Amazon.com is the new search engine for product searches. It has become quite natural for shoppers to check Amazon first to find products and check prices. In fact, 55% of the population turns to Amazon for product searches.
So, if you are planning to launch your product or wish to improve product rankings, zero in on Amazon first. Why? Simply because it’s easier to find your targeted audience here than anywhere else. But then, to drive maximum mileage out of your product listing, you need to specifically employ Amazon SEO tactics.
Remember: Amazon’s on-site SEO optimization tactics is widely different from that of Google’s on-site optimization tactics. Here’s your in-depth guide to Amazon SEO to help your products rank higher on the largest online retail site in the world.
How to Improve your Product Listing on Amazon
#1 First off: Step into the shoes of A9
Stepping into the shoes of A9 – a subsidiary company of Amazon – will help you dissect the nitty-gritty of Amazon SEO.
A9 is the brain behind Amazon’s complicated search algorithm. It’s A9’s job role to make sure that customer queries match with the relevant products in the Amazon catalog. So if you have even the slightest hint as to how they rank products in search results, you’ll know the kind of extensive keyword pruning and tuning required to land your product listing in the top search results.
Amazon’s A9 leverages data to learn what a user sees after keying in a search query and accordingly juggles with the product listings.
And this data includes
- Search Terms (keywords)
- Range of Selection (color, models, etc.)
- Product Pricing
- Stock Availability
- Sales History
- Customer Reviews
- Click volume
All the above data fall into two categories: Performance Factors and Relevance Factors.
Relevancy factors: It’s calculated on keyword usage and positioning. In other words, it depends on how well a product matches the search query.
Performance factors: It consists of a series of signals that Amazon takes into account to rank products depending on how much money they’ll make by doing so. These signals include CTR (click-through rate), conversion rate and overall sales.
Relevancy factors include:
#1. Product Title
#2. Bullet Point Versus Paragraphs
#3. Optimize Long-Tail Keywords in Backend Search Terms
Performance factors include:
#1. Conversion Rate
#2. Optimize Images
#3. Product Pricing
#4. Amazon Reviews
Relevance-based Ranking Factors
Sellers can easily optimize Relevancy Factors over Performance Factors given that it’s completely based on keyword optimization.
#2 Amazon Optimization is all about Keyword Optimization
According to top SEO companies, Amazon SEO Optimization is directly proportional to keyword optimization. Get them right and your product will easily show up in user search queries.
So, it goes without saying that you need to carry out an exhaustive search for all the relevant keywords for your product listings. You can use Amazon’s keyword research tool like Sonar for the same. The tool will help you come up with relevant keywords, and also recommend suggestions based on Amazon shopper’s search queries. If these were not enough, it will also help you with the actual search volume of different keywords on Amazon.
Keyword Placement – The Heart and Soul of Amazon SEO
Hope, you have gauged it by now, that keyword placement is critical from Amazon SEO standpoint.
So, your first step should be to come up with a huge list of long tail keywords.
Once that’s done, you need to sift the best from the average performing ones because all keywords are not equally important. So only the valuable ones should be considered and the rest discarded.
Check out this general rule of thumb for keyword placement in Amazon listing optimization:
Product Title: The Product title is one of the most critical relevant factors. So, make sure that you include the most relevant keywords and synonyms in the product title. Also, include a few search terms from the product description. This will make sure your products rank on page one. What’s more? Top local SEO companies suggest using product titles in such a way that it makes it easier for the local population to reach your product page.
Key elements to include in your Product title:
- Product Brand
- Size or Dimensions
- Line of the Product
Product title DO’s
- 200 character limit for all categories
- Capitalize the first alphabet of every word
- Measure words such as Ounce, Inch, and Pound should be spelled out
- Numbers should be in numerals
- Avoid Ampersands in titles unless it’s part of a brand name.
- If the size of the product is not relevant enough, avoid it in the title
- If the product is available only in single color, avoid the mention of color in the title
Product title DONT’s
- Avoid price and quantity info
- Avoid all caps
- Avoid seller info
- Avoid promotional messages such as “Sale”
- Avoid words such as “Best Seller”
- Avoid symbols ($, !, ?)
Sure, Amazon is against keyword stuffing. But then, your product title has to have all the relevant keywords no matter what. Why? Simply because only a title with the right and relevant keywords will draw more clicks on your product listing. If anything, providing consumers a clear cut idea will secure a higher CTR.
