Search engine optimization is used by any eCommerce entrepreneur. Why? Because it allows you to build a constant flow of organic traffic. For Amazon sellers, getting that coveted top spot for their product listings is very important. Amazon’s A9 is the algorithm which is responsible for the order in which products are displayed when a shopper is searching their marketplaces, and getting better rankings on Amazon is similar in the way you would go about improving your Google rankings.
A9 ranks product listings based on two main factors:
- Relevance: How closely the keywords you are using match both the search queries of the shopper and your product listing.
- Performance: How well a product performs, measured by the quantity of sale and customer feedback.
Although Amazon’s search engine is similar to your web SERP (search engine result pages) platforms about implementing changes, it’s important to adhere to their changing rules and regulations – not only to improve your Amazon SEO but to ensure any optimization you do won’t get you banned.
Like with any search engine optimization, you should be looking at the long game instead of trying to use sneaky quick-fixes. The trick is to use white hat practices, keep consistent and stay relevant, and your business, and Amazon reach will grow over time.
To help you improve your Amazon SEO the right way, we’ve put together these 7 top Amazon SEO tips:
Amazon SEO Tip 1: Take a Look at Your Biggest Competition
Like with any sales business, researching and analyzing your closest competition should be your number one step. By understanding your biggest Amazon competition, and analyzing where their products are on Amazon search pages, you can get a good idea of what is working and what isn’t, enabling you to adjust your strategies accordingly. Review their products, read their customer reviews, see how often they are updating descriptions, images, and prices, and what stock levels are to get a better idea of the lay of the land in terms of what your Amazon search page ranking goals are.
Amazon SEO Tip 2: Get Genuine Customer Reviews
When it comes to Amazon, reviews matter a LOT. Not just because shoppers refer to reviews before making a purchase, but because these reviews affect your rank. The more good reviews you have, the more clear it is to Amazon that you’re a merchant who can be trusted… Which is why products with higher rankings (four or higher) have a better chance of being shown on Amazon SERPs.
So how do you get more Amazon customer reviews? Here are some tricks to get you started:
- Set up automatic emails to request reviews from buyers after they have bought your products. You can access third-party tools to send automatic emails through your Amazon API.
- Ensure you are offering awesome customer service and support all through the sales process, always keeping your line of communication open.
Here’s what you shouldn’t be doing according to Amazon’s rules and regulations:
- Unless you part of Amazon Vine program, do not exchange free gifts, discounts or money for reviews
- Don’t write your own reviews or elicit biased friends or family to post fake reviews
- Don’t swap good reviews with other shoppers
Yes, negative reviews can count against you, but not in the way you think. If you do get a negative review, it is how you handle this review that will help boost your Amazon credibility. To do this you’ll want to respond as quickly as possible.
- Reply to every review
- Offer a refund or replacement product if there is indeed a defect
- Instruct the customer on how to use a product correctly if they are doing incorrectly
Amazon SEO Tip 3: Choosing and Optimizing the Right Keywords
When selecting Amazon keywords, you will want a good mixture of general keywords such as ‘t-shirts’ and more niched-down keywords such as ‘red cotton t-shirts.’ Where you place your keywords in your product listing plays a big part in ensuring your listing is relevant and therefore increases your ranking chances. Here’s a breakdown of which keywords should be placed where:
- Place your most relevant keyword in your product title
- Put keywords relating to product benefits, uses, material, etc. into the listing’s bullet points
- Use keywords organically in your product descriptions so that the copy is informative, persuasive and written for your potential shopper – not the search engine page
Amazon SEO Tip 4: Invest in Amazon Sponsored Ads
If you’re a new seller or are launching a new product, it’s very hard to get organic reach on Amazon search results as you won’t have sales or reviews for that product. As we mentioned, Amazon SEO takes time. The quickest way to jump-start your ranking, until your ranking has a chance to catch up, is investing in Amazon PPC ads.
Amazon SEO Tip 5: Do a Category Audit
One of the simplest mistakes Amazon sellers can make is putting the wrong product in the wrong category. Amazon’s search engine functions entirely based on strict indexes; if your products are not within these indexes correctly, your relevance will be affected and therefore your rank.
It may be tempting to choose a category where there is less competition, but if that category is not 100% related to that specific product you will be penalized. If you’re selling on other platforms, such as your own online store, you’ll want to edit product categories in Amazon to ensure they are in line with Amazon specifically.
Amazon SEO Tip 6: Product Listing Optimization
We touched on this briefly above – when creating or optimizing your Amazon descriptions, although it’s important to include your keyword, you need to make sure that your description is written for the buyer, not the algorithm. Make sure that you have answered all the right questions in your descriptions (what the product is, what it is made of, why and when they should buy your product, the benefits and so on). If you need help, follow Amazon’s description requirements guidelines:
- Make sure that your description directly matches the product photo
- Write clearly
- Make sure you only include product-related information in your description
- Don’t stuff your descriptions, instead keep them short and concise
Along with the description you want to ensure that your product page is completely optimized and in line with Amazon’s guidelines, which include the following:
Bonus Tip: Drive External Traffic to Your Amazon Products
Just because you can’t promote your online store on Amazon, doesn’t mean you can’t use your other external traffic sources to promote your Amazon listings. This can be in the form of Google AdWords search ads directing shoppers to a landing page that they can route to your Amazon listings, or using Social PPC such as Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads to direct traffic to your Amazon product listings.
The bottom line: Like with any search engine optimization, the key to your success with Amazon ranking is to ensure you are using relevant keywords, images, product descriptions, and categories, all while providing good customer service. As you build your rank, avoid shady ‘quick-fixes’ and keep your eye on the prize. Keeping your Amazon listings SEO optimized may sound like hard work but with the right Product Management platforms such as StoreAutomator, already Amazon-SEO optimized, multi-channel sellers can more easily ensure your products are categorized correctly, enhance product information and use custom fields to adjust your listing.