If you want to find out how to increase your rankings on Amazon, you’ve come to the right place! This is the ultimate step-by-step guide to Amazon SEO and ranking optimization in 2019.
In this comprehensive guide we’ll cover:
PART 1 (Theory): Understanding Amazon SEO
- What is Amazon SEO?
- How does the Amazon ranking algorithm (“A9”) work?
PART 2 (Hands-on): How to optimize your product listing for Amazon SEO
Step-by-step instructions to optimize your products, including
- How to research and optimize keywords
- How to create listings that convert
- How to use images to increase click-through rate and conversion rates
- and lots more
But don’t worry: we always update this guide as soon as the algorithm changes so you can be sure that it’s up-to-date and includes the newest insights.
So if you want to rank higher on Amazon and increase your sales, you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started.
- Want the short version? Click here to download an Amazon SEO Checklist to optimize your listing and increase your ranking!
PART 1: Understanding Amazon SEO and the Amazon Ranking Algorithm (A9)
What is Amazon SEO?
Amazon SEO means optimizing your product listings to appear at the top of the Amazon search results (for all relevant keywords).
- Amazon SEO = Optimizing Product Listings = Better Rankings = More Visibility = More Sales
Just like on Google, buyers on Amazon enter a keyword to find what they are looking for and just like on Google, users mainly click on the first few results and rarely click on a product on the second, third or any further page.
If you’re selling on Amazon, this means that the rankings on Amazon are the most important success factors for your business: The higher you rank, the more you sell!
If you rank on page 3 or lower, you’re unlikely to sell anything. On top of that, more than 66% of shoppers now start their search for new products on Amazon. That means: If your products are not ranking well, you’re really missing out on sales potential!
The ranking of a product is determined by an algorithm called “A9” (shorthand for “algorithm”). As this algorithm basically decides the fate of your success on Amazon, it’s a good idea to understand it a little better.
If you don’t want to know about the theory behind A9, you can jump straight to our hands-on, step-by-step guide where we explain how to optimize your product listing.
How Does the Amazon Ranking Algorithm (A9) Work?
With millions of products to choose from, buyers perform hundreds of millions of search queries on Amazon every month.
For every single search query, Amazon needs to decide — within a few milliseconds — which one of the hundreds of millions of products it will show on ranking position number 1, number 2, etc.
Which factors does Amazon take into account to solve this very complex challenge?
Amazon Ranks Products Based on Purchase Likelihood
Three parties come together on Amazon: A buyer, a seller, and Amazon.
Shoppers come to Amazon for only one reason: they want to buy! This searcher intent represents an important contrast to the mechanics of Google.
When a user types “iPhone” into Google, it’s unclear what this user is looking for. The user might want to buy an iPhone, but he might also just be looking for an image of an iPhone to use in a presentation.
On Amazon, there is only one intent behind every search query: buying the product.
Sellers, on the other hand, also use Amazon for one reason only: they want to sell!
Finally, Amazon wants to generate revenue, but Amazon will only make money if a sale takes place (Amazon receives a 15% commission from a seller or collects the margin from a vendor).
All three parties (buyers, sellers, and Amazon) share a common goal: they all want a transaction to take place!
Amazon’s goal, therefore, is to build an algorithm that increases the number of transactions. To achieve this, Amazon places the product that shoppers are most likely to buy on rank #1, the second most likely on rank #2, and so on — for every single search query.
In other words: Amazon has to rank all products by purchase likelihood.
Keywords and Performance Determine Amazon Rankings and Purchase Likelihood
Amazon ranks products by purchase likelihood. That leaves us with the question:
How does Amazon determine purchase likelihood?
It appears to happen within seconds for the user, but behind the scenes, the verification of purchase likelihood is a very complex challenge.
Remember: There are hundreds of millions of products and hundreds of millions of search queries. The purchase likelihood of a product varies for every search query.
- For example, an iPhone might have a very high purchase likelihood for the search query “iPhone”, but the same iPhone will have a very low purchase likelihood for the search query “smartphone”.
As a consequence, Amazon has to determine the purchase likelihood not just for every product, but for every combination of product and search query.
To tackle this challenge and rank products, Amazon follows a two-step process.
Step 1: Keywords Determine If Your Product Ranks on Amazon AT ALL
In the first step, Amazon filters out all products that are not relevant for the customer search query — by looking at the keywords.
