Fill
Amazon's auto fill feature a simple and free way to start your keyword research. Use the search bar on the Amazon home page to record the auto-fill suggestions that Amazon generates for your keywords.
- Log out of your Amazon account
- Open an incognito tab
- Navigate to the Amazon homepage
- Enter your seed keyword in the search bar but do not press search
- Note all of the auto-filled suggestions that Amazon generates in the search bar
This method is so effective because autofill suggestions are things that Amazon customers are actually searching for. You'll have a list of related phrases and words that can support your keyword strategy.
However, while using this method generates relevant keyword suggestions, it will not give you an indication of performance metrics like search volume.
Amazon Keyword Research Using Sellzone
Sellzone is a suite of tools to help you optimize and manage your Amazon listings. Its Traffic Insights tool allows you to assess your market and audience potential using existing listings.
Sellzone offers insights into your competitors’ keywords, which you can then use as keywords in your own listings.
This method will help you to identify a list of competitive keywords that have performance potential.
Keyword Research Using Amazon Automatic Campaigns
You can use Amazon's Automatic Campaigns tool to review your existing product listings on Amazon and discover other potential search terms that your product already converts for. The tool also includes a keyword report, which can be useful in doing additional keyword research
To access this tool, you will need to navigate to your seller's dashboard, then select Reports → Advertising Reports → Search Term Report.
How To Improve Your Performance Metrics
Performance metrics track how well your product sells, so improving the product listing's performance should focus on helping customers make the decision to buy.
You can check your product's conversion data by navigating to Business Reports or Reports → Seller Central’s Detail Sales Page and Traffic. Look for the metric Unit Session Percentage, which is essentially your conversion rate.
You could also use a tool like Sellery Smart Lists, which gives you metric data about your products, like Buy Box performance, competitions, sales data, and more.
If your conversion rate percentage is low, then you should consider optimizing elements of your product listing including:
- Product Images
- Product Reviews
- Product Price
How To Optimize Amazon Product Images
Your product images are one of the first things your customer sees from the search page, so they’re an important factor in the click-through rate. Images are also the best way a customer can get to know your product before they buy it, so they can directly influence conversion rate.
Focus on your image quality. Product images need to retain their quality when appearing small in search results, when clicked, or when the user zooms in. For most products, you should use multiple images.
The first image should be on a white background with any subsequent images showing your product from different angles, in its packaging, or in situations. These are known as lifestyle images.
Your Amazon product images also need to meet the following guidelines:
- 1000 px or larger on its longest side (ideally a square image)
- Use an infographic
- Don’t use a lot of text
How To Optimize Your Product Reviews
Your product reviews tell customers a lot about your product and you as a company. Although you can’t directly impact what they say, you do have some level of control over the types of reviews you get.
Be as honest and accurate as possible in your product description and images. Bad reviews usually come from customers who thought they had purchased one thing and were actually delivered something completely different.
Although misleading and inaccurate descriptions could drive more sales, it also leads to poor reviews and product returns.
You should also actively encourage customers to leave a review on your product listing. You can set up follow-up reminder emails in the Amazon interface so that a customer receives an invitation to leave you a review after a purchase.
If you do receive negative reviews, make sure you respond where possible and follow up with any actions that you can take. If it is a genuine problem with your product, address it as quickly as possible.
How To Optimize Your Product Price
The price of your product has a big impact on how likely user will click on your product from the search results and convert from your product page. If your price higher than other results on the search page, you will probably be overlooked.
Likewise, if your price is much lower, you may get lots of clicks but customers may assume flaws with your product to explain why you are much lower priced.
Carefully consider your costs against the prices of similar items offered by your competitors. Make sure you do price comparisons on Amazon; sellers sometimes list a product for a different price on Amazon than their own website.
There are tools that will help you price match quickly, like the Sellery Automatic Pricing Rule. This tool automates your pricing so that you match the price of a similar product, whether higher or lower.
Optimizing your product price doesn’t mean being the cheapest listing or dropping all of your prices. If you are priced higher than other products, a customer needs to understand why from the search results. You'll need to provide a very clear reason in your product title and image.
Follow the tips in this guide and choose relevant keywords to optimize your product listing. You might notice some positive movement in your Amazon rankings, but that doesn’t mean that you can rest easy.
Just like traditional SEO, Amazon SEO is always changing so you will need to stay on top of your Amazon listings on Amazon. Keep optimizing and managing the elements of your listing that the Amazon A9 algorithm tracks.
Maintenance will help you appear in the right searches and ultimately drive more traffic.