3 Ways Amazon SEO Can Go Wrong

SEO on Amazon is very different from SEO on Google. Taking the time understand and implement Amazon SEO best practices can pay off in the form of more visibility and more sales for your brand.

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By Nick Heethuis

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Great Amazon SEO is one of the most powerful strategies for reaching shoppers on the marketplace. However, SEO on Amazon is very different from SEO on Google. You'll need a thorough understanding of Amazon's algorithm to rank your product highly in Amazon search results.

Unfortunately, many Amazon sellers make SEO mistakes that prevent their brand from achieving its full potential on Amazon. I've identified three of the most common mistakes that sellers make with Amazon SEO.

Poor keyword research

Amazon keywords are the foundation of your entire SEO strategy. Amazon's algorithm scans each of the words in your product listing to determine its relevance to customer searches. Amazon's algorithm relies on these keywords to understand your product and where your product should rank in the search results. If you fail to use the most appropriate keywords for your product, the algorithm won't understand your product and it won't be able to display your product to the shoppers most likely to buy.

Pay close attention to the following when performing your Amazon keyword research.

Understand your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? How are shoppers searching for your product? What keywords apply to your specific niche? If you can understand how shoppers search for your product on Amazon, you'll have all the data you need to properly target them.

Integrate those keywords into your product listings. Your product listing should strategically use all the most relevant keywords for the shoppers you're targeting. Be sure to include your most important keywords into your title, as Amazon places additional emphasis on the content of titles. Your keywords should be woven throughout your listing in a way that's undetectable to shoppers. Avoid "keyword stuffing", or simply adding keywords to your listings in a way that doesn't make sense. That's an outdated practice that can have a negative impact on your listings.

Spy on your competition. To stay ahead of your competitors, you need to understand what keywords are helping them drive sales. Look at your competitors in the top three spots with the most reviews. Then use any of the popular Amazon keyword tools to see what's working for them and how you can improve upon it for your own listings.

Related: How to Improve Your SEO by Identifying Low-Hanging-Fruit Keywords

Lack of on-page optimization

Amazon SEO relies on much more than just keywords. Your entire product listing should be optimized, from the title to the bullet points to the product images. The more optimized your product listing, the higher click-thru rates and conversion rates you'll achieve.

To have a fully optimized Amazon listing, you need killer sales copy and high-quality product photos that are compliant with Amazon's terms of service. You will also want each section of your product detail page to be written using keyword rich sales copy.

Product Title. This is the first thing your customers will read on your listing. It's highly indexed, so make it straightforward and full of the most relevant keywords. The product title usually contains the brand, model type and number, product type and size and quantity. Title parameters on Amazon can vary by category. So, which of these you include and in what order will depend on the type of product you're selling.

Bullet Points. Bullet points should be scannable and very concise. They should be much more readable than lengthy descriptions. Make your bullet points benefit-oriented. Focus on one benefit per bullet point and try not to exceed 200 characters per bullet point.

Product Description. Your product description in many cases is your final opportunity to persuade shoppers to buy your product. Don't simply rewrite your title and bullet points. Instead use this space to expand on everything you've mentioned in your listing up to that point. Tell a story about your product, making sure it's easily readable and that it differentiates your product from the competition.

Related: How to Use the 'Pipe Burst' Approach to Level Up Your Amazon Selling Game

Ignoring backend search terms

The backend of every Amazon listing includes several fields where you can add additional keywords to your listings. These fields are invisible to shoppers. But Amazon's algorithm scans all these fields and will index your product listing for the keywords you use in these fields. This makes it the perfect place to hide keywords that you don't want customers to see.

For example, you wouldn't want your product listing to include misspellings. But shoppers use misspelled words all the time in their searches, which is why including common misspellings of words in your hidden backend search fields is a great way to help those shoppers find you. You can even add Spanish words and phrases to further extend the reach of your backend search terms.

If your product listing uses A+ Content, that also opens up additional fields for backed keywords. Each image used in your A+ Content contains a field for more keywords. The images are visible to shoppers. But the keywords assigned to each image are invisible.

Amazon SEO can be complicated. But taking the time to understand it and implement best practices can pay off enormously for your brand. With proper keyword research, an optimized product listing, and a backend full of relevant search terms, your listing will rank higher on Amazon's search results page, and you'll make more sales.

Related: How an Amazon Store Can Increase Shopper Engagement

Nick Heethuis

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor


Nick Heethuis is the founder of TripleShot Marketing, an Amazon consultant and a thought leader in marketplace ecommerce. He has helped launch new brands on Amazon and helped established brands scale to new levels of sales and profitability on Amazon. He is also co-founder and CEO at HustleClick.

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