What is Amazon SEO and How to Use It
If you run your own ecommerce store or affiliate site then you’ve probably heard of SEO. It stands for search engine optimization and it describes a number of strategies people use to optimize a website or page to improve it's search rankings.
Most people know it as a way to improve your rank on Google, but if you sell on Amazon SEO is important for you as well. By implementing similar strategies on your listings you’ll increase your traffic which will help you make money on the platform.
Whether you’re selling books, merch, or any other items, this is something you’re going to have to know.
So, just how do you go about optimizing your listings for search? We’ve created this guide to fill you in on everything you need to know about Amazon SEO, including the best white hat techniques to boost your rankings.
Table of contents
- What is Amazon SEO?
- Amazon’s A9 Algorithm
- How to Optimize Your Page for Search
- Tools, Software, and Resources
- Tips and Tricks
What is Amazon SEO?
If you sell items on Amazon you want to show up in their search results as much as possible. For example, if you sell hedge trimmer, and every time someone searches for “hedge trimmer” your page shows up then you’re going to sell a lot of products. This is the goal for every seller.
Amazon SEO is similar to regular SEO, except instead of optimizing your page for Google’s search results your goal is to optimize it for Amazon’s search engine. If you do it right you can start showing up in more searches, which will lead to more customers visiting your pages.
Amazon’s search engine is somewhat similar to Google’s in that they both depend on keywords, but the similarity ends there. This is because their goals are different:
Google’s goal is to answer the searcher’s query: Most people go on Google to find information or get a question answered. So, Google ranks pages highly based on how much people engage with the page. A high level of engagement indicates that people found it helpful.
Amazon’s goal is the present products the searcher will buy: When people search for items on Amazon they’re looking for something to buy, meaning the company ranks pages highly based on how likely they are to result in a conversion.
This key difference is important to remember as we delve deeper into Amazon SEO.
Amazon’s A9 Algorithm
If you want to know how to boost your search ranking you’ll need to understand A9. This is the algorithm Amazon’s search engine uses to determine where your listing shows up in search results.
The A9 algorithm bases its rankings primarily on four factors:
The keywords you use in your product listing.
Click through Rate (CTR) - This refers to how often people click on your listing.
The conversion rate of your product listing (how often people make a purchase after landing on your listing).
The number of positive reviews your product has.
In order to master Amazon SEO, you need to consider all of these factors when creating your listings. And the algorithm updates regularly, so make sure to stay current with any changes.
Amazon SEO: How to Optimize Your Page for Search
Okay, so we’ve gone over the basics of how Amazon’s search engine works and what you need to consider when you’re creating your listing. But how do you actually create a product page that will rank highly in search results?
Here are four things you can do to optimize your listings:
Do Keyword Research
The first step is to do some research to determine what keywords you should actually be using. You might have an idea of what keywords you want to rank for, but you should always have data to back up your decision.
You want keywords that are related to your product and also generate a large number of searches. Basically, you want to target the same terms people are using to search for your product.
So, how exactly do you find out what keywords people are using?
One trick you can use is to type your item into the search field on Amazon’s website. This will automatically generate a bunch of suggestions based on what people are searching for on Amazon.
This is a handy trick to help you get started, but you’ll want to find a lot more keywords than this.
The best way to do keyword research is to use a keyword research tool. This will allow you to find many more related keywords and even see how many searches they get.
If you’re interested, we cover our favourite keyword research tools later on in the article.
Incorporate Your Keywords Into Your Product Listing
Once you find the keywords you want to rank for you’ll need to use those terms throughout your listing to let Amazon’s search engine know to rank you for them.
There are three main areas where you’ll want to include keywords in your listing:
Product Title: A good title should contain your primary keyword. Use additional keywords if you can but try not to exceed 200 characters.
Product Features: These are the bullets at the top of your listing. Try to use your primary keyword again, along with several other keywords that you want to rank for.
Product Description: Like the features, make sure to include keywords where appropriate throughout your description.
