When you think about SEO and search engines in general, Google is likely the first thing that comes to mind, along with its elusive SERP algorithm. Google is the search engine many of us use almost exclusively. Unless, of course, we’re looking to make a purchase.
Amazon has developed one of the most widely used search engines in the world. Boasting over 2.5 million merchants, the competition to rank first on Amazon is high. Utilizing Amazon SEO strategies is one of the most important things a merchant can do to sell more units on the platform.
But, there’s good news. Compared to search engines such as Google or Bing, Amazon’s algorithm is less complex, which means there are a handful of actions you can take to organically improve your Amazon search ranking.
Understanding A9, Amazon's Search Engine Algorithm
With millions of products to sort through, Amazon’s ability to curate its search engine results pages is paramount to its success as a whole. Enter: Amazon search engine algorithm, A9.
The algorithm, A9, is named after the product search engine company, and a subsidiary of Amazon, that handles product searching and SEO. Simply put, A9 is Amazon’s proprietary product ranking algorithm that displays results based on search terms and keywords as well as a customer’s past purchases and a variety of other factors.
So, what are the top ways to improve your ranking on Amazon? The factors that play into A9’s algorithm for displaying search results can be broken down into two key buckets:
- Listing Optimization
- Performance Metrics
Taking a few key steps to optimize your Amazon product page for these two important ranking factors is a great way to improve your conversion rate and sell more products.
Listing Optimization to Improve Your Amazon Ranking
By understanding how to use keywords correctly and making small investments in your product listing, you’ll vastly increase your earning potential on Amazon.
Here, we’ll go through four key ways you can improve your Amazon product listing and rank higher as early as today. These four categories are:
- Product listing title
- Bullet points and product descriptions
- Backend keywords
- Product images
It’s essential to keep in mind that Amazon’s algorithm does not reward “keyword stuffing”, or loading a listing with superfluous keywords. While it’s important to include relevant keywords throughout the various fields of your product page, repeating the same keyword multiple times or inserting a keyword unnaturally into a sentence can harm your ranking.
However, this does not change the fact that keywords are among the top priorities for creating and optimizing Amazon product listings. Naturally weaving keywords into the sentences of your product listings is the best way to work with Amazon’s algorithm.
Optimizing Your Product Listing Title on Amazon
Your product title is the part of your listing that can have the greatest impact on your Amazon search performance, both positively and negatively. The good news is that Amazon provides explicit instructions about what to include in your Amazon product titles for the greatest success:
- Brand name
- Product type, or what it does
- A key feature, material, or ingredient
By including the elements above into the product listing title, you should be able to naturally include important keywords and information seamlessly.
What’s most important is that your title includes keywords while also reading naturally from the perspective of the buyer. It should be clear and concise while also informative.
Length is another important factor that can influence the reader. Amazon buyers typically shy away from short, generic-sounding product titles. Don’t be afraid to use your brand name first or include special characters to improve the readability of your title.
This is an example of an excellent Amazon product title. While it incorporates every element recommended by Amazon, it is also concise and easy to read and understand.
Writing Amazon Listing Bullet Points and Product Description
It’s important to know that, in terms of Amazon SEO, bullet points carry more weight than the product description does.
Amazon Bullet Points
When you’re writing your Amazon bullet points, the goal is to highlight your product’s best attributes and the attributes that are most important to your customers. One way to understand what resonates most with potential customers is to analyze the top three performing products in your category.
Each bullet point has a limit of 200 characters, so it’s important to make sure each bullet point is concise. We recommend utilizing each bullet point to hone in on one specific product attribute or quality rather than adopting a list format within your bullet points.
Understanding which claims to emphasize on product description pages can be challenging in a market where consumer preferences are constantly changing. Using Reviews & Ratings analysis tools like Yogi, brands are able to specifically tailor their claims and callouts to meet the needs and wants of shoppers and customers.
While the majority of Amazon’s hoppers look to bullet points for information about the product itself, the product description is also a great opportunity to stand out to customers.
