We've compiled the go-to list of surefire ways to get your listings ranking well on Amazon in 2022.
April 6, 2022
With so much competition on Amazon in 2022, it’s essential that your listings are ranking well and making the first page of search results. If customers aren’t seeing your product, there’s no way it’s going to generate profit.
This is largely dependent on how well your product takes advantage of Amazon’s A9 Algorithm (or at least, what we understand about it) with relevant copy, professional imagery, and well-designed listings. Let’s dig in.
Amazon Product Listing Optimization In 2022
Optimization is getting harder and harder. Search engines (including Amazon) don’t want businesses and individuals to understand everything about how they function - because the success of these platforms is dependent on users being directed to exactly the kind of product or information that they are organically looking for.
Users go to these platforms because they trust them to scour the web, sort through the available data and relevant keywords, and showcase the most relevant page or product to their search. To do this, all search engines use algorithms that scan through the entirety of a web page, including product images, text, metadata, included links, and more.
On Amazon, this algorithm is called the Amazon A9 Algorithm. As noted, we cannot know everything about how this algorithm works. Amazon will not reveal to us all the details. But we do know enough to inform our listing creation strategies.
This A9 Algorithm is AI-based and has the unique capability to learn from a given customer’s previous search history and shopping tendencies. Not only does this search engine rely on the SEO of product listings and the relevancy it has to the search terms at hand, but it also learns the specific behaviors of individual shoppers and adjusts search results accordingly.
This makes it incredibly important to optimize every portion of your Amazon listing, and understand your target audience. There is surely a science to marketing on Amazon, but it is a social science that mandates you study the niche in which you are selling and tailor your listings and advertising to that niche in a personal manner.
10 Factors That Affect Your Listing Optimization
While we cannot know every piece of the A9 Algorithm, we do know that there are a few key elements that affect this algorithm.
Amazon favors listings that offer multiple variations within the same product listing. You may be tempted to separate your variations into multiple listings - but this actually won’t help you. The more options that exist on the same product detail page, the more likely it is that a customer will purchase at least one of these items.
Variations can include color, size, number, scent, design, flavor, and more. Including more varieties does seem to increase ranking among products!
Amazon has an incredibly complex variety of product categories for its items. As an Amazon business owner, the trick is to label your item broadly enough that it isn’t stuck in an overly specific niche, but specific enough that it isn’t competing with too many products in an oversaturated category.
As a general rule of them, be as specific as you can while still being true to the purpose of your product when it comes to the category you place it in. Amazon favors posts such as these, as they are able to more accurately meet the needs of their shoppers.
- Pricing & Promotions
The pricing wars on Amazon are real! Amazon obviously has a vested interest in showcasing the cheapest available product of the best value to their customer. The goal is not to always have the least expensive listing, but rather to provide the best value for the customer’s dollar.
Sometimes this does require fighting for that lowest price if you’re selling something with many identical competitors. Most of the time, however, the goal is to simply ensure that your price is appropriate for the item being sold. You shouldn’t be an outlier.
Something that helps a lot here is offering promotions or coupons to your potential customers. Promotions are a great element when you are first starting out to increase your conversion rates, but they shouldn’t be used long term. These help you get your stats up and appeal to customers as you’re getting started. Be sure to use promotions at key times during the year, too, like Cyber Week and Amazon Prime Day.
- Conversion Rates
Amazon wants to promote products that sell, not just products that catch a customer’s eye. The conversion rate is essentially how many customers follow through with a purchase after visiting your product listing. If it is low, this tells Amazon that your product is not actually relevant or desirable for the given search term.
In addition to traditional conversion rates, Amazon looks at what is called Sales Velocity. This is determined by how many transactions you have made and the amount of sales profit you’ve generated. Sellers who sell more items and make more money do better in the search results as well.
This seems to be the backbone of the entire A9 structure. Your listing must include relevant keywords in the title, descriptions, bullet points, and backend data to ensure that when a customer searches for your item, they find it.
This requires keyword research and skilled writing to include these keywords within your listings in a way that sounds natural and engaging.
- Stock & Shipping Method
Items that are well-stocked rank better than those that don’t. Keeping up to date with your warehouse inventory is essential to ranking well - if you only have a few items left or are out of stock entirely, you won’t do well in the algorithm.
