Amazon Search Optimization: What You Should Know
August 10, 2018
Search engine optimization has long been centered around Google and its multifaceted algorithm, and while no other engine tops Google in terms of information searching, there is a competitor in the ecommerce industry. Amazon is a sleeping giant who has just woken up and found its place over the past 5-years. While it’s been available to consumers since 1994, it has since become a powerhouse for online shopping, surpassing even eBay in notoriety for some countries.
Amazon is an online shopping platform, allowing consumers to buy everything from makeup and hair accessories to tents and camping equipment. It cuts the long lines out of holiday shopping, allows you to buy things that aren’t readily available in your city, and provides the service of delivering your shopping directly to your door. Over the years Amazon has also found a sweet little nook for itself in the video industry, competing with Netflix and Hulu with their Amazon Prime network. The network hosts a series of original programs, including Top Gear spinoff, The Grand Tour.
So, what is Amazon search optimization and why does it matter so much? Well, if you’re a website owner who doesn’t use the sales platform to sell your product it may not be as relevant to you. However, if you use Amazon as part of your business plan, to sell, market, and distribute your products, then this information is for you. Here’s what you need to know about ASO.
A9 and How it Works for You
Amazon uses a ranking algorithm called A9; it’s been evolved over time, much the same as Google’s algorithm has. A9 is a keyword-based system, making the utilization of keywords in your Amazon page more important than anywhere else. For example, if you search for pink socks, you’ll see tens of hundreds of listings, but you can minimize these results by adding the brand you’re looking for. “Hanes pink socks” will bring any ad with “Hanes”, “pink”, and “socks” to the forefront of the query results.
Keywords can also work against you where Amazon is concerned. If you’re looking for a basketball, but you type in a word not associated with any ad for basketball on the site, you could wind up with no results at all. And typing simply “basketball” or “socks” will give you an overwhelming amount of products to sift through. You can see how being specific with your keywords is important for Amazon, but how using some broader keywords is also helpful.
Amazon search optimization methods aren’t as proven as Google’s, which have been published in some form or another by the company themselves. However, Amazon sellers who use keywords and provide well-formed listing names tend to see better results than those which don’t. To make your brand stick out and create a well performing product page, be sure to include the type of product it is, the size and color, any packaging information the consumer should know, as well as the brand and the material used in the product.
The Importance of Sales
Once your keywords are in action and consumers are finding their way to your products, you can perpetuate your high performance through sales. The more you sell, the more popular you can become based on the A9 system. Just as Google uses comments and traffic to rank websites, Amazon uses sales volume to rank different product pages, believing that sales numbers provides access to customer preference.
At the base of the system, Amazon is a business, and while your small businesses are working for you, they’re also working for Amazon. This means that providing consumers with the best, and making the consumer experience more positive, helps put Amazon at the top of their game. Products which sell well and are deemed popular have a better chance of making it to the front page because they might create more potential sales for Amazon. This works to the sellers benefit as well, meaning, if you want Amazon to help you, you need to help Amazon.
Reviews and Ratings Matter
Just like Google, what consumers say about your page matters to Amazon, and matters to future customers. If you aren’t getting a lot of feedback, even if customers love your products, you have the potential to fall in popularity. If you find that you’re not getting enough feedback to perpetuate this portion of the algorithm, try including a request for feedback in your page. Something as simple as: “Thank you for shopping with us today. If you like our product, please leave us a review, it helps our business grow!”
Not only do these reviews look good to Amazon, but they look great to customers, which mean more customers will buy, which then helps with your sales numbers, thus boosting your ranking. The A9 system is a little less technical than Google’s algorithm, but it seems to work, and it could be working for you.
If you aren’t already using strategies to boost your search optimization on Amazon, it might be a good time to try. The site is constantly growing, and there’s still plenty of room on the bottom floor to get in and knock competitors out of the park. It may not be a new company, but it’s certainly become something of a staple in the lives of consumers worldwide. From shopping, the Prime network, the Kindle e-reader, and Alexa’s virtual assistant prowess with the Echo home devices, Amazon may just take over the world.