Amazon SEO: Complete Ranking Guide
Boost your Amazon sales now
How to use SEO to boost your Amazon sells now!
At its core, Search engine optimization – or SEO – is a term we use to describe and encompass a myriad of techniques, strategies, and approaches we apply to web content, to accomplish two primary objectives:
- To ensure that search engines give priority to our content, ranking it higher on their search results.
- To do so in a way that also resonates with humans – customers – and serves to convert that engagement into something productive to the content owner.
Understanding this is simple.
If you have a news site, you’d need its content to be properly SEO optimized to ensure that sites like Google are prompting it higher on user searches. But it would also be essential that the content is interesting and engaging enough, so users would want to spend more time on the site, learn more, and come back.
This same principle can be applied to any site of any kind, and your Amazon product listings are no exception.
The problem is that most people look at Amazon the wrong way.
Ask people what Amazon is, and the vast majority will reply something along the lines of “It is the largest online store in the world.” And this definition, although seemingly accurate, can also make you lose the forest for the trees.
Strip it down to its components. Separate for a moment all the services Amazon now offers, the shipping methodologies and protocols they have implemented as the site grew over the years, and you will see that all of that is powered by single lynchpin: Amazon’s own search engine.
And make no mistake, Amazon is a search engine.
A massive search engine whose main objective is to sift through the giant database of products people are selling, and put them front and center right on the screens of users with interest to buy them. A search engine where, unlike Google, most users have a credit card or some other payment method already linked, that allows them to buy with the click of one button.
This is why Search Engine Optimization is vital for an effective Amazon strategy.
If you want to sell more on Amazon, you need your products to be exposed to the greatest number of clients possible. And you need it done in a way that once the customer is on your product’s page, they’d be convinced to buy it.
To help you achieve this, we have prepared an easy to follow, how-to guide on the four main sections of every Amazon product listing where you can – and should – focus your SEO strategies.
These steps have proven to increase the volume of people finding your products, and convert those visits into more sells.
When optimizing Amazon listings through SEO our aim is twofold. First, we want more people to find our products when they search on Amazon. This is achieved through keyword research and optimization. And secondly, we want conversions from those visits. That means to make sure that once a person finds our product, it is presented in such an attractive and compelling way they’d want to buy it. This is accomplished by creating excellent sales copy.
You’ll need an Amazon Seller Central account to create a new – or edit an existing – Amazon product listing.
Once you have one, go to Inventory > Manage Inventory and there you’ll be able to start a new product listing. This is done through the “Add a product” button on the top right. You can also see a list of your products already on Amazon. Then, you can optimize them by hitting the Edit button next to them.
Our first stop when optimizing our Amazon’s product listing through SEO is the title. Alongside the product’s image – which we will discuss later – the title is the first interaction the client will have with our product. And as the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Amazon itself gives handy insights on how we can use title optimization to increase our sells. They even go as far as to offer titling format suggestions depending on the category you are selling your product for .
However, I’ve found that a robust and efficient product title has to hit a handful of marks, covered elegantly on this formula:
[Main Keyword] ｜ [3 Keywords with high Search Volume] + [Value Prop] + [Style or Quantity when applicable]
Main Keyword is the word or words which best describes our item for sale and also has the highest volume of searches. For example, if we are trying to sell some Bluetooth headset and know that people use the terms Headphones, Headsets, and Earphones interchangeably to refer to the device. It means we can use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to determine the widest reaching words.
3 Keywords with high Search Volume after the separator (｜), we should add three other keywords that encompass, relate or describe your product as efficiently as possible. They should also have high search volumes. Once more, keyword planner tools are our friends to determine the best choices.
Value Prop is more of on the marketing side of optimization. The idea here is to find a short sentence that encapsulates how your product will improve your customer’s life. A great value prop is bound to convert to more clicks on your products. They don’t have to be elaborate or overly embellished, take this product for example, “weather radio for emergency” it transmits the idea that it will help you be prepared for emergencies, which is a sentiment most people will find appealing.
Style or Quantity when applicable This is here so you keep in mind that if there is any other information you believe must be in the title – for example, the weigh, size or net content. This should be left to the end of the title.
Adapting this format to your product’s title on Amazon can serve as a powerful tool, not just to position higher on Amazon’s searches, but to help conversions into sells through effective marketing.
- Make them Keyword-rich but concise, avoid superlatives.
- Pristine quality products photo should accompany any great title.
- Strive to stay under 200 characters
- Capitalize every word in the title – except for connectors such as “and.”
2 - The Bullets
Your excellent title will help our product listings rank up on Amazon searches and pique the interest of potential buyers into looking at our product listing more closely. But once the potential buyer has decided he is interested enough in our product to take a closer look, it’s time to convert that interest into a need.
To accomplish this, the most immediate tool we have at our disposal – after the title – are the bullet points.
