The main distinction between a product that sells well on Amazon and one that doesn’t can be measured by answering a simple question: How easy is it to find? Best-selling products will be found in a variety of searches, even those without specific keywords. While being a best seller is the easiest way to increase your ranking, you can also ensure that every sale you make has more potency and impact when it comes to where your product ranks. You’ll find a lot of Amazon ranking techniques online, but we’ve narrowed the best ones down right here.
There are a few factors that impact the ranking of your product for a certain search term:
Getting indexed on the search term
Getting advertising sales on that search term
Getting organic sales on that search term
The key to maximizing your product’s potential is being aware of all the options you have and taking as much advantage of as many of them as you can. Remember, you want to make your products easier to find, which can mean a lot of different things.
Product is key, before and after the purchase
Having the right product is a very obvious prerequisite for any kind of worthwhile endeavor on Amazon.
The product itself needs to not only be an answer to the question that is “asked” by a customer search, but a good answer as well. The customer needs to think that they are making a good decision by buying your product. Also, very importantly, their expectations need to be met after they make the purchase. One of the worst things for your ranking, as well as your account’s health, are returns. So if you expect your sales to grow and your ranks to go up, make sure that what you are selling is indeed worth buying.
Listing optimization and indexing
Indexing on Amazon is a lot like indexing books in a library. If you walk into a library and ask the librarian for books on the life of George Washington, the librarian can point you in the direction where you will find books on U.S. history, biographies, etc. They can also tell you a few specific titles that you may be interested in.
It works the same way with your listing. It’s going to be somewhere in Amazon’s library, but if it doesn’t have the right labels or keywords it will not be what’s recommended. It may show up intermittently in your category, but to ensure it shows up exactly where it needs to be you need to optimize it for that purpose.
The point is that it’s imperative to include as many relevant keywords in your listing that signal Amazon’s A9 algorithm that your product is a viable answer to the search the customer makes. This is where we need to make a clear distinction between a keyword and a search term.
A search term is a word or a phrase that a customer types in the Amazon search bar as they are looking for a product to buy.
A keyword is a word or a phrase that you as a seller are using either in your listing or your PPC campaign that is aimed at matching the search terms used by your potential customers.
The important thing to note when it comes to listings is that they not only serve as a means of catering to the A9 algorithm, but they also represent a valuable space in which you can present your product and its features to your potential customers. In fact it’s the only space you’ve got.
There is an unwritten rule that can sort of rank the sections of your listing in terms of potency when it comes to indexing and ranking. Some parts of the listing copy have more bearing on the indexing itself and that is juxtaposed with the “presentation” effect of any section that it has on potential customers. The balance between catering to the 2 goes like this:
Title – the most potent, primary focus should be on keywords, the most relevant and high volume ones.
Backend – 100% focus on keywords since it’s not visible to the customers
Bulletins– a balance between keywords and presentation, aim for a 50-50 approach;.
Description – very little bearing on indexing, primary focus should be on relaying important information about the product and including keywords if you can.
You can use your images to be 100% focused on your product with features and lifestyle shots. You can even include an infographic, which can go a long way when it comes to showing the customer they are making a wise purchase.
Hint: Shoppers tend to focus heavily on images for credibility, so you can be a little more “greedy” when it comes to how many keywords you put into your listing copy.
When it comes to indexing, your goal is to be indexed for as many keywords as possible. You can crosscheck indexing on a keyword by simply typing your ASIN in the search bar, along with the keyword you’re hoping to be indexed on.
Let’s see an example of this pair of gloves:
If we type in the ASIN and the keyword “gloves,” this is what we see:
And if we try the same thing with an unrelated product, like a knife, we get this:
You can use software to make sure you’re indexed. However, if a keyword is relevant to the category, you can almost be certain that you’re indexed for it.
When it comes to including actual keywords in your listing copies, however, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
Use short tailed keywords – Short-tailed keywords are the ones containing just a word or two. They are the type of keywords that can lead to indexing on many other long-tailed keywords that include that phrase. Let’s use an example of the product we used before:, the short-tailed keyword is touchscreen gloves, and here is a list of only some of the keywords that this product is indexed on that include that short-tailed keyword:
Don’t repeat keywords – There is no correlation between ranking and how many times a keyword appears in a listing copy. You are bound to have some repetition of the most important short-tailed keyword, oftentimes in order for your copy to make sense. This is fine, but just try and keep it to a minimum. Your listing copy is an important and more importantly limited space, so make sure you use it to its full potential.
Use your backend for keywords that wouldn’t make sense in your listing – The backend limits you to 250 characters exactly, and it is not visible to anyone observing the listing. This is a great place to use keywords, such as brand names of your competitors or even mis-spellings of your most relevant keywords. Include anything that you believe would be of use to you that would be out of place or even harmful if you included it in your visible listing copy.
PPC and Organic Ranking
You may think you’re only limited to 20-40 keywords in your listing … but let’s take a look at exactly how many keywords are used with the previously indexed pair of gloves:
You can hardly fit in 9,500 keywords in a listing, right? This is why we use PPC to expand our reach and exposure. Keep in mind that there are 9,500 places where you can find this pair of gloves. So, once you manage to index your listing on those relevant keywords, if you type in that search term and scroll down from page to page, you will eventually find your product.
The point is that indexing is a prerequisite for organic ranking and you go up in ranking by making sales.
