Being an Amazon seller comes with the mistaken assumption that you can’t do much about SEO, as you’re working within Amazon’s constraints. But you can’t look at Amazon as a regular site because it’s not. If you go into things the way RepricerExpress does and look at it as a search engine, then you’ll have a much better chance of improving your Amazon SEO. And really, it’s a lot easier than it sounds.
First Understand the Basic Principles of SEO
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, has to do with how highly a website ranks within a search engine. Any particular search engine uses its own algorithm to formulate a set of criteria, and then ‘judges’ each incoming website as to how well it meshes with what the search engine is looking for. For example, Google values regular novel content, so a lot of sites use relevant blog posts to rank highly, and avoid recycling material so as not to tick off the Google algorithm.
You also need to know how to properly manipulate things like keywords (primary, secondary, tertiary), relevant links, metadata, site navigation, load speed and more. Think of it as art meets science: good SEO is like filling in the blanks on a Mad Libs page, while excellent SEO is doing that with a creative flair. And on top of all that, you have to remember that each search engine operates slightly differently and knowing what to prioritise where is what’ll get you ahead.
What Amazon Looks For in Their SEO
We briefly mentioned before how different search engines have different criteria when it comes to ranking material high or low, and Amazon is no different. Although, just to be tricky, their algorithm is a bit of a secret and experts have only a general idea of how to reach for the top.
Having said that, it’s not as though the entire world is in the dark about what it takes to get your page ranked higher on Amazon. And far more often than not, it tends to involve the following elements:
- 1. Product Titles: It’s one of the first identifying markers a buyer looks to when searching for a product on Amazon, and you’ve got to absolutely nail this one. Amazon gives you a heck of a lot of space to work with (500 characters) and utilising it properly can get you ahead. Fill in all relevant information (brand, colour, manufacturer, size, type, what it’s compatible with, year) and don’t skimp, but also don’t use it as an excuse to prattle on endlessly.
- 2. Keywords: Although we mentioned in the intro there are different kinds of keywords, we’re going to simplify things a little bit. You have your general keywords (i.e. ‘shoes, ‘DVDs’, ‘books’, birdfeeder’) and then your more specialised ones that speak to the specificity of your product (i.e. ‘Jimmy Choo’, ‘kitten heel’, ‘mesh insole’). Ideally, you want a mixture of both so you can capitalise on the best of both worlds.
- 3. Product Descriptions: Remember when we talked about an algorithm being like art meeting science? This is perhaps the best example of it, the one spot on your Amazon page where you get to combine the fill-in-the-blank nature of science with the artistry of writing with a creative flair. If you’re stuck on how to accomplish this, answer the questions who, what, where, when, why and how, along with describing your product experientially.
- 4. Category: One of the most facepalm-iest mistakes an Amazon merchant can make is not having their product in the right category. For most items, this isn’t an issue and you can sort it neatly. And while there’ll always be those tricky items that defy categorisation, the answer’s often a quick Amazon or Google search away. Unless you’re selling a truly unique item, the only one of its kind in the world, you can find out which category it belongs to.
- 5. Customer Reviews: You may have been taught that what people say about you doesn’t matter, but in the world of Amazon, it does — a lot. The more positive reviews you can accumulate, the higher you’ll be ranked on Amazon. It’s one of the clearest signs that you’re a trusted merchant who delivers quickly and on time, and Amazon likes to promote people like you.
Bonus tip: Use the winning ways of others. You know that saying, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’? Well, you should be using that on Amazon. Check out the listings of sellers who are ranked the highest (and are selling the same product as you, but without being a Prime Seller, with the exception of you having signed up for Fulfilment by Amazon), add their Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) to your own listing, decrease your price by one one-hundredth of your currency, and add it to your own listing. Presto! You’ve just piggy-backed yourself onto the top sellers and have your listing visible!