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Amazon SEO is a method to get your product to show up on an Amazon search engine results page (SERP) when a customer searches for a type of product in the Amazon marketplace.
When only 64% of Amazon sellers are profitable within their first year of selling, you need a strategy to be competitive. Amazon SEO is that strategy.
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What is Amazon SEO?
Amazon SEO is the process of optimizing your products for the Amazon search algorithm (known as A9). It’s a form of digital marketing designed specifically for the Amazon Marketplace.
The goal of Amazon SEO is to do 2 things.
First, it’s to help A9 understand what your product is and which searchers your product should be shown to.
Second, it’s to make sure your product shows up in front of the right people. Amazon’s goal is to sell searchers the products they want. Your goal is to figure out how to ensure the right searchers see your products so they can make a purchase decision.
Part of the process is optimizing for keywords, but there’s much more to it—optimizing your product titles, your backend keywords, your images, and more.
Ultimately, a good Amazon SEO strategy is going to increase your click-through rate (CTR) and your conversion rate from search traffic on the Amazon platform. And this can lead to more sales and businesses growth, too.
How does the A9 Algorithm work?
Amazon’s algorithm, known as A9, is the primary method Amazon uses to decide what products to show a customer when they input a search query into Amazon.
Amazon understands that the primary search intent for someone using their search engine is to make a purchase. That means the algorithm takes into account different factors than Google does and uses search terms differently.
The algorithm takes into account a number of ranking factors:
- Relevancy—This is a product’s relevance to keywords that your target audience inputs.
- Pricing—Amazon may lower your product ranking if your price is too high.
- Conversions—Amazon takes your ability to sell into account when ranking your product. The more you have sold in the past, the higher your product is likely to rank.
- Reviews—the more positive reviews your product has, the higher it is likely to rank on Amazon.
- Overall sales—the higher your overall sales are, the more likely your product is to rank higher on a SERP.
- Product availability—purchasers want their products as soon as possible. Keeping your product in stock is important if you want to rank well on Amazon.
How to do Amazon SEO for your product listings
There are many factors to take into account when trying to boost your Amazon ranking. For example, you need to optimize your Amazon product listing for the right keywords, optimize titles for important keywords, include useful, valuable product images, and more. If you’re trying to increase search traffic from the Amazon search engine, here are key best practices that you can’t afford to miss
Do keyword research for products
Amazon keywords are different than Google keywords because of that clear search intent—people are looking to buy—so you need different tools to do your keyword research.
There are a number of methods that you can use to do keyword research for a product on Amazon to find the right keywords that your potential buyers are searching for.
First, you can use keyword research tools. For example, keyword.io has a research tool specifically for Amazon. Here are a few other tools you can use to research keywords:
Another method is to use Amazon itself. Go into the Amazon search bar and type in keywords related to your product. Amazon will list some suggestions that can help you understand what purchasers are searching for when your product is searched.
In this example, if your product is a science fiction novel, you can see several different types of products that people are searching for. This helps you to come up with a long-tail keyword that might be more relevant to your product.
If your science fiction novel is for kids, for example, you might target “science fiction novels for 12 yr old child,” or you might just want to include the keyword “12 year old child” somewhere in your product page.
Look for keywords that have a reasonable search volume. Though “science fiction novels for a 12 year old child” is very specific and will likely be easier to rank for, it may have a low search volume.
That said, long-tail keywords are more highly correlated to purchases. That’s because they’re more relevant to the searcher. If you have a science fiction trilogy for kids, it makes more sense to optimize for “science fiction novel trilogy for kids” than “science fiction novel.” That’s because someone searching “science fiction novel” may be looking for one for adults, teens, or in a format you don’t offer.
However, that doesn’t mean you should focus exclusively on the longest-tail keyword phrase you can find. The longer the keyword, the less searches it’s going to get.
For example, “science fiction novel trilogy for 12 yr olds kindle unlimited” is likely so specific that it’s going to get searched very few times. And even though it will be highly relevant to the user who searches it, it’s still not going to generate enough traffic to make an impact on book sales.
You’ll want to find a balance between keywords that you can rank for and keywords that have a good search volume. You can also include long-tail keywords in the backend or in your product descriptions.
