News & Insights
The Importance of Amazon SEO for Boosting Visibility and Driving Sales
Building a data-driven marketing strategy to get products in front of their ideal online customers on Amazon starts by understanding how the platform ranks and presents products to customers. Once a brand realizes that Amazon is essentially a search engine, it can begin creating a plan to move its products to the top of the list. In other words, Amazon Search Engine Optimization is an essential strategy for brands that want to capitalize on the shopping convenience that virtually everyone now has at their fingertips.
SEO is critical for every e-commerce business. And brands with an Amazon seller account, in particular, face the extraordinary challenge of optimizing their Amazon product listing across many areas valued by the platform’s algorithm. It quickly becomes apparent that success depends on more than just using the right keywords in a product description. Regardless of how many shoppers land on a listing, the most successful Amazon sellers know that continuous optimization is necessary to lead to sales. A failure to understand the platform’s search algorithm or make adjustments based on the preferences and behaviors of customers makes it nearly impossible to succeed in the marketplace.
Amazon’s A9 algorithm is the process by which the online marketplace determines which and in what order products display in response to a customer search. Recent tweaks to the algorithm have led some to begin referring to it as A10; however, regardless of the moniker, the priority for sellers is to optimize their listings for the rankings.
Obviously, relevancy and availability are at the top of the list when it comes to influencing the algorithm. The more closely your in-stock product matches a search term, the better the chances it will appear among the top results. Not surprisingly, the other factors are less transparent and harder to target for optimization. Your product’s sales metrics, description quality, off-site traffic and, of course, its reviews are all a part of the equation.
Boost visibility with a plan
Fortunately, a few improvements to an Amazon product listing can go a long way. Whether you’re trying to win the Buy Box or want to strengthen your branding, it can be challenging to determine where to focus your efforts. When it comes to product listings, however, there are some fundamental aspects to target.
The interaction between a prospective customer and your product listing often begins with your Amazon product title. A well-constructed and optimized product title can be the difference between profitable shopper conversions and a struggle to get your item in front of the appropriate audience.
An optimized product title is more than just a description of your Amazon listing. It needs to be a concise balance of accuracy and detail that targets the most valuable keywords for your brand. One of the challenges of listing optimization is crafting a title that simultaneously satisfies the expectations of Amazon users and strategically influences the site’s algorithm.
While it may take up less real estate than other parts of an Amazon listing, it certainly plays an outsized role in results.
Identifying the primary keywords that are most important to a listing’s performance is typically within a brand’s in-house capabilities. However, prioritizing those terms and effectively integrating them into an Amazon product listing is much more complicated. Search engine optimization (SEO) on the platform gauges relevance and value to determine how to best leverage a keyword in a product title, feature bullet points, product description or elsewhere.
Optimization is also not as simple as repeating keywords numerous times. Regarding Amazon’s algorithm and keywords, quality is way more important than quantity. In many cases, once a search term appears in your Amazon listing, it has likely added all the value it can. Therefore, adding it repeatedly, especially to the detriment of the copywriting, is unlikely to improve your spot in the search results.
Among the most influential pieces of Amazon content are high-quality images. In fact, 78 percent of people say video has convinced them to buy a product, while 30 percent of shoppers won’t even consider a product that presents low-quality images. However, optimizing photos means more than just good resolution and high resolution. The media on your product page should tell a story. Your products should be showcased from multiple angles and in use. In addition, any product image included in a product listing should reinforce the featured benefits you are trying to convey.
Well-designed and appealing infographics that add compelling text overlays and use precise measurements and comparisons to establish size and function are essential to this area of Amazon listing optimization.
And remember, this deliberate approach to Amazon listing photos is about more than convincing buyers to add the product to their cart. It’s about ensuring that shoppers are informed and have the appropriate expectations when they receive the item so that the confusion or disappointment that might otherwise occur, and result in negative reviews, can be avoided.
Features & Description
While some brands might see much difference between their product’s key features and description, the ones that take optimization seriously know better. Amazon’s Key Feature section relies only on short bullets to communicate the most important aspects of a product to consumers. The text displayed in the key features can also weigh more heavily in the ranking done by the platform’s algorithm, making keyword placement critical.
Alternatively, the product description is the place to provide detailed information about product features and product usage to guide a customer’s purchase decision. It’s the place to highlight specific product information not included in other areas of an Amazon listing but may still influence Amazon shoppers. In both the features and description areas, sellers must follow Amazon policies, such as the restrictions on mentioning competition or promoting temporary price cuts.
Developing a Key Features section and product description that complement one another, taking advantage of keywords and captivating the audience with an eye toward conversions is not easy. Like so many parts of an Amazon listing, a single weak link can have a detrimental effect on the entire listing and result in long-term problems for an Amazon seller.
Maximize the impact
Since 2021, brands have had access to anonymized data on customer interests, preferences and shopping behavior via the Amazon Brand Analytics Dashboards. They are an incredible resource for companies looking to optimize their Amazon ranking.
The brand analytics shared by Amazon are divided between two separate tools – the Search Query Performance Dashboard and the Search Catalog Performance Dashboard.
