December 14, 2023
Boost Sales with Amazon Product Listing Optimization
For Amazon sellers, the most straightforward way to increase sales is to make it easier for shoppers to find what you're selling. It's a numbers game after all. If more shoppers see your products, the higher the chances of making a sale.
But how can you make your goods appear at the top of Amazon search results? How do you stand out from other vendors who offer similar products? This is where Amazon product listing optimization can help you.
In this Amazon SEO crash course, we'll shed light on how the marketplace's algorithm works and share secrets to outranking your competitors. Grab a comfy seat and let's get started.
How Amazon's search algorithm works
Before we get to the steps on how to outrank your competitors, you first have to go over how Amazon search rankings are decided.
Like Google and Yahoo!, Amazon also utilizes an algorithm (called A9) to display the most relevant product based on the user's search queries. The only difference is that Amazon's search algorithm is exclusively focused on transactional intent rather than seeking information or conducting research.
The algorithm considers various factors such as:
- Relevant keywords: If the algorithm can't find the right keywords on your product listing and the backend, it can't match your product to the shopper's search query.
- Conversion rate: Products that are often bought are prominently displayed in organic search results. If your conversion rate is low, the algorithm will interpret that what you're selling isn't what shoppers are looking for and will further lower your product's ranking.
- Sales history: A consistent track record of sales indicates the popularity and reliability of a product. Product listings with a strong sales history are more likely to be featured prominently to potential buyers.
- Reviews: Positive reviews not only significantly influence buyer decisions but also enhance a product listing's position in search engine results.
- Click-through rate: CTR is the number of clicks your product listing receives divided by the number of times it is shown in search results. High CTR hints that a product is what shoppers are looking for.
- Price: In most cases, most shoppers prefer goods that are cheaper than others. Therefore, goods that have a lower price often have better search results rank.
- Availability: Product listings that are out-of-stock can’t get any conversions and rapidly drop out of Amazon top results.
- Location: Products that are closer to the shopper's location or have fast shipping are displayed prominently.
- Referral traffic: Traffic from Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and other external sites hints that the seller is reputable outside of Amazon.
- Sales rank (aka best sellers rank or BSR): The search position of an Amazon listing is also influenced by the seller’s feedback rating, age on Amazon, product return rate, etc.
- Customer behavior: The shopper's search and purchase history helps the algorithm personalize search results for each individual.
Amazon SEO strategy that will boost sales
Now that you have a good understanding of how positions are determined on the Amazon search engine results page, we will now go over how optimization is done.
1. Conduct keyword research
As mentioned earlier, keywords are the primary tool Amazon uses to match a customer's search query with relevant product listings. Without keywords, it's almost impossible for your product to appear in search results.
Amazon gives you two options to include keywords in your product listings: frontend and backend keywords. Frontend keywords can be utilized within your Amazon listings while backend keywords are hidden from shoppers (more on that later).
Check out our Amazon search terms optimization article to learn how to conduct keyword research. The guide also enumerates different keyword research tools that will aid you in this task. This subtopic is too long to include in this article but we promise you that once you read that separate guide, you will discover all related keywords that best describe your product.
2. Optimize the product title
You only have a few seconds to capture the shopper's attention. That's why the product title is arguably the most important part of your listing as it will be the first thing shoppers see. Plus, the title is one of the major ranking factors in Amazon SEO.
We recommend adding keywords to the product title to improve your Amazon rankings. Check the results of your keyword research and pick up to two relevant keywords for the product title.
To improve your Amazon rankings even further and increase the chances of shoppers clicking your listing, consider the following tips:
- The product title should match the name on the physical packaging
- Start the title with the product’s brand name and ensure the brand name field is also filled in
- Keep the product title between 60-80 characters (including spaces)
- Use title case but never capitalize prepositions (e.g. Dyson Stick Vacuum Cleaner with 33kpa Suction Power for Pet Hair and Cat Litter)
- Use numerals (e.g. 3 instead of three)
- Use alpha-numeric characters as much as possible
- Avoid hyperbole or subjective words (e.g. "Top Selling" or "Best of the Best")
- Use can use punctuations to break up words (- / , & .)
- Abbreviate words (e.g. "kg", "mm", "ft")
- Never include size and color variations in the title
- Never add your ASIN in the title
Amazon will hide your product listing in search results if you don't adhere to their product title guidelines.
3. Optimize the product description
You should use this opportunity to showcase specific product features not mentioned elsewhere in your listing as it can help convince shoppers to buy your product.
Remember to adhere to these product description best practices to avoid any penalties:
- Always mention the brand name in the description and the brand field
- Specify sizes and colors, if applicable
- Include the type of material
- Highlight other product detail such as packaging style or quantity
Product description is also a good place to include relevant keywords to help online shoppers find your product listing. But use keywords sparingly, one keyword per paragraph should be enough.