Similarly, your shipping reliability affects your search results. If you are using FBM (Fulfillment By Merchant), you automatically have a strike against you. Amazon favors sellers who make use of FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).
FBA leads to smoother inventory processing and faster shipping since you get to make use of Amazon’s 2-day (now 1-day) shipping and Amazon knows they can verify the results. Additionally, using FBA increases your odds of winning the Buy Box - which is critical to your success on Amazon.
Bad reviews or negative feedback can ruin a perfectly good listening otherwise. There’s really only one way to avoid bad reviews - sell a product you’re proud of, and be honest about what the customer is getting on the listing.
Informed customers are very rarely angry customers. Accurately and comprehensively describe and showcase your product within your listing in such a way that customers have few doubts about what they are getting and are more likely to leave positive reviews.
Do not buy reviews. This will negatively impact your Amazon vendor central account health as a whole.
You need professionally taken, high-resolution imagery in order to rank well on Amazon. This should include a variety. Every optimized listing needs at least one white background hero image, a collection of infographics that highlight the most essential parts of the product or a private label product, and lifestyle images that help the customer visualize themselves using the product.
Your photos and imagery need to abide by all of Amazon’s image requirements, and should honestly showcase your product. You are free to use 3D renders as well! Be sure that everything is top quality.
- Brand Legitimacy
You need to include the manufacturer or brand of your product when selling on Amazon. Not doing so will result in unlisted products. What will truly improve your legitimacy in the eyes of Amazon is registering your brand. Not only are sponsored brands more credible but registering your brand opens up many new doors of opportunity on your Amazon account.
In addition to accurate branding details, it helps to have a consistent brand identity across all your listings and your storefront. All of this will help you build trust with customers and ultimately, sell more items, therefore improvising your conversion rates and your algorithm success.
- A+ Content
A+ Content is a wonderful way to boost your conversion rates up to 10%! This form of content is only available to sponsored brands and helps to create those informed customers we mentioned earlier. This form of content is highly visual and allows you to fill your description with image-driven content that highlights the most important aspects of your product.
Including well-designed A+ Content is a surefire way to increase sales and get your product ranking better in the search results.
How To Optimize Your Amazon Listing From Top To Bottom
- Sell The Right Product
No amount of listing optimization can save a bad product. The first step to optimizing your listing is to start well before you are ready to sell. Find a product that solves a real problem people are facing in 2022, and that will be lucrative for you as a seller (cost and convenience of production come into play here).
- Perform Keyword Research
Once you have found a winning product that has an audience in the 2022 market, it’s important to perform professional keyword research surrounding this product. You’ll need to deduce what seed keywords (primary keywords) you’ll be using, as well as general keywords.
- Perform Market Research
Keyword research isn’t enough. You need to understand the customers you are reaching beyond just what they are searching for. Research the niche you are selling into! What color schemes do competitors use? What style of advertising and writing seems to work among this crowd? What interests are prevalent in your specific market niche? Do this work to help inform your listing design and marketing strategies.
- Craft A Perfect Title
Now that you’re done with the research phase, it’s time to get to work. Your product title ought to be at least 80 characters long, and ideally around 150 characters. The first five words may be most important in determining search results, so don’t beat around the bush.
Your product title needs to be filled with your seed keywords and key descriptions about your product (color, model, series, number, measurement, etc.). Be sure to capitalize the first letter of every word (but don’t capitalize the entire word - this looks spammy). You can separate thoughts in a title by using dashes or pipes (- or |) to break things up.
Many sellers create lengthy, frustrating titles that confuse their customers and don’t sound natural. They may be filled with keywords but they feel like someone just jammed a bunch of keywords into a title. Don’t be that person. Keywords are important, but so is sounding natural. Be sure to do both.
- Make A Great Description
Your product description is the best place to fill in keywords. This is where you’re convincing your customer to buy your product if you’ve already hooked them with a proper title.
A few things to keep in mind when making your description for the Amazon store:
- Provide clear, concise, and factual information. Don’t hyperbolize your offering. Simply highlight what the key product features are and what they can do for your customer in a way that is honest and attractive.
- Be grammatically correct. This includes spelling, tone, and capitalization (every sentence should begin with a capital letter). Separate your paragraphs.
