AMAZON SEOSEO optimisation guide on Amazon
Why is it important to do SEO on Amazon?
Nowadays, more and more users search for products to buy directly on Amazon. For this reason, it is important to carry out those actions that can guarantee your product’s top positions in the search results on Amazon. Emphasizing the difference with Google Search Engine Optimization, we will see below which aspects should be optimized for Amazon SEO and which are part of the ranking factors of the Amazon algorithm.
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Amazon Strategic Positioning
Doing SEO on Amazon is about positioning yourself and making your products visible.
It is crucial to optimize product listings so that they are displayed at the top of search results with respect to relevant keywords. If products are well-optimized for SEO, they will climb the rankings, increase visibility and sell more.
Just like on Google, on Amazon users enter a keyword to find what they are looking for and click on the first results, rarely visiting the second or third product page. So, the higher you are in the rankings, the more you sell.
If you want to start being successful on this platform, you should take a look at our course on Selling with Amazon.
How does Amazon SEO work? Amazon indexes products through two basic steps :
- First, relevant results are filtered according to the user’s search query. (The product should contain all the keywords of the query, for it to appear in the search results).
- Next, the results are filtered according to the probability of purchase for the remaining products and the ranking in a specific order, based on performance.
Performance is measured by CTR (Click-Through Rate), CR (Conversion Rate on the product page), and especially sales. These are very important KPIs for Amazon SEO: the better the CTR, CR, and sales for a specific keyword, the higher your product will be in the rankings.
To increase product performance you need to optimize multiple aspects, such as images, title and description copy, review management, and Amazon PPC (Pay-Per-Click). These steps will improve your product rankings through an effective Amazon SEO strategy, and help you sell on Bezos’ platform more effectively.
Amazon SEO has to deal with an algorithm called “A9“, named after the company that handles SEO for Amazon. There are millions of products to choose from, and most of the time users perform millions of search queries per month on Amazon website.
For each individual query, the algorithm has to decide in a few thousandths of a second which of the hundreds of millions of products it will show in 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, etc.
Since Amazon searches are usually transactional, the A9 Amazon algorithm considers two factors:
These aspects are divided into sub-categories of direct and indirect factors, which combine user searches with potentially purchasable products.
The moment the customer finds your product and finds it relevant, they are likely to buy it. The more users click and buy the product, the more Amazon SEO will reward them. The higher your product rankings, the more people will buy it. This process will improve your rankings and also allow you to invest more resources in marketing initiatives to drive your sales.
This triggers a positive circle, in which rankings, sales, and marketing initiatives are self-propelled, which will improve your position and sales.
Amazon SEO vs. Google SEO
What differentiates SEO for Amazon from that for Google is mainly the search intent of the respective users.
On Amazon, users mainly have one goal, the purchase; on Google, search goals can be multiple and the purchase of a product is only one of them.
In fact, Google provides four different types of search queries:
When a user searches for “Dyson” on Google, it is not clear what they are looking for: they might want to buy a Dyson Hoover, but they might also need information or an image for an article or presentation.
On Amazon, in most cases, the intent behind the search query is the purchase of the product.
The basic logic of Amazon SEO is that retailers need Amazon because they want to sell. Amazon, in turn, wants to generate revenue because its turnover only grows with sales (retaining a 15% commission).
Thus, all three parties involved (buyers, sellers, Amazon) have the sole objective of completing a transaction.
Bezos’ company, therefore, created an algorithm that increases the number of transactions. As a result, Amazon ranks the product that is most likely to be purchased in 1st place, the second product in 2nd place, and so on, for each search query. Thus, all products must be ranked by Amazon according to the probability of purchase.
But how to determine the probability of purchase?
There are thousands of products and thousands of search queries and the probability of purchase varies for each search query. For example, a Dyson Hoover might have a very high probability of purchase for the search query “Dyson”, but the same product will have a much lower probability of purchase for the query “Hoover”.
So, how to rank on Amazon? The algorithm must determine the probability of purchase not only for each product but by a combination of product and search queries.
Amazon SEO optimisation
How to do SEO on Amazon?
It is necessary to optimize content with copy techniques and product images to improve CTR and CR. In this way, any PPC campaigns or other marketing measures that generate traffic to a product page will be more successful if the product has been optimized at its core.
Therefore, optimizing product cards should always be the first step to improving Amazon’s ranking, a basic prerequisite for earning money by selling on Amazon.
Optimization of product page copy for Amazon SEO must cover the following aspects.
- can contain 115/144 characters in organic results, i.e. not sponsored;
- must include the brand name;
- must include the main function of the product;
- must contain an essential ingredient or material;
- specify color and size;
- should not be filled with keywords, it is an example of Amazon SEO black hat.
List points, also known as “Attributes”:
- you may enter a maximum of 200 characters per bullet point;
- use them to describe the product’s main features and advantages;
- always links functionality to customer benefits;
- insert a bullet point advantage for better readability;
- remember that in the mobile view, only the first 3 Amazon listing points are visible.
