Most people will craft a list of their New Year’s resolutions leading up to the holiday season littered with things like running, going to the gym, eating better, and sleeping more. These are all great ways to get in shape physically, but what are you doing as a seller to get your Amazon SEO in shape for Q4?
More than half of Amazon’s shoppers—around 63 million—are Prime members. On average, Prime members will spend $1,200 per year versus non-prime members who only spend $500. To reach Prime members—you need to stand out, which means your Amazon detail pages must perform at the highest level possible.
Getting Started: Relevance and Performance
Amazon says, “Search is the primary way that customers use to locate products on Amazon.” So in order to be discovered, your Amazon SEO needs to do well in both relevance and performance. I wrote a post about this no too long ago, so I won’t go super in-depth, but here’s what you need to know:
- Relevance helps shoppers find products through keywords and search terms. Your relevance is dependent on the title, key product features (bullet points), product description and photos.
- Performance is used to rank products based on potential profitability. Your performance depends on sales velocity, sales history, inventory levels, price, conversion rate, feedback score, and product reviews.
By understanding these two factors, you can set some realistic expectations heading into Q4.
4 Easy Ways to Get Your Amazon SEO In Shape for Q4
1. Make your product titles more descriptive using Amazon’s title template
Every word you include in your title is searchable—choose wisely. This is tricky because you want to include every searchable term associated with your product but you don’t want to keyword-stuff. Amazon gives clear guidelines on how to write effective titles. Titles should include:
- Product line
- Key feature or material
For example, Faux Leather Folding Storage Ottoman Bench Foot Rest Stool (14.9”, Brown) by Jane Victoria Furniture
- Brand: Jane Victoria Furniture
- Product line: n/a
- Key feature: Folding Storage
- Material: Faux Leather
- Product type: Ottoman Bench Foot Rest Stool
- Size: 14.9 inches
- Color: Brown
Analyze your product titles using Amazon’s title template to optimize your listings. This simple exercise is quick and effective.
Be aware that title guidelines differ from category to category. Refer to Seller Central for more information.
2. Do keyword research to make sure you’re articulating your key product features (five bullet points) and descriptions effectively
Amazon provides sellers with a template to add keywords to their products within their category based on these aspects:
- Search Terms
- Target Audience
- Subject Matter
- Other Attributes
- Intended Use
The Search Terms and Other Attributes sections are going to be where you’ll get the most value out of your keyword selection. You can discover what keywords your competition is using by researching their products with a bootstrap method. Or you can use a keyword research tool like Scope to discover what keywords you need to add to your detail pages. Understanding and updating the top ranked keywords for your products will be one of the easiest ways to improve your Amazon SEO.
3. Use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for all of your products if possible
You really can’t compete with the ease, simplicity and speed of FBA. Like I said earlier, more than half of all Amazon shoppers are Prime members and they spend nearly 140 percent more annually than non-Prime members. Amazon rewards sellers who use FBA with better chances to win the Buy Box and improved search ranking. Prime shoppers are looking to get the most out of their memberships. They will buy a product with two-day shipping at a higher price instead of a similar product at a lower price with free five-day shipping.
If you sell large and/or heavy products, the Seller-Fulfilled Prime program may be the right fit for your business. This program will save you on shipping costs to an Amazon Fulfillment Center and give you the blue checkmark and two-day shipping.
Keep in mind the FBA deadlines for the 2016 holiday season; November 7 is the last day Amazon will accept inventory for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
4. Run a promotions several weeks and days before Black Friday, Cyber Monday and leading up to Christmas
You’re probably thinking, “Shouldn’t I run promotions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday—not before?” Yes, you should do special discounts for those days, but you want your products to be found in search, too. If any of your products are located on page two of your top keyword searches, chances are they won’t get noticed. By running promotions several weeks and days before the most lucrative sales days of the year, you’ll boost your products’ search ranking.
Your conversion rate on Amazon is the single most important factor in how your products’ rank on Amazon. If you have consistently high sales, you will get bumped up in the rankings because Amazon wants to make more money. Products with high sales velocity are proof to Amazon that they will make more profit. By pushing a popular product up in the search ranking, Amazon and the seller will make more money, plus it delights the shopper. Here are some tips to help get your products’ ranked higher in search:
- Make sure you complete the other three steps from above to maximize your products’ discoverability.
- Research the sales velocity of your competitors to get an understanding of how many more products a day you need to sell in order to outrank them. You can use Scope to start your research.
- Once you have an idea of how many promotional sales you need to make per day—in addition to your organic sales—create single- or multiple-use promo codes on Amazon.
- Make sure you have sufficient inventory to run your promotion. Stocking out will do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish.
- If your promotion is effective, you should notice a significant jump in your best seller rank.
Final Thoughts on Amazon SEO for Q4
There you have it—four easy ways to boost your Amazon SEO. Remember, easy doesn’t mean effortless. You’ll still need to put in the time to make your products stand out. You can also improve your products’ discoverability through sponsored products ads and repricing strategies. That’s up to you and the resources you have available. What I presented in this piece are tried-and-true tactics to get you noticed. Be aware that your competitors will also be employing similar tactics so it’s in your best interest to get started early.