This article was written by Alex Egan, SEO Strategist at NP Digital.
Amazon is currently the go-to search engine for products. About 50% of consumers are using the platform as a place to first look at products, from multiple different suppliers, of all different costs.
It is important to note that even when doing a traditional Google search, Amazon is most of the time likely to show in the SERP.
Because of this, and how much presence Amazon has, it is important to complete Amazon-specific optimizations to garner the most organic traffic.
While traditional natural search practices still apply to Amazon, the platform itself has a few quirks, such as product titles and descriptions, that make organic optimizations different from Google.
It is important to optimize specifically for each platform because it enhances organic user experience, allowing for an easier way to find the right product, fast.
Here are the top Amazon SEO tips for e-commerce brands you need to be mindful of that will help you outrank your competitors, organically.
When it comes to keyword research for Amazon, there are a few best practices you must follow. Begin by researching relevant keywords that shoppers might use when searching for products like yours.
You analyze competitor listings or use third-party keyword tools to identify relevant, high-volume keywords.
A great way to gauge what consumers are searching for: use Amazon’s search suggestions. Analyzing Amazon SERPs allows for a deeper understanding of where your products fit.
Consider the example below for the search term “earrings.” Ten different search terms populate along with an opportunity to search by category.
When creating a product listing for “earrings,” as a seller or optimizer, you now have a better idea of what consumers are looking for.
You can incorporate this keyword research into various aspects of your product listing, including in your product title.
When conducting keyword research for Claire’s, this is the first step I took to ensure we were being competitive with our queries.
Ensuring I was going to be optimizing for the users intent was a crucial first step. From the above image, I immediately knew that many consumers were wanting a specific type of metal for their earring, along with the type of earring; studs and dangling.
Product Title Optimizations
Product titles are the first thing your customers will see within the Amazon SERPs.
Craft informative and keyword-rich product titles with these key tips:
- Brand Name: This makes your product distinguishable to your consumer.
- Key Features: What makes your product notable? Add specific characteristics, such as color, material, size, etc.
- Relevant Keywords: Use the same keywords your customers are using to describe your product.
Ensure your product title is readable and avoid keyword stuffing. Unlike Google, you won’t want to use special characters to break up your title. Use the entirety of your 200-character limit with strategic keywords and informative details.
A good rule of thumb to ensure you’re including all the relevant information is to format your product title to replicate what your customers would see on in-store packaging.
For Claire’s Amazon listings currently, type of metal and other key features are limited in their title tags.
For my optimizations, this is where I would go in and make sure we are hitting on the brand name, key features, and other relevancies to the specific item, so that we are competing in the Amazon search results page.
Another thing needed is consistency. Where some products have a fleshed-out title for the product, others do not. Here is an example of looking for consistency across the brand.
For this necklace, we would want to ensure the product title included necklace length and specifying the gold material so the consumer knows exactly what the product is.
A rewrite to consider for this specific product could be: Claire’s Dainty Gold Toned 3D Butterfly 16” Pendant Necklace.
Enhanced Product Images and Video
It’s important to choose high-quality and visually-appealing product images. Using clean and clear images significantly impact conversion rates. It is also important to include lifestyle photos for each product. Show your product in use or in real-life settings.
Most shoppers want to see at least 3-4 images of the product they’re considering. Use multiple images that show off different angles, features, and product usage.
Don’t forget to follow Amazon’s guidelines for image requirements. Optimize the image file names and alt text with relevant keywords.
Not only does alt text allow you to provide more keywords on your product listing, but it’s also best practice for accessibility standards.
As an example for alt text to enhance accessability for the photo above, I would add, ‘young girl at Claire’s using ear care solution’.
This example is to the point, and explains exactly what is going on in the image, in case the image is not displayed or someone is hard of sight. It also calls out the brand name, along with a focus keyword: ear care solution.
Use of video in product listings is becoming more popular. Not only does video help boost ROAS and coverage for paid channels, it’s also being tested in organic search. If you use videos to demonstrate your brand’s products, ensure any third-party seller is doing the same.
