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[GUIDE] Amazon SEO/ How to Rank Products on Amazon

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by DearSanta, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. DearSanta

    DearSanta BANNED BANNED

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    First of all, I want to thank BHW community for providing me with some knowledge that I needed to start my journey with the ‘Amazon selling machine'.

    About 8 months ago I was joining BHW and discovering that people are making a very decent amount of money by selling products on amazon. These two threads inspired me a lot:

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/making-money/90724-how-make-over-10-000-monthly-selling-amazon-dropshipping-without-any-investment.html

    and

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/making-money/631269-amazon-physical-product-sales-ask-me-anything.html

    While the first thread is mostly about selling others' products, the second one somehow fitted better the twist that I had in mind when it came to selling on amazon.

    Why I decided to write this guide?


    I decided to publish here a guide about ranking products on Amazon because it would have been of great help for me when I started with Amazon but, unfortunately, nobody posted this before. Furthermore, the more people will be selling on Amazon, the more this market will become stronger and I will benefit from it :D. I don't like to think of competition like it's something bad. On the contrary, it forces people to think and develop new and interesting ways of conquering this fast changing market.
    This guide is based on some of my personal experiences but it also contains parts of other guides that can be found on the web and from which I learned a lot of things. I just picked only the best ideas, compared them with my personal experiences, and put them together here.
    If you feel that something needs to be added to this guide, please feel free to do so.

    So, let's start:

    Buy Box

    For those that are not quite familiar with this platform, you have two options: you can sell already established products but, obviously, you will not be the only one which is doing this. So you will have to compete with other sellers. You will win this battle when the ‘buy box' will be yours (meaning that your items will be picked when a customer clicks the Buy button on the listing page). To accomplish this you have to come with the smallest price for that product. You don't necessarily have control over the Amazon listing page. I didn't like that, although this method brings a lot of revenue to many Amazon sellers.

    Unique Products

    I started to think about creating my own unique product. This way nobody could compete with me and the whole listing would be mine (it actually isn't because, theoretically, anybody could modify an Amazon page if some info is not accurate in the product description, for example. But the modifications will always need to be approved by an Amazon team, as far as I know).

    Private Label

    Of course, the easiest way to create a unique product is by using the private label method. I won't insist too much on it because this is not the point of this thread, but I can say that you'll find plenty of suppliers in any niche. Some of them are even here, on BHW. I picked one that I could easily check his references and this is very important because you don't want to send your money to a scammer or to a supplier which is not able to deliver as promised. I also advise you to start small and increase the ordered quantity in a progressive way. Regarding the origin of the supplier, I preferred to have a supplier which is located in US. Of course, prices in China are much lower, but it would have been too much hassle to find a reliable supplier there, which would be able to deliver the goods in a timely manner, and packed according to Amazon requirements (which are a LOT!), and take care of the customs procedures...and...and...and (a lot of other factors).

    FBA or non-FBA


    As most of you know there are two main options to fulfill your order.
    - FBA: Fulfilled by Amazon. You ship you products to an Amazon warehouse (or multiple warehouses...they will let you know exactly where to send them and the seller interface is quite intuitive in which regards the shipments) and whenever a customer orders one of your products on the website, Amazon will fulfill the order, take the money from the customer, hold their fees, and transfer the money to you.
    - Non-FBA: You just list the product on Amazon and whenever a customer buys your product, you will fulfill yourself the order and confirm to Amazon that you have shipped the goods.
    I personally prefer FBA because customers have a lot of advantages this way (two-day shipping or free shipping for orders above $35) and, also, they trust the Amazon system (shipping & refunds). Not to mention that I don't have to deal with the shipping task.

    Amazon SEO...or how to rank well in Amazon.

    I know that in the BlackHatWorld community, when you talk about SEO, people are thinking almost instantly about Google SEO techniques. But let's forget about them here, because Amazon plays a completely different game.

    So, what is Amazon looking for, in terms of SEO?

    A. They are looking for products that convert well. The more a product sells the more money they get. As simple as that!

    B. They try (and they manage) to predict what a specific customer will buy in the nearest future.
    (As per official Amazon statement:
    http://bit.ly/1FzpBmJ)

    C. They are looking for the products which are most relevant according to a specific search query.
    (Another official Amazon statement:
    http://bit.ly/1FzpBmJ)

    ...in this exact order!

    Classic Linkbuilding is Just a Myth here.

