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Amazon search rankings can be a complicated topic for brands of any size. It can be a frustrating process to make products in your catalog discoverable. In this post, we will cover information about Amazon’s A9 algorithm and how brands can better optimize. Continue reading to learn more about Amazon search rankings and why it matters.

What Drives Search Ranking on Amazon? 

When people search for products on Amazon and get pages of results in return, placements are determined by the A9 algorithm. The algorithm is always changing and becoming better in its ultimate goal of matching a shopper’s search terms to products they’re likely to buy. 

It’s crucial for brands to understand how to optimize their products for a better placement. This starts with having a good grasp of the unique nuances of the channel itself.

How is Amazon’s Search Engine Different Than Google’s?

Even with expert knowledge of Google SEO, there are fundamental differences on Amazon. 

First, because Amazon’s search engine is primarily used to find products, its search intent and algorithm focus is on delivering products that will convert visitors. Alternatively, Google and other major search engines are used to find answers or more information about a topic. Search intent for these search engines is focused on delivering the answers a person is seeking.

As a result, it’s important for brands on Amazon to focus on whether their products are a match for the search terms shoppers use to find them. 

Secondly, the different platforms qualify results as relevant differently. Amazon’s definition of relevancy is based on whether people buy the products shown to them in the results pages. In other words, buying behaviors like conversions and sales velocity are core drivers of Amazon’s A9 algorithm. On the other hand, Google only requires someone to click on a result to consider it as relevant. So, brands on Amazon need to ensure their products are optimized to convert.

Why Does it Matter? 

As mentioned earlier, people come to Amazon to search for products. The search bar is also the fundamental way in which products are found on Amazon. Therefore, to be discovered, it’s necessary to understand Amazon’s A9 algorithm or search ranking.

How to Improve Your Amazon Search Rankings  

Optimization is the key to meshing well with the A9 algorithm. Having the goal of making your products visible, relevant, and quick to convert is a good place to start. From there, use the tips below to improve your brand’s Amazon search ranking. 

  • Price

For brands using Seller Central (and therefore have control over a product’s retail price,) setting the price for the products in your catalog seems like a simple task. But, price holds more weight than whether a shopper thinks the item is worthy of the set amount of money. 

Do your due diligence and compare prices of similar products across Amazon within the same category. If your brand charges the most, performance and Amazon search ranking could plummet due to lower conversion rates.

  • Title 

A product’s title is an important factor in whether the A9 algorithm marks it as relevant. 

Put thought into titles to make sure they’re clear, concise, and strategically optimized. For instance, it’s helpful to put the most relevant keywords at the beginning of a product’s title so this information is easily visible on search result pages. It can also be beneficial to include your brand name and other details like color, size, and quantity. Having this information in your product title can significantly increase the chance of a clickthrough.

  • Images 

Visual marketing is essential to any brand’s Amazon strategy. Not only do they tell the story of a product, but they’re directly linked to how the A9 algorithm perceives a product. High-quality images and a diverse image library leads to a higher conversion rate.

On the Marketplace Strategy blog, we discuss the importance of images in-depth. For example, you can learn more about mobile ready hero images and how to differentiate your product library

  • Copy and Bullet Points 

The text within a product’s description and bullet points is arguably one of the most influential components of its SEO. All copy should be easy to skim so customers can find the information they need to make a purchase decision. Use the description and bullet points to explain the benefits and features of the product.

Within this copy, include relevant keywords to help tell a persuasive story. During the drafting process, be sure to do some competitive analysis. This way, you include more information than competitor listings. 

  • Backend Keywords 

Implementing backend keywords is one of the more technical aspects of setting products up for success. When optimizing within the back end of your account, keep these best practices in mind: 

  • Don’t repeat keywords
  • Avoid quotation marks 
  • Consider synonyms
  • Limit variations of the same word 
  • Use single or plural, no need for both 
  • No temporary statements, such as “new” or “on sale now”
  • Don’t add abusive or offensive terms
  • Don’t include your brand or other brand names

In Vendor Central, backend keywords are known as Subject Keywords, and technical analysts at Marketplace Strategy (MPS) work with Support by submitting a case to update these. They can be separated by either a comma or semicolon. 

If your brand operates within Seller Central, these backend keywords are referred to as Search Terms. To submit these manually, brands need to go into the Edit section of a specific ASIN. In this case, Search Terms are only separated by a space.

Mastering Amazon’s A9 algorithm and conquering your products’ search ranking can be a massive undertaking. It’s complex and requires in-depth knowledge. As always, we’re here to answer any questions. If you could use the support of a strategic partner, schedule a free consultation. We’re here to help. 

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