Amazon SEO: improving your Amazon product rankings.

By Nick Papagiannis, VP Search Director

With Amazon being the top search engine for product shoppers, it’s no wonder brand SEO teams are focusing on optimizing their presence and listings on the platform. Amazon’s search algorithm is called A9 and it differs from traditional search engines like Google or Bing and requires a custom SEO approach to ranking better. In addition to traditional search engine ranking factors, A9 looks at performance metrics to determine which listing to rank. Ultimately, Amazon shares the same goal as traditional search engines, which is to provide the best user experience, but as a product engine it depends on different factors to reach that goal.

To boost organic performance and ranking with Amazon, brands should optimize for three key areas (relevance, performance, experience):

Relevance

Having the right terms in your product fields is critical for most search engines, but especially for Amazon. Consider using a keyword tool like Sonar to determine what search phrases related to your product(s) are being used on Amazon and what you need to target in your Amazon listings (below).

  • Product Title and Page Copy
    • There are a few key areas of copy that need to be inputted when creating a product page on Amazon. The product title seems to carry the most weight when it comes to search, followed by description copy on the product page. Work with your SEO teams to include the right phrases in your title and product descriptions, to help build relevance around the right keyword terms.
    • Depending on your type of product, it could be best to include your brand name, and descriptive terms that users search with like color, size, quantities and other product attributes.
  • Brand Seller Name and Page
    • Your Seller Page and storefront are extremely important to the algorithm and user experience. From a pure-store naming perspective, be sure to include your category in your brand store name (e.g. “Nike Shoes”).
  • Amazon Search Terms Field
    • Amazon provides an input in the system to help understand the term for which you’d like your product pages to rank. A9 will use this field, as well as other product description copy and headers, to define relevance and determine rankings. Read more here.

Performance

Key performance metrics help drive A9’s ranking choice, which make it even more difficult to impact.  Consider optimizing the following:

  • Reviews
    • Product reviews are another performance-related factor that’s part of Amazon’s algorithm. When doing a search, you’ll notice that products ranking at the top for a broad product search have more reviews than those lower down on the list. Push reviews wherever possible.
  • Sales and Pricing
    • Pricing is a huge factor when it comes to sales within Amazon because users can sort and filter product seller options by it. More sales and a better sales rate result in a better search ranking. Since more competitive pricing results in more sales, it’s important to offer the best price possible to win users and increase your search ranking.

User experience and optimizing the inbound traffic experience and channels

Providing a good user experience is critical to making your users and Amazon happy. In fact, pages with higher click-through rates and sales tend to rank better than pages with lower rates and sales. Amazon offers advice about optimizing the following areas to provide the best experience as possible to increase sales, which will in turn improve rankings. Here are a few considerations we’d like to highlight as well.

  • Brand Seller Pages
  • Provide high-quality product images, videos and details
    • High-quality images drive conversions and offer buyers a solid view of the product,  which can reduce product returns and improve buyer satisfaction. A good sales rate and positive reviews will help you on Amazon, so be sure to provide them on each page.
    • Be descriptive to increase sales and buyer satisfaction. Amazon provides a great walk through on what product page details should look like. Be sure to have robust product descriptions and highlight key benefits using bullet points to help users complete a sale.
  • Organic Seller Page promotion and inbound linking
    • If you aren’t buying sponsored ads on Amazon, you need to take advantage of as many ways as possible to drive more traffic to your page. The more traffic and links to your Seller Page, the better. Links can drive discovery and also help your Seller Page rank higher on Google and other search engines (particularly for the non-brand terms included in your Seller Page name). Consider your Seller Page to be an owned media asset and as critical, or even more critical, as your social media pages. Some other ways to boost organic inbound traffic:
      • Share Seller Page and highlight listings on social media (Pinterest, Facebook)
      • Include links to Seller Page in blog posts
      • Partner with influencers to talk about you and your Seller Page
      • Include links to your Seller Page in announcements and other offsite content (press releases, blogs, paid media content)
      • Be sure to include strong navigation links and consider having a landing page from your website to drive to your Seller Page, and be sure to include the landing page in your paid media programs
  • Consider building an Amazon Skill
    • Though they won’t necessarily boost your SEO ranking for product searches, Skills can serve as a supplement to your Seller Page and can provide an easy-ordering, voice-enabled experience for your customers, among other benefits.

Boosting your organic presence on Amazon requires a comprehensive and ongoing approach around these key areas. Work with your SEO teams to optimize each of these areas to capture as much organic traffic and sales as possible.