    I know that most members of this community are very familiar with the classic linkbuilidng (the procedure you need to apply when you want to rank a website in Google). Therefore, I am kindly asking you to forget about it :). This is why:

    I bought some reputable services (some of them from BHW) in an effort to build links to my Amazon product page. Invested quite a lot of money and time into this. The results came quite quickly: my Amazon product page started to rank on the first page after about one month. After about two months my product page was ranking on the second spot of the first Google page when you were searching after a quite important keyword. I was surprised and happy but I then came to the conclusion that Amazon is a great authority on the web and it's quite easy to rank any of its pages on Google very easily.

    But guess what happened then? Almost NOTHING.
    The sales didn't improve as I was expecting; the product didn't rank better in Amazon's internal search engine. This was the moment when I understood that these two web giants...Google and Amazon...have very different types of traffic. When using Google, people are rarely in the buying mode. They are usually looking for information about something; they don't always want to buy that thing. When they need to buy something, they go directly to Amazon, search for a product and buy it. That's it.

    Building links to your product and ranking well its Amazon listing in Google won't get you a considerable number of new customers. Furthermore, it won't make your product rank well in Amazon A9 (its internal search engine). That's because Amazon knows that a product which ranks in well Google will not necessarily sell well on their website.

    Not to mention that A9 has a completely different set of factors according to which it establishes a ranking order. Amazon is much more interested in conversions. They own the website, they own the process, they know what their buyers are doing and what their behavior is before buying a certain product. They are able to predict what products will convert well and what products won't. They don't need other people on the web telling them which product is good since they have their own means to establish which product will convert well and is worth placing on the first page when a customer is doing a search after a certain keyword. Because of these very reasons, building links from other websites to your Amazon product page is completely irrelevant and useless.

    Instead of this, I suggest to save your money and invest it in your inventory.

    Advertising on Amazon


    This is similar to the Google Ads Service. I tested it and, obviously, found it to convert better than Google Ads ( in which regards my product). However, depending on the niche, you might find it to be quite expensive. On the bright side, it is very easy to setup a campaign, and they are offering a pretty good (but simple) keywords tool.

    On (Amazon) Page SEO

    Yeap...we are all familiar with it and it works approximately like when you are doing some Google optimization.

    1. First of all, look into Google Keyword Planner (what we used to know as Google Keyword Tool) for the most relevant keywords for your product. That's because people will use the same search terms on both Google and Amazon.

    2. Remember that we are not talking about Google here and the content of this page doesn't need to be unique! Study your competition and pick the important keywords/ phrases that are being used by others. Of course, don't overdo it. While Amazon is not necessarily interested about the uniqueness of a text, they don't tolerate spamming.

    3. Optimize the title of your listing.

    Place the most important keywords for your product at the beginning of your title. You will also want the URL of your product to contain them. Don't forget that the title of your listing is the first factor that influences conversions. So think sales-wise! It's a good practice to include the brand of your product in the title, but don't put it at the beginning of the title unless your brand is an important keyword itself (ie: it is well known...something like iPhone for example).
    Don't exaggerate with keyword stuffing because lately Amazon started to pay more attention to this technique.

    4. Optimize the bullets description.

    Use your keywords here, as well. Don't overdo it but, also, do not neglect it. Use as many words as you can...try to fill in all the fields that are available there (5). Try to include as much relevant info about your product, as possible.

    5. Optimize the search terms for your listing. Use keywords but

    DON'T: repeat words; use commas, quotation marks etc. (you have only 50 characters on each of the 5 fields; any of these characters are ignored by A9); use variations of the same keyword; use misspelled keywords.

    DO: arrange the keywords in an order, depending on their importance (the most important should be first...and so on); include synonyms, include spelling variations (ie: fat-burner and fat burner), use LSI (if you haven't heard about it until now, use the search button on this forum).

    EXAMPLE (considering the product is in the weight loss niche):
    Field 1: weight loss fat burner
    Field 2: hunger suppressant energy booster
    ...and so on.

    6. Product Description

    Use the keywords in this description. Don't do keyword stuffing because it won't help. Make sure all the features of your product are mentioned here. Try to make it look very professional. The use of Amazon special HTML code is now prohibited, but if you are a well-established seller you could ask Amazon Seller Support to allow you to use it. Some sellers are even permitted to include infographs in their product description which look very professional. But, don't limit to uploading just an infograph because this is basically a picture and you will lose the power of the optimized text in the product description. Don't forget to use LSI...it works very well on Amazon, as well.

    7. Specifications


    Make sure you fill in these fields. While they might not sound as being very important for sales (especially when your product is not in a tech niche), they do help with ranking in amazon.

