Amazon is a fantastic marketplace that produces new success stories each month. More and more people are starting to make a living off Amazon because it provides access to a vast customer base and takes care of logistics.
But for every success story, dozens of Amazon sellers have tried and failed. What's the reason behind it? With 1.9 million active sellers on the platform, it's hard to stand out. The total number of registered sellers on Amazon is 9.7 million, and only 1.9 are actively selling as of 2021. That means almost four in five sellers drop out at some point.
How do you get noticed by your customers among almost two million competitors? You optimize your listings for success. Since the Amazon marketplace is so huge, the platform uses a proprietary search engine, A9, that helps match search queries to the products that best fit them. The seller's reputation plays a role, but it's not absolute.
On top of reviews and seller rank, other ranking factors are within the seller's control. Not optimizing for these ranking factors means losing revenue as 70% of customers don't go past page one to discover products. Of that 70%, 64% only click through the top three search results. So an Amazon product listing is the defining factor of success on the platform.
Multiple ranking factors exist in the Amazon search engine, and learning to show the algorithm what it wants is key to receiving more product views. Let's learn how to rank on Amazon together.
Amazon Ranking Factors
The first point on our journey should begin with understanding how Amazon search ranking works. The company would never disclose the specific ranking factors or how much weight each one receives. That would give all sellers the perfect recipe for Amazon listing optimization, and then the algorithm wouldn't work as intended.
However, Amazon does provide basic guidelines, and, more importantly, thousands of Amazon sellers don't mind sharing what works for them. This gives us a good idea of what A9 wants to see in ads and how to optimize listings.
According to Amazon, there are three ranking factors that a seller can influence directly and one that may be partially out of the seller's control. These factors are:
- Text match relevancy
- Sales velocity
The first two are pretty easy to understand. The search algorithm prefers to display products in stock and competitively priced. Sellers can't influence availability that easily, but they don't profit from products being displayed that they can't sell.
The seller can affect the pricing, and many sellers will try to squeeze the margins to boost sales. And up to 30% of customers say they're likely to order an item on Amazon instead of going to a store if it costs $5 less. Lowering the price a bit may result in a hike in sales.
Not every seller can afford to lower the margins a lot. But this may be necessary to get an initial ranking boost, if not for profit. Sales velocity is the number of transactions and dollars that go through the seller's account.
Since it's a search factor, the more sales your account has, the better. This doesn't mean losing money on each transaction is a good idea; just consider working with lower margins first. Price isn't the only way to boost sales either.
Product reviews, presentations containing videos and good photos, and advertising your products work well. This ranking factor is a positive feedback loop — the more you sell, the better your ranking on Amazon is. On the flip side, it makes the initial sales a burden.
However, text match relevancy is an entirely different matter. It's free to implement, is recommended by Amazon, and is necessary for any listing to be successful. When Amazon users search for an item, they want to find the best match. If your product has the keywords in the title and description, the algorithm and users love it.
How to Optimize your Amazon Listing for Traffic
Since keyword match is the easiest and most important ranking factor a beginner seller can implement, we'll start with keyword research.
Keywords are everything for search engines, so whether you're optimizing for Google or Amazon, you'll have to start with keyword research, often requiring specialized tools. There are dozens of tools on the market, each with unique features. For instance, SE Ranking has a keyword idea generator tool that allows for discovering long-tail keywords and estimating keyword competition and volume. This enables you to quickly build a keyword list and get a sense of the priority of those keywords.
Depending on your store type, you may have to discover anywhere from tens to hundreds of keywords. The thing is, each base keyword has dozens of longer keywords surrounding it. The more keywords you find out, the better.
Let's follow up with the 'fluffy carpet' example. 'Fluffy carpet' is the main keyword, but people who are in the market for a fluffy carpet may also look for:
- Shag rug
- Fluffy carpet for bedroom
- Extra soft fluffy carpet
- Very big fluffy carpet
- Fluffy carpet for living room
- Pink fluffy carpet
- And dozens more
Run all your products through SE Ranking's keyword discovery tool. Enter your keyword and choose at least 3 words in the filter. Then, compile a list of relevant search terms. The next step is implementing those keywords.
Figuring out the keywords associated with all of your listings is the first and most crucial step. If your keyword tool of choice has a way of estimating keyword difficulty or potential earnings, it's even better.
If you want your Amazon product listing to appear on the Google SERP as well, Amazon can help you.
If your product is on the top page of the Amazon search for a specific keyword, it's going to receive a ton of Google traffic on top of Amazon searches.
The first things that a customer notices when searching on Amazon are the product image and the title. The title is also used by the search algorithm to determine how relevant a product is.
The solution here is quite simple. Pack your title with keywords and product information. It may look Sammy, but Amazon actually recommends doing this. And the amount of product listings with all 200 characters of the title packed tight with keywords speaks for itself.
This considerable product title on the first page of the "fluffy slippers" search looks clunky. But in addition to providing Amazon's A9 with relevant information, it also tells the customer a lot. It shows the type of material used, the style of the slipper, and does some advertising.
Make an effort to fit as many keywords and product identifiers into your title as possible to make it optimized for Amazon search rankings. However, make sure your title doesn't look Sammy after keyword optimization.