If a product does not contain all keywords of the search query, it cannot appear in the search results (you see why it’s critical that you add all relevant keywords to your product — but more on this later in the “keyword optimization” section).
This step is important because it drastically reduces the number of products that Amazon needs to sort by purchase likelihood.
Step 2: Performance Determines HOW HIGH Your Product Ranks on Amazon (On Which Position)
In the second step, Amazon determines the purchase likelihood for the remaining products and ranks them in a specific order (a.k.a the Amazon ranking). To do this, Amazon looks at the performance of the products.
Performance is measured by CTR (click-through-rate in search result), CR (conversion rate on the product page), and especially sales. These are significant KPIs for Amazon as they represent the steps that users need to take to buy a product.
Amazon looks at these KPIs on a keyword-specific level: an iPhone, for example, will have different CTRs, CRs, and sales for the keywords “iphone” and “smartphone”.
- For you, this means: The better your CTR, CR, and sales are for a specific keyword, the higher your product will rank for this keyword.
To actively increase your CTR, CR, and sales and improve your rankings you can use a variety of levers, such as product images, copy, review management, and Amazon PPC. More on this in the section “How to optimize your product listing”.
Amazon SEO Strategy and the Amazon Marketing Flywheel
Once people find your product and consider it relevant, they’ll probably click and buy it. The more people click and buy your product, the more generous the A9 algorithm will rank it. The higher your product ranks, the more people will buy it.
This momentum will, in turn, increase your rankings and even enable you to put more resources into marketing initiatives to drive your sales.
This process and strategy can form a self-perpetuating flywheel between rankings, sales, and marketing initiatives that improves your sales.
— You can feed this flywheel by channeling your profits into more marketing initiatives.
PART 2: Step-By-Step Guide to Optimize Your Amazon Product Listings for Higher Ranking
Now that you’ve seen how the Amazon ranking algorithm (A9) works let’s get our hands dirty and take a look at what you can do to optimize your listing.
We’ll cover every step you need to take from creating your listing to making sure it climbs to the top after it’s live — and stays there:
- Content: Creating and enhancing your listing content
- Keywords: Adding and optimizing the keywords of your listing
- Maintenance: Ongoing optimization after the listing is live (e.g. managing reviews and leveraging Amazon PPC to improve your rankings)
Create Optimal Content for Your Amazon Listing
Let’s get started with the first step: creating and enhancing your content. That means optimizing your product copy and images.
Amazon functions as a regular search engine, so optimizing your content will improve the click-rate (CTR) in search results and the conversion rate (CR) on the product page. Both CTR and CR boost sales and, therefore, improve your ranking.
Also, any PPC campaigns or other marketing measures that generate traffic to a product page will be more successful if they have optimized product content at their core.
Optimizing your product listings should, therefore, always be the first step to improve your ranking on Amazon.
— Optimizing your product copy and images improves your performance and rankings
Persuasive Text That Sells — How to Write the Best Amazon Sales Copy
Focus on optimizing the following product content for Amazon SEO:
- Product title
- Bullet points a.k.a. Highlights a.k.a. Attributes
- Product description
- Additional product information
- Enhanced Brand Content (Sellers) & A+ Content (Vendors)
Note: Make sure you follow the Amazon Style Guides according to your product category. If you don’t, Amazon could suppress your product.
- Want to create convincing product texts? Stick to these basic rules.
- Inform: Provide all information necessary for the purchase decision in the description
- Sell: Highlight the benefits and USPs of your product in the description. Go beyond merely stating the features — tell your customers how your product can benefit them.
- Present: Formally structure information so that the customer can scan it easily and quickly.
- TIP: Pay Attention to Amazon Product Reviews
To give your product texts an extra boost, go through the reviews and questions & answers for your product (or similar products). These segments often reveal what benefits and USPs are important to your customers and what information is crucial for their purchase decision.
Let’s have a look at each of these elements in turn.
Brand-Only Features — Amazon A+ Content and Enhanced Brand Content
Amazon Enhanced Brand Content and A+ Content are extended content features for brand-registered Sellers and Vendors, respectively.
With various layouts (a.k.a. modules) and an easy-to-use content tool to create appealing texts and vivid images, these enhancements can give your standard product description page a significant visual boost.
- Want more tips and information about A+ Content (including a module guide)? Check out our Sellics Academy.
