It is much easier to rank on Amazon compared to other search engines such as Google or Bing. One of the things I have mostly encountered is poor SEO from most of the sellers on Amazon. This is so because sellers are not technical persons who know much about product metadata.
If you are someone who is also aware of generic SEO, structured data, pay per click, and google shopping ads then you would relate much more to what I am trying to say. However, that does not mean that this article is not for others. So, let us start with the Amazon Search Engine algorithm called A9. This is to get the basics of Amazon as a search engine.
Amazon Search A9 Algorithm
Amazon has expanded is search algorithm capacity to that of similar to Google such as broad match and phrase match. Here is a screenshot:
You can see that I searched for two colors and also typed the spelling of gloves incorrectly and now Amazon is showing me results based on all the keywords combinations and even correcting my spelling. Earlier, for such weird searches, Amazon might not have shown you any result at all.
Everything depends on how you fill up the information and how well you can define the customer intent. Thus, I am going to give you a walkthrough of how to fill different information when you upload a product on Amazon and optimize the product content to increase your organic traffic using this Amazon SEO strategy guide.
Amazon Vital info
The data in the vital info are at least the basic data using which Amazon tries to rank your product on its search engines. If you are from the SEO world then these data are like basic meta tags such as meta title and description for Amazon. Most of the fields under the Vital info are self-explanatory.
Product name & Title
The only concern from an SEO point of view here is the product name. The product name should be keyword optimized. Try to place the keyword at the beginning of the title but do not keyword-cannibalize it. The product name is the first place where Amazon matches a user search query when a product is searched on Amazon.
Official Amazon Guide on the Product name
Each individual word in the Product Name (Title) is searchable on its own. For example, a product called Laura Ashley Sophia Collection 300-Thread-Count Pillow Cases (Blue, Queen, Set of 2) is better than Blue Pillow Cases. This is because the recommended Product Name above includes this information:
Brand – Laura Ashley
Product line – Sophia Collection
Material or key feature – 300-Thread-Count
Product Type – Pillow Cases
Color – Blue
Size – Queen
Packaging/Quantity – Set of 2
Titles should be approximately 60 characters long. You only have a moment to catch the eye of a buyer, and your online title on Amazon should echo what would be on the physical packaging of a product.
On a search result page, where many different products appear, Amazon shows about first 120 characters and then trim the rest of the title. However, on the individual product page, I have seen titles as long as 200 characters.
So where shall you put the keywords?
- The first 60 characters are very important because Amazon also submits itself to Google or organic ranking and those first 60 characters become the meta title of the individual product page.
- From 61 to 120, you can put secondary keywords because these are important for Amazon internal search engine.
- From 120 to the rest of the title, you can use other keywords.
Amazon Offer tab for Holiday Season sale
Amazon offer tab is very important for Holiday season. Fields such as sale price, start date, end date, condition etc. make a lot of difference during the holiday season for a consumer to make a choice.
Amazon Product Images
Amazon Product Image requirements:
- Listings that are missing the main image will not appear in search or browse until you fix the listing.
- Choose images that are clear, information-rich, and attractive.
Images must meet the following requirements:
- Products must fill at least 85% of the image.
- Images must show only the product that is for sale, with few or no props, and with no logos, watermarks, or inset images. Images may only contain text that is a part of the product.
- Main images must have a pure white background, must be a photo (not a drawing), and must not contain excluded accessories.
- Images must be at least 1000 pixels on the longest side and at least 500 pixels on the shortest side to be zoomable.
- Images must not exceed 10000 pixels on the longest side.
- JPEG is the preferred image format, but you also may use TIFF and GIF files.
Amazon Product Description
Amazon Product description tab is the most important part of the keyword and content optimization point of view. This is a place where you can put the keyword and optimize your content not only for the Amazon as a search engine but also for the users’ search intent.
Here you can see two main fields. One is product description and the second one is Key product features.
Amazon key product features
The key product features appear right below the product title on an Amazon product page. The goal of the key product features is simple here – user satisfaction. The key product features are there for the Amazon search user, not for the Amazon as the search engine.
Amazon cares for its customers and wants them to recommend something right away. That’s why Amazon focusses more on the product features for consumer satisfaction.