Product images are often the first thing customers lay eyes on when browsing through Amazon search. They're essential for getting initial clicks and for conversion. Having a lot of good-quality product images often means higher conversion rates.
As for keyword optimization, they're not as important. In traditional search engine optimization, adding an alternative text with a keyword is standard practice. Some sellers do this on Amazon as well.
However, most don't and still make it to the first page. So even if you don't adhere to this practice, you'll lose nothing in terms of optimization.
Instead, focus on creating high-quality images to boost conversion rates. This can affect your Amazon product listing optimization.
Think of what your customers want to see related to the product. For fashion accessories, it could be the product being worn by a model. It could be a label or a table of ingredients for care products.
In addition to featuring enticing images in the product reel, you can use them to your advantage in the product description section. Images can be a great way to tell more about your product and close the deal.
You can also get a bit creative with your visual advertising as the seller below did.
Product Feature Bullets
Most customers don't have the time to read an essay on the slippers you're selling. The odds are they won't bail on a product page just because there is a lot of text, but it's a good idea to make it easier for them.
Presenting the product's main features in a bulleted list is the best way to do this. Construct the bulleted list briefly and concisely, and only mention things your customer would want to know.
The exact contents of your list depend heavily on the product. Combine all the main characteristics and selling features into the list and revise it several times to make it more readable.
This also gives you an excellent opportunity to squeeze in a few keywords for the search engine.
Video content boosts sales, so if you have the means to produce a video about your product, or can hire a virtual assistant to help you do this, don't hesitate. Most sellers on Amazon don't have a big enough budget to create a professional video, so using one from the manufacturer's website may be fine for starters.
The main thing to consider when uploading a video provided by the manufacturer is that it shouldn't contain a call to action to leave Amazon. If it has a link to a place you can buy the product, Amazon won't allow it on the platform.
- Create an attention-grabbing thumbnail
- Stay focused on the product
- Show the product being used
- Avoid lengthy introductions
- Keep the video short
- Be as authentic as possible
While Amazon doesn't want sellers to promote their other websites or social media, nothing is stopping you from making a call to action at the end of your video. Encouraging those who've watched to the end may be the thing that closes the sale.
Product Description Copy
Both images and videos are excellent for product descriptions. They help present relevant information quickly and easily understandable; the less attention a customer pays, the better.
However, it isn't necessary to abstain from having text in the product description. You can and should add text to visual materials. If you don't have the budget or the time to create visuals, selling your product in writing can also be a powerful tool.
Besides, the written text allows you to include keywords in the product description. Since it's one of the most specific search factors you can influence, seize the opportunity.
Writing a product description is an excellent opportunity to highlight the best qualities of your product, and it's even better if you can add descriptive images. What you don't want to do here is write an essay.
The form of an expanded bullet point list like the one below works best.
Product Search Terms
This feature is a hidden gem of Amazon product optimization. The platform allows sellers to add keywords to the product listing that aren't displayed to the user but still influence the search rankings.
Use it to offload all of the keywords you've discovered. This will help with search visibility while not overly spamming the product page with keywords. However, there are some limitations to this. Here are the words you cannot upload to the search terms of your listing:
- Subjective words: best, excellent, high quality
- Temporary words: new, on sale
- Inaccurate information
- Brand names
- Plurals of the leading search term
- Misspellings of the top search term
Product Reviews & Ratings
While Amazon claims product reviews do not influence search ranking directly, they're integral for conversion. But since conversions and sales velocity play an essential role in product search ranking, they're factors you should focus on.
The problem is that you cannot control product ratings and reviews. Amazon does not let you cherry-pick reviews or incentivize reviews with discounts. You only have two ways of dealing with reviews at your disposal, apart from having an excellent product.
The first way is the "request a review" button. You should use it, especially if you're a beginner. It's not surprising that people are more likely to do you a favor if you ask them, so requesting a review after each purchase is a must.
The other thing you can do is work with negative reviews. Reply to them and try to solve the issue. Even if the review isn't taken back, the customers looking through your negative feedback will see you care enough to respond.
Product Shipment Method
The last conversion optimization you can do is make shipment as simple and fast as possible. If you can, get your product on Amazon Prime. If you can't, figure out the best way for your customers.
People use Amazon to get their orders fast, and if you fail in this, conversion rates will plummet.
Boost Your Amazon Product Listing
It may seem impossible to increase your Amazon search results ranking for a person who's just starting. But with the right approach and a lot of work and experimentation, you can do it.
You should focus on four major things: increasing availability, conversions, keyword match in your product pages, and decreasing the price. While it seems like a lot of work, tackling all of these issues will get you on the top page.
Start doing the most specific things — optimize listings for the right keywords, pick the right pricing strategy, and ensure the products are in stock. Then, you can start your long journey to increase conversion rates.
The best thing about optimization for search on Amazon is that conversions improve it. The more you sell, the higher your products will be in the search results. It's a journey that lets you build on your success.
So, how can you make sure your product is ranking high on Amazon? Here are a few tips to help get you started: -Make sure your title is keyword rich -Include a high-quality image of the product -Write an engaging and helpful product description -Incorporate customer reviews into your listing These are just a few tips to help improve your Amazon product ranking. For more advice, or if you need help fulfilling orders for Amazon, be sure to get in touch with Simpl. We’d be happy to help!
Recommended: Amazon Product Listings Optimization Guidelines