It’s important to realize that Amazon customers are not looking to read large blocks of text. Keeping your product descriptions concise or broken up into short paragraphs with no more than 3 lines can help with the optics of your product description. To catch the customer’s eye, you can also utilize the formatting tools provided to you such as bold, italic, underline, bullet points, and lists.
As we mentioned, repeating keywords or rephrasing your title won’t benefit your search ranking, so using your product description to capture the emotion of your buyers can be an effective tactic.
Since you’ve already provided in-depth product information through the product title and Amazon bullet points, your product description is a great opportunity to tell a story or share a customer testimonial.
The Wyze Cam v3 did a great job optimizing its listing, especially its bullet points and product description. Particularly, each bullet point is rich with information about a specific product attribute that truly makes their product stand out. Also, note the frequent use of relevant keywords in a manner that remains easy to read.
Utilize Amazon Backend Keywords
If you’ve ever heard of or used meta tags, or underlying keywords used by Google to further understand what your web page is about, then you’ll easily be able to comprehend Amazon Backend Keywords.
Amazon Backend Keywords are additional keywords, search terms, synonyms, or even common misspellings that aren’t used in your title, product description, or bullet points. These are terms that your shoppers won’t be able to see, but will still be indexed by Amason’s A9 algorithm and taken into consideration for search results.
Things to consider for backend keywords include translations into alternate languages, other synonyms or colloquial names that shoppers may search for, keywords that you weren’t able to fit into your title, and frequent misspellings or pronunciations.
Consider Investing in High-Quality Product Images
Time and time again, it has been shown that the quality of product images correlates directly with a product’s conversion rate. Although the image content is not indexed or directly considered by Amazon’s ranking algorithm, shoppers are heavily influenced by the image quality. Shoppers respond best to a variety of professional-looking photos showcasing multiple features and angles of your product.
The imagery element that does directly impact your product’s search result ranking, however, is image size. Amazon requires product image resolution of at least 1000 pixels in length or width to enable zoom-in capabilities, and failure to adhere to this will negatively impact your product’s search ranking.
Many Amazon sellers see a significant return on investment for high-quality, professional product images to use for eCommerce listings, social media, ads, and more. We suggest prioritizing product images as a tactic to not only adhere to Amazon’s requirements but also to organically improve your Amazon conversion rates.
In this example, Pampers baby wipes utilize the images portion of their product listing to incorporate a variety of high-quality images that evoke emotion and educates shopper both about the product and also about what they can expect the shipment to look like. This clearly sets the expectation for the purchasers so that there are no surprises when their package is delivered.
Part 2: Performance Metrics that Impact Your Amazon SEO
Now that you’ve optimized your Amazon product listing based on the standard of Amazon’s search engine algorithm, A9, it’s time to understand your performance metrics as they pertain to increasing your SEO.
While optimizing your listing is important, performance metrics such as sales velocity, Reviews & Ratings, and price, are key pieces of data that Amazon uses to understand the popularity of your product.
It’s important to understand that, before all else, Amazon’s priority is its bottom line – sales. Therefore, purchasing popularity is a key factor as to what they recommend first to their customers.
Sales Velocity, Also Known as Conversion Rate
Sales velocity is Amazon’s term for conversion rate. What is considered a good Amazon conversion rate varies depending on a variety of factors, but it’s important to track your conversion rate over time to keep tabs on growth.
While this metric isn’t directly displayed on your sales dashboard, understanding how to calculate Amazon conversion rates is relatively simple with the information that is provided to you. All you need to do is divide the number of unit orders by the number of visits.
Amazon uses this information to measure the popularity of your product, and factors that into its search page ranking. You can also use this information to decide whether you’re satisfied with your product sales, and if not, continue to optimize your listing and the following performance attributes.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could update your conversion rate just as easily as fixing a typo on your PDP? With the right information at your fingertips, sometimes it can be!
Through analyzing customer feedback, businesses are able to discover mismatched customer expectations, as well as beneficial features that they had never considered before. By updating messaging to align with customer sentiment, brands are able to increase their sales velocity substantially with minimal effort.