Categories serve to contextualize the product and increase its relevance, so it is important to place the product in relevant categories. A useful Amazon SEO move is to place the product under several relevant categories: this increases the chances of ranking the product with more search queries.
The description gives useful information to the customer, so this is the place to be detailed and persuasive, and also where to insert keywords essential for SEO on Amazon.
- provide as much additional information as possible;
- tells a story about the product;
- make it easy to read (maximum 3 lines per paragraph).
- do not duplicate bullet points, it is a practice of Amazon’s negative SEO;
Further product information:
- provide as much information as possible in the respective additional fields: Amazon’s search filters use this product information and can increase visibility;
- be sure to follow the Amazon Style Guides according to the category of your product: disobeying Amazon’s rules may suppress the product.
In terms of Amazon SEO, attractive and high-quality product images are very important for the ranking of a product, as they help to improve product performance.
This is done on the basis of 2 steps:
It should be pointed out that the inclusion of high-resolution eye-catching images is not directly responsible for increasing sales: they only serve to increase the CR and CTR, the parameters that improve Amazon’s ranking.
The images to be included must comply with certain basic technical requirements, otherwise, the images or the entire product will be deleted:
- permitted formats are JPEG (preferred), TIFF, PNG, and GIF;
- the color model is RGB;
- the resolution is a minimum of 72 dpi;
- the minimum size is 1000×500 px: this is the only way to activate the zoom.
- extended options: 360° view and video of the product; additional requirements exist for the categories “Clothing” and “Shoes and Bags”.
The main image appears in the search results (and on the product page), so the quality of the main image is responsible for the number of clicks leading to your product (CTR), thus crucial in terms of SEO on Amazon.
It is essential that the main image shows the product attractively, highlights the USP (Unique Selling Proposition), and facilitates product recognition (the product should fill a large area of the image).
To choose the best main image, consider conducting A/B tests, and comparing the respective CTRs obtained.
To do this, you can also use Amazon Sponsored Products campaigns (i.e. products sold with advertisements displayed in search results and on product pages) as they will allow you to accurately measure your CTRs, even for specific keywords: this will give you more accurate Amazon SEO analytics data.
The main images must also meet certain requirements:
- the image must contain only the main product, without accessories or props;
- the background should be pure white (RBG code is 255, 255);
- The product must fill 85-100% of the image area;
- The product must be fully visible;
- the main image must not contain text, graphics, or illustrations (only allowed in additional images).
Additional images serve to provide important information your customer requires to make an informed purchasing decision and to show the benefits and USPs of your product. In contrast to the main image, these allow you to add additional depth and perspective, with various props.
For an effective Amazon SEO, you need to emphasize several aspects, depending on the product. These features are encapsulated in the photographic technique known as “still life”, dedicated to shooting the product catalog for e-commerce.
Advanced Amazon branded content and A+ content are additional options for sellers and branded sellers respectively. Thanks to various layouts and a text editor, you can create eye-catching text and images that can significantly improve the visual appearance of your product description page.
According to Amazon SEO, advanced content can improve sales by 3-10% through higher CR.
The benefits of advanced content are manifold:
- tell the story of the product with more accurate pictures and descriptions;
- Telling your brand story enables you to connect with buyers and improve Brand Awareness;
- Using comparative graphs helps users discover more products and make more informed decisions. Thus, the possibility of users being distracted and diverted by competitor products is also reduced.
Advanced branded content is free for sellers, but must be registered with Amazon and requires a professional sales plan to be used, but it is worth considering this option for an Amazon SEO strategy that works.
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Amazon SEO keywords
To do SEO on Amazon, choose the right keywords. This way your products will appear in search results, which is not at all a given. These are some of the techniques for doing this:
- Amazon’s auto-completion in the search box (like Google) is a valuable source of keywords since it is based on real searches made by customers.
- Analyzing your competitors’ advertisements helps you find relevant terms;
- looking at reviews of competitor products or your own similar products helps you discover the exact terms used by buyers to describe your product.
Since a product page must contain the relevant keyword for it to be displayed in search results, the basic rule for Amazon SEO keywords is to include all important keywords in the tab.
Where to place the keywords found? Amazon’s A9 algorithm examines terms in various fields on the page to determine whether the product can be displayed for the buyer’s search term. If your product can be displayed in the search results for a specific keyword, the product is indexed for this keyword. So, it does not matter where you put your keywords, as long as they are in an indexed field (Title, Subtitle, Description, Category, User Comments, and Reviews).
To optimize the use of keywords in the product file, follow these steps:
- Enter backend keywords, also known as “search terms”, as much as possible. Since these are “hidden” keywords that can only be used in the backend section of the Amazon seller account. Just like Google’s meta tags, their function is to tell Amazon’s A9 algorithm about a specific product listing that targets a specific keyword. These backend keywords used to be entered in 5 indexed fields; after the 2018 algorithm update, the field became single, probably to avoid search term abuse, with a limit of 249 bytes (including spaces and punctuation).
Again, certain rules must be observed:
- do not repeat any words;
- avoid inverted commas as they limit the number of characters;
- do not include many variations of the same word;
- include spelling variations and synonyms;
- use spaces or a comma or semicolon to separate backend keywords.
