Amazon is one of the top marketplaces in the world for selling goods. However, it is also very competitive. To be successful when selling with Amazon, you need to know how to get the right attention for your product listings. Amazon SEO will help you to improve the positioning of your products by optimizing your rankings.
This guide will show you what Amazon SEO is and how you can get started with it. Learn how to use some key techniques to implement SEO for your Amazon products, as well as how to monitor performance and optimize your listings for success. It’s first important to understand Amazon SEO, what it is and how Amazon’s ranking algorithm works so that you can formulate the right approach. Use this guide to find out how to improve the position of your products, get more traffic and ultimately drive up your Amazon sales.
What Is Amazon SEO?
Amazon SEO is the practice of optimizing your Amazon product listings so that they appear at the top of the results for your relevant keywords. If you are selling Gucci sunglasses, you want your products to appear as close to the top of the results and possible when people search using that exact term or other related words and phrases.
Although Amazon doesn’t work exactly like a search engine, there are similarities between searching for something on Amazon and searching for something using a search engine like Google. When people search for products on Amazon, they are more likely to click on the first few products, just like they are more likely to click on the first results on a search engine results page. However, Amazon’s search algorithm doesn’t work in the same way as a search engine like Google or Bing. There are fewer ranking factors involved, which is why it’s important to understand Amazon SEO separately from traditional SEO for stand-alone search engines.
People who are searching for something through Amazon will still use a keyword or phrase to find what they’re looking for. How your products rank in the results is important, but you also need to know how the Amazon algorithm works and how you can take the right steps to get your products ranking well.
How the Amazon Algorithm Works
The Amazon algorithm is called A9 because this is also the name of the company that handles SEO for Amazon. The SEO company, a subsidiary of Amazon, handles search and advertising technologies for Amazon, as well as for some other clients.
Amazon’s algorithm is ultimately designed to help Amazon. They want to make sure that their sellers’ products sell, but that’s because if their products sell well, it means that Amazon is making money. Amazon reaches millions of customers each day, with millions of searches. Amazon needs to retrieve relevant results for every search in just a few seconds, so it needs to use the right criteria to do so.
Essentially the algorithm uses two main factors to find the right results for each search. These two factors are relevance and performance. Amazon delivers product results based on how relevant they are to the search term and how likely they are to sell. If you want to optimize your Amazon products for Amazon’s algorithm, you need to focus on these two things when creating your listings.
In some ways, ranking your products on Amazon is easier than trying to get them ranking well in search engines. When people search on Amazon, they’re looking for a product to buy. However, when using a search engine, their intentions aren’t always as clear. This means that Amazon SEO can be a lot simpler to understand, but there’s still a lot of competition.
One thing that you should always remember is that Amazon cares about selling their products to buyers. That’s their goal, and the one thing to keep in mind when creating and optimizing your product listings.
Amazon provides some useful documentation on optimizing for the product to create a relevant listing, and on optimizing for performance. The official documentation can help you to understand the best practice that you should be using.
Ranking Products for Relevance
Firstly, your products need to be relevant to a search term for them to come up with the results of a search. Just like when you’re doing SEO for Google and other search engines, this is where you can use keywords to influence the algorithm. By using applicable keywords, you can make sure that your product listings come up for the right searches. There are several places in your listing where you can use keywords to get your product ranking in the right way.
The title of your product is probably the most important factor when it comes to ranking your listings. The title is what people will see first in the search results, alongside an image of your product, the price, and its customer rating. You need to make sure that your most relevant keyword, which describes your product, is in the title of your listing.
As well as having a keyword that says exactly what your product is, there are some descriptive words and terms that you might want to include too. These could include:
- The brand name of the product
- The material of the product (if it’s important)
- A special feature or function
- The color
- The size
- The quantity of the product if applicable
Not all of these will be applicable to every product, and you may want to avoid making your product title too long. Avoid keyword stuffing, just as you would with any other content where you want to carry out best practice SEO. Amazon has style guides for different categories that can help you to determine how long your title should be.
