Do you know what happens to the product listings that get stuck on the second or third page of Amazon search results? They get buried and forgotten.
It’s the same with Amazon. Unless you’ve invested in paid advertising, the only way to get your products in front of Amazon shoppers is by organically ranking high in Amazon’s search results.
The good news is that Amazon SEO isn’t rocket science. Today, in this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about Amazon SEO and how to optimise your product listings for Amazon’s search engine.
What’s Amazon SEO?
Simply put, Amazon SEO is the process of optimising your product listings for Amazon’s search engine. The goal of Amazon SEO is to rank higher in Amazon’s search results and get more exposure for your products.
To rank higher in Amazon’s search results, you need to optimise your product listings for the right keywords. When Amazon shoppers search for these keywords, your product listing will appear in the search results.
How Does It Work?
Amazon prides itself on having one of the most customer-centric search engines. In other words, their algorithm is designed to show shoppers the most relevant and best-selling products for their search.
It’s not about outsmarting Amazon’s algorithm but making your product listings as relevant and high-quality as possible.
You need to optimise your product listings for the right keywords. When Amazon shoppers search for these keywords, your product listing should be among the results that show at the top.
The Amazon algorithm matches the search term the customer enters with the keywords in the product listings to show the right products to the right shoppers.
From the Customers Point of View:
Everything begins with Amazon’s search bar.
Customers enter the keywords (also called search terms) related to the product they’re looking for.
Amazon’s algorithm displays a list of products relevant to the customer’s search based on these keywords.
The algorithm also considers the customer’s purchase history and browsing behaviour to show the most relevant results.
To make sure your product appears in the search results, you need to optimise your listing for the right keywords.
The first page only shows 15 to 16 products. So, to increase your chances of getting seen by shoppers, you need to make sure your product appears on the first page of Amazon’s search results.
Take note of the search filters on the left-hand side of the page. These filters help shoppers narrow their listings further based on:
- Free shipping
- Next day delivery
- And more
The algorithm also considers these factors when determining which products to show shoppers.
Other filters include material, colour, size, style, and more. You can use all these filters to guide your listings, like using the right keywords, title, image, and description.
Remember, Amazon isn’t seeing your product. It relies on the information you give it to show your product to the right shoppers.
Your product title, image, and description play a crucial role in getting your products seen by Amazon shoppers.
From the Seller’s Point of View:
As a seller, you need to ensure your product appears in the search results when Amazon shoppers search for the right keywords.
You need to optimise your product listings for the right keywords to do this.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Do keyword research: The first step is to determine which keywords your target customers use to search for products like yours.
- Optimise your product title: Once you’ve found the right keywords, it’s time to optimise your product title.
Your product title is one of the most critical elements of your listing, so you must get it right.
Include your target keywords in your product title, but be careful not to overstuff them. That will just make your title look spammy. It also won’t do anything for your ranking.
- Optimise your product image: The next step is to optimise your product image.
Your product image is the first thing shoppers will see when they come across your listing, so focus on making a good impression.
Ensure your product image is high-quality and shows your product in the best light possible. You also want to include relevant keywords in the image file name and alt text.
- Optimise your product description: Next, optimise your product description.
Your product description is your chance to sell your product to shoppers and tell them why they need it.
The description should have all the relevant keywords, but it should also be well-written and persuasive.
- Optimise your backend keywords: Optimise your listing for other factors: In addition to optimising your listing for the right keywords, you also need to optimise it for other factors.
That includes your product price, customer reviews, seller feedback, etc.
These are all important factors that Amazon’s algorithm considers when determining which products to show shoppers.
How to Optimise Your Product Listings for Amazon SEO: Step by Step Guide
Amazon SEO isn’t as simple as adding a few keywords to your listings and calling it a day.
In this section, we’ll go over the step-by-step guide to optimising your product listing for Amazon SEO:
Amazon SEO Pre-optimization
It helps to do some pre-optimisation before you do anything with your product listing.
By pre-optimisation, we mean taking your time to lay the groundwork. Understand who you’re trying to sell to and what search terms they’ll be using.
The idea is to wear the customer’s mind. You want to be in their shoes, trying to find your product. Only then will you be able to create a listing that’s optimised for Amazon SEO.
It also helps to know your competitors and what they’re doing to optimise their product listings. You want to understand what they’re doing on their end to beat them in their own game and stay ahead of the competition.
Anyway, enough with the chit-chat. Let’s get into the pre-optimisation process:
Before you begin optimising your listing, do some competitor analysis.
You want to know who you’re up against and what they’re doing to optimise their product listings. Only then will you be able to create a listing that’s better than theirs.
See what products they’re selling, what keywords they’re targeting, what’s working for them, and their unique selling point.