Enhanced content allows you to answer your buyer’s questions conclusively and in a more engaging way. Good enhanced content can, therefore, lead to a better conversion rate, more sales, and fewer returns.
According to Amazon, enhanced content can increase your sales by 3-10 % through a higher conversion rate. This means even your expensive ad clicks might pay off (i.e., increased ROAS, lowered ACoS).
Remember: Even an increase of a few percent in the conversion rate can make a huge difference!
— An example of Enhanced Brand Content
What are the advantages of enhanced content (for sellers and vendors)?
- Product Story: More images and elaborated product descriptions give you the space to tell your product’s story in a more engaging way. Use it to show off unique benefits and features as well as the lifestyle connected to your product.
- Brand Awareness: Telling your brand’s story and connecting with your buyers builds brand awareness and loyalty. It differentiates you from the competition and can encourage repeat purchases.
- Product range: Comparison charts help users to discover more of your products and make satisfactory buying decisions. They also decrease the probability that users get distracted and led (detoured) to competitor products — for example, by Sponsored Products ads or Amazon’s ‘similar product comparison widget’.
Enhanced Brand Content is free for Sellers, but you need to get your brand registered with Amazon, and you have to be on a professional selling plan to use it.
Basic A+ Content is also free for vendors. The paid version ‘Premium A+ Content’ offers more interactive options such as video and slider carousels, but it is an exclusive program and only available by invitation from your vendor manager. It also comes at a steep cost.
— An example of Premium A+ Content
When should I use Enhanced Content?
Since all branded ASINs are eligible and the basic features are free to use, you can aim to add enhanced content to all your products.
Bear in mind, however, that you still have to invest time and effort into the creation of Enhanced Brand/Marketing Content.
Also, Amazon Brand Registration is free, but you need to officially register your brand as a trademark to be eligible — which comes at a cost.
- Enhanced content is not indexed by Amazon and therefore doesn’t directly increase visibility in search results. Enhanced content can, however, improve rankings indirectly by improving the conversion rate.Check out ‘Lesson 4: How to use A+ Content’ in our vendor academy for a deep dive into enhanced content
Enhanced content is also not an easy fix for a product that isn’t selling well. On the contrary, enhanced content is rather an accelerator for a product that is already showing a strong performance on Amazon.
Pics That Pop — Create Persuasive Amazon Product Images for Amazon SEO
— Eyetracking heatmap of Amazon shoppers
Attractive, high-quality product images are immensely important for a product’s ranking because they can significantly improve the product’s performance (CTR, CR, and sales).
How do they do that?
- Step 1 — Search Results: The main product image in the search results is usually the first point of contact between your product and the customer.Shoppers click on a search result more frequently when it has an engaging main image.The main image is probably the most important factor for the click-through rate (CTR)! Additionally, a better CTR will also lead to more sales for your product.
- Step 2 — Product Page: Alluring product images can persuade customers to buy your product, thus improving your conversion rate (CR) and sales.Why? Good product images answer your customer’s questions and give them all the information they need to make an informed buying decision — in a format that is easy to consume.Also, they leave a good impression and build trust with your buyers.Customers follow simple purchasing logic: if the product image is bad, the product can’t be much better.
- Adding pictures and even including high-resolution images (to activate the zoom function) does not, however, lead directly to a better ranking. The product will only move up the ranks if the CTR, CR, and sales actually improve.
What Are the Technical Requirements for Successful Amazon Product Images?
1. They adhere to the minimum technical requirements
Amazon has specific minimum requirements for product images. If you don’t meet these basic requirements, Amazon could suppress the images or even the entire product.
- Allowed formats: JPEG (preferred), TIFF, PNG, GIF
- Color model: RGB (CMYK is for print, the colors will look different)
- Resolution: Minimum 72 dpi
- Size: Recommended minimum 1,000 pixels on the longest side (activates zoom)
Additional requirements exist depending on the category, especially in the categories ‘Clothing’ and ‘Shoes and Handbags’. Refer to the Amazon Style Guides for guidelines in the relevant product category.
2. They are large enough to enable zoom
If possible, your images should always have a sufficiently high resolution to enable the zoom function (at least 1000 pixels on the longest side, 500 pixels on the shortest side). Zoomable images will increase your conversion rate.
