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Sales Rank and SEO: Amazon Search Engine Explained
06/08/21 — 0 min read

by: Hanna Walther

Amazon Sales Rank and SEO: Everything You Need to Know

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What Does Sales Rank Mean on Amazon?

Sales rank on Amazon numerically describes how well a product is selling compared to other products in the same category. If you have a sales rank of #1, your product is the best seller in its category. Sales rank is important for sellers on Amazon because it is factored into how Amazon’s ranking algorithm displays products to buyers on the site.

With this logic, we can confidently say the products that sell better are likely to rank higher because they have a proven track record of selling, and in turn, increasing profit for Amazon (and sellers).

The higher your product ranks, the more likely it is to sell. Simple enough, right?

Here’s the catch. Selling on Amazon isn’t as simple as offering a quality product, putting it out there, and selling like crazy. Sellers have to get their products noticed, and consistently, to achieve a top sales rank.

Products that show up on the first page of an Amazon search will receive up to 80% of clicks, so if your product is even on page two, the chances of it being seen or considered is drastically lower.

So, how can you get to page one? If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

In order to understand how to get your product noticed, you have to first understand what controls sales rank. Let’s talk about Amazon’s search algorithm, A9.

How the Amazon Search Engine Works – The Essentials

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The A9 algorithm is the system used by Amazon to rank products in search results. While much of the algorithm is both highly technical and not public knowledge, we do know this. Similar to Google’s algorithm, keywords have a strong influence on which results are deemed relevant, and displayed first.

Simply put, the main function of A9 is to match a shopper’s search terms with the most relevant product, based on the search terms they use and a mix of other factors.

We also know that the A9 algorithm places a heavy emphasis on sales when deciding which products to display first. Don’t forget: Amazon is a business first. Their algorithm is designed to make them a profit, which is why sales conversions matter just as much as keywords (if not more so).

For example, say you’re selling weighted blankets that alleviate anxiety and promote better sleep. Trying to rank at the top of search results for ‘bedspread’ will leave you with minimal exposure because people searching for bedspreads aren’t typically looking for a weighted blanket.

However, if they search “anxiety blanket” or “weighted blanket” and see your product in the search results and purchase it, this signals a “vote” in the ranking system and tells Amazon that shoppers who search this keyword are looking for a product like yours.

The more “votes” a product receives based on a particular search term, the higher it will rank.

Whoever achieves the highest average daily sales for any given search term will move toward the top of Amazon search results, and rake in an abundance of sales.

Highest average daily sales per product are very important for ranking purposes, and the most challenging to get. Keep reading and we’ll share our simple solution!

In short, the two most important factors to get your product ranking are keywords and highest average daily sales. Ask nearly any merchant and they’ll most likely tell you that achieving the sales rank metric is one of the most challenging parts about selling a product on Amazon.

Now that we know the two biggest factors in deciding a product’s rank (and why!) in Amazon’s search results, let’s discuss HOW sellers can make it easier for shoppers to find products, and start racking up sales.

Sellers vs. Amazon

The challenge of competing with a mysterious algorithm to get ranked is probably something your business struggles with on a daily basis.

For sellers who don’t have big ad budgets to run large-scale Sponsored Product campaigns, or who don’t have their SEO and keywords perfectly optimized yet, selling on Amazon can often feel like a rat race with no end in sight.

Sellers need resources and tools to help mitigate the overwhelming task of improving their Amazon sales rank and drive sales faster. That’s where Massview comes into play.

How to Rank on Amazon for Your Keywords

Before you can even think about boosting your sales rank on Amazon, you have to know which keywords work for your product. You may think one of your keywords is “bedspread,” but in reality, that keyword is highly competitive and requires much more advertising budget than you’ve got.

The challenge of selecting the best keywords for your product can be daunting — but don’t get overwhelmed. Massview has several tools to help you optimize keyword research, select the keywords that will get you ranking successfully, and start ranking higher on Amazon.