    8. Category and Sub-category.


    This is very important and you will NOT FIND this information anywhere. While you need to pick the right category for your product, try to look for a sub-category in which the competition is not very high. You still want your product to fit in that sub-category but...and here comes the important part...when you manage to rank first in that sub-category, your listing will get the ‘#1 BESTSELLER' tag when displayed in the search results of your customers. This will automatically push your product towards the first page of the results and will certainly increase sales. Still, remember that your product needs to fit in the picked sub-category; otherwise you will have troubles with Amazon. I will show you later how to get this #1 BEST SELLER tag even if you ended up in a very competitive category/ sub-category

    9. Parent-Child Products

    If, for example, you are selling an iPad case which can be ordered on multiple colors, I am strongly advising you to use the Amazon built-in parent-child tool and end up with a single Amazon listing on which customers can select their favorite color before ordering.
    Amazon is like an online catalogue (or how a friend of mine likes to call it...it's the Wikipedia of products). They like everything to be where it is supposed to be, they don't like chaos. And if you create chaos, they will surely come after you. If you keep things in good order, they will help you with your ranking and sales.

    10. Images of your product

    PLEASE upload at least one high-quality image (at least 1000x1000 - because this is the minimum size that permits the zoom feature to work). Uploading multiple high-quality images is recommended because they make your product convert better.

    11. Price


    It's very important to have a price which matches the one your competitors are displaying. Amazon knows that expensive products are hard to sell, especially when they have some low-priced competition. Therefore, you will never rank well if your price is much bigger than the price range your competitors are using.

    12. Make sure you provide as many details as you can.

    Don't avoid other product specifications fields when creating a listing in the Seller Central page (ie: safety information, disclaimers etc.) The more your listing contains different information, the more it will outrank your competition).


    Guys, I will split this guide into multiple parts because I don't want to have a 10k words post here. Furthermore, it is becoming a bit hard for you to follow a big chunk of text and I also don't have the necessary time to write everything in just one day.
    Will follow:
    Off-page Amazon SEO (I keep mentioning Amazon SEO because I don't want it to be confused with classic SEO), Customer Reviews, Conversion Rate Factors, Best Seller Rank, Customer Satisfaction, Seller Feedback Management, Seller Metrics etc.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  2. salakau

    salakau Junior Member

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    yeah..thanks for the info
     
  3. ardley216

    ardley216 Elite Member

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    Question, I am looking to see how I can scrape data on this sort of thing and maybe sell amazon search/product keywords to customers, would this be of use to anyone?
     
  4. DearSanta

    DearSanta BANNED BANNED

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    Yes, I am sure it would be of great use. But, you have to correlate the keyword with sales potential and not necessarily with the number of searches.
     
  5. DearSanta

    DearSanta BANNED BANNED

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    As promised, this the last part (and the most important part) of the guide.

    Time Spent on Page and Bounce Rate

    Time Spent on Page

    Just like with Google, Amazon is looking very closely to how long your customers are studying your offer and when and why they decide to exit your listing.

    Try to keep your customers on the page of your product. Make sure you include as many details about your product, as possible. Try to explain why your product is the best in its niche. Try to create smart price packages which will attract even more customers and make your offer even more interesting.

    Bounce Rate

    Try to make the visitors of your Amazon listing to actually buy your product. Make sure your product is in stock and your listing is complete. These are the most common issues that lead a high bouncing rate. Understand that if a customer has bothered to click on a link to your product, there are big chances for him to actually buy your product (remember that the title you are listing on Amazon is very comprehensive and most of the buyers don?t need more information for taking the decision to buy a specific product).

    Off-Page Amazon SEO

    Most of us, here on BHW, are very familiar with this term because we are used to rank websites on Google through links. On Amazon we don?t have links. External links don?t count. But we do have some things which act in a very similar way.

    Amazon Wishlists


    Amazon Wishlists are an important SEO factor because they show how well a product is going to sell in the nearest future. Therefore, building wishlists in multiple accounts and including your product in them is a smart way to make it rank better. Remember to include your most important keywords in those wishlists.

    Make sure you don?t spam those user accounts. Most of the people on Amazon don?t have more than 2-3 wishlists. So, try to avoid creating more than 1-2 wishlist for all of your products with each of your user accounts (considering that those products are in the same niche) . Include other products, as well.

    Amazon Giftlists

    They act the same way that I?ve described above.

