Most sellers on Amazon are aware of the fact that optimizing Amazon product listings to fit in for Amazon SEO (Search Engine Optimization) directly impacts the sales ranks and profits. With more and more sellers penetrating into the Amazon marketplace, an optimized product listing is a must to grab the most attention from the Amazon shopper population.
At SellerApp for Amazon sellers, we have written a comprehensive Amazon SEO guide for 2018 that not only covers how the Amazon’s product ranking algorithm works but also the right Amazon SEO strategies and the tools to crush the competition on Amazon.
Amazon SEO vs. Google SEO
Google has been the pioneer in the search engine market for over 15 years. After years of monopoly, Google is no longer alone in the search engine market. Amazon is now the leader in the field of product searches.
Google serves all types of navigational, transactional, and informational requests. Whereas Amazon is the dominant search engine in the field of “transactional queries”. The search behavior and the conversion rates are also completely different for both these search engines. The conversion rates for these queries are significantly higher than (e.g.) information-based queries, which is why they are extremely relevant to e-commerce.
So if someone is looking for workshops to service their car, they’ll be searching for it on Google. But if they want to buy a seat cover, they will be searching for it on Amazon.
Monetization goals by both companies are also very different. Google searches focus on the sale of advertisements, while on Amazon aims towards selling products. Because of these different end-goals of the search itself, the relevant factors, which influence the ranking within the search, differ.
It would be a disaster if you were to treat Amazon SEO the same as Google SEO. Amazon is more focused than Google for transaction-based search queries. This article helps you understand Amazon SEO from the basics and also help you learn the must-do Amazon SEO optimizations for your product listing.
Understanding the Amazon Search
Similar to Google, Amazon analyses the search results by an algorithm that considers a variety of factors. The underlying search engine is called A9. The A9 algorithm uses various parameters to calculate the relevance of the products to a particular search query.
Before we learn how to optimize Amazon listing, you’ll need a basic understanding of the working of Amazon search. The Amazon search results page, and the different categories on the search result page; search filters, sponsored products.
The Search Results Page
The Amazon Seller Central has its own system for categorizing products. For a search on Amazon, there are two ways in which the product result page can be displayed
- List view, which has about 15-16 product results displayed on each page.
- Gallery view, which had about 24 – 25 products on each page of the search results.
This understanding is necessary to categorize the product correctly using these views and filtering.
Another prominent category in the Amazon search results page is the Sponsored Products. They are visible in different positions in different pages. The sponsored product results can be seen in the top part of the product page and sometimes are combined with the organic results too. On entering a particular product listing page the sponsored products are displayed on the bottom and also on the right-hand side of the page.
Along with the right keyword bidding strategies, you’ll have to optimize the sponsored product listings for Amazon SEO too. Only if you follow the right Amazon SEO strategies your product will be listed on Page 1 of the sponsored products.
Then on the right-hand side, there are the filter fields. There are various filters like the product category, seller rating, shipment method, brand, color, product condition, etc. Amazon knows that a product is black or brown only if it is mentioned in the product listing copy. On including this information in the product listing copy qualifies the product to be displayed in the subset of the filter query.
For example, you are selling a pink straightener from the Babyliss brand. You want your listing to show up in the category “hair straightener” as well as in the “Babybliss Brand” filter view. You must specify these characteristics as precisely as possible when categorizing in Seller Central. Anyone who does not make these settings does not get listed in the more specific selection options.
The search query and the URL relationship
Amazon considers the URL of your product listing for search result filtering. Consider and correct the following parameters.
- Keyword: The keyword of the user. This addresses the generic requirement of Amazon. In our example, this would be “pink flat iron”.
- Node: Each category on Amazon with a specific number (ID) excellent. This ID is addressed via the “Node” parameter. To figure out the correct ID, look at the URLs of the categories on Amazon. For the category “hair straighteners” this would be the number “1464599427”.
- Brandtextebin: The “Brandtextebin” parameter is suitable for comparing the performance of different products from its own range. For example: “Grey hair straightener of the brand Babyliss” vs. “Pink straightener of the brand Babyliss”.
Let’s start with Amazon optimization:
Amazon SEO – Organic Search Ranking Factors
In order to optimize product listings for Amazon, one should understand the basic ranking factors of the A9 search engine. There are some parallels to Google, but also as many differences. We now have a good understanding of the categorization of the products and the definition of the URL.
