But why would you want Amazon to take half of your profits as a seller on their platform? Also, how do you win in the hyper-competitive world of Amazon? Below, we will help guide you through the steps you need to take to remain competitive on this platform.
Why Sell on Amazon?
Stats tell us that almost 90% of buyers are more likely to buy products from Amazon over other eCommerce websites. Given that Amazon owns more than 50% of the entire eCommerce marketplace, there is ample opportunity.
Amazon commands a level of trust that other eCommerce platforms struggle to maintain. A big fear for many consumers regarding eCommerce is the quality and accuracy of the products they shop for.
Amazon also has over 200 million Prime members, making it one of the most subscribed-to services globally. Sellers who take advantage of their FBA platform can operate as individuals, leaving a good portion of logistics and warehousing to Amazon.
Amazon has leveled the playing field of eCommerce by providing a platform where almost anyone can be an eCommerce marketing professional. But to do this, you need to have a decent understanding of how Amazon selects its top performers.
Given recent updates, this means you need to know about the Amazon A10 Algorithm.
How Does the Amazon A10 Algorithm Work?
While Amazon has made no official announcement, there are many signs that they have made several updates over the past year. These updates are part of the A10 algorithm. These algorithm updates seek to make the customer experience better.
The A10 algorithm does this by focusing on the most compelling product offering. So optimizing your product listing to meet the complete needs of your primary, long-tail keyword is a high priority. I will revisit that topic in more detail a bit later.
Other areas that impact your sales rank under A10 include the following:
- Off-site Traffic – Amazon is putting a much higher emphasis on off-site traffic. The more people you bring in from social media or your website, your listing becomes stronger.
- Organic Sales – Amazon gives no bonus to those who make sales through PPC. Instead, organic sales are a strong indicator of an organic listing. While PPC sales give your customer reviews (which still boosts your potential), organic sales are vital for Amazon.
- Authority – The longer you’ve been selling on Amazon, the higher your potential ranking. Amazon measures this against quality and consistency (sales history) to determine your ranking.
- Performance Metrics – Amazon will emphasize sellers with high on-time shipping rates, low order defect rates, and high customer satisfaction. It’s best to highlight the basics of selling online products.
High customer reviews and performance metrics are not new tracking features from Amazon, but they are still just as important. While PPC sales can help (and you should still use them), Amazon is putting less of an emphasis.
This means you should ideally include third-party advertising like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Diversifying your sales channels enables you to be stronger in the face of increasing competition.
Different Method of Keyword Research
A big part of getting organic sales is understanding what keywords work for you. Understanding buyers’ intent is crucial when deciding on your chosen keywords.
Meeting buyer’s intent means you have a relevant keyword that meets your customer’s needs. Much of this comes from placing your primary keyword in the title and product description, resulting in enhanced content.
To do this, you need to limit your primary keyword search to five or six words. These are known as long-tail keywords, enabling you to describe a product in as few words as possible succinctly.
Meanwhile, they are long enough that you can meet numerous customer needs in your title or product description. Long-tail keywords are also low-competition, enabling new sellers to target them more easily.
Below are some of the most effective methods of finding current keywords with long-term strength:
1. Google Trends and Keyword Planner
Google is the number one search engine globally, providing excellent opportunities to people who know how to use them. Using historical data tracking through Google Trends and Keyword Planner, you can better understand what trends have staying power.
This starts by playing with a few potential keywords on your list. Google Trends will provide you with long-term information on how the keyword’s popularity has changed. With this, you can eliminate “fad keywords” that fluctuate to zero often.
Keyword Planner supplements this data by providing you information on how much you need to pay to advertise on it. The “pay-per-click” ratings being high typically means it is a high-competitiveness keyword. As a new seller, you should avoid these keywords (unless you have the budget and company size to overcome them).
2. Amazon Seller Central Advertising Tools
Amazon seller central has built-in advertising tools to tell you the number of searches and CPC (cost per click). Both of these give you a good idea of potential sales and competitiveness.
