Amazon Listing Optimization - An Ultimate Guide20 Feb 20
|What is Amazon’s A9 Algorithm?|
|Amazon Product Listings Elements|
|How to Optimize Your Amazon Product Listings?|
|Top 3 Tools for Amazon Listing Optimization|
|Amazon Listing Optimization Services|
The secret behind Amazon’s success is an intuitive search engine that is comparable to Google. Similar to how Google assigns ranks of websites based on views, Amazon decides the ranks of a product based on how much it is selling. The famous algorithm is called A9. And every time you enter a product name in Amazon search for buying it, you use this algorithm.
For sellers, the importance of A9 is on a different level than that of customers. A9 is responsible for pulling up products when a user enters a search query.
Consider that a user wants to buy the merchandise from Star Wars. And you happen to have a product line with various Star Wars tee shirts. The Amazon algorithm will not simply pull up your pages in the search because you sell this.
The algorithm aims to make money for Amazon. And the best way to do that is to promote sellers who have popular products. So, the more you sell in comparison to other Star War Merch sellers, the higher your product gets. This is called listing optimization in Amazon.
But how do you get a high ranking by Amazon product listing optimization ? That is what we will explore in this article. Let’s first understand how the A9 algorithm works.
What is Amazon’s A9 Algorithm?
According to Amazon, the aim of the A9 algorithm is to be as intuitive as possible when defining the intent behind the query of a customer. In a single query, customers provide some information and A9 transforms that information into categorized suggestions that help the buyers make their mind much faster.
If someone is searching with the term ‘Star Wars’, the algorithm will instinctively categorize the query to show, ‘Star Wars in movies’, ‘Star Wars in apparels’, ‘Star Wars in accessories’, etc. These results are the outcome of the Amazon listing optimization tool.
We can safely say A9 knows how to fulfill the needs of the buyers, keep them engaged, and make choices easier for them.
Most of the online sales happen in fleeting moments. Customers move on from product to product impulsively, and by routing the thought process of customers categorically, Amazon has captured the eCommerce market.
But how does this affect the sellers? According to Amazon, the seller side works not on the basis of the seller’s convenience but focuses more on the Amazon platform. The algorithm decides what the right items are based on the query of the customer.
Amazon product title optimization then decides the most relevant result based on the query. This data is available in the structured data catalog of the products.
The algorithm is always optimized to glean data from past searches and make the targeted products more and more accurate. This data provides insights into popular products. Amazon is not simply a searching algorithm like Google. Amazon makes money when customers buy the products. So rather than showing the most relevant results, Amazon also chooses to factor in what are products the customer will most likely buy.
The key to how to optimize Amazon listing lies in the keywords that have been used in the product listing.
When you use certain keywords in the product title and descriptions, Amazon is more likely to pick your product when these keywords have been searched. A seller cannot just randomly come up with some keywords and add them to the product. This is why Amazon listing optimization service so crucial for sellers to understand.
Amazon Product Listings Elements
The complete working of the Amazon algorithm is publicly known as it is proprietary software that can be used by other eCommerce sellers in case it gets out. But we do know the primary factors that optimize Amazon listing. These are the factors that will ultimately influence the sales numbers and converts from a buyer browsing to a buyer actually buying a product.
1. Product Title
The character limit of a product depends on the country. For the United States and the United Kingdom, the character limit is set at 250. For India, the limit is 200. And for Japan, the limit is 500. The significance of the product title in converting a click to sales is paramount.
As a seller, you should know that every character is the difference between making the sales and becoming an abandoned click. So, you must know how to make every character count.
Most of the customers will only read the product title before deciding whether they want the product.
There are some categories of listing of products where Amazon allows longer or shorter titles. However, we will not drive into the details of that. The motive of this article is to show you how to optimize the given character limit.
When it comes to writing the product titles, there is a guideline that expert sellers have come up with.
The title is intended for humans. However, it is also intended for A9 algorithms. You must add keywords in the title that sellers search for. Don’t just write ‘water bottle’, if that is what you are selling. What features does your water bottle have that other competitors do not? Is it ‘metal’? Is it ‘leak proof’? Is it made of ‘BPA free plastic’? All the quoted words are keywords, that a normal buyer would look for, and what A9 algorithm will target.
Add the features of your products to the title, because nobody will read the descriptions unless they know the product matches their requirements first.
