How does Amazon SEO work? Here’s a step-by-step guide with tips and examples for optimizing your product listings to connect with more customers.
Improve product visibility by optimizing listings to show up in searches on Amazon.com. We’ll cover essentials including:
- Why Amazon SEO matters
- How Amazon SEO works
- Optimize your Amazon listings in 7 steps
- 5 general Amazon SEO best practices
What is Amazon SEO and why does it matter?
Amazon search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing product listings to help them rank higher in product searches on Amazon.com. A few simple steps can improve listings for product search, boost sales, and help shoppers find your brand.
As an Amazon seller , you can use SEO tactics to:
- Drive more traffic to product listings
- Increase product and brand visibility
- Boost conversion rates and sales growth
Learn the lingo: conversion rate
A conversion is the result of a buyer taking action. The conversion rate is the percentage of potential buyers that complete a purchase out of the total number of visitors.
As more visitors buy products, conversion rate grows. Use conversion rate as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for measuring the impact of your SEO efforts.
How Amazon SEO works
1. Amazon search box
Shoppers can search for items by typing a term or phrase into the search box located at the top of the Amazon.com homepage. Online shoppers can use the Amazon search box to find products quickly with a drop-down menu of departments. Shoppers also have the option to type in general keywords. Amazon retrieves relevant results for the word or phrase, and the customer may refine the search to narrow down their search results.
2. Search filters
While searching for products, customers can use various filters to list search results in a specific order, including:
- Best Sellers (the most popular products based on sales)
- New arrivals or new releases
- Featured items
- Customer reviews
- Movers and Shakers (biggest gainers in sales rank over 24 hours)
- High or low price
- Digital content and devices
- Programs and features (such as Subscribe & Save, Small & Medium Businesses, and more)
3. Search results page
Factors that can help determine search results include:
- Product titles
- Product descriptions
- Optimized images
- Product features
- Competitive pricing
You can use SEO to improve each of these elements to boost your ranking in Amazon search results. Explore the rest of this article for details.
4. Sponsored Products
Sponsored Products are cost-per-click (CPC) ads sellers can use to promote individual product listings in Amazon stores and are available to sellers with a Professional seller account enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry. Ads appear within shopping results pages and on product detail pages.
Amazon will automatically generate and match ads to shopping queries. Sponsored Products can help you reach high-intent shoppers who are actively looking for products similar to ones you’ve listed.
Did you know?
The Listing Quality Dashboard is a tool in Seller Central that highlights select product information. The dashboard shows product listings that need improvement and provides recommendations on which product attributes you should provide.
5. Amazon sales rank
Amazon gives all sellers a rating based on seller performance measurements including account health, reviews, product price, and other factors. Generally, the higher you rank, the more selling potential you’ll have. Learn more about how sales rank works.
Optimize your Amazon listings in 7 steps
Think of SEO as a continual process to help you engage with Amazon’s 300 million customers.
Start by making optimization an ongoing part of your ecommerce business strategy. You can also focus your efforts on seven parts of a product listing:
- Product images
- Product titles
- Product pricing
- Product descriptions
- Key features (bullet points)
- Backend search keywords
Let’s dive into the details of how to improve each of these elements of a product listing from an SEO standpoint.
Step 1: Conduct keyword research
Compile a comprehensive list of keywords Keywords are the words and phrases people look for when searching for something online. Think about the products you offer and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What words or phrases will they type into the Amazon search box to find the products they want?
When you look at sales through this perspective, you’ll start to see patterns. How do customers find products like yours? To figure out what keywords to incorporate into your SEO strategy, give these ideas a try:
- Type a variety of words and phrases in the Amazon search box. Then, take a look at the drop-down suggestions, and start compiling a list of relevant keywords for similar listings.
- Use competitor results as a starting point for your own listings. Experiment with similar searches on Amazon.com to see what’s already out there. Then compare product search terms.
- Explore the Amazon suggested and related item categories for additional ideas.
- While compiling your list, think in terms of long-tail and short-tail keywords.
