Optimizing a products listing is the process you go through to ensure that your product(s) get enough eyes based on specific search terms, ranks higher using Amazon SEO or search engine optimization to increase conversion rates. What it is not is just pulling a few keywords together and adding a product title in the hope that your product will rank well.
There were 470K+ active sellers on the Amazon platform in 2019 in North America alone, offering millions of products on amazon with varying product descriptions and titles. With even more sellers joining the selling program and the platforms uninhibited growth what can you do as a seller to ensure product visibility and conversions? If nothing it would behoove you as a seller to not understand amazon's a9 algorithm.
The a9 (and no we are not talking Avery)
Like other search engines (Google, Bing), Amazon's search engine too considers elements like keywords but uses sales conversion as a bias towards the search results. What this means is if you type "cellphone cases" in the search results, the a9 will consider products where these two or similar keywords are present in the title or description and probably unlike Google and Bing, uses a weighted average of the number of sales across these keywords to display relevant products. Higher the number of sales and closer the matching keywords and bingo! You have rank! Remember, Amazon makes money each time there is a conversion hence the statistical bias towards sales conversion. Amazon has never revealed to the general public, elements and their weights in the search outcome and their statistical bias. Thus, the relation between the elements and their weights is at best speculative but observations over the years have proven them to provide empirical data that support statistical validation of these theories.
Based on the same observations in addition to keywords there are other factors the a9 considers in its search results. These are (in no order of relevance)
- Sales velocity. Number of sales over a given period.
- Price. Have you heard the term, "Get the Buy Box"? This is where Amazon typically (and this again is speculative) features the seller with the lowest price. Remember, price is just one facet of buy box and not the only one. There are a host of other factors that influence the buy box. We probably will cover this in a different article.
- Search term relevance
- Product availability. If you are a brand and white label seller an out-of-stock condition is a sure bet killer of your product's rank
In addition to the above there are various other factors that impact a company's SERP (Search Engine Result page) these are
- Content. They say content is king. Ever truer here.
- Sponsored Ads. Compared to other search engine's ad revenue, Amazon's ad revenue is just 3% of its overall sales and there has been a big push from Amazon to change this. Sponsored ads can favorably influence your conversions.
- Feedback. This is one of the most crucial things a seller can do to make themselves relevant and stand out. Happy customers tend to be repeat customers and help build your brand loyalty and a reliable customer base. You can help yourself by automating your feedback and review loop by using tools like RockitSeller's POST.
- Customer Reviews. Encourage your buyers to leave you a positive feedback and review of your product. This helps build brand equity and a solid customer base.
- FBA bias. It has been observed that seller's using Amazon's fulfilment network gain what we call positive rank bias.
- Listing quality. Always adhere to Amazon guidelines while creating your listings. Upload high quality images (and several of them) with effective title and descriptions. Do your keyword research and include these in your title and product descriptions. RockitSeller's AIM is one such tool that will let you discover and generate profitable keywords. It is a great tool to help with your Amazon SEO effort.
Now that we understand a bit about how the a9 algorithm influences amazon search results what can you as a seller do to take advantage of this knowledge and increase sales? Here are few ideas we think can help.
Understand the competitive landscape. They say imitation is the best form of flattery. So, flatter your competition. Do research on the competitor's products, their titles, descriptions, keywords used, the number and quality of feedback, product reviews and quality of their product images on their product page. This should be a good starting point.
Price your product sensibly. Do not engage in price wars or race to extinction. While it is true that price is a big influencer in getting the buy box do not price yourself out of the market. Know your costs and how much room you have before you grow from green to red. With prices changes almost constantly, a good auto pricing tool like xSell can be a compelling solution to the pricing problem.
Feedback and customer reviews of the product create tremendous value for your brand. Automate feedback and review by using effective tools like RockitSeller's POST. Leverage the buyer seller communication by using tools like POST to send timely messages to your buyers and solicit feedback. This improves customer service and expresses your eagerness as a seller to proactively take care of any after sales issues. You can also offer your buyers downloadable freebies in your review solicitation and request reviews. POST can help you with this.
Take advantage of your newfound knowledge of a9. Find high quality, high volume keywords in your title and descriptions to improve your Click through rate (CTR) and conversion rates (CR). Use images with high resolution. Take advantage of tools like AIM that reduce the amount of work involved in listing optimization by discovering new and profitable keywords. Include variations of backend keywords with misspellings and spaces to improve the chances of your keywords matching the search term entered by the user. Capitalize on your web presence by driving traffic to your Amazon store from your website.
To PPC or not to PPC? With the recent upgrade of a9 to a10, experts are divided over the alleged diminished relevance of PPC ads in the updated search algorithm. We believe that although the weight of PPC ads may have diminished in a10 (and this is speculative), PPC ads still are relevant and if nothing they do improve your product's CTR over time.
To successfully sell on Amazon, you have to wear different hats (isn't it true for any business?). In our opinion the use of tools that increase your productivity and automate a lot of redundant chores is quintessential for your success. RockitSeller offers a suite of productivity tools that can really take your Amazon game to the next level.
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