When crafting product titles, you should also be sure that you’re putting your keywords in the right place. Putting the most relevant keyword first will help your product listing to rank well. It’s good for both the algorithm and for the customers searching for products, letting them know right away what your product is. You should choose your most important keywords to go in your product title to make sure that the listing will perform well.
Your seller name/brand
While your seller name isn’t something that can be varied across your listings, it’s still worth considering. Of course, you can only take this factor into account if you haven’t yet got started with Amazon or if you’re willing to undergo a rebrand or name change. However, if you do have the chance to choose your seller name, it’s worth considering whether you can choose something that will help your products rank better. This would likely involve choosing a name that reflects what you sell in some way, whether it’s the product itself or who it’s for.
Your listing also gives you a chance to add keywords that won’t be visible as part of your product listing. The Amazon algorithm will take them into account in searches, but customers won’t be able to see them. These keywords are like meta tags to search engines like Google. There are five fields, which each have a 50-character limit. When you enter your keywords, just separate them with space. There’s no need to use commas.
You can use your backend keywords to put in any relevant keywords, particularly those that you can’t naturally fit in elsewhere. They’re not visible to the customer, so you can include both short and long-tail keywords. Make use of the backend keywords for any awkward terms that you might be struggling to get into your copy. You can even use backend search terms for things like misspellings or even search terms in other languages such as Spanish. These keywords would likely look wrong in your bullet points or description, but you can easily hide them away in the backend keywords.
The bullet points of your product listing are the first thing that people can read when they land on the page. Underneath your product title and brand name, they will see a shortlist of bullet points that you can use to summarize the features and benefits of your product. This section gives you the chance to start being persuasive and selling your product, as well as being descriptive.
You should try not to make the bullet points too long. Bullet points should be concise anyway, but there’s also another reason to keep them short. In some categories, only the first 1,000 characters will be indexed, making this the most important place to put your keywords. Keep each bullet point short and try not to include too many of them. Use this space to include the most important information about your product, sell it to your customers and weave relevant keywords naturally into your copy.
Any keywords that you don’t use in your title can be weaved into your bullet points. However, keywords used in your bullet points likely don’t carry as much weight as those in your title. So be sure to get your most important keywords in your title first.
The product description is connected to the bullet points and gives you somewhere to expand on the information about your product. It’s a chance to be more descriptive and creative while continuing to sell your product. The description is another place to put some of your keywords, although they aren’t always indexed for search purposes. In some categories, products can be found through all the keywords in the product description. However, for most categories, the product won’t appear if a customer only searches for single keywords in the description.
The product will appear when they search for two or more keywords in the description or a keyword in both the description and in one of the other fields, such as the title, bullet points or backend keywords. This makes the product description a good place to put long-tail keywords and integrate them naturally.
Of course, like the bullet points, it’s not all about getting your keywords in there. It’s also one of the opportunities you must speak to your audience and convince your customers that they want to buy your product. You might combine your product description with images to help you demonstrate the benefits of the product and use your words to tell a story.
Ranking Products for Performance
Factors that relate to performance are also important to consider when you create your Amazon product listings. While they might be a little more difficult to directly control, you can still take these important things into account if you want your products to be successful.
The price of your product is obviously something that you get to choose, but that doesn’t mean that you can set any price and have your listing perform well. The price will affect your conversion rates, so you need to avoid setting it too high or even too low. Your price needs to be competitive compared to similar products if you want to sell more units. You should look at products in the same category as yours and check if they are selling for less than yours. If they are, not only will you possibly sell less, but Amazon’s algorithm will assume that you’re going to sell less and won’t give your listing priority.
Make sure that you don’t charge too much compared to similar products if you want your product to sell. You can sell your product higher than others, but there should be a clear reason for doing so. For example, you might have better reviews of your product.
The conversion rate of your product will also make a difference in how well it performs in Amazon search results. Of course, this can seem like something of a catch 22. How can you sell more of your products without first getting it to rank highly in the search results? Even worse, you can’t get a clear conversion rate from Amazon as you can with Google analytics. However, you can look at the Seller Central Detail Sales Page and Traffic under Business Reports and Reports.
