Amazon SEO: Best Practices to Optimize Your Listing

Ryan Moffet

September 23, 2021

There are now 1.5 million active sellers on Amazon. With so much competition, how do you make sure potential customers are seeing your products? The answer is simple: Search engine optimization (SEO).

When you think of SEO, you may naturally think of big search engines like Google or Bing. But Amazon ads are clicked** 42% more often** than ads on Google. The conversion rate for Amazon ads is also 3.5 times higher than the rate for Google’s ads.

amazon product search

SEO has a huge impact on whether your product page will be found by customers on Amazon. But people search a little differently on Amazon compared to Google. Amazon’s algorithm is known as A9. Unlike Google, where people are performing a huge variety of searches (many of them informational), Amazon searches are mostly transactional.

Amazon is all about user intent: to buy. Customers locate products primarily by using a search query, and the keywords they use are matched against the information you provide about your product. Factors like your sales history, product availability, price, and text match will determine whether your product appears (and how high it appears) in the results.

A9 also factors in revenue per click and sales velocity (the number and size of sales in a given month). Amazon wants to facilitate sales, so rankings are based on the likelihood of a purchase. Unlike Google that ranks for information, Amazon ranks purely for conversion. Because the business model is selling products, they want to push the products that will sell the most. Understanding this difference between Amazon and Google search algorithms is essential for Amazon sellers.

Keyword research drives visibility

Any Amazon SEO strategy starts with keyword research. Keywords are the search terms that shoppers type into Amazon’s search bar to find your product. Using the right ones on your product page will make discovering the product easier for potential customers.

To identify the best keywords, you can use tools like Amazon’s Brand Analytics, which is available to registered brand owners. It has a keyword search tool that lets you look up different keywords to see how they’re ranking. For example, at the end of 2019 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, search terms for electronics like “airpods” and “nintendo switch” were at the top of the list:

Amazon Search Terms Start of Covid

Then once the pandemic hit in early 2020, search terms like “toilet paper,” “hand sanitizer,” and “n95 mask” rose to the to top:

Amazon Search Terms Report Mid Pandemic

Paying attention to search trends will help your SEO Amazon by informing you on the most searched keywords for your product.

You can also test different keyword variations. If you add a plural “s” to the search term “sock,” for example, it increases the search frequency rank from 48,569 to 388:

Amazon Search Terms sock

Amazon Search Terms Socks

A simple keyword variation like this one can make all the difference in whether customers find your product.

Pattern partners also have access to our proprietary software Predict, which can help brands identify not only the keywords competitors are capitalizing on, but also predict which keywords the brand can rank for the quickest and which keywords can drive the most difference in revenue.

Whatever you do, don’t keyword stuff. To our knowledge, Amazon only scrapes a keyword on a product detail page once. So adding the same keyword multiple times won’t help your Amazon SEO. If anything, it will damage it.

What matters for Amazon SEO?

There are so many small factors that can affect your Amazon rankings. Afterall, Amazon just wants to show the best possible product to potential customers. That said, here are the most important things to get right when you’re optimizing SEO for Amazon:

Product titles

This is one of the most important elements of SEO for Amazon. You’ll want to include all relevant keywords for your product. Describe what your product is, what it does, your brand name, and any specific ingredients, materials, or colors. 4 to 6 keywords are all you need.

Consider variations of your keywords as well. One way to do this is by logging out of Amazon and entering search terms in the search bar. Amazon will then give you suggestions which potential customers may be searching for.

To make your product titles SEO Amazon ready, keep them relevant and natural, and be careful not to use competitor names or keyword stuff.

Bullet points

These are your product features, and they’re usually formatted as bullet points on the right side of your product page, next to your image. You have 250 characters to work with here, so highlight the top features you’d like to stand out to customers.

Your bullet points should include crucial information like the dimensions of your product, along with the top benefits to convince them to buy. Include your relevant keywords, along with synonyms and variations of those keywords.

Product descriptions

The product description is your opportunity to use persuasive copy to sell your product to readers. However, it’s also a key aspect of Amazon SEO. The goal should be to attract and keep your readers attention, while naturally including keywords.

Break your description up into easy-to-read paragraphs. Online shoppers tend to read in an F-shaped pattern when scanning product descriptions, so design your text with increasingly shorter lines:

Reading Pattern of Online Shoppers – F Shape

Finally, consider adding A+ content to your product description. A+ content enhances your product page with custom-placed text and images. The visual appeal helps establish your brand image and instill trust in your product, which can increase customer loyalty and drive more clicks on your listing, an indirect signal to Amazon that your product is popular and will drive conversions when ranked.

Product images

Speaking of product images, high-quality photos are a must. Amazon recommends they be at least 1000x1000 pixels, so that they are large enough to zoom in on. Take sharp photos of your product with a high-resolution camera and be sure to get multiple angles. Online shoppers don’t get to handle the product or packaging before purchasing, so it’s important that you give them every opportunity to imagine it.

The main product image should accurately represent the product over a white background. Focus on the product only. Additional images can get a little more creative with different backgrounds and environments, but they must still pertain to the product. Don’t forget to include lifestyle imagery to help customers really visualize how the product will act in their everyday life.

Consider including product videos or 360-degree view images, too, which allow customers to see the product from every angle. These offer customers an even greater visual detail before buying.

Overall, better images lead to more conversions, a key aspect of Amazon SEO and good business.

