The Absolute Guide to Rank High on Amazon

Selling on Amazon gives you direct access to Amazon’s 110 million active shoppers around the globe. However, with thousands of products (and competitors) on Amazon, there should be a technique to learn to not only reach to the first page but to the top of the search results.

When a user comes on Amazon to make a purchase, the first thing he does is to enter a search term for the product he needs and then checkout with ultimate speed and minimal time. Well, Amazon didn’t patent the ‘one-click checkout’ for nothing! …But the point to be noted here is that this very step defines- which product will or will not be able to make it to the buy box.

 So doesn’t everything narrow down to your rank in the search results?

Absolutely!

And for this very reason we have compiled a list of 23 not to miss ingredients for you to cook a delectably high rank on Amazon. Enjoy the meal!

1. Title

Title is a decisive element when it comes to conversions. As per Amazon, you can add color, size, brand, product line etc in the title. What Amazon doesn’t tell you is the importance of the keywords you add in title, which is what the A9 algorithm gives max priority to.

Tips:

  • Let your titles describe your products well. Fill in as many keywords you require.
  • Place keywords at the right places (Yes, it matters!) but merge them neatly and make it look natural.
  • Skip the ‘commas’.

Many top listed products have titles with more than 200 characters. See the image below which is among the top results for ‘bluetooth beanie’ search term.

Tip: Make use of tools like Google Adwords and Google Trendz.

Or you can simply hire an Amazon SEO agency to find the most relevant keywords for you.

2. Product Images

For image size and quality strictly follow the Amazon image guidelines. Amazon advocates images larger than 1000X1000 pixels, which is necessary for the Zoom function to work. From the personal experiences of many buyers, it is frustrating when they roll over an image and it doesn’t zoom. This in turn enhances the chances of your listing being crushed by your competitor products. In fact (for some categories on) Amazon if the listing doesn’t have at least one images of the dimension 1000X1000, then the listing might go under the ‘suppressed listings’.

Use Product Image Optimization techniques to make the best first impression.

Tips:

  • Images must look professional; clicked on a white background.
  • The main image must include just the product, as large as possible. Without any text like, ‘100% Guarantee’, ‘FDA Approved’ etc.
  • Other images may include the front/rear look, size comparisons, specifications, benefits, product in use images etc.
  • Include pictures of all parts/add-ons to be enclosed within the package (like a manual).
  • Quality matters more than quantity. Though more images are encouraged, they won’t matter unless they are of good quality.
  • Keep image dimensions between 1000 – 1500 pixels.

 Refer to the product images of a Rice Cooker below. Click on the image to view the listing.

3. Bulleted Featured

Bulleted and keyword rich features are a must have for every product to sell and rank. It’s the best way to organize and highlight the key points that is why Amazon made the bullet list mandatory in Features.

As in the image below, the features must contain a bulleted list of all the information about the product like the material, size, wash instructions, usage etc. Add all the keywords you can while keeping it easy to read and understand.

4. Specifications

Specifications are often confused with features or functions. Specifications are actually technical (like ‘charging time’, ‘battery standby’, ‘frequency’ etc) and physical details (like ‘size’, ‘weight’, ‘color’ etc) about the product.

Tip: Keep them precise and to the point.

See in the image below, sub-headings are used for better structuring of the specifications.

For longer or detailed specs, you can attach a document, like the ‘Other Content’ and ‘User Guide’ in the image below.

5. Product Description

Product Description is basically the higher version of Features. It’s the part of your listing where Amazon gives you maximum freedom and puts minimum restrictions. If a buyer has reached the product description, of course he is serious to buy and for that reason you need to make the description a lot more engaging and convincing.

Tips:

  • Keep your buyer’s needs in mind while writing the description.
  • Don’t write an essay. Structure it well. Let it be a quick read.
  • Make ample use of bullets, images, captions, sub headings etc.
  • (Unlike Google) Keyword repetition isn’t required here.

See in the images below, the description has plenty of HD images, Sub Headings, Bulleted features, Captions etc.

(Click on the images to visit the actual product listing and see the complete description.)

