Selling on Amazon is a go-to tactic for most online retailers these days. Hence, Amazon has rolled out a variety of features for third-party sellers to employ for increased presence and sales.
While Amazon’s Enhanced Brand Content proved to be a valuable staple in allowing products to stand apart from the competition, Amazon Stores enable businesses to elevate their entire brand experience on the platform to the next level.
Amazon Stores act as a miniature website for brands, allowing them to use eye-catching templates that immerse customers in a series of pages of branded content that showcases items and develops a rich, distinguished and professional presence within the marketplace.
Retailers can also utilize the offering to run ads on outlets like Facebook or Instagram while employing an Amazon tag to track clicks and conversions.
To create an Amazon Store, merchants must establish a professional seller account and enroll their brand in the Amazon Brand Registry.
However, no matter how spectacular a seller’s Amazon Store, it is still the product pages that generate sales. To fully optimize those, retailers must first understand how Amazon’s algorithm works.
An Introduction to Amazon’s A9 Algorithm
This is the heart of the matter.
To optimize product pages, it is necessary to have a sound understanding of Amazon SEO best practices and the algorithm that drives such activities.
Much like the algorithms that drive Google and other search engines, Amazon’s A9 scans, reads and analyzes the data within the marketplace based on the entered query.
For a given customer search, Amazon will rank and return the most relevant products, with the closest and most popular matches residing at the top of the eCommerce SERPs.
Amazon’s algorithm utilizes a combination of relevancy markers to produce the best results for its users. While the exact combination and weighting of the factors is a relative mystery, there are a variety of elements that are known to play a contributing role in the algorithm’s ranking process. Such factors include:
- Text match relevancy
- Stock availability
- Sales velocity
- Customer reviews
- High-quality images
With these ingredients in mind, retailers can start crafting their product listings to optimize for the factors of Amazon search engine optimization they can control (such as text match) to effectively influence the ones they can’t directly control (like sales velocity).
Optimize Product Listing Keywords
Even more than with Google, keywords are a crucial element for Amazon search. In fact, for a product to surface in the company’s SERPs, it must contain the searched keyword. Therefore, it is essential for retailers to include all the relevant keywords within a product listing.
When setting up an Amazon Store, retailers should set aside enough time to conduct the proper keyword research necessary to optimize listings for relevant searches. There are plenty of excellent keyword research tools available to Amazon sellers, such as the Amazon-specific Sonar.
To eliminate redundancy in the sections that follow, merchants should strategically include their keywords in these areas:
- Title: While the priority should be in crafting a descriptive, appealing title, retailers should include the top one or two keywords here.
- Bullet Points and Product Descriptions: This is the foremost real estate for keyword inclusion. Weave in a product’s main terms in a natural way that doesn’t disrupt the clarity or allure of the text’s descriptions.
- Backend Search Terms: Here, retailers can list 249 bytes of important keyword information in the “search terms” section. Be sure to stay within the 249-byte limit or Amazon will not index the keywords.
As always, refrain from keyword stuffing as this practice deters potential buyers and limits the number of sales and reviews a product is likely to generate.
Hone Product Titles
Product titles are one of the first things a customer sees. Moreover, this is the most heavily weighted area for keywords to reside. Therefore, any phrases included here will outweigh those in the product description, for example.
On Amazon, concise titles tend to fare better as the company penalizes protracted, extraneous product titles. Additionally, given that Amazon’s app users are responsible for 85 percent of all mobile time spent on the platform, it is vital to optimize titles with small screens in mind.
When setting up Amazon Store product listings, remember that titles should begin with the brand name. A common title formula is:
[Brand Name] – [Product Type] – [Feature #1] – [Feature #2] – [Size, etc.]
This structure not only helps to increase brand recognition, but it also entices a click while still meeting length guidelines.
Create Better Bullet Points
Amazon product features, often referred to as bullet points, give customers an overview of the product, its features, its unique value proposition and how it can potentially benefit the shopper.
Therefore, this is one of the most essential sections of a product page.
Generally speaking, there are two ways that sellers can approach this section.
