SEO & Content Marketing

How to Improve Your Amazon Listing

Written by Ann Stanley on 27th October 2011

More and more people are buying and selling on the e-marketplace every day, so it’s useful to know how to get your product up there and selling.

Amazon, the world’s biggest retailer sells millions of items a year across the world so it is important to get selling on Amazon, the question to ask however is, how does Amazon decide where to rank your products?

The Amazon ranking algorithm can be a bit of a mine field. The calculation is based on sales and hourly updated sales figures (which reflect both recent and historical sales), and the keyphrases used in the search terms listed to direct to your product.

The hourly sales figures are calculated by considering the current ranking of the item and how many of these items have been sold in comparison to their competitors.  For example, a book which has sold 1000 copies in the last hour, compared to a book which has sold 100 copies, will have a higher ranking.

Another example is  if a book has been listed for a month and has sold 100 copies a day, is then listed with a book which has been on the site one day but sold 1000 copies, the newer book will overtake the old, because it has a higher rate of sales on that day.  Amazon reviews sales figures hourly or daily, depending on the current ranking of products and will move their placement of the product accordingly.

In reality, the system is somewhat more elaborate than they let on. On Amazon.com, their explanation of the system refers to users finding it ‘interesting’, Not enlightening or helpful, Perhaps a reflection of how the sales ranking should be viewed.

Below are 10 basic steps you can take to help boost your products rank:
1.   Use all the search terms you can for every product you put on the site.

2.   Use in depth product names, this will set your product apart from your competitors.

3.   Don’t recycle words in the search term field.

4.   Don’t use quotation marks in search terms, or bullets.  They’re invisible to Amazon’s search process, so it’s pointless.

5.   Use only relevant search terms. Don’t use a search term just because it will get your product shown.  If a user wants a pink bag and you advertise your black bag as pink, that’s being dishonest with the customer.

6.   Use genuine alternate spellings and synonyms.

7.  When entering several words as a search term, put them in the most logical order, for example the most useful search term at the beginning.

8.  Minimize use of abbreviations, people usually search for the full product name. Using abbreviated terms can make you look unprofessional.

9. Do not use misspellings as search terms. Amazon’s search engine compensates for common customer misspellings and also offers corrective suggestions.

10. When entering several words as a search term, you don’t need to use punctuation, the system is built to ignore punctuation, justuse spaces.
The deeper the optimisation and categorising goes, the more likely your product is to be found in Amazon results. The more categories you include the product to be classed under means that Amazon will have a wider search base for your product.

The Amazon algorithm already searches the words in the title, brand, designer, manufacturer, manufacturer number and standard product number so there is no need to repeat those in the listings.  Instead, think of all the different words a buyer might use to find your product, keyphrases should be as unique as possible.  The more unique and intelligent your description, the higher it is likely to be ranked.

If you sell Bluetooth hands free headsets, for instance, you will include that in the title. It is relevant to use the word hands free device or headset as a search term – you know what buyers want from the product, so tailor the phrases to match them.

By tailoring your search terms and product description in this way, it means your product is more likely to be found for a range of phrases which should reflect into sales!

If you’ve found this guide useful in helping with your Amazon listings then check out our other top tips.