- Extended Options:
360-Degree View: Vendors have access to a 360-degree view, which allows customers to view some products from different angles. Contact Vendor Support to find out if this option is available to you.
Product Video: Vendors can upload product videos. In the US-marketplace, also brand-registered sellers can use Enhanced Brand Content to upload a product video in place of a product image.
The Main Amazon Image
The main image appears in the search results (and on the product page). The quality of the main image is, therefore, directly responsible for the number of clicks leading to your product (CTR).
It is imperative, therefore, that the main image displays the product in a way that is attractive to the customer, highlights USPs, and makes it easy to recognize the product (the product should fill a large area of the image).
To find the best main image for your product, consider A/B testing the CTRs of different main images.
To do this, you can use Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns as they allow you to measure your CTRs precisely, even for specific keywords.
- TIP: The Sellics PPC Manager (Seller) and AMS Manager (Vendor) allows you to to set up A/B tests and analyze them easily, without needing to export reports.
Main images also need to fulfill these requirements by Amazon:
- The image must only contain the core product — no accessories or props
- The background must be pure white (RGB code: 255, 255, 255)
- The product must fill 85% to 100% of the image area
- Always show the product without packaging (some exceptions, depending on the product)
- The product must be fully visible
- The main image must not contain text, graphics, or illustrations (only allowed in additional images)
Additional Images on Your Amazon Product Page
Remember: High-quality images on your product page improve your conversion rate (and, therefore, rankings) significantly. They compensate for the lack of direct contact with your product.
You can (and should), therefore, use additional images to provide important information that your customer requires to make an informed buying decision and to showcase the benefits and USPs of your product.
Get creative with the additional images. In contrast to the main image, these images allow you to add some extra depth with various backgrounds and props, for example.
Depending on the product, you will need to highlight different aspects. Here’s how:
How to Optimize Keywords for Amazon SEO
In the first step, you’ve written your listing and created compelling product content to convince customers to click and buy your product. Your content will enhance your product’s performance and improve its rankings.
But wait, wasn’t there another essential item? That’s right — keywords. The right keywords will allow your product to appear in the search results in the first place. So now, in the second step, let’s add some keywords to your listing and optimize them.
How to Conduct Amazon Keyword Research
Remember: Shoppers can only find your product on Amazon if your product page contains all the keywords that shoppers use in their search. Your first step in keyword optimization is, therefore, to identify all relevant keywords. Here are some techniques and tools to do that.
When you enter a keyword in the Amazon search box, autocomplete suggests search terms that Amazon customers use frequently.
Autocomplete is a valuable source of keywords based on searches conducted by real Amazon customers.
For example, entering a keyword followed by the letter A to Z allows you to search for a whole series of different combinations.
Analyze your competitors’ listings to find an array of relevant keywords.
To do this, enter one of the main keywords for your product in the Amazon search and analyze the top products in the search result.
Take a close look at the reviews shoppers left on your and similar products. You will discover the exact terms buyers use to describe your product.
Sonar — The Free Amazon Keyword Research Tool
Sonar by Sellics is a free keyword research tool designed explicitly for Amazon. Sonar contains a database of millions of real Amazon search queries. Type in anything to find a list of matching keywords, then download and use them for your Amazon SEO.
Sonar even displays the Amazon search volume for each of the keywords. You can also research keywords selectively for each European Amazon marketplace (DE, UK, FR, IT, ES) and for Amazon.com (US).
Sellics — All-In-One Amazon Software for Sellers and Vendors
On top of that, Sellics offers you all the Amazon SEO tools that you need to improve the ranking and conversion rate of your Amazon product listings:
- Listing check: Quickly identify the optimization potential of your product listings and across your product selection
- Intuitive listing optimization: The Sellics listing optimizer assists you in creating top-ranking product listings in an intuitive optimization workflow
- 1-Click keyword optimization: Automatically create an optimal set of backend keywords with just one click to achieve better organic visibility.
- Ranking tracker: Track your keyword rankings and accurately measure the success of your optimization efforts.
- Plus more: As an all-in-one tool, Sellics includes even more features to manage your whole Amazon business, such as review management, Amazon PPC management & automation, sales & profit analysis, and more.
How to Add Keywords to Your Amazon Product Listing
Now that you have identified the relevant keywords, how do you use them to optimize your product listing?
