Did you know that 70% of Amazon buyers don't scroll past the 1st page of results?
Statistics show that on Amazon, the first 3 product listings fuel 65% of every eCommerce business. No wonder all Amazon sellers seek to rank on the 1st page, right? In order to get it right, let's see what's the story with Amazon’s search algorithm ( known as “A9”).
What is Amazon’s Product Search Algorithm (A9)?
Created in 2003, the Amazon product search algorithm differs from Google’s because it's focused on delivering a better user experience by placing the right products, at the right time in front of the right buyers.
We’ve discussed this topic before here, so, long story short: when an Amazon customer searches for an item on Amazon, results are “picked” via a 2-step process:
Step 1. The A9 algorithm pulls relevant products from the online catalog
Step 2. A9 ranks them according to their relevance.
Now since Amazon seeks to get the best customer experience while maximizing its profits/customer, it’s gonna use a mix of “programmatic analysis, human judgments, performance metrics, and key business metrics” to do just that.
To rank higher on Amazon, it’s important to know how Amazon A9 search engine works.
The 3 Main Types of Ranking Factors of the A9 Algorithm
🔵 Conversion rate – reviews, price, and image quality directly affect conversion.
🔵 Relevancy – if your product page is not relevant, your product can’t rank higher
🔵 Customer satisfaction and loyalty – feedback reflects if AND HOW your promise is delivered to your customers. Great Amazon reviews PLUS return customers lead to spectacular sales, and further, to a higher ranking.
How to Improve Your Ranking by Optimizing all 21 Amazon Ranking Factors?
We've taken all 21 factors that influence Amazon A9’s ranking (therefore, your search visibility on Amazon) and made an all-inclusive list of "white hat" tips and tricks that will help your product page perform better in searches.
1. Get More Customer Reviews
92% of consumers trust in peer reviews over any other kind of brand advertising. (Nielsen)
The number of great product reviews is the most important ranking factor and fuels your rating. Why reviews matter on Amazon? They're extremely important for 1. building trust in your products. 2. discoverability 3. conversion rates. The social proof of positive reviews triggers the purchase decision for many online shoppers.
#DidYouKnowThat Amazon uses the frequency of negative seller feedback frequency as a factor in assigning the buy box? This also impacts your product visibility in search results lists. You can also count on positive reviews to improve your conversion rates.
Every single review can make a huge difference. But how to get them? The short answer? Emails! The longer answer? Use automated email templates and just ask your customers to leave an honest review if they feel like it. So here's exactly what you could do to improve your ranking through real Amazon reviews:
A. Connect with your customers through EMAILS - yes, the good, old email really works, folks!
64% of AMZ online shoppers consider shipping confirmations and other transactional emails the most valuable messages they receive. (Litmus)
Emails will not send ALL your buyers' happiness through the roof, still, for many of them they're powerful, they'll create a special bond and they'll lead to a better review count, increased customer satisfaction and enhanced brand awareness. Show them you care with 6 types of emails: Shipped Email, Review Email; Returned Email; Delivered Email; Feedback Email and Refunded Email.
To make it easier for you, we drafted some samples you're free to use:
"Shipped Confirmation Email" template
Subject: Great news! Your [PRODUCT SHORT NAME] is on its way!
I’m [SENDER NAME] from [BRAND NAME]. I wanted to reach out and personally thank you for your purchase! Now, as we’ve just shipped out your order, expect it to arrive on [ESTIMATED ARRIVAL DATE].
Order Summary: Order #: Order date: Order total:
You can always check on delivery progress in real-time, 24/7, by clicking on the button below:
TRACK YOUR ORDER [INSERT TRACKING PAGE LINK)
If you have any questions or concerns, just reply to this email or click this contact link: [INSERT CONTACT LINK] and I'll be happy to help!
Cheers & have a great day!
[NAME], [BRAND] [EMAIL ADDRESS OR CONTACT LINK]
"Delivered Email" template _________________________
Subject: Amazon Delivery Confirmation for [BRAND NAME] [PRODUCT SHORT NAME]
[SENDER NAME] here again, from [BRAND NAME]. I was notified your order has been delivered.