2. Product Images
No amount of Amazon optimization services will generate sales for you if you come up short in product photography. The only thing buyers can see when they shop online are the product images. If you have a poor-quality image or no image, buyers will almost always skip your product.
Amazon allows you to use up to 9 product images along with a lead image. We suggest you use each of these slots to give the customers as much visual aid as possible. The images should be 500 px in height and 1000px in width in the least. If you can opt for higher quality images, great!
Invest in some good quality photography services. Hire a Photoshop expert to touch up the product the best way you can. The lead image must have a blank, white background without any kind of watermarks in it, so the customer is not misled in any way. Zoom in from various angles, take all the sides into account. Present your product as well as you would if you were in a retail shop.
Lifestyle images are a great hit with customers. People want to connect the thing they are going to buy with people using them. Hire models or a Photoshop expert for this.
Always ensure you have provided a scale of how big your product is, so the customer is not deceived. Sizing is important because a dissatisfied customer means the product will end up getting returned, for which Amazon will charge you a fee. Infographics are great to ensure customers know what they are buying in to.
3. Product Reviews
When you know, how to optimize Amazon listings of products, and have started making sales, it is time to focus on the customer reviews. Have you ever felt daring enough to buy a product that did not have a single review? Or worse, negative reviews? The aim for any product is to be on the 4 stars to the 5-star mark.
To remain in the lead, it is important to pay attention to the existing reviews, so you know whenever something is going wrong with your product.
- Use Amazon optimization services that come with email campaigns. Seeking reviews from customers and getting alerts when there are negative feedbacks can be fully automated. Using this, you can make sure a problem has been handled before the customer has a chance to leave a negative review of your product.
- Are people still leaving bad reviews for your product? Why? These services will also analyze when you get reviews for something that is unrelated to your product. Such as, Amazon handled the shipping and delivery process sometimes goes wrong. The user feels disgruntled because the product did not reach them in the estimated time or something. You can dispute these reviews and get them taken down.
- Try to get reviews for every customer who has bought your product. People tend to believe in other people’s opinions when buying things online. And no amount of convincing will shake their belief if peer buyers have not had satisfied reviews.
4. Product Description
The character limit for product description is 2000, including spaces. This gives you about three hundred words, which is enough to write up a concise description. Figure out the best features of your product, things that separate it from other products by competitors. You can even explain any feature you have already written about in the title. Don’t use fillers and words that do not explain why your product is the best in the market.
The sentences should be short and precise, explaining a single function of the product. Keep it between fifteen to twenty words per sentence.
Start describing the features, and why the customer needs it, what the benefits are, instead of curt descriptions of the product.
People are looking for functional content in the description. Does green tea help them lose weight? Does the tiffin box have a leak-proof lid?
The language should be easy to understand. Don’t clutter the description with too many keywords but do use the target keywords.
Try to tell a story in your descriptions.
5. Product Features
Bullet points are what users read when they are hooked on what they are looking at. This is the last stage of decision making. Amazon provides 1000 characters to include various bullet points. You must add value to this section.
Put your product against the competition products and explain why yours is superior.
Put the most important features in the beginning.
Put yourself in the mind of your customer and try to imagine if they could have a question about your product, what would it be? Then answer that question in the bullet point.
How does your product perform over time? Is it durable? Strong? What are the chances customers are going to have to replace the product soon? What is the guarantee of the product?
What is the product made of?
And in the end, what problem does it solve? If you are selling 2-pound dumbbells, mention that they are for toning exercises.
6. Product Ratings
Product ratings are one of the most important parts of selecting a product because there is a filter criterion that selects products y how many stars they are rated with. Most users choose to select products with a 4 to 5-star rating. That means anything less, and your product won’t even make it in the listing.
Do not let negative reviews build up. Especially at the beginning, take care of the comments of the customers and ask for re-reviews. More often than not, disgruntled customers will re-think a negative review if you provide them a solution for their issues.
How to Optimize Your Amazon Product Listings?
- Make sure your product performs well on tablet and mobiles
The first aspect of making a product sell successfully is to make sure that it looks good on mobiles and tablets. The number of people who use smartphones for shopping has grown over the years. So, if your listing is not built to please people who are browsing on phones, you will lose a lot of valuable sales. Fortunately, Amazon does a highly customized listing for mobile devices, so if you have built your product listing well on desktop, the same will be reflected in mobiles too.
