Best Practices for Keyword Optimization on Amazon
Most people think of Amazon as an online store. For shoppers, it's a website to go to when they want to buy something conveniently or begin to compare options. But fundamentally, Amazon is as much a search engine as it is a place to shop. Hundreds of millions of products from countless sellers are listed for sale, and they are all competing to be among the top results when a customer types in a relevant search term.
Unfortunately, there is no single factor that determines your product's placement. Instead, success within Amazon's algorithm requires a comprehensive approach of capitalizing on the right tools, targeting the appropriate shoppers, having a detailed SEO plan, avoiding costly mistakes and having an ability to refine the process constantly. Here’s what you need to know:
Amazon SEO drives success
While we've established that Amazon SEO is at the foundation of its online marketplace, it's also critical to appreciate what that means for your Amazon business. Amazon listing optimization drives more traffic to your products, strengthens your brand and increases your conversion rate. To do so successfully, it must consider the various pathways customers can take during their searching and shopping experience.
Like a traditional search engine, Amazon shoppers rely on the site's main search box to find the appropriate products. As the primary tool used by your customers, this method relies on connecting Amazon listings to search terms and phrases based on availability, relevance and other factors.
In addition to typing in a particular search term, shoppers can narrow results using an assortment of filters ranging from product characteristics such as brand, size or color to other attributes like shipping time and customer reviews. More casual shoppers may choose to start browsing in a single category or department to find what they are looking for.
In some cases, sellers use Sponsored Products to promote their product listings. These cost-per-click (CPC) ads can increase visibility for Brands that might not otherwise be able to land at the top of organic search results. With the right advertising expertise, sponsored products can also be a way to directly target the shoppers most likely to purchase your product.
Amazon also uses the incredible amount of sales data it collects to give visitors to its site another way to find in-demand products. Just a click away from the Amazon homepage are lists of the best-selling, newest, and most wished-for products. Meanwhile, the Movers & Shakers list offers customers insight into which items are quickly climbing up the company's sales ranks.
Understand Your Customers
Clearly, your ability to rise to the top of Amazon's search rankings has an enormous impact on your sales. And implementing the strategies to support that goal begins with understanding your customer and why they are buying your products. In other words, before you can optimize your Amazon listing, you need to know who it is you're trying to reach.
Fortunately, there are multiple tools available to guide you through this process. For example, the Amazon Search Analytics Dashboard, product ratings and reviews, customer questions and external keyword tools all provide unique insight into your business's most valuable data sources.
Amazon Brand Analytics Dashboards
Since 2021, brands have access to anonymized data on customer interests, preferences and shopping behavior via the Amazon Brand Analytics Dashboards. They are an incredible resource for companies looking to optimize Amazon listings, manage inventory, plan product development, and boost both sales and margins. Best of all, the data can guide decisions on and off the platform.
The brand analytics shared by Amazon are divided between two separate tools – the Search Query Performance Dashboard and the Search Catalog Performance Dashboard.
The Query Performance Dashboard provides key metrics on top search terms associated with a brand's products. Such information can help you better target keywords, as well as identify opportunities to improve messaging, run advertising campaigns and even expand product offerings.
The Catalog Performance Dashboard helps brands analyze product-level performance. The tool can be used to discover conversion issues and find out where customers lose attention or click away. The dashboard also offers insights on inventory planning, marketing investments and your products' competitiveness, especially in pricing.
Both offer data on impressions, clicks, cart adds and purchases to assist brands in their efforts to maximize conversions and fine-tune their Amazon listings and product offerings. Since minor improvements to a listing's content, or even an adjustment to the product title, can result in dramatic increases in conversion rates, this can be a considerable asset to brands that know how to react to the information.
Ratings and Reviews
Undoubtedly, product ratings and reviews play a substantial role in your listings' success. But beyond how they can influence your performance within Amazon's algorithm, product reviews offer you insights that can grow your company. Whether positive or negative, they can be a guide to improving your listing descriptions, product photos, packaging, shipping methods or even the product itself. They're worth too much to ignore.
Implementing a proactive approach to reviews will allow you to identify the reasons that a customer chooses to buy your product and may provide better awareness of the key benefits you might use as keywords to lead prospective buyers to a completed purchase.
Similar to ratings and reviews, customer questions offer a glimpse into the minds of your customers. Someone on your team should be mining this area of your Amazon listings to spot deficiencies and find new keyword opportunities that might otherwise be missed.
Other Keyword Tools
Amazon's Brand Analytics Dashboards will likely be the most important keyword tool for your optimization plan, but they shouldn't be the only ones. Google's Keyword Planner can likewise guide your discovery and ranking of keywords.
It can identify popular search terms based on a product or category and provide search data on visitors to brand assets other than your Amazon store, such as your website or social media sites. Several proprietary keyword services are also available for businesses looking to partner with someone on Amazon listing optimization. Regardless, utilizing tools beyond those provided by Amazon is a more well-rounded strategy.
Build an SEO Plan
Now that you know what resources you can turn to, you can begin to build an effective plan for Amazon SEO. One of the keys will be to balance your efforts and avoid neglecting certain aspects of Amazon listing optimization in favor of others. You'll want to have a clear plan of where you want to win, so you can determine how you can win.
It's necessary to focus on priority keywords, but don’t ignore the value of long tail searches. Your brand should be committed to creating A+ Content across all of your products and recognize how your SEO fits into that goal. Finally, your strategies should be tested to ensure efficiency and maximize ROI.