Since a product listing must contain the relevant keyword for the product to appear in Amazon’s search results, the most basic rule of keyword optimization is straightforward:
Include all relevant keywords in your listing.
Where should I put my keywords? Amazon product listing fields and their indexation
The next important question is: Where should I put the keywords?
Amazon’s A9 algorithm looks at the keywords in various fields in your product listing to determine if your product can show up for a shopper’s search term. If your product can show up in search results for a specific keyword, then your product is indexed for this keyword.
Let’s take a closer look at how Amazon treats the keywords in each of those fields in your product listing.
- Note on Bytes vs. Characters: We deliberately distinguish between ‘bytes’ and ‘characters’ to refer to different length restrictions and indexing limits of fields in the product listing. While regular characters/letters from A-Z are 1 byte in size, special characters such as ä, ü, ö, é are 2 or more bytes in size.
Weighting of the different fields: Does it matter where I put my keywords?
The fields of the product listing (title, bullet points, description, backend keywords, etc.) used to be weighted differently in the Amazon ranking algorithm. Amazon removed this weighting later in October 2018 (see this algorithm update note for more information).
Currently, the fields are weighted equally. It doesn’t matter where you put your keywords, as long they’re in a field that’s indexed.
Even though your brand is indexed as a keyword, it does not (and cannot) vary across product listings and, therefore, offers no opportunity for optimization.
The product title is fully indexed for search. Use the category-specific Amazon Style Guides to determine the correct title length for your product.
Make sure you get this right: Amazon rejects overlong titles and even suppresses listings in certain circumstances. In this case, the product no longer appears in the search results.
Bullet Points (Highlights)
In some categories, Amazon only indexes the first 1000 bytes (incl. spaces) as a sum across all bullet points. Keywords after this threshold are not indexed.
The text should be shorter anyway — It keeps the bullet points readable and avoids adverse effects on the conversion rate.
Our recommendation: Use 200 bytes maximum per bullet point to guarantee full indexation and a good conversion rate.
Whether or not a product description is indexed depends on the category of your product.
In some categories, products can be found via all the keywords in the product description. In most categories, however, the following holds true:
- A product DOES NOT appear in the search results when customers search for single keywords from the product description
- A product DOES appear in the search results when
a) customers search for two or more keywords from the product description that are located close to each other or
b) customers search for a keyword from the product description AND at least two other keywords from one or more indexed fields (i.e., title, bullet points, backend keywords)
- The product description is, therefore, an excellent place to add your long tail keywords.
Want to know if your product shows up for all your keywords? Make sure to always validate the indexation of your keywords with a keyword ranking tracker such as in the Amazon SEO tools in Sellics Seller Edition and Vendor Edition.
Finally, the product description is also relevant for Google SEO. Due to the limited indexation, however, our recommendation remains:
Enhanced Brand/Marketing A+ Content
Amazon does not index enhanced content (A+ for vendors and EBC for sellers) for search. If the relevant keywords only occur in enhanced content, the product will not appear in the search results.
- Enhanced Content vs. Product Description
When it comes to indexing and conversion optimization, the regular product description and the enhanced content offer contrasting features and benefits.
Enhanced content is visually pleasing, while the regular product description can be indexed.While A+ Content for vendors is additional eye-candy, EBC for sellers replaces the regular product description. You might, therefore, ask yourself:
Should I focus more on the product description or enhanced content?
If you have to choose between the two, we recommend you focus on enhanced content. The product description is not that important for your Amazon SEO strategy.
One reason for this low priority is the limited indexation we mentioned, as well as the possibility to cover all relevant keywords in your backend keywords, title, and bullet points.
Once you have your keywords covered, conversion optimization becomes your main goal. Enhanced content offers better tools for creating engaging and convincing content and is — just like the product description — indexed by Google.
Backend Keywords (a.k.a. Search Terms/Generic Keywords)
The backend keyword indexation limit is currently 249 bytes, including spaces and punctuation.
- Vendors — please note: The generic keywords fields for vendors do not have a byte counter showing whether you exceed the limit.If the total byte count across your generic keyword fields exceeds 249 bytes, including spaces and punctuation, none of your keywords will be indexed.To be on the safe side, always check your byte count or use the Content & SEO module in Sellics Vendor Edition for keyword optimization. It will automatically create an optimal set of generic keywords for you.
