You’re optimizing your Amazon listing, but not sure where to go from there. How do you get the data you need to tweak your keyword plan and get more organic traffic? Which keywords do you need to keep, and which need to go? How can you get the most of your Amazon backend, that strange Search Terms box?
For this post, we teamed up with My Amazon Guy, a Georgia-based consultancy for Amazon sellers. During a recent podcast episode with them, Massview founder Paul Johnson met with My Amazon Guy founder Steven Pope, and talked all about product research, SEO strategy, growth hacks, and much more. If you’re not much of a podcast listener, you can also watch the episode on YouTube.
Afterwards, the My Amazon Guy team shared their Amazon SEO approach to give to you here! Their strategy differs quite a bit from the Massview strategy, mostly in its extra focus on backend keyword optimization (while Massview emphasizes sales velocity and reviews).
We find there’s no single “correct” way to win on Amazon, so we’ll give you our summary of the My Amazon Guy approach, and you can decide which parts are most valuable for your own Amazon strategy!
The My Amazon Guy team divides their strategy into three stages or phases. The first phase is about product launch, using competitor keyword insights to get a product off the ground. The second phase focuses on adjusting the listing based on a few months of new data. After another few months, the third phase focuses on selecting mature, high-performing listings and optimizing them to reach top rankings for search results where they haven’t made page one.
There’s a lot going on during each phase, so let’s break them down.
The first phase is about setting up your listing. That means researching your competitors, understanding their strategy, and using parts of their keyword strategy to get ahead.
Some of this information may require some prior knowledge, so if you need to brush up on writing titles, bullet points, backend search terms, and descriptions, check out our Amazon Listing Optimization article.
To start, you’ll want to find one to three competitors on Amazon and study their listing. Examine how your competitors have built their titles. How are things phrased? Which keywords are loaded towards the front? Next, look at what their bullet points look like. Which benefits are they focusing on?
If you have trouble figuring out who your closest competitors are, or if you simply need a better understanding of their keyword strategy, you can study your competitors in more depth using Massview’s Amazon SEO tools. With Massview, you can conduct a Reverse ASIN search to extract the most relevant high search volume keywords from your competitors, without simply mimicking their keyword strategy.
For current Massview users (or if you’re just curious!), you can learn all about this in our Competitor Insight introduction.
The best competing product listing to extract keywords from is one with a high amount of reviews, significant sales volume, and a well-optimized listing. Using Massview, find the top 50 organic keywords generating traffic for the product. These are the keywords you’ll want to incorporate into your listing.
Pay attention to long-tail keywords (specific, high-intent keywords with low competition), as these will often be the first keywords you’ll try to rank for.
Use what you learn from your competitors to decide how you want to structure your own listing too. How are you going to catch a buyer’s attention? What details do you need to emphasize? How will you differentiate from the competition?
Once you’ve decided on your top keywords, you’ll want to start incorporating them into your listing, with titles, bullets, description, and backend search terms. If you’ve registered your brand, you’ll also want to incorporate them into your A+ Content.
When adding keywords to your listing, pay attention to the backend. The Search Terms field has a more significant impact on SEO than Other Attributes, Subject Matter, or Target Audience. Fill these in anyway for reinforcement, but the Search Terms field is the focus.
Remember, the Search Terms box is hidden from the customer, so it’s a great place to add keywords that don’t quite work in the front end of your listing. There’s a 249 character max, so use this box wisely (warning: using special characters like $ or ö will cost 2-3 characters each).
Search Terms Box – General Guidance
Later, My Amazon Guy uses the Search Terms box to add common misspellings or Spanish versions of your keywords. We also recommend adding colloquial terms, synonyms to common words, and similar products (not brand names).
We’ve covered this type of Amazon SEO work in our “Amazon Listing Optimization” post (linked above), but the My Amazon Guy team gave us some useful information to share with you about creating great bullets for your listing, including formatting tips!
According to the My Amazon Guy team, “having effective, accurate, and informative bullet points are crucial conversion tools for Amazon listings,” and we fully agree! Here are some of their tips on writing great bullets.
Bullet Point Formatting Examples:
Once your product listing is created and launched, allow it to run and gather data for 2-3 months. Once your listing begins to rank on Amazon, Phase 2 begins.
Phase 2 improves indexing by removing any duplicate keywords in your copy and replacing them with common misspellings, Spanish versions of the word. This will help you target tons of keywords with less competition.
As you begin to index for keywords in your Search Terms box, you can delete them from the box. Remove any words “that are also used in the ASIN's title, bullet points, description, and already indexed.”
As you add keywords to your product and begin to rank for each keyword, use Massview’s keyword tracking capabilities to monitor your progress on your dashboard.
Remember, as with any search engine optimization, Amazon SEO work doesn’t pay off overnight. Most results will be more visible in the medium to long term.
Let Phase 2 run and gather data for about 3 months before moving on to Phase 3.
This phase focuses on boosting keywords with the best potential to boost product ranking and increase sales. In My Amazon Guy’s strategy, they target words indexed between ranks 20-50 and focus on getting them up to ranks 1-19. My Amazon Guy refers to these keywords ranking 20-50 as “Strikezone keywords.”
Bear in mind this phase is only for products indexing for 800+ organic keywords. If your product hasn’t reached this point yet, you’ll want to give it more time.
Steven points out that once you’ve ranked 1-19 for a keyword in your Search Terms box, you’ve essentially “won” that keyword. Amazon recognizes that it applies to your product. This means you’re free to swap out your keywords here with other keywords that you’re not yet ranking on page one for, without losing your rank for the removed keywords.
This strategy can be implemented multiple times as new words rise to these mid-level ranks. As new keywords are pushed into the top rankings, organic sales can increase significantly.
Those high search volume keywords in that first step are essential. If a keyword has 5,000 searches a month, and you rank on page one for that keyword, that’s 5,000 more people seeing your product.
From here, keywords are tracked for three months. The results are then evaluated, keywords revised, and the process is repeated as needed every three months to maintain rankings
My Amazon Guy recommends making a spreadsheet with your keywords and data such as search traffic and your current ranking for each keyword. Add updated rankings every three months. This will help you track your ranking for each keyword over time, and will show you where to put your focus.
This last phase can be repeated every few months with any listing you have where you’re currently indexed for 800+ keywords. For any new or growing listing, you’ll want to stick to Phase 1 and 2 until the listing matures enough to move to Phase 3. Continue to rotate your Search Terms as you rank for new keywords in your mature listings, and you’ll grow your organic traffic significantly over time..
We’d like to thank the My Amazon Guy team for sharing their insights into SEO with us! We hope this post gave you a helpful summary of the My Amazon Guy SEO strategy. As with any summary though, it can’t replicate the services they provide. Check out their site if you’d like to learn more about search term optimization!
About My AmazonGuy: An 100+ client full-service Amazon Agency in Atlanta, Georgia. We growth hack sales through traffic and conversion improvements. PPC, SEO, Design, Catalog Merchandising, and more – all in-house.
My Amazon Guy Podcast and Videos: