I remember when I started doing Search Engine Optimization, life was simple. There was only SEO for Google rankings. We all were happy. Now you look around, and there is a separate optimization guide for everything – YouTube SEO, PlayStore SEO, SEO for mobile apps, and even an Amazon SEO guide.
You knew it, didn’t you, that whatever you see on Amazon is there for a reason. It is a science. It is tailored for every user so that they keep spending their money. The listings are optimized to such a level that customers don’t even have to type what they’re looking for. You want a couch? How about these curtains that go with it? Or this rug that will uplift the look of your entire room? And just like that, the cart is full, and now the customers are hanging between guilt and fulfillment.
It’s not only the buyers who throng Amazon for convenience, for sellers, too, this is a land of opportunity. The place makes over $500 billion in a year. The pie is humongous for every seller to have an ample share. Amazon’s 300 million active users, plus the 2.2 billion who visit Amazon.com each month, are always looking for things to buy. Now if your products jump in front of them, then Boom! Jackpot.
Selling on Amazon
To bring your product up on Amazon, you first need to understand how the website lists products. Amazon uses a unique algorithm to determine the ranking of products in the search results. The latest iteration is the A10 algorithm. With this update, the customer’s convenience, which has always been Amazon’s priority, has become more paramount.
Research shows that the A10 algorithm takes customers straight to their desired products, bypassing any recommended or other search products in the process. It promotes sellers who are bringing new users to the site. The company also rewards sellers whose products generate more impressions or views and have high click-through and conversion rates.
Every product on the website must be relevant to what people want. Only then does it stands a chance to appear above the millions of other products in the same category. This doesn’t only mean adding keywords to the title. There are a host of other factors like product description, photography, categorization, conversion rate, reviews, and, most importantly, pricing.
The complete Amazon SEO guide
In this blog, we will delve deep into how to optimize these metrics and also let you in on a few secret tools that are not explored by many sellers.
The title, description, and details
Any product listing is nothing without its accompanying details. They are the first, and the most important piece of your entire Amazon SEO strategy. This part includes optimization of your titles and product descriptions.
Titles are the most basic element of a good Amazon listing. It’s common sense, right? After all, buyers, search for a product by putting up terms in the search box. How closely those terms relate to your products’ title will decide the placement of your product. The title must define your product’s brand, key features, and benefits.
Here’s a snapshot of the first result which appears when I search for ‘Sephora Eyeliner’
Look at the title. It has the brand’s name, the quantity, and a key feature, ‘liquid intense ink liner’.
Title length and composition
The recipe to craft the perfect title starts with staying within the character limit – 200, including spaces.
The first five words of the title are the most important, as Amazon uses them for your product’s URL. The link for the above Sephora eyeliner is amazon.com/Sephora-Collection-Eyeliner-Liquide-Intenese. Amazon’s other guidelines for ideal titles are:
- Don’t use special characters
- Don’t mention rewards like “free shipping” or “discount”
- Don’t use ALL CAPS, and capitalize each word of the title
- Use the number ‘2’ instead of two
- Don’t include the merchant’s name
Keywords are central to every Amazon SEO guide. The easiest way to do keyword research is by looking at other sellers’ listings and seeing what words they are targeting.
However, a more elaborate way to go about it is by benefitting from Amazon’s ample resources. One of them is the Amazon ASIN Lookup Tool. It is a hub of business intelligence to provide sellers with the data to improve their sales. ASIN, or Amazon Standard Identification Number, is a unique identifier of 10 letters and/or numbers for a product assigned by Amazon.com. No two products have the same ASIN
In this tool, sellers can enter the ASIN number of their products and get a list of high search volume and trending keywords in Amazon search ranking.
There are also several other tools for looking for ideal keywords to improve your Amazon ranking. My favorite among them is the Keyword Tool. It is a paid tool, but the in-depth information it provides makes every penny worth it. Other tools are Google Keyword Planner, Ahref’s keyword tool, SellerApp, and Keyword Inspector.
Bullet points and description
Ideal bullet points are clear, concise, and within the limit of 1000 characters. Relevant keywords can also be added here to optimize the product listing. Use the first bullet point to highlight the USP of your product. Second and third, to address questions that might be on people’s minds. Fourth, to state any offer, discount, or gift, and fifth, for telling the customers why buying from you will be convenient.
Search terms are there to stop you from keyword stuffing in the title. They are part of a product’s description to improve its discoverability. Search terms are optional, however, adding them can give a serious boost to your products.
Here, you can add generic words and synonyms for your product. For example, if you are selling electronic products, you can add synonyms like appliances or related terms like light bulbs, energy-efficient products, etc., in your search terms.