- Long-tail keywords are relatively specific. They typically have low search volume, low competition, and may have a higher conversion rate because the customer typically knows exactly what they are looking for.
- Short-tail keywords are broader searches that typically have high search volume and high competition. They may have lower conversion because the customer is browsing for different options.
- The auto-complete feature on the Amazon search box is a great way to find popular long-tail keywords related to your product.
Learn the lingo: long-tail and short-tail keywords
Short-tail keywords are generally broad search terms. They tend to have a higher search volume. For example, short-tail keywords in a product search could be “engagement rings,” “pillows,” or “yoga pants.”
Long-tail keywords are more complex, specific search phrases. Some examples could be “custom diamond gold engagement rings,” “all-natural foam pillows for side sleepers,” or “organic cotton black capri yoga pants.”
Both types of keywords are necessary as part of your SEO strategy. Customers typing in long-tail keywords are commonly looking for highly specific products. You can use long-tail keywords to capture these more precise purchases. Short-tail keywords can attract visibility to your brand, but it can also be challenging to rank for these less specific, more competitive terms.
Step 2: Optimize the product title
You only have a moment to catch a shopper’s attention. The product title (product name) is one of the primary fields used by Amazon and search engines to measure the relevance of a detail page as part of a customer search. There are a few things you can do to increase the chances of a customer clicking on a title:
- Your product title should match what would be on the physical packaging of your product.
- Pay attention to title length. We recommend approximately 60 characters long and fewer than 80 characters. Longer titles are also harder to read than shorter titles, so the longer your title is, the more you risk losing a customer’s attention.
- Pay attention to the different title lengths along with preferred title styles for listings in each product category.
- Do not use all caps. Capitalize the first letter of each word except for prepositions (in, on, over, with), conjunctions (and, or, for), or articles (the, a, an).
- Begin a title with the product’s brand name in addition to ensuring the brand name field is populated.
- Use numerals: “2" instead of “two.”
- Don’t use non-language ASCII characters such as Æ, ©, or ®.
- Titles should contain the minimal information needed to identify the item and nothing more.
- Don’t use subjective commentary, such as “Hot Item” or “Best Seller”.
- Titles can include necessary punctuation, like hyphens (-), forward slashes (/), commas (,), ampersands (&), and periods (.).
- Titles can abbreviate measurements, such as “cm”, “oz”, “in”, and “kg”.
In general, review product title requirements and be sure to follow the criteria to show up in relevant searches and avoid search suppression.
Step 3: optimize product descriptions
Use detailed information about product features and product usage in high-quality product descriptions to help customers find, evaluate, and purchase products. You can also highlight specific product information not located elsewhere in the listing.
Here are a few more tips for creating high-quality product descriptions:
- Include brand names.
- Include sizes, such as shoe size.
- Include material type, such as canvas for a backpack.
- Mention relevant details such as colors, packaging, and quantity.
In general, keep in mind the best practices for listing quality and check the product listing guidelines for specific policies, rules, and restrictions. You should also make a careful assessment of your product before specifying its condition. Be sure to review the condition guidelines for unacceptable and prohibited items.
Seller tip: use the brand field While the brand is often contained in the title, description, and bullet points, you should also include it in the brand field. If customers filter by brand and your listing is missing the brand designation—even if it is included in the description—the customers may never find your listing.
Learn more about using product descriptions to boost product discoverability.
Watch: How to optimize your Amazon detail page
Use A+ Content
A+ Content (formerly Enhanced Brand Content) enables brands to describe product features in new ways by including a unique brand story, enhanced images, and text placements which may result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales when used effectively.
Use the Manage Your Experiments Tool
Optimizing your content with the Manage Your Experiments Tool can help to drive an additional $15K in yearly sales, on average. Compare different product images, titles, and A+ Content to figure out what content performs better. Run A/B tests to see what content drives more sales.
Watch: Run A/B tests on your content
Learn the lingo: A/B testing
A/B tests (also known as split tests) let you compare two versions of content so you can see which performs better. You can use A/B testing to learn how to build better content that appeals to your customers and helps to drive more sales.
