Amazon SEO: What It Is and How to Use It to Improve Your Product Rankings on Amazon

Amazon is a search engine at its core. A very powerful search engine that connects eager buyers with businesses looking to sell their products. And just like all search engines, you have to understand what the algorithm is looking for in order to appear front and center. After all, the higher up you are in the search results, the more likely you are to maximize your sales potential.

Successful Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) increases your product's visibility by optimizing listing placement. Achieving this requires a strong blend of effective marketing, keyword optimization, strategic advertising, and an unwavering commitment to delighting your customers.

So what can you do to boost your Amazon product listing in the search rankings? In this Amazon SEO guide, we'll dive into Amazon SEO best practices, along with some Amazon SEO tips that you can implement to positively impact your on (and off!) Amazon search performance to boost your seller rank.person with a thoughtful look using a calculator trying to figure out how to boost their amazon seo

What You Need To Know About Amazon SEO

Amazon SEO resembles the chicken and the egg conundrum. The more you do things right (according to Amazon), the better you'll perform, which will increase your search results ranking so that you'll perform better. You'll often hear PPC companies referring to this dynamic as the "Flywheel."

Essentially, the better job you can do to get the right people buying your products, the stronger your Amazon SEO will become. This rule holds whether you're wanting to improve SEO for Amazon Vendor or as a Third-Party Seller.

Every search engine prioritizes a certain type of user experience to influence how a link will perform. Google search engines and many other search engines consider elements such as site time, bounce rate, and other indicators that suggest whether a person finds the content useful and related to their query. For Amazon, they're considering data surrounding factors such as how a customer's search queries relate to a product's CTR, Conversion Rate, Return Rate, Reviews, and Overall Customer experience. These are just some of the elements Amazon's formula (commonly known as the A9 algorithm) considers when determining a product detail page's rank.

Understanding Amazon SEO and how it relates to the Amazon Ranking Algorithm (A9) is a very complex topic that deserves its own article. But suffice it to say that its primary purpose is to help customers find and purchase the perfect product for them as quickly and easily as possible.

Because of this, it's not just a matter of keyword stuffing your product listings to the brim. If it were that easy to manipulate, then Amazon customers' experiences would plummet.

Be wary of "Amazon search engine optimization secrets" rely on ways of trying to trick your way into indexing and ranking for more words. But, at the end of the day, persistence, data, and responsive optimization are the best way of rising in the ranks for sustained, long term growth.

Before we dive into how you can improve your Amazon SEO strategy, let's start at the very beginning with the...

Search results page

A customer goes to the Amazon search bar and enters their search terms. You want to make your product listing the search result that they see first.

Amazon's search results fall into two categories: paid and organic. Increasingly, more and more of the placements on each page are being dedicated to paid ads. This is why a strong PPC strategy is an indispensable tool that you must wielded thoughtfully.

In the wise words of Talladega Night's Ricky Bobby, "If you're not first, you're last." While this may not be what you want to hear, failing to land on the first page of Amazon search engine results page can drastically impair your likelihood of achieving the success you're seeking.

But, just because many of the search results are paid, doesn't mean that you can't influence your search ranking to make your product appear on page one.

With this in mind, what can Amazon sellers do to rise in the ranks in the organic search results?

Keywords determine if your product ranks on Amazon at all

Ultimately, all search engine optimization starts with keywords. Before embarking on strategies to boost your Amazon SEO, you must conduct keyword research to determine what words you need to rank for.

Successful research isn't simply running a reverse ASIN search on your top competitors. It requires careful, thoughtful analysis to find the most relevant keywords that you can also be competitive with.

An Amazon product listing without the right related keywords is quickly on its way to languishing on the forgotten search results graveyard.

There are a number of different tools that you can do to find and analyze your Amazon keyword research, including: Helium 10, Data Dive, and Zonguru. No matter what tool you choose, be sure to use one that is pulling data specifically for Amazon's platform.

Many Amazon sellers choose to conduct their keyword research as part of their viability testing before launching a product. If there isn't enough search volume or relevant keywords, it can be very difficult to gain the traction necessary to be successful. On the other hand, if all of the relevant keywords are incredibly saturated, it may be too costly to try and be competitive in that particular niche.

When conducting your keyword research, be sure to look for product, category, and use related keywords that customers would use to find products like yours. If you're wanting to learn how to research the best keywords for your Amazon product listings, all of the tools listed above provide ample education on the topic.

