Amazon SEO 101
Learn how the effective use of Amazon SEO can make a big difference when you're striving to increase views and sales on this online shopping platform.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a key part of any e-commerce business. That’s true whether you operate a small website selling a specific product or you sell hundreds of products on a major platform like Amazon. In total, Amazon sells more than 12 million products at any given time, and there are more than 90 million Amazon Prime members. That means a huge audience but also plenty of competition.
So how can you and your business stand out from the crowd? To start, make sure you’re familiar with Amazon SEO and some of the most important Amazon best practices. This guide can give you the inside scoop on how to become a top seller on Amazon and how to make your SEO content more effective when shoppers are searching for related products.
The Amazon Algorithm
To better understand Amazon SEO, you have to understand what Amazon is and how it operates. Most people will say that Amazon is an international corporation or a huge online retailer. While that’s all true, it is also, first and foremost, a search engine. Just like Google, it allows users to search for something, and Amazon then aims to deliver the most relevant products in order to make a sale. Also like Google, Amazon operates according to an algorithm.
More specifically, Amazon operates according to the A9 algorithm. It works by categorizing each and every product in the Amazon database according to a variety of factors. Then, it delivers the results it believes will be most relevant for shoppers. A9 is getting more and more accurate every day, going so far as to second-guess spelling mistakes and recommending other products it thinks shoppers will like.
If you want to improve your Amazon SEO, it’s important to recognize this algorithm. There are no tricks or secrets here because the only way to organically improve your Amazon SEO is to have products that people are searching for. The algorithm can’t be bribed or manipulated. In order to boost your sales, you need to tailor your listings so that they appear on the first page of search results when users look for similar products.
Optimize Your Listing Title
Amazon’s algorithm looks at multiple aspects of your product listing when deciding where you should rank in search results. Sales, of course, play a big role, with the most popular items making it to the top of the list. In addition, Amazon SEO is about finding shoppers the specific product they are looking for. That means matching a user’s search term to the closest possible listing. The first place that Amazon’s algorithm will look for that match is in your listing title.
Knowing that, you might strive to create the longest possible listing title, using as many words as will fit. Keep in mind that typically, your listing title will only be able to include 115-140 characters in the organic search results page. Any longer, and the characters won’t be visible or won’t be classified and count toward your Amazon SEO ranking. The exception to the rule is sponsored listings, which are allowed to have longer listing titles.
When creating your listing title, a recommended practice is to lead with the brand name. This is even more true if the product is manufactured by a leading, globally recognized brand. Next, add descriptive words that accurately sum up what the product is. Specify color, if that is relevant, as well as size or capability. Ultimately, what keywords you include will depend on the item you’re selling. Listing the color of a hairdryer or a suitcase would be important, but listing the color of a printer cable is probably a lot less important than the length of the cable itself.
While you want to include as many relevant keywords as will fit into the listing title, don’t keyword stuff. Shoppers and search engines can recognize this, and it will ultimately backfire.
Finally, consider adding special characters to your listing title. Characters like – and & can save on valuable character space and create more visual interest when shoppers are scanning.
Finding and Using Relevant Long-Tail Keywords to Improve Amazon SEO
Approximately 70% of customer searches on Amazon are for long-tail keywords. Think briefly about how you would use Amazon. If you’re searching for a new watch, would you simply type the word “watch” into the search bar? Probably not. You’re far more likely to look for something specific like, “women’s waterproof watch,” or “men’s Timex watch”. Guide yourself and your listings in the same way by coming up with a variety of long-tail keywords to use throughout your listing.
You might already have an idea of the types of long-tail keywords that people are using to find your listing, and that’s certainly a great place to start. However, it’s worth exploring a few programs that can help you narrow down the ideal keywords to boost your Amazon SEO. A free Amazon keyword tool like Sonar or Keyword Tool can help you generate more effective long-tail keywords. These tools will also show you how often certain keywords are searched for. Keep in mind that unless you’re a major corporation selling a highly specific, sought-after item, specificity is smart. A more detailed keyword means shoppers who find you are already looking for the exact product you’re selling, which can go a long way in increasing conversions and sales.
The Value of a Photo
The key to getting your listing on the first or second Amazon search results page is having the right keywords. However, that’s not where the work ends. Once a shopper has seen your listing, you’re far more likely to make a purchase. Beyond price and product specifics, however, how can you stand out from the competition?
Most shoppers start their analysis of a product by looking at the photo. That’s why your Amazon listing will be more successful if you have clear, accurate and professional photos. Not only do clear photos represent your product well, but they can also enhance your brand image and reputability.
Check Out Your Competition
Copying the keywords and product description from your competitors is never a good idea. You should strive to come up with tailored, specific keywords and content that sets your brand and your products apart. That being said, it is smart to take a look at what your competition is doing well.
Start by searching on Amazon for your product like a shopper would. Then, see what types of products appear before yours in the results page. How does the number one product on the page differ from yours? If price and shipping speed are the same, and if reviews are equal, it might be the content that pushes one product ahead of another.
Your competitors might have well-written product descriptions or a catchy, effective product listing. Or, they may have a bullet point list that truly tells a story and encourages shoppers to put an item in their cart and make that final purchase. Seeing what others do well can motivate you to take the same steps and improve your listings so that they appeal to more Amazon shoppers.
Put Together Bullet Point Benefits
Once you’ve gathered your long-tail keywords, they need to be integrated into the content of your listing. While including some of these keywords in the listing title might be helpful, there are also other ways do incorporate them into the product description. Many of the most successful Amazon product listings have benefits and specifications listed out using bullet points. This is quick and easy to scan, and it highlights some of the most impressive features of the product.
The length of each bullet point is up to you, but it can vary from a sentence fragment of four to five words all the way up to a short paragraph with two full sentences. This is a key part of the listing where you can organically add long-tail keywords so that they will appear in Amazon searches. Having a great writer on your Amazon SEO team is always helpful, but especially when it comes to putting together your bullet point product details. You want each bullet point to appear natural and still offer SEO benefits. After reading through this list, shoppers should know all about the product you’re selling and have most of their basic questions answered.
Tell a Story With Your Product Description
A lot of businesses discount the value of a great product description. Since an Amazon listing’s product description is farther down the page, it isn’t the first or even second thing that shoppers see. Nonetheless, it is critical to both Amazon SEO and completing sales.
A product description is a bit of a misnomer. By the time the shopper has made their way to the product description portion of the page, they probably know all about the product already. They have read the listing title, seen the photo and browsed the bullet points describing the product’s key features. Therefore, the product description is about telling a story.
The product description can and should still include relevant long-tail keywords but only in an organic, easy-to-read way. More importantly, it should be the final word on why a shopper should buy the Amazon product in question. You might explain how the product can make your food taste better, help you appear more confident or save you time in the morning. It should explore ways that the product can help buyers, and it should be a story that shoppers believe. Be specific and detail how this product can add value to someone’s life.
Even if you’ve got an incredible product listed on Amazon, it won’t necessarily be successful. The key to more sales is integrating effective Amazon SEO right into your content. Great writing can seamlessly blend keywords into convincing content in order to increase sales and be seen by more shoppers.
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