    Listmania

    Developed initially only for books, Listmanias can now contain products, as well. Furthermore, Amazon is paying a special attention to this feature. In their eyes, the products that are included in a Listmania have earned the trust of their customers. Therefore, I strongly suggest you to create listmanis and add your products there. Of course, don?t forget to include your keywords.

    Questions

    This feature has lately become very important in terms of Amazon SEO. The more questions are being asked on a product listing, the better that specific product will rank. Of course, this is because this parameter is showing Amazon that people are interested in a specific product. And what does a regular customer do before buying something? Asks questions!

    Take a close look to the products which are ranking very well in your niche. IS it true that there are many questions posted on their listings?
    And because those questions need some answers, make sure you fetch them, as well. You will want some other user accounts (and not only your seller account) to provide those answers. That?s because this will show that your product is already very well known by the target customers.

    So You?d Like to?Guides


    I know that they are a pain to build, but, trust me, they are a real boost for your Amazon SEO strategy.
    Because they are helping customers to decide what product is suited for some specific needs, Amazon considers that the products which have been included in a specific guide, have impressed the person who posted the guide and, therefore, they deserve a better ranking. I?ve seen some pretty nice results once I started to build these guides.
    Remember that that each guide needs to contain 100 keywords, and at least 3 ASIN?s will have to be mentioned in it.
    Of course, don?t forget to sprinkle some keywords wherever you can, in the article.

    Amazon Customer Reviews


    I won?t insist too much here because I am sure that most of the people are familiar with customer reviews.

    On Amazon there are two types of customer reviews: verified purchase reviews (the product which is reviewed has actually been bought on the Amazon website) and standard reviews (the reviewed product has not been purchased on Amazon).

    The verified purchase reviews are more powerful because they also increase the customer trust (clients are actually looking after the ?Verified Purchase? badge)

    The customer reviews will boost ranking and increase sales because they make your product more trustworthy both in the eyes of Amazon and your customers. While getting reviews on my products I noticed a dramatic increase in terms of sales.
    The most important thing is to keep a steady increase of the number of reviews, otherwise your product will get flagged and all your Amazon reviews will be deleted. Start small and increase the number of daily reviews, as time passes. Maintain the velocity of reviews so that you avoid flagging your product.

    Example (apply it for products which demand a high number of reviews): If your product is new don?t post any reviews for at least 10 days. Then start with one review/ day and continue this way for another 10 days. Only after this period of time start to increase the number of daily reviews and make sure there are no significant interruptions in this flow of reviews. That?s because it will look very unnatural for Amazon.

    Don?t forget to include keywords in your Amazon reviews, especially in the title! Don?t over optimize the text, don?t write huge reviews, try to observe what other reviewers are saying about the products your competitors are selling. Make these Amazon reviews sound as natural as possible.

    Conversion Rate Factors


    Price

    This is one of the most important factors when it comes to conversion rate. Try to set a price which is very near to the one your competitors have. Don?t go too low because this will be a very clear sign for your customers that your product is not okay. Don?t go too high because nobody will want to spend too much money on something that can be bought cheaper.

    Sales rank


    This is very important. The better a product sells, the higher it ranks on Amazon. Furthermore, Amazon will use both their predicted and real sales ranks in order to establish a ranking order for a specific product. In the end this leads us to just one idea: you have to attract/ fabricate sales. Otherwise, you will not be able to rank.

    And don?t forget that it?s preferable to become the leader in your category (your product needs to have the ?Best Seller? badge in its category; you will find more details about this in the first post of this thread).

    IMPORTANT! Make sure you have returning customers. Amazon knows that it?s much easier to have a customer purchasing 3 products that cost $25 each, over a given amount of time, than trying to sell one product which costs $75. Therefore, returning customers which purchase your product will definitely boost your sales rank and your product ranking in amazon?s internal search engine.

    Account Metrics

    Try to keep your seller metrics as good as possible. Maintain a very low order defect rate (of course, products with many returns are not likely to sell well in the future). Make sure you always have products in stock. If a customer is not able to buy your product, why would Amazon keep it on the front page?

    Seller Feedback

    Maintain an excellent customer feedback on your seller account (this means that your customers are happy and they are more likely to purchase your products again). An account with good seller feedback will always benefit from good ranking positions. It?s much easier to rank a new product when you list it with a seller account that has many good feedbacks.

    Images


    Large and quality images have always helped me in which regards the increase of conversion rate. If you private label your product, try to make it stand out in the crowd.

    Please post your questions/ ideas here, on this thread, and not through PM. Thanks!
     
