Organic positions on page 1 are a goldmine for Amazon products. When you reach the top position for a keyword with significant search volume, you can expect a large number of Amazon shoppers to click on your product (and hopefully buy) without you needing to spend a dime.
In comparison, your competitors will be forced to spend thousands on sponsored ads and paid traffic just to keep up.
According to a study on Amazon shopper behavior, 70% of Amazon customers never click past the first page of search results. 35% of customers click on the #1 result, while 64% of clicks go to the first three results.
Long story short, if you want to get organic traffic, you need to be on page 1, at the very least, ideally, in the first three results. If you can do this, the organic sales you get will make a huge difference to your profit margins.
How Search Rankings Work
To understand how to rank on Amazon, you first need to know how the search engine operates.
Amazon search runs on a software algorithm built by Amazon. The idea is to show products that make more money for Amazon and benefit their customers.
Amazon’s number one focus is the customer. They want happy customers who go to Amazon as soon as they think of something they want to buy.
A vital part of making customers happy is the search experience. Amazon wants it to be quick and easy for customers to search for something, find a relevant product, make a purchase, and be happy with their purchase.
If it’s too hard to find a product or the products showing in search results are low-quality products, that reflects poorly on Amazon and turns customers away.
We could look at the technical side of the ranking algorithm, but the real secret to mastering Amazon search is to put yourself in Amazon’s shoes, and think about what makes a happy customer.
Do a good job of delivering happy customers to Amazon, and you’re likely to find yourself at the top of the search rankings.
The Two Primary Amazon Ranking Factors
We can look at a whole lot of individual ranking factors for Amazon search. But the best way to look at it is to condense it to two broad ranking factors: relevance and popularity.
If you can satisfy both of these factors for your target keyword, you’ve got a great chance of ranking in the top few results.
To break it down a little further, these are two things that Amazon customers want to get out of the search experience.
First, they want to see results that are relevant to their search term. Getting search results completely unrelated to what you’re looking for is frustrating. Search relevance is exactly why Amazon is so popular today. If you want to buy anything, chances are you can put in a search on Amazon and have a bunch of products show up.
The second thing is, Amazon wants to show popular products. They don’t want to be known for poor knockoffs. They want to be known for having the best brands, the highest quality products. That’s another reason customers will keep coming back to buy on Amazon again, and again, and again. A customer won’t be so quick to come back if they get a low-quality product.
You can look at a whole lot of individual metrics as ranking factors (time on page, add to cart rate, bounce rate, keywords, etc.), but any ranking factor you look at comes under one of these two categories.
How to Rank Your Products Higher
The simple answer for how to rank your products higher for target keywords is in the previous section. Make sure your product is both relevant and popular.
Here are the most effective things you can do to satisfy these two ranking factors and move higher in the search rankings to break it down a little further.
Optimize for keywords in important places
The biggest thing that determines relevance is the keywords on your listing. This is the primary way Amazon’s search engine decides if your listing is relevant to the search term.
Thus, it’s vital that you make sure any keywords you want to rank for are reflected in your listing.
The most important place, which carries the most value for Amazon’s search algorithm, is the product title. This space is limited, so keep this for your highest volume, most relevant keywords.
Your next most important keywords should go in your bullet points. Try and fit long-tail keywords here. For example, if your main keyword is “hiking backpack”, a long-tail keyword may be “waterproof hiking backpack” or “lightweight hiking backpack for women”. These keywords are great for attracting targeted, buy-ready customers to your listing.
After this, fill out the rest of your listing with additional keywords related to your product. But maintain the most important space for the most important keywords.
Optimize your listing for conversion rate
While you’re putting keywords throughout your listing, you should also be sure to optimize for conversion rate.
Conversion rate is an important metric for rankings. It shows that your product is popular, since a large percentage of people buy after clicking on your product. It also shows that it’s relevant for the search terms people are clicking through from.
So how do you optimize for conversion rate?
The main thing is to make sure your listing is made for someone to read – not made for a computer.
Too many product listings are a mess of keywords, and incredibly hard to read. For most customers, if they still haven’t made their mind up on which product to buy, they’ll exit out of this product and find another.
Make sure your detail page is easy to read (especially easy for people to skim through quickly), and amplifies the benefits of your product – why a shopper should buy your product, over the competition.
This listing does a good job of what we’re talking about. The “about” section is clear, easy to read, and explains the benefits of each of the product’s features.
Increase sales velocity
Sales velocity is one of the best metrics to show popularity. Fast-selling products will always get a push from Amazon. Why wouldn’t they want to promote products that are making them a lot of money?
Whatever you can do to get more sales will almost always be good for your rankings as well. Especially if you can increase the velocity at which you’re getting sales. If Amazon sees you’re getting 2 sales, then 4 the next day, then 10 the next, then 15 the next, this is a really positive sign that your product is a hit with customers, and the algorithm will pick up on this and give you an extra little push.
So how to get more sales? This is the million-dollar question. A couple of super-effective ways are PPC and external traffic. Pumping money into (and properly optimizing) your PPC campaigns will give you a nice boost in sales, which will translate into a boost in rankings.
Along with PPC, you can use external traffic sources like Facebook and Google Ads to boost your sales. This is extremely beneficial because not only are you driving more sales to your product, you’re getting in front of some people that may not have been searching for it on Amazon. Thus widening your net of potential customers.
Both these methods for increasing sales have a bit of a cost involved, but the cost will pay for itself once you start ranking and make organic sales.
Get more positive reviews
The other vitally important part of showing popularity is your reviews. If a product is awesome, people will respond with awesome reviews.
If a product is not-so-awesome, it will either get bad reviews, or none at all.
As we already mentioned, Amazon’s search engine is designed to produce happy customers. Reviews are literally a customer saying whether they are happy or not, so it makes perfect sense that reviews would be an important part of the ranking algorithm.
So, if you get more reviews, especially positive reviews, you’re likely to see an uptick in rankings.
Reviews are notoriously hard to get, but there are a number of ways you can be proactive and ask for reviews from your customers. This includes:
- Product inserts
- Amazon autoresponders
- Amazon’s “request a review” button
- Early reviewer program
- Vine program
- Retargeting/paid ads to past customers
Don’t expect to get reviews from every customer. But even a small increase in the percentage of customers leaving reviews should be positive for your overall rankings.
Amazon is such a great platform to sell products on because their search engine lets you get in front of millions of potential buyers. But if you’re not ranking on the first page, very few of these shoppers will see your products.
By ensuring that you, and your product, does everything to leave Amazon customers happy, you can be confident that they’ll return the favor with positive rankings. To do this, focus on two things: relevance, and popularity. These two words are the secret to ranking on page 1 on Amazon.