If it’s damaged or incorrect, or if you have further questions, please, feel free to let me know by replying to this email or by just clicking here: [contact link].
We’ll sort it right away. We’re here to make sure your experience with our products is always great and your satisfaction is 100%.
I hope you get the best use out of your new [PRODUCT SHORTNAME].
Cheers & have a great day!
[NAME], [BRAND] [EMAIL ADDRESS OR CONTACT LINK]
As you can see, we're already trying to prevent bad reviews by asking them to report any problems so we can solve them. The earlier we find about any issues, the better we can take care of them and reduce your customers' frustration that could lead to poor reviews.
B. Surprise them with PRODUCT INSERTS
Product Inserts are small printed cards or booklets (the size of a postcard or Business card) added by sellers in every Amazon package for marketing purposes.
Packaging inserts act as "brand reminders" and make the difference between "boring" and "wow, how nice of them." It's a thoughtful gesture that shows which sellers care about their buyers beyond the delivery. Use product inserts to build a positive mindset (which subconsciously encourages people to leave good reviews, and help customers see your product, brand or company) in a great light. Hello, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty!
Step 1. Show your appreciation and thank your customer for buying your product.
Step 2. List your product's main benefits to remind the customer WHY your product is amazing and why they chose it in the first place (this might get them in the mood to leave a positive review).
Step 3. You can also include some extra tips on how to make the most of their purchase (provide extra value).
Step 4. Politely ask for a helpful and descriptive review with a phrase like:
"If it's not too much to ask, could you leave a product review? It will help other customers make more informed decisions. Thank you"
HERE'S AN EXAMPLE:
"Thank you for purchasing [INSERT PRODUCT NAME]
We hope you’ll enjoy your new [xxx], perfect for [INSERT TARGET AUDIENCE] who want to …. [INSERT 3 BENEFITS].
Can you help?
Do you love our premium xxx? Then help us spread the word AND HELP others just like yourself make the right choice. All you need to do is share an honest review.
For any issues with your order, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We’ll take care of it right away."
Stick to Amazon's guidelines to avoid account suspension:
💡 Don't “incentivize” anyone to post a review of your product.
💡 Don't ask friends or family members to buy your products in order to get first reviews - Amazon can match shipping addresses, IPs and any other link between you and your buyers.
💡 Don't hire freelancers to test and write "honest" reviews.
💡 Be careful with the wording and don't try to manipulate or influence your customers by specifically:
- asking them to leave positive reviews
- divers unsatisfied customers to a different "leave a review" link
- leave feedback ONLY if they're satisfied.
The product price strongly influences: 1. conversion rates 2. sales. 3. whether you'll make it to "Buy Box" or not.
Before and AFTER pricing your product, keep an eye on how your competitors are pricing similar products;
Don't create large gaps that are not justified by the quality or quantity you're offering;
Match or beat your competition’s pricing, but stay out of ‘bidding wars;’
!Watch out!: matching the lowest FBA competition could boost your sales but will reduce your profit margin.
3. Product Listing Completeness
Fill all the fields available on the listing setup page. The most important are: Title, Product Features, Product Description, and Back-end Search Terms.
Provide relevant and complete information for your product so that both shoppers and Amazon A9 algorithm know what you offer.
4. Answer On-Page Customer Questions
Ideally, your product pages should be informative enough to inform people about product features. Answering on-page questions offers e-shoppers personalized customer communication and human interaction that’s otherwise missing in online shopping. Also, answered Amazon customer questions play a key role in conversions by providing further details about the product - btw, it's a priceless opportunity to gain insight into how people view or use your products.
🔵 Monitor AND reply to questions quickly, courteously and clearly.
🔵 A sentence or two would do.
🔵 Don’t answer nonsense questions and flag abuse if needed.v 🔵 If you cannot provide an in-depth answer (relax, you can’t know it all), forward the question to an in-house subject matter expert;
🔵 Plug in your product pages' search terms and keywords in a natural way when answering - to further optimize your organic SEO efforts AND to provide the additional information requested to close the sale. Indirectly, this will boost conversions and your search rank.