The first is to create short and concise points that amount to roughly 88 characters per line. This method enables shoppers to quickly consume the information necessary to inform them about their purchase decision.
The second tactic is to generate lengthier points that take a deeper, more detailed dive into the product’s features. However, those who go this route run the risk of cutting off their points (“Read More…”) which could result in consumers skipping the section altogether.
No matter which route is selected, it is vital for retailers to focus on the benefits the customer receives. After all, this is what they want to know. For example, a product feature appears as “brass grommets,” whereas a benefit is framed as “brass grommets prevent tearing and ensure long-lasting durability.”
It doesn’t matter so much as to what the product can do. What matters is what the product can do for the customer.
List the benefits and features from most important to least by addressing the most significant pain points first.
Write Professional Product Descriptions
Many sellers treat the product description as an afterthought. This is a mistake as most Amazon customers do scroll down to read a product’s description.
Writing a product description that sells is mostly dependent upon a seller’s ability to help customers imagine what it is like to actually use a product. This means that descriptions might include materials used, assembly instructions and detailed info on an item’s texture, as well as the benefits it provides.
A fantastic way to achieve stellar product descriptions is to deploy Enhanced Brand Content, as this feature has shown to increase sales by upwards of 15 percent. With the supplemental images, professional appearance and additional room for describing benefits and features, Enhanced Brand Content helps to better inform customers while also reeling them into a conversion.
Publish High-Quality Images
When setting up an Amazon store and optimizing its listings, images are arguably the most critical element. These are what the customer sees first and is often what generates the initial click.
As for the basics, Amazon requires the primary image to be set on a pure white background. Given that it is vital for sellers to appear polished, it is recommended to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of products.
The product should fill roughly 80 percent of the image. The image itself should be a minimum of 1000×1000 pixels. However, 1500×1500 is recommended as customers prefer zoomable images.
Once the primary pictures are uploaded, sellers should still have several spaces with which to play. The must-have images for professional Amazon sellers include:
- Lifestyle images
- Instructional images
- Competitor comparison charts
- Guarantee images
Feel free to utilize any other potential image types that may be beneficial to customers.
Upgrade Visuals to Videos
Videos are an increasingly important element in all aspects of online engagement. In the context of Amazon product pages, videos can help demonstrate a product’s physical appearance to give shoppers a better “feel,” provide useful information and showcase how it differs from competitor items.
Videos can currently reside under the image block or below the fold under the “Related video shorts” section.
Depending on the goals of the seller and the complexity of the product, retailers can develop numerous types of videos. These might include brand, how-to, customer testimonial, unboxing or a different kind of video altogether.
A wise strategy is to place a brand video beneath the image block and upload other videos to reside under the “Related video shorts” section.
For those who aren’t confident in their video-making abilities, services like AMZ Product Video can help to provide video content for a seller’s Amazon Store listings.
Avoid Suppressed Listings
After a product is live, it is essential to keep the listing updated and maintained. Otherwise, if elements eventually fail to meet Amazon requirements, the listing could be suppressed or deactivated until the issue is fixed.
Suppressed listings occur when a product falls short of Amazon standards. Listings tend to get suppressed due to product listings that:
- Don’t have at least one main image
- Don’t have a detailed product description (some exceptions apply)
- Have a title that exceeds 80 characters (clothing or accessory item)
- Have no defined category type
To fix suppressed listings, go to Seller Central > Inventory > Manage Inventory. If any listing is suppressed, a “Suppressed” button will be present. Click this to select the desired product listing(s).
From here, sellers can edit the listing information as necessary. Since each product listing has a product summary page which lists out the current issues, these should be relatively easy to remedy.
Once the issue is resolved, click “Save and Finish.”
Setting up an Amazon store and optimizing product listings for maximum conversions is a lot of work. However, with the right information, tools and strategies, it is possible to get products to reach the top of Amazon’s SERPs.
Much like managing Amazon PPC campaigns, optimizing product listings takes considerable research, patience and practice to get just right.
Follow the advice outlined above and your brand will be well on its way to dominating the competition on Amazon.