Learn more: Experiment with A/B testing
Step 4: optimize product key features
Key features (bullet points) also factor into the relevance of a detail page as part of a customer search. Well-written bullet points will naturally contain keywords, but the first priority should be to communicate clearly and help customers make a buying decision. One approach is to start a bullet point with a feature and then state the benefits of that feature.
Clear and concise bullet points are best. Use the following guidelines as you craft your bullet points:
- Include up to five bullet points for each product.
- Keep your bullet points under 1,000 characters in total (for all five bullets, not per bullet). This guideline improves readability. Bullet points are not always indexed by Amazon Search, but always appear in full on product detail pages.
- Highlight the five key features you want customers to consider, such as dimensions, age appropriateness, ideal conditions for the product, skill level, contents, country of origin, and so on.
- Maintain a consistent order. If your first bullet point is country of origin, keep that same order for all products.
- Reinforce important information from the title and description.
- Begin each bullet point with a capital letter.
- Write with sentence fragments and do not include ending punctuation.
- Do not include promotional and pricing information.
- Be sure to follow all product detail page rules and policies.
Product key features examples
Here’s an example of a basic bulleted list that follows the guidelines in describing a set of rain gear:
- Drawstring-adjustable hood and snap-adjustable cuffs to keep you dry
- Roomy, comfortable fit suitable for any season
- 100% waterproof for rainy weather protection
- Breathable to keep you cool in the dampest conditions
- Available in khaki, yellow, or green colors
Besides these general guidelines, each category has a templated guideline. To learn more, download the style guide for your category from the downloadable file template table on the inventory templates for product categories page (Seller Central login required).
Seller tip: why are bullet points important?
Bullet points help you sell the key features and benefits of your product. Customers rely on them to understand key product features as they highlight important or distinguishing characteristics about a product. Bullet points enhance the customer experience: Testing shows well-crafted bullet points increase sales.
Step 5: optimize product images
Quality images help customers visually evaluate and compare key features. Multiple images enable them to see the product from different angles and can persuade a customer to choose one search result over another. Effective product images stimulate a customer’s imagination and inspire them to make a purchase.
Images should show the product in use, show various angles, and highlight different features.
Here are a few more factors to keep in mind with photos:
- Every detail page requires at least one product image. Six images and one video is ideal.
- Images should be clear, informative, and attractive.
- Images should have a white background and fill at least 85% of the image space.
- Use 500 x 500 or 1000 x 1,000 pixels to increase listing quality.
Evaluate your image quality based on these guidelines:
- The image matches the product description in size, color, and accuracy.
- The product is recognizable.
- The image is a photo and not a drawing.
- The photo is taken at a flattering angle.
- The product is focused and well-lit.
- Close-up shots are not obscured by highlights or shadows.
- The entire product is depicted in the image.
- Backgrounds are simple and clean so as not to distract from the product.
- Provide as many different images as possible. Many product categories allow for the inclusion of swatch images and alternate images.
Additionally, be sure to follow all site standards and product image requirements. Photos you upload should also meet technical file requirements. If you run into problems, check image issues and image troubleshooting.
If you create your own images, you may find our self-service imaging products and photography videos useful.
If you sell clothing, download the Image Style Guide to check requirements across product categories, learn the dos and don’ts, and see examples.
Pro tip: Optimize images on the Amazon Seller App
You can optimize photos with the Amazon Seller App for your Amazon listing photography. Access the photo capture and edit feature when you update listing photos or from the Product Photo Studio option in the upper left dropdown menu. The feature offers automatic and manual adjustment of image exposure/brightness, cropping, and turning the background white.
See Amazon portable photo studio tools and products here.
Watch: How to optimize photos using the Amazon Seller app
Step 6: optimize product Search Terms
Search Terms are backend keywords that allow you to create engaging and readable content for a product page, while still ensuring that Amazon indexes all keywords relevant to the product. Shoppers do not see these keywords, so by adding them on the “backend” of product listings, you further enhance the discoverability of products.