The search terms you discover and choose to focus on in this step will form the foundation of your product listing and all of your Amazon SEO efforts, so be sure to give this adequate time, attention, and care.

How can I track my Amazon keyword rankings?

All of the Amazon SEO tools listed above can help you track how you're ranking on your target keywords. Many even allow monitoring that will generate reports to determine how you're doing.

Additionally, if you are brand registered, you can access what is essentially a free tool: a number of different dashboards (particularly the search query performance dashboard) from your Amazon Seller Central account that can give you insights into not only what keywords you're indexing and ranking for, but how your sellers rank compares related to your competitors. Your search query performance report is packed with data you can use to analyze, strategize, and optimize.

No matter what Amazon SEO software you choose to use, keep a close eye on your Amazon sales rank chart to determine what's working, what's not, problems to fix, and opportunities to seize. 

person celebrating their amazon ranking and sales increasing

4 Ways to Rank Higher with Amazon SEO:

We've discussed what Amazon SEO is and why it's important for your e-commerce business. Now it's time to explore what you can do to improve your Amazon online search engine marketing, rise in the search result ranks, and achieve more sales and stronger performance.

As you begin using these strategies to influence your ranking factors, be sure to track how they're impacting your search rankings. Data is an invaluable tool for making informed decisions to impact your Amazon sales rank. Ignore it at your peril.

1. Improve your Click Through Rate (CTR)

Getting to page one is an achievement worth celebrating, but staying on page one is what you should be aiming for with your Amazon SEO. Increasing your Click Through Rate is one of the levers you can use to make that happen.

Why does your click through rate matter? In many cases, it's the first step towards garnering a sale. Your conversion rate on a relevant keyword is an important ranking factor. So while you can make a purchase directly from the search results page, your chances of converting customers are much higher if you can get them to click into your product page.

Your title, price, main image, reviews, offers, and badges can all influence your click through rates for better or worse.

  • Optimize Your Amazon Listing Title

Your listing titles are like the sign for your business. They tell the customer what you're selling, so they can determine if it's worth clicking into it. For this reason, your product title should include a skillful blend of highly relevant keywords with key product features.

It's also important to consider how your title relates to other sellers' product titles. Figure out what you can do to differentiate your product title so that people want to click directly into your product page.

Want to know more? Learn all about what it takes to write an effective Amazon product title.

  • Amazon Product Price

How you price your product will have a big impact on how you perform in search results. There's a common misconception that cheaper is always better, but that's not necessarily the case.

Your product price can influence the perceived value of an item. Each type of price point will appeal to a different type of buyer, be they a value buyer or a price buyer. For this reason, you need to be clear about who your target customer is, and what price point will make the most sense to them.

If you're looking to take your pricing strategy to the next level, you may want to explore an AI repricing tool.

Lastly, always be sure to factor in all of your expenses, while leaving room for profit.

  • Main Image

A significant portion of your search results real estate is dedicated to product images. And since humans are such visual animals, it's your job to create an image that stands out and attracts as many customers as possible. BUT, you also have to do this within a very rigid set of rules that Amazon has outlined.

It's common to see many sellers trying to get around these rules, so beware: just because you see a competitor doing something, doesn't mean that they're permitted. Be sure to review Amazon's product image guidelines to ensure you're not violating their terms of service.

Check out this article for some tips to make your main image pop.

  • Amazon Reviews

Whether you like it or not, reviews have a massive impact on your conversion rate. They're the simplest way for customers to distill a lot of information to determine if a product is worthy of their money.

Putting the customer first is a crucial part of encouraging positive reviews. Amazon's Early Reviewer Program can also help give a good boost to help newly launched products gain momentum.

There are also numerous black hat tricks that some Amazon sellers use to artificially boost their positive reviews. Doing this can be incredibly dangerous and put your entire seller account at risk.

If you find that you’re receiving negative reviews, treat this as feedback that you can use to revise and strengthen your product pages. Consider how you can update elements like your bullet points and product descriptions to more accurately represent the strengths and weaknesses of your product so that you can encourage more of the right kinds of customers to purchase your product.

Here are some strategies for getting reviews the right way.

  • Coupons and Discounts

Using offers as a part of your sales and marketing strategy can be a fantastic way to boost your click through rates. And it's not just because people love a good deal.

Yes, offering coupons and discounts is beneficial for attracting people with a lower price. But promotions can also add some literal color and interest to your search results real estate. helping you stand out from your competition. Coupons are green, and discounts are red, both of which add some eye-catching interest to your product listings as you aim to climb the search rankings.