The Query Performance Dashboard provides valuable metrics on top search terms associated with a brand’s products. Such information can help you better target keywords, as well as identify opportunities to improve messaging, run advertising campaigns and even expand product offerings.
The Catalog Performance Dashboard helps brands analyze product-level performance and can be used to discover conversion issues and find out where customers lose attention or click away. The dashboard also offers insights on inventory planning, marketing investments and your products’ competitiveness, especially in pricing.
Both offer data on impressions, clicks, cart adds and purchases to assist brands in their efforts to maximize conversions and fine-tune their Amazon listings and product offerings. Since minor improvements to a listing’s content, or even an adjustment to the product title, can result in dramatic increases in ranking and conversion rates, this can be a considerable asset to brands that know how to react to the information.
Amazon SEO mistakes to avoid
Before implementing any Amazon SEO tactics, you must avoid some of the common pitfalls that can otherwise undercut your best efforts. When done well, SEO can connect high-interest shoppers with the products you want them to see. But gaining a meaningful edge over the competition in this way requires prioritizing the fundamental building blocks of that success.
Optimizing without a plan
The last thing any Amazon seller should do is to try to optimize their seller accounts without a plan. Clearly, there is no single factor that determines your product’s placement. Instead, success within the Amazon ranking service requires a comprehensive approach of capitalizing on the right tools, targeting the appropriate shoppers, having a detailed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan, avoiding costly mistakes, and constantly refining the strategy throughout the process.
Not understanding your customer
Search intent is where the relationship between keywords and SEO is cemented. It refers to the goal of a person who types their query into a search engine. In other words, what are they trying to find? And since the usefulness of any search engine, Amazon or otherwise, is determined by its ability to get users to the content they want quickly, intent is also the primary concern of the algorithms running them.
The challenge of finding the best keywords for your brand to target often involves uncovering the search intent behind the many options. Remember to evaluate your Amazon presence from a shopper’s perspective and use the data available to understand their buying journey. Beyond just identifying the relevant words and phrases, you must understand how those terms relate to a user’s objective, and a product can fulfill that need. Focusing on user intent makes it much easier to narrow down the keywords that deserve the most attention. It also increases the chance of successfully closing the gap between your Amazon SEO goals and your Amazon sales.
Poor inventory management
Few things can make an item lose its stellar product rank than being out of stock. Amazon’s primary goal is to sell things, and customers are impatient. So a product that isn’t available is unlikely to be added to anyone’s cart. Similarly, brands that can’t provide fast shipping will have trouble breaking through the competition vying for a spot near the top of the search results. That’s why a robust inventory management program is essential for sellers looking to improve their ranking on Amazon.
In many cases, the best way to accomplish this is via Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Consider utilizing a logistics partner with Amazon experience or that has warehouse options located near Amazon’s shipping hubs to streamline the process. Remember, not only can shipping challenges harm your product’s ranking, a poorly-managed inventory can negatively affect a company’s bottom line since Amazon can charge expensive aged-inventory fees for stagnant inventory. Some sellers seek the additional simplicity of using Amazon to fulfill products that are ordered from other websites. Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) can provide the same features and services of Amazon FBA for orders that originate from most online merchants, including a brand’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) website.
One of the most fundamental aspects of boosting visibility on Amazon is ensuring that the information in the listing is accurate. Customers rely on product descriptions to make informed purchasing decisions. If the information provided is inaccurate, they may receive a product that does not meet their expectations. Ultimately, they may return the item or leave a negative review in response. Even the most comprehensive Amazon SEO strategy won’t be able to overcome the impact of a steady stream of dissatisfied customers.
Brands should also be diligent in ensuring that information across platforms is consistent and up-to-date. While Amazon is the primary marketplace for many buyers, it’s not unusual for shoppers to expand their search for information about a potential purchase beyond the site. If they find conflicting information about an item in different places, it may derail the conversion or lead to unnecessary frustrations.
The future of Amazon SEO
It’s impossible to predict how Amazon’s ranking system will evolve in the coming years, but some trends are worth keeping an eye on. The current emphasis on artificial intelligence throughout the technology industry will almost certainly extend to search engines. As the ability to collect and analyze data from shoppers continues to grow, Amazon will use this information to help customers simplify their purchase decisions.
For Amazon sellers, this means it will likely become more challenging to reach new customers. As a result, listing optimization and having a thorough plan that targets buyers in several ways will be more important than ever. In addition, voice search may create a new category of keyword research that brands will need to master.
It’s also likely that mobile-friendly product information and videos will continue to rise in prominence among shoppers. As data speeds increase and internet availability expands, the expectation that detailed product information is available on any screen and from any location will grow. Sellers who are prepared to meet this demand with current, user-friendly media will be in the best position to capitalize.
Amify is ready to help
Amazon SEO may be integral to success, but finding the right partner to help navigate the complicated landscape of e-commerce marketing and fulfillment is also vital. Amify has more than a decade of experience implementing proven strategies and building one of the industry’s best teams.
Reach out today to find out how our experienced approach to winning on Amazon gives you a competitive edge and elevates your brand’s presence in the most valuable marketplace. Start a conversation with us today to learn more.
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