The product description is for the Amazon as the search engine. If you want to target the keywords, they should be targeted here, not in the key features. Key features should usually have a user-centric call out texts.
Official Amazon Key Product Features Guidelines
Testing shows that well-crafted bullet points increase sales. Customers rely on them to understand key product features as they highlight important or distinguishing facts about your product.
Use the following guidelines as you craft your bullet points:
- Highlight the five key features you want customers to consider, such as dimensions, age appropriateness, ideal conditions for the product, skill level, contents, country of origin, and so on.
- Maintain a consistent order. If your first bullet point is country of origin, keep that same order for all your products.
- Reiterate important information from the title and description.
- Begin each bullet point with a capital letter.
- Write with sentence fragments and do not include ending punctuation.
- Do not include promotional and pricing information.
The bulleted list below follows these guidelines in describing a set of rain gear:
- Drawstring adjustable hood & snap adjustable cuffs
- 100% waterproof
- 100% breathable
- Available in khaki, yellow, or green
Amazon Keywords features
It is not just the keywords that Amazon is interested in but, it is also the user intent that Amazon cares for a lot. In the previous section, we saw that Amazon wanted a seller to write product key features for a user and product description for Amazon.
As far as the keywords are concerned on Amazon, besides just keywords, Amazon also wants a seller to fill out the intended use of the product, target audience, subject matter etc. Out of these 6 fields at keywords section, only 2 are there for Amazon search engines and rest of the fours are geared towards a user intent because Amazon cares a lot for its users.
Amazon Search Terms Guidelines
Amazon provides you with an opportunity to add search terms for your products. These search terms should only include generic words that enhance the discoverability of your product. For example, if you’re selling headphones, your search terms can contain synonyms such as “earphones” and “earbuds.” Search terms are not required fields.
Search Term best practices
- Don’t include product identifiers such as brand names, product names, compatible product names, ASINs, UPC codes, and so on.
- Don’t provide inaccurate, misleading, or irrelevant information such as the wrong product category, wrong gender, out-of-context words, and so on.
- Don’t provide excessively long content. Respect the limits that are set for different fields.
- Don’t provide redundant information that is already captured in other fields such as title, author, brand, and so on. It won’t improve your product placement in search results.
- When entering several words as a search term, put them in the most logical order. A customer is more likely to search for “big stuffed teddy bears” than for “teddy stuffed bears.”
- Use a single space to separate keywords. No commas, semicolons, or carets are required.
- Don’t include statements that are only temporarily true, such as, “new,” “on sale,” or “available now.”
- Don’t include subjective claims such as amazing, good quality, and so on, since most customers don’t use subjective terms in their queries.
- Don’t include common misspellings of the product name. Amazon’s search engine compensates for common customer misspellings and offers corrective suggestions.
- Don’t provide variants of spacing, punctuation, capitalization, and pluralization (“80GB” and “80 GB”, “computer” and “computers”, and so on). Our search engine automatically includes different case forms, word forms, and spelling variants for searching.
- Don’t include terms that are abusive or offensive in nature.
- Abbreviations, alternate names, topics, and key characters (for books, movies, and so on) could be included as search terms.
Other important Factors that Amazon uses for organically ranking a product
- Product price
- Ratings and reviews
- Questions and answers
- Sales etc.
How to optimize for future Amazon Algorithm updates
I have recently observed that Amazon has been following a lot in the shoes of Google SEO and paid search ads such as Product offer search ads. Here are some clues:
Taking cues from Product Schema and Google recommendations
Some of the important data types that Google recommends for a product are:
- Low price
- high price
- offer count
- price valid until
- product name
- product image
Why Amazon will continue to follow Google?
Internally, Amazon might keep on working to improve its product search algorithm more towards user intent but for the internet search engine giants such as Bing or Google, Amazon needs to follow the guidelines which help an E-commerce website rank on Google. Amazon needs to rank much above on Google if it wants to be the industry leader. So, Amazon needs to follow the basics laid out by Google.
Futuristic Amazon User intent
Amazon might utilize some fields from Google paid pattern of shopping ads towards optimizing for the user intent. This is so because to decide these fields, Google utilizes trillions of queries per day and Amazon can simply follow in and do a partial foot stepping from these data. Here is the Google product data specification for the shopping ads which Amazon might make use of in the future.