You can use some of the information you collect from them in your own product listings.
You also want to look for holes in the market. Find products that are selling well but don’t have too many listings. These are the products you want to be selling.
Here are the questions you want to ask yourself when doing your competitor analysis:
- Does your product have a unique selling point? What’s that critical feature that your competition doesn’t have? Does it have more colourways or more improved technical features?
- If your competitors’ products are similar, what benefits or features are they not honing on that you could leverage or use to tap into a new market?
- What kind of language are your competitors using in their product titles and descriptions?
- Which products are selling well for them? Do they have a lot of positive reviews? Why do you think that is?
- What percentage of the market do your competitors have? Is one of the competitors leading the pack, or are they all fairly even? Suppose one of the competitors is leading the pack. In that case, you need to figure out a major pivot in your marketing strategy because going head-to-head with a competitor with a lot more resources will not be an effective use of your time and resources.
- If you were a customer, would you buy their product? Why or why not?
- What keywords are they targeting that you’re not? What keywords are they running their ads for? If a successful competitor is running ads for a keyword that you’re not, then that’s a keyword you want to be targeting.
- What types of images are they using? Are their pictures professional or amateurish? What about their infographics or charts?
- What types of videos do they have? If they have videos, are they promoting them on their product listing or YouTube, or anywhere else?
- How often are they updating their product listings? Are they making small changes or drastic ones?
You can use Amazon’s search engine to do your competitor analysis. Just type in a keyword related to your product and see who shows up.
You can also use Google’s keyword planner tool to get an idea of the search volume for specific keywords and how much competition there is for those keywords.
Create Target Audiences and Buyer Personas
Your target audience is everything. It’s who you’re making the product for and who you’re selling it to.
You need to know your target audience inside and out. You need to know their demographics, interests, needs, wants, and pain points.
Creating target audiences and buyer personas is a process that will help you understand your target audience better.
A reasonably accurate buyer persona makes everything downstream easier. Everything becomes more focused when you have a well-defined target audience, from the product you create to the copy you write.
To create a product listing that speaks to your target audience, you need to determine the following:
- Who exactly will you be selling to (demographic)
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What do they care about?
- Why should they trust you?
- What information do they need to know?
Answering these questions will set you off to a good start.
You need to know as much as you can about your target audience to be able to speak to them directly in your product listing.
Do your research and create buyer personas for each audience segment.
Buyer personas are a critical part of Amazon SEO because they inform your writing, descriptions, the photos to include on your product listing, and the keywords to target.
When developing your audience personas, you might have multiple buyer personas for a single product.
And that’s okay. In fact, it’s great because you can then segment your listing and speak directly to each persona in their own language.
For example, let’s say you sell running shoes. You might have four different runner personas: the beginner runner, the experienced runner, the marathon runner, and the triathlete.
Each persona has different needs, different wants, and different concerns. And each one will be looking for different information on your product listing.
The beginner runner will want to know things like:
- How easy is it to use?
- What are the features?
- What are the benefits?
- And how does it compare to other products?
The experienced runner will want to know:
- Has this product been tested in a marathon?
- What are the specific features that make this product suitable for running?
- What do other experienced runners think of it?
The marathon runner will want to know:
- Can this help me run a marathon faster?
- What are the key features that will help me in a race?
- How does this product compare to other products?
The triathlete will want to know:
- Do I need this product?
- What are the key features?
- How does this product compare to other products?
As you can see, each persona is looking for different information. And if you want to rank for their keywords, you need to include that information on your product listing.
Pro Tip: Look at other similar products your customers buy. See how they talk, what language they use, and their concerns. You can even reach out to them and ask them questions.
This will give you a good idea of how to write your product listing so it speaks directly to that particular audience group.
Strategic Keyword Research
There’s no SEO without keywords. It’s that simple.
You need to know what keywords you’re targeting before writing your product listing. And it would also be best to make sure those keywords are included throughout your listing, from the title to the description to the backend keywords.
Keyword research is finding the right keywords to target for your product.
There are a few different ways to go about this:
Use Amazon’s suggested keywords
Look at what keywords your competitors are targeting and use keyword research tools.
Let’s take a closer look at each method.
Amazon’s Suggested Keywords
One of the easiest ways to find keywords is to let Amazon do the work for you. Amazon has a “Suggested Keywords” tool that gives you ideas for the keywords to target based on your product listing.
Simply go to Amazon and start typing in a keyword related to your product to use this tool. Amazon will then suggest similar keywords that you can target.
For example, let’s say you sell large umbrellas. When you start typing in “large umbrellas,” Amazon will suggest a few similar keywords, like “large umbrellas for rain,” “large umbrella for patio,” and “large umbrella stand.”
