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September 20, 2022
The majority of Amazon's revenue in the first months of 2022 was via net service sales. That's why Amazon's third-party marketplace continues to dominate and why brands continue to choose to sell on Amazon over any other e-commerce platform. But creating a seller account and listing your products is never enough to guarantee success.
Amazon is a terrific marketplace for practically anyone who wants to expand their business and make more sales. But the reality is that the platform is highly competitive. Depending on what you're selling, you may have to compete with hundreds of thousands of other merchants for the top spot. So, how do you beat the competition, so your products appear at the top of search results? Better still, how do you get noticed by potential buyers looking for what you’re selling? The secret is in improving your rankings.
There are no shortcuts to ranking higher on Amazon. Understanding what works for your product and brand takes trial and error, market research and data, and investing in the long game of brand building. In this article, we'll look at how Amazon ranking works and what you can do to shift the scales in your favor.
Fig 1.0 Demonstrates the organic SERP results for “exercise brands,” with the first product showing in the first placement at top of search after all sponsored products.
Many things have changed in the Amazon space over the last few years. One thing that has remained constant, however, is customer demand. Amazon generated approximately 121.2 billion total net sales during the second quarter of 2022, surpassing the 113 billion in the same quarter of 202.
Understanding this demand and fierce competition explains why it's vital to factor product ranking into your e-commerce strategy. Ideally, the better your ranking, the higher your sales. 65% of customers start their product search on Amazon, which is why you must ensure your products appear in search results. Amazon works just like Google; most customers pay attention to the first page results and won't scroll past the second or third page, let alone page 100. If you want your product listings to convert, aim for the first page. But how do you do that?
If you want to rank high on Amazon, you must consider three factors:
Amazon search engine optimization (SEO) is all about optimizing your product listings to improve your organic rank in the search results. Better organic ranking means increased visibility, usually measured by impressions which results in more clicks and ultimately more sales. Just like on Google, Amazon customers enter a keyword to find a product and will click on the first few results on the first page. If your products appear on the third page, you are unlikely to make significant sales.
Now, the ranking of products comes down to the Amazon search algorithm. Amazon has updated the A9 version to A10. So how does the Amazon ranking algorithm work?
Millions of products are sold on Amazon, with buyers performing hundreds of millions of search queries every month. Amazon has to decide with a few milliseconds where the hundreds of millions of products will rank. To do that, Amazon considers one factor; the product's purchase likelihood.
Three parties come together in the purchase process – the seller, the buyer, and Amazon. Shoppers only come to Amazon for one reason – they want to buy. They are not looking for information about a product or information about a seller. Buying is the intent. For Amazon, there's only one intent behind a search query – a transaction must be made. As for the sellers, there is only one reason someone lists products on Amazon – they want to sell.
At the end of the day, Amazon strives to generate revenue, but that can only happen if a sale occurs. So, all three parties share a common goal – and that means a transaction must occur. Amazon built the algorithm to ensure that the number of transactions is always high. To achieve that, Amazon must rank the products likely to meet this goal first.
For every search query, Amazon will show products that shoppers are more likely to buy at the top. And that is determined by several factors, including:
Relevancy is often undervalued by inexperienced sellers who incorrectly assume that broad to irrelevant keyword targets will increase their visibility. Lack of relevance in the title, bullets, description, keywords, and backend search terms means:
Relevance is key to ranking higher on Amazon and is often overlooked. Don’t make this mistake.
That brings us to your Amazon PPC strategy. To ensure better Amazon SEO results, it's best to leverage experts who can get granular with your goals, budget, and competition. You’ll see far better results in leveraging an Amazon SEO strategy than just throwing water to see what will stick–plus, you’ll decrease spending in the long run.
Now that you know the criteria Amazon uses to rank products, what can you do to be at the top of search queries?
Fig. 1.1 A combination approach to Amazon listing optimization will prove the best results in 2022.
Your Amazon listing should have all the ingredients that let the Amazon search algorithm know what product you are selling and the relevant searches. Amazon search is text-based, so ensure your listings have the right words and phrases that can lead to sales. Keyword research should be at the core of your marketing efforts yet is often overlooked. Unfortunately, as competition increases, SEO is vital to your success on Amazon. The more top-tier and relevant keywords you use, the higher the click-through rate, which is ultimately what you want. Look for high search volume keywords that apply to your product. Use these keywords in different sections of your listing, and review your organic rank on each keyword throughout the trajectory of your sales to determine what requires optimization.
Keywords are the key pillars of Amazon SEO. Conversion comes next. To rank better, you need to make sales by ensuring that people actually buy your product or add it to their cart once they land on your product page. So, while keywords are vital, it's important that your listing isn't just an unreadable mess of keywords. The content needs to flow well to compel someone to buy. Find the perfect balance between maximum keyword inclusion and copywriting so that your listing doesn't look more like an ad, sound like everyone else or put shoppers to sleep with mundane words.
Successful Amazon sellers won't just mix readability and keywords but will find a way to tell a story, communicate the product benefit and convince the sellers that they won't find a better product anywhere else. That’s why it's so important to ensure you optimize your product images because customers are more likely to scroll through images than read through lengthy chunks of text. Ultimately, if your products sell, you've already met the purchase likelihood criteria to rank higher.
Amazon is built around customer satisfaction and will rank products based on that. Products with better reviews rank higher since the Amazon algorithm assumes they are likely to convert more. Encourage your customers to leave reviews after buying your product, but always keep within terms of service to do so. People tend to trust reviews more before making a purchase. Therefore, positive reviews will impact your business in the long run because more people will trust your brand and buy from you.
Fig. 1.2 Demonstrates 4 products with ranging offers and pricing. Which is the most competitive?
Amazon is competitive, and you need the silver bullet that makes your Amazon product detail page stand out. Pricing is a significant factor in determining where you rank on Amazon search results. Pricing also helps when it comes to winning the Amazon Buy Box. Pricing doesn't just mean your product price, but it also means your shipping fee as well. To rank higher, offer competitive pricing compared to your competitors. Monitor your competitors and their price changes and reprice your products effectively. Be careful, though, as price gouging is an offense on Amazon worth caution, so don’t be overly aggressive.
While keywords, positive reviews, and quality images are all important to rank higher, one aspect that is often ignored is Brand Registry. In today's competitive e-commerce marketplace, Brand Registry is non-negotiable if you want to succeed on Amazon. Amazon. Years ago, listing generic products on Amazon may have proven a successful strategy, but that is no longer the case. Your chances of succeeding on Amazon increase if you have a brand in which you develop a full e-commerce marketing strategy complete with an irresistible brand story.
Amazon Brand Registry is worth investing in because it gives you access to A+ content, Brand Referral Bonus, and other tools like Storefronts and Amazon Attribution. Currently, sellers can also enroll in A++ premium content which offers more features than regular A+ to showcase your brand story in a visually stunning manner. But to register for the program, you need an actual brand, complete with a trademark. Branding helps you stand out in the competitive Amazon space. When it comes to ranking products, the Amazon algorithm will likely rank branded items higher than generic ones.
Amazon's top ranking is the holy grail for any Amazon seller. It determines how well you do on the world's largest e-commerce marketplace. Ranking high means more leads, increased conversions, and ultimately more sales. Today, creating a listing and adding a few photos and paragraphs of text just doesn't cut it. You need to stand out; there is no better way to do that than when you appear at the top of the search queries.
Better Amazon ranking awaits you! Reach out today for a FREE 30-minute consultation with one of our Amazon experts, and we’ll help you unfold a winning Amazon PPC strategy.
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