Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for traditional search is a complicated game. Amazon’s A9 product search algorithm is even more complicated than traditional SEO.
It gets even more complicated when optimizing your Amazon product listing because your listing actually needs to be optimized for both Amazon and traditional search, even though the rules are different for both.
Now, before you get thoroughly discouraged, there are couple of basic rules to follow that will keep you on the right path.
THE FIRST RULE is to remember that human beings are the ones reading your listings and buying your products, not computers or algorithms. Worry about writing for humans first, then worry about optimizing for the algorithms.
THE SECOND RULE is to remember that Amazon is a product search engine where people go to buy things. Traditional search engines are where people go for general information. That being said, optimize your listing for Amazon first, and then worry about optimizing for the other search engine (without jeopardizing your Amazon optimization efforts).
7 Key Points for Amazon Listing Optimization
With that introduction out of the way, let’s take a look at 7 Key Points you can use to optimize your Amazon listing for the Amazon A9 search algorithm. For the purpose of this article, we will assume that you have already performed comprehensive keyword research to determine the search phrases you will be targeting.
These points are listed in order of importance.
- Product Title
The product title is the single most important element that will determine where your product shows up in search results. The most relevant search phrases pertaining to your product must be displayed in your title.
Most product categories on Amazon will allow you up to 200 characters. You should not stuff this space with unintelligible keywords and phrases, but seek to accurately describe your product in short and concise terms.
Amazon style guides suggest that you only need to use a keyword once in the listing. This allows you to describe your product in different ways, without needing to repeat. Be creative, but remember that your title (along with your main image) will determine whether a shopper clicks, or scrolls right on by.
- Product Images
If a picture is worth 1000 words, then your product images can dramatically increase the word count of your listing, but you have to be careful about what the images are saying.
You should have at least 6 images for your listing including at least 3-4 images of the product itself, 1-2 infographics pointing out key features of the product, and 1-3 lifestyle images portraying happy people using the product. Images should be at least 1000 x 500 pixels, formatted as a .jpg file, and be on a white background (not applicable to lifestyle images),
The main image is the most important. As with your title, the main image is one of the determining factors as to whether a shopper clicks on your listing or scrolls past. It needs to communicate exactly what the product is, and it needs to stand out from the competition.
- Bullets and Features
Amazon listings allow for 5 bullets points for highlighting key product features. Some categories allow for more characters than others, so pay attention to the style guides for your category. As with the title, include as many relevant keywords here as you can.
For coherency, each bullet should focus on its own unique selling point. The first few words of each bullet should be capitalized, bolded, or highlighted in some way so as to emphasize (at a glance) the key feature highlighted in that bullet.
- Product Description
While product descriptions are less important than the bullet points, the description field offers a great place to really sell the product. Once a shopper has started reading your description section, they are more likely to buy than if they only looked at the title and bullets. Take this opportunity to close the sale.
This is particularly true for Brand Registered sellers utilizing Enhanced Brand Content (EBC). EBC offers in incredible opportunity to tell your brand story and sell the product, but you can also affect the sale with Amazon’s standard description field.
One important thing to note is that the description field usually shows before the bullets when a buyer is visiting your listing on a mobile device. That being said, it is a good idea for the first paragraph of your description to reiterate the top selling points of the product.
- Social Proof (Reviews)
Product reviews are what keep many sellers up at nights, especially on a new product launch. While a seller has full control over the listing contents, he/she has almost zero control over the reviews. In the past, there used to be strategies around how to get your first positive reviews. This is no longer the case. Reviews must happen organically, or you risk repercussions from Amazon.
If your product is awesome, buyers will most likely recognize that and leave positive reviews. If your product is not awesome, you will likely get some bad reviews. Start with a quality product, and then sell, sell, sell, and cross your fingers that buyers like it.
Product reviews can greatly affect search rankings. Amazon’s number one goal is for a positive customer experience. If your product has bad reviews, Amazon will start to hide your listing so that buyers can’t find it.
- Search Rankings
When your listing is fully optimized, with a decent volume of sales and positive reviews, your listing will start to rise in the search results for terms that are relevant to the product. You must keep the momentum by maintaining steady sales and positive reviews. If the momentum is lost, it is difficult to get it back.
Amazon rewards high-performance listings in specific search results with the “Amazon Choice” tag. This means that the product is Amazon’s preferred product when a buyer searches for that specific term. This is a coveted tag, and can be awarded for multiple search terms.
- Category Rankings (Best Seller Rank)
Finally, category rankings, or Best Seller Rank (BSR) are like search rankings on steroids. If a product rises to the top of a particular category, it will be awarded with the prestigious “Best Seller” tag. The higher the BSR, the more likely the listing is to show up across a broader range of related search results.
If you would like help with your Amazon Listing Optimization, please contact us here and we’d be glad to help!