Amazon SEO is one of the most powerful skills in ecommerce today.
If you can rank your products higher, that’s essentially free money. And the longer you stay there, the faster your brand will grow without any paid ads. You really can’t ask for more than that. But how do you actually do Amazon SEO?
In this guide, we’re going to talk about this in detail starting from the basics.
So whether you’re a beginner who is just starting their first Amazon business or you’re an experienced market who works a lot with Amazon businesses, then this guide on Amazon SEO is going to become one of those articles you bookmark because of how important it is to you.
So let’s get started…
What Is Amazon SEO? And How Does It Work?
Amazon SEO is similar to Google SEO.
With Google SEO, you can rank different pages for certain keywords that people search so you can get more traffic to your site. It’s the exact same with Amazon SEO, except there’s one huge difference. While Google SEO is typically more information based, Amazon SEO is buyer based. For example, you might rank for “what shoes should you wear for Crossfit?” and have people land on an article. But on Amazon, you would rank for “minimalist shoes for Crossfit” and have people land directly on your product detail page.
This is what makes Amazon SEO so freaking powerful.
It’s the only search engine in the world specifically built for ecommerce.
And it’s all run by their proprietary algorithm called A9.
It’s an algorithm that bases everything around the idea of “likelihood”. Because Amazon SEO is specifically designed for people who are ready to buy, then the algorithm optimizes for that. This means that product relevance and listing performance are everything if you want traffic.
Product relevance comes down to having all of searcher’s keywords in your listing. If you don’t make sure you completely optimize your listing for SEO, then Amazon literally won’t waste any real estate ranking your product. Literally. So this is the absolute first step.
Listing performance comes down to the actual sales. Because ultimately, if you get traffic, but no one wants to buy your product, then Amazon has no reason to rank you. But if you get traffic and you have high conversion numbers, then not only will you rank, but you can even rank #1 for your chosen keywords depending on how well your product sells.
But to be relevant and have a listing that converts, you first need to research.
Phase #1: Discover The Best Keywords With Research
For some reason, some people who get into Amazon SEO like to run in blind. This is exactly what you don’t want to do. Instead, you need to research for the exact keywords that can help optimize your listing, just like you would do for Google SEO.
Now, there are no super accurate tools to help you here. So while you can use tools like Helium 10, Jungle Scout, or Viral Launch to supplement your research, you don’t want to rely on them. You need to do it the old fashion way for best results.
This starts with understanding your business inside and out.
First, you want to nail down who you are selling too. There’s a big difference between selling to dog owners and cat owners. There’s also a difference between selling to german shepherd owners and pitbull owners. You want to know the person who is buying your product inside and out. So spend time on Google to figure out what type of people buy your product.
Second, you want to understand your product. The best way to do this is to whip out a Google Doc and create a problem/feature/benefit list. This means listing out every single possible problem your product solves, then listing every feature that solves a problem, and then turning that feature into a benefit. For example, if your protein powder contains pea protein, then the benefit would be building muscle without dairy.
Lastly, you want to make the connection between the two through keywords. This is going to come down to multiple things. One is competitor research, which is when you go to your competitors listings and jot down what keyword they’re ranking for. Another is to use different tools like Helium10 to estimate the volume of the problems your product solves. And lastly, just use Amazon autocomplete to fill out the rest of your research.
It’s also a good idea to check out each search results competition. This way, you can make sure you choose keywords that are easier to rank for, but will still bring you a steady diet of sales. Generally, this means you want to see search results with multiple listings that are ranking with less than 100 product reviews. And if their listings are only decently optimized for the keyword, then even better.
Phase #2: Optimize Your Amazon Listing For Product Relevance
As I mentioned earlier, 50% of your success with Amazon SEO is going to come down to how relevant your product is to the searcher. You can influence this by choosing the right keywords and then putting them in your listings. But not all parts of a listing matter to relevance.
The most important product relevance factor is your product title.
According to Amazon, your title should contain elements such as…
For best results, you want to take these elements and prioritize them. This means starting with your brand name and then listing additional keywords based on order of importance. However, don’t keyword stuff your title or you will see a negative impact on your Amazon SEO.
It’s also a good idea to use pipes (|) or dashes (-) to improve readability.
