Selling on Amazon has become a full-time job for some while others use the eCommerce giant to earn supplemental income monthly. Finding the right product to sell that gains notoriety can help increase sales volume immensely. Many buyers opt to purchase off of Amazon rather than a company website due to return policies and the familiarity of the buying process. Ranking at the top of product listings can drive sales that otherwise might have gone to competitors.
Amazon listing optimization is going to take a detail-orient approach and consistent effort. The order of the listing of products can be impacted by the right keywords or offsite marketing approaches. With all of the factors that impact product listings being shown it is important to create an optimization checklist. Forgetting to research keywords in product descriptions that convert can lead to a far smaller number of products sold.
Google has an algorithm for search engine rankings and the eCommerce giant Amazon is no different. This algorithm will be discussed in detail below.
What is Amazon’s A9 Algorithm?
Amazon’s A9 algorithm impacts product search listings by factoring in numerous variables. Amazon like any business wants to promote products that are selling well, have great reviews, and sellers that always seem to deliver on time. Understanding how to optimize Amazon listings can take a bit of trial and error to compile personal data on the listings.
Unlike Google’s algorithm which stresses providing the most accurate and relevant search results, A9 differs as it has the main goal of generating sales. Amazon optimization services have become far more powerful for new sellers trying to start selling nearly immediately. Individuals that provide these services likely have a digital marketing background as keyword research and other intricacies of selling online can be difficult to navigate.
Below are some aspects of Amazon’s A9 that are more important than on traditional search engines:
- The price of the product is more crucial due to the final goal of a sale being converted. The algorithm can make sure that a price is fair for a product. There are plenty of opportunities to change pricing along with tools that can allow for flexible pricing.
- The product availability will play a role. Amazon is not going to show the results of products that vendors do not have in stock. Inventory management being seamless is imperative to optimize an Amazon listing.
- Sales history matters as the eCommerce giant wants to maximize customer experience by working with a seller that always seems to have 5-star reviews.
- Conversion rates combined with click-through rates will also play a larger role. Click-through rates are important on Google as well but hold heavier importance when it comes to Amazon.
Amazon Product Listing Elements
Product listings are far more complicated than many buyers understand. Something as small as leaving a keyword out of a description can lead to the listing being ranked low or nearly impossible to find. Below are the elements that impact product listings on the Amazon selling platform:
- Keywords and phrases
- Product Title
- Product Images
- Product Reviews
- Product Description
- Product Features
- Product Ratings
Below will discuss the importance and best practices of each of these elements. While some elements are more important than others, to truly boost sales efficiently requires all of these to align with the A9 algorithm.
The keywords that a seller is targeting is going to be of paramount importance. Targeting the wrong keywords can limit sales or have a product listing showing up that lacks relevance. Seeing where your product ranks for a specific keyword is as easy as searching it on Amazon utilizing an incognito window.
IO Scout Keyword Research Tool is a huge help for a new seller that have no idea of how to start. These tools can be free or paid but the investment is worth it to help ensure the right keywords are optimized on a product listing. Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that is also quite intuitive to use for a seller. While this is not an Amazon-specific tool, the keywords that are common on Google being searched will be similar to Amazon.
Amazon Auto Fill can allow a seller to come up with secondary keywords for a listing. The auto-fill box will show what words are commonly filled in when searching on Amazon. Find the relevant secondary keywords to help optimize a listing further.
The competitors that are selling the same products can provide valuable insight into what keywords should be used. This does not mean to copy the entire product description but rather use it as a template of sorts. The top keywords need to be included in the title while other less important keywords should be left for the product description.
There is a character limit of 250 in regard to the titles of products. It is recommended by nearly all eCommerce experts to use as much of the character limit as possible. The title should include 5 of the top keywords that are relevant to the product and drive results. Below are a few more tips on how to write a product title that converts via Amazon product title optimization:
- Keywords should be incorporated but the title should be written for humans rather than the A9 algorithm.
- Include a detail like that of the products being made of recycled materials.
The images of the product need to be of the highest quality possible. Blurry pictures do not instill confidence with a buyer and can make it difficult to see important attributes of a product. The limit of photos is 9 and take full advantage of this. The impression that a buyer gets of the product is going to be the image first as they might immediately recognize it is what they are searching for.
The following are tips for Amazon listing optimization in regards to images:
- The dimensions and size of the products should be optimized in terms of when the picture is zoomed in upon.
- A professional photographer can provide images that are extremely clear with zero issues in resolution.
- Do not obscure parts of the product by making the background grey or black. The background being white will allow for the clearest viewing of the product.
- Different angles of the product should be photographed.
- The packaging should also be included. Many customers might recognize the packaging if they are unsure of a product’s exact name.