Unlike Google, keyword density isn’t all that important. So, instead of using the same words over and over again trying using a variety of keywords throughout your text.
Include keywords as often as it makes sense, but don’t overuse them. The Amazon algorithm can tell when you’re using keywords too much and will penalize you for it. Plus, stuffing your content with keywords doesn’t make them enjoyable to read for your customers, which can hurt your conversions.
Create Descriptive Content for Your Listing
Okay, so you’ve found the keywords you want to use and incorporated them into your listing. What else can you do?
As we mentioned earlier, your conversion rate plays a big part in Amazon SEO. So, the next step is to make sure the content on your listing is engaging and of a really high quality so people will actually want to buy your product.
Here are some tips to help you create awesome content for your listings that will drive sales:
Use High-Quality Images: Make sure your images are really high quality so people can see your product. Include photos from multiple angles and highlight the various features.
Focus on Benefits, Not Features: When listing your product’s features, focus on how the feature benefits the customer. For example, going back to our hedge trimmer example, if your trimmer is lightweight you can talk about how it will mean the customer won’t get as tired while using it.
Write a Detailed and Accurate Product Description: Use this area to go into more detail about your product. Expand on your product’s features and talk about all the ways they will benefit the customer. A detailed product description can have a big impact on your conversion rate.
Utilize Enhanced Brand Content/A+ Content for Branded Products: If you’re selling branded products these features will allow you to customize your product listing content. This means you can create more engaging content that will lead to higher sales.
Remember, you’re not just writing of the Amazon algorithm. You’re also writing for your customers. So, make sure your listings are well thought out and highlight all of your item’s best features.
Manage Your Reviews
The final thing you need to consider is your reviews. The more reviews you have, and the better those reviews are, the higher you’re going to rank in searches.
While it may seem like your reviews are out of your control, there are actually a number of things you can do to encourage people to write reviews and ensure your review scores remain high.
Here are a few tips:
Accurately Describe Your Product: A lot of bad reviews are the result of a misleading product description. Make sure your product description is accurate and honest so customers know exactly what they’re getting.
Provide Great Customer Service: Be sure to answer all customer questions and be quick to respond to any issues your customers have. Even if something goes wrong with your product, if you’re able to solve the customer’s problem and provide them with a good experience they’ll be unlikely to leave a negative review.
Send Follow-Up Emails: Sending a follow-up email is a great way to check in with your customers after their purchase. It also gives you an opportunity to ask them to leave your product a review on Amazon.
Ask for Reviews on Social Media: If a number of your customers follow you on social media you can use these platforms to request reviews. Just make sure not to do it too often and mix in these requests with quality content that your customers will enjoy.
Remember, having a lot of good reviews will help with conversions, which also helps with your search rankings. This is why it’s so important to try and get as many positive reviews as possible.
Tools, Software, and Resources That Can Help You Improve Your Amazon SEO
SEO can seem complicated at times, but luckily there are a number of tools and resources at your disposal that can help you improve your Amazon search rankings.
Here are a few you should consider using:
The AMZScout Web App (available with a free trial) is a powerful Amazon product research tool. It can help you brainstorm product ideas and find profitable niches. It also includes the Keyword Explorer and Product Keywords which can help you find the best keywords to use for your products.
You can access these tools in the Web App menu. With the Keyword Explorer, you can enter a seed keyword and the tool will generate dozens of keyword ideas that are related to it. You can also specify the category and marketplace if you wish (for example, if you’re selling in India you can set the marketplace to that).
After you search for your product, hundreds of long-tail keywords will come up for you to review. You’ll also be able to see how many monthly searches each term gets. This allows you to choose keywords you know get searched by customers all the time, giving you a better chance at increasing the traffic to your Amazon listing.
By using the Product Keywords tool, you’ll be able to analyze your competitors’ pages to see what keywords they’re using. Enter the ASIN number of the listing you’d like to analyze to get started.