In addition to this, there are also various other factors, which Amazon considers for displaying a product in the topmost position of the search results. We’ll also learn about Amazon ON-Page SEO.
Amazon wants to provide a good user experience as well as make the user buy the product. Only a satisfied user regularly returns back to Amazon and orders additional products. Therefore Amazon SEO optimization includes both the search engine optimization as well as optimizing it for the user experience. These two aspects, in particular, take a good weight in the ranking algorithm at Amazon.
We shall also separate these factors into two categories.
- Desirability Factors
- Discoverability Factors
The desirability factors are primarily aimed at the user and the user experience, Therefore, aims at how well a user converts once he is on the product page and factors mostly include on-page factors other than the title optimization.
This includes aspects such as enticing product images, bullet points conveying product differentiation, title favoring user click through, etc.
In comparison to the desirability factors, the discoverability factors comparatively do not aim at the current user. But are primarily addressing indicators that assess the product display and the probability of a purchase. Amazon wants to place the most profitable with a good conversion rate at the top. Factors include the fulfillment method, price, availability, shipping costs, and on the most crucial part, the Amazon keyword research & optimization.
Discoverability factors in detail
Much before you understand the desirability factors, it is important that your product is visible to the user. If the product does not appear in the top positions of the search results when a user types in a query, it is a great loss. You lose a potential customer there!
1. Keyword Optimization
Search is the primary method of how customers find products on Amazon. This makes keyword research the most critical part of setting up an SEO optimized Amazon listing.
However, it is ironic that most Amazon sellers claim that they omit keyword research. Though it is a bit time consuming, Amazon keyword research can be made easy by approaching it with the right strategy.
Keyword research increases the search visibility of the product thereby it gets noticed by more shoppers. This helps you increase your traffic, buyer leads and subsequently the product sales. If you do a bad job at selecting your target keywords, all your subsequent efforts will be in vain. So it’s vital to get your keywords right.
Once your product is optimized for the main target keywords and the secondary keywords, expand your product reach by exploring keyword ideas from your competitors, seasonal trends, and searches.
2. Backend Search Terms
Backend keyword optimization also has a great influence on the ranking of the product. These are terms which are not directly visible to the user, neither on the screen nor in the source text. The seller has the convenience to add a total of 5 lines of 250 characters each. Make complete usage of this space.
Tip: Amazon sees hyphens as AND operator, which means that, for example, the stored keyword “Barbecue-Smoker” would be interesting for three possible searches: “Barbecuesmoker”, “barbecue” and “Smoker”. This is an important area for Amazon SEO optimization.
Read the best practices for Amazon backend search terms before you specify the search terms. This makes it easier to make the best use the available space.
You can use our Index Checker tool to confirm if all your search terms are indexed by Amazon.
3. Fulfillment method
Most Amazon sellers know that Amazon favors FBA sellers more than the Non-FBA sellers. They get more visibility, are better favored for the buy box wins. However, do calculate your Amazon profits before you decide the fulfillment method. Opt for the FBA method if there is only a marginal difference in the profits.
Besides the fulfillment method, the delivery time for the products is also a very important factor. No user would like to wait for a long time. The user looking at a particular product and possibly showing interest does not want to wait several weeks before he receives his desired product.
Therefore, fast delivery and good availability are a ranking factor, which plays a role in the area of performance. Studies show that no or low shipping costs increase product sales noticeably.
Amazon users are happier with lower shipping costs. At the same time, studies show that non-existent costs to increase product sales noticeably ( source ), even if the product purchase without shipping costs more than a dealer who sells the product itself more favorable, including shipping costs. Therefore, shipping costs are a relevant factor, which is included in the calculation of the performance.
Desirability factors – In Detail For Amazon SEO
The relevancy factors for the A9 algorithm indicate the relevance of a product to a particular search query. So you are mainly addressing the user and the user experience. The optimization of the products on the search relevance is comparable to OnPage SEO Optimization of a website for Google.
1. Product Title
Similar to the Google search, the product title in the Amazon search is one of the most relevant Amazon ranking factors. Amazon is a search engine like any other, so keyword optimization is important here too. If you have never cared about your product’s keyword optimization or keyword research you won’t be able to go much farther.
The product title in the Amazon search is limited to 100 characters. This should be tried as far as possible, the title should not be unnecessarily stuffed with keywords. Better is a title that appeals to both the search engine and the user. The length of the title is also crucial in Amazon SEO Strategy.