Sellers need to prioritize the quality of products that they are selling on Amazon. A few terrible reviews might not make a huge difference if a majority of the reviews are positive. The seller’s communication with the buyer is also going to be paramount. Complaints about damaged or extremely late purchased will impact the listings and are a factor in the A9 algorithm.
The automation of emails that update a customer about their purchase will provide them an accurate expectation of delivery time. This automated email will also keep the informed which is imperative when stressing customer experience. Driving these reviews can be tough as Amazon does have rules against bribing buyers with discounts or free products for a positive review.
The product’s description is going to be where the product is truly outlined by the seller. This is not where you will write a novel about the products but should be thoroughly done. There is a character limit of 2000 spaces which requires the description to be clear yet concise. The best practices are listed below in relationship to writing Amazon product descriptions:
- Keywords that are relevant to the product and help it stand apart from others should be included.
- Sentences should be short and clear.
- The benefits and features that will appeal to the customer should be near the beginning of the description.
- Avoid stuffing keywords that make the description difficult to read or have unnatural flow.
- The description should be written in a casual tone as overly technical writing can confuse a buyer of a product.
- Do not incorporate keywords not relevant to the product.
Testing the product’s description against another will help a seller realize which description will drive the most sales. The expectations that the buyer has about a product are going to be generated from the description. Accurate and thorough descriptions will keep the customer informed. The last thing a seller wants is a poor rating due to misleading or confusing the buyer with a product description that does not align with the product being sold.
Product features should be easily scannable by a potential customer that is looking to purchase something specific. The features are usually done in a way with a bulleted list to make them easy to read. The character limit is 1000 which usually is comprised of 200 to 250 words. Below are best practices for writing up the features of your product in an Amazon listing:
- Consider what makes the product stand out from others in the niche. A certain feature could be the reason that a customer is considering a particular product. A small comparison to competing products can allow the customer to see the superiority of one product versus another.
- The most important features like the size or main function should be at the top of the features list.
- Address comments or complaints from previous customers on the features list.
- The guarantees and return policies should be highlighted if it is a new product on the market.
- The material the product is made from should be listed. Bonus points if it is ecofriendly as the consumer is as informed and aware of how particular products impact the environment.
- Go over the problem the product solves or a pain point a customer encounters that the product will help with.
The product rating is looked at by all buyers due to its importance. The last thing that any buyer wants is a product that has been consistently called low-quality or does not deliver what it promises. The picking of the right product can be important as cheaply made products will cause product ratings to plummet. For those that have products that have 4 or 5 stars, this means that a quality product is being sold.
Below are a few things to watch out for related to product ratings:
- Consistent negative feedback about a part of the product or limitations it has should be addressed.
- Sending out automated emails to gather feedback can help a seller remedy a situation before a buyer leaves a terrible rating.
- Be realistic that not every customer can be made happy. Consumers are harder to please today than ever with many people taking out bad days on reviews and product ratings regularly.
Optimizing Your Amazon Listings
If you want your Amazon listings to be more visible, it’s always a good idea to optimize them first. In this section, we’ll show you how to get it done so you are able to outmuscle your competition in terms of where you appear. You really want to pay attention here so you don’t miss any steps.
What is Amazon Listing Optimization?
Amazon Listing Optimization allows you to upgrade your product page using four major approaches: search terms, content, reviews, and Q&A. If you are able to leverage all for of these to your advantage, you’ll have a better chance of getting a higher placement depending on the keywords your customers type in, what’s included on the page, and so on.
Let’s take a closer look at each element so you have a better understanding of how to optimize them:
Search terms: If you are looking for a good search term, it’s important to find one that is low competition but still gets plenty of hits. One way to find these is to rely on IO Scout to get the job done. You’ll be able to find related keywords that tie into your product. From there, you can incorporate them in your listings (and be able to rank well). You want to stay clear from saturated keywords (i.e. -- high search volume, high competitive).
Content: In laymen’s terms, we’re talking about the product description or copy. Pretty self-explanatory here. Just write a short description and even a brief explanation of each feature and benefit. You also should consider using backend keywords or additional search terms so your customers can find your product fairly quickly.
Images: Product images are pretty much a requirement for those selling products on Amazon. You want the customer to see what they are getting. The more images, the better. Plus, the images should also be in high-quality so they are authentic and look exactly like what the customer is getting. Don’t take images of a product that looks good when the item itself is actually damaged.
Q&A: This section can come quite in handy for anyone who may ask a commonly asked question. Eventually, it will contain answers about the product that will usually be answered by past buyers. There could be a few to over hundreds of questions about the product’s attributes like the color, size, shape, and so on.
Reviews: Clearly the superior attribute of the bunch. The more positive reviews, the better. It’s as simple as that. And you can get those positive reviews if you keep your customers happy. For example, if you deliver the product on time, in the right quality, and in a timely manner...then you stand a good chance to get a positive review.
