Everything you need to know about Amazon SEO

We've previously written the blog post "Welcome Amazon", where our CEO Kresten Wiingaard tells us that Amazon is coming to Denmark. Looking abroad, we see that competition among retailers is getting fiercer on Amazon to show their products. So, if you're looking to become a retailer that shows up in Amazon search results, it's a good idea to get into what you need to be aware of.

Success on Amazon requires the same mindset as on Google. It's about understanding how customers are searching and then optimizing your digital assets (text, images and keywords) afterwards. In this blog post, we’ll be looking at some of the factors to focus on when optimizing for Amazon.

How does Amazon search algorithm A9 work?

A9 is Amazon's SEO algorithm, their engine, for product search. But because the A9 is a maturation algorithm, frequent and unpredictable updates are a common point of frustration for many Amazon sellers. Therefore, the observations and recommendations I make in this blog post might be changed as the A9 is constantly evolving.

One of the places where A9 differs from Google's search engine, or other search engines at all, is that Amazon is first and foremost a platform for purchases. As consumers, we rarely go to Amazon to research. Instead, the users are very keen, and Amazon is VERY well aware of this.

On Amazon, a customer can only find your product if the customer's search query matches one of your product's keywords or information. This means that you have to think above and beyond AdWords data for this keyword list. Otherwise, you might build a keyword list that simply isn't relevant to Amazon customers.

Amazon is only concerned about increasing purchase probability, which is why the A9 algorithm does the sorting of the products shown in the search results. At the time of writing this post, A9 sorts based on two factors:

  • Performance: A product with a strong sales history will be ranked higher in Amazon’s search results
  • Relevance: How well does your product fit (via your chosen keywords) the Amazon customer searches.

Most customers don’t even look past pages 1-3 in search results on Amazon, so it is crucial that you continuously track and optimize your keyword rankings to improve your product's visibility on Amazon.

Keyword optimization on Amazon

Keywords are the most important driver of your product's visibility in Amazon’s search results. Your goal is to research as many relevant keywords as possible that have the potentially match with the customer's search queries. If you forget to include a relevant keyword, you risk that your product will not appear in Amazon’s search results.

At Amazon, customers expect to find exactly what they're looking for - fast - meaning, that a lot of customers tend to be more detailed about what they're looking for from the start. These longer customer searches are called long tail keywords, and over 70% of customer searches on Amazon are long tail keywords. 

So, how does it actually work?

Keyword placement is an important factor in Amazon SEO, as some keywords will be more relevant to your product than others. Below, I have specified the order to place your most relevant keywords in:

  • Product Title: The most relevant keywords for your product should be here.
  • Seller Central Backend Keywords: Additional keywords can be placed here. Make sure that you do not exceed 250 bytes (Amazon's own form of character inventory) keywords to comply with Amazon's new 250-byte restriction.
  • Bullets + Product Description: Any additional relevant keywords that do not fit title and backend keywords can be placed here. However, make sure that it does not interfere with the content and conversion rate. 

Amazon pays a lot of attention to shopping behavior and has taken this into account in its algorithm. Keywords found in the product title have the greatest importance for the placement, followed by Seller's central backend keyword and bullet + product description.

How to Improve Your Click-Through Rate and Conversion Rate

The higher the click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CR) is for a particular keyword, the higher your product will be ranked in search results for that keyword. When it comes to improving your CTR and conversion rate, there are several factors to take into account, including your product title, image, shipping costs, and customer reviews. 

Your conversion rate is calculated based on an individual keyword. It is calculated by dividing the number of customers who bought, against the number of customers who visited your product page. Amazon wants customers to quickly find their desired products, which means that the A9 algorithm will rank products higher for keywords with high conversion rates.

Product Image Optimization

Product images play a crucial role in both your CTR and CR. Once the customer has landed on your product page, the images have a big impact on the decision to buy because customers want to know exactly what they’re buying. They want to see the product from all angles, be able to zoom in, and even see how the product is used if possible.

Amazon customer reviews

Customer reviews also have a major impact on conversion rates, making customer reviews a critical part of Amazon's SEO. Products that have good ratings (generally 4 stars or higher) are more likely to rank in the top of Amazon search results.

It is very likely that a customer will look at your reviews before making the decision to buy. If you have a bunch of negative reviews, they’re likely to choose another provider, which will lower your conversion rate.

Responding to negative reviews on Amazon is often an overlooked aspect of Amazon SEO. If you respond quickly to customer complaints, you can do a number of things that will reduce the plausible negative impact on potential customers:

  • Offer the customer a refund for broken / defective products, or offer to send a new one
  • Help the customer if he or she has used the product in an incorrect way if that’s the case (for example, not following the washing instructions) and add these instructions to your product page

Are you ready to get started?

You now know that Amazon's search engine algorithm has a name and you have an understanding of how it works. You also know how to start working with Amazon SEO when creating your Amazon products. Already, you are far ahead of your competitors. Let’s keep it that way. 

A lot of retailers are worried about the idea that Amazon is coming to Denmark, but you don’t have to be – at all. Don’t hesitate to contact me or any of my colleagues if you need advice about your presence on Amazon.


Klaus Jespersen Colding
Director, Ecommerce