Amazon SEO – Your Guide to Scoring Rank 1 in the Search Results

Amazon black hat SEO is an effective but dubious technique to rank on the SERP.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we’ve all heard of it at some point. What started off as a copywriting hack to improve your visibility in Google’s search results has meanwhile also transferred over to Amazon. SEO is no longer specific to the well-known search engine but has found its ways into almost every online platform. To be honest: It’s not that surprising considering how many people use Amazon nowadays to look for certain product information and prices. But what does SEO even mean, and much more importantly: how does it work? Why is SEO so important? And what can an Amazon seller do to improve her/his Amazon SEO? Continue reading, we have answers:

What Is Amazon SEO?

Long story short: SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. This means that you’re trying to have your products or websites shown as the very first search results. Let’s be honest: Have you ever checked page two of your Google search? You can call yourself lucky if you’re listed there and still get a click every now and then. It’s the same for Amazon. Good product listing SEO is a necessity for everyone who wants to sell successfully on Amazon. 

Sounds Like a Lot of Work – Why Should You Invest Into Amazon SEO?

Let’s start with the purpose of SEO on Amazon, as that’s quite simple. You’re on Amazon, because you want to sell your products. But you are certainly not the only one. If a customer wants to buy a phone case on Amazon, there are more than 30,000 results. 

You might be thinking that ‘phone case’ is a rather broad term to search for. But even if we were to specify our search to ‘Phone case iPhone 11’, still more than 30,000 results remain.

If you are one of those 30,000 sellers, you need to stick out. The likelihood of a customer finding your offer on page 25 is next to zero. But even if you were on page two, only few customers will even recognize you. 

The goal of SEO on Amazon is clear: improve your listing to be found on page one. 

Is it a Match?

Amazon’s number one goal is customer satisfaction. Shoppers use the search bar to find what they are looking for. The better the results match the search intention, the more likely  the customer is to be satisfied and shop at Amazon again. Hence the algorithm, called A-9, compares the search request to product detail pages of sellers. You can see: Amazon listing optimization is a crucial factor of your success on the marketplace!

By the way: A-9 is very picky and only matches search requests to product detail pages if ALL keywords can be found on the product page.

So when you are working on your Amazon SEO, convince the algorithm that your product is the best match!

How to Amazon SEO

If you are selling via Amazon you probably sell one of two things: Wholesale or Private Label. While Wholesale means that you sell third party products, Private Label means that you market your own brand. Which strategy you choose has a great impact on your Amazon SEO. Content on product pages – such as product title, description and pictures – is created and managed by the brand owner. 

Let’s look at an example: If you’re selling backpacks on Amazon and Deuter’s Speed Lite is in your portfolio, you will most likely not be the one creating the product page as you are not the brand owner. Instead, Deuter themselves will manage this page. All you can do is add your offer to the existing page and compete with other sellers over the Buy Box. Unfortunately, this also means that you’ve got no impact on the Amazon Search Term Optimization and might even have to accept a bad product listing.

Find out with us how to improve your SEO listing.

But if you are the brand owner (i.e. as a Private Label) you should really know how to improve your Amazon Search Ranking. Knowing the factors that determine your SEO success will help your product rank better and therefore increase your sales. 

What Does a Good Listing Look Like?

You can use similar strategies for your Amazon marketplace SEO and for Google. Just keep in mind that customers’ search intentions can vary: While they want to find information on Google, they prefer to find and buy products on Amazon. 

Unlike at an offline shop, customers don’t get the chance to check out a product before they buy it. Hence they need that extra bit of information online. In order to rank well in the search results you should really focus on keywords, as the algorithm compares search requests to possible results. So if you want to improve your SEO on Amazon, optimize the product page with the use of keywords.

By the way: Other factors that influence your ranking are: Click-Through-Rate, retention time and Conversion Rate. The better those factors are the more likely  the algorithm is to assume that your product satisfies the customer’s search request. Which in turn will make it more likely to show your product again as an answer to the next search request for this or a similar keyword. The better your given information, the better your Click Through Rate, which in turn increases your Conversion Rate. 