Tips for optimizing your Search Terms:
- Only include generic words
- Include synonyms, abbreviations, and alternative names for a product.
- Stay under the length limit. You have less than 250 bytes, so minimize unnecessary characters. Spaces and punctuation don’t count. Learn more about keyword attributes, limits, and options.
- When entering phrases, type them in a logical order of search.
- Include spelling variations if applicable, but don’t deliberately include common misspellings.
- Include abbreviations and alternate names.
- You can use all lowercase letters.
- You don’t need any punctuation, so skip hyphens (-), colons (:), and so forth.
- Separate words with spaces only.
- Don’t repeat words within the Search Terms field.
- No need for stop words such as “a,” “an,” “and,” “by,” “for,” “of,” “the,” “with,” and so on.
- Use singular or plural, no need for both.
Get to know Amazon’s Search Terms best practices and avoid prohibited Search Terms.
How to add Search Terms through your Amazon Seller Central account:
- Log in to your Amazon seller central account.
- Under Inventory, go to Manage Inventory.
- Find the listing where you want to add backend keywords and click Edit.
- Select the Keywords tab.
- Enter your keyword in the Search Terms field and save.
Pro tip: use the Amazon Search Terms Report
The Amazon Search Terms report is a benefit to sellers who own a brand. This report shows brand owners how customers (in aggregate) find branded products and competitor products in Amazon stores. It shows the most popular search terms during a given time period, each term’s search frequency rank, and the top three products aggregate customers clicked on after searching that term.
Learn more: Access the Amazon Search Terms Report
Step 7: optimize product price
The price of products can influence conversion rates and sales growth. To price products competitively, research the competition and make adjustments to develop a compelling price point within your niche.
Did you know you can automatically adjust your product prices? Automate Pricing allows you to automatically adjust prices on SKUs in your catalog in response to events such as the Featured Offer price, without having to revisit the SKU every time you want to change your price.
Watch: Intro to Automate Pricing
Here are some ways you can optimize product prices:
Consider shipping costs
Offering free shipping can significantly increase sales. In particular, think about inexpensive items. For example, a $5 shipping charge on $5-10 worth of merchandise is not very enticing and may cause a customer to pass on your offer.
Clearly communicate your shipping policy, including charges and delivery times. Use the Your Info & Policies page to add to the information you provide in your Shipping Settings.
The Compare Prices Off Amazon feature, available when you create a Competitive Buy Box rule or a Competitive Lower Price rule, allows you to automatically match the Competitive Price and increase your chance of being featured in the Buy Box.
Try A/B testing with price points
You can run A/B tests (also known as split tests) on price points to see whether offering products at different prices can make a difference in sales. Try A/B testing with prices.
Keep track of your ranking
Track your product ranking on the Brand Dashboard and manage product reviews. Positive reviews improve your search ranking. Follow best practices to maintain positive feedback and ratings.
Learn more about pricing definitions and pricing items
Pro tip: lean into Brand Analytics
Make informed and strategic decisions with aggregated search terms and search term reports with Amazon Brand Analytics. This feature can also help you measure the impact of advertising campaigns, demographics, and other powerful data.
Watch now: How Amazon Brand Analytics works
5 general Amazon SEO best practices
1. Don’t repeat keywords.
- Focus on providing a positive customer experience. Write naturally and focus on giving customers the information they need to make a purchase decision.
- Keyword repetition (also known as keyword stuffing) can be counterproductive and work against you.
Learn the lingo: keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing is when you use the same keywords again and again in your content. While at one time it was an acceptable SEO practice, it created a poor user experience because it made it difficult for customers to find the products they were looking for. Keyword stuffing is bad SEO practice and can now can incur penalties and a loss of potential customers.
2. Focus sales copy on the customer.
- Answer previous seller questions and product inquiries on your product page.
- Try to anticipate and focus on what your customer would want to know about a product, as opposed to what you want to say about the product.
3. Help improve your rankings.
- Offer faster delivery speeds.
