Do you often find yourself asking “why aren’t my customers finding my products?” or “why are my sales down?” There could be many factors affecting your product discoverability and ranking. Are your product pages fully optimised? Are you shipping stock on time? Do you sell via FBA? If you answer ‘no’ to all of these questions, then you already have three factors that could be affecting discoverability and rankings.
Of course, these are not the only factors that can influence it. Below we will discuss three of the main factors, and how to optimise for Amazon SEO for optimum results.
Factors that influence product discoverability
- Selling via FBA
Products sold via Amazon FBA are eligible for free delivery and Prime, which of course, is favoured by Amazon. Prime is a successful loyalty tool with 3.8 million members in the UK and 90 million in the US.
Customers trust Prime because of the next day delivery, free returns and customer service, thus why Amazon favours products with Prime available. Plus, products become automatically eligible for Alexa.
Moreover, FBA gives you a competitive advantage to win the Buy Box, which in turn will improve product rankings.
Did you know, 58% of US Amazon sellers use Amazon’s fulfilment service, and roughly 40% of European sellers use it too.
- Shipping stock on time
Unsurprisingly, ensuring you ship stock on time can influence product discoverability. It is a good idea to have at least 4 weeks’ worth of inventory available at any given time.
Of course, if you’re using FBA then shipping stock on time is not an issue as it is all picked, packed and shipped by Amazon. However, one thing to bear in mind when sending the stock to FBA is that overstocking can result in storage fees. These fees start after your stock is 6+ months old.
- Product reviews
Product reviews can massively influence product discoverability, this is because customers are more likely to trust the product with more positive reviews. If your product has many negative reviews and your sales drop, so will your sales rank, which will cause your product to drop and drop and drop further down in ranking.
It is common practice to proactively check reviews and have a process in place to deal with negative ones, as well as encouraging customers to write reviews. Follow up emails are widely used and can be automated via third-party tools like XSellco.
Ways you could improve product reviews:
- Sell as a loss leader for a limited period. This should accelerate sales, which in turn should generate reviews.
- Use advertising to boost rankings and product discoverability.
- In the US, there is the ‘Amazon Early Review Program’. Sellers pay a $60 fee for each SKU to be enrolled in the program, and this is only chargeable once an SKU gains a review. Reviewers receive a small reward after submitting their review.
- Finally, there is the Amazon Vine Programme which is available to Vendors.
Optimising for Amazon SEO
Having a lower price has been found to have a direct impact on where a product ranks in SERPs. Whether you’re offering a lower price than competitors, or you’re running a promotion e.g. lightning deal, best deal or voucher, the lower the price the more likely you are to rank higher and win the Buy Box.
When listing a product, we always recommend completing a price comparison.
- Paid Ads
There are three types of advertising available on Amazon: Sponsored Product Ads, Headline Search and Product Display.
Sponsored Product ads appear at the top, bottom and on the right-hand side of search and on product detail pages.
Headline Search ads appear at the top of search results, and Product Display ads appear on product detail pages.
Running paid ads is a great way to get your products in front of customers and to improve sales. As sales improve so will your sales rank, which in turn will improve the ranking of your product on the search results page.
Paid ads are available for both Seller Central and Vendor Central users.
- Product Titles
Each word in the title is searchable on its own, therefore including relevant keywords in your title will drive relevant traffic to your products and result in a sale (if the rest of your product page is optimised too!)
There are many useful keyword research tools available including Google Keyword Planner, and Sonar Tool.
- Key Features
You have 5 bullet points available with a maximum character limit of 500 (although this can differ based on category).
Utilise these bullet points to hone in on the key features and unique selling points of your product, whilst including relevant keywords.
- Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are indexed so again keywords are essential.
There is a maximum character limit of 2000. Use this wisely. Provide customers with all the information they need to make a confident purchase decision right there and then.
- Search Terms
These can be found in the backend. Search terms are a great place to add keywords you couldn’t quite fit into the title or description. A few things to consider when choosing keywords:
- Do not use competing brand names, Amazon will penalise for this,
- Include words that don’t appear in your content or title,
- Use common abbreviations customers may use e.g. for Lord of the Rings, customers may search for LOTR,
- There is no need to use commas or semicolons to separate terms.
- Parent-Child Relationships
Have a product with 5 different colour variations? List them all together under the same parent ASIN, and the variants as child ASINs.
Amazon prefers products to be listed together where they have variants e.g. colour or size, as it is helpful to customers. A customer may not be looking for a particular colour, so if your parent ASIN appears in search results and they click on it, they will then be able to view all of your colours and make a choice from there.
Parent-Child relationships are also a great way to build product reviews. If one colour variation gets a review, this is applied to all variations and the parent ASIN.
- There is no secret to success. Ensure all aspects of your listing optimisation is complete.
- Don’t forget about paid ads, they dominate SERPs!
- Trial FBA, even if it doesn’t end up working for you, it is worth a try!
- Invest time in getting positive reviews.
- Experiment! What works for one seller may not work for another. Test, test, test!