It’s important to understand what Amazon needs and how it aligns with your interests. Amazon wants sales. You want sales. They want it to be easy for people to find what they are looking for and make a purchase. This means they will push products that increase the probability of a purchase happening.
So, when you run a PPC campaign, your products will show at the top of the search. It makes no difference to Amazon, or the A9 algorithm, if that sale comes organically or via advertising … so your organic ranking moves up.
Keep in mind the vast differences when it comes to individual keywords. For example, it might take you only a week to get to the top of Page 1 if you only have a few dozen competing products against you. When it comes to raising your organic rank and indexing using PPC, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
Make sure you have your most relevant keywords in your listing and your PPC. – This should be easy to do based on everything laid out so far. Being indexed on a keyword + targeting the keyword with PPC + actually getting sales on it = higher organic ranking.
Make sure you run campaigns using the phrase and broad match type using your most relevant keywords – This is how a listing gets indexed on thousands of keywords. Any phrase or broad search for some of your main short-tailed keywords would be searches that contain the keywords, meaning you can get ranked on those specific long-tailed targets.
Adjust your campaigns and your listings when necessary – Depending on what sort of data you are getting from your PPC campaigns, you should make adjustments to your listing that can help it rank higher and index on more keywords. For example, if you discover new keywords that are not in your listing and are bringing in sales, include them in the listing. Similarly, if some keywords are not working out you can remove them and put in those that you discovered or others that are not included and are working well.
Even inefficient PPC leads to organic ranking – Even if you have high ACOS on some campaigns, or some specific keywords, those will eventually lead to organic rankings and more organic sales. The key is to pay close attention to how many of your overall sales come from organic sales and how many from sales you’ve gotten through advertising. You can never isolate how many organic sales came from a specific keyword, but you can have a general idea.
Coupon promotions and organic sales
Coupons are a great tool for boosting pretty much all of the exposure your listing is getting. They are also very versatile and customizable. Here’s an example:
The great thing about these coupons is that you have this little sticker when you come up in search results. It will be displayed anywhere your listing is, both ads or organic positions.
You can easily set up a coupon promotion by simply going to ADVERTISING> Coupons > Create a new Coupon. When it comes to setting up a coupon, you have several settings you can customize:
Choosing a product – You can add up to 50 ASINs to a coupon campaign, or you can be as specific as to choose one of the variations of your listing. It all depends what you are hoping to boost and why. For the purposes of ranking up, simply choose the products you want to rank up, it’s that simple.
Money off or percentage off – You can choose whether you would like a fixed sum ($10) or a percentage (20%). The conventional principles of marketing would say to display whichever would look more alluring to a consumer. For example, $80 off a $400 product catches someone’s eye more than 20% off—following this logic, 20% off a $20 item looks better than $4 off.
Number of redemptions per customer – You can choose between allowing only a single redemption per customer or unlimited redemptions (within the limited number based on the budget). Keep in mind, since Amazon has cracked down on people boosting ranks by making sales from one source, it won’t help your rankings.
The budget – Budgets for coupons work unusually. Your total budget is basically the amount you’re giving off your product price plus the$0.6 dollars redemption fee that Amazon charges you. Also, the minimum budget is $100. The maximum number of redemptions you are expected to get is a simple calculation:
budget/(the amount off + $0.6)
So if you are running a $5 off on a $20 product and your budget is $100 dollars the maximum number of redemptions you can get is 17.
$100 /($5+$0.6)= 17.8
Coupon title – Next to your coupon you are allowed an 80-character phrase. Phrases like, “limited time offer” or “until Christmas” can increase your odds of converting it to a sale.
Target customers – This is an option that allows your coupon to be available to only Amazon Prime, Student or Family members – or to all of these.
Start and end date – You can set up the coupon in advance and target specific dates like holidays, or simply limit it to a period of a certain number of days, whichever suits your purpose. Keep in mind that you can shut off a promotion campaign at any time.
Coupons are a great tool for “revitalizing” your efforts to rank and index listings on Amazon. Also, they are a great tool for experimentation.
You can run multiple coupon promotions with different settings and compare the results, or use them to possibly revise your pricing strategy. Some sellers actually have a coupon promotion on some of their products constantly, because that little coupon badge helps draw more attention to your listing. For some it pays off to always have it on, even for a minimal discount. Running coupons can help you learn more about your product and how to better cater to your customers. The key thing is getting sales, so even if you are not breaking even on a sale with a coupon, making sales leads to higher organic rankings in general, which leads to more organic sales.
In Conclusion: Amazon Ranking Techniques
In order to increase your product’s ranking, you need to make sure you have all your relevant keywords contained in your listing copy and that you are indexed on those relevant keywords.
Once you are indexed, you can start climbing up in organic ranking by using Pay Per Click ads. You can also massively expand the number of keywords you are indexed on and your overall exposure by using broader match types and auto campaigns.
You can also further increase the potency of both your organic and advertised presence with coupon promotions that will make your product a more attractive prospect which will result in even higher organic ranking.
While you can track your ranking and indexing using software, the best way to see if it works is the number of organic sales you get over a specific period of time. This is a very important performance indicator for your account and should be monitored on a regular basis.
All sellers want to get to Page 1 in their most important keywords/search terms, but the reality is that it won’t happen in a day. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can come close.