Breaking Down Amazon's SEO Algorithm for Ecommerce

Kelly Shelton

August 24, 2020

SEO. It’s more than just a hot ecommerce buzzword: it’s the key to getting your brand discovered on Amazon. With a little algorithm know-how, SEO can push your products to the top of search rankings and help you crush it in sales.

Here are some things every ecommerce brand should know about Amazon SEO and what differentiates it from SEO on other platforms.

Amazon algorithms vs. other marketplace algorithms

Although it may be easy to assume they’re the same, all SEO is not created equal. What you see in Amazon search results won’t be the same as what you see on Google’s PageRank. This is because Google and Amazon users have different intentions when they’re using the search function.

When shoppers are on Amazon, they are zeroed in on making a purchase and usually know exactly what they’re looking for. For example, 80% of all Amazon clicks happen on the first page, and 35% of Amazon shoppers click on the first product that pops up in their search. To ensure sales, Amazon prioritizes listings that have characteristics like high impressions, lots of off-site traffic, and a good seller performance to increase the likelihood of conversion.

In contrast, when shoppers plug their searches into a search engine like Google, their intent is usually discovery. Google prioritizes relevant links (i.e. if someone’s looking for “plumbers in Salt Lake City,” websites that talk about plumbing in Salt Lake City will rank first) as well as the user experience and credibility of a link.

Knowing that Amazon prioritizes listings most likely to lead to a sale can give brands a sense of what they need to target to improve SEO.

What Amazon SEO looks like today

Amazon’s algorithms are always changing—for example, while keyword stuffing on the backend of your Amazon listing worked yesterday, it doesn’t work today—and frustratingly, the company doesn’t publicize which variables are most important or exactly how they’re weighted.

In fall 2019, Amazon’s A9 algorithm (named for the amount of factors the algorithm takes into account when determining keyword rankings) was changed to an A10 algorithm. While there’s little we know about A10 yet, we do know what A9 factors continue to affect keyword rankings today.

The A9 factors vary in importance, but each is worth considering for brands looking to improve their keyword rankings.

Seller Authority: Are you an active, authorized seller who has plenty of ratings and reviews? Is your feedback rating good and are your performance metrics healthy? How many products do you have in your catalogue? All of these things determine your seller authority and therefore your keyword ranking.

Impressions: Impressions are views a product has across the Amazon site, affiliate links, and partner links.

Internal Sales: These are sales initiated from the Amazon website without being searched for, like “frequently bought with” items.

PPC Sales: Paid-per-click (PPC) sales used to be a major factor affecting keyword ranking on Amazon, but it’s no longer one of the main forces in keyword searches.

Click-Through Rate: The click-through rate is how often your product is clicked on in search results. The more detailed and compelling your listing, the higher your click-through rate.

Off-Site Sales: Off-site sales is one of the most effective factors that can improve keyword rankings. Off-site traffic driven to an Amazon listing is three times more likely to improve a listing’s ranking than PPC.

Conversion Rate: This is the number of views on a listing that are then converted to sales. Like impressions, the higher your conversion rate, the better.

Sales History: How well your product historically sells and how often its in or out of stock are big factors that determine how you’ll rank organically on Amazon search pages.

Organic Sales: This is when shoppers search for and then purchase your product without any marketing or promotion driving their purchase.

The Best Seller Ranking

In addition to A9 factors, the biggest piece of SEO on the Amazon site is the Best Seller Ranking. The Best Seller Ranking is determined by the number of sales your brand makes, and that is determined by factors like your customer reviews, your seller performance, the price of your product, and how quickly you ship. Getting the coveted Best Seller badge means sitting comfortably at the top of keyword rankings for your product.

Amazon Enhanced Brand and A+ Content

Another area where SEO can be effective on Amazon is in the EBC/A+ content space lower down on the page of your listings. These exist to provide a better shopping experience for your customers on Amazon, and on average, A+ content increases sales by 6%.

EBC/A+ content provides more visuals and technical explanation to persuade shoppers to purchase your product, and reinforces your brand equity. One of the most valuable parts of EBC/A+ content is that it’s optimized for mobile. Customers can see a whole listing rather than the first 200 words.

What Amazon SEO will look like in the future

While A10, again, largely remains a mystery, there are some things we know peripherally that could hint at other ways the site will be measuring rankings in the near future. Amazon has already put patents on image search features, like using image alt text for keyword indexing. This could mean photographs that include descriptive keywords may also be used to increase keyword rankings in the near future.

How to improve your keyword rankings

With an idea of how Amazon’s algorithms scrape search results and what is most effective for improving rankings, there are a few things you can do as a seller to take advantage of Amazon’s SEO.

Use relevant and accurate keywords in your titles/descriptions. The most immediate way to improve your SEO is to make sure that your product listings include all of the relevant keywords a prospective buyer would search for, such as the size, color, and model of the item. Pattern can help you mine Amazon keywords to find thousands of relevant and even unexpected options for your product that can be used to push it to the top of search results.

Clean up the copy on your listings. Your copy should be engaging, informative, and well-written to attract potential shoppers. Bulleted lists with your product’s most important attributes listed at the top are an especially effective way to clean up your copy and incorporate relevant keywords.

Use high-quality images. High-quality photographs that show your product from multiple angles and give customers the ability to zoom in allow them to trust that what they see is what they’ll get from your brand. You’ll want at least seven images in your stack, and incorporating video can also be helpful.

Improve your seller performance. The more products you’re selling, the more likely you are to appear at the top of search results, and in order to sell more products, you need to make sure your seller performance is in good health. This includes improving customer ratings and reviews and having a pricing policy that allows you to win the Buy Box.

Reviews are particularly important for sales, as a Pattern analysis showed that the average conversion rate for products with 3.0 to 3.9 stars is 41%, and the average for products with 4.9 to 5 stars is 50%. Just having a few reviews on your listing can be immensely helpful. An item with one one-star review will pull 76% more sales than an item with zero reviews.

Pattern partners with brands across the world to help them optimize their listings for search results and increase sales. With the use of their in-house specialized software Predict, Pattern automates the selling process and gives you the data you need to succeed on Amazon. To learn more, contact us below.

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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022
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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/)

How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand
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How an Amazon SEO Agency Should Be Serving Your Brand

If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.

Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.

At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise  are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead. 

What is an Amazon SEO Agency?

An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.

A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:

Prioritize Your Success

Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance

Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS. 

To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.

Provide Detailed Competitive Insight

A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.

It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.

Reduce Your Ad Spend Over Time

Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins. 

Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.

Amazon SEO Optimization and More

As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.

Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (20th September 2022)
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Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/amazon-to-raise-delivery-drivers-pay-and-add-more-work-benefits/) Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/amazon-to-give-away-shipping-software-to-merchants/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/walmart-launches-virtual-fitting-rooms-to-drive-clothing-sales/?utmsource=Retail+Gazette+Subscribers&utmcampaign=2da7f0f8f8-EMAILCAMPAIGN202209150742&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0d23e2768b6-2da7f0f8f8-61040615) THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/15/thg-slashes-forecast-as-cost-of-living-crisis-hits-consumers-wallets/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/14/post-office-partners-with-dhl-express-to-provide-click-and-collect-services/) US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/16/us-consumer-watchdog-to-start-regulating-bnpl-sector/) Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/13/japan-ecommerce-market-to-grow-by-6-9-in-2022/) Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](https://searchengineland.com/ecommerce-brands-spent-60-more-on-tiktok-ads-in-q2-387876)