If you’ve had a website for more than a minute, you probably know how to optimize your website for web searches on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
We focus so much on SEO for our websites because 68% of online experiences begin with a search on a search engine (with over 90% coming through Google).
But do you put the same effort into your Amazon listings?
Did you know that Amazon sells more than $17 MILLION worth of products every single hour, which means 2 things for you:
- It’s a great place to make sales.
- It is the fiercest online marketplace in the world.
We’ll focus on that second point in this article.
How can you get your products seen, clicked on, and purchased on Amazon?
Use a trick from your SEO playbook and focus on your listings’ keywords.
In this post, we’ll have a look at:
- How does SEO on Amazon work
- How To Do Amazon Keyword Research
- How Can We Use Keywords for Selling on Amazon?
- How To Track Your Amazon Product’s Rank with ProRankTracker
How Does SEO on Amazon Work?
SEO on Google is a complex process — in fact, more than 200 factors affect your Google ranking.
Amazon is fundamentally a search engine just like Google, but its ranking system is customized to increase profitability.
So what’s the difference between the two?
Google’s focus is relevancy, while Amazon focuses on relevancy as well as displaying search results to entice a purchase.
This focus on sales sets Amazon SEO apart from standard SEO.
Let’s look at the factors that’ll affect your ranking on Amazon.
First, you need a list of keywords relevant to the product you’re selling.
Keywords work a little differently on Amazon than other search engines, but the foundation is the same:
- Find relevant keywords.
- Choose your target keywords.
- Plug the keywords into your title, product description, and your meta description.
When writing your product description, put yourself in your buyer’s shoes.
Do you read the full product description for every item that pops up in your search, or do you just read the first 3 words of the title like the average human?
Most people only read a portion of the title to help them decide whether or not to click.
Once they click, they usually stick to the top bullet points, so focus your keywords there to get the most bang for your buck.
Since Amazon’s primary goal is to sell products, they want to show products that are actually getting sold.
This might seem beyond your control, but there are 3 things you can do to boost your product performance, which, in turn, can increase your rank.
- Be competitive on price.
- Interact with reviewers to make sure you have satisfied customers.
- Post awesome product photos (they REALLY help!).
If your product isn’t selling as well as you’d like (i.e., you’re getting loads of impressions but few sales), try editing your product title and description.
There’s a lot of trial and error in this process, but it’s worth it.
Product page optimization
Finally, make sure your product page offers everything you look at when buying something on Amazon.
- Are your bullet points descriptive and helpful?
- Is your brand name relevant?
- Do you answer the main questions your buyer is likely to have before purchasing?
Optimizing your product page is an essential part of turning CLICKS into SALES.
How To Do Amazon Keyword Research
You’ve probably done a ton of keyword research for your website, and you may be tempted to use the exact same keywords in your Amazon listing.
We’d highly discourage you from reusing keywords from other search engines in Amazon.
Now’s not the time to be lazy.
Keywords on Amazon often wildly differ from Google’s, so it’s essential to redo keyword research with Amazon-specific parameters.
Figuring out what keywords should make it onto your product page can seem like a daunting task.
Below are 3 practices that’ll make this task way easier.
1. Scout out your competition
First, take a look at your competition’s target keywords (especially if they’re crushing it with their sales).
For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell a mat for fire pits.
Do a quick Amazon search for “fire pit mat.”
Instantly, it’s easy to see the top competitors are targeting keywords like “fireproof” and “BBQ.”
They also include key descriptive terms like the size and shape of their mat.
Doing this type of keyword research doesn’t take long, but the payoff can be huge if you’re able to nab some of your competition’s sales.
2. Use a keyword research tool
Once you’ve got an idea of your competition’s target keywords, use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs to fill in the gaps.
Since people search differently on Amazon than on Google, the keywords will be different as well.
Ahrefs offers a dedicated Amazon keyword research tool that’ll help you determine the best keywords for your product.
Looking through the keyword list provided by a keyword research tool allows you to see how often people search each keyword on Amazon.
3. Optimize over time
Your first round of keywords may not hit the nail on the head.
You might have to go through a few rounds of trial and error before you start seeing some real improvements.
And that’s okay — it’s just part of the process.
Here are some suggestions for assessing whether your keywords are working or not:
- Look at your conversion rate (Unit Session Percentage in Seller Central). If your conversion rate is low, it might mean your page is targeting the wrong keywords or isn’t optimized properly.
- Track your rankings for several keywords over time. If they’re trending upward, your strategy is working. If they’re trending downward, reassess your keyword strategy. We’ll cover more specifics of rank tracking toward the end of this article.
How Can We Use Keywords for Selling on Amazon?
Once you’ve chosen your list of target keywords, prioritize them.
Prioritizing your keywords serves as your guideline as to where to put each keyword in your description and title.
Using Amazon keywords isn’t as simple as just stuffing them all into your description.
Specific best practices amplify the effectiveness of your keywords.
