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.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

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 20, 2022

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)
Sept 13, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider](https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-closes-2-facilities-scraps-plans-42-new-buildings-report-2022-9?r=US&IR=T) --- Other Marketplace News --- JD.com is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star](https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2022/09/08/chinese-ecommerce-giant-jdcom-bets-big-on-online-grocery-lower-tier-markets-amid-slowing-economy) Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times](https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/seas-shopee-shuts-operations-in-argentina-chile-colombia-mexico-sources) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday](https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-scales-back-in-stream-shopping-elements-as-it-re-examines-its-app/631276/) FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel](https://postandparcel.info/149889/news/e-commerce/fedex-express-supports-the-growth-of-cross-border-e-commerce-within-the-amea-region/) India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](https://www.businessinsider.in/business/ecommerce/news/the-great-indian-festival-of-hiring-e-commerce-companies-gear-up-for-indias-shoppers/articleshow/94000346.cms)