This guest post by eCommerce expert Patrick Foster explores Amazon SEO tips and strategies that sellers can use to help their product listings stand out and get discovered by potential buyers. Read on to learn more about optimizing your Amazon listings for search.
Marketplace selling is a dog eat dog world – you have to win the Buy Box, and competition to get there can be tough. Shoppers are looking for fast and cheap deals, and won’t spend too long agonizing over which seller to buy from.
So, how to succeed? Amazon SEO best practices and tactics can be used by ambitious sellers in order to maximize product listings. Thankfully, we've got some Amazon SEO tips to help your products rank better.
First things first: Optimize within your platform
As we all settle down after the hype of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time for merchants and sellers to regroup and get ready for another year of selling.
Before we launch into these five SEO strategies, it’s important to emphasize that Amazon sellers should be optimizing primarily within the Amazon platform itself. (Nathan Grimm’s awesome blog on Moz from 2014 covers Amazon’s search ranking factors).
If you treat optimizing your Amazon listings EXACTLY like optimizing your website in search engines, you are going to struggle. You have to know the difference – these tactics are transferable, but you should never lose sight of the end goal – more Amazon sales.
With that said, let's launch into our Amazon SEO tips.
1. Use longtail keywords in product names
Longtail keywords are big in SEO right now and they are useful for Amazon sellers, too.
Shoppers are on a mission and they know what they want – longtail keywords help customers identify your products more accurately. Give your products the best possible chance of ranking and converting by using longtail keywords in your product titles.
• Use accurate and specific keywords in your title – listing product features like colors and sizes will help improve your conversion rates. Amazon is always looking for more conversions because conversions lead to more sales on its platform. By giving Amazon what they want (more sales), you are getting what you want, too (more revenue).
• Put brand names in product titles to help you rank for branded search terms. Be specific.
• Use an Amazon keyword research tool to help you identify keyword opportunities.
2. Unique content
Unlike search engines, Amazon doesn’t penalize duplicate content – but having boring manufacturer content isn’t going to help conversions.
To stand out:
• Differentiate yourself from competitors by providing more product data. Don’t make people hesitate because they aren’t sure about key product features – always give the user as much as information as you can.
• Provide content that will satisfy both the shopper who wants to make a purchase fast, as well as the browser who is doing market research and will come back later.
Just make sure to avoid huge walls of texts above the fold and use concise language. And, take advantage of formatting features like bullet points and bold text to better sell your words.
3. Competitor analysis
The key to Amazon SEO success is holistic competitive analysis. Don’t just focus on the obvious facts in front of you, delve deeper into the customer experience to get real insights on how to beat your competitors. Ranking within the seller marketplace takes strategic research.
Competitor analysis should be keyword focused. Answer these questions when doing your research:
• What words are your competitors ranking for?
• What keywords are popular?
• How have your competitors approached product titles?
Look outside Amazon to get inspiration, but bring it back to the platform for implementation.
Price is another factor to analyze. While you shouldn’t always compete on price, it can definitely help.
Competitor pricing is a super important factor for making it into the Buy Box – you can use software that will strategically change your prices so that you can win it. Sometimes a cent can make all the difference and it can be worth it – just be careful about selling too low and undercutting profits in the long-term.
Product filtering (colors, sizes) can also make a big difference to conversions – look at how your competitors have approached filtering. Try to offer more flexible options.
Finally, make sure that your products are nearly 100% available – Amazon doesn’t like to rank unreliable sellers.
4. Product imagery & accurate product data
Complete product data and imagery will help increase your conversions. Just like good on-page SEO, Amazon SEO is all about giving users as much information as possible and helping them make the right decisions by being accurate and informative.
• People like to zoom in on images – include high-quality product images on your product pages. Try to offer as many angles as you can.
• Product dimensions must be perfectly clear – returns and negative reviews often come from people thinking the products was a different size.
Don’t let negative reviews and returns impact your seller ranking and always be upfront about a product’s size. A great way to visually communicate product dimensions is to include another item next to your product for comparison.
5. Customer review acquisition
Social proof is increasingly important for B2C and B2B sellers, both online and on Amazon.
• Customer reviews lead to more sales – encourage people to leave feedback by including a review prompt in the parcel, or in your emails. Don’t be too pushy and try to offer an incentive if you can.
• You ideally want to receive both reviews for your products as well as ratings for you as a seller. Customers look at both, and each metric can impact their purchase decision in either direction.
• Don’t be afraid of the occasional negative review or seller feedback. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a 100% positive seller rating might not always increase conversions; people often find that a figure in the 90s is more realistic and truthful. (After all, no one is perfect 100% of the time).
• Bad Amazon reviews are legendary – a really funny, outrageous, or unfair negative review may actually galvanize other customers into “retaliating” with positive reviews.
Patrick Foster is EcommerceTips.org an ecommerce entrepreneur, coach, and writer. He currently writes on where he shares engaging ecommerce content for entrepreneurs and business owners. Follow Patrick on Twitter for more Amazon SEO tips and connect with him on LinkedIn.