As long as you are able to gather the best images, choose the right keywords, and write excellent product copy you’ll stand a better chance at optimizing your listing over your competition. Then, getting reviews from customers (albeit verified purchases) will even increase your ranking and visibility.
Top 3 Tools for Amazon Listing Optimization
E-commerce is a huge and booming industry with tech companies trying to capitalize by launching tools that make it easier for the common person to sell. Tools, of course, have their strengths and weaknesses depending on what a seller’s ultimate goal is. The ability to base decisions on data instead of educated guesses provides a sense of security for the seller.
The ability to change products without incurring a huge risk are also staples of these tools. The demand changes over time and even over the year for particular products. Finding a hidden gem of a product can generate long-term income at levels most sellers might not be able to imagine.
Below are some of the best tools on the market along with their features.
IO Scout has been listed as one of the top product analysis tools when it comes to Amazon. Below are features and advantages that IO Scout can give a seller over the competition:
- A large database of products is listed. There are over 150 million products listed which is one of the top numbers of the Amazon listing optimization tool types on the market. The tool allows a seller to see which products will not only sell but also those that have incredible profit margins.
- Data is gathered consistently and translated into actionable strategies for sellers.
- Tracking competitors has always been a staple of online selling. IO Scout allows for the tracking of competitors keywords, tracking products , and estimate sales .
- Estimated selling of products can be predicted so a seller will be able to see around how much revenue a new item listed will generate.
- Guesswork is all but eliminated as this tool allows for the historical analysis of certain types of products.
Pricing becomes far easier as it can be difficult to figure out an optimum price without incorporation of Amazon fees and ads that are run monthly.
The SellerApp aims to increase sales through analytics that are gathered from the behavior of customers. The following are ways that the SellerApp can help take your Amazon store and listings to the next level:
- The generation of reports that are based on data with actionable insights takes the guesswork out of selling.
- The analysis of the behavior of customers cannot be underestimated. The comprehension of why a buyer has purchased an item or how they shop can be invaluable.
- The determination of sales potential can allow an online seller to add or drop specific products without worry.
- The tracking of competitors is easy with this tool as seeing what keywords a competitor is targeting can help shape a seller’s strategy.
- PPC campaigns are imperative in driving online sales. Being able to target the right keywords in PPC ads will maximize ROI on an ad campaign for a particular product.
Amazon Listing Optimization Services
Some professionals can help immensely with Amazon optimization services. There are so many factors that impact the success of an online store that these services usually include a myriad of professionals. There are those copywriters that have been writing product descriptions for years to maximize sales. PPC or Facebook ads are usually provided by these companies to generate sales with an approach that makes data collection seamless.
A person without any experience setting up their store then hiring professionals might see how many aspects they weren’t knowledgeable about. The tools above are just a part of the equation as optimization services have the main goal of the generation of sales. Being able to allow a service provider to manage pricing or ads will help the maximum impact. Do not let things like clicks distract you in the reporting, sales are the main focus of anyone using an Amazon optimization service.
Blackhat tactics or those that are not approved by Amazon can lead to the eCommerce juggernaut penalizing a product listing by putting it lower in search results. Paying for reviews is a common tactic that less than ethical sellers use along with providing misinformation about a product. ]
Below are different details that should be kept in mind when using the services of a company optimizing an Amazon store and its products:
- Past clients should have data showing how they increased sales along with particular spending habits. Even if an NDA has been signed the number of the customer and products they sell can be blacked out. Too many digital marketing professionals dub themselves as Amazon selling gurus so beware of those without results to show you.
- Ask about the different services they provide and whether any store management services come in their packages.
- Ask about former SEO experience as these same professionals can help set up an online store outside of Amazon as well. SEO drives sales in a plethora of industries and many professionals have figured out how to game the Amazon algorithm as well. Results for competitive keywords garnered on Google can also be shown as proof.
- The tools that the company will be used to assist in the process need to be covered. You might find a service provider is simply using suggestions from tools that are listed above as they provide quite a bit in terms of benefits.
- If the service provider also can assist with fulfillment and customer service, this is just an added bonus.
Entering the world of eCommerce can be a bit daunting but the opportunities are immense. One popular product that is gaining traction on Amazon can produce life-changing income in a matter of months. Picking the right margins and products to sell will also take quite a bit of research. Do not get discouraged if certain products are not selling but do make changes to your product listing.
The right tools can also be a huge help as many online selling tools give suggestions based on numerous sets of data. A particular selling campaign could provide a huge influx of sales while another might not have delivered in terms of ROI. If you are currently having issues selling online research on what tools will automate a particular process or automatically update sales price can change the trajectory of an online seller’s success.