Why did I decide to write this guide?
I decided to publish here a guide about ranking products on Amazon because it would have been of great help to 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:
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 â€ ̃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.
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).
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. 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 the 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 your 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 conform 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:
Our work starts long before a customer types a query. We’ve been analyzing data, observing past traffic patterns, and indexing the text describing every product in our catalog before the customer has even decided to search.
C. They are looking for the products which are most relevant according to a specific search query.
(Another official Amazon statement:
One of A9’s tenets is that relevance is in the eye of the customer and we strive to get the best results for our users… Our ranking algorithms automatically learn to combine multiple relevance features. Our catalog’s structured data provides us with many such relevance features and we learn from past search patterns and adapt to what is important to our customers.
…in this exact order!
Classic Link building is Just a Myth here.
I know that most members of this community are very familiar with the classic link building (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 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 for 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 in the uniqueness of a text, they don’t tolerate spam.
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 infographics in their product description which look very professional. But, don’t limit to uploading just an infographic 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.
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 subcategory, your listing will get the â€ ̃#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 catalog (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 1000×1000 – 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.
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).
Combine this with some Off-page Amazon SEO, Customer Reviews, Conversion Rate Factors, Best Seller Rank, Customer Satisfaction, Seller Feedback Management, Seller Metrics etc. and you’ll dominate Amazon 😉