Do this with different variations of the keyword to get even more ideas.
That’s not all. After that, you want to go to some of the top listings in Amazon results and see what keywords they are targeting.
Note the keywords you see in their titles and product descriptions. These are most likely the keywords they are targeting.
In the example above, the listing targets black umbrellas, umbrellas for rain, compact umbrellas, windproof umbrellas, and automatic umbrellas.
You’ll be amazed at how many keywords you can find just by looking at the top listings in your niche.
Keyword Research Tools
Another way to find keywords is to use keyword research tools.
Options abound, but my personal favourite is Merchant Words.
Merchant Words is a tool that allows you to see the search volume for different keywords on Amazon.
To use the tool, simply enter keywords related to your product. Merchant Words will then show you how many people search for that keyword every month.
You can also use the tool to see what keywords your competitors are targeting.
Simply enter your competitor’s ASIN (their product’s unique identifier on Amazon) to do this. Merchant Words will then show you all the keywords they are targeting.
That is a great way to find new keywords to target.
Another tool you can use is KW Finder. This tool allows you to see different search volumes and difficulties for different keywords.
The difficulty measures how hard it will be to rank for a particular keyword. The higher the difficulty, the harder it will be to rank.
You want to focus on keywords with a high search volume and low difficulty. These are the keywords that will be most worth your time to target.
That said, here are a handful of nuances to pay attention to when choosing the keywords to target:
- Never re-use a keyword in your product listing. Instead, decide whether to place it in your product title, description, or backend. Nothing good will come out of keyword stuffing (in our case, adding one keyword in more than one place).
- Amazon covers common misspellings for most popular keywords, so don’t worry about them.
- Create a variation listing to target a single keyword with multiple products. That’s where you create a slightly different listing for each keyword you wish to target while still selling the same product.
For example, let’s say you sell umbrellas. You could create a listing for “large umbrellas,” “big umbrellas,” and “oversized umbrellas.” These listings would be for the same product, but each would target a different keyword.
- Compound words such as dog house vs. doghouse will have different search results, so be sure to target both or use the correct spelling.
- If you’re selling a product in different colours, create a variation listing for each colour.
For example, if you sell umbrellas that come in black and white, you could create two listings: one for “black umbrellas” and one for “white umbrellas.”
- Capitalisation, umlauts, and accents aren’t necessary when doing your keyword research, but you can include them if you want to be extra.
For example, “iPhone 6s Plus cases” and “iPhone 6s plus cases” are both valid keywords serving the same results.
Note: it’s always wise to test your keywords before committing to them. Play around with different variations to see what gets the best results.
Now that you know how to find keywords, it’s time to track them.
You’ll need to sign up for a tool called Jungle Scout or Helium 10.
Jungle Scout is a tool that allows you to track your ranking for different keywords on Amazon.
It’s the same idea as Google Analytics, but for Amazon.
Both Jungle Scout and Helium 10 offer keyword tracker tools.
I prefer Jungle Scout because it’s a bit easier to use, but both tools work just fine.
To get started with Jungle Scout, simply create an account and add your product listings.
The idea is to discover which keywords are working and which ones aren’t.
This way, you can make the necessary changes to your listing to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your SEO effort.
If you notice a drop or decline in your keyword performance, you can quickly change your listing before it’s too late.
You can even use the tool to compare search volumes for different keywords.
You can see which keywords are being searched the most and make sure you’re targeting them in your listing.
You must be wondering what does price has to do with Amazon SEO?
It turns out that pricing plays a crucial role in Amazon SEO.
You see, Amazon is all about giving the best customer experience.
And one of the main factors affecting customer experience is price.
If you want to rank higher on Amazon, you must ensure that you’re offering a competitive price.
There are two steps in price settings:
Determine What the Market Allows
Find out what the market is willing to pay for your product.
The best way to do this is to look at your competitor’s listings and see what they’re charging.
Once you know what the market is willing to pay, you can set your price accordingly.
Figure Out What You Can Afford to Price Your Products and Make a Profit
The next step is to figure out what you can afford to price your product.
You need to make sure that you’re making a profit on each sale.
To do this, simply calculate your costs and then add a reasonable profit margin.
Once you have your final number, you can set your price accordingly.
If your competitors have bottom-of-the-barrel prices, you may need to consider if the market is worth entering.
You may have to demonstrate that you have a far more superior product worth a higher price in such a case.
The general rule of thumb is that your product must be priced 3 to 4 times the amount you paid for it to be considered profitable. That leaves you with a lot of wiggle space to cover your other costs like shipping, storage, and marketing.
Reviews and Ratings
Another important ranking factor on Amazon is reviews and ratings.
