Over 75% of the US online consumers shop on Amazon. The e-commerce giant covers an impressive range of product categories and brings sellers unmissable opportunities.

Yet, many brands struggle to understand the factors that impact their visibility. Obviously, you won’t score a sale if the buyers don’t know your product exists. Amazon listing optimization is, therefore, essential.

In this complete guide, we will reveal all you need to know to turn your product from an unknown into a bestseller, including some exclusive tips you’ll love.

1. Understanding Amazon’s Algorithm

Amazon’s purpose is to help buyers find what they’re looking for with the help of a search algorithm which, up to an extent, is similar to Google’s. Called A9, this is an organic product ranking algorithm composed of direct and indirect factors.

The algorithm uses these factors to match search queries to products based on relevance.

Understanding these facts, alongside user behavior, is essential if you want to make sure your products get found.

According to Amazon, 70% of the customers never click past the first page of the search results. In other words, the only thing that can drive incremental sales is understanding how to use A9’s features to show up on the first page. There are two important things to consider, search intent and relevance metrics.

  • Search intent: Unlike users searching queries on Google, users on Amazon search with purchase intent in mind. They don’t want general information on a product, but rather to match the product’s specs with their needs and decide whether or not to buy. That’s why Amazon’s SEO is tied specifically to converting visits into a sale.
  • Relevance metrics: Amazon defines relevancy based on what people purchase after a search. That’s why the algorithm gives importance to purchase behavior, including conversions but also sales velocity.

The direct and indirect factors A9 uses when ranking search results are the following:

Direct factors:

  • Text match relevancy, including title, features, and product description
  • Availability and in-stock history
  • Price
  • Sales velocity

Indirect factors:

  • Fulfillment method (with FBA being advantaged)
  • Content quality
  • Reviews, including reviews number and score
  • Promotions
  • Advertising
  • Product images

It’s easy to understand that A9 will rank you higher if your listing is easy to match against the customer’s query. Title, features, and description optimization for the keywords your potential customers are more likely to search is essential, but so is an impeccable seller history.

The first steps towards ranking on the first Amazon search page, however, is providing relevant and complete information for your product.

2. How to Optimize Amazon Keywords & Search Terms

To optimize keywords and search terms, you must first understand what you need to optimize for. There are essentially three things you should aim for, relevance, visibility, and conversions.

Find keywords

The easiest way to find relevant keywords and search terms for your product is through reverse ASIN search, a practice that allows you to look up your top competitor ASINs and see what keywords and search terms they rank for.

Monitor your competitors

To achieve pertinent results, you should also pick from the top three competitors the one with the most reviews and analyze their listing. This is usually an indication that they have a longer selling history, so you’ll be able to retrieve more accurate data.

Once you have both sets of data, combine them and ignore any keywords or search terms that are not relevant for your product.

By using a word and phrase frequency counter, you can start writing down keywords and search terms to use in your title, product features, and product description.

If you want to get a detail introduction about Amazon keyword research and search terms optimization, please check our guide: 

3. How to optimize Amazon product description?

Your product listing is the most important piece in the Amazon ranking puzzle. Keywords included in it will determine whether A9 will consider it pertinent during a search or not, and will ultimately influence your chances of reaching your potential buyers.

There are five important things to consider when optimizing the product listing, the title, product features, description, images, and videos. Let’s have a closer look at each.

Product listing title

Before even starting to write the title, you must understand that this is the most valuable tool you have to please A9 and determine buyers to click on your listing. The title has the greatest impact on the product’s performance during a search, but this performance is not always positive.

According to Amazon itself, there are best practices to follow and a few elements your title should contain. These includes:

  • The name of your brand
  • The type of product
  • Product material or key feature
  • Color
  • Size
  • Quantity/packaging

Besides these elements, your title must also include additional target keywords.

When writing a title though, you must keep in mind that Amazon sets a limit of 250 characters, which is more or less 50 words. The thing is that not all characters have the same value.