As you begin to identify the keywords most important to a listing's performance, you will also need to prioritize them. Only once you know which ones have the most value can you determine how to use them. Primarily, this will be based on their relevancy and their search value. The highest priority keywords will be both directly related to your product and frequently searched by Amazon shoppers.
The highest priority keywords should appear in product titles, while secondary terms should be used in bullet points. Product descriptions should include any useful keywords that aren't relevant enough to make those high-visibility elements of a listing.
While your highest priority keywords are likely to be the ones most obvious to your product category, long-tail keywords are more specific searches that you can integrate into your Amazon SEO to target a particular type of customer. While they return fewer results, their specificity might help increase conversions.
These keywords can often take the form of a question or will include one or more defining aspects of a product. Typically, a shopper using long-tail keywords for their search is closer to the point of purchase, making them an excellent opportunity to increase your conversion rate. Pinpointing the most relevant long-tail keywords can allow you to outmaneuver competitors and significantly strengthen your Amazon listing optimization.
Amazon A+ Content is your chance to provide fantastic product details for your Amazon product pages. It requires high-quality images, comparison charts, video content, FAQs and more.
Consider A+ Content necessary to showcase your products and meet shopper expectations. The visuals and copywriting should complement your website and social media, in addition to connecting with your customers. Most importantly, you need to communicate your product's unique advantages over the competition and offer customers a satisfying shopping experience that creates loyalty.
A+ content is not indexed for search by Amazon, but any live text that’s not in an image could potentially affect search engine rankings.
One of the most valuable strategies that a company can use to optimize its Amazon listings is A/B testing. Put simply, it's a comparison test to find the most effective way to influence shoppers. Consider it well-informed experimentation with an emphasis on tracking the results.
Since Amazon rewards the listings with the best conversion rates, A/B testing, whether it comes to keywords, design or copywriting, is imperative for any business focused on maximizing ROI.
Avoid SEO Mistakes
Executing a well-designed Amazon SEO plan also means avoiding well-intentioned tactics and common deficiencies that can undermine your optimization. Just because you've found and organized the relevant keywords doesn't mean you can get careless with how you leverage them in your listings. It won't matter how many views your products get if a lack of attention to other areas of your listings chases prospective buyers away. And not integrating your lower-priority keywords properly is sure to cost you sales.
Beware of keyword stuffing. When it comes to Amazon's algorithm and keywords, quality is way more important than quantity. In many cases, once a keyword appears in your listing once, it has likely added all the value it can. Adding it repeatedly, especially to the detriment of the copywriting, is unlikely to improve your spot in the search results.
More importantly, your prospective customers would much rather read a captivating, detailed description that addresses the product features they care about than one that seems unnatural. If your product copy appears low-quality, it will reflect similarly on your product and drive customers away.
Drawing customers to your product is only half the battle. You also need to keep them on your listing long enough to convince them to make a purchase. Certain failures in your content can result in a bounce - a near-immediate click away from your product. It won't help your sales and can devastate your search ranking.
Be sure your images are high quality and tell the whole story of the item you are selling. Maintaining an impressive rating and offering helpful FAQs can also reassure shoppers that they aren't wasting their time. This is another area where Amazon A+ Content can positively impact your sales.
Overlooking the backend
In addition to the keywords that appear in your product title, bullet points and description, Amazon listings can include backend keywords that are taken into account by the search engine but are not visible to shoppers. Don't forget about this backend option since keyword optimization includes the things that customers see and do not see.
During your keyword research, you will likely come across search terms that will be best suited for Amazon's backend optimization. In most cases, these will include synonyms to your primary keywords, spelling variations or more generic long-tail keywords that are relevant to your products. You'll want to avoid plural variations, misspellings and temporary terms such as "sale" or "new." Using competitor names or trademarks in these backend keywords is against Amazon’s ToS.
If you haven't already realized, Amazon SEO is not an item you can ever cross off your to-do list. Search behaviors change over time, as does your performance against keywords, so it requires continued measurement and refinements to maintain your listing optimizations.
Ongoing monitoring of your listings' and proactively responding to shifting customer preferences is time-consuming. Doing it well can require full-time attention or a team of individuals sharing the responsibility. But the most successful Amazon brands know it must be done.
After doing the hard work of keyword optimization on Amazon, you want to put a strategy in place to continue monitoring the performance of your listings. Otherwise, you'll risk that work going to waste. Even if you are meeting your initial goals, competitors will surely come after you.
It can be helpful to create an optimization calendar to ensure you stay up-to-date on keyword stats and product rankings regularly. You may want to delegate different tasks to various team members to lighten the workload, but consistency will be vital regardless of who is responsible.
Identify Customer Shifts
More than evaluating your Amazon listings, pay attention to your customers and those you want to convert to your customers. Their habits and preferences will shift over time, but this can happen slowly and easily be missed. Continue to watch your customer reviews and questions, as well as those of your competitors, to find opportunities to improve and meet them where they want you to be.
Partner with Amify
Amazon SEO is not an easy task. But it can be easier with a full-service partner like Amify to lead the way. We have a proven team with the experience to help you grow. Whether building or optimizing your Amazon Storefront – your listings and Brand Store – managing your inventory, designing and implementing strategy, or optimizing your advertising, we are ready to ensure you have all the resources you need to succeed. Contact us today to start a conversation you won't regret.