Besides your product title, you also want to optimize your backend keywords.
These are additional keywords that Amazon uses to help with product relevancy. They’re just not shown on the actual listing. The best way to think about them is glorified meta tags. You only have 5 fields worth of backend keywords you can use though, so use them. Feel free to keyword stuff in this part of the process.
With that said, here are some rules to follow…
Don’t repeat any words
Avoid quotation marks
Don’t include variations of the same word
Commas are ignored
Include synonyms if applicable
For both your title and backend keywords though, it’s important to think about relevance. As long as you pick keywords with low competition, but specifically targets people who are likely to buy, you’re good to go.
Phase #3: Optimize Your Amazon Listing For Performance
Once you’ve optimized for relevancy, now you need to focus on what drives sales. The best question to ask yourself here is what can you do to increase the desirability of your product.
This is going to come down to photography and copywriting.
Ultimately, people want to see what they’re buying. In fact, a few images can sometimes tell a customer everything they need to know to make a purchase. This is particularly true if you sell a lifestyle product such as apparel, footwear, or jewelry. With that said, even in categories where images don’t say much about what they do, it still gives a customer confidence in what you sell.
So how do you optimize the images for sales?
Ideally, you would hire a professional photographer to take product-on-white photos for you. You want super clean pictures from multiple angles. In addition, some products may need renderings or some form of “inside look” photography so they know how the product looks from the inside.
Basically, you want images that say this is a high quality, one-of-a-kind product that works.
Even though your images should do as much of the heavy lifting as possible, people still want to know the actual details behind your product. These details have to be exciting and benefit-driven though if you really want people to take out their wallets and buy.
You do this by hiring an Amazon copywriter and giving them…
Your main keywords
They’ll then take this information and write bullet points in your product description that make people exciting and curious about the possibility of your product. In categories that require explanation, this is where you will make the sale. But even if categories that lean heavier on visuals, the copy still makes a difference.
So use the bullets to tease the hell out of your customers.
No matter what you’re selling and who you’re selling too, price will always be a factor.
In Amazon, this matters even more. First of all, price is one of the biggest factors to your conversion rates. So the higher your price, the lower your conversion rates will fall. Second, Amazon is closer to a deals site than it is a luxury site.
In other words, you have to directly compete with other sellers on price.
This doesn’t mean you need to price yourself lower than everyone else to win. This can actually backfire as you need a profit margin if you want to build a profitable business. But it does mean you have to pay to your competitors more often than you would like so you can always know what’s going on the market and respond to it.
Proof is another huge factor to sales, which influences rankings.
Hence why so many people confuse reviews as a product relevancy tactic rather than a listing performance tactic. It has that much of a direct effect on your Amazon SEO.
Here’s the key though…
Not only do you want a lot of reviews, but you also want a lot of good reviews whenever possible. Ideally, you want as many 5 star reviews as possible.
What you don’t want to do is…
Get fake reviews, which Amazon will be able to find
Have bad reviews, which will kill your listing performance
So make sure you have a strong product that does what it says you can do and tell people to review your product, without any incentives of course.
Phase #4: Increase Your Amazon SEO Ranking With Other Sources Of Traffic
While product relevancy and listing performance will get you 80% of your results when it comes to Amazon SEO, if you really want to rank higher on Amazon, you need to do the extra 20% so few other people are willing to do.
In this case, it means using other sources of traffic…
Remember, Amazon’s entire algorithm is based on sales. It doesn’t give a damn where you are getting your sales from. All it cares is that you’re making lots and lots of money because it means Amazon gets to make lots and lots of money.
So don’t just rely on Amazon SEO to improve on Amazon SEO.
In fact, the best thing to do is to not rely on it at all. Improve your product relevancy and listing performance as much as you can. Then spend the rest of your time getting other sources of traffic to do all of the selling for you.
This is the fastest way to rank your product.
It’s also the most sustainable way because now you can keep up with other competitors who have been there for years.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to build a huge Youtube channel to win on Amazon.
But if you want to rank higher with Amazon SEO, then it’s a smart idea to at least do something on the side. So start with some paid sources of traffic like Amazon PPC and influencers. Then try building a small, but loyal audience on the side.
It’s the only real foolproof strategy to ranking #1 for your keywords.