Customers trust reviews and ratings more than anything else when making a purchase decision.
That’s why it’s so important to have positive reviews and ratings on your listing.
There are a few things you can do to encourage customers to leave positive reviews and ratings:
- Provide excellent customer service – This is the most important thing you can do to encourage positive reviews and ratings.
- Make sure you’re providing an outstanding customer experience from start to finish.
- That includes everything from shipping to customer service.
- The better your customer service, the more likely customers will leave positive reviews and ratings.
Another thing you can do to rank higher on Amazon is to focus on brand building.
That means creating a strong and recognizable brand that customers can trust.
There are a few things you can do to build your brand:
Use high-quality images – Make sure you’re using high-quality images on your listing.
That includes your product photos as well as your logo.
Use a consistent colour scheme — use a consistent colour scheme on your listing and across all your marketing materials.
That will help customers easily recognize your brand.
Focus on creating a unique selling proposition – What makes your product different from the competition?
Make sure you’re highlighting this on your listing.
Registered brands on Amazon get a lot of product listing perks that unregistered brands don’t have. It, however, requires a trademark.
And since trademarks take a while to get, it’s totally worth it, especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
On-Page SEO for Amazon Product Listings
After pre-optimization, it’s time to move on to on-page optimization.
That’s where you’ll optimize your listing for the Amazon search algorithm.
It’s where you’ll put all the background information Amazon needs to rank your listing into action.
Amazon SEO encompasses five key things:
- Backend keywords
- Product bullet points
- Reviews and question and answer
- Product description (A+ content)
To rank on Amazon, you need to optimize your product listing for each piece. You also want to pay attention to the quality of your images and the overall design.
Here’s a more detailed look at each of these on-page optimization factors:
Your product title is the first thing customers see when searching for products, so it must be attention-grabbing and relevant.
The main image and product title are the two most important on-page ranking factors for Amazon. They’re the two most important deciding factors for customers when going through your Amazon search results page.
That’s why you need to spend a lot of time crafting the perfect title for your product.
Your title needs to be:
- Relevant – It needs to be relevant to the product you’re selling and the keyword you’re targeting.
It shouldn’t be misleading or make false promises.
- Not exceeding 200 characters (70 for Mobile) – Make sure your title is short and sweet.
- You don’t want to go over the character limit, as this will only get the title truncated in the search results.
If your product title is too short, it may not provide enough information for customers.
On the other hand, if it’s too long, it will get cut off, and customers won’t be able to see the full title.
The best way to find the perfect length for your title is to search on Amazon and see how long the titles of the products at the top are. Ideally, you want your title to be around 10 to 15 words, with the first 5 to 7 words conveying the most important parts of your products.
Your product bullet points are another critical on-page ranking factor.
They’re designed to give customers a quick overview of your product and its key features.
Bullet points allow the customer to scan through the information quickly and easily.
Remember your primary keywords — when writing your bullet points, include your primary keywords.
That will help Amazon understand your product and how it should be categorized.
Focus on benefits – In addition to including keywords, you also want to focus on the benefits of your product.
What will the customer get out of using your product?
Make sure these benefits are clear in your bullet points.
Be concise – Just like with your title, you want to be concise with your bullet points.
Each bullet point should be no more than a few words long.
You can break up longer bullet points into multiple shorter ones if you need to.
Your backend keywords are the keywords you enter in the seller account of your Amazon listing.
Your customers won’t see them, but they play an important role in how Amazon ranks your listing.
When choosing your backend keywords, you want to focus on both relevance and search volume.
Note that the backend space is limited to only 250 bytes of text.
That’s about 50 characters, so you don’t have a lot of space to work with.
You’ll need to choose your keywords carefully.
Product descriptions are the small block of text under your product title. They don’t receive much attention, but they’re still an important ranking factor.
When writing your product description, you want to focus on keyword relevance and customer engagement.
As a rule of thumb, there are certain things you shouldn’t do with your product description.
- Don’t talk about your company or brand – Your product description should be about the product, not your company.
- Don’t copy-paste the standard manufacturer description – This is a bad idea for two reasons.
First, it’s not very engaging for customers. Second, it’s likely that other sellers are using the same description, which will make it harder for you to rank.
- Don’t Create a Large Wall of Text for the Description – Breaking up your text into smaller paragraphs makes it easier for customers to read.
- Don’t use ALL CAPS – This is unprofessional and difficult to read.
- Do use keyword-rich descriptions – As with your title and bullet points, you want to include relevant keywords in your description.
- Do focus on the customer – Remember, your description is for the customer, not Amazon’s search algorithm.
- Write a Cohesive Product Description: Even though keywords are important, you also want to make sure your description flows well.
That means including all the important information about your product while still making it easy to read.