  • Amazon Badges

Amazon is continually testings different badges to identify products and sellers. These can appear both in the search results as well as on the product listings. While some badges are simply given, others can be applied for if you meet certain criteria. Badges like "Climate Pledge Friendly" and "Small Business" in particular may be attractive to some customers, boosting both the space you claim in Amazon searches as well as your potential click through rate.

2. Optimize Your Amazon Listings

Increasing your click through rates is important, but none of that matters if you aren't priming product listing to convert. Now it's time to take your Amazon SEO strategy to the next level: listing optimization.

Any effective Amazon search engine marketing program should include a strong focus on conversion rate optimization. After all, we're not purely driving traffic for the sake of driving traffic, we're doing it to convert customers.

Creating a winning Amazon product detail page is more than just stuffing a bunch of search terms into your bullets. It requires a solid understanding of branding, positioning, marketing, and Amazon search engine optimization.

The primary pieces of your Amazon listing product page are:

It's your goal to optimize every single piece to connect with and convert as many of the right customers as possible. By doing that, you will improve your Amazon keyword ranking so you appear at the top of the search engine results pages, increase sales potential, and bolster overall profitability.

This article will include a short summary of each of these pieces and their impact on your Amazon SEO. If you're ready to boost your sales, here's a Step-By-Step Guide to Optimize Your Amazon Product Listings for Higher Rankings and Better Conversion Rates.

  • Product Title

As discussed earlier in this article, your product title plays a significant role in how you'll perform and appear in Amazon search results.

Once someone clicks into your listing, they may check your title to confirm your product has the features they're looking for. However, its primary purpose is to get people into your listing.

BONUS: If you optimize Amazon product titles, correctly, you can also improve your off-Amazon search performance. By helping your listing appear higher in Google searches, you can boost your external traffic, which will also help you rank higher with Amazon's A9 algorithm.

  • Product Images

Many people are visual shoppers, so these additional images on your Amazon product detail page are a fantastic tool that you can use to communicate key points, important information, and why customers should purchase from you.

Product images take a prominent place on your Amazon listings. Not only do they appear at the top of the page as a scrollable library, but in some categories on mobile they also appear above the enhanced brand content (A+ Content and Brand Story) and the product description.

Great image quality is a must. Consider creating lifestyle imagery that builds interest, excitement, and an eagerness to buy. And don't forget to include persuasive text in your images for maximum impact.

  • Bullet Points

When a potential customer clicks into a product listing, the bullet points are the place they can go to quickly and easily confirm this product has the features they're looking for. For this reason, be sure to include all of your most important Amazon product features in bullet points so that the customer doesn't have to work too hard to understand if your product fits their needs.

Be sure to include important search terms, but never sacrifice readability for extra keywords. Keep each bullet point focused on one clear idea. And always emphasize the benefit to the customer to encourage better conversion rates.

Go here for a complete rundown of how to write bullet points that will help you rank higher and generate more sales.

  • Product Description

If you're using A+ Content or Premium A+ Content, your product description may not be visible to customers. However, this doesn't mean you should neglect it or use it for keyword stuffing. It's always possible that this could be visible in the future, so give this the same thought and attention to detail to ensure it's written for customers and the A9 algorithm.

If you don't have A+ Content yet, learn why getting your brand registered is essential for Amazon sellers. And in the meantime, treat your product description as a place that customers go to ensure product details are correct and that they fully understand what they're purchasing.

You have more flexibility to write and structure your content in the product description, compared to the product title and bullet points. By using simple HTML line breaks (<br>) you can enhance your product descriptions to make them more readable. You can even combine line breaks and dashes to create bullet points.

For this reason, your product description is a great place to communicate creatively about your product, provide less important features that don't necessarily need prime placement, and weave in long tail keywords that may be difficult to easily fit into other parts of your listing.

Check out this article for the in's and out's of how to optimize Amazon product descriptions.

  • Enhanced Brand Content: A+ Content, Premium A+ Content, and Brand Story

Enhanced Brand Content (EBC), refers to a variety of different tools registered brands can use to set their products and businesses apart on Amazon. In relation to your Amazon product listings, this includes:

  • A+ Content
  • Premium A+ Content
  • Brand Story

Each of these types of content features different modules that combine imagery and text. Amazon sellers can use these to help their products stand out visually. The impact is stronger conversion rates, opportunities for upselling and cross selling, greater brand recognition, and more.

