Knowing about the Amazon product ranking algorithm can help boost your Amazon seller ranking. It would increase your chances by 3 times compared to searching on Google in a shorter amount of time.
Amazon calculates the search results even before the customer types in his desired product. According to Marc Delingat, the head of Amazon Search, Amazon tracks the data from previous activities done by the customer such as past traffic patterns and indexing the text describing every product in the Amazon catalog even before the customer decides to search.
The Amazon product ranking algorithm has a two-step system to deliver product ranking results. The first step is narrowing down results according to their relevance from their enormous inventory of product listings. The second step is ranking the narrowed results in an order according to relevancy.
The main objective of the Amazon A9 algorithm is to be able to deliver the most compatible results to the user. The algorithm is constantly evaluated by undergoing gauges such as programmatic analysis, key business metrics, performance metrics, and also human judgment.
When comparing Amazon and Google, the difference lies in how relevant the results are delivered. Google pulls up results that most accurately fit the description in the user’s query, while Amazon pulls up results that will most likely be purchased by the user.
It is easier to rank on Amazon than to rank on Google because Amazon determines results with the use of internal factors. Google, on the other hand, also takes into account external factors such as social media and backlinks. Amazon eliminating the use of unnecessary factors helps quicken the product search and ranking of results.
It is a good idea to remember some key facts about Amazon.
- Amazon’s #1 priority is to maximize Revenue Per Customer or RPC.
- The site tracks even the most minute detail such as where your mouse cursor hovers over on their site.
- The Amazon A9 is the connecting factor of being able to track your activity on their website for them to maximize the revenue per customer.
How Does Amazon Rank Products?
There are three factors that influence Amazon’s ranking algorithm. Also, each of the three has its own ranking factors to back them up. They are as follows:
1. Customer Satisfaction
Amazon thrives on customer satisfaction because it reaps in profit. When a customer is happy, he comes back to avail of that service again and again. Amazon is aware that having a loyal customer base and retaining customers is one way to maximize RPC.
The idea of having a customer purchase something for multiple transactions is much easier than having a customer spend a big amount of money on a single purchase. Customer satisfaction also involves Order Defect Rate and seller feedback.
Here are the ranking factors that customer satisfaction is based upon:
- Negative Seller Feedback
Amazon tracks the amount of negative seller feedback or how often it happens. In case you’re wondering why negative feedback instead of simply seller feedback, it’s because the company claims that they do not track positive seller feedback when calculating for the product ranking algorithm.
However, they do track the rates of the negative feedback. As such, in order to win the so-called “buy box” on Amazon, you’ll need really high seller feedback as much as possible.
- Perfect Order Percentage
Perfect Order Percentage, simply referred to as POP, measures the number of orders that went smoothly once a customer clicks on the “Add to Cart” option right up to the arrival of the order at their address.
Having a perfect POP would also mean having a prompt shipping, accurate listing, and high in-stock rate. Since that’s what Amazon is aiming to give their customers, they’ll naturally place sellers with high POP above the Amazon seller ranking than those with lower POP.
- In-Stock Rate
Most buyers won’t like it if they want to buy a product but it’s not currently in stock. This normally happens when an item is out of stock or the seller has forgotten to monitor their inventory.
A consistently stocked inventory is important to stay on top of the Amazon product rankings. The in-stock rate is measured by two major metrics: the Percentage of Orders Refunded and the Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation. Sellers have bad customer retention when they have low in-stock rates which have an effect of having higher rates of customers canceling orders and refunding the product.
Therefore, if you want to have a high Amazon sales rank, you’ll have to make sure that your inventory is stocked regularly. This will also help you maintain your ranking both in the buy box and the results in the product search.
- Packaging Options
This one can’t be considered a metric used by Amazon to rank products. However, we’ve noticed some product packaging options included in the product search results recently.
This only means that Amazon clearly noticed that packaging options are something that their customers are looking for. However, if they’re not, it’s still a good way to make your listing stand out from your competitors by offering a number of packaging options.
One easy way to do so is by using the FBA to offer a Frustration-Free Packaging where Amazon uses recyclable materials and a process which involve less packaging without compromising the protection of the product.
- Order Processing Speed
Fast order processing speed is one way to make customers happy. Sellers with speedy and consistent order processing are more likely to rank higher than those with slow shipping.
- Exit Rate
The exit rate refers to the frequency by which a customer checks your listing then closes the Amazon window. If you have a high exit rate, that could mean that your ranking will suffer. Also, Amazon views this as you having a low-quality listing. Most of the time, a high exit rate can happen due to an incomplete product listing or a low in-stock rate.
- Order Defect Rate
This metric works the opposite to POP and can happen when a customer makes a claim with a certain order. In most cases, an order defect can happen due to negative buyer feedback, credit card chargeback, and certain other factors.
Those said factors will all count towards your ODR which is the ratio of your order defects to the total orders you’ve fulfilled within a certain timeframe. According to Amazon, you have to strive for an ODR which is below 1%. Additionally, you should keep in mind that buyer-removed negative feedback won’t count towards your ODR. It’s therefore advisable to address your customers’ issues.
This is one of the most important factors because this is where all the search results rely on when being ranked. This factor tells the algorithm if your product page can be considered for a specific search term. It also includes the product titles and its description.
These are the different factors that come into play:
Having a target keyword in your title is important in Amazon. The more keywords in the title, the better the chances of having your product increase its Amazon keyword ranking. This is as opposed to Google which requires you to create an engaging title and include your keyword as close to the start as possible.