The problem with these internal tools is that they do not include historical data. So supplementing them with outside tools is necessary for this data to have long-term use.
3. Amazon Keyword Search Tools
When selling on Amazon, it is important to choose profitable products. This is why it is important to utilize third-party tools to track potential profits for you.
One such example includes AMZScout’s keyword research tool and Reverse ASIN Lookup tool. Tools like this use competitive data to determine potential sales.
Through that, you can define whether you can overtake a product listing based on competition. These tools typically collect much of the critical data not usually available for you. This information can enable you to decide upon potential product targets quickly.
What to Optimize and How You Need To Do It
Product optimization includes six areas of emphasis:
- High-quality images
- Usage of backend keywords
- Proper placement of long-tail keywords
- Engaging product descriptions
- Compelling titles
- Getting positive customer reviews
Two of your highest priorities among this list should be images and titles:
Product titles should always include your primary keyword at the beginning. This enables Amazon’s search engine to identify your product quickly.
High-quality images assist in this, with your main image needing a professional photo with a pure, white background. Additional photos should include real-life use, allowing the customer to see themselves using it.
An Example of How This Works
An engaging product listing is how you gain customers. For a great example, take a look at the UnbuckleMe car seat product listing. The target keyword starts with the brand and quickly leads to the primary keyword: “Car Seat Buckle Release Tool.”
With this optimization effort, the listing has increased its sales rank by 113%. This growth also came from providing compelling reasons in its product description, gaining numerous positive customer reviews, and providing images of the product in use and explained to alleviate confusion.
The company most likely has its secondary keywords listed in the backend section of Seller Central. This enables sellers to catch an audience from less popular keywords.
Getting Positive Customer Reviews
To gain that first positive review, encourage customers to make it using product inserts. Amazon has strict rules against asking for positive reviews. So, you can circumvent this by including your review request with a “thank you message.”
Studies have shown that people are more responsive when you express gratitude. So thank them for their time and ask them (kindly) to follow you on social media. Be sure not to include URLs in your insert, as it is against Amazon’s Terms of Service.
Don’t Forget About Questions & Answers on Amazon
Another often forgotten method of interaction with customers is the “Questions and Answers” section. When buying a product, customers will often go to this section to determine if it meets their needs.
By answering those questions, you can address those needs directly. Even if the answer isn’t in their favor, customers will see that you are active when offering service.
You can also use data from this section to determine missing product features you can use. By adding those features and implementing them in the next version of your product, customers will see that you are responsive.
So look for trends in negative customer reviews and the Q&A section to determine what you need to do to attract more customers.
Things You Must Avoid To Keep Your Product Ranking High
When optimizing your listing, numerous ranking factors will keep you up. However, there are also bad habits that typically come from people who come from the old-fashioned days of the internet.
Here are some tips you can avoid to maintain that high product ranking.
- You attempt to repeat keywords in your listing more times than needed, resulting in keyword stuffing.
- Your title is vague and doesn’t provide any details for the customer.
- Your item isn’t relevant for the target keyword you want to go after
- You have a suppressed listing because of low-quality images, incorrect categorization, or having a title that goes over the character limit.
- You are following poor customer service practices (slow shipping, high order defect rate, etc.)
- You’ve had an inventory stockout in the past.
When running an eCommerce site, following the basics of prompt delivery and good customer service are crucial. It is easy to forget the simple things when running an entire business.
As Amazon continues to improve its search engine, you can expect further updates throughout the year. With the release of the influencer program, Amazon posts, and a stronger emphasis on third-party integration, it’s evident that Amazon is changing. The A10 Algorithm is one of those changes you should be ready for.
To ensure your product remains competitive throughout these changes, contact our team to see how we can help your Amazon brand grow.
About the Author:
John D. Smiddy
John has helped market and scale over 200 companies in various industries over the past 10 years. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of LeadPlan Marketing, the host of “The Marketing Fundamentals Podcast” and the creator of the “5 Pillars of Sales Conversions” formula used at LeadPlan.