You’ll then be able to see what keywords that listing is targeting, as well as how many searches they receive, so you can use those terms for your own product pages.
If you plan on running Amazon PPC ads these tools can also be used to select keywords for your campaign.
AMZScout Keyword Tracker
Once you take all the necessary steps to improve your Amazon SEO you’ll want to be able to monitor your progress to see how your rankings improve. This is where the AMZScout Keyword Tracker can help.
This tool lets you track your rankings for various keywords over time. You’ll be able to:
Monitor how your products rank for any keyword.
See exactly which keywords your pages rank for.
View charts to see how your rankings have changed over time.
Monitor your competitors to see how they’re ranking for similar keywords.
With the Keyword Tracker, you’ll be able to see how the changes you make impact your rankings. This will allow you to adjust your strategy and ensure you always stay at the top of the search results.
Copywriting Services and Amazon Listing Specialists
If you’re not completely confident in your writing skills you can hire experts to create your listings for you. There are a number of copywriters who specialize in writing Amazon listings that maximize the use of keywords and lead to more conversions.
Creating effective Amazon listings is an art and it can take time to truly master it. Feel free to try it yourself and make changes as needed. But if you want to see results right away there’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to help you.
There are plenty of marketing experts who are affordable, and after you go through the process with them you might be better equipped to create your next listing yourself.
Tips and Tricks
As you can tell, Amazon SEO is a fairly involved topic. There are countless things you can do to improve your rankings, so it’s important to stay up to date on all the latest strategies.
Here are a few more tips and tricks for you to consider:
Optimize Your Images
Not having proper images can hurt your search rankings and can even get your listing suppressed. So, it’s extremely important to follow Amazon’s image guidelines.
Ensure your images are at least 1000 x 1000 pixels and that the product is placed against a white background. The product must also fill at least 85% of the image and be clearly visible.
If you’re not a very experienced photographer consider hiring a professional. Many photographers specialize in Amazon product photos and can help you make sure your photos always meet the requirements.
In addition to the content in your listing, you can also add “hidden keywords” to your listing. These are keywords you enter in the backend of your seller account to let Amazon know what keywords you want to rank for.
You can access these keywords by logging into your account and going to Inventory > Manage Inventory and then clicking the “Edit” button next to the product you want to add terms for. Click the Keywords tab at the top and navigate to the Search Terms field.
There you’ll be able to add keywords. Keep in mind that you only have 250 characters, so use them wisely. Avoid using terms you’ve already used in your listing to maximize this tool. Also, you don’t need to add any commas or punctuation between each term.
Use Amazon’s FBA Program
The Amazon FBA program is extremely convenient for sellers. It allows you to ship your inventory to one of their warehouses to be stored and when someone buys one of your products they ship it for you.
However, it can also help you with SEO. The FBA program makes your products eligible for Prime shipping. This has proven to drastically improve sales, which in turn will help boost your search rankings.
Letting Amazon handle your fulfillment can also help cut down on your negative reviews which will improve your SEO as well.
Keep Your Inventory Stocked
You can’t sell products if you don’t have any inventory. And if you’re not making sales your conversion rate will suffer, which negatively impacts your rankings.
Amazon also tends not to list products in search results that are out of stock. Of course, even if you were listed you couldn’t make a sale since you have nothing to sell. But still, it’s something to consider.
Basically, stay on top of your inventory and do your best never to run out.
Complete Your Amazon Listing
There are a lot of different parts to fill out when you’re completing your listing, but it’s worth your while to take the time to make sure nothing is left blank. The Amazon algorithm favours listings that are 100% complete, so don’t skip any of these sections. Plus, the more good content you include in your listing the more chances you have to convince customers to buy your product.
Amazon SEO can seem complicated at first. But once you learn how it works and the best ways to use it to your advantage it’s really not that difficult. Just remember, always be ethical with your SEO. If you try to cheat the system Amazon will find out and you’ll be punished.
And if you need additional assistance AMZScout’s tools are here to help you find and track keywords to improve your chances of success.