Although you might see it as rather spammy, it can actually work to your benefit. In fact, you can even go beyond the 80-character limit just to cram in a lot of keywords as you can.
As a matter of fact, there are quite a number of top-listed products within their categories that have titles which don’t make any sense at all: the ones that include only keywords and contain more than 200 characters. However, you have to bear in mind that Amazon is starting to standard the titles of products, so you might want to start standardizing yours as well.
- Product Description
The product description is an important part because it engages with customers a lot. The rankings take into consideration the single usage of a keyword so that there’s no need to use one keyword many times. Putting pictures and making detailed yet understandable descriptions helps.
- Brand and Manufacturer Part Number
Amazon puts products pages with the number of the manufacturer part and the brand included at the top of the Amazon lists. It makes your product easy to find on search filters and accessible to people who are looking for a certain brand and even product model.
- Features or Bullet Points
Amazon requires all product pages to have bullet points. Take advantage of this by filling your bullet points with keywords and detailed information about your product.
The specifications are where you should expound about your product and all of its physical and technical features.
- Category and Subcategory
When a customer searches for a product, he enters a category which the results will be limited to. Under that category are subcategories in which the customer is limited to until he wants to look for an overview of all departments or go back to the home page. Therefore, you should place your products in the most relevant categories and subcategories.
- Source Keyword
This hidden factor is one of Amazon’s hidden ways for determining the relevance of a listing to a given search. It’s also another means that Amazon uses to track every single minute of their customers’ activity.
Take this listing for example:
In the URL, you can find the source keyword at the end which is “hard drive”. If I want to purchase this product, Amazon will know that it’s relevant for that given search. As such, when a customer uses that term for searching a product, that listing will most likely end up at the top.
- Search Terms
Aside from categories, you also have the option to specify search terms to associate with your product. Although Amazon will list 5 different search term fields, each having a 50-character limit, it’d be ideal to think of them as a single text box which contains up to 250 characters where you can place every search term you want.
However, this can be quite complicated to explain. Instead, I recommend that you check out this amazing guide to get more information.
3. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate factors pricing, image quality, reviews, and more from customers. The algorithm has an effect from the conversion rates. The algorithm considers both the real-time and predicted conversion rates when ranking products. Amazon predicts a conversion rate lower than your listing and uses it until real-time data corrects it.
Here are the ranking factors that can affect conversion rate:
- Sales Rank
This shows the number of a product’s sales compared to other similar ones. Amazon even has a beta-testing Amazon sales rank feature in which they show the best-selling product in the search results. It does not come as a shock that the more sales a product has, the higher the Amazon product ranking it attains. Although this can create an advantage for some, new sellers can still compete by using a number of legitimate methods.
- Answered Questions
The Q&A’s are situated near the top of the webpage, making them essential for your conversion rate. The more questions and answers a product has, the more likely it is to have a high Amazon ranking.
- Customer Reviews
Customer reviews rake in both positive and negative feedback. It is obvious that the more positive customer reviews your product has, the higher the ranking it will get.
- Image Size and Quality
There are certain categories that will not display the results of products that don’t contain at least one image with a 1000x1000px dimension or bigger. The requirement allows customers to be able to use the Hover-to-Zoom feature which zooms into the image and gives them a closer look of the product. Even having just one high-quality image over many images in normal size can give your listing a boost.
Needless to say, you can have a better ranking if you include at least one high-quality image instead of uploading multiple images of normal size.
Amazon is aware that customers always want to get a good deal. An Amazon product can be listed as #1 even if it has less amount of reviews, customer ratings, and rank because it might have decent ratings and the pricing is lower than the average. However, you have to keep in mind that customer reviews are still important here, so pricing can’t be the only reason why a product can rank first.
- Parent-Child Products
A child listing is a feature which lets you offer the product in a different size or color. This feature maximizes reviews as Amazon will put all of your similar products together into one main product page. Having all products on one primary page will make customers more likely to make a purchase from you.
Aside from that, it has been shown that Amazon prefers ranking products that offer multiple options.
- Time on Page & Bounce Rate
The Time on Page metrics is how Amazon tracks the amount of time a customer spends on your page. The more time spent means the more interested the customer is. It means that he’s most likely read through the reviews, check your product’s full description, browse through the Q&As section, and has a good chance of spending money on your offers.
On the other hand, a bounce rate is the rate at which a customer searches for a product, goes to your product page, then clicks on a Related Product offer or searches through the results again. That said, Amazon has a more accurate way to measure bounce rate compared to Google due to the fact that all of the user’s activity occurs within the site.
- Product Listing Completeness
Lastly, you have to take note of how complete your listing is. Keep in mind that a complete listing can make your product rank higher. Filling out all product listings can put your product on the top searches on Amazon.
With all the points listed above, here’s a summary on how you can rank your products in Amazon:
- Amazon’s main goal is to maximize their Revenue Per Customer (RPC)
- Make sure to use the FBA feature (Fulfillment by Amazon) for automating customer satisfaction
- The cycle goes like this: the more sales you get, the higher your rankings will be, which in turn can mean more sales
- You should never forget to use as many keywords on your product listing. Also, don’t forget to complete every field available
- Look for ways to keep your customers happy and encourage positive reviews
By using all of the information in this article, you will get to know how to get on top of Amazon listings. Once you get the hang of it, your products will always be at the top of the list and get an even wider reach of customers.
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