- Understand your profit margin
Simply launching a profitable product is not going to make you profitable. Even if the product is highly popular, unless you know how much you are making out of it, you will eventually fail.
Most sellers think that, because Amazon is a price market, the key to winning sale sis just keeping on lowering their profit margins. But there is a difference between price and profitability. If your profit margins are dropping below 10%, you are in a very vulnerable situation.
There are a lot of financial aspects that you have to consider. And sometimes, even if you calculate every deduction and then set the price at a low profit, that could still be fatal.
What if Amazon increases its fees? What if you suddenly have an issue with liquid cash at hand? Are you going to suddenly hype the price of the product and expect customers to still be happy? It does not work like that.
Once you set a price, most customers will expect to pay that. Ensure you have long term business interest in mind when you are calculating profitability.
- Understand the intent of the user
As we keep saying, Amazon’s A9 algorithm is ensured to make more money for the company, not you. Unless you are making more money for the platform, A9 will not be favoring you. And the key to making more money is to understand the intent of your users.
Utilize all the listing elements to your advantage.
Most users do not comprehensively shop to absorb all the information given in the product details. They will take a look at the product, maybe the reviews and either they are clicking on that buy button or they are disappearing forever. And when they abandon your page repeatedly, your product listing goes down and down in the eyes of the A9 algorithm which does not find that you are making as much money as the clicks. Someone else, who gets the sales on click will get the money.
Top 3 Tools for Amazon Listing Optimization
The market is saturated with products that claim they can optimize your product listings. It seems every other day a new product is coming up with that claim. But many of them do good work, so if you want to invest in a quality product, here are some that have lived up to the hype.
- IO Scout
This app allows you to do a thorough analysis of products on amazon with the extensions. You do not have to repeatedly go back and forth between the app page and amazon window to make this work. The extension opens in a small window and provides just enough information for your convenience.
IO Scout has pretty amazing customer support, and the best feature of the app is up to 10 people can be added to your account. If you are co-partnered with people in the business, you can divide your work and get things done faster.
The graphical tools for product trend analysis, the status of stock and inventories are highly intuitive and automated, so any new user can get accustomed to the app quite easily.
- Jungle Scout
Jungle Scout is among the most popular Amazon selling tools in the market. The listing optimizer is called a product listing grader. It is quite simple and efficient. You have to start the app, enter the ASIN of the product URL in the search window. For any product you are selling on Amazon you can run an analysis, and the app will quickly generate a rundown of the quality of your listing on a scale of 0 to 100.
You should first start out by raking some of your competitor’s products in the app. If they are high selling as compared to you, you can get valuable insight from this app on why they are outperforming your products based on how well they have used keywords, described products, benefits, etc.
- Seller App
The SellerApp boasts of containing a database of over fifty million products that users have access to when they are analyzing their own listing. Worldwide, there are over ten thousand sellers who have successfully used this product to customize their listings and generate sales. The app contains a complete set of features that will do everything for you.
From validating product ideas, generating keywords, handling automated email campaigns to generate god feedback and track negative feedback and optimize your listing to make it more attractive to the customer. Seller app has it all.
The app database gets an update from Amazon every 48 hours, so you will always be able to track any new trends or changes in the market.
The proprietary algorithm is designed to break down the product listing in fifteen elements and validate each of the listings on the basis of these parameters. They do a great tracking of all the keywords that buyers are using to find certain products. Most useful among it is the part of the historical trend, which allows you to understand if a product is feasible to sell all the time of the year, or if it has run past the popularity.
It also has a calculator that takes into account all the costs relating to FBA and provides an understanding of profitability.
Amazon Listing Optimization Services
If you really want to sell as a professional on Amazon and do not understand every aspect of the product optimization, it is a good idea to buy an optimization service. These products have completely automated a lot of the manual handling associated with making a product successful.
Especially if you are selling a lot of products, doing everything manually might not be feasible. Page optimization takes a lot of time for each product. Keywords change every day, and popular keywords go out of trends all the time. It is not easy to stay aware of all these things all by yourself.
Most of these services will cost less than what it takes to outsource the entire work to another person. You will end up paying for an expert who is adept and understands all of these things and is constantly keeping track of every minute change that happens in the markets.
The optimization services bring forth a lot of the experience and wisdom of sellers who experienced this issue firsthand.
This is why we see useful features like keywords historical data change alert, negative feedback alerts are so important for a seller to be able to make sure everything is running smoothly, while not having to keep track of everything constantly.