If your conversion rate isn’t as high as you would like it to be, you should look at some of the relevant factors to make your product more relevant to the keywords that you want to target. You might also want to try rewriting your copy so it’s more attractive and persuasive, as well as look at your product images.
High-quality product images are key to making sure that your product has a high conversion rate. Product listings with good images are shown to perform better and sell more than those that have lower-quality images. Amazon recommends that your images are at least 1,000 pixels in either height or width, which allows for the use of the zoom feature on images. They say that zoom has been proven to enhance sales. The minimum size of your file is 500 pixels along at least one side but remember that larger images are better. That means having a good quality large image, not just stretching a smaller one to fit.
The main image
The main image for your Amazon listing is the one that will appear in the search results and will be the first one on the product page. Therefore, this image is the most important one. It’s the one that will get people to click on your product and explore it further. The main image needs to display your product in a way that’s attractive to the customer and makes it immediately clear what the product is. Much of the time on Amazon, this will mean putting the product upfront and having a plain background or being worn on a model if it’s clothing. Sometimes it might be within a certain setting, such as a shelf hung on a wall.
You can test out different images to see what performs well. A/B testing your images to see what click-through-rates you get can be helpful, although it’s easy to do using sponsored product campaigns. Paid advertising gives you better insights into what performs well, but you need to be willing to invest a bit of your marketing budget into testing it out. However, it can help you to figure out what works best for your organic listings too.
When choosing the main image for your product, make sure it follows these guidelines:
- The image contains the product only, without any props or accessories
- Use a pure white background
- Fill at least 85% of the image area with the product
- Show the product without packaging
- Make sure the product is completely visible
- Don’t include text, graphics or illustrations
You should make the most of your images to provide as much information to your customers as possible. Your images could show clear details of certain features of your product, which might also help to show the quality of the product. Have images of your product from different angles and in different positions or situations so people get a full picture of what it looks like. You can even include text in your images that labels parts of the product or highlights certain features or benefits.
While you want the main image to be simple, you can be more creative with your additional images. You can use them to show different variations of your product too, such as style, and give some perspective to show the size. It can help to show the product in various states if it can be configured in different ways or used in a variety of ways. Showing someone using the product is also a good idea, and you can put it in different settings and situations to show people how the product can fit with their home or lifestyle. Even showing packaging can help with some products, particularly if they come with luxury packaging.
Your additional images can have:
- Backgrounds and environments
- Text and graphics
- Accessories and packaging
When your images help to drive up your conversion rates, you should start to see your products performing better in the search results too.
Your reviews on Amazon also affect the performance of your product listings. Products with many reviews will appear at the top of search results. On top of that, search results can be filtered by average customer reviews, putting the products with the best reviews at the top of the page. The top-performing products for a broad keyword will generally be products with more reviews and better reviews. If your product has better reviews, the Amazon algorithm will help your product listing to perform better.
However, keep in mind that Amazon is strict about fake reviews. It’s important not to try to take a shortcut because this could only end up hurting your product’s performance. You can, however, encourage your customers to leave reviews after they have purchased your products. A reminder email to leave a review can help to give your customers a push to leave a review. Of course, sometimes reviews can be negative. If people are leaving less than favorable reviews, you should look at the things that they have problems with and see if you can fix them.
Finding the Right Keywords
Of course, to include relevant keywords in your product listings, you need to be able to find the right keywords to use. This involves doing some research, although you can probably come up with a few good ideas for keywords simply by looking at your product and thinking about what it is and what it’s for.
There are a few things you can use to find the right keywords for your products:
- Amazon autocomplete – simply typing into the search bar and seeing what comes up can be a useful way to find the keywords that you need. Autocomplete will suggest key terms for products and the categories that they belong to, making it easier for you to decide what you should be putting in your listings.