6. Price

Price is one of the most influential factors of unit sales and ranking since it strongly influences a customer’s buying decision. Moreover, Price is the factor that Amazon takes into account while predicting Conversion rates and subsequently places those products in the buy box (which contains the glorious ‘Add to Cart’ button).

Thoroughly research the prices set by your competitors, as huge price difference between similar products will lead to sale of lower priced product only. And it seems fair enough on part of the buyers.

Tip: Set competitive price but don’t clamp into the price war. 

As you can see in the image above, showing top three results for the search term ‘vegetable slicer’, the price gap between the products is competitively set to be of just a few dollars.

7. Sales Rank

By now, everyone, and everybody is aware of the fact that more the sales, higher is the rank. Increase your sales by following the best practices and by using Amazon Marketing Services.

You must have gone through the Best Sellers List maintained by Amazon, if not, do so now. There have been certain steps taken by Amazon to add banners etc to highlight the ‘Best Sellers’ on product listing pages as well as on the search results pages. This is another great factor which manoeuvres a customer’s buying decision since a higher seller rank reflects the reliability of the seller.

8. Customer Reviews

Reading ‘Reviews’ is how buyers try to know about what they will get for what they are buying.

Positive Reviews are one of the most significant ranking factors in the A9 algorithm used by Amazon. Encourage reviews; you can do so even by sending emails (or similar means) to your target audience.

At the same time, negative reviews are bound to come at some point or the other. The best way to handle them is to act quickly.

Tips:

  • Be cordial in addressing negative reviews.
  • Apologize for inconvenience caused and try to assist the customer.

The following image depicts the (ideal) Customer Reviews for one of the best selling products.

9. Customer Questions And Answers

These Questions and Answers (Q&As) are the social proofs for the products. Though Amazon never affirmed its usage by the A9 algorithm, neither its relevance with ranking, they do make a difference on conversions.

The Q&As are listed on the top, on the listing page, right below the product title and hence is the importance of it. Like all the other parts of the listing, filling Q&As is also important. Leaving it might reflect on your apathy and callous attitude towards the buyers.

As you can see in the image above, the product has 1000+ answered questions and lists among the top result for the search term ‘rice cooker’. Here, please note that the ‘best’ number of question and answers depends from product to product. As a seller you must provide as many as you can for better results.

Tip: Keep the answers engaging and to the point. Make it brief but sufficient to answer the question well.                                                           
See the image given below to refer to the style of answering the question.

10. Variant (or Parent-Child) Products

Many sellers follow the annoying practice of listing variants (in terms of color, size etc) of a single product as different ones. Like a single shirt with different color options, listed as different shirts. These are known as parent-child or Variant products.

It is far better to make use of Amazon’s ‘Add Variation’ option than creating multiple listings due to which your reviews, Q&As etc get scattered. Creating variations is beneficial as Amazon too gives preference to products with multiple variants. Moreover, all your reviews etc get compiled on the same listing, hence giving you a higher review score and subsequently a higher sale and ranking.

Click here to read the Variation Relationships Overview, as provided by Amazon.

Click here to read the Steps for Creating Variations, as provided by Amazon.

11. Listing View Time & Bounce Rate

Amazon is smart. Very smart! Because it even measures the time spent by a user on your product listing page and the rate of purchases made to determine your seller rank.

The Listing View Time, as the name suggests is the time spent by a user on your product listing page. More the time a user spends on reading your product details (like description, specs, Q&As etc) the more is the chance, of him buying your product.

Bounce rate on the other hand is the rate at which a customer visits your product listing page but doesn’t buy it. If you understood the concept of Bounce Rate, you will realize that its value should be as low as possible. If you have a high bounce rate, don’t ignore it and take sufficient measures to reduce it.

12. Brand & Manufacturer

The name says it all!

The Brand or the Manufacturer name mirrors the guarantee of quality and class. Even if you are not a brand as huge as Apple, Nike or Michael Kors, your brand name still matters. It’s important because the Brand name which appears on the product listing page directly links your customer to a catalogue of all the products you have posted under your brand.

For example if a buyer has bought a juicer from Brand X and is happy with the product, he will probably search for brand X again when he needs to buy a vegetable slicer. This also highlights the need of Branding your business.

Another importance of having a brand name is that Amazon gives preference to Branded products in its search results. Thus you need it to stay on top.

