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Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Ranking

Key Considerations for Sellers


Before you begin editing or composing any Amazon listing, remind yourself of this: Amazon’s primary motivation is to sell goods to consumers. While it may seem fairly obvious, too many sellers get caught up in the nuances of SEO and listing strategy – forgetting that at the end of the day the goal of any listing is to appeal to a consumer. Amazon values the satisfaction and user experience of the shopper overall, formulating its algorithm and SEO practices to reward and boost listings that best serve shopper needs. If you ever get stuck when writing a listing, take a step back, put on your consumer hat and filter your listing through the eyes of a shopper. Employ this technique and you’ll rarely go astray.

How Does Amazon Determine My SEO Ranking?


Amazon’s algorithm is fairly simple. Consumers search keywords, seller listings that best match those keywords are populated in order of relevance. Keyword match isn’t the only direct factor that affects your ranking (price, product availability, selection and your sales history all play a role) but it is the factor that is most easily changed.

While not nearly as influential as those listed above, there are other indirect factors that can impact your listings:

  •  Fulfillment Method


  •  Reviews (both the quantity and quality of reviews)


  •  Images


  •  EBC/A+ Content


  •  Advertising


  •  Promotions


We’ll touch briefly on EBC / A+ Content, but the majority of our content will focus on text match relevancy and how you can best utilize your product listings to improve your SEO standing.

Breaking Down Amazon Product Listings


When it comes to SEO, Amazon is very straightforward in how it ranks the importance of its various content areas. A standard Amazon listing has four content blocks:

     Fulfillment Method


     Product features/bullet points


     Product descriptions


     Backend search terms


Product titles provide your listings with the most SEO value, followed by bullet points, product descriptions and backend search terms. Learning how to strategically incorporate keywords into each of these sections is critical to the success of your Amazon listings.


A Competitive Advantage of Product Creators


When choosing which product titles to display, Amazon favors product creators. This means your listing will appear higher in SEO search results if you are the only merchant selling your product or have low competition.

But what if you aren’t the original creator or face a large pool of competitors? Formatting your title according to Amazon SEO preferences is the next best way to get greater visibility for your listing.

Create Successful Bullet Points


DO:

     Start each bullet with a capital letter


     Write in short, easily digestible fragments


     Separate fragments and phrases with semicolons


     Refer to all numbers in numerals


     Spell out units of measurements


     Stick to information specific to that product


     Keep each bullet below 500 characters



DON'T:

     Include punctuation at the end of your bullets


     Be vague in your feature descriptions


     Include information specific to your company


     Include promotional messaging


     Include seller or shipping information


     List the price


     Get hung up on product benefits


Formatting Product Descriptions for Amazon SEO


Product descriptions are the cherry on top of your listing and usually the most fun part for sellers to write. This is your chance to dive into all the benefits of your product and drive home the reason for the consumer to buy. Product descriptions fall relatively far down the page, meaning if a consumer makes it to this section of your listing they are more likely to purchase than someone who only gets to the second bullet point. This is your chance to close the deal.

Don’t get carried away though. Because this is the most marketing-focused section of any listing, it is also the most heavily regulated. To protect consumers and keep sellers from making outrageous, or even false claims about their products, Amazon has very specific content restrictions within highly competitive or regulated categories, like healthcare for example. Venture beyond the restrictions of your product category and Amazon will ding your SEO ranking, or worse, take down your listing all together. To protect yourself and your sales, carefully read all the restrictions for your product category before you begin writing your description.

Write Great Product Titles


DO:

     Keep your product description under 2000 characters


     Use light HTML to split up content, bold important words & phrases


     Stay within the confines of your category's content restrictions


     Take the opportunity to really sell the consumer on your product



DON'T:

     Include seller contact information


     Include pricing or promotional information


     Focus on details/benefits of other products you sell


     Include your website URL


Consider Using A+/Enhanced Brand Content (EBC)


For those who are on Amazon Seller Central and registered in Brand Registry, or sell directly to Amazon as a first party seller through Vendor Express or Vendor Central, there is an additional opportunity to take advantage of EBC / A+ Content within your product descriptors. While traditional product descriptions allow you to only create content in paragraph format, EBC / A+ Content allows you to incorporate imagery and more stylized text into your listing. These more advanced product description modules allow for more appealing and digestible content and, not surprisingly, often result in increased traffic and sales.