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  6. stis638

    stis638 Registered Member

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    Hi, Thank for valuable information.
    Can you explain in more detail few things:
    - #1 BEST SELLER Rank
    - Wishlists, Giftlists and Listmania - do you use specific service or you own multiple buyers accounts to create all lists?

    Thanks
     
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  7. abhi007

    abhi007 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Very detailed and should come in handy while doing Amazon stuff...
     
  8. DearSanta

    DearSanta BANNED BANNED

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    There is not much to say about the BEST SELLER Rank. the more you sell ,the higher your seller rank will be. Your product will promoted more efficiently by amazon and you will have even more sales. Also, the ranking is affected by this parameter.

    Wishlists, Giftlists and Listmania - I have developed my own tools for creating and operating them.


    Glad to hear that this is helpful for you!
     
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  9. SEOZone Agency

    SEOZone Agency Junior Member

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    Solid read.. interesting too you talking about ranking within amazon. I know ranking amazon pages SEO wise is easy as its a great parasite but had no idea about within amazon. Good job OP cheers.
     
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  10. DearSanta

    DearSanta BANNED BANNED

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    Indeed, ranking an amazon page in google is sometimes easy (depends on the niche, of course...for example, if you are targeting weight loss supplements it will not be that easy :D). Amazon is a high authority website and google loves these authorities, therefore, it favors them when it comes to ranking.

    But, the main problem with amazon pages which are being ranked in google, is the traffic google is providing. On google people are in 'search mode'. they look for information related to a specific product but they don't necessarily want to buy it at that specific moment.

    On Amazon, things are different. Most of the visitors are in 'buying mode'. They already know what they want and they just want to buy it.

    So amazon traffic is much more targeted than google traffic...therefore conversion is way better when a product is ranked well in amazon, instead of being well ranked on google (with its amazon listing or not).
     
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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  11. bereleah

    bereleah Newbie

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    What do you mean by "fabricate sales"?
     
  12. rahiths

    rahiths Newbie

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    Well great article

    I am working on purchased verified reviews ..
    if anyone need that service shooot me on skype rahiths320
     
  13. bereleah

    bereleah Newbie

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    Any update on the fabricating sales?
     
  14. rodowdy09

    rodowdy09 Regular Member

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    Pretty awesome write-up DearSanta... And pretty spot on... My partner and I actually deal in this area (he actually take care of operations). We talked in depth about Amazon SEO, keyword ranking, etc about 3 or 4 months ago - and most all of what your state here has been proven with our clients.

    So many of our clients focus solely on the number of reviews they have on their products, and I try to explain how things like wishlists, Q/A, seller feedback, etc. along with those reviews can help them increase sales just by increased ranking.

    I really appreciate the portion about guides.. That is something worth looking into. But again you are spot on with most importantly Listing Optimization; and you would be surprised how many people overlook their own listing and leave so many areas un-optimized. I think to myself "You are simply wasting opportunities..." So what I try to do is give us an opportunity to do more than simply reviews (while still super important) and just see the results. Competition can determine how much work it will involve; but your point about gaining best seller status in sub-categories goes a long way towards overall Amazon ranking. And I think you mentioned it, but consistency is KEY! You don't want to have a boatload of verified purchases and reviews on month, gain better ranking and then just stop and drop off into nothingness -- just doesn't look natural.

    Pretty soon Amazon and Google will be on the same level of scrutiny in the algorithms (in my opinion), but again I concur with everything you stated here.. And can vouch for the effectiveness of them all (minus the guides, which I have not implemented before)... Great job!


    Thanks,

    --Rich
     
  15. SEO365

    SEO365 BANNED BANNED

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    From my experience keyword ranking is one of the most important thing that counts to get a bunch of sales every day :) one of my product is ranked #18 in a sub category but not getting enough sales just because the keywords i have used or trying to rank are high competitive . For those keywords i'm on page 90-150 . as you know most of the buyers just search with the keywords as compared to looking in each category to find a product they want to buy.. therefore keyword ranking is very important if you want to get more sales.

    BTW Great Info OP Cheers
     
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  16. Kurolarc888

    Kurolarc888 Newbie

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    Hi Santa,

    Do you sell the tool you developed? or help people with their wishlists and listmania?
     
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  17. Kurolarc888

    Kurolarc888 Newbie

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    Follow the thread. Thank you Santa
     
  18. matasha

    matasha Newbie

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    Great thread, really helpful!!
     
  19. matasha

    matasha Newbie

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    Hi Rich, from your reply, i assume you in this field like providing optiziming services?
     
  20. Helln000

    Helln000 Newbie

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    Really interesting info to learn form