So you want to start your own business? Well, that’s good news because you can be your own boss and do what you love the most. However, starting your online store isn’t as simple as when you launch a product in Amazon and getting instant sales. It requires hard work, dedication and careful planning.
Why? Because customers aren’t aware of your business and the products you are offering them. You’re just one of the hundred of thousands of sellers offering the same product. More likely than not, customers will pick stores with star reviews, high sales and proven track record. So, if you want to sell on Amazon, you need to rank high on the Amazon search results.
To achieve this, we have created five tips and tricks to increase sales in Amazon. Use these tips and record the improvement in your store. Remember that you need to exercise patience and dedication when applying these tips to ensure the success of your store.
Part 1: Understanding Amazon SEO
For you to know how to rank high on Amazon, you need to know about Amazon SEO and the technology that powers it. Amazon SEO is the process of optimizing your product listing to rank high on Amazon. Just like Google, Amazon is a search engine that provides customers with relevant listings based on their needs. To help Amazon show customers the products they are looking for, they have this amazing algorithm which is called A9.
A9 is the name of the algorithm Amazon uses for product search while A9.com is the subsidiary of Amazon that develops and handles this search engine advertising technology. From the search results to product suggestions, A9 governs everything related to Amazon search results. Amazon is so big because it focuses on keeping their customer satisfied.
Whenever a customer searches for a product, they would type in keywords on the search bar and Amazon will display the listings related to the keyword. Hence, as an Amazon seller, you must know how you can improve your listing, so you can get the maximum results.
To do this, you must know the factors that come into play when ranking your listing.
- Customer Satisfaction
When a customer searches for an item on Amazon, the A9 algorithm shows the listings that are relevant to the search query. As stated by Amazon’s Head of Search, “When a customer tells us they are looking for “Harry Potter in books”, we distinguish in their query the title: “Harry Potter” from the category information: “in books”.
For Amazon, they want customers to be able to quickly look for the product they want as opposed to spending hours scouting the website for the exact item. To know if your listing is relevant, Amazon will check every detail of your listing and decide if your product is relevant to the given search term or not.
The key to staying relevant relies on your keywords. But you must know that relevance and keywords don’t go hand in hand. This means you’re not going to make more sales if you use 100 keywords in your listing. It’s best if you use two or three keywords and let the algorithm do its magic.
Aside from relevance, your listing’s ranking depends on popularity. Popularity means the number of sales you make or how good is your listing’s performance. You see, Amazon wants to show products that are popular with customers. They want customers to be satisfied with their purchase and customers want to know the listing’s past performance. If they see that the listing gained 4 or 5-star reviews from other customers then they will be likely to purchase it. Moreover, it tells customers that Amazon only wants the best for them.
If Amazon features low-quality products on their top search results then customers would have a negative impression of Amazon and not come back at all. But if Amazon features high-quality products, then they will come back again and think of Amazon as the best platform to satisfy their purchasing needs. Moreover, Amazon promotes best-selling products. So, if you want to rank high on the search results, you need to think of how you can become popular on Amazon.
One of Amazon’s main goals is to satisfy their customers. Basically, relevance and popularity are geared towards customer satisfaction. So, whenever your customer searches on Amazon, the algorithm will show you relevant and popular products that will satisfy your needs. Customer satisfaction is the most important ranking factor, so do take note of this.
Part 2: How to Rank High on Amazon?
To rank high on Amazon, you need a proven strategy and formula. It’s like starting at the 20m mark during a 100m race. You can speed through your competitors without much effort and obstacles. Hence, follow the steps below and observe the movement of your rankings from day one.
1. Optimize your product listing
The first step to ranking high on Amazon and getting sales is for everyone to know about your listing. You need to show up on these search results for customers to see your listing. Hence, you need to optimize your listing by using relevant keywords. Notice that we said relevant keywords and not just keywords. When optimizing your listing, you need to use keywords that are relevant to your product. There’s no point in using high-volume and irrelevant keywords to your products. This won’t result in any sales and at worse, it can hurt your conversion rate.
When optimizing your listing, use the most relevant and high search volume keywords in your title. Since the title is the first thing that customers look at, it’s helpful to place the keywords here. It will also be easier for the algorithm to rank your listing.
Next is to place the keywords in your product features, bullet points, and description. You can use long-tail keywords here and create good copy. Long-tail keywords are highly specific phrases which customers use when they want to look for specific products. Long-tail keywords tend to have lower search volume, but you’ll get lower competition and you’ll more likely make a sale.
Aside from keywords, you need to create a good description. If you want to convert the engagement to sales, you need to entice them in buying your product. Make sure your product description is easily skimmable. Customers don’t like it when they have to read a paragraph. Also focus on the benefits of your product. Aside from good copy, images are the other big factor that drives sales. Use high-quality images, so customers can see the product and help decide if it suits their needs. Just don’t forget to follow Amazon’s rules in creating the product listing, so you can avoid Amazon suspension.