If this didn’t give you enough motivation to improve your Amazon listing straight away, here’s another reason: While it may take months or even years to see the effects of your work on Google SEO, it may only take a few minutes to see the impact on Amazon! 

Let’s have a look at how Amazon SEO improves your ranking:

#1: Product title

In terms of SEO in Amazon, this is one of the most important factors. Use the keyword right in the beginning, then add other relevant information like the brand, Unique Selling Points or special product features. If you can add more keywords, go for it! 

Amazon allows you to use up to 150* characters in the title. Choose wisely! If you can fill the space with useful information for the customer, use as much as you can. But be aware that you shouldn’t just use the characters without any reason. Create the product title to attract customers and get them to click on your listing. 

*Attention: Allowed number of characters might vary depending on the product category. To be safe, you can always double check Amazon’s style guides

#2: Bullet points

You can find the bullet points right underneath the product title and price. They are one of the first elements customers notice on your product page. Be sure to use the most important Amazon SEO keywords here, as the algorithm will place emphasis on the quality of this section. Use short and precise phrases for your bullet points, so customers can easily understand your product. 

Finding a strategy for this part as a whole rather than concentrating on each single bullet point might help you to structure. You could start with an overall description of the whole product. Then go into detail about special accessories that come with it. Later on, you can give information about Unique Selling Points and further characteristics. 

#3: Images

If a product ranks well in the search results but the Conversion Rate seems to be off, the problem might be found within the Amazon SEO of the images. Of course you cannot place keywords here, nevertheless pictures are quite important in regards to the listing. Combined with the title the first picture will be shown in the search results. Hence they determine if the customer clicks on the listing or not. 

Use high quality product photos! Since viewers enjoy using the zoom function, images should have at least 1,600 pixels on the longest side. Considering that customers want to find out more about the product, it should take up around 80 to 90% of the picture. Six to eight Full HD pictures tend to be successful.

Also make sure that you know the specific product image requirements from Amazon

Pick a main picture. Otherwise Amazon’s algorithm will not take your product into consideration at all. Here are some requirements for main images that you should also hit if you’re not working on your Amazon SEO:

  • Use a plain white background. 
  • Use professional photos of the product.
  • Images have to match the product title.
  • Images must not exceed 10,000 pixels on the longest side.

As the main image has to show the whole product you may vary the angles in the following pictures and show different details. Here you can also use short texts and explanations in order to describe the product. Even a video can be used – which also lengthens the retention time and in turn increases your ranking. That’s a good one for your Amazon SEO. 😉

#4 Product Description

It may not be the most important Amazon SEO factor, but every little factor helps. Place keywords in the product description but ensure high quality of the text. Try to rather use a keyword less, than risking a bad text that nobody will finish reading. Focus on content that helps customers to understand the product and make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. In order to make your text more readable you can use subheadings and paragraphs. 

Keep in mind the purpose of your text: selling! Ask yourself why customers should buy your product specifically and tell them. Use your marketing skills in this part and create emotions. Raise their desire to consume your product and get that sale.   

What is Amazon SEO and how can sellers use it? Find out here.

#5 Seller Performance 

The best Amazon SEO experts won’t be successful if their overall performance is bad. Therefore you should never only focus on SEO! Amazon has established great customer service over the last decades. Therefore, they expect any seller on the marketplace to keep up with these high standards. 

This includes shipping method and time as well as the order defect rate. The better a seller’s performance, the higher the chance that the algorithm prefers their offers. In this regard, SEO for Amazon and optimization for the Buy Box go hand in hand. Click on this link to find out everything about the Buy Box and how it increases your sales exponentially!

When you are optimizing your Amazon SEO in the backend, add all keywords into the corresponding area. In this section you only need to insert the keywords themselves. Be aware though that you’re only allowed to use up to 249 characters. 

Here’s a little pro tip: use hyphens as they save you space. Using ‘travel-backpack’ will cover the keywords: travel, backpack and travel-backpack.

