The specifics of SEO for Amazon Sellers

October 10, 2020
Written by Jayce Broda

With the many product listings currently on Amazon, how can you be certain that your products will stand out from the various choices that a buyer has? To ensure that your listings always rank well, an in-depth understanding of SEO for Amazon sellers is crucial.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Imagine that Amazon is a physical market and that there are many vendors with various products on display. When a potential customer enters this market, Amazon immediately guides the buyer to the best options. There are currently millions of sellers in the Amazon online marketplace. To be able to have Amazon lead them to you means that you first need to know how Amazon’s search algorithm functions so you can come up with an Amazon SEO strategy.

It sounds like a daunting word, but “algorithm” simply means a way of calculating. In this case, a search algorithm calculates the best ways to present a customer with the best answers to a search query. As more people became aware of search algorithms, many also began to study how to better optimize titles and content to attract more visitors. However, the Amazon algorithm is very specific and differs from the search algorithms found on other websites and platforms.

The equation is simple: A good product + optimized Amazon listing = better ranking on Amazon. A better ranking will lead to more visibility to potential customers, which then leads to more sales.

In short, the goal of understanding the specifics of SEO for Amazon is to increase the chances of searchers clicking on your product listing. Normally, potential buyers will look only at the first and second pages of the search listing given to them. Those who choose to buy from the near-end of the pages are very rare, as most immediately trust sellers who come up on the initial pages of a search page.

Once you have your products ready, here are the parts of SEO for Amazon sellers that you need to understand:

  • Knowing the right keywords and learning how to optimize them for searches;
  • Creating the best titles that utilize these keywords, but also catch the attention of buyers;
  • Knowing the difference between product bullet points and product descriptions, and utilizing them to your advantage;
  • Optimizing images for better search results; and
  • Knowing how to tweak the back-end keywords for better results.

How does the Amazon algorithm work?

Amazon’s search algorithm is called A9, named after the company that developed it (this company is also a subsidiary of Amazon). It differs from most other search algorithms as its prime function is to display products according to purchase likelihood. In short, unlike Google, A9 may pull up results not just based on the information that it deems best to present, but also on factors that would make the searcher buy a product faster.

Two main components affect A9’s way of ranking. The first is relevance, which is why the information that a seller puts in the titles and descriptions become important. However, another factor is taken into consideration: product performance, which means that products that already have a good history based on previous sales, reviews, comments, and returns rank higher in the searches.

Let’s look more closely at the components that affect product performance. Sellers usually don’t have much control over this, but it’s always a good idea to take note of them so that you know how your ranking is affected:

  • Overall sales
  • Click-through rate (how many people actually click on your listing when they see it on the search list)
  • The conversion rate on the product page (how much the product listing makes people engage with the website, even not just through sales)

This is the reason why A9 would sometimes pull up products that seem to not be directly related to the search. Unlike Google, Amazon doesn’t intend to send traffic to websites. Instead, it wants to ensure that customers will not only buy faster but will also get a good overall purchasing experience.

Why an SEO Service is beneficial to sellers

Though it’s possible to learn the nitty-gritty of keyword search, optimization, back-ends, and descriptions, it’s always more beneficial for sellers to seek the services of SEO experts. Not only will sellers be provided systems, technology, skills, and experience, but sellers will also be able to have more time to focus on the products instead. Though it’s possible to learn the necessary skills, this will take time, and not everyone has that luxury.

When you consider taking on the advice of Amazon SEO experts, you can speed up this process. They can guide you through all the necessary steps and give you tips on how to grow your brand.

However, an introduction to SEO basics is always beneficial. Here are some Amazon SEO tips that would help your business grow:

Incorporating Keywords

Keyword tracking and search tools

If you wish to know the basics, the first thing that you need to learn is how to utilize keywords. Search keywords are the words or phrases that people usually type in search engines, and would therefore lead to your product listing. Listings should then be built around keywords, and such keywords should be incorporated into every nook and cranny of the listing as much as possible, without overstuffing them. You can say that utilizing keywords is both a science and an art.

In order to find the right keywords that will connect you with potential buyers, the first step is to do a keyword search. An Amazon SEO tool is necessary for this. There are many different ones available, and these tools will enable you to find keywords according to how frequently they have been searched for a certain time period.

Some of the most popular SEO tools are:

Merchant Words

So far, this is the most extensive database of Amazon buyer search information and is currently the top choice for most sellers due to its comprehensive list. However, pricing can be a deterrent for some.

This app is custom-made for sellers, as it only shows Amazon buyers’ keyword searches. Auto-complete will fill in any word entered into its search bar, and will then add other keyword ideas.

This tool finds sales ranks, charts, and other data for a particular product listing. This becomes handy when you want to check how your products are faring in the algorithm.

This is a free tool that allows you to view searches related to various products. However, it isn’t tailor-made for Amazon, which means that information given may be a bit too varied.

        Conducting keyword research

Once you’ve already chosen the keyword search tool that you want to work with, the next step is to conduct keyword research. It’s good to make a list of search terms most relevant to your products. You then input them into the SEO tool and then try to find the long-tailed keywords related to the search terms. A long-tailed keyword is a phrase that is usually typed by people in search engines. List down all the possible relevant long-tailed keywords that you find.

        Incorporating keywords into titles

Make sure that you place the main keyword at the beginning of the title. When searching for a main keyword for your title, a good rule of thumb is to first find one that is most related to your product, but a lot of people are searching for. If you find other related keywords that are applicable, you can also place them in the title.

However, be wary of the dangers of keyword stuffing. This is when someone places too many keywords in the title that the search engine begins to have trouble ranking the product.

