How Does Amazon SEO Work?

Mobile phone screen displaying the Amazon logo on a white background

Amazon SEO works in much the same way as optimising for any other search engine. The crawler will register keywords on each product page and will serve these product pages to customers who search those specific keywords. 

The Amazon algorithm relies on keywords, reviews, click-through-rates and sales primarily. We will go into more detail about the algorithm later in the article.

Amazon SEO Trends

Amazon SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a discipline of digital marketing that is growing in popularity significantly, year on year as we can see from Google trends.

Businesses and marketing experts are starting to get a grasp on how the Amazon search engine works. If you are used to website/Google SEO this new form should come naturally to you (It’s very similar!).

SEO on the Amazon platform can be defined as the set of techniques aimed at optimising the organic positioning of products in Amazon marketplace SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). 

If these techniques and strategies are used effectively, sellers and vendors can see their products increase in rankings and lead to more sales over time. Similarly to any other form of SEO, targeting the right keywords is crucial for ranking – on Amazon, even more so!

How does Amazon rank it’s products? (A9 Algorithm)

Before we start to explain SEO practices on Amazon, we must understand the metrics which decide ranking in Amazon’s SERPs. Amazon uses a ranking algorithm called the “A9 Algorithm” which is run by a subsidiary of Amazon called A9.com.

Amazon’s bottom line goal is to make the most profit possible. So, naturally, the algorithm is geared towards that aim. Products that make more sales are ranked higher in the SERP. This can sometimes create a vicious cycle for new products. Keep this in mind at all times when optimising for Amazon.

On-page Amazon product optimisation

Much like normal web page SEO, we like to think of Amazon product pages the same way you would think about web pages – “On-page” and “off-page”. We will explain what we mean by off-page later in the article.

Much like how we explained in our on-page SEO article, as a seller on amazon, we have full control of the product listings and so full control of the product page optimisation. 

Product Images

This might be obvious, but make sure your images are high quality and are true to your product. This will increase positive perception of your product and cause shoppers more likely to make the purchase. 

What you might not know, uploading 7 or more pictures of your product has been shown to increase conversion rate and therefore ranking. So make sure you use images!

Keywords

Amazon product page optimisation works in a much more simple way than Google. If the keyword is included in your product text, your product will rank somewhere on Amazon (even if it is on page 1000). 

Amazon will rank your product for every keyword which is listed in the following:

  • Product Title (first 200 characters)
  • Bullet Points (first 100 characters on each bullet point)
  • Description (first 2000 characters)
  • Search Terms (first 250 characters)

Because Amazon’s algorithm always ranks keywords, it would be wise to include as many different relevant keywords in these 4 sections of your product listing. This will give your product as many possible entrances, from potential customers, as possible.

CTR (Click-through-rate) and conversion rate

Although cramming as many relevant keywords into a product page’s content is a good strategy for Amazon SEO (because all keywords are ranked), this can have a detrimental effect on your click-through-rate and conversion rate.

Balance Between Optimisation and Conversion Rate

There is such a thing as over-optimisation on Amazon product pages. Having a huge title with random keywords thrown in might make it hard for potential customers to read. This can lead to a lower CTR and, in turn, lower rankings.

Write content with your customers in mind, to increase CTR and conversion rate as this will lead to higher rankings over all. Strategically place targeted, relevant keywords into the content.

Off-page Amazon Product Optimisation

You may be thinking “Off-page optimisation on Amazon, that doesn’t make any sense?!”, well we like to see this as a vital aspect to Amazon SEO. 

The two main ranking factors on Amazon are reviews and sales. These aspects are not under your direct and immediate control and so can be considered “off-page”. Much like how Google perceives backlinks as proof of the authority and trustworthiness of a site, Amazon uses reviews and sales in the same way.

Vicious cycle

New products, obviously start at 0 sales and so get poor rankings, which leads to low or no sales… Your goal, as a vendor or seller, is to break out of this cycle and start gaining sales. But how do you do this? Amazon SEO is a good start.

Try and find low competition keywords to start off with (these usually have lower volumes). Sales will be slow at first but once you start getting reviews, you will see your rankings increase dramatically. As your reviews and sales rise, you can start targeting high competition with higher volumes.

For keyword research on Amazon, we personally use a tool called “Helium 10” as it gives seemingly the most accurate search volumes. but there are plenty of other options such as Ahrefs or even just using Amazon’s autosuggest can help to find keywords.

Amazon Reviews

Reviews are one of the main ranking factors on Amazon’s A9 algorithm. Gaining positive reviews and avoiding negative reviews should be one of your top priorities as a seller. Here are some best practices:

  1. Always respond to reviews in a polite and helpful manner.
  2. Urge customers to leave a honest review though leaflets in the packaging.
  3. Describe your products accurately and truthfully on your product page to avoid negative reviews.
Megaphone shouting out 5 stars

Reviews should be a priority not only because they are a ranking factor but because they increase potential customers’ trust in your product. When was the last time you bought a product online without checking reviews beforehand?

Final thoughts

Compared to Google’s ranking algorithm, Amazon’s is a lot more simplistic. With this simplicity comes more competition and a “winner takes all” environment. Use both “on-page” and “off-page” Amazon SEO, as the two work together to boost rankings!

One last thing, sell quality products on Amazon! No amount of SEO can help sell a crappy product. Again, Amazon’s A9 algorithm works by ranking the products it thinks will generate the most profit and lead to happy customers. Happy customers lead to more reviews, sales and, in turn, higher rankings.

If you would like to find out or are interesting in Amazon SEO consulting, please feel free to contact us!