First, there’s Peek.

Massview’s product research tool that helps sellers find the right niche for their product — one with high volume searches and low competition. Peek will help you find the keywords with substantial search volume to determine the niche you should be selling in.

Peek also analyzes current listings in the market where you’re selling, and allocates what may be missing that you can provide. Once you’ve found the sweet spot for selling your product using the right keywords, the sky's the limit.

Growing your sales rank can be done organically, but it requires two things no one wants to spend — time and money.

Speeding up the process using Massview Keyword Tools is a surefire way for sellers on Amazon to gain valuable information about what keywords will send their listing to the top.

Using our Keyword Tools, sellers can:

  • Learn which keywords any product is ranking for
  • Check the minimum sales needed to rank for any keyword
  • Find which keywords will give you the most sales at the lowest cost
  • Gain competitor insight on all keywords that are driving sales for a particular product

Want to give the Massview platform a test drive before going Pro? We offer a Pay As You Go pricing option so you can experience the capabilities firsthand.

Now, let’s circle back to that important metric — highest average daily sales.

The magic number that gets you ranked to the top of search results faster than any other metric — and yet, the most difficult to attain as a new seller or with a new product.

Massview subscribers can create campaigns to boost their sales velocity early on, like on Snagshout — where sellers can offer customers access to discounted or rebated products to purchase.

Snagshout drives sales to a product listing by putting it in front of a massive network of shoppers, who are early adopters that want to try out new products, and appreciate certain incentives to do so. These extra sales drive up your ranking in search results, meaning more traffic, so you can get more organic sales.

When running a Snagshout campaign, sellers can also access our Keyword Boost feature, which helps products rank for a specific search phrase on Amazon. Simply select how many sales per day you need on any keyword, determine the length of the campaign, and watch your products start to climb the ranks!

Better rank = more traffic = more sales. Now you’ve slayed the beast!

Is your audience active on social media? Most likely yes.

In the Massview platform, sellers can access our automated Facebook chatbot, Masschat, link it to their Facebook page, and run ads targeted to a specific niche. Customers will see ads for your products, along with a discount or rebate. If they express interest, Masschat simply requests their email so they can receive the deal.

The email addresses are stored in your own database, so you can circle back for retargeting later or reach out if they didn’t complete the purchase.

A Few More Tips to Improve Keyword Ranking

1. Sponsored Products

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These pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns help customers discover and purchase products sold on Amazon with ads that appear in shopping results and on product pages. If you have the budget, Sponsored Products can help gain visibility for sellers by appearing on the first page, reaching customers who are browsing for products similar to yours, and directing them to your product page.

Further, when shoppers see your product in the search results and purchase it, this adds to your daily sales for that keyword — in other words, it directly helps your ranking.

Once you’ve run some Sponsored Product campaigns, you’ll have access to a lot of valuable data about the keywords you’re trying to rank on. You’ll discover what people are clicking on when they search for your keyword, which keywords convert, and be able to analyze where you can improve.

2. Product positioning

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Product positioning is about knowing the wants and needs of the customer, and positioning your product to meet the demands where they otherwise have been missed by the competition. To position your product correctly, you have to be able to effectively communicate what makes it unique and beneficial to your target customers.

Ecommerce is a flooded industry and consumers want to feel heard and appreciated where they spend their money. Creating a personality for your brand will create a connection for your customers, but you have to take it further than that.

Positioning your brand and product to be successful begins with — you guessed it — keyword research!

Keyword research will help you discover what your audience is searching for, understanding what vocabulary is used, and the intentions behind their searches.

The goal is to position your product to fit in the niche that you can be competitive (and excel) in. Overly broad and high volume searched keywords won’t do you any good - they’re expensive and difficult to rank on.

Pursuing less competitive keywords can be done with the help of Massview’s Competitor Insight, an ASIN lookup tool which provides insight on what potential customers are searching for, along with all the keywords that drive sales for any specific product.