While they all matter towards your ranking, Amazon only displays the first 115-144 characters in the organic search results (Amazon search results page), and only 30-33 characters in the rail ads bar. Furthermore, titles on mobile only show between 55-63 characters.

In simple words, this means that you should include the key features of your product at the beginning of the title. A9 doesn’t actually care where you write them, but your customers will.

The title is the first thing users will see when they search for a product, and the first words will determine them to either click or skip. Therefore, make it clear from the start what makes your product stand out and include any secondary features or keywords in the last part of the title.

Bullet Points

While the title is the only thing that has a direct impact on your rank in the search results, the bullet points – or product features – can influence the conversion rate and product relevance, two important factors in the Amazon SERP.

In fact, the bullet points give you the opportunity to introduce your product to the customer by highlighting its features and benefits.

When writing the bullet points, avoid mixing features and benefits in the same paragraph though. To make it simple, the features represent your product while the benefits represent what your product will do for the buyer.

In a practical example, foam bathtub pillow is a feature, and the soothing feeling is a benefit. Keep them separate and use a different bullet point for each feature or benefit you want to highlight, to make it simple for the users to find the information they are looking for.

Because A9 values user experience more than anything, you should avoid keyword over stuffing and only include in the bullet points whatever keywords or search terms you didn’t include in the title.

An easy way to do this is by creating an Excel sheet with all relevant keywords you want to use in your listing and eliminate each entry as soon as you include it in the listing copy.

To make the bullet points as pertinent as possible, you should also include relevant details regarding your product’s compatibility with other products or users.

For instance, if you’re selling dog collars for small breeds or phone cases for the Samsung S line, mention it in here.

If you offer any perks, such as money-back guarantee, warranty, or any promotions, include these details in the last bullet alongside a call to action, such as buy now or order today.

As you can imagine, the order of your bullet points also matters, but because different products have different responses, we recommend testing the copy and decide which is the best combination for you.

Content Description

The product description is another element that doesn’t have a direct impact on your ranking, but it will influence visibility.

Not only A9 will use it, but a compelling copy is ultimately the most important means you have to engage customers and drive conversions. That’s why optimizing it is crucial.

Amazon imposes a limit of 2,000 characters for the product description, and you should use them wisely for both conversion and indexing purposes. On the one hand, this is the right moment to tell users something about your product and brand.

On the other hand, it’s a great way to get indexed for any additional keywords you didn’t use in the title or bullet points.

There are a few rules to follow though:

  • Don’t overstuff your description with keywords
  • Write compelling and engaging copy that clearly highlights whatever benefits your product has
  • Include a strong call to action at the end

Because formatting your listing in Amazon’s editor can be daunting, a simple way to get a clean copy is by writing it in your computer’s text editor to then convert the text into clean HTML.

There are dozens of free tools you can use, and you will then be able to paste the HTML directly into your product page.

See also: Amazon Enhanced Brand Content 101

If you are now left with any keywords or search terms you couldn’t include in your listing, know that you can still include them in the backend search terms and have them indexed.

These terms are not visible to customers, yet the A9 counts them in when deciding your position in the search results.

Product images

While Amazon’s algorithm uses text to determine your rank in the search results, users will most likely have a look at the images before deciding if they want to read your listing.

Since Amazon lets you upload up to 9 images, our advice is to use all of them.

There are a few golden rules you should follow if you want them to appeal to the buyers:

  • Use high-resolution images. Aim for images at least 1000px wide and 500px high, as they will look nicely when zoomed in – and trust us; potential customers will zoom in.
  • Never use generic product images; hire a professional photographer specialized in e-commerce photography and only upload images of the actual product you’re selling.
  • The main image must have a white background and contain no other elements that may mislead the buyer.
  • Use the remaining 8 images to show your product from different angles or to highlight its use, including lifestyle images of people actually using the product.