🔵 Track inquiry details and topic repetitiveness then update or improve the content accordingly by adding the lacking info. For instance, if you're regularly asked about the fabrics used in your gym wear collection, incorporate more details in the product description or in the product infographics.
For more details, you can refer to our previous article: How to perform Amazon Keyword Optimisation for the Q&A section?
5. Optimize Image Size and Quality
67% of online shoppers think images are “very important”
Since buyers can’t physically hold your product, images are the next best thing. They
grab people's attention while leading to a higher conversion rate and product's visibility, but only if you stick to these principles:
🔵 Always follow Amazon’s image guidelines to make sure your listing is not suppressed from searches.
🔵 Use real, well-lit, sharp, high-quality images of at least 1,000 x 1,000 pixels to enable the hover-to-zoom feature so that buyers can see your products in more detail - Amazon recommends a 2560 pixels width.
🔵 Highlight the product from every angle for a 360 degrees feel of the product.
🔵 The product must fill 85% of the frame and must look realistic.
🔵 Accepted file formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF or TIFF files.
🔵 Provide extra photos and videos that show your product being used - use real people.
🔵 Keep a realistic representation of your product, invest in experienced professionals to shoot and edit your product images.
Show the scale and size of the product by placing it next to a common real-world object or a ruler - help potential customers get an idea of its size.
Build a logical customer experience by prioritizing and assigning how each image appears on the product page. For instance start by showing the product in a specific context, then showcase various angles, the interior and close-ups. End with any innovation or technology that's behind your product, and you're done!
Callout essential information, dimensions, and features that make your product stand out with smart and discreet design - if all the products on your market are white and your is red add a tiny "RED" icon overlay; if it's a bundle, add an overlay saying "100-pack;" and so on.
Underline the innovative technology behind your product or key features with rich, organized infographics.
Or comparison graphs:
6. Time on page
The amount of time a customer spends of your listing will show Amazon how interested customers are in your product and how clear is everything for them.
🔵 Write high-quality content and describe all features in a helpful manner 🔵 Provide interesting photos, videos or comparison infographics to make the product page seem interactive and descriptive. Technically, don't give them any reason to leave your page without purchasing your amazing merchandise.
7. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is when someone checks your product listing but gets distracted leaves your page for: another product listing; they click on a catchy ad or just go back to the Amazon search bar and start another search. The bottom line is - they leave the product page without making a purchase. Whether they're driven by irrelevant content or disinterest, Amazon A9's algorithm thinks it's not them, IT'S YOU and will count this as a negative signal that will not do your Amazon search visibility any favors.
BTW, #DidYouKnowThat Amazon's bounce rate is 28%?
8. Parent-child relationships
If you're selling a product that has multiple sizes, flavors, scents, colors, and pack sizes, instead of confusing your customers with different pages, add all variants on the same product page. Shoppers will only need to click through and pick their favorite. Their shopping experience will be better and your conversion rate will grow.
Pursue parent-child variations only when:
🔵 You sell very similar products
🔵 You have more than 1 variation for the same item
🔵 The separate "children" can share the same product title and description.
As you can see below, this Full Face Snorkel Mask has 6 variants: blue-kids, pink-kids, black, blue, green and pink - the last four being adult sizes.
BENEFITS of "parent-child" product pages:
🔵 Combined reviews of all child listings
🔵 Increased visibility for low-performing variants (they'll piggyback off the success of high-performing ones)
🔵 Combined sales history that helps with organic search ranking
🔵 Amazon ranks higher all products which offer multiple options in their listing
🔵 Higher chances of closing a sale - keeping customers on the same page for longer, until they browse through all the options available.
"Parent-child" Optimization Tips:
✅ Don’t copy all parent search terms to your child variations, on the contrary, adjust search terms for each child, individually.
✅ Don’t use the same keywords in your front-end (title, bullets, product description) and back end. Experiment.