Only use relevant keywords
We’ve all seen awful Amazon posts.
They’re generally full of keywords and nothing else.
It makes the post nearly impossible to read and it doesn’t inspire buyer confidence because it just feels spammy.
That’s why it’s important to target keywords that are actually relevant to your product.
No more. No less.
For example, if you’re selling bicycle chains, for the love of Pete, please don’t include terms like “motorcycle” in hopes that it’ll bring in more traffic.
Including irrelevant keywords can harm your ranking over time.
Let’s stick to our bike chain example to illustrate our point.
If you include the word “motorcycle,” you might get more traffic…initially.
But as more motorcyclists click on your chain, realize it’s a bicycle chain, and instead of buying, they bounce, your conversion rate will drop.
Next thing you know, your chain will be buried on page 10 of the Amazon SERP, which might as well be page 100.
To avoid that, just stick to relevant keywords.
Place high-value keywords in your title
You’ve prioritized your keywords, now it’s time to put that list to use.
Pick your top 2 or 3 highest-value keywords and put those little gems at the very beginning of your product title.
Most people will choose which products to click on by looking at 2 key locations:
- Your product picture featured on the SERP
- The first 3-5 words of your product’s title
For example, take a look at this Amazon search for the term “electric drill.”
All of the highest-ranking results have their highest value terms right at the beginning of their title.
Some have “cordless drill,” while others have “electric drill,” “hammer drill,” or “power drill.”
As a searcher, this helps me identify what I want to click on without wasting time.
As a seller, use this knowledge to your advantage — people rarely read the full title.
They look at the picture, and they read a few words of your title.
Make those first couple of words count by putting high-value keywords there.
DON’T use Amazon restricted keywords
Another surefire to NOT make any sales on Amazon is to use Amazon-restricted keywords.
Using these words and characters can result in your listings being removed.
According to Amazon Seller Central, there are 4 basic rules to follow when writing your product’s title:
- Avoid promotional words and phrases like “FREE,” “Quality Guaranteed,” or “Buy one get one free.”
- Never use more than 200 characters in a product title (including spaces!).
- Don’t use $# special characters &@ to decorate your title. Avoid asking questions, using emojis, or strange punctuation marks.
- Your title MUST contain product identifying information. In other words, say what your product IS (like “bike chain” or “fire pit mat”).
DON’T exceed the character limit
There’s a specific limit of 200 bits for every Amazon title, which is about 200 characters, including spaces.
Even though you’re allowed 200 characters, you should try to keep your titles shorter than that if you want customers to read them.
Amazon recommends using fewer than 80 characters.
Remember, Amazon wants your product to sell, so their recommendations are probably the ideal best practice.
The longer, more complicated, and more challenging to read your title, the less likely people will read it.
Conversely, a short, concise, and accurate title creates an attractive listing that shoppers are more likely to click on and buy.
How To Track Your Amazon Product’s Rank with ProRankTracker
You’ve done the heavy lifting and you might be thinking now’s the time to sit back and relax!
There’s still a lot to be done toward making sure your Amazon SEO strategy actually works!
If you put all that work into creating an awesome Amazon listing, and it doesn’t rank well, you’ll want to know how to fix it.
That’s where ProRankTracker comes in.
Add your ASIN’s
First, you need to tell ProRankTracker what to rank.
Every Amazon listing has a specific ASIN, which is what you’ll use to track it on ProRankTracker.
Select “Amazon Results,” then copy and paste your listing’s URL (including your product’s ASIN) into the field.
The following steps will prompt you to fill out the search terms to track for your product.
Track using URL view
Once you’ve added your ASINs and search terms to ProRankTracker, they’ll automatically be tracked and updated.
All you have to do is check them and make changes when needed.
As more competition enters your field, you’ll periodically need to update your Amazon SEO strategy, including product descriptions, meta keywords, and titles.
That’s where ProRankTracker’s reports feature comes in handy.
Set up automatic reports
Setting up automatic notifications whenever one of your listings experiences a significant change is the best way to stay up-to-date on your rankings.
To create an automatic notification, just go to “Reports,” then “Automated Reports,” then “Notifications.”
Fill out the details however you want.
You can choose to set up notifications for ranking increases, decreases, or many other parameters.
Once you’ve chosen the parameters that will trigger a notification, assign it to any ASIN for which you want updates.
Then, you’ll automatically be notified whenever those specific changes occur.
You’ll never have to wonder what’s going on with your Amazon rankings ever again!
SEO on Amazon is entirely different from other types of SEO, but it can be a crucial part of your overall sales strategy.
By following the Amazon keyword strategy in this article, you’ll increase impressions, clicks, and sales — that’s what it’s all about, right?
Using a rank tracking application, like ProRankTracker, that can track your Amazon products’ rankings on the Amazon SERP, is important to maintain and grow your sales on Amazon.
It’ll allow you to make adjustments, assess your progress, and improve your ranking over time.
Good luck and happy selling!