When it comes to ranking high on Amazon’s search engine results page (SERP) there’s no silver-bullet strategy – only a lot of lead bullets. However, there are some known ranking factors that determine whether your “revolutionary fishing hook for Sea Bass” show up at the top of page one, or buried at the bottom of page ten. Keep in mind that no matter how much you optimize your listing, the truth is that Amazon content ownership is shared amongst all sellers.
So, how does Amazon’s A9 search algorithm work? Well, the algorithm takes all of the following direct and indirect factors into consideration when determining product ranking for a given product search.
1. Direct factors
- Sales Performance History (Sales velocity)
- Keyword Relevancy
- Availability (In stock details)
2. Indirect Factors
- Fulfilment method
- Enhanced Brand Content / A+ Content
- Advertising & Promotion
Amazon’s algorithm ranks products according to the following factors in order of importance:
- Product Title
- Product Features
- Product Description
- Backend Search Terms
Let’s take a quick look at each factor and see if there is anything you can use to improve your existing listing. And, for an even deeper guide please check out what our friends over at Skubana had to say about successfully ranking on page 1.
1. Product Title
Your product title is 90 cents on the dollar as it counts for 90% of the success when trying to sell in the marketplace. We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. But, like a book, when you visit a bookstore its usually the cover or title that grabs your attention and entices you to pull it from the shelf and open that first page.
Depending on the category you are selling in, your product title characters range accordingly.
-Right rail ads: 30-33
Here are some simple Dos and Don’ts when crafting your product title:
- DO capitalize the first letter of each word.
- DO spell out measurement words (i.e. pound, inch, tablets, etc.)
- DO ensure numbers used are numerals.
- DO include important details (i.e. color, size, weight, voltage, etc)
- DON’T include price and seller info.
- DON’t not use ALL CAPS.
- DON’T use promotional message (i.e. sale, best seller, discount, etc)
- DON’T use symbols (i.e. $, &, ®, etc)
You can follow the standard formula below to craft a compelling product title
[Brand] + [Main Keyword/Product Type] + [Feature #1] + [Feature #2] + [Feature #3] + [Benefit] + [Color, Size etc]*
Let’s take a look a poor product title for a better understanding. Looking at the Lux timer below, product title is not descriptive enough to be ranked for enough searches on Amazon of which will affect its CTR (Click Through Rate) as well.
Here’s an example of a good product title. The Habor digital kitchen timer has a good product title containing plenty of information to help it rank on Amazon plus Best Seller ribbon also contributed:
2. Product Features
Bullet point or product features are the second most important factor in helping your products rank better in the marketplace. All sellers are allowed to have 5 bullet points unless you are part of the Amazon Vendors program of which you can have more. However, more doesn’t necessarily mean good, you don’t want your listing to begin looking like a book that will take half a day to read. Below is an image of where the bullet points sit in the product listing.
Pro Tip: In your bullet points, highlight the top benefits and features that your customers need to make a purchase. For instance, retina display screen for better viewing experience. Do not include shipping or company information as Amazon policy prohibits it.
Now here’s an example of a poor product bullet points having only 3 bullet points used. Be sure to utilize all given space given by Amazon so you don’t leave any money on the table.
On the contrary, here’s an example of a great compelling product bullet points with words in caps at the beginning of each bullet points for emphasis, the consistent tone, and the benefits and features of the product.
3. Product Description
Sellers can provide more details in this section of the product listing to win buyers over. You need to use basic HTML format for a more aesthetic description with separate paragraphs and bold text. You can find extensive details on writing a winning sales copy for your product description HERE.
This product description is a poor example of bad copywriting. It doesn’t provide adequate information to buyers and most importantly description is not in HTML format which made it hard for buyers to read.
A good product description is broken up into easy to read paragraphs and has bold words for emphasis. Keep in mind to only use bold text when necessary – not the entire paragraph. Below is a simple and effective example of a product listing containing all the important elements, (i.e. describes the problem, benefits, scarcity, etc.):
What about Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC)? According to Amazon, “Studies have shown that increased traffic and conversion that comes with adding high quality EBC can drive a sales increase of more than 5%.” I highly recommend sellers to take advantage of EBC to provide more detailed product info using images as well as text. Just as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
Pro Tip: Even though you plan to have, or are already using EBC, don’t neglect your product description as that will still be indexed by Amazon. HERE’s a step-by-step video guide I’ve created for those interested in setting up your Amazon EBC.
4. Backend Search Terms
Amazon gives you the opportunity to provide a list of keywords in the backend to enhance product discoverability so be sure to utilize it to the fullest. Amazon recently announced an update to the backend keyword policy of which you can read more about it HERE and create a plan of attack.
By now, you should have a solid understanding of how Amazon A9 algorithm works meaning you’re ahead of the knowledge curve and hopefully, ahead of your competitors as well. Keep in mind that you need to optimize the remaining direct and indirect factors mentioned above. For instance, juxtapose your prices, provide great product reviews, use only high resolution images, and optimize your Amazon PPC. Strategies mentioned have been tested and proven to work by the experts so don’t just read this blog post but apply them and see how it affects your rank!
Eugene is an Amazon business coach, consultant, and blockchain enthusiast. He helps aspiring and established entrepreneurs build a highly profitable Amazon FBA business so they can unlock their true potential. Learn more about him at wiseintro.co/FreedomProfitsBlueprint