- Sellers — please note: The search terms/generic keywords field has an integrated byte counter. This byte counter does NOT count spaces and certain punctuation (, . ;).These ARE, however, (currently) counted for indexation. If you use the total character length permitted by the byte counter, therefore, any of your keywords that exceed 249 bytes (including spaces and punctuation) may not be indexed. Your first keywords within the limit will, however, be indexed.To be on the safe side, always check your byte count or use the Amazon SEO feature in Sellics Seller Edition for keyword optimization. It will automatically create an optimal set of search terms/generic keywords for you.
— In action: This is how you create fully indexed backend keywords easily and automatically with Sellics
Additional Product and Keyword Fields
You can add further information (e.g., about materials) to your product in the additional product fields. For some products, you can define additional keyword types, such as target audience keywords (e.g., man, woman).
Make sure to make full use of these fields, as the information provided can be used for search filters (sidebar navigation in the search results) and product finders.
Amazon SEO Keyword Rules — How Amazon Treats Keywords
Finally, to add your keywords efficiently, you should adhere to some general keyword rules. Stick to the following guidelines to optimize the formatting of your keywords:
- You don’t have to repeat keywords (e.g. in your backend keywords, use ‘wallet men leather’ instead of ‘wallet men wallet leather’). Repetition shows no positive impact on ranking. Instead, use the valuable space to add more relevant keywords.
- Use either singular or plural. Adding both is not necessary. The exception: Long compound words in German (e.g. Mehrzweckregal, Fitnessarmbänder)
- Capitalizing letters (or not) is irrelevant.
- Umlaute (ü, ä, ö) are matched to ue, ae, oe. Adding both versions is not necessary.
- Accents (entrecôte, roségold, mèches) are matched to the non-accent spelling (entrecote, rosegold, meches). Adding both versions is not necessary.
- Minor misspellings (carreirbag, runnign shoe, laether wallet) are matched to the same as the correct spelling. Adding both versions is not necessary.
- Different spellings of compound words (fitnessball vs. fitness ball, flipchart vs. flip chart) are not indexed automatically. You have to include both versions or use hyphens (see next bullet point).
- You can cover different variations by joining or separating words through hyphens, e.g., A-B ranks for A, B, A B, AB, A-B (use for max. 2 words, e.g. flip-chart)
- We at Sellics regularly test Amazon’s SEO ranking algorithm and publish our results in our algorithm update posts. We also make sure to keep this guide up-to-date at all times.
Find our latest algorithm updates here:
Workflow for Your Amazon Keyword Optimization
- Tip: Don’t know where to start? Sellics continuously monitors your product selection and identifies any potential to optimize your content and your keyword rankings. Learn more about the Amazon SEO features in Sellics Seller Edition and Vendor Edition.
Now that we’ve covered all the important information on keyword optimization let’s get our hands dirty. After all this theory, you still might ask yourself:
How do I optimize Keywords on Amazon?
To optimize your listing, we recommend the following workflow:
- Step 1 — Optimize backend keywords
Place as many keywords as possible in the backend keyword field (also called ‘search terms’, or ‘generic keywords’) before adding keywords to your content. This practice will keep your content highly readable.For vendors and sellers, as mentioned before, to get all of your keywords indexed, don’t use more than 249 bytes (including spaces and punctuation).Use spaces (sellers) or comma/semicolon (vendors) to separate your backend keywords and remember the general keyword rules.
- Step 2 — Place remaining keywords in the product content (i.e., title, bullet points, product description)
Always keep readability and the user experience in mind when adding your keywords.You do not have to add the keywords you already covered in the backend to your product content.In terms of Amazon SEO strategy, repeating the keywords in different locations has neither a negative nor a positive effect on ranking.
- Step 3 — Fill in additional product and keyword fields
We already mentioned that additional product and keyword fields can improve the searchability and visibility of products through Amazon search filters (page navigation). You should, therefore, try to fill in these fields completely.
- Tip: Sellics Keyword Ranking Tracker
As soon as your keywords are in place, we recommend that you measure your optimization success and regularly review the ranking of your product with a keyword ranking tracker such as in the Amazon SEO tools in Sellics Seller Edition and Vendor Edition.
Watch how to analyze rankings with Sellics Seller Edition:
FAQ About Amazon Keyword Optimization
Which field ranks best? Where should place my main keywords?