- Use a native English speaker. Don’t allow your listing to look like text that just got pulled from Google Translate. Either use a professional translation team complete with a localization check or simply have your copy written by a native English speaker.
- Include any details you would want as a shopper. This includes the brand name, series, model number, color, size, compatibility, and more.
- Don’t be time-sensitive. You want your product to stay relevant. If you pin it into a certain time frame, you lose out on this relevancy in the long term.
- Don’t use weird symbols or include unnecessary information. This is not the place to put emojis, symbols, special characters, HTML tags, email addresses, web addresses, personal information, or shipping information. All of this makes your listing look unprofessional and hinders your optimization.
- Of course - optimize your description with those keywords you found.
- Use Quality Images
You need professional images for your listing. These images need to accurately and professionally showcase your product without misleading your customers or coming off as cheesy.
Your “hero” image should be a white background, a professionally taken image that shows your product in its best light. You can insert up to 9 photos, but you don’t have to fill all these spaces. Around 6 pictures seems to be ideal for most brands! This doesn’t include your Amazon A+ Content, if accessible to you.
Here are some tips for images:
- Get close-ups. You want your customers to be able to see your product clearly and in detail.
- Use professional photography and design. Don’t try to take your product photos with an iPhone. Ideally, all photos should be taken with a professional DSLR camera in a studio with proper lighting.
- Use infographics. These can help to showcase the information you might review in the details section, but in a more visual format that readers will more easily read.
- 3D renders are helpful. These allow you to showcase variations and produce lifestyle images conveniently.
- Don’t put watermarks on your image.
- Don’t include other products.
- Don’t overcomplicate it. The white background is essential for your hero image, and simple backgrounds or scenes are essential for everything else. Focus on one shot at a time - don’t get crazy.
- Don’t Overdo Your Features
Your product features section is where you’ll include important highlights about your product more concisely than your description.
Your product features section should have up to 5 bullet points and be short and to the point. Fill this space with keywords, yes, but also assume online shoppers rely on these pieces of information and want to get the information as quickly as possible here. Don’t drag on the conversation with needless information.
Continue to ensure this portion is free from grammatical errors and that every sentence starts with a capital letter. This portion is not the space for emotional writing. Don’t include emotionally charged language or punctuation. Don’t fill this space with irrelevant information or gimmicky terms. The features section is strictly business!
Use this section to highlight actual descriptors of your product and encourage your customer to buy it.
- Kindly Request Reviews
As mentioned earlier, you can’t do much about your product ratings on the back end of your Amazon seller central account. If you sell a bad product or mislead your customer, you can anticipate poor reviews. The best cure for bad reviews and poor ratings is preventative - sell something of quality, and be honest about what your customer is getting.
That being said, people do tend to be more forthcoming with reviews when they have a negative experience to share than when they have a positive one. You can remind customers to leave an honest review by participating in Amazon’s Request a Review or Amazon Reviewer Program, and by including product inserts in your packaging that gently and naturally ask for a review.
You may also need to request the removal of fake reviews or issues over which you have no control. Additionally, be sure to respond to messages promptly, answer customer questions, and address negative reviews with quality customer service. A negative review can quickly turn into a raving review if addressed correctly!
- Keep Learning & Updating
Most importantly, keep updating your listings and your strategies. Nothing in e-commerce is stable. As trends and times change, so do the algorithms upon which e-commerce is built. So keep learning, keep growing, and keep changing to account for these adjustments in the system. It’s the only way to ensure that you are optimized now, and stay optimized as you grow.
There is a lot that goes into Amazon product optimization in 2022. Some of this begins long before you post your listing on Amazon. A well-ranking product is a well-researched product! Some of this is dependent upon your keyword relevancy and understanding of what makes a quality listing. Do you need help building a listing that ranks well? Maybe Amazon product listing services? Our team at EcomHub can help you with everything from research to implementation. Check it out here - and let us know how we can help move your Amazon business forward!
Julia Grant is a copywriter specializing in e-commerce and small business, helping businesses expand their reach with copy that clearly communicates their message and converts. She is a certified translator and interpreter and prides herself on providing culturally relevant content in both English and Spanish.See more posts from this author