Amazon is now the primary point of reference when consumers start their buying process. Where people once started on search engines like Google for product info and shopping, more than 50% of consumers now head directly to Amazon.
While the purchase intent tends to be higher on Amazon’s marketplace, it’s still driven by consumer search. You need customers to be able to find you in Amazon’s search results when they are looking for your product.
What makes Amazon stand out here from search engines is that Amazon’s search algorithm is simple and brand agnostic. Amazon drives traffic not by brands or vendors, but by product listings.
Optimizing your product listings is essential to moving your products to the top of the search results. It also is a key part of winning the buy box on multi-vendor listings and getting more customers to convert.
Amazon Factors that Influence Product Rank and Visibility
Like Google’s extremely long laundry list of ranking factors, Amazon too uses a complex algorithm to rank products. Some of the factors included are:
- Content (title/description) relevancy to search queries
- Quantity of content
- Historical product availability (stock history)
- Product pricing
- Product popularity/velocity of sales (conversions)
- Number and quality of reviews
- Product images (quality and quantity)
If multiple vendors sell the same product as you, then you’ll have less control over the content that’s displayed since Amazon aggregates the best of the content chosen from the listings. Still, if you have the best-optimized content of the bunch, you’re more likely to contribute to a listing that draws more traffic and more conversions.
If your product—and, thus, your listing—is unique to your brand, then you have full control over-optimization and maximizing product discoverability.
What to Focus on When Optimizing Your Amazon Product Pages
Customers tend to use Amazon the same way they use search engines. Even if they know the exact product they’re looking for, they’ll type that in as a search query rather than try to browse through sections and categories to find it.
This is why it’s important to optimize your product titles. When you use the right combination of keywords, you improve your relevancy to search queries, giving your product page a greater chance of being discovered.
It also makes your product listing stand out among the search results, increasing the odds of getting a customer to click through to your listing.
In regards to their ranking algorithm, Amazon shared the following in a help segment within Seller Central:
“Search is the primary way that customers use to locate products on Amazon.com. Customers search by entering keywords, which are matched against the search terms you enter for a product. Well-chosen search terms increase a product’s visibility and sales. The number of views for a product detail page can increase significantly by adding just one additional search term—if it’s a relevant and compelling term.”
Here’s an example of a well-optimized title for SEO on Amazon that is likely to grab more clicks (note that it’s also a best seller.)
Compare that to a leaner title lacking those longtail, commercial-intent keywords.
A great product page is optimized for the customer, first, and for the search algorithm, second.
That means completing the product details, as well as the description with your customer in mind, and populating those spaces with enough detail so you’re addressing their questions and concerns.
Remember, customers don’t care about the product itself. They care about the problem they have or the reason behind the purchase. Make sure the content you use educates and informs them and clearly states the benefits as well as the solution provided by your product.
For the details segment:
- Focus on the top 5 features of your product and create a feature benefit matrix. Don’t just list the feature; highlight how the feature benefits the customer.
- Keep the details specific and concise; your bullets should be skimmable.
- Utilize keywords naturally—especially those that couldn’t fit into the title neatly. Here’s a great example of product details that communicate value through concise benefit statements:
Here’s a great example of product details that communicate value through concise benefit statements:
You can expand on those details in the product description. This is where you can get wordy with optimized content to answer questions, list additional benefits, and provide the appropriate hype for your product.
Here’s the product description for the same grill used in the example above:
Every product you sell should have a unique description and details that speak directly to your target audience. Using the default description from the manufacturer poses a number of issues:
- Manufacturer content is likely to be replicated by countless other vendors (creating a duplicate content issue).
- It’s poorly optimized for the search queries your audience uses.
- It contains only basic features and specs without accurately stating the value.
Take the time to expand on the features and uncover the benefits most relevant to your audience. When you understand the reason behind their desire/need for the product, it will be easy to write detailed and valuable product pages that educate your customers and win more conversions.
Ideally, your Amazon product pages will be optimized and rich enough to educate potential customers so the most common questions are addressed. This prevents them from wandering to seek answers elsewhere and improves the odds of winning a conversion.
As the visibility of your product grows, thanks to your SEO efforts, you’ll likely experience additional questions from prospects you didn’t initially anticipate.
Thankfully, Amazon provides a Q&A segment on listings so customers quickly can get the answers they seek.
Monitor these questions so you can reply to customers and provide additional information.
Since these questions and answers are part of the product listing, they also provide an opportunity to further optimize the page with important details and search terms that can influence both search rank and customer conversion.
Amazon has fairly strict requirements for how images are used and displayed in product listings, and your images do have an impact on visibility, as well as conversion. Amazon will even limit product pages from being listed in some categories (suppressed listings) if there isn’t at least one high-quality image measuring 1,000 x 1,000 pixels or larger to allow for hover-to-zoom.
For the purpose of improving conversions, you should also provide as many high-quality images as possible. Your images should highlight the product from every angle to give customers a feel for the product since they can’t physically hold it.
One study revealed that 67% of consumers consider images “very important” when making a purchase online.
Amazon also allows you to include videos, so, when possible, provide additional images and videos that show your product being used to better communicate the benefits. This kind of image optimization in Amazon can contribute to higher conversions.
Reviews do have an impact on the discoverability of your product, as well as your conversion rates. When it comes to eyes on your product, Amazon tracks negative seller feedback frequency as a factor in determining whether you or other vendors win the buy box.
The frequency of negative reviews also impacts your visibility in product search results. You can also count on positive reviews to improve your conversion rates. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust peer reviews over any other kind of brand advertising. The social proof that comes with positive reviews can have a significant impact on the purchase decision of prospective customers.
You don’t have to go out of your way to satisfy customers. Amazon just wants you to provide the best service and, if you can do that, you’ll find yourself higher in the search results over similar products. Outside of reviews, Amazon knows whether your customers are satisfied based on your performance data.
For every order, Amazon tracks:
- In-stock, low-stock, and out-of-stock conditions on your products
- Order processing speed Perfect order percentages (the number of flawless orders from add-to-cart to arrival)
- Order defect rates
- Order refunds and cancellations
Each of the above speaks directly to providing the best-quality service with the intent of delighting your customers. Favorable results with each of these tracked metrics will lead to a better organic rank for your product within the Amazon marketplace.
If you’re not sure how well your product page will perform in the marketplace, either before or after you’ve made the above updates, try this Product Listing Grader from Jungle Scout.
Plug in the ASIN or URL to your Amazon product page and Jungle Scout’s tool will provide you with a rating on many of these optimization points, including your title, images, product features, description, and reviews.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to improve your Amazon product listings for better results and conversions. However, if you optimize for these top factors, you should start to see an uptick in your Amazon rankings, conversions and ultimately sales.
However, organic rankings are just a portion of your overall Amazon strategy. You should also be taking advantage of the paid advertising options on the platform as well. Learn more about Amazon advertising with our Ultimate Guide to Selling on Amazon.
For those who desire an expert hand in the matter, Visiture’s Amazon PPC management team can help retailers to develop the kind of ad campaigns that earn clicks, conversions and a considerable foundation for success in the Amazon marketplace.