Search filters

Another Amazon SEO strategy lies in search filters. Shoppers on the front-end can narrow their product search by selecting a dropdown category on the left of the search bar. After that, they can narrow their search even further by checking different filters on the left of the search results page.

Search filters span categories like delivery method, seller rating, color, brand, and condition. But Amazon only knows how to categorize your product if you provide the relevant information somewhere on the product page. Say you’re selling a red backpack, and you want it to be listed under red in the color filters. Then you need to mention the color red in the product description, so Amazon’s A9 algorithm can pick it up.

Search Filters are generally filled in through Masterfiles, or fields in an upload file that are on the backend of a product listing. In our experience, Search Filters are a commonly missed area for sellers to strengthen their listings to get indexed by Amazon’s system.

Think from a shopper’s perspective and try to include any details that could be relevant to search filters. This way, you ensure your product comes up in advanced and not just basic searches.

Product Price

Amazon wants to feature the products that sell the most. If your product is too expensive, shoppers are less likely to buy it, but if it is too cheap shoppers can be wary of getting scammed. So the price of a product can greatly influence Amazon SEO.

Look at products similar to yours on Amazon, check-in on any MAP policies, and set a competitive price. That way, your conversion rate will be higher and Amazon will rank your product page higher.

Customer reviews and ratings

Amazon values positive feedback. Notice how the products at the top of search listings always have several good reviews. The better the reviews, the higher a product ranks.

To get more reviews, ask customers to leave a review a few days after they receive their product. Amazon Seller Central has a “Request a Review” button to help streamline this process.

Once you start receiving feedback, improve your reviews by addressing the concerns and complaints that come in. Amazon rewards anything that improves the customer experience, so having several positive reviews is important for Amazon SEO.

Backend search terms

While keyword-stuffing will get you penalized by Amazon, there is a place you can add all of the remaining keywords that you couldn’t quite fit into your bullet points, description, and product title. This place is the backend search terms.

Backend search terms are generic single-word titles like tags. Customers don’t see these keywords, which means you can get creative and target related search terms, alternate spellings, and long-tail keywords. Think out of the box here to get your product in front of as many customers as possible. Here, your keyword research will come in handy. Use any semantically related terms that aren’t your main keyword. This way, you can rank for more keywords than just one. But remember that you are limited to 249 bytes worth of characters in backend search terms. The right set of backend search terms will greatly benefit your Amazon SEO.

Challenges of Amazon SEO

With so many factors that go into Amazon SEO, it is nearly impossible to attribute a dollar amount to any SEO Amazon optimization. While there are good practices, it all comes down to sales. The more a product sells, the higher Amazon will rank it.

What about new products? How do you optimize their product listings when they have few sales? The answer is by increasing traffic. Ecommerce is about traffic, conversion, and price. While Amazon SEO falls under conversion, you need traffic before you can drive conversions on Amazon. Do this by calling on brand differences and finding your target Amazon customer with content optimized for the right keywords. Increasing traffic will boost conversions and search ranking.

Once you see progress from your Amazon SEO efforts, make sure you maintain enough stock to keep up with the increased demand. You don’t want to drive more sales only to find you cannot fill all the orders. In that case, your brand will lose the buy box, and you will lose your rankings. Remember: Amazon wants the customer to have the smoothest experience possible, and out of stock products don’t contribute to that.

Amazon SEO is a long-term game that needs continual maintenance. The A9 algorithm is always subject to change, and Amazon is a highly competitive marketplace. You need to keep up with A9 and competitors to keep your products at the top of search rankings. Or have an SEO agency do the work for you. Whatever you do, don’t stop investing in your Amazon SEO strategy, or your search rankings will eventually sink.

Upgrade your Amazon SEO

Make your product page consumer focused, not machine-learning focused. Google’s search algorithm may value information and time on site, but Amazon is all about positive user experience that promotes the next sale.

Since its beginning, Amazon has introduced many product listing requirements to make sellers more mindful of consumers. Half the battle in Amazon SEO is simply complying with Amazon standards. After that, focus on increasing sales and your search ranking will rise.

Need help optimizing your Amazon product pages for SEO? Contact us today to see how Pattern’s marketplace experts can help you take your ecommerce business to the next level.

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Sept 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters](https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/amazon-drives-renewable-energy-push-with-71-new-projects-2022-09-21/) Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/26/prime-early-access-sale/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/shopify-launches-new-localisation-tool/) Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News](https://uk.news.yahoo.com/etsy-600-million-on-marketing-ceo-154054219.html) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/22/meta-to-slash-costs-by-10-over-coming-months/) DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/21/dhl-partners-with-quadient-to-offer-smart-locker-delivery/) The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/online-fashion-market-worth-e175-billion-in-2025/)
Sept 26, 2022

Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Peak with Google Ads

Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.

1. Go Early

In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.

From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.

2. Get Ready for Privacy Changes

 According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.

From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.

It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.

3. Ensure Consumers Can Discover your Brand

A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.

Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.

The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)

4. Get Moving with Performance Max

Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.

Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.

5. Flight Budgets Accordingly

Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.

Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.

Sept 20, 2022

4 Ecommerce Marketplace Consultant Must-Haves

Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces. 

Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.

So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.

Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products. 

What is an Ecommerce Consultant?

An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.

An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.

Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.

1. Brand Obsession/Specialization/Passion

At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services. 

2. Proven Results

It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.

3. Wide Range of Marketplace Expertise

It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.

4. Network of Resources

The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.

Achieve Your Ecommerce Goals With Pattern

Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces. 

With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.

Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.