Ranking high on searches in Amazon makes big difference in your business. The tactics have changed a lot over the years and even the recent months. Just as with Google, SEO in Amazon has evolved from finding ways to “trick” the algorithm, to meeting customer needs better than competitors can.
There’s been a lot of tactics that have gone in and out over the years, so here I’m focusing on the tried and true tasks that an Amazon SEO expert can do to increase your search rankings, and not specific “tricks.”
I tend to mentally put Amazon SEO into two categories. One category is the things you do for Amazon and their search algorithm, and the other is the things you do to increase sales rates. The second is mainly for the customer and influences the algorithm “indirectly.” It may also be known as “conversion optimization.”
Focus on the Key Factor
You always need to remember that the number one key to ranking in the long term is sales. An expert in Amazon SEO knows that if your product sells well, it will rank, and not necessarily the other way around. Instead of thinking, “How can I make the algorithm favor my product?” ask, “How can I get potential customers who type in this keyword to click through to my product and make a purchase at a higher rate than my competitors?”
With that said, you do want to design the listing in a way that it is natural and simple for Amazon to figure out where your product fits in Amazon’s massive catalogue. While you should never “keyword stuff,” you do want to make sure that the words your customer will include in searches are also included in your listing, and in the most appropriate places.
Listing Keyword Optimization (for Amazon)
Currently, Amazon has a hierarchy of ways to determine the most relevant keywords to your brand. After doing the appropriate keyword research, an SEO expert will likely rank the keywords in order of importance and use that in designing the listing copy.
The most important keywords go in the beginning of the title (typically the brand name), then the rest of the title. After that, the next keywords will go in the bullets and description, with the least important words in the backend search terms field. An SEO expert will recognize that sales is the most important factor and design the copy with conversion as the number one priority, and including all the keywords second.
Note that enhanced brand content is currently NOT factored into the search algorithms. Even though your customers can’t see your description, make sure to have the description in the backend so that those keywords can be factored into Amazon’s searches!
Once finished, they’ll be able to review their work to make sure that all the important keywords are accounted for. In general, I try to include every word a customer may use to search for the product at least once somewhere in the listing or backend search terms (while observing Amazon terms such as not including other brand names). With all the different fields there is really plenty of room to include all the relevant keywords in your listing.
Conversion Optimization (for Customers)
There’s plenty of other aspects of your listing that don’t get indexed into Amazon algorithm but still affect sales. If they affect sales, they’ll indirectly affect your search ranking because Amazon will notice the sales coming from certain searches.
Your images are possibly the top factor in closing the sale. A good general rule is to have all the important information and benefits in the pictures, so the customer doesn’t have to read the listing at all.
Your primary image is very important and needs to follow special guidelines. Along with having a plain white background and only including items included with the product, make sure it is cropped to appear as large as possible in searches, large enough so customers can zoom in on the picture, and so it stands out from competitors.
Your secondary images are also very important. Not only do you want the product from different angles, you should also have infographics and lifestyle photos.
Here’s a list of common secondary images:
- Product shown from different angles
- Infographic pointing out the benefits of using the product
- Infographic pointing out the features of the product
- Image showing a bulk discount when the customer buys multiple units
- Image displaying the brands of other products
- Comparison chart of the product against the competitors’ products
- Lifestyle photos of the product in use
When you first launch a product, you may not have the sales volume at a level where split testing is useful. However, once you are selling multiple units a day, it’s time to start split testing. By making incremental improvements that increase conversion rates over time, your search rankings will rise.
An SEO expert can use a tool like Splitly to create two versions of the listing and monitor how each version performs over time.
Common split tests include the following:
- Shorter versus longer titles
- Changing the order of the keywords in the title
- Primary Image
- Images from different angles
- Including the packaging
- Secondary Images
- Changing the order of the secondary images
- Switching out alternatives of similar images
- Test different prices
- Use profit peak in Splitly to test a range of prices and calculate the profit maximizing price
- Change the order of the bullets
- Write different versions of the bullets and test the versions against each other
Enhanced Brand Content
Once you’re brand registered you can create enhanced brand content. You want to make sure this accurately portrays you as a premium brand. While the enhanced brand content is not indexed for search, it will help your conversion rates. An SEO expert will help you to design it in a way that increases the conversion rates while accurately portraying your brand.
An Amazon SEO expert will follow similar steps to make sure your listing is designed in a way to make it easy for the Amazon algorithm to understand what keywords are most related to your listing, and ensure that customers buy your product at a high rate compared to competitors. Both these actions mean higher search rankings, more visibility on Amazon, and increased sales!
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