✅ Always stick to a string of “word space word space” – no punctuation nor prepositions
✅ Don't try to deceit your customers by merging a new product ("child") with an older, already-successful product listing. This "inflating search rank" tactic is often used for Variation Manipulation. It's against Amazon's policies.
9. Product Title
Amazon gives you a 200-character limit for your product title (for some categories it's 80, so make sure you follow heir rules ), and you should use every single space there.
Write it for "real people;"
Include your main target keywords, but give them a natural vibe, not that keyword-stuffed feel;
Provide all sorts of valuable information: fabric, size, key ingredients, quantity;
Include something of irresistible value - a unique differentiator or product benefit that differentiates you from everybody else on the market.
If you have no idea how to create a keyword-optimized title, you can just use Title-builder.com. Type a few words to describe your product in the upper-left field, select your market from the dropdown (for instance we chose the United States), press Enter and ta-daa:
Their result is not 100% great, but it's an excellent start. Just tweak it a little bit into something like:
[BRAND NAME] Full Face Snorkel Mask for Kids - Snorkelling Scuba Head Set with Wide 180° Panoramic View Anti Fog Goggles for Swimming, Diving, Underwater Breathing, [COLOR]
We've also used Sonar from Sellics for inspiration. (steps: go to sonar-tool.com, click on "keyword", type in your product, select the marketplace and press "ping").
To extend your keyword research, click on "extended" and you'll get synonymous key phrases, etc.
10. Key Product Features ( 5 Bullet Points)
🔵 Start with the most important features and add valuable information.
🔵 Include any guarantees or warranty that you're offering.
🔵 State the real-life problems you are solving with this product.
🔵 Use sensory words. Help your customers smell, hear, touch or feel your product with their imagination. Feed their vision
🔵 Put yourself in your customer's shoes, what would someone want to know when purchasing this product? Why should they choose YOURS over your competitors'?
🔵 Expand your vocabulary by using keywords. For instance, if you're selling a teapot, you can write "infuse your wildest tea fantasies" where the word "infuse" is in the same semantic area as tea.
🔵 Describe everything and help them make a decision based on facts.
🔵 Include the most important keywords in the first 500 characters of your bullets (apparently that's the limit currently indexed by Amazon) - if you have permission for 5 x max 100 characters/bullet, you don't need to worry about this - you can use keywords in all your bullets. But if you're only allowed 250/bullet - include your most-searched keywords in the first 2 product features. If you're entitled to 500 characters/bullet, then drop your main keywords in the first bullet. However, since Amazon changes rules all the time, I would still use my targeted keywords throughout the entire product features content - you never know when they'll decide to index the entire section. Call it future-proofing!
11. Product description
33% of Amazon shoppers abandon their shopping carts because of poor product descriptions.
Product descriptions, if not written properly, could make you lose sales or could cause negative buyer feedback.
🔵 Use the product description to elaborate your features
🔵 Be creative
🔵 Explain why your product is BETTE
🔵 Build trust
🔵 Include keywords
🔵 Keep sentences short (under 25 words)
🔵 Use a storytelling approach and don't get too technical.
Spice up your storefront with captivating A+ content that includes: Image + light text overlay, Single image + highlights, Single image + sidebar, Single image + specifications, Comparison charts or up to four Image highlights. From a keyword perspective, A+ content is not indexed, so it will not affect your Search Engine Optimization. Still, for relevance's sake, a light Amazon Keyword Optimization couldn't do any harm because it will help A9 figure out what your product page is about.
Here is an example:
🔵 Don't duplicate the bullets, just get them a step further;
🔵 Keep building the trust in the benefits you're offering;
🔵 Include new keywords, not the ones you've already used in your title or product features;
🔵 No promotional content (sale, free shipping);
🔵 Focus your first 200 characters on summarizing the unique combination of product features that you bring and their advantages.
12. Search Terms and A+ Image Keywords
Amazon gives you five fields with a character limit to specify the search terms that you want to be associated with your product. They'll help your product discoverability as long as they're relevant. You can use Merchant words, Helium 10, Sonar from Sellics, The Scientific Seller or even Google’s Keyword Planner for some inspiration (this will increase the product visibility on other search engines than Amazon).
