Amazon SEO 101: How to get that product listing ranked already?
Ok, you’ve chosen your product. You know your market and your place in it. You’ve shed blood, sweat and tears into building your product and getting it approved on Amazon. Now that it’s uploaded – a cold shower came in. Your product is nowhere to be found. How come? Don’t freak out just yet, you’re an FBA winner and this is just another small roadblock that you’ll overcome on the road to success.
Product listing visibility on Amazon is one of the main factors that decide whether your product will start generating sales or not. If you’re invisible – that means you have to pay attention to Amazon SEO and optimizing your listing according to Amazon’s A9 ranking algorithm. The good news is that Amazon’s A9 algorithm is a lot simpler than Google’s SEO algorithm. On Amazon – SEO boils down mainly to content strategy, combined with a couple more elements that we’ll explain below. You don’t have to work your way through backlinks or technicalities of the page because Amazon platform already took care of it. What you do have to care about is – what Amazon cares about.
Performance and Relevance
A9 cares about two things: performance and relevance. What do we mean by this? If your product listing has a good performance (ramped-up sales velocity, best price that helps you win the Buy Box, great amount of reviews, and are always fully in stock) then Amazon will give advantage to your listing on the search results page, even if your listing isn’t perfectly optimized per best practices. Now, getting your product to perform is the harder part, so if you’re not there yet; you should play the relevance card, followed by some additional tips we’ll share at the end of this article.
Keep in mind that performance metrics are more a consequence than a cause. Especially if you’re a new seller, place your focus on the relevance of the listing.
Amazon’s A9 algorithm performance metrics
Sales velocity – this metric is a measurement on how fast you’re making money, but also more than that. Sales velocity measures how many accumulated sales you are having per month, with consistency. Amazon monitors and predicts what products will have future sales velocity (based on the sales history) and chooses to give advantage to those products in the search results page.
Your products price – how much you value your product has an extremely dramatic impact on your Amazon sales. Make sure you have an appropriate pricing strategy that will be aligned with general market rules. As a baseline and a starting point tip, look around for the most similar products to yours and see at what rate are they selling. Make sure your product isn’t more expensive than theirs, and if you can make it even lower – good for you. Look up on Google for “dumping pricing strategy” information to learn more about how can you leverage lower prices in favor of long-term benefit of building brand loyalty. All in all, if you can make it cheaper, obviously you’re more likely to make a sale and A9 algorithm will love it.
Amazon reviews – word of mouth as one of the main pillars of safety when purchasing online, became more relevant than ever. It is pretty self-explanatory that shoppers will prefer those listings that have a big number of good reviews. Additionally, it’s not just about the number of reviews but their quality, too. There are various strategies you can use to generate Amazon reviews legitimately, which we will cover in one of our next articles.
Stock availability – We can’t stress enough how an important performance factor this is for ranking. Your product should always be in stock, in significant quantities. Amazon’s algorithm measures how many of product units you have and how often. Because that is one of the main pointers of potential sales in the future.
Amazon’s A9 algorithm relevance metrics:
How do you create an amazing and super-relevant listing? To start off right – make sure you have a thorough understanding of how your customers are looking for your product online? How are they calling it? Are there any additional names for these types of products? You can only know by doing thorough keyword research.
This is one of the very core elements of ranking based on relevance. You have to do it carefully and take your time to choose the right keywords for your listing. Once you have a good list of relevant keywords, you can move forward with optimizing the listing. There are a couple of currently popular tools you can use for keywords research, some of them are even free so be diligent and look around for them.
Now that you have clarity about what your main keywords are; you can start tidying up your listing. A couple of most impact ranking elements of a product listing are: product title, product description, key product features (the bullet points), product specifications, graphics (product images, product videos, and infographics), backend search terms and platinum keywords (platinum keywords are used in case that your product is a best seller for its category).
Product titles are one of the most impact ranking elements related to product relevancy. You want to put your most relevant keywords in the product title, but at the same time, you don’t want to keyword-stuff them. A certain amount of balance has to be present between optimization for readers and for the search engine at the same time. Here are some of the main guidelines on how to optimize your product title:
Include the product’s brand name at the beginning of the product title. Branded searches are always the ones that generate the easiest sales and you should be using that to your advantage.
Add a clear description of what the product is. This is where you use your handpicked category keywords.
Product specifics – if your product has a relevant specific element like colour, size, material or a specific ingredient, be sure to mention it. Fingers crossed that you did pick a product with a unique selling proposition
If you feel like you don’t fully understand how to balance out search engine optimization vs. optimization for readers – here’s one great exercise. Pick one simple product that you understand really well. Then, search for it on Amazon. Analyze the first couple of organic results and make sure that they have all these elements mentioned above. Which one would you click on? That’s your product title example to learn from. If a couple of products all have keywords and their specifics mentioned and you would still prefer to click on one between them – there is a reason for it that you can learn from.
The first four organic listings all include the keywords “bento box” and all have their USPs in titles. Where applicable, established brands used their brand name at the beginning of the product title.
Once you’ve identified the most relevant long-tail keywords for your product, make sure to use them in your bullet points. While using them, try not to stuff the bullet points with keywords. Be mindful of the fact that you need to balance out natural feeling and SEO elements. The main purpose of bullet points is to grab your customer’s attention once they’ve already clicked on the listing, and to keep them on the page. The best thing you can do is to showcase the main benefits of using your product for your customers while using relevant keywords to describe them.
Backend Search Terms Optimization
Backend search terms are critically important when it comes to ranking higher both organically and through PPC. Their main purpose is to tell A9 algorithm what keywords you are targeting and what your product actually is. There are certain rules to how you should optimize the backend search terms to your best advantage. Remember that you only have 250 characters to enter to the backend search terms field, so it is extremely important to make the best out of it.
A couple of general rules apply to these best practices:
- Do NOT use competitor brand names or ASINs
- Separate the search terms with spaces, not commas
- Use popular abbreviations of the product. One example would be: “GOT” for Game of Thrones
- Use alternative names. For example, some people would type in “paleo bites” while others would type in “paleo snacks”. Make sure to use both versions in the backend search terms section
- Don’t duplicate search terms
- If you pay for PPC on Amazon – then make sure to add your best-selling keywords to the backend search terms section.
Before you start writing your whole product listing, including descriptions, you have to know who you’re selling to. Hopefully, you’ve put in some thought into demographic trends of your audience, their main pain points and experiences before even choosing the product. Now is the time to really place your focus on it. Put yourself in your customer’s place and try to understand their point of view. This will help you understand their exact buying process and adjust your listing to it. Please note that Amazon only allows up to 2000 bytes of data which makes around 300 words. Be concise and hustle your main points and keywords within this limit.
Every product description should be closed with a strong call to action. Urge them to buy, after all, they’re on this website for that very same reason.
If you’re brand registered on Amazon, one of the most beneficial features of their Brand Registry program is definitely the ability to build individual EBCs for every ASIN you have. This is a great feature that gives you extra space on the product listing page and expands your customer retention. We’ll dedicate a whole blog post just to EBC’s so stay tuned and sign up to our newsletter for the most relevant info on the most relevant ecommerce topics.