It’s true: Amazon keyword fields used to be weighted. There was, for example, a slight positive ranking effect for products that contained a keyword in the title. Amazon has, however, removed this weighting (see this algorithm update note for more information).
As long as you enter the keyword in an indexed field, it makes no difference where you place it in your listing. Instead, Amazon now relies even more on the keyword-specific performance of a product (click rate, conversion rate, sales, etc.).
The focus now lies on readability: Instead of stuffing keywords (especially in the title), Amazon wants you to focus on conversion-optimized content that complies with their guidelines.
Should I repeat my keywords to rank higher for them?
No. Keyword repetition shows no positive impact on ranking. Use the space to add more relevant keywords.
Can I increase the number of indexed keywords by spreading them across variants?
Kind of. The main rule still applies: Your listing must contain the relevant keywords for buyers to find it — but if you’re pressed for space, there is a workaround.
A parent listing will automatically update all child listings with its bullet points, description, and backend keywords. That means can feed the parent listing a basic set of primary keywords, and its child ASINs will rank for them, too.
In a second step, you can now add long tail keywords that are specific to each child ASIN. This way, you increase the total number of possible keywords — and the chances that shoppers find at least one of your variants.
As soon as they open it, they will also see the other variants that previously weren’t displayed in the search results.
Ongoing Optimization: How to Keep Improving Your Rankings
Congratulations! You’ve now optimized the content and keywords of your listing and can publish it. Instead of just waiting for the sales to roll in, however, you should engage in ongoing optimization to improve your rankings and maximize your success.
In general, you should always keep an eye on your product listing, to make sure it’s up to date, still performing well, and hasn’t been hijacked.
Additionally, there are some other important levers that you can continuously optimize to improve your rankings:
Let’s take a look at them.
Dealing with Customer Reviews and Questions
How Amazon Reviews Influence Your Ranking
Reviews are critical to the CTR, CR, and sales of a product and, therefore, to how well it ranks. Customers often scroll straight down to read the feedback left by previous buyers. The more positive reviews your product has, the better it will perform. Thus, there are two aspects to take care of:
- Number of product reviews
- Product review score (star rating)
How to increase your number of Amazon reviews
You can increase your number of reviews in various ways. In general, a customer’s willingness to submit a review increases with excellent customer service. You could also use parcel inserts to prompt customers for reviews or advertise on product testing platforms.
Always make sure you stay within the review guidelines of Amazon, especially with the latter method.
How to increase your product rating
Make sure to engage with your reviews regularly to maintain a high product rating. You should, in particular, comment on negative customer reviews. As a merchant or manufacturer, you can add your perspective and shed a better light on the review.
This practice helps you to keep up your conversion rate for future customers. It also shows excellent customer service and might persuade the customer to amend the review or remove it altogether (read more here: 3 ways to deal with negative reviews).
Keep a bird’s eye view of all your reviews: Sellics tracks all new reviews and questions of your Amazon products in one place and notifies you instantly so that you can respond to negative reviews in real time.
- Did you know? Amazon also offers vendors and sellers its own fee-based programs for generating reviews: Amazon Vine and the Early Reviewer Program, respectively.
Answering Amazon Customer Questions & Answers
The questions that customers can ask on the product page are just as important. Shoppers often ask about specific details they can’t find on the product page. Sellers, vendors, and other customers can answer questions.
Sellers and vendors should address unanswered questions regularly to ensure that customers receive correct answers. Doing so will also improve the information content of the product page: Questions often point to more significant information gaps, which you can now add to the description.
When your products are selling well, you will probably receive an overwhelming amount of customer feedback. How do you stay on top of your communication with your buyers?
Again, Sellics is your all-in-one solution. Our review management system gives you a complete overview of your current feedback communication, and you can perform a historical analysis across all your Amazon products.
Boost Amazon SEO with Amazon PPC (and other promotions)
Successful Amazon Advertising Requires an Optimal Amazon SEO Strategy
Amazon ads are ruled by relevance. In many cases, this means Amazon only displays your ad if your product page also contains your targeted keyword. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns can, therefore, only work if you optimize your product listing for relevant keywords first — using Amazon SEO.
- Bonus: Optimizing your product page for CTR and CR will also improve the performance of your advertising campaigns.