Brand consistency is important for organic traffic and user experience.
For product videos on Amazon, it is important to ensure you are promoting the product in a lifestyle manner. When I add videos to my Amazon product listings, I make sure you can see the product being used or worn, to display it in the best possible way.
Adding text over the video in regard to sale or limited-time offers are not necessary, or best practice for the product.
What is important to make sure is your lighting is consistent, the quality is clear, and that the video highlights the benefits and main features of the product.
Product Description/Bullet Point Optimizations
Once a user clicks onto your product, they will be met with the product description. Use bullet points to highlight your product’s key features, benefits, and specifications. Relevant keywords should appear naturally.
Use clear, concise language to make your description easier to read.
The product description should provide additional details, storytelling, and reinforce the benefits. In the example above, the first bullet provides the most important details: ingredients and care instructions.
The second bullet point tells a story to showcase possible benefits for the customer:
“Heal your new piercings just in time…”
Storytelling in the product description will speak to the consumer in a way of letting them know how the product will help them. This will help customers convert easier, because they’ll know how to apply your product into their everyday lives.
Amazon allows up to 5 bullet points in a description. Their recommendation is to keep bullet points under 1,000 characters.
Use your bullets to communicate to your customers and help them make a buying decision.
Don’t forget about mobile users when writing your descriptions. Rather than making them scroll through your entire description, give the important information first and then expand on details.
Backend Search Terms
To improve Amazon SEO, you’ll want to use the backend search terms or hidden keywords section.
Backend search terms are only privy to the Amazon seller. These terms help the Amazon SEO algorithm display your listing for even more keywords.
In this section, you can include relevant keywords that might not fit naturally in the visible product listing. So really there’s no excuse for you to be keyword stuffing your product description with this feature available.
When using backend search terms, be sure to include spelling variations or abbreviations that your customers may use. For example, a Lord of the Rings product should include the abbreviation “lotr” in its backend search terms.
Photo credit: sellercentral.amazon.com
Keyword research can show you any search terms that are misspellings of your target keywords. You don’t want those misspellings in your product listing but including them in backend search terms can still help you reach those searchers.
When I conduct research specifically for backend keywords, I use tools, like Ahrefs to let me know how users are searching and also use search tracking data from Google Analytics.
Both of these tools, along with using Amazon, will help you gather any and all variations of potential secondary terms.
Be strategic and avoid repetition of keywords already used in your title or description. Keep on track with the byte allotment, or you risk not having a fully optimized product.
Finalizing Your Amazon Optimizations
It’s important to remember that like Google, Amazon’s SEO algorithm is dynamic. You must adapt your SEO strategies based on changes and updates.
Additionally, staying up to date with Amazon’s site policies and product guidelines will help you avoid potential violations that could negatively impact your product rankings.
Our goal when optimizing is always to attract users and help them find what they are looking for easier and faster.
When optimizing your Amazon listings, it is important to follow these basic e-commerce best practices to reach your consumers.
When looking back at the SEO space over the almost five years I have been in the industry, there have been many changes to optimization best practices and how to show up in natural search.
Like Google, Amazon will continue to evolve over time, meaning it is important to note that this is not a “set it and forget it” optimization.
Continuous monitoring and altering optimizations when appropriate will provide the best results, along with staying up with the current metrics and best practices.
When taking these tips into practice, think of yourself as the shopper before you begin any optimizations.
It’s important to understand what you’d be looking for, so that when you begin adjusting your Amazon listings, they reach the right audience and consumers begin converting.
What Amazon SEO tips have you found the most success with?
About the Author: Alex Spisany Egan has over four years of SEO experience, in addition to brand strategy through social media management. Deep-rooted in e-commerce marketing, Alex has worked with a multitude of clients, such as Claire’s, Camping World, Hickory Farms, and Wicked Good Cupcakes. Along with her e-commerce background, she has demonstrated knowledge in overall natural search tactics that help large brands find their identity and achieve results through a creative SEO outlook. She strives to not only aid her clients in success, but also peer mentor to create a cohesive work environment.
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