        Details to put in titles

It is important to place all important information in a clear and detailed manner so that the listing earns higher click-through and conversion rates. Here are the main details that you can incorporate in a product’s title:

  • Product brand
  • Model (and model number, if applicable)
  • Product line and product type
  • Key feature
  • Size
  • Color
  • Quantity or packaging

Those are the main things that buyers want to know whenever they scroll through product listings. Try to put only the most relevant details, prioritizing those that make your product stand out. You don’t need to put everything in the title area. In order for people to click on your item, make sure that the listing is as specific as possible. You can become a bit creative, but only to an extent that will both make people click on your post, as well as give the algorithm a clear idea where to place your listing. 

Other things that you can put in the title are:

  • Pattern
  • Material
  • Power output

Title length

The number of characters in the title also matters. Typically, most search results would be able to show anywhere from 115-144 characters when on desktops or laptops, depending on the product category, so make sure that you keep your title length within this parameter. If you don’t, the rest will just be transformed into a “…” in the search list.

Also, it is important to place the most important words in the beginning because mobile titles can only show anywhere from 55-63 characters, and right rail ads can only show up to 30 characters.

List down your keywords and product details. Which should be given the highest priority? Place those words in the beginning, and then find a way to strategically place all other keywords or details in a way that both catches the buyer’s eye but is also searchable for the algorithm.

No need to worry if there are other details or keywords that you still want to include, as there are other areas in which you can put them.

Key Features: How to utilize bullet points

The Amazon key features section is a great area in which to place all other keywords and details that may not have had enough space in the title. For this reason, the features section is the second most important part of the listing -- after the title -- that will aid in search engine optimization.

Just like in the previous step, list down all the keywords and details according to priority. It is alright to repeat certain things that you may already have placed in the title. Amazon shoppers turn to the key features to be able to get an overview of the product.

In order to provide a clear, concise listing, it is best to place all details and keywords in bullet points. Furthermore, it not only makes everything easier to read, but it also makes it easier for the algorithm to pick up details this way.

Put in all the other information such as warranty, battery types, design, and other things that buyers may be interested in. The key is to highlight the top five features, writing only in short phrases.

Product descriptions

Product descriptions are usually a few paragraphs in length. This is the part where you can explain as much as you want, so the buyer gets a better understanding of the product and why it should be bought. Here, you can explain care instructions, provide all accurate dimensions, and even state a couple of examples as to how to use the product. There is more leeway to be creative in the product descriptions, so make sure that you write the best eye-catching lines.

Make it direct to the point, but don’t forget that the key here is to be able to tell a story.

The secret stuff: Back-end search terms

It’s important to also know how to utilize keywords for the back-end search. The back-end is the area where additional search terms are written for the A9 algorithm but are hidden from the shoppers. Here, you can add related keywords that may be difficult to insert in the title, bulleted features, or product description.

        What you can place in the back-end:

  • The most common misspellings that are keyed into the search engine.
  • Translation of the product name, keywords, or qualities into other languages.
  • Synonyms or other variations that buyers also search for.

Remember: just type in all the keywords once, separated by spaces. There’s no need to repeat keywords or put commas in between them. Also, there’s no need to place keywords that are already in the title, features, or description in the back-end category.

        Locating the back-end:

  1. Go to the “Inventory” tab of your account in Seller Central.
  2. Select the “Edit” button on the right side of the page.
  3. Click the “Offer” tab within the “Edit Product Info” area.
  4. Select “Keywords.”
  5. Open the “Search Terms” section.

That’s it! Now, you can make use of these hidden search terms to make sure that your listing gets a better chance of being found.

Other SEO for Amazon Sellers Tips:

  • Make sure to include high-quality images. Photos taken with a good camera and nice lighting will influence conversion rates, which will impact search results.
  • Consider using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Items under FBA rank higher than items in the Fulfillment by Merchant category. FBA also increases the chances of getting a “Buy Box. This makes it easier for shoppers to add your item to their carts.
  • Study your competitors’ listings to gain a better understanding of the playing field.
  • Make sure that you always have stock in your inventory.
  • You can offer promotions to increase initial sales.
  • Always check your product’s reviews.
  • You can also try running Amazon pay-per-click ads (PPC) to boost initial sales and increase ranking.

Other things to know about Amazon’s rankings:

  • There are many variables that affect Amazon’s rankings. Therefore, don’t be too worried if the rankings of your items shift throughout time.
  • The number of immediate sales is one thing that affects the A9 algorithm most often. It only takes into consideration the number of sales a product has had within a short amount of time.
  • Verified reviews, or reviews left through Amazon accounts, also affect search rankings.
  • Price is also a factor when it comes to this online marketplace. Be sure to always check your competitor’s prices within Amazon, as well as other places (such as physical stores), to make sure that your prices are both fair and competitive.
  • Parent-child products, or being able to combine similar or related products into one main page, will also affect rankings. Utilize this to your advantage.
  • The time that customers spend going through a listing also affects search rankings. The more time someone spends reading through a listing, the higher ranking it gets.
  • Amazon also takes order processing speed into consideration. Make sure that you deliver orders as fast as possible.

Ready to rank on the first page of the Amazon search engine?

Now that you know all these tips, time to put them into practice! However, don’t sweat it too much if everything seems a little daunting, especially since the A9 algorithm has gotten more complex throughout the years. Not to mention, changes in the search engine have been happening more frequently in order to become more efficient.

This is a comprehensive guide regarding SEO for Amazon Sellers, as it is important to know how these things work. However, since time is valuable, and not everyone has the energy to constantly update their knowledge on Amazon SEO, it’s always more efficient to leave this stuff to the experts.

Seller Interactive offers the best consultation and services for Amazon sellers. Check it out now and watch your rankings go higher, your orders increase in number, and your sales go through the roof.

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