- Use A+ Content by enrolling in Brand Registry.
- Become an Amazon Prime seller, included when you enroll in FBA, to qualify for the Prime badge and fast, free shipping. This can help draw in customers who regularly search for products exclusively with the Prime badge.
4. Use these basic style tips for listings:
- Be descriptive, but clear and concise.
- Be persuasive, but not pushy or gimmicky.
- Be accurate and truthful about product condition and quality.
- Avoid making exaggerated or subjective claims.
5. Download the Amazon Quick Start Seller Style Guide
Create excellent product detail pages by following guidance on things to avoid and consistent formatting for:
- Title, capitalizations, and numerals.
- Brand names, trademarks, and symbols.
- Dos and don’ts for key feature (bullet point) details.
- What to include and not include on product descriptions.
- Additional image tips and how to avoid a quality alert on your listing.
By improving your Amazon SEO game, you can help drive product visibility, improve the customer journey, increase your chances of connecting with more customers, and boost sales.
What is Amazon SEO?
When a buyer searches on Amazon, you want your listings to be highly visible in those results. Amazon search engine optimization (SEO) is a way of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to product listings through organic search results.
By working to improve SEO, you can connect with more customers, drive more traffic to product listings, boost product visibility, gain higher conversion rates, move up in search rankings, and grow sales.
How do you increase your Amazon ranking?
There are various ways to increase your Amazon ranking. By maintaining Amazon standards, you are in a better position to connect with potential buyers. Generally, the higher you rank, the more selling potential you’ll have.
Additional ways to increase rankings include:
- Optimize your product listing, including title, product descriptions, key features, images, and pricing.
- Positive reviews improve your search ranking. Follow best practices to maintain positive feedback and ratings.
- Offer faster delivery speeds.
- Use A+ Content by enrolling in Brand Registry.
- Become an Amazon Prime seller, included when you enroll in FBA. Many Amazon customers look for products with the Prime badge because it indicates fast, free shipping.
- Track your product ranking on the Brand Dashboard and manage product reviews.
- Use Amazon Selling Coach to help increase your selling success.
Explore the rest of this article for further information on how to improve your ranking on Amazon.
What is the Amazon SERP?
SERP stands for “search engine results page.” The Amazon SERP shows results to shoppers after they complete a product search on Amazon.com. To help boost product rankings on the SERP, optimize your Amazon product listings. Check out the rest of this article for ways to improve product rankings with search engine optimization (SEO).
What are some Amazon SEO tools?
Amazon offers many tools to help sellers build and grow their businesses on Amazon.com. Here’s a shortlist of tools to help with SEO:
- A+ Content (formerly Enhanced Brand Content) enables you to describe product features in new ways by including a unique brand story, enhanced images, and text placements which can result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales when used effectively.
- The Listing Quality Dashboard is a tool on Seller Central that highlights important product information for customers, shows you product listings that need improvement, and provides recommendations on which product attributes you should provide.
- The Manage Your Experiments tool allows you to experiment with your product images, titles, and A+ Content to figure out which content performs better. Run experiments like A/B testing to see what content drives more sales.
- Tools to add high-quality images to listings. Watch: How to optimize photos with the Amazon Seller app
- Amazon-approved third-party apps and services through the Seller Central Partner Network to help with tracking performance, reporting tools, customer metrics, and more.
- Seller University offers educational resources and tools to learn and grow as an Amazon selling partner.
- Turn to Amazon Selling Coach to help increase your selling success.
Explore the rest of this article for more tips and tools to improve your Amazon listings with SEO.
What is Amazon’s Featured Offer? And how does it work?
The Amazon Featured Offer (formerly Buy Box) is an offer for new products displayed on a product detail page with an Add to Cart button.
Your offers are eligible for the Featured Offer if you have a Professional seller account. Check your current account type and upgrade to Professional if you don’t have one already. To learn more, see Becoming the Featured Offer.
If several sellers offer the same product in New condition, they may competitively qualify for the Featured Offer and the Other Sellers on Amazon box for that product.