In addition to creating more beautiful, engaging product listings, these modules also have backend fields for SEO called alt image text or image keywords. In some ways, these fields can serve as an extension for your backend keywords, making a great place to include more challenging search query phrases that don’t naturally fit into your product title, bullet points, product descriptions, etc. 

If you’re selling on Amazon, Enhanced Brand Content is an invaluable tool you can use to rank higher and drive more sales.

Wondering what are the advantages of enhanced content for sellers and vendors? Dive into these articles to learn how to make the most of your A+ Content, Premium A+ Content, or Brand Story.

  • Backend Search Keywords

When you're writing your product listings for maximum conversion rates, you may discover that you have search terms that are leftover after you've written everything else. Fear not! Amazon gives you space to add backend keywords in a field called "Search Terms".

This is also another great place for long tail keywords that may be awkward or difficult to fit into places like your bullet points and product titles.

There is an ongoing debate of whether you should repeat your most important keywords in your product listing and the backend search terms. There has been compelling evidence for both sides, so every Amazon SEO company will likely have a slightly different approach. For this reason, we recommend testing this for yourself to see what performs best.

Some general guidelines for your backend keywords:

  • Up to 250 bytes
  • Remove all commas
  • No need to repeat keywords
  • Great place for misspellings, different languages, and hard-to-use phrases 

3. Advertising 

Advertising may be a less obvious way of influencing your Amazon SEO performance, but it shouldn’t be undervalued. After all, successful advertising can lead to higher conversion rates. Higher conversion rates also mean that you have more opportunities for delighting your customers (reviews, lower return rates, etc), which can translate to more effective search engine marketing results.

Amazon ads offer a variety of different ad placement types, and there is a variety of types of external advertising and traffic generation. Both on and off Amazon advertising can both positively impact your product listing Amazon SEO performance when they’re done the right way. Be sure to closely analyze your Amazon sales charts if you choose to outsource this, so you can stay on top of things and ensure you're maintaining healthy profitability.

  • PPC

Amazon is a pay to play marketplace. This means that as an Amazon seller, you must have an effective PPC strategy. The benefit is that through strong PPC, you can ensure your product listings appear exactly where you need them to. Of course, they need to be highly targeted, well-managed, and effectively strategized to make that happen.

Running ads on the right keywords isn’t enough to ensure you achieve a solid conversion rate and still maintain a profit. Going back to that flywheel, the better job you do of strategizing for click through and conversions, the more profitable your PPC campaigns will be. This means that you can improve your PPC performance when you fine tune your product pages so they have great main product images, product titles, and keyword optimization strategies.

Through Amazon ads, you have many different placement options beyond the search query page so you can snatch every possible sales opportunity. Just remember that it’s very easy to lose a lot of money very quickly and easily if you have poorly structured and managed PPC campaigns. 

Be sure you understand your category, competitive landscape, and constantly optimize to make the most of your Amazon advertising campaigns. Be careful to keep an eye on your budgets, and consider hiring Amazon SEO experts if your PPC costs are out of control.

  • External Traffic

The beauty of external traffic is that you can send customers directly to your product listing, skipping one of the major obstacles you’re up against with traditional Amazon SEO. Through well-targeted external advertising and traffic strategies, you can create new sales opportunities, impacting your conversion rate, seller account health, etc.

There are a variety of ways and places you can run off Amazon advertising campaigns that can still benefit your Off and On Amazon internet marketing search engine performance. These include, but are most certainly not limited to:

  • Google Adwords
  • Facebook
  • Blogs and websites
  • Affiliate marketing
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • And the list goes on!

Plus, directing off-Amazon traffic to your listing is seen favorably by Amazon, since you’re bringing new potential customers to the site. For this reason, many Amazon keyword ranking services utilize these methods to simultaneously generate new traffic and favorable ranking signals.

*If you're working with an Amazon SEO agency to run ads (on or off Amazon) it's imperative to have conversations with them about their strategy for improving your click-through and conversion rates.

4. Delight the Customer

Customer experience may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering your Amazon SEO strategy. But, ignore this at your peril.

The customer is at the center of Amazon’s mission, so it’s no surprise that their experience would have a far-reaching impact on an Amazon seller’s performance. Your seller Account Health Rating is a way of getting a bird’s-eye view of various aspects of how you’re doing and delivering. 

What can an Amazon seller do to deliver a positive customer experience that will boost their Amazon SEO for their product listings? 