Amazon PPC Improves the Organic Ranking of Your Product
But now the important part for your rankings: The organic ranking of a product depends immensely on its performance, in particular how well it sells. Unlike Google AdWords, this also applies to sales that derive from Amazon PPC campaigns.
An increase in sales due to PPC improves the overall performance of the product and, in turn, the organic ranking.
This feedback mechanism is especially helpful to improve the organic visibility of new products, a process which would otherwise take much longer.
Want to know more about Amazon Advertising? Find our beginner and advanced guides here:
Manually managing and optimizing bids, negative keywords, and all the other requirements for successful PPC campaigns can be very time-intensive. Sellics saves you a lot of time and effort by automating these tasks.
PPC campaigns help new products to rise faster through the ranks, and thereby achieve more initial sales.
Price — A/B Test Your prices
As previous analyses by Sellics showed, cheap products are not especially favored by Amazon’s ranking algorithm. That means you don’t need to have the cheapest product around to be successful on Amazon.
You still need a competitive price, of course. Your price will impact your ranking because it will both influence:
- CTR in search results: customers compare your price to the other products in the search results.
- CR and sales on the product page: Does your price match your target audience, product quality, branding, etc. to achieve a good conversion rate?
Defining a good price using a theoretical approach can be very tricky. This is why you should A/B test different prices and compare the results in terms of CTR, CR, sales and, of course, profit.
External Traffic — Create Additional Traffic and Sales for Your Amazon Listing
Using external traffic means directing customers from external sites to your product on Amazon to create additional traffic and sales that will also improve your rankings.
This effect on rankings can be a good reason to send traffic to Amazon rather than to your online shop.
Useful landing pages are a product page, a product selection page, or the Amazon Brand Store.
Here are some ways to do that:
- Pay-per-click advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook ads, etc.)
- Content/influencer marketing (promote your product on blogs, YouTube, forums, etc.)
- Social Media (e.g. brand pages)
- Send traffic from your online shop to Amazon
Find more information about using external traffic in our Amazon marketing overview.
Shipping and FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
If you don’t use FBA yet, you should consider it, because only with FBA your product is available for Prime shipping (unless you use ‘Seller Fulfilled Prime’).
Only with Prime shipping, in turn, you will be able to realize a significant number of sales from the constantly growing number of Prime members.
Unless you have the Prime label, Prime members are unlikely to even click on your product because the Prime label already appears in the search results.
Prime members can even filter out non-Prime products in the search results.
Inventory Management — Don’t Run out of Stock
Running out of stock might or might not hurt your rankings — depending on how long you are out of stock and how you deal with the situation. The longer you are out of stock, the higher the chances that you will experience a significant drop in rankings.
If you know that you will go out of stock, here are two tips from our out-of-stock case study:
- Don’t raise your prices (significantly): This will hurt your CTR, CR, and sales and will definitely hurt your rankings.
- Use Amazon Advertising to recover rankings: After restocking, use Amazon Advertising to generate sales and increase your rankings again.
- Tip: Use Sellics Seller Edition and Vendor Edition to manage your inventory and never run out of stock again.
Sellics automatically notifies you when you need to restock your items
Amazon SEO: The Bottom Line About How to Rank on Amazon
You just read the most comprehensive guide to Amazon SEO strategy out there. We made sure to include everything there is to know — so that you never feel overrun with ambiguous information ever again.
So what’s next?
First: Download our Amazon SEO checklist! In our checklist, we boiled down all the vast information to the essentials you need for optimizing your listing step-by-step.
Then, check your best-selling listings (and then your poor performers). Identify the elements we discussed in this guide. Can you give them a boost?
If you continue to maximize your success, you will grow and add more products. You will encounter new challenges — from effective advertising to making smart business decisions based on your sales performance and revenue growth.
It’s a good idea to be prepared — The easiest way to stay in control of your entire journey as a seller on Amazon is by using Sellics.
The Sellics profit dashboard, for example, automatically calculates your true profit on Amazon in real-time — including Amazon fees, shipping (i.e. FBA), PPC fees, promos, taxes, and cost of goods.
Sellics is an all-in-one tool: It’s the only software you need to manage every aspect of your Amazon business.
Get more Amazon Tips and Updates!
There are many other things you can do to become more successful on Amazon. Check out our Sellics Academy with free courses for sellers and vendors learn even more about Amazon SEO, Amazon PPC, and other topics!