Don’t get carried away though. Because this is the most marketing-focused section of any listing, it is also the most heavily regulated. To protect consumers and keep sellers from making outrageous, or even false claims about their products, Amazon has very specific content restrictions within highly competitive or regulated categories, like healthcare for example. Venture beyond the restrictions of your product category and Amazon will ding your SEO ranking, or worse, take down your listing all together. To protect yourself and your sales, carefully read all the restrictions for your product category before you begin writing your description.

If you are interested in exploring EBC / A+ Content, you must be registered as a third party seller or first party vendor, respectively. You can sign up as a 3rd party seller via Seller Central or register as a first party vendor via Vendor Express.


Formatting Backend Search Terms for Amazon SEO


The backend search terms are not visible to shoppers visiting your listing, but they still get indexed and impact your Amazon SEO ranking. The value of these words lies only in their ability to enhance the visibility of your listing. Because these words will never be seen by consumers, this is a great opportunity to get creative. Play around with alternate spellings, think of out-of-the-box queries to capture niche product opportunities and target long-tail keywords.

If you are interested in exploring EBC / A+ Content, you must be registered as a third party seller or first party vendor, respectively. You can sign up as a 3rd party seller via Seller Central or register as a first party vendor via Vendor Express.

Keep in mind that Amazon already indexes words included in your title, bullet points and description, so you generally don't need to repeat them in the backend search terms. Additionally, unlike Google, Amazon doesn't reward sellers who repeat keywords. However, if your goal is to have your Amazon listing rank on Google, that may change your strategy.

The Importance of Photo Hierarchy

Just as you are strategic with the order of your product feature bullet points, be just as (if not more) intentional in how your order your product photos. The first image is the only photo visible in Amazon search results and, therefore, should be a clear, high-quality image of your product to help drive clicks.

Keep this image simple, focusing only on the product and not cluttering the frame with any other products or environmental cues. Consumers scroll through Amazon quickly and you want to make it as easy for them to identify the product you’re selling as possible. We’ve found that well-lit product images on white backgrounds filling about 75-80% of the frame tend to do well here.

Once you’ve gotten a consumer to click on your listing, the rest of your images should provide education and discovery. It’s a chance for shoppers to take a closer look and view your product’s features before they choose to buy.

Backend Search Terms for Amazon

Select photos that provide a 360-degree view of the product. Offering different perspectives and angles makes customers feel confident that they have seen and explored the entire product for themselves and not just the features you’ve chosen to show them.



Backend Search Terms for Amazon

If your product has a unique or especially compelling usage occasion, highlight it in the photography. Showing how the product is actually used can go a long way in helping a consumer understand the product and it makes it easy for them to imagine how the product could serve their needs. This is especially useful when the use case is rather complicated or hard to explain. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.


Indicate Size

Even if you include dimensions within your listing, it can often be difficult for shoppers to visualize the size of your product. A good way to help clarify size is to show the product in the context of another item. Use well-known items, like a pencil for example, so consumers can quickly make an informed comparison.


Dig into the Details

More detailed or complex products, like electronics for example, often have many intricate components that can’t always be captured by zooming into a single image. Capture these important product details, like the number of batteries required or the kind of input cables to connect, in your product images.

Backend Search Terms for Amazon

For some products, like furniture for example, it’s important for a shopper to visualize how the product could fit into their environment. A chair or a couch will almost certainly look more inviting shown in a living room environment than on a stark white background.

The key is to be strategic in the environment you choose. Select imagery that highlights your product – not distracts from it. And considered the perceived value or lifestyle the imagery represents. Want to make your couch look more high end? Try enhancing its perceived value by surrounding it with high-value items.