Too short titles add to less area and therefore often have lower click-through rates. The name of the brand appears on the product page, and should always be specified as many users search for specific brands on Amazon.
Use 2-3 keywords that have a high search volume that explain the product. For Amazon title optimization, make sure you use a combination of keyword, sales argument, and brand.
Along with increasing the search ranks, the title also influences the click-through rates and the conversion rate of your Amazon product. Ensure that the first 5-6 words of the title are clear, concise and also reader friendly. This makes it enticing for the user to click on the search result as well as optimizes it for the Amazon search.
2. Bullet Points
Bullet points can be used for keyword placement but should provide, in particular, good sales arguments. In addition to the title, the bullet points are an important factor for the placement of relevant keywords.
Again, you should be careful not to fill the points indiscriminately with keywords, but to highlight specific product features such as color, size or weight and at the same time keywords. All in all, the bullet points have more space than the title. The position of the keywords is not relevant. It is much more important to meet the seekers, to convince them of the product and to make a purchase. Non-responsive bullet points can quickly make the user jump off. An increased bounce rate also has a negative impact on the ranking at Amazon.
3. Product Description
The product description should above all serve to persuade the customer of the purchase and to highlight positive product characteristics. The product description is not quite as strong a ranking factor as the product title or bullet points, but still has a certain relevance for the purchase decision. Again, the important keywords should be placed, as well as focus strongly on emotional and positive sales arguments.
4. Product Images
Never underrate the strength of the images, it one of the most important sales arguments.
Product pictures are important sales drivers. Though they do not affect the Amazon SEO checklist directly. They do influence cutting down the bounce rates. Not only on Amazon, images create a convincing picture of the product in e-commerce.
People are generally visual and an image of course efficiently conveys a hundred words. A great image, of course, has a standing effect on the shopper. Even after he visits a couple of other product listings, a lasting product image can get him back to your product listing page. Isn’t that the coolest magic you can spin on the user?
Let’s look at two different product images of a very simple product. Which one do you think you’ll buy? The one on the top row or at the bottom row?
The user wants to make a concrete picture of the product before purchase. If only a few pictures are available to him, which are also has a bad resolution, it may frighten him from the purchase of the product. Therefore you should always offer pictures with high resolution (between 1000 × 1000 px and 1500 × 1500 px) on Amazon and several of them, which represent the product from different angles, conveying the size, the product in action, etc.
If you want to push your product to the top of any Amazon search listing, now is the time to build up a new strategy.
5. Product Reviews and Ratings
The product reviews and ratings are a very relevant aspect of Amazon SEO because they are similar to Google SEO for Google as external recommendations are evaluated and therefore considered in the ranking. At the same time, they ensure an indirect improvement of rankings in many places by additionally influencing the conversions and the click-through rate.
Reviews are correspondingly positive and offer the user a real added value. This is also reflected by the ratings of other users and buyers, who can consider the customer reviews helpful or unhelpful. In addition, not only the quality of the individual evaluation but also the sum of the evaluations, the average of the overall evaluations and the actuality play a corresponding role.
As already mentioned, the product evaluations also indirectly influence the ranking by delivering good and, above all, independent sales arguments by other users in the case of appropriately positive evaluations. This, in turn, increases the conversions of the product and thus indirectly improves the ranking. At the same time, the yellow stars provide for an increased click rate on the search results pages of Amazon, as these can lead to a click incentive with the appropriate number and a good average overall rating. The click rate is included in the ranking, similar to Google’s ranking.
6. Product price
The price is an essential and important performance factor, which decides about a product purchase. Compared to the competition offerings, one should not be too expensive here as this can significantly reduce sales.
So to look at the big picture, you must practice Amazon SEO to step up your game and to
- Drive qualified traffic to your website. To drive searchers to your site, you must optimize for the keywords they’re searching for.
- Measure traffic potential. Analyzing the popularity of keywords helps you gauge the size of the potential online market.
- Write effective content. By incorporating optimized keywords into your website content, you can connect instantly with potential customers and address their needs.
- Understand user behavior. By analyzing the words that your customers use, you get an idea of their needs and how to service those needs.
Free Tools for a Profitable Amazon Business
Optimizing the listing for the first time gets your product discoverability and desirability up by close to 80%. However, it does not end there, ongoing optimization and staying up with the trends keep you going great on the Amazon marketplace.
Does all of this look frightening and difficult? Don’t worry we are here to help you to optimize your Amazon SEO (Amazon Search Rank Optimization) and to boost your Amazon sales.