Brand owners or sellers who are brand registered have extra help to increase the reach of their long-tail placement strategy on Amazon SERP - they can add alt-text keywords when they upload photos for the A+ content. They don't appear on the product page but they're available for screen reading apps.
13. Brand Name
Right off the bat include the brand in your title. This helps buyers searching by brand name to find your products faster. In time, by associating your brand with the product name, people will know about it and will type it from start:
14. Category and Sub-category
* Align your amazon product category & subcategories with the keywords in your search terms.
* When setting up your product listing, make sure you select the most relevant and narrow category for your product.
* If your product could be used both as an industrial one or home/kitchen, just choose the category that's most likely to be used by the largest part of your audience.
15. Product Specifications
The specifications section is where you can list all the technical and physical details (size, shipping weight, model number, color, etc.). Don't overlook it! Completing as much info as you can, shows Amazon that you’re diligent when it comes to product listings.
🔵 For technical products, this section is very important; 🔵 It could be decisive for a purchase;
🔵 It makes your listing stand out particularly if it's very detailed and if your competition didn't bother too much with theirs.
16. Seller feedback ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Negative feedback affects your position in product search results and is crucial if you're aiming to make it to the Buy Box. If your product is struggling with a lower than 4-star rating, here’s what you can do:
🔵 Look out for patterns in the bad reviews - perhaps there's something wrong with the product. Can it be fixed? 🔵 Gather feedback from customers through automated email campaigns sent at different times throughout the customer journey - try to resolve issues before clients leave a negative review.
17. In-stock rate
Poor inventory management causes out-of-stock emergencies, and Amazon doesn't like it because they want to reduce pre-fulfillment cancellations and refunds.
🛑 Don't go out of stock!
🛑 Always make sure your in-stock rate is high.
🛑 If you run out of stock, you lose the organic keyword rankings.
💡 PRO-TIP: If you're tempted to raise the price and slow down purchases until you figure out the restocking logistics, don't think about it - the impact it will have on your Amazon search ranking will be more dramatic than if you'll be out of stock for a while.
18. Perfect Order Percentage (POP)
For Amazon, a perfect order is every order that's been delivered and the customer kept the product without returning it. Sellers who manage to score a higher percentage of perfect orders rank higher than those who experience any type of order issues.
Optimize your POP by using amazing packaging - be it eco-friendly, signature boxes, add branded product inserts, handwritten notes for handmade products, helpful user manuals or how-to guides.
When I bought my piano-keyboard through Amazon I also received a surprise Flowkey voucher for 1 or 3 months (Flokey is a piano-learning app and it costs $19.99 per month). Imagine, I couldn't be happier. Who can say no to free online piano lessons, particularly when you're picking up a new hobby and you have no idea how to read a music sheet?
19. Order Processing Speed (OPS)
Ship orders accurately and fast - preferably on the next working day after receiving them.
Work with trustworthy shipping partners.
The more hassle-free your delivery is, the happier customers you will get - more great reviews and higher ranking.
20. Order Defect Rate (ODR)
An order defect means a customer makes a claim against an order. Defects include:
⏹️ A-to-Z Guarantee claims
⏹️ Shipment problems
⏹️ Credit Card chargebacks.
⏹️ Negative buyer feedback - IF the feedback is later removed by the buyer, it won’t count against your ODR. So, do your best to resolve any issues signaled by your customers.
21. Minimize Exit Rate
The exit rate is the percentage of times a buyer sees your product page and then leaves Amazon without buying anything. They don't click on any ads or search for a similar product. They leave the entire Amazon website. Adios!
Of course, this has a negative impact on your ranking while products with a lower exit rate convert more and therefore will rank higher.
High exit rates are usually caused by poorly-organized or confusing product information, too many technical details that are not translated into real-life benefits.
TIPS on how to lower your Exit Rate:
🔵 Organize your page content keeping your customer's journey in mind;
🔵 Make sure there's a logical flow from one paragraph to another;
🔵 Outline the benefits and your unique selling point without repeating information;
🔵 Don't overuse keywords and go for long-tail keywords.