Ranking highly on Amazon has never been as important as it is today.
In fact, an analysis of UK online expenditure on Amazon in 2021 shows an increase of 51% YoY, with almost £20B spent in the UK over the course of the year and an 800% increase in UK sales over the last decade. In addition, 66% of shoppers now start searches for products on Amazon.
Here are five ways you can improve your Amazon listing to rank higher, reach more people, and sell more products.
1) Amazon’s Product Search Algorithm (A9)
Understanding the algorithm is the most important facet to the success of your listings on the platform. It’s a self-propagating cycle—the more visitors to your page, the more conversions, and the higher you rank.
Essentially, Amazon has a completely different algorithm from Google. The algorithm relies on three main pillars:
- Conversion rate
Conversion rate looks at the pricing landscape: is your product competitive?
- Click-through rate (CTR)
The CTR is determined by ranking keywords and the contents of your product descriptions, making them more important than ever.
- Customer satisfaction and retention
The algorithm also looks at the reviews of your product and the percentage of repeat customers to ascertain the quality of the product.
2) Relevant Keyword Strategy for Product Listings
Product listings form the basis of all your Amazon activity, making it essential to create these pages strategically. A good free tool to use for this is the Keyword Planner, or Amazon Autocomplete, which is based on the actual search history of Amazon customers.
When creating listings, you have five fields to specify what terms you want associated with your product: keywords, subject matter, other attributes, intended use, and target audience.
It is important that these keywords adhere to the following guidelines:
- The tags should be accurate and relevant to your product.
- Place as many keywords as possible in the backend Keyword fields, before adding keywords to your content; this keeps the content readable and indexed.
- Content should be concise in line with the character limits for the respective fields.
- A9 no longer prioritizes the keywords in order after the 2018 update. So as long as the phrase is inputted in the field, the listing will be indexed.
- In some cases, Amazon only indexes the first 1000 bytes including spaces across all bullet points, so it is important to be concise.
- Look at evergreen keywords rather than cyclical ones, avoiding usage of terms like ‘on sale,’ etc.
3) Engaging A+ Premium Content
Research has shown that both organic and paid campaigns have increased ROI dependent on whether the destination pages are optimized or not.
In fact, Amazon has estimated that enhanced content can increase sales between 3 and 10% through higher conversion rates. They have also released a style guide that provides further information on good A+ content. Some key takeaways on how to produce top tier A+ listings are as follows:
- Using attractive, high quality images leads to a better CTR and conversion rate, which becomes a self-propagating cycle that ends in more sales and better rankings.
- Images with more than 1000 pixels on the longest side are preferable as that will activate the zoom feature on the product page.
- Ensuring that the reader feels included is important also, and using language that speaks directly to the audience drives higher ROI and conversion rates.
- Create multiple language variations for territories with more than one dominant language. For context, 30% of searches on Amazon in the US are in Spanish.
- There is a maximum of 200 characters per bullet point, so keep it short and snappy!
- Stick to one benefit per bullet point, which makes for better readability.
- Provide as much information as possible for the product fields; the more info you provide, the higher the algorithm ranks your product.
4) Amazon Pay Per Click (PPC)
One of the key differences between A9 and Google’s algorithm is that PPC performance contributes to overall performance—organic included. This feedback mechanism is especially helpful if you are looking to launch a brand-new product, as organic improvements can take time and a good paid strategy can expedite these rankings.
- Sponsored brands allow a custom headline, logo, and three products above the #1 spot on the search results, guaranteeing instant visibility.
- Sponsored display ads send shoppers to detail pages, provided they have shown a vested interest in similar products. These have a much higher rate of conversion than a standard paid ad.
The purpose of Amazon PPC is to present customers with ads for products they are most likely to buy, whereas with Google, they present searchers with ads they are most likely to click on. From an ROI perspective, a strong Amazon PPC strategy could ostensibly drive more ROI than a Google paid strategy. For more information on Amazon PPC, please see here.
Reviews are a critical element of the Amazon sales cycle, affecting CTR, conversion, and rankings.
Amazon as a marketplace has grown on the premise of social verification with third-party affirmation. The two key metrics around reviews are:
- Number of product reviews
- Product Review Score
Amazon has tightened the guidelines around fraudulent reviews recently, meaning that while tampering with reviews is harder, it is also harder to break into the market. In fact, research has shown that the average review rate across all Amazon products is around 1–2%; however, for products with a more defined review strategy, this can jump to as high as 5%.
There are few key tricks to help you hit and exceed this target:
- Implement improved customer service so customers are more inclined to leave a good review.
- Parcel inserts with your delivery or email remarketing will remind your customer to leave a review.
- Amazon’s early reviewer program (for all sellers set up on Amazon) automates follow-up emails to customers that have bought your product and incentivizes them to review (usually $1–3 per review).
If you’re looking for further support in optimizing your Amazon listings, our expert team of e-commerce and Amazon marketing specialists work with international brands to grow and manage their global marketplace presence—improving Amazon SEO and maximizing global sales.