Regardless of the effect keywords have on product titles, the fact remains that product titles chock-a-bloc with keywords would annoy users making them shy away from your listing. Clear and concise should be the catchphrase here. But then, make sure you include the brand name of the product in the title, such as Nike, Adidas and so on.
Bullet Points Or Paragraphs
Not all Amazon SEO is this challenging. There are some super easy ones as well. For one, using bullet points in product descriptions.
Using bullet points over paragraphs is one sure fire to give your product listings a boost. Simply because it’s easier for the user to digest information in bulleted format.
Here’s an example of a bullet point product description that converts:
Image source: practicalcommerce.com
Take Cues from heatmaps
You can also take help of heatmaps to get a better idea of keyword placement. As you can see from the image below, Amazon shoppers are more drawn toward product picture and title than any other thing.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon is directing all its optimization efforts toward pictures and titles. And also experiments with the look and feel of its search results page. Sometimes it’s in a classic format as given in the picture below and sometimes in the mobile format, with more product listings on each page, and at the same time highlights a larger product image with details such as price, title, and ratings. It basically does away with the information that visitors aren’t really interested in looking at.
Image source: sellics.com
Optimize Long-Tail Keywords in Backend Search Terms
In 2015, you could only include 50 characters in your Seller Central backend search terms. Now you can enter as many as 1,000 characters in five search term fields. And this does not include Platinum keywords. But then, make sure to incorporate only the relevant keywords in your backend search terms because you never know when Amazon changes its algorithm, which might limit the number of keywords that could be included in the backend. So in case if you have gone overboard with keywords and incorporated irrelevant keywords as well in the backend, you’d be at the receiving end.
The bottom line: Amazon algorithm works hand in hand with the shopper behavior. The keywords featured in the product title is accorded highest importance followed by keywords embedded within the bullet points, seller central keywords, product specifications and finally the product description.
Performance-Based Ranking Factors
Performance factors directly relate to Amazon’s profits. It offers cues to Amazon to rank products, higher or lower, depending on the money they are going to make from them. Simply put, if your product is gonna make Amazon richer it’s sure to give your product listing a higher ground.
Though it’s an obvious ranking factor, it’s not that easy it to crack it. However, we got a few tactics up our sleeve that could help you prove to Amazon that your product is doing well and deserves to show up on page one.
But then, the fact remains, Amazon doesn’t share enough data on conversions. On the positive side, you are free to access metrics such as units and sessions. This will help you calculate the conversion rate by dividing the units ordered with the number of sessions for per product listing.
Additionally, you will have to adjust your buy box percentage, to make the most of the conversions. This is critical if your products face high competition.
Images are an integral part of Amazon rankings. Which means there are guidelines as well a seller needs to follow. As per the guidelines, sellers need to upload product images 1000 X 1000 pixels or larger. This will make sure that the images are in sync with Amazon’s zoom feature. For the starters, images optimized for zoom sell better.
The performance factors are about keeping Amazon happy by way of ensuring higher profit for Amazon. If Amazon says that they need zoomable images, you’d be better off uploading zoomable images.
Tips for optimizing product photos:
- Add few images with 1,000 x 1,000 pixels. This will enable zoom function.
- Images should have a white background
- If you are a private brand make sure your brand name is visible in at least one of the product images.
- Some photos should demonstrate benefits or uses
Price is yet another rank factor that could leverage for taking advantage of Amazon SEO. Prices can make or break sales. If your product pricing is comparatively better than your competitors then your product stands a fair chance than the competitor product on Amazon.
The more sales on Amazon means more sessions, more conversions, and in turn better rankings.
Amazon has an Automate Pricing tool to guide you in pricing decisions.
With too many incentivized reviews crowding the Amazon review space, the online giant recently updated its review policies to clamp down such reviews. In fact, Amazon is deleting incentivized reviews. That said, reviews are still an indispensable part of Amazon SEO because it directly affects the conversion rates.
One of the best ways to add more reviews to your product is by sending follow-up emails to users. You can even incentivize the emails but avoid sending spammy and aggressive emails. More importantly, give customers an outlet to share their grievances so that they may avoid leaving negative reviews on your product page.
There you have it, the top 2 Amazon SEO methods to boost product rankings. But then, don’t forget that Amazon SEO is an ongoing thing. You need to constantly adapt to Amazon’e ever-evolving marketplace, if you want to stay ahead of the competition.