Based on Amazon, below are the product listing rules and regulations:
- The information regarding your Products that you provide to us is of at least the same level of quality as the highest quality information displayed or used in Seller Sales Channels;
- The use of false product identification information in Product Listings is prohibited;
- A single detail page may only advertise one Product; listing multiple Products on a detail page is prohibited.
- Product Listings may not feature or contain any of the items designated as “Restricted Products” by Amazon;
- You may not include any of the following information in Product Listing page titles, descriptions, bullet points, or images is prohibited: Pornographic, obscene, or offensive content; Phone numbers, physical mail addresses, e-mail addresses, or website URLs (except for the specific URLs requested as part of the Required Product Information); Alternative ordering information (such as links to other websites for placing orders); Reviews, quotes, or testimonials; Solicitations for positive customer reviews; Advertisements, promotional material, or watermarks on images, photos, or videos; and Time-sensitive information (i.e., dates of promotional tours, seminars, lectures, etc.).
- All Product images must meet Amazon image standards; and
- You may not use bad data (HTML, special characters */? etc.) in titles, descriptions, bullets and for any other attribute.
2. Use Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA is a fulfillment network where Amazon stores, packs and ships your products while you manage your store. Although it doesn’t directly affect your ranking, it gives you a better chance to rank higher. This is because of the Prime factors. When you join Amazon FBA, you are eligible for Amazon Prime. This means your products are eligible for free shipping or two-day shipping.
Free and fast shipping is a big driver for conversions. When customers find out you are offering them free shipping, they will pick you than other stores. Even Forbes has stated how shipping is crucial to the success of an Amazon store. Most customers prefer free shipping than paid shipping. By becoming a part of the Amazon FBA, you have a better chance to make a sale than those do not. Higher conversions result with higher rankings.
3. Get more reviews
Customer reviews are another element in increasing popularity and making a sale. When a customer reads your reviews, it can affect their decision in buying your product. Moreover, if you get a lot of reviews, your ranking will go up. Reviews are also a good measure of a listing’s popularity. A product with a lot of reviews is a popular product. However, there are some stores that create fake reviews for the purpose of increasing the number of feedback. Avoid doing so because they may suspend your account when they find out about it.
Amazon’s review guidelines are also strict and important. This is because Amazon only wants to provide the best and trustworthy products to its customers. So, make sure you read the guidelines before asking for reviews from customers.
Here are some of the things that are banned by Amazon:
- A seller posts a review of their own product or their competitor’s product.
- A seller offers a third party a financial reward, discount, free products, or other compensation in exchange for a review on their product or their competitor’s product. This includes using services that sell customer reviews, websites, or social media groups.
- A seller offers to provide a refund or reimbursement after the buyer writes a review (including reimbursement via a non-Amazon payment method). This could be done via buyer-seller messaging on Amazon or directly contacting customers or using 3rd party services, websites, or social media groups.
- A seller uses a third-party service that offers free or discounted products tied to a review (for example, a review club that requires customers to register their Amazon public profile so that sellers can monitor their reviews).
- A family member or employee of the seller posts a review of the seller’s product or a competitor’s product.
- A seller asks a reviewer to change or remove their review. They might also offer a refund or other compensation to a reviewer in exchange for doing so.
- A seller diverts negative reviews to be sent to them or to a different feedback mechanism while positive reviews are sent to Amazon.
- A seller creates a variation relationship between products with the aim of manipulating reviews and boosting a product’s star rating via review aggregation.
- A seller inserts a request for a positive Amazon review or an incentive in exchange for a review into product packaging or shipping box.
- A seller uses a customer account to write or change a review on his or his competitor’s product.
4. Run promotions or PPC campaigns
Running a promotion can help you drive traffic to your listing. The more traffic you have, the higher is your chance to convert these viewers to purchasers. Since the number of sales affect your ranking, it can help you increase visibility and ranking on Amazon.
To kick the sales-rankings flywheel into action, you need to start getting customers to view your listing. Do so by running promotions on social media or campaigns on Amazon. You can try creating an ad on Google or any social media sites and redirect them to your website. Then when they are about to check out, you can direct them to your Amazon listing.
5. Lower your prices
You have no idea how the product’s price can affect sales. As a customer, you want to scout Amazon that offers the cheapest prices. So, if you want them to pick you among the other sellers, you need to lower your prices. But, it doesn’t mean you go on a price war where you lower it to the point you don’t make any sale. Set it at a reasonable price. For example, you are selling jackets and you saw Northface offering it at $45. Price your product to $40. When your customer sees your price and free shipping, they will definitely click the add to cart and checkout button.
Relevance, popularity and customer satisfaction are the three important factors you need to remember. When you put these at the forefront of your mind, your actions will dictate how to achieve these. Even though ranking high on Amazon can be tricky, it is possible. If you use the right keywords then you are on the road to success. Carefully follow these tips and record your improvement. The road to success is a difficult one but it is possible.
Jayce Broda is the managing director of Seller Interactive, an Amazon marketing agency dedicated towards helping brands grow on Amazon. His content marketing expertise has led him to work with brands such as Toyota and GoDaddy, producing content that reached over 20M views in a month. He is on a journey to help D2C brands scale their business on Amazon.