Whenever you think of SEO, chances are you’re thinking of just Google. Of course, Google is not the only search engine responsible for generating sales. Amazon is also a major sales channel for many eCommerce stores.
Unfortunately, what works on Google for ranking a term like “clock timer app” will not work on Amazon. In a nutshell, the Amazon ranking algorithm primarily cares about two factors: relevance and performance. You can influence the first directly through SEO. The second is a bit more complicated.
In this guide I’ll share with you five tips to improve your rankings on Amazon. Let’s start at the beginning.
1. Optimize your Product Title
The product title is arguably the most critical element of Amazon SEO, especially if you consider relevance. When you come up with a title, try to include the most relevant keywords.
Here are some things to consider when optimizing your Amazon product title:
- Include your brand name
- Include a description of your product
- Mention a specific ingredient, material, or characteristic
- Specify the color, shape, and size of your product
- If applicable, mention how much stock is left
Sometimes, keeping things short and straightforward helps improve your rankings.
For example, the “Timer” app above is at the top of the rankings specifically because it describes what it does. Following it is “Timer for Kindle,” which describes what it is: a timer for Kindle devices. Both products are in the top three of the non-sponsored listings.
That being said, white hat SEO principles also apply to Amazon product titles. Keyword-stuffing will only result in a title that looks spammy and affects your click-through rates. You need to find a balance between being relevant and trying to include as much information as you can.
2. Take Care of Your Product Description and Bullets
Amazon is quite strict about the product descriptions posted on the site, especially when it comes to character limits. You only have 1,900 characters, or approximately 300 words, to convince your potential buyers to make a purchase.
Attempting to game Amazon by using the built-in HTML editor is bound to result in failure, if not an outright ban. The product description and bullets are all you have.
A well-written product description is persuasive, readable, and detailed. If you are at a loss as to how to write a product description for Amazon, you may want to follow certain best practices. These include keeping the copy short if the product is simple or inexpensive.
Use the maximum character account to explain things, and expand on product features and benefits if the product is expensive, complicated, or targeted towards a specialized clientele. This will help you overcome buyer objections.
The same principles apply to bullet points. Research shows that customers are going to look at the bullet points first because they are broken up into short, readable chunks of text.
This is where you’ll want to put the benefits of your product, ingredients, dimensions, and other things that don’t make it to the product description.
Whether you’re writing the product description or the bullet points, insert your keywords in such a way that they’ll add value to the copy. The key here is describing the value of your product more clearly than your competitors.
3. Post High-Quality Images
Whether you’re dealing with a landing page or an Amazon page, high-quality images can help boost sales. When you’re selling on Amazon, images can make or break your product.
What exactly is a high-quality image?
Amazon has its own set of guidelines for images displayed on product pages. The guidelines include the following:
- Height of 1000 pixels or larger
- Width of 2560 pixels
- Frame fill out rate of 85%
- White background
- JPEG, PNG, GIF, or TIFF file formats
- No text, borders, logos, or watermarks
- RGB or CMYK color modes (no grayscale or black and white)
Why does Amazon need large images? A larger picture means you can zoom into the image to see it in greater detail. This is important if you’re selling a product that has small parts, or if you are targeting customers who are very particular about the little things.
The example above clearly appeals to audiophiles who yearn for the good old days of radio while enjoying the convenience of Bluetooth audio transmission.
Without Amazon’s zoom-in feature, you will probably miss out on the Bluetooth logo below the mode dial. The high-resolution image shows off the care and workmanship that went into the design of this product.
Including photos taken from different angles is also important. An image provides context so customers know what to expect. The pictures of the Panasonic transistor radio above, for instance, show off its classic look and sturdy construction that have kept it popular for decades.
While images are not part of Amazon SEO, they help improve conversion rates. When your conversion rates go up, the search ranking goes up too. So you better choose the best product images.
4. Price your Products Wisely
One of Amazon’s most convenient features is the ability to filter and sort products according to price. If the price is competitive compared to similar products, then your conversion rate should go up.
Conversely, if other products in the same category are selling for a lower price than your products, you will not sell as many items.
Amazon will also predict that you won’t sell as well as the others and relegate your product to a lower search ranking. As you can see in the example above, a two-dollar difference translates into lower rankings compared to similar items that sell for less.
Most people use Amazon to find the cheapest product. If you price your products significantly higher than your competitors you might need to re-think your reason for selling on Amazon.
There will be times when you think an item you’re selling deserves a higher price. You need to make a compelling case for the higher cost through more and better reviews.
5. Ensure that Buyers Leave Reviews
As more people buy online, the reviews they leave on Amazon and other platforms take on an influence similar to personal recommendations’. Positive reviews make more than 90% of consumers more likely to buy a product or use a business. In comparison, negative reviews turn away 82% of customers.
The average customer spends close to 14 minutes reading reviews before deciding whether to buy or to move on.
If these are not enough to convince you that reviews matter, perhaps you may consider the weight that Amazon puts on reviews left on product pages. The products that rank higher for specific keywords generally have more reviews than those that rank lower, and the reviews from top ranking products tend to be more positive.
Even if Amazon didn’t put as much emphasis on reviews, they are still a pretty accurate measure of click-through rates. More reviews mean that more customers have bought the product, and higher sales figures mean higher search rankings.
Of course, we’ve all heard about fake reviews. Amazon is taking steps to crack down on fake reviews to ensure integrity. So if you’re planning to cheat the search algorithm, you might end up getting sanctioned for it.
The best way to get more reviews is by following up with your customers. Send them follow-up emails after they buy ask them to leave a review. If your reviews are negative, you need to look at what isn’t working. Then, address the problems.
6. Getting that “Amazon’s Choice” badge
The ultimate goal of most Amazon sellers is getting an “Amazon’s Choice” badge. The badge indicates that customers are happy with a product and would recommend it to others.
Optimizing SEO on Amazon boils down to understanding how Amazon’s search algorithm works, optimizing your product page and descriptions, and selling enough items to drive up the searches further.
If you start optimizing your product title and description and add high-quality images, you’re on the right track. You will enjoy a higher sales volume soon.
However, your Amazon journey does not stop there. You need to engage with your customers and get them to leave reviews on your product pages.
If you are confident that you’ve sold your customers an excellent product at a reasonable price, you have every reason to look forward to seeing their reviews.
Doing a combination of relevance- and performance-based optimization will help you achieve positive change in terms of searches, click-throughs, and sales. Good luck, and we hope our tips help you get that Amazon’s Choice badge!