The bullets of an Amazon product listing are the first area where a potential buyer’s attention falls once they have clicked through. Now, as buyers, there’s one question in their head you should be focused to answer efficiently and effectively, as soon as possible:
What can this product do for me?
Is not just about the product functions and its capabilities – what the product does – but it is necessary to frame it in a way the potential buyer can portrait those benefit in his life, his particular situation.
Going back to the headset example, instead of saying something like:
- Provides high-quality sound in any environment
Try instead going for something like this:
- Bring the feeling of a live concert with you, wherever you go.
The first bullet focuses the spotlight on one of the product’s characteristics, the second one turns that spotlight back into the potential buyer, making him the star of the action. It’s not just about what the product can do, but showing the impact and benefits the product will have on his or her life.
Here are some other examples, all taken from top products on the Amazon’s best sellers in different departments:
- Thayer’s Rose Petal Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula Toner Will Make Your Skin Bloom. [Source]
- A Must for Emergency: Keep your household prepared with this AM/FM & NOAA weather alert radio. [Source]
- Ergonomic design for comfort and balance to reduce fatigue. [Source]
Appeal to the potential buyer’s needs. Have them picture how your product’s qualities will have a direct, positive impact on their lives, and the bullets will do their magic to convert sells.
3 - The Description
Descriptions are the next building block in our Amazon SEO process.
As far as content goes, similar rules apply as with bullet points, but we have more leeway to go over our product’s specifications and details in the description. We need to showcase them in a way that will have our potential buyer picturing and projecting the clear, tangible benefits these characteristics will have on their lives.
But descriptions have another characteristic unique to them that earns them their separate entry, and that’s HTML formatting – there’s also Enhanced Brand Content, but I’ll cover on a side note later.
Sharp, clean, and easy to read HTML format is a MUST on any Amazon SEO optimized product. But before getting into it, I’ll let the evidence speak for itself, look at these two flashlights’ descriptions:
Now, which of these two do you see converting more views into actual sales? The first one opens up with a very nice advertising piece that doubles down as a powerful visualization for our potential buyer to “Make the World Brighter”. While the second one slaps you with a repetition of the title that doubles as product’s name with a whopping eleven words! By the time I’m done scanning it, my brain has already disengaged.
The first description also displays proper formatting, with easy to read – or glimpse – delimitations. A section for specifications, a section for package content, a critical section highlighting the product’s “Total Customer Satisfaction Guarantee” followed by a capitalized description of an amazing warranty package, that specifies how this guarantee is only applicable while buying from them, authorized sellers, instead of the competition!
The further I read into this product’s description, the more I become convinced that this is the flashlight I should be purchasing instead of the other hundreds I’ve seen on Amazon.
On the other hand, I don’t even feel like reading the block of unformatted text. Moreover, once I push myself to it, I just realize it’s just a copy paste of the bullet points shown above but in a less desirable presentation. My attention just gives up after I realize I´m reading a generic copy.
The formatting of the first one is achieved through HTML, a standardized system for tagging text to produce properly spaced, accented and colored text, as well as introducing graphics and hyperlinks if desired. As I mentioned before, HTML formatting is only possible in the product description but not in the bullet points section. Needless to say, it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.
This is a good moment to say that focusing on fine-tuning our listings through powerful Amazon SEO on the aspects included in this guide, is no excuse to be lacking in others.
It is not a proposition of focusing on these, so I don’t have to do those. Use every tool at your disposal to ensure the likelihood of attracting the clients to your product’s listings and then converting those visits into actual sales.
A Quick note on EBC (Enhanced Brand Content):
EBC is Amazon´s way of introducing image rich formatted text into product description. The result is an aesthetically pleasing presentation as shown in the screenshot above. However, there’s the huge problem that there’s evidence to suggest Amazon search engine is not indexing the content of its own EBC.
Put simply. This means that content using EBC doesn’t help to drive more people to our product’s listing the way HTML description does.
For example, if someone looks for “Flashlight 12 hours battery”, Amazon will look for matching words in HTML descriptions and rank the most relevant content up. Sadly, it seems that content on EBC doesn’t work that way right now. So, as a point of using Amazon SEO it is better to stick to HTML for the time being.
4 - Amazon PPC Advertisement
PPC advertisement is a powerful tool in your Amazon SEO arsenal that not many amazon sellers are taking advantage of.
What PPC Ads do is allow our products to be placed on the first page of search results for specific keywords customers use. But the great thing is that you only pay when the customers actually click on your links.
It’s a strategy that has been known to have immediate results on low BSR listings, helping them reach the first page for specific keywords related to it. It augments our product’s exposure, and more exposure equals more sales.
Setting up our product’s PPC ads is pretty straightforward, just go to Seller Account > Advertisement > Campaign Manager > Create Campaign and you’ll be met by a simple window to create your campaign. Let us go over the fields to see how it is done.