Finally, it’s possible to pay for SEO services available from some of those same providers of the keyword research tools. If you’re struggling to understand the ranking algorithms and to get your products to even show up in product search, you may want to consider paying for some Amazon SEO services.
Write a great product title
A product title should include relevant keywords from your keyword research, but there’s a lot more to it.
First, you want to avoid keyword stuffing (including as many different keywords in the product title as you can in a way that reads unnaturally). Keyword stuffing not only can harm your search rankings, but it can also make it difficult for searchers to read your product title.
Keyword stuffing is generally seen as a bad search engine optimization method (a “black hat” tactic), so it’s always to be avoided. You don’t want to be that Amazon business known for spammy titles, nor do you want to be penalized in search engine results.
Second, you want to include details in the product title that help searchers find what they’re looking for. This might include a product’s color or model.
Finally, you want the title to be clickable. This means that the title is easy to read and clearly states what the product is. This makes your product stand out in Amazon search results.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Keep critical information to a minimum, like brand names, colors, and sizes. Too many colors or model numbers will keep a searcher from reading the product title.
- Keep it as simple as you can—if the product only comes in one size, for example, or doesn’t have a relevant brand name, keep that information out of the title.
- Avoid keyword variants whenever possible—one target keyword phrase keeps the title from being so long that searchers won’t read it.
This image is a perfect example of a clear, clickable product title.
It has the brand name, includes product details (what type of battery it is), includes how many batteries you’re getting, and isn’t too long.
Write benefit-focused product details
Product details should have both features and benefits in addition to keyword phrases. Product features are details about what the product has or does. This is opposed to benefits, which are how a product can change the purchaser’s life.
For example, the image shows product details that include a variety of information about the product. It has many features listed, but the benefits are not listed.
It’s important to list product benefits as well. In the example above, it tells us that the product has, “[Armor-level Shockproof],” but it doesn’t stop there.
What is the benefit of the armor-level shockproof? The copy says: “The protective cover features 4 built-in corner Airbags to absorb impact and avoid scratches in most situations.”
And you could even take this a step further, maybe by including something like: “Never worry about damaging your phone again.”
This tells me how the product will change my life—I’ll be freed from worry. Include as many benefits as you can in your product description and product details.
Tell a story in the product description
Product descriptions shouldn’t just be a list of features or a list of benefits—they should be a story that pulls in your purchasers—with them as the main character.
Features are necessary for any product description. Your potential buyers need to see that your product meets their minimum requirements for what they’re purchasing.
But beyond that, when prices are similar, what makes someone purchase one item over another?
It’s how the purchaser sees themselves with the product.
A+ content is the type of content that tells a story about the customer and the success they’ll find with this product.
This bathtub product description does an excellent job of putting the customer into the story. It tells a story of comfort and relaxation, of the customer getting the relaxing feeling they deserve.
It’s a short story that’s easy to digest. It shows benefits, but it also includes features in bullet points that are critical to a potential purchase. Because, in the end, it doesn’t matter if the bathtub can change your life if it won’t fit in your bathroom.
Use valuable images
A high-quality image is one that’s large and clear. Usually this means you need an image with a lot of pixels so that the image is crystal clear and doesn’t look fuzzy.
In contrast, a valuable image is a high-quality image that provides information—either visually, with callouts, or both—that helps the customer to see and understand the product without being able to hold it in their hands.
This image is a perfect example of a valuable image. It’s high-quality. It shows you the product’s size in relation to a hand. It gives you a simple, clear feature (the added size of the phone case), and it includes a blurb that’s supposed to be a benefit (though in this case, it’s not a great benefit because it doesn’t tell us how the product will change our lives).
There are a number of technical requirements for images on Amazon. For example, images should be over 1000 pixels, and they need to be in a specific format (TIFF, JPEG, GIF, or PNG). They must also be in a specific color (sRGB or CMYK).
Images must also have product identification in the file name, like the Amazon ASIN, the ISBN number, or your UPC.
There are a few different types of Amazon images:
- Primary product photos—this is the first photo that a searcher will see, so make sure it’s a large image with the product featured in the majority of the image (over 85% of the image must include the product).