Product listings can also be optimized using Brand Content or A+ Content. Sellers registered with Amazon Brand Registry can benefit from Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) by using engaging multimedia, detailed product descriptions, and storytelling for a richer shopping experience.
According to Amazon statistics, more than two-thirds (68%) of Amazon sellers operate with profit margins higher than 10%. This is despite the fact that Amazon only allows the most competitive and the lowest price to sell on the platform.
Varun Soni, Amazon’s Product Manager for Pricing, said that Amazon ranking system considers a price as competitive if it is equal to or less than the product’s price offered by reputable retailers outside Amazon.
This price must include the cost of:
- Additional Product Cost for FBM – warehousing and shipping to customers
- Amazon Fees – commission and payment wiring
- Amazon Fees for FBA – storage, customer returns
- Miscellaneous Expenses – transportation, digital tools, employees
Amazon wants its customers to pay the lowest possible price, and it only offers its coveted Buy Box to sellers who help it achieve the goal. Buy Box is a place where your ‘Add to Cart’ and ‘Buy Now’ buttons appear. For sellers who don’t offer competitive prices, Amazon, under their listing, simply shows a list of sellers who are offering a lower price for the same product. So, if your price is not the lowest, you are not even in the game.
How to set competitive prices
Amazon sends out an email every time a price is uncompetitive. The email contains all ASINs that are not competitively priced. It means none of these products will have the Buy Box. Sellers will have to modify these prices to sell their products.
In Amazon Seller Centre, there is a Pricing Health Page under the Pricing tab. It has all the information a seller needs to competitively price their goods. It also mentions all products which have a higher price than other sellers.
Another tool is automating pricing. It allows retailers to update pricing in a fast and simpler way. Sellers only need to add their products to the tool, and their prices will be updated as soon as other sellers or retailers outside Amazon modify their prices. The tool is fully customizable, and sellers can set the limit for their listing’s lowest possible price.
Amazon also offers APIs for those who don’t frequently log into their Seller Central account. The Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS) APIs enable sellers to set prices through third-party repricing tools. It sends a notification anytime a price is changed for the top 20 offers on a particular ASIN.
One thing is that AWS APIs will not be available from March 31, 2024. So, if you are using MWS API, you must move to Selling Partner API (SP-API) to keep benefiting from the tool.
Use Amazon PPC to Rank Higher
According to experts, Amazon is giving more importance to PPC in its new A10 algorithm, allowing for more visibility and a better chance to convert into a sale. These products appear with a ‘Sponsored’ tag when a customer enters a related term in the search box and also in the competitor’s listings.
For example, in the below example, we typed the term ‘fit bit’ in the search box. In the listing, these products appeared with Sponsored tag, meaning that they have been advertised for the keyword. These ads are ideal to appear among the top listings for a particular keyword. In the image below, all listings
Amazon will only run your ads for the exact keyword. It is very precise and target oriented. Here, you can use your keyword research for title optimization. The trick is to find the most high-volume keywords that are also closely linked to your product.
Amazon will show a list of price ranges for all keywords. You have to bid for each keyword. The higher the bid is, the more chance a seller has to appear on the first search page.
No Amazon SEO guide is complete without image optimization. A good image is a make or break for buyers in deciding whether to buy or dump a product. Images are so important for products that Amazon has a set of guidelines and even style guides for sellers.
An optimized product image is one that matches the product title, and the product must cover at least 85% of the image. The image’s file names must include the product identifier or ASIN number. Amazon strictly forbids text, borders, logos, mannequins, insets, and watermarks in images.
For every listing, a seller can upload one main product image and up to eight supporting images. The supporting images can also include a video. Text and product features can be added to supporting images.
Get Positive Reviews
Every online seller is hungry for reviews. Numbers show that approximately 95% of consumers read product reviews before buying on Amazon. Sellers can leverage this important tool to improve their authenticity. Thus it becomes vital when doing SEO for Amazon products.
Brands enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry can use the in-built tool to review, track and reply to reviews. Sellers can log in to their accounts and hover over the Brands tab. Click on Build Your Brand and select Customer Reviews. This will display all reviews on your products in chronological order.
There are also ways to seek customer reviews. For example, SellerApp has a Chrome extension that allows sellers to ask customers for reviews.
We hope this Amazon SEO guide would have helped you as the competition is stiff, and rules tight. There are tons of things that go into a brand listing that appears on the first page or even the first product. It is a process that never stops because Amazon never stops innovating. To sell more, your listings must be fully optimized not only in accordance with the customer’s needs but also with algorithm requirements. This will be decided whether you’re among the top sellers or just one of the millions already on the platform.