1 – Campaign name: You can run several add groups for different keywords within the same campaign, so a campaign name should be something broad, for example, “Clothing Add Campaign” to group all our adds related to clothing.
2 – Average Daily Budget: Take your time to figure out this number. A properly researched add campaign will ramp up pretty quickly, and you can meet your assigned limit soon. A daily budget of say, $20 adds up to $140 over a seven-day period, and you need to be certain that this increase in cost is turning into even more revenue – that´s sells conversions on the new traffic. We recommend to play it safe, you can start the campaign with a small budget, study how this new traffic is converting into sells and react accordingly.
3 – Timeframe: It’s good practice to always choose an end date. If you get caught up busy in any other project you don’t want to be burning money on a campaign that has become unprofitable.
4 – Manual Targeting: choosing automatic targeting will have amazon auto-generating a campaign with keywords based on our product. However, it is in manual targeting, which is done by carefully researching and selecting the keywords that will benefit our product the most, where the true potential of Amazon PPC ads can be met, which leads me to the next point.
Not any keyword will do.
For PPC ads to work effectively, strong keyword research is essential. If we start doing PPC ads on our listings based on overused keywords the effect won’t be as dramatic as expected. Furthermore, activating PPC ads on inefficient keywords – keywords barely related to our product, or those that are unequivically related, don’t necessarily convert into higher sells – might end up costing you money without a tangible benefit.
Once you select manual targeting, you’ll be prompted to name the campaign and then select the product you wish to advertise for – Only one product per campaign is allowed – and how much you are willing to spend per keyword. This effectively determines how many clicks per day we’ll be able to get. For example, setting our daily budget to $15 and our keyword bid at $1 will limit our ads to receive 15 clicks per day, so careful study is needed to set these in the most effective way possible.
Finally, you’ll need to select the keywords for your campaign, and this is perhaps the trickiest part of it all.
Selecting the proper set of keywords that would most benefit your Amazon listing is a difficult task; there are powerful free tools to assist you with this, like Google’s keyword planner which can help you get a sense of popular keywords relating to your product.
Clicking on “Provide your own keyword” will prompt this screen:
Enter one keyword per line and select if you want to match the word on a “Broad” basis, a “Phrase” match, or an “Exact” match, which will also affect the efficiency of your ad campaign.
Click save and finish at the bottom and your Amazon PPC ad campaign will be ready. Do keep in mind that it might take around an hour for the ads to start showing on searches.
These are the main four areas where your Amazon SEO efforts should concentrate, they account for around 80% of your product’s listing visits and exposure, but are by no means all that comes into play, both into making potential clients find your product and converting that into sells.
Well taken images, search terms, category, type of fulfillment, are all also important areas to keep in mind when trying to optimize your product’s Amazon listing to the fullest.
So, keep it in mind when you are going through the elements on this guide to help you maximize your Amazon SEO. If you want to improve your results in the shortest time possible, covering all the SEO strategies that can help you do so can become a little overwhelming.
However, depending on the level of commitment and your expected results you have really two choices: You can either do it yourself, learning through trial and error, which can take some time and end up costing you a pretty penny. Or you can enlist the assistance of an expert in Amazon SEO strategies to do the heavy lifting for you.
The advantage is pretty straightforward, you’ll get your Amazon listings optimized – with all the steps covered here and many other more complex Amazon SEO intricacies that we didn’t had the chance to go over – with the added bonus of learning how it’s done from an insider perspective.
An SEO expert can make the process much more manageable, efficient and profitable. It would allow you to reap the benefits of a well-executed Amazon SEO strategy much faster than you’d be able to produce on your own.
- Step 1: WE LISTEN to get to know your business and define your needs. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 corporation or a small local business, you’ll gain new clarity.
- Step 2: WE BUILD a customized SEO plan that’s unique to you and your market. Because no other business is just like yours.
- Step 3: WE LAUNCH your SEO campaign with our proprietary tools, tested and proven since 2006.
- Step 4: WE IMPROVE your rankings in Google and other search engines by continually adjusting and improving your website content, architecture, and links.
- Step 5: WE PROTECT your new, higher rankings by adjusting to Google’s regular updates. Unlike other SEO services, we play both offense and defense for you!
This 5-Step SEO System is one reason why we can send more qualified visitors to your website. And because these visitors find you in unpaid, “organic” search, they are pre-disposed to doing business with you.
That’s why, when you join us, you join more than 1,000 clients who enjoy 96% satisfaction. Because less than 4% of our clients have ever moved on. The other 96% stay with us indefinitely. That’s the highest retention rate of any SEO service or digital marketing agency we know of.
Some of our clients
Why don’t you see more websites?
Because over 98% of our clients request confidentiality. You would, too, if your site suddenly ranked higher than your competitors and you started getting their customers! That’s why we respect our clients’ wishes.
But we’d be happy to show you specific SEO case studies based on your industry. That way, you can decide for yourself …
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