- Additional product photos—these images are your chance to show your potential purchasers different angles of your product and to include images with callouts that describe different features, and even benefits.
- Brand product images—these are images featured in the “from the brand” section of your product listing and should be a part of your listing optimization strategy. Don’t neglect this section. You can showcase images that make you appear more trustworthy, like images of a satisfaction guarantee or return policy.
- Product description images—this is a great place to expand on your additional product photos. You can focus on showcasing customers interacting with your product, and you can include detailed images with all the features of the product shown. You can also use this to create a story about the customer in photo form—a series of images that shows the customer’s life-changing as a result of buying this product.
Maintain good reviews
One of the key ranking factors for Amazon is positive reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the better—it shows that your product is high-quality and valuable to past customers, which tells Amazon it’s safe to show to more people.
Though positive reviews are the goal, you’ll almost always get some negative reviews. Be sure to respond to all reviews, no matter how good or bad they are. This shows that, as a seller, you’re paying attention to your customers and providing a high level of customer service.
You’ll also want to answer questions about your product. This helps buyers who aren’t quite sure if the product is right for them to find out information that may not be included in your product description or About This Item section.
Responding to reviews appropriately is a difficult task. Here’s a great guide on how to maintain good reviews and respond to feedback, positive or negative.
Optimize your price
The right price can be difficult to pin down, but a little research can help you optimize your price for your product and the price point where you’re competing.
First, determine what kind of product you’re selling. Is it a luxury product that should be competing with similar luxury products? Or is it a commodity that can’t move outside a certain price point?
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Depending on your brand and what you’re selling, you may be able to command a higher price for your product if your brand is superior in the mind of the customer. However, if you go too high, Amazon might not show your product to the right buyers. Go too low, and you might not hit revenue goals.
This requires some testing and finesse. Try out some prices after researching competitor’s prices who are selling a similar product. See how well you fare, and if you’re still struggling to sell despite implementing all the right SEO strategies, you may want to consider adjusting your price to become more competitive.
Check out this guide to Amazon pricing strategy to learn more.
Don’t let your product run out of stock
Keeping your product in stock is critical for a number of reasons. First, Amazon uses this as a ranking factor. If your product isn’t in stock (or regularly sells out), Amazon isn’t going to rank it as highly as a product that’s always available, especially if there’s little difference between the two products.
More importantly, letting a product run out of stock provides a bad user experience. If someone wants your product, and they find out it’s not available, they’re not getting what they expected to get. They’ll move on to make the purchase somewhere else.
This hurts you in a couple of ways. First, you lose the purchase. Second, you might lose a customer for life. Someone who might have bought from you multiple times now has found someone else they may become loyal to.
It also hurts your conversion rate. If people are clicking on your product only to find out that the color or size they want isn’t available (or none of the options are available), then they’re not going to convert. Conversion is a ranking factor, so this will get your product ranked even lower.
Optimize backend search keywords
Beyond the normal keywords you would put into Amazon, keywords also exist that show up on the “backend.” These are known as “backend keywords.” For these, you get 250 bytes to input as many keywords as you can think of that are relevant to your product.
Each character on a keyboard is worth a certain amount of bytes—A–Z and 1–9 are all worth a single byte, but certain symbols are worth more than one byte. This only matters when you enter more than the limit—Amazon will tell you when you’ve gone over the limit.
This is a great place for keywords that you couldn’t naturally input into your title or product description.
Use FBA for your product
Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is when Amazon ships the product to the customer (as opposed FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant)).
Here’s how it works: you send your products to Amazon, and Amazon ships the products to the customer.
The benefit of this is that the burden of shipping and customer service falls on Amazon instead of you. If they want to complete a return or cancel a shipment, Amazon handles it.
One of the benefits of using FBA is that Amazon will then be more likely to show your products to Prime buyers.
Amazon makes more money off Prime buyers each year and makes money off of you when you use FBA, so they are going to be more likely to push your products higher up the Amazon search rankings.
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Amazon SEO is a complicated process, but using the strategies in this article, you can optimize your products and have a better chance of ranking, getting your products in front of customers, and ultimately, generating more sales.
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