In order to stay focused on the customer, your product has to match the intentions of each search term.

Consider all the different types of people who might be searching with a given keyword. If you are selling bedspreads, look in your keyword data at the different types of shoppers who are searching for bedspreads and similar terminology.

Some shoppers may be purchasing a plain, neutral bedspread, while others are decorating their kid’s bedroom and need something more fun and splashy.

Different shoppers have different tastes, and the distinction is important for your marketing strategy.

3. Optimize your product listing

A big part of ranking well on Amazon is done by optimizing a product listing. Because the search algorithm is looking for products based on specific keywords and terms, you simply must have all relevant keywords included in each listing. It’s the only way Amazon will discover your product and get you the views you need to start making sales.

Massview’s Listing Optimization tool (in our Chrome extension) provides sellers with tons of valuable keyword data, including:

  • Relevant keywords to add to each product listing
  • Analyzes existing keywords and their frequency in your product listing
  • Keyword suggestions to optimize your product listings and rank higher

Massview subscribers can easily access our Listing Optimization tool inside Seller Central (once they’ve downloaded the Chrome extension) and do all their listing optimization in one place.

As for the actual listing page that shoppers land on, sales copy matters.

Listing title. This should be on the lengthier side (under 200 characters) and include your best keywords, as these typically rank better on Amazon.

It’s very important that the top search terms you’re targeting are included in your title or description. The first five words of your title will become part of your URL, and this affects how you show up in search, so choose carefully.

The title should grab the shopper’s attention, describe why they should buy your product, and entice them to click to read your description.

Use concise language for your bullet points. Put your most important features and benefits first, as they’re the most important to the buyer. Your goal should be to use this section to explain why customers should buy this product over your competitors.

Bullet points are a good place to add a few more keywords that didn’t fit in your title, so try to get those in there while still feeling natural with the language you use.

Product description. Focus on your unique value proposition, on how your product can improve the life of the customer. Add some frequently asked questions, instructions, product specifications, or any other information. And finish it off with a call to action!

The description box is different from the bullet points section, and weighted slightly less by the algorithms, so it should be treated as such.

Improve Your Conversion Rate to Improve Your Sales Rank

Conversion rate is the percent of purchases per page visit on any product listing. The higher the conversion rate, the better the sales rank. Because Amazon prioritizes the products that can generate the most revenue, those listings with the highest conversions just rank better.

For sellers, improving their conversion rate on Amazon can be a challenge because they don’t always have the budget, marketing team, or time to do so. Here are a few tricks we’ve found along the way that improve conversion rates on Amazon.

How to Improve Amazon Conversion Rates

1. Boost your reviews

Reviews definitely play a part in your sales rank, but getting them is becoming more complicated. Because Amazon has doubled down on their policies surrounding reviews, it’s getting trickier to get them in the frequency your business needs to rank properly.

In Massview’s seller tools, merchants have an automated option that can increase their product review count by requesting a review after each sale.

Historically, sellers have to send an email post-sale to each customer asking for a review of their product. That process is time consuming and the ROI is low. With Massview’s Auto-Request Review feature, we see sellers get at least triple their review rate over email, simply by automating review requests.

2. Improving product photography

We highly recommend sellers hire out for photography. Our recent case study on professional product photography revealed that conversion rates tripled in less than two months, simply by improving our product photos. Invest in great photos and design!

If you can’t fit professional photography into your budget yet, here are some helpful tips on improving your phone photography in the meantime.

A few highlights include:

  • Use your camera grid to align your product correctly within the frame, and appear more visually interesting
  • Use negative space (a blank background) to draw attention to your product
  • Use a clean and simple backdrop

That’s it for Amazon SEO! We hope you learned something valuable that you can apply to your own business on Amazon. Be sure to bookmark this post to refer back to in the future if you run into any SEO challenges and need some guidance. We’re here to help.

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