Customer Ratings & Reviews
If you’ve searched for a product on Amazon, you’ve likely noticed the review count and star rating visible even from the search results page.
It’s no accident that this information is prominently displayed, as Ratings & Reviews are among the top factors that shoppers use to choose between similar products. Knowing this, and with its customer-first approach, Amazon also uses Reviews & Ratings as a key factor in determining rankings.
Reviews & Ratings may seem difficult to control, but there are two key actions you can take to move the needle towards a five-star rating.
The first is to follow up with purchasers via email to request a review. You’ll be surprised how many customers will write a review if you ask them!
The second is to truly consider your negative reviews and make the changes to improve the attributes that purchasers are unsatisfied with. Customer reviews are the purest and most inexpensive form of purchaser feedback that you’ll be able to get, so take advantage of them to prioritize the actions you take to improve your offering.
Some products have so many reviews that it’s difficult and time-consuming to quantifiably identify trends and business insights within the review data. This is where Natural Language Processing technology, such as Yogi, becomes a critical resource for businesses to truly understand what their customers are saying.
Yogi is an AI-powered tool that uses Natural Language Processing technology to help businesses discover patterns and trends through customer Reviews & Rating data that enables them to make growth-focused decisions.
See this sample report on the market for Lemon Ginger Tea for a look into how Yogi can reveal surprising insights and allow companies to understand the competitive landscape.
Competitively Price Your Product
There’s no doubt that it can be tempting to price your product higher or lower than the competition as a tactic to stand out for a variety of reasons. In the eyes of Amazon, however, it’s better to stay close to the competition than to be a major outlier.
Beating out your competition with a lower price is always typically the best tactic, as purchasers will generally gravitate towards the lower-priced items first. Similarly, having a much higher price than your competition is the easiest way to decrease sales.
If your product is priced higher than similar products, Amazon’s algorithm will likely predetermine that your product will generate fewer sales, and you will experience a lower Amazon search ranking. Therefore, if your price is higher than the competition, there must be a clear reason why.
Keeping Your Products in Stock
The final element of performance metrics that we’ll talk about is product stock availability.
One of the quickest ways to lose out on Amazon search rankings is by having your product frequently run out of stock. For this reason, it’s important to stay on top of your inventory to consistently stay in stock.
Depending on systems you use for order fulfillment, such as Amazon FBA, you may be able to set reminders and be automatically notified when it’s time to restock. Otherwise, make sure to stay in contact with suppliers or other partners who can help ensure your product stays in stock.
In some markets, however, fluctuating pricing or specific fulfillment issues such as limited stock are the status quo. In these cases, it’s difficult to decide whether to prioritize this as a problem to solve or to focus on other things.
Diving into customer feedback is essential data for business prioritization in eCommerce. With Yogi’s Natural Language Processing technology, businesses are now able to clearly understand what their customers actually want.
To see exactly how Yogi delivers granular insights that enable products and brands to adopt a customer-centric approach, check out our Sunscreen Report.
In short, there’s no definitive secret to mastering Amazon’s SEO algorithm and appearing first in the search results. That said, putting in the time and effort to make the most of your product listings can do wonders to increase your sales on Amazon.
As we’ve discussed, there are a few key items to pay close attention to in order to increase your Amazon search ranking:
- Product description title
- Amazon bullet points and product description
- Backend keywords
- High-quality product images
- Sales velocity (conversion rate)
- Customer Ratings & Reviews
- Product stock availability
By utilizing these core elements, raising your product in the ranks of Amazon is a straightforward and attainable process.
While appealing to Amazon’s SEO algorithm, A9, is an important aspect of increasing sales, we at Yogi believe that understanding the voice of your customers is equally as important for long-term business success.
Buried within your products Reviews & Ratings are valuable business insights and answers to your most important questions. Using AI-backed Natural Language Processing technology, Yogi’s software arms brands and retailers to leverage Reviews & Ratings as the voice of customers for departments ranging from marketing, eCommerce, and product development.
If you’re ready to understand your customers like never before, let’s chat!