Make sure your text doesn’t exceed the 249 characters! Otherwise ALL keywords in this section will be ignored by A-9! By the way, hyphens count as a character as well.

Amazon SEO tools

You may have noticed that listing optimization on Amazon is not a two minute job. So why not just leave all the work up to some automated software?

There are tools that help you with keyword research, tools that monitor your ranking, tools that compare your listings to your competitors, tools that monitor your content … 

At the end of the day there is no clear answer if you should or shouldn’t use tools or if you should use the free version or the pro version. As a business owner you will have to decide what’s best for you. 

Finding the right words 

If you’re selling on Amazon, perfect keyword usage for SEO is crucial. But how can you find them?

We recommend using a keyword tool for your Amazon SEO strategy. Even a free version like keywordtool.io can help you find the search phrases customers use. Simply type in one keyword, i.e. your product, and you’ll get a list of further requests. You can even choose which platform you want to check. 

Let’s go back to our travel backpack example. For your Amazon keyword optimization choose the platform, pick the language and type in ‘travel backpack’ as your starting keyword. Suggestions will be ‘travel backpack for women’, ‘travel backpack anti theft’ and many more. Now you might wonder what that number right next to the found keywords, under the title ‘Search Volume’ refers to. It’s there to help you understand how popular a keyword is and refers to the average number of times customers used it as a search phrase on Amazon. 

Be aware that depending on how exclusive your product is, the search volume might seem fairly small. While ‘travel backpack for women’ scores 10,000, ‘chicken feeder’ might only score 10. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the keyword ‘chicken feeder’ if you’re selling one. Just think about how many people might travel and need a backpack for it and how many people need a feeder for their chickens. You have to compare within your category.

If you sell travel backpacks this means that you should use ‘travel backpack for women’ with a search volume of 10,000 rather than ‘travel backpack airline approved’ with only 10.  Obviously only use keywords that match your product. If your backpack is for men, don’t use the keyword for women. 

For selling chicken feeders it might be that you get two keywords scoring 10 and 0. Now you pick the one with the search volume of 10. 

To SEO or Not to SEO

Let’s be honest, without SEO for Amazon, your listing will most likely be unsuccessful. At the end of the day you are better off to invest that time – in most cases at least. The best product will barely be sold if it’s listed on page 7 and all your efforts into your product and business will not be valued at all. 

If you are no friend of SEO (trust me, I understand) and you’ve got that extra cash lying around, you can always employ an Amazon SEO agency that services their clients with top notch SEO know-how.

In case you’re not willing to invest that type of money, you can still help yourself with tools for your listing optimization on Amazon. Which one you choose and which features make the tool perfect for you, depends on your business needs. The variety of tools ranges from free ones, that help your keyword research, to all-rounders, that keep track of your overall ranking performance. 

Don’t give up on your Amazon SEO optimization! It might be hard work, but it is surely going to pay off. Stay strong, young SEO Padawan. Pay off, your optimization efforts will.

What is Amazon SEO?

“Amazon SEO“ is the term used to describe the targeted optimization of text, images, etc. for the Amazon search. As a rule, this involves product detail pages to be structured to appear as high as possible in the search results for a specific search term.

Is Amazon SEO worthwhile?

Especially for private labels, the optimization of the product page is a must. As a rule, the competition in the Amazon search for a product is very high. Without SEO, it is therefore hardly possible for customers to find this product among the many other listed items, because hardly any customers look around on page 2, page 3 and so on.

Which are the important aspects for Amazon SEO?

SEO for Amazon works similarly to SEO for Google. The customer’s search term is compared with the content on the product page. If the right keywords appear, this indicates the relevance of the page for this search query. The keywords should therefore appear above all in the title, the bullet points, the backend and the product description. Other important factors are, for example, the price and the performance of the seller.

Image credits in order of appearance: © fotogestoeber – stock.adobe.com / © Sammby – stock.adobe.com/ © Rymden – stock.adobe.com

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