13th June 2018
13 Amazon SEO Tips and Why Amazon is more popular than Google…
There have been quite a few consumer polls recently in the US finding that Amazon has increased its lead as the search engines of choice – for product search.
Just to make this point clear – when looking to buy a product online 44% of searchers in the US go straight to Amazon to start searching – not to Google, Bing or Yahoo – according to recent survey of 1,057 US adults by NPR/Marist.
This percentage is actually much higher for Amazon if the searcher knows what they want to buy. As much as 59% go straight to Amazon to search if they know what product they want. This dominance is an important factor to bear in mind when deciding whether to become an Amazon seller and enter their marketplace.
If you do decide to join then there are steps you should take to optimise your products for the Amazon search algorithm A9 to maximise your product ranking positions and get as many sales as possible.
SEO for Amazons search algorithm A9
A9 drives the Amazon website and its purpose is to match the customer’s product search with the best options from its product catalogue. This means that it will select, score and rank products from its sellers based on five broad areas:
- Pay Per Click or ‘Display Advertising’
- Best-selling products
- Products with the best margins
- Products from the best sellers
- Products matched to the shoppers past activity
In this Amazon search for ‘glasses’ the first four results in the top row are PPC advertising or ‘Sponsored’ as Amazon labels it. The rest of the 10,000+ results are ranked by A9 and there are a number of actions you can take to influence these ‘organic’ or non-paid listings, some of which are not dissimilar to generic search engine SEO.
Here are our 13 tips for Amazon Product Optimisation
- Product title. Probably the single most important part in any search that you can influence – the product title needs to be carefully weighted text that matches what your target buyer is looking for while not being over stuffed with keywords which might put people off. It could therefore include multiple keywords, your brand name, the material, colour, size and quantity.
- Product description. A good product description contains essential sales information for potential buyers. A good CTR is also measured by A9 and products with good CTRs get better listing positions.
- Product images. Absolutely essential for optimising the sales of your product. The algorithm gives weighting to listings that have multiple images and high res images to accommodate the “hover over to zoom” functionality.
- Reviews and feedback. Not only are good customer reviews one of the most important aspects of online sales but Amazon will take note of a seller actively engaging with customers by answering questions. The ‘Amazon Choice’ badge can also be awarded for the highest levels of product reviews – see the 5th product listed in the ‘glasses’ search above – where they assess quantity and quality of reviews. Ratings by review are shown both by individual product star ratings and amalgamated by seller to give an overall positive percentage:Sellers who fail to achieve over 90% positivity will find it very hard to achieve good rankings.
- Keywords. Similar to META keywords no longer used by search engines, you can tell Amazon what keywords your listing should rank for in your seller account.
- Conversion rate. Products that sell the most get the ‘Best Seller’ badges, and the best positions, which increase conversions even further.
- Shipping and delivery. There are many options here but if you are able to offer Amazons premium shipping options and returns policy then you can qualify for some of your products to be listed with the ‘Prime’ badge. The ‘Amazon Choice’ badge can also be awarded for fast fulfilment times. Both badges can increase sales.
- Bounce rate and time on product. Amazon will measure how many times a potential customer clicked on your listing but took no further action and other engagement metrics.
- Brand name. Can be important as part of a search term and for CTR – it is always displayed under the product title. It can also sometimes link to results for additional products from the same brand so it is important to use exactly the same brand name for similar same category products.
- Account maintenance. The Amazon “Seller Center” dashboard needs to be constantly reviewed to make sure your account is in good health.
- Inventory. You will be penalised if you are an FBA seller (Fulfilment By Amazon) and the stock runs out when orders are still coming in so monitor the situation regularly.
- Multiple listings for variations. Sometimes it will make sense to create separate listings targeting different sizes, colours etc. for a product. But be aware that this will dilute the quantity of reviews for the product as a whole.
- Price. The price of your product compared to the competition is probably the single most important contributing factor to achieving a sale and ranking. Products with the highest sales get the best ranking positions so therefore how competitively you price the product will have a direct effect on where it will appear in the results.
The tip of the sales opportunities ice berg
As well as the main results listings there are also numerous other under the surface sales opportunities that a good seller can really take advantage of – with a bit of effort.
In our search for ‘glasses’ for example,
Clicking on the first result in this row for Duralex tumblers takes the buyer to this product page.
But there are numerous sellers of Duralex tumblers – including Duralex themselves who in this case are featured in the main product page.
Where there are multiple sellers for the same product it is crucial that you are the brand that is featured in the main display where buyers view the product and clicking ‘buy now’ or ‘add to basket’ is an order for you. Second best is being listed in the top 3 of the other sellers box, highlighted in the image, where the buyer can also add a product from you straight to their basket. The sellers featured in ’19 new from £13.09’ will hardly get any sales – circled in red.
To win on these pages, especially if you are not the manufacturing brand, final buyer price (i.e. including shipping), delivery performance and seller ratings are the most important metrics to concentrate on.
These sales opportunities are the tip of the ice berg. There are the ‘Frequently bought together’, ‘Customers who bought this item also bought’, ‘Compare with similar items’, ‘What do customers buy after viewing this item?’, ‘Featured recommendations’ and Amazon discounts to consider….
So if you would like more advice on successful selling on Amazon please contact us.