4 Tips to Get Your Amazon SEO Strategy in Shape

To reach as many shoppers as possible and to convert those shoppers into buyers, Amazon sellers need to ensure that their search engine optimization (SEO) tactics are effective and ongoing. Achieving Amazon SEO success entails creating and maintaining product detail pages that perform at the highest-level possible — even before a shopper visits the page. That’s where a well-formulated Amazon SEO strategy comes in.

SEO is about discovery; users finding solutions (information, resources, products, etc.) that best match the search terms they’ve entered. Search engines such as Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo serve up content matches in the form of information and answers most relevant to the search.

Amazon’s search engine algorithm (also known as A9) matches products with search terms based on relevance but not on relevance alone. Amazon also factors performance, which in the case of products means historical sales, predicted sales, customer satisfaction rates, number of returns, etc. The organic search results that Amazon’s search engine delivers (as opposed to the product ads it shows) are shaped heavily by the likelihood of the shopper purchasing the product. After all, Amazon exists to sell, not to inform.

All of this matching of the user query to products that the user is likely to buy (and will be happy with) takes place behind the scenes using the extremely intelligent Amazon A9 search algorithm. The art and science of SEO is about putting forth information that satisfies the algorithm as well as entices the buyer. Here are four ways to do so:

1. The Foundation of Your Amazon SEO Strategy: Use a Winning Formula for Product Listing Titles

Your product’s title is the first thing that a shopper sees on Amazon. It’s also the first place that the Amazon algorithm scans for keywords that indicate a match for the user’s query. This means that you’ve got to nail the title so that it resonates with both human shoppers and Amazon’s AI. 

Consistency, clarity, and concision are all key parts of a solid Amazon SEO strategy. Try regularly following this order when writing product titles for Amazon listings: Brand + Model + Product Type + subsequent information such as material, purpose, size, quantity, color, etc. With that formula, you’ll get the important words in first and you’ll never miss a variable important to the Amazon algorithm and human shoppers. 

In terms of titles, here’s what else you need to know to satisfy both Amazon’s search algorithm and shoppers alike (not to mention ensuring that your product title complies with Amazon’s guidelines).

Amazon Product Listing Title Do’s:

  • Include clear product-identifying information like “snow boots.” 
  • Be concise and remember that many shoppers are using smaller-screen mobile devices. Titles must not exceed 200 characters, including spaces. Amazon recommends 80 characters for optimal display.
  • Use numerals (5) rather than cardinal spellings (five). This will save you characters and add visual impact.
  • Include necessary punctuation, like hyphens (-), slashes (/), commas (,), ampersands (&), and periods (.).
  • Abbreviate measurements, such as “cm,” “oz,” “in,” and “kg.”

Amazon Product Listing Title Don’ts:

  • Use all caps. Just cap the first letter of each word except for prepositions (in, on, over, with), conjunctions (and, or, for), and articles (the, a, an).
  • Use non-language ASCII characters such as Æ, ©, or ®.
  • Use characters for emphasis or decoration, such as ~ ! * $ ? _ ~ { } # < > | *.
  • Use subjective commentary, such as “Hot Item, “Best Seller,” or “World’s Best.”
  • Use promotional language or offers like “free shipping” or “Half Price thru Halloween.”
  • Include your brand name in titles.
  • Include size and color variations.

2. Give Your Bullet Points Lots of Love

Bullet points are almost always indexed by the Amazon algorithm. In a Seller Central page covering bullet pointsAmazon states that “even if the algorithm does not index all bullet points or [it] changes how it indexes bullet points, there will always be value in making your listings as good as they can be.” This is a great reminder that SEO and listing optimization are about striking the balance between writing for human shoppers and writing for artificial intelligence as well.

Within an Amazon product listing, you have fewer than 1,000 characters to use over all five bullet points. Bullets look better and read better when they are concise and punchy and balanced. Keep each bullet to under 200 characters and always put your most-important bullet at the top to make sure that it is seen and indexed first. With bullets, less is more. Remember that bullets don’t have to be complete sentences and that leading with numbers draws in the eye.

Here’s an example of two versions of a bullet point for a t-shirt being sold on Amazon:

Version 1: 

  • Fabric is made of 100% non-GMO organic cotton grown in America.

Version 2: 

  • 100% USA-Grown Non-GMO Organic Cotton

Which is better for both human shoppers and the Amazon algorithm? Which gets the point across more quickly and clearly? The second version is the clear winner.

3. Kill It with Keywords — Enhance Your Amazon SEO Strategy by Using a Keyword Discovery Tool

Amazon sellers tend to be obsessed with keywords and search terms. They also tend to believe that once they find and set what they believe to be good keywords, they’re done and need not revisit this process. That’s absolutely false. Finding, setting, and optimizing keywords for both Amazon SEO and Amazon PPC is anything but a set-it-and-forget-it mission. This is why routinely and methodically adding new high-performing keywords (and removing low performers) is essential to your Amazon SEO strategy.

You may think that you know keywords. You may think that you’ve covered them all in your listing with your title, bullet points, and product description. The truth is that there are always more and better keywords to be found because shoppers are constantly changing how they search for products and the language that they use to do so. This means that you need to: 

  1. Know where to find high-value keywords.
  2. Use a data-driven keyword discovery tool like Scope within Seller Labs Pro.
  3. Follow Amazon’s guidelines about keywords and search terms.
  4. Monitor keyword performance and swap out winners for losers (yep, that’s Scope again).
  5. Get into a regular habit of freshening up your keywords.

Remember that Amazon gives high ranking to products that succeed in both relevance and performance. Relevance with regard to keywords means getting your product discovered (SEO keyword strategy) and performance means sales and conversion rates (product detail page optimization with content that entices the shopper to become buyers). Keywords are critical to both relevance and performance factors, and thus, they have a huge bearing on your product’s ranking before and after a shopper even visits your detail page.

4. Keep Your Audience in Mind and Remember Your Buyers

As we’ve said, Amazon SEO strategy is about appealing to human shoppers and the Amazon algorithm. This can feel like a tough balancing act and it’s easy to get sucked into over-tinkering with keyword mining and optimization strategies.

SEO strategy can and likely will feel overwhelming at times. You’ll do fine if you use the three Amazon SEO tips above and keep this one in mind: AI algorithms matter, but at the end of the day, people, not computers, decide which product to buy. 

If you’re ever tempted to try to increase product discoverability by privileging the Amazon search algorithm over the person seeking a product, get yourself back on track and focus on what really moves the sales needle: great products, great prices, and great service.

When you provide these things and you listen to what your customers tell you in the form of product reviews and seller feedback, finding powerful keywords and writing compelling product listings that make shoppers want to buy your products becomes infinitely easier. Remember that relevance will get you found, but performance will get your products bought and ranking higher. Tend to both and never forget your buyers and you’ll prosper on the Amazon Marketplace.

Ready to take the next step in driving more qualified traffic to your product pages and converting more shoppers into buyers? Try Seller Labs Pro free for 30 days!

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