- Listings from competitors – check out your competitors on Amazon who is selling similar products to yours. This will show you the keywords that they are using to sell their products and help you to pick out the keywords that are performing best. Find some of your close competitors by entering the main keyword into Amazon search and taking a closer look at the words and phrases your competitors are using.
- Customer reviews – reviews from customers give you an insight into the words that consumers are using to describe your products and other products like them. You can look at reviews on other products and your own products to find the best keywords.
- Use keyword research tools – you can also use keyword research tools to find the right keywords for your products. Some are even designed specifically for Amazon, such as the Sonar tool from Sellics. Keyword tools can give your ideas and suggestions based on a main keyword or term to give you inspiration and show you how different keywords perform, including the search volume
Integrating Keywords in Your Listings
Now that you have your keywords and you know where to put them, you also need to know how to insert them. Putting them in the right place and in the right order, while making them sound natural, is essential for a quality listing. Getting keywords into your copy isn’t always easy as it can be difficult to make your copy flow, but with some practice, you should be able to write quality copy that helps the ranking of your product.
One of the things to consider is when Amazon’s algorithm indexes the keywords in a listing. Keywords in the following sections are indexed by Amazon:
- Brand/seller name
- Bullet points (the first 1,000 characters)
- Backend keywords
- Further keywords fields such as Target Audience Keywords
- Product information fields
It’s always a good idea to try to put your keywords as soon as possible in each field. While you don’t want to have too many keywords in one go, it’s important to be mindful that there are some character limits. If your keywords aren’t included within the character limits, Amazon won’t index them, and they won’t help your listing appear in search results for those keywords.
Another thing to remember is not to keyword stuff in your listing. This is particularly important in the title and bullet points. However, the one place where you can use lots of keywords is in the backend keywords. These aren’t seen by Amazon customers, so it doesn’t matter if it’s just a list of keywords. Their purpose is to help Amazon see which are the main keywords for your listings. The character limit for backend keywords is 249, so you have plenty of space to get relevant keywords in. Any keywords after this limit might not be indexed, so it’s important to know if you’ve gone over the limit when inserting your keywords.
One last thing to note is that you only really need to use each keyword once. Once you have put them in your title, bullet points, description or backend keywords, you don’t need to use them again.
About Enhanced Brand Content
Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) is designed to allow you to differentiate your product listing from others. It is available to products that are registered to the Amazon Brand Registry. It allows you to add enhanced images and text placement to your product description so that you can convey a brand story. You have probably seen this type of content on Amazon listings but perhaps didn’t know it had a name. However, it’s important to remember that Amazon doesn’t index enhanced content. If you have keywords that only appear in your enhanced brand content, it means that they won’t be used in search results.
Amazon vendors have A+ content, the equivalent of enhanced content for sellers. A+ content is added to the product description, but for sellers, enhanced brand content replaces the product description. This means that you need to decide which one is most important. Although the keywords in the product description can be indexed, when the enhanced brand content isn’t, the description isn’t necessarily that important for Amazon SEO. Other parts of your listing, like the title and backend keywords, are more important, and foregoing the product description might not matter too much.
Using enhanced brand content can help you to improve your conversion rate by boosting your sales. This will, in turn, help your product listing to perform better, so the enhanced content could prove to be much more useful than the product description. The product description is only indexed by Amazon’s algorithm in a limited way, while enhanced content provides eye-catching and useful information that could really help your sales. You can focus on putting your most relevant keywords in the other important fields, then focus on optimizing your conversion rate.
Tools to Use for the Data You Need
Getting the right keywords and monitoring your performance can be done without using any special tools. However, there are various tools that you might find helpful. You can use tools designed for Amazon sellers that help you to find the right keywords and that help you to monitor the performance of your listings in search results and your sales.
It might seem like there’s a lot that goes into creating a high-ranking Amazon product listing, but it’s not too complicated. Once you know which are the most important factors according to Amazon’s algorithm, you can craft a product listing that performs well.
It’s worth spending some time trying out some different things to find out what works best. If your product listing isn’t getting much traction, changing anything from the images that you use to your product price and the keywords that you choose could help to improve your listing.
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