Check our complete guide about product images: The Complete Guide to Amazon Photo Requirements

Product Video

Because humans prefer to see rather than read, another powerful tool you can use to optimize your Amazon listing and boost conversions is the product video. Listings with videos usually have a higher conversion rate because buyers feel that videos help them understand the features and benefits of a product much better than text and images.

There are three types of videos you can create:

  • Product highlighter: Is a clean, simple video that features only the product. It usually offers a 360° perspective and highlights the product’s most important features.
  • Customer experience video: Is usually captured by someone who has used the product and offers a realistic user experience to the other shoppers.
  • Explanatory video: As its name suggests, it explains the benefits of using the product.

What type of video works best depends on the type of product you’re selling and the audience.

4. How to Optimize Product Review & Feedback

We already mentioned that A9 also includes the product reviews and feedback in their SERPs. The biggest challenge you’ll face as a new seller is getting enough feedback and reviews though. Here are some strategies you can use.

How to Get Reviews?

It may sound trivial, but the easiest way to get reviews is asking for them. Here are a few tricks you can use:

  • Use product inserts, which are printed messages added into your product’s packaging. Ask your customers to leave you a review if they liked your product or contact you directly if they have a problem, rather than leaving a bad review.
  • Send follow-up emails and ask for a review. You can use some Amazon feedback software like AMZFinder to help you send feedback and review request emails automatically.
  • Create a review-worthy product by prioritizing the quality of your product.

You may also like: 9 Proven Strategies on How To Get Amazon Reviews

Store Feedback

Your store feedback is as important as the reviews. Here are a few ways to boost it:

  • Provide outstanding customer support and respond promptly to any queries.
  • Exceed shipping expectations whenever possible.
  • Send follow-up emails and ask for feedback.

Questions & Answers

The questions and answers section will not only help you optimize the product listing by pointing out which important information your customers miss; it also helps shoppers decide if your product is right for them.

While you can’t control what questions are asked, you must respond to them promptly and accurately.

5. How to Optimize Your Listing Competitiveness

If you want your listing to be truly competitive, here are a few other things you should optimize:

  • Price: Set a price that is both profitable for your customers and that allows you to make a profit, then try to keep it stable. You should only change your price for promotions, such as new product launch, Black Friday, stock clearance, etc. You can also choose some repricing tools to keep your price competitive.
  • Product Quality: The most important thing that will drive conversions and sales is the quality of your product. Identify flaws and fix them as quickly as possible if you want to keep your customers happy.
  • Customer Service: Stellar customer service is key to good reviews and overall positive feedback even if your product has some flaws.
  • Inventory: Do your best to have a full inventory at all times. Running out of stock frequently may knock off your ranking.

6. 4 Software for Amazon Listing Optimization

With all the above in mind, the easiest way to create an optimized Amazon listing is with optimization software. There are several to choose from, but we really like the following four.

Viral Launch

Viral Launch comprises an array of tools and services dedicated to Amazon sellers, including an outstanding Amazon product listing optimization service. Their main features include:

  • Keyword and search term research
  • Reverse ASIN search
  • Product targeting
  • Rank tracking
  • Listing and conversion rate optimization  

Pricing: starting from $497

Splitly

A tool designed to boost your listing optimization and help with the repricing, Splitly comes with the following benefits:

  • Constant keyword monitoring
  • Listing performance reports
  • Algorithmic split testing

Pricing: from $47/mo

Sellerapp

From SEO analysis to detailed reports of your listings and potential errors included in them, Sellerapp is another excellent tool to use if you want to boost conversions and sales. Here are its main features:

  • Top competitor listing analysis
  • On-page desirability factors
  • SEO and conversion reports
  • Best practice suggestions

Pricing: from $49.99/mo

Scribbles

One of Helium 10’s tools, Scribbles helps you not only build listings, but it also eliminates the keywords from your list as you use them, helping you avoid keyword overstuffing.

  • Outstanding keyword integration
  • Competitor analysis
  • Highlights any profitable keywords

Pricing: Included for free in all Helium 10 plans, including the Free Plan