4. Provide more details using bullet points (key features)
Aside from the product description, you can also entice shoppers to purchase your goods with bullet points (a.k.a. key features). Since these bullet points appear at the top of Amazon listings, they should emphasize the best features and advantages of your product.
Additionally, there are specific guidelines to adhere to:
- Bullet points should begin with a capital letter
- Use numerals for numbers
- Bullet points should be direct to the point
- Fully spell out units of measurement (e.g. "meters")
- Avoid the use of hyphens, periods, symbols, or exclamation marks
- Exclude information about the company, shipping, pricing, or promos
- Up to five bullet points per product
- Keep bullet points under 1,000 characters
- Benefits mentioned should be specific to the product itself, not the brand or manufacturer
- Never copy the product description and paste it as a bullet point
- Use bullet points to reinforce the messaging in the product title and description
- If your first bullet point is about material quality, follow the same format for all products
Also, strategically incorporate relevant keywords from your keyword research into these bullet points to enhance visibility and relevance.
5. Add relevant keywords to the backend
Backend keywords are hidden from online shoppers but it helps the A9 algorithm match your product with relevant searches. You can add backend keywords in the "Keywords" section of your product listing on Amazon Seller Central. With this, you don't have to overcrowd your product listing with additional keywords.
Pro tip: Stay under the 249-byte character limit and never use the same keywords in the visible product listings and the backend.
5. Upload high-quality images
The old adage "Show, don't tell." applies to Amazon product listings. Convincing shoppers to buy your stuff is easier if you show them product images rather than a wall of text.
Amazon provides the option to include as many as nine product images in your product listing, although only seven of these will be displayed directly on the listing page. Use these slots to your advantage and upload HD (high-definition) product images so potential customers can zoom in and inspect from multiple angles.
For optimizing your product images, you can use the Amazon Seller App. This app includes a photo capture and editing feature that can modify image exposure or brightness, crop the photo, and transform the background to white.
Keep these guidelines in mind when uploading product images:
- The product should occupy at least 85% of the image frame
- The background should be white and the product should be well illuminated
- Aim for six images and one video
- Images should be informative and visually appealing
- Image dimension should be 500x500 or 1000x1000 pixels
- Upload photos from different angles
- Avoid any obscuring highlights or shadows for close-up shots
- Illustrations and drawings are not allowed
- Nudity or suggestive themes are forbidden
- Resolution should be at least 72 dpi and in .png, .tiff, .jpg, or .gif format
- Never add borders or watermarks
- Products should be displayed without packaging
6. Take advantage of A+ Content feature
Amazon A+ Content is an advanced feature available in Seller Central that enables you to craft more visually compelling product listings.
In a standard Amazon listing, sellers are limited to adding only text-based product title and a description capped at 2,000 characters.
A+ Content provides the opportunity for sellers to include high-quality product descriptions, narratives about their brand, high-quality lifestyle imagery, action shots, and more in their Amazon listings, which can lead to higher conversion rates.
To access A+ content, you must possess an active registered trademark in the country where you wish to enroll and then register with Amazon's Brand Registry Program.
7. Set a competitive price
Product price can affect the position of your Amazon listing and can also be a factor in conversion rate. Set prices competitively within your category, and always try to beat or match the price points of other Amazon seller.
Another thing you can do is offer free shipping on inexpensive items. Free shipping for a $10 item will convince your shoppers to buy from you instead of a competitor who charges a $5 additional shipping cost.
8. Make sure you have stock
Running out of stock will significantly impact your rankings so make sure your stock is replenished often.
For those using Amazon's Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, you can set up alerts when your inventory reaches a certain threshold.
If you're selling your products across multiple websites, consider using multichannel synchronization platforms. These platforms help keep your inventory levels aligned across different sites, ensuring they never drop to zero. However, if Amazon is your sole sales channel, standalone inventory management systems can be a more suitable option.
9. Ask for reviews from buyers
Positive reviews help increase the chances of a sale as 95% of potential customers read product reviews on Amazon before making a purchase. Plus, the A9 algorithm is unlikely to display products with low ratings and negative feedback in search results. This is why earning positive reviews is a must if you want to be a successful merchant on Amazon.
To earn more positive feedback and achieve high ratings, consider these strategies:
- Click the “Request a Review” button next to an order, and Amazon will send a review request email to the customer.
- Never mislead customers. Many negative reviews arise from deceitful product descriptions.
- Answer questions and respond to negative feedback to resolve issues.
For the love of God, never post fake reviews or hire agencies to boost your customer reviews. Amazon is increasingly adept at identifying fake reviews. Engaging in such tactics can lead to long-term negative consequences for your Amazon seller central account.
Thanks for making it this far! We hope that the knowledge we shared with you will elevate your product listing's ranking in Amazon search results and increase your sales.
If you have questions about Amazon search engine optimization or need help with your listings, don't hesitate to contact us. Serphead's Amazon SEO experts can conduct keyword research, write enticing product descriptions, and fully optimize your listings for you.