Tip: NEVER leave the brand name empty. Even if you are not a registered brand yet, fill in your name in place of brand and keep it uniform throughout other product listings.

Manufacturer number (which sellers often ignore) must also be added in the listing. At many instances customers search a product by the manufacturer number. If you have filled in the manufacturer number you will get a chance to be in the search results for matching search.

13. Category & Sub-Category

Categorization of products is like a mapping your product to the destination of ‘Buy Box’.

The above statement is apt to make you realize the importance of selecting the right categories and sub categories for listing a product.

Most customers start their search through the categories, and once they have entered a category on Amazon, their further searches (through subcategories) will be limited to those. So, if you missed the perfect category for your product, you missed the buy box.

See in the image below, for a Face Powder product, further searches are limited to the ‘Beauty and Personal Care’ category and the sub categories are visible right above the name of the product.

14. Search Terms

Amazon provides you the option to fill in search terms relevant to your products.

You get five search term fields with fifty characters each. Make the most of them.

Tips:

  • Add every possible search term a user can fill for your product. Amazon algorithm is smart enough to pick words and phrases from the search terms you have entered.
  • Thus you also don’t need to repeat words.
  • Exclude commas and quotation marks.
  • Include synonyms and spelling variations.
  • Sequence of the search terms matter.

15. Keywords

Keywords are my favourite and the MOST INFLUENTIAL part for ranking high on Amazon.

Keywords are everywhere in your listing- up, down, left, right, sorry, I mean they are in your Product Title, Description, features, and where not. Keywords are the key factor on which the A9 searches and ranks your products.

I will not discuss further about keywords here as it has already been done in another blog post.

Click here for a detailed blog on the Power of Keywords on Amazon- A Success Blueprint.

16. Negative Seller Feedback

that in detail for you. Go to our blog post for Proven Tips for Handling Amazon Negative Reviews like a Pro for step by step handling and removal procedure.

17. FBA

You don’t need to do much here. Literally! Amazon will pick, pack and ship your orders for you.

Since it is Amazon’s own responsibility here, it will, very likely, give preference to FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) orders before the rest. Same with the seller ranks for those who are FBA listed. So you get an easy edge over the Merchant listed products in your niche.

18. Order Processing Speed

Customers are the foremost for Amazon and so are all their policies (customer centric). Thus, fairly enough, how a seller deals with the customers or lends services to them is also deliberated by Amazon while setting your seller rank.

Sellers who are quick and steady with processing and shipping orders are rewarded by Amazon with higher ranks.

19. In-Stock Rate

Losing customers for product not in stock is a big NO from Amazon. Keep sufficient stock of your products to earn and maintain a better rank. Without sufficient inventory the A9 algorithm will automatically ignore your product.

A lower in-stock rate, subsequently leads to higher returns and lower customer retention.

A9 will rightly punish you for it.

Tip: Manage and track your inventory well.

20. Perfect Order Percentage (POP)

It is a performance metric based on how the entire process goes. From placement of order, to delivery to the buyer, the smoother and quick the process is, the perfect is your order percentage. And since you served the customers well, Amazon will rank you high.

21. Order Defect Rate (ODR)

It’s just an antonym of POP in the dictionary of Amazon.

It is calculated by the number of problems flagged by the customer, like a negative feedback, your service charge back, A-Z claims etc, divided by the total number of orders in a given time period.

As per Amazon your ODR must be below 1% or else you can face suspension (for ODR slightly above 1%) and even termination (for ODR severely above 1%).

22. Exit Rate

Exit Rate is the rate at which a customer opens your listing and exits the Amazon in the next step. Yes, Amazon does take that into account.

 Tip: An above average exit rate is amounted to a low grade listing. Recheck and review your listings to improve them.

23. Completed Product Listing

It’s the crux of it all. Follow the steps and guidelines as discussed in this blog and complete the listings to the brim. This in itself is necessary to rank high.

For a quick-read version of this blog go to– ‘How to Increase your Amazon Product Sales in a Few Weeks’.

For any queries pertaining to this post or Amazon SEO Services feel free to contact us on info@amazonrankingexpert.com.

2 Comments

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