How to Beat Amazon’s Algorithms to Improve Your SERP Rankings

By Buy Box Experts on June 28, 2021

Amazon’s algorithms are what make Amazon’s online shopping experience so enjoyable. But how can you get those algorithms to help your Amazon business?

In this article, we’ll address several tips that will help you get the Amazon product search algorithm on your side. But first, you should understand what the A9 Algorithm is and what it cares about.

What Is Amazon’s A9 Algorithm?

Amazon uses the Amazon A9 Algorithm to rank search results for its customers. To understand what this algorithm looks at to determine your product listing’s value, let’s take a quick look at its ranking factors:

  • Purchase Intent: Amazon wants its customers’ searches to end in a sale. Therefore, if a listing has more purchases, it will likely rank towards the top of the search engine results page (SERP) for the keywords it targets.
  • Relevancy: Again, Amazon is hyper-focused on inspiring a sale. To gain relevance, products need to be keyword-rich and inspire a purchase after appearing on the SERP.

That may seem like a paradox: to get more sales, you need your products to rank higher, but to rank higher, your products need to sell more. But the A9 Algorithm isn’t just looking at raw sales, it’s looking at conversion rates for specific keywords. So, let’s talk about how you can use that to your advantage.

4 Tips to Please the Algorithm

  1. Put Keywords in the Right Places

Keyword optimization is at the heart of every effort to improve SERP rankings. This optimization has two parts: identifying which keywords are the most relevant to your product, and making sure the algorithm recognizes your product listing as relevant to the keywords. 

Find Your Keywords

First things first, you need search terms (keywords) that are relevant to your products. This is key because if you pick the wrong keywords, you’ll start ranking for search terms with low relevance, which means users will see your listing and say “that’s not what I’m looking for,” and they won’t convert. And, as discussed, the low conversion rate will result in lower rankings.

There are primarily three ways to identify the search terms that will most likely result in the sale of your product. First, you can check Google rankings (primarily done with tools like Ahrefs or Semrush). But Google doesn’t prioritize conversion rates the way Amazon does, so don’t let that be your only research.

Next, you can take a low-tech approach to Amazon research. Try using different search terms, and see which ones your competitors rank well for. That’s a good indication of keywords that are relevant. 

Finally, there are keyword research tools that specifically target Amazon SERPs. These are your best bet for finding what terms are working for competitors, which ones have the most volume, and which ones are the most competitive.

Place Your Keywords

Ok, so you’ve found the keywords you want to target. Where do you place them? 

There are three places the Amazon A9 algorithm looks at to determine whether your listings are keyword-optimized:

  • Titles: Put as many keywords into your titles as possible without them turning into an incoherent word salad. As a guide, your titles should follow a pattern of “Brand; Product line; Material/Key feature; Product type; Color; Size; Package quantity.” For example: “Amazon Essentials Men’s Regular-fit Short-Sleeve Blue Floral Medium Shirt”
  • Bulleted Features List: Every product listing should have a bulleted list of features. Within that list should be keywords. This list can show the A9 algorithm that the product’s features are relevant to its customer’s inquiry. 
  • Product Descriptions: Inserting keywords into the product description is another indicator to Amazon’s algorithm that your listing is relevant to a search query. It’s good practice to include at least 10 or 20 relevant keywords in the description.
  1. Price Your Products Accurately and Competitively

Once you start getting the right customers to your product listings (i.e. the ones with high buyer intent), you need to make sure they convert. Your primary weapon in this battle to get your products to sell more is price: you need to price your products fairly and competitively. 

Unfortunately, pricing on Amazon is fickle. If you charge too much, customers may think your products are overpriced and could leave a bad review. But if you aim too low, your leads may assume your product is of poor quality.

If you want to optimize your product pricing, follow these guidelines:

  • Account for your costs and fees: After considering how much it costs you to stock your product and ship it to your customers, your pricing should ensure you maintain a profit. You’ll also need to consider fees from Amazon, including Amazon Marketplace charges and the fee to keep your Seller Account open. Once you have the total of those operational costs, you can then find an appropriate price for your product.
  • Consider your brand. Are you positioning your product as a premium product, or the best value? Whichever it is, you want your pricing to remain relatively uniform throughout your product catalog to show customers they can get the same level of value and quality with all of your products.
  • Look at your competition. Is your product significantly more expensive than your competitors? You don’t want customers to completely discount your product because the pricing seems unrealistic. Unless your product compensates with outstanding quality, you will likely need to lower your prices. 
  • Be flexible. While it may be tempting to double down on consistent prices, markets are constantly changing. And if everyone else drops or increases their prices, you could be left in the proverbial dust. Consider automating your pricing with Amazon’s Automate Pricing tool so you can easily adjust to pricing trends.
  1. Keep Your Products in Stock

This tip is pretty self-explanatory—Amazon won’t show your products if they aren’t in stock, and being out of stock means you’re missing out on a sale, so it’s doubly damaging to your rankings. Therefore, you should make sure to keep your inventory up to date and as full as possible so Amazon will keep showing your products on the SERP.

  1. Increase Your Sales Velocity

The last three tips were all “Direct Factors” that influence Amazon’s product search algorithm, meaning an error in those areas will have a direct negative impact on your rankings. Meanwhile, sales velocity, which measures how well your products convert within a set timeframe compared to other products that rank for your keywords, is considered indirect. 

Although indirect, sales velocity still has a significant impact on your rankings. So, how can you increase your sales velocity? Amazon recommends focusing on the following:

  • Maintaining good reviews on your products (above a 4.5 average)
  • Utilizing Amazon ad space effectively
  • Using only high-quality images on your listings
  • Promoting products with special deals
  • Optimizing fulfillment with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)

We Can Help You Satisfy the Algorithms

These tips can help you grasp the concepts of how to appease Amazon’s algorithms. But within these strategies are also plenty of nuances, as the algorithm gets updated on a semi-regular basis. That’s where we can help.
With Buy Box Experts on your side, we can help you stay on top of your search rankings so you can continuously improve your performance on Amazon. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Buy Box Experts
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