- Insert the remaining keywords into the product content (e.g. title, bullet points, product description), always keeping readability and user experience in mind. It is not necessary to add the keywords already used in the backend to the product page content. In Amazon’s SEO strategy, repeating keywords in different positions doesn’t have any effect on ranking.
- Fill in the additional fields per product by entering keywords as well, as they can improve the visibility of products through search filters.
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Once the optimization is complete, the work does not end, quite the contrary. Amazon SEO optimization must be constant and continuous in order to maximize success. In general, you need to always keep an eye on your product listing this will help you make sure that it is up-to-date and has never been hijacked. Below are some aspects that will improve your rankings if optimized continuously.
Reviews are crucial for Amazon SEO as they increase performance and give useful information to the user.
The more positive the reviews, the better the performance. Therefore, the number of product reviews and the review score (star rating) must be considered. To increase the number of reviews and the rating, it is useful to interact regularly with your reviews, even commenting on negative customer reviews. This also helps you keep your conversion rate high for future customers.
Another thing to do is to answer customer questions: in this way, you will also improve the information content of the product page, questions often indicate more significant information gaps that can be added to the description.
Amazon Sponsored Ads are governed by relevance: Amazon only displays your ad if your product page also contains your targeted keyword.
Therefore, PPC campaigns can only work if you have first carried out a thorough Amazon SEO optimization of your product file for relevant keywords. The organic ranking of a product is totally dependent on its performance, in particular on how well it sells. This also applies to sales from
Amazon PPC, unlike Google Ads, where organic and paid results are clearly separated.
Higher sales due to PPC improves overall product performance and, in return, organic ranking as well. This mechanism is useful for improving the organic visibility of new products, a process that would otherwise take much longer.
Cheap products are not particularly favored by Amazon SEO A9. This means that it is not necessary to have the cheapest product around to be successful. The price must obviously be competitive as it will influence:
- CTR in search results: customers compare prices with other products in search results;
- CR and sales on the product page: your price corresponds to your target audience, product quality, brand, etc. To obtain a good CR it would be useful to do A/B tests with different prices and compare the results in terms of performance.
The use of external traffic is a valid Amazon SEO strategy: you can direct customers from sites outside your product to Amazon to create traffic and increase sales. This is a good reason to send traffic to Amazon instead of to your online shop. Useful landing pages can be a product page, a product selection page, or Amazon Store. Some ways to do this:
- paid advertising (Google Ads, Facebook Ads);
- newsletter/ e-mail;
- Content Marketing/ Influencer marketing (promote your product on blogs, YouTube, forums, etc.);
- Social media (company or brand pages);
- YouTube marketing.
Shipping and FBA
The operation of logistics also affects Amazon’s positioning. Amazon FBA (Fullfilment by Amazon) is a service that Bezos’ company offers the seller, taking care of inventory management, storage of goods, shipping, packaging, after-sales service, and customer service instead.
The Amazon SEO FBA can be very advantageous because only with this service is your product available for Prime shipping. Only with Prime shipping will you realize a significant number of sales, thanks to the ever-increasing number of Prime members. Unless you have the Prime label, Prime members are unlikely to click on your product, since the label already appears in the search results.
Running out of stock could damage your rankings, depending on how long you are out of stock and how the situation is handled. The longer you are out of stock, the more likely you suffer a significant drop in rankings. In this case, here are a couple of suggestions:
- do not increase prices: this will damage your CTR, CR, and sales and thus your rankings;
- after product inventory has been replenished, use Amazon Advertising to generate sales and increase your rankings again.
If you are interested in discovering the world of online sales, download the free e-book and find out what an E-commerce Manager should have.
Amazon SEO tools
There are numerous Amazon SEO tools that can help you with the most important optimization tasks. Here are some of them.
Sonar is a free keyword research tool designed for Amazon with a database of millions of real Amazon search queries. This tool also shows the Amazon search volume for each of the keywords. It is also possible to search terms selectively for each European Amazon market.
Sellics is Amazon’s seller platform, including Sonar, which offers all the Amazon SEO tools you need:
- checking the product sheet,
- intuitive optimization of listings,
- keyword optimization for better organic visibility
- positioning tracker.
With the all-in-one tool, Sellics includes even more functionality for the entire Amazon business, such as review management, Amazon PPC management and automation, sales and profit analysis, and more.
Other very useful tools for optimization are Helium 10 which helps to choose keywords for Amazon; Xsellco, which allows you to keep an eye on competitors’ prices; Unicorn Smasher is a free Chrome extension that allows you to analyze the performance of sellers; Merchantword is a tool that allows you to analyze the keywords with which products are searched, including also related keywords and synonyms; Sellerblass Ignite is an app for managing promotions.
With the right strategy, you will see your results improve more and more. In fact, strategic keyword research increases visibility; increased visibility together with excellent product titles increases clicks; more clicks and detailed, eye-catching product pages produce more conversions; more conversions produce improved rankings, which in turn increase sales, which in turn increase profit.
With these steps, your Amazon SEO strategy will bring maximum results!
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