  • Customers Search Query

Don’t be misled by high search volume keywords that aren’t relevant to your product. When a potential customer goes to the Amazon search box and enters a query, it’s imperative that the customer receives a page of highly relevant results. For this reason, you need to learn how to analyze search query data and how to strike a solid balance between high search query volume and relevance.

Of course, Amazon’s search filters allow customers to narrow down results to get them closer to what they were looking for with their initial search query. However, trying to incorporate irrelevant or overly broad keywords is unlikely to have any positive effect on your Amazon performance.

Instead, think critically about what types of terms a customer would use when looking for a product like yours. Write your product title to attract customers who will love your product. If you’re trying to trick someone into clicking into a listing for a product they won’t actually want, you’re only creating potential problems that could have a negative impact on your performance.

  • Return Rate

Speaking of negative impacts, your return rate is something to keep a very close eye on. Returns are a natural part of any product-based business, but if your rates start to creep up, this can create a costly problem for your business on multiple fronts.

When customers return your product, they’re asking to select the reason why. If too many select “not as described”, this can lead to penalization from Amazon.

Take a look at your product page to see if there are things you can change to clarify points of confusion or actually describe things people assume about your product. It’s better to write more honest bullet points and product descriptions than to create a bunch of openings for unhappy customers.

Recently, Amazon has been testing a new badge that sellers should try to avoid at all costs “Frequently Returned.” We spoke earlier about positive badges, but a badge like this could be a very problematic one to earn. For this reason, your return rate is one of the most crucial ranking factors to try and control as you navigate the Amazon marketplace.

  • Reviews

Social proof is powerful. Reviews can make or break your products’ success on Amazon. After all, fewer people will be willing to take a chance on a product with a low average review. 

This means that other customers’ past purchases and their experiences with your product are one of the most significant things that stands between your potential for a best-selling product or one that must be sent to liquidation. 

More impactful than a bullet point or your product descriptions, your reviews influence whether someone will want to click into your listing AND whether they choose to buy. 

Did a customer leave a bad review? Discover some tips for how to manage negative reviews.

Negative reviews can sink a product's opportunities at success. Be sure that Amazon product ranking service is prioritizing good customer match and that you're delivering an exceptional experience. Otherwise, you could quickly and easily tank all of your best efforts.

  • Prime Free Shipping

One very significant benefit of enrolling in FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is that your products earn the badge for free Prime Shipping. This is very attractive to potential customers, and something to consider when optimizing for click through and conversion rates.

You can also earn the Prime free shipping badge if you’re FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant).

Learn more about the difference between FBA and FBM.

people analyzing their amazon seller data conversion rate traffic and seo

Analyze, Strategize, and Repeat!

Your Amazon SEO strategy is a key lever that you have to elevate your e-commerce business, increase product rankings, and boost your conversion rate. For this reason, don't just treat it as an item to check off your to-do list, but rather as something to continue testing and refining.

Some categories may require frequent keyword optimization due to seasonality or a quickly evolving market. Keep a sharp eye on the competitive landscape so that you can get and stay ahead. Make sure you understand and have your finger on the pulse of the category you're selling in, so you're not caught off guard.

Rather than looking at SEO for Amazon webstore performance as part of your Amazon search engine marketing program's curriculum, treat it as an ongoing area of study. The Amazon SEM marketing landscape is always changing, so the more effort you can make  to stay up to date on what's working today, the better results you'll see.

You understand some of the top ranking factors that Amazon's A9 algorithm considers when determining where your product listing appears for different search queries. Just remember that Amazon is a constantly evolving marketplace, so as an Amazon seller, it’s your job to stay on top of what’s working and get to the bottom of what isn’t.

At this stage you might also be wondering how much does Amazon search engine marketing cost? As you can see from this article, there are many facets of effective SEO marketing, so this will depend on how quickly and aggressively you'd like to grow, along with how competitive your category is. With that in mind, there are also many free tools and aids that can help you impact your Amazon SEO for nothing more than your time.

Get curious about how you can use the various tools at your disposal to continue to hone and refine your Amazon SEO strategy for killer conversion rates and long term success.

Take Your Amazon SEO to the Next Level

Feeling overwhelmed by juggling backend keywords, bullet points, and product descriptions (oh my!)? Lost with trying to interpret Amazon search analytics? Want to know if your product page is up to par? We can help! Request your free Amazon listing analysis or reach out to our Emmazon experts for listing optimization and Amazon ranking services to take your Amazon business to new heights.

Sean Levine


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