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SEO on Amazon: Organic Rank and the Amazon Flywheel

How does SEO affect the Amazon Seller Flywheel? At Envision Horizons, we describe the Amazon Flywheel as more like a snowball rolling down a hill, where you continue to pick up momentum as you go. The Amazon Flywheel as a concept suggests that boosting Amazon sales will create a cycle of increased sales performance. As […]
Published on January 31, 2023   |6 minute read

How does SEO affect the Amazon Seller Flywheel?

At Envision Horizons, we describe the Amazon Flywheel as more like a snowball rolling down a hill, where you continue to pick up momentum as you go. The Amazon Flywheel as a concept suggests that boosting Amazon sales will create a cycle of increased sales performance. As the circle of activities builds up momentum – with each step amplifying the next – sellers can reach higher levels of success in the amazon marketplace. 

The Amazon Seller Flywheel emphasizes the importance of having diversified sources of Amazon traffic to support long-term growth,  including organic traffic, paid traffic, and external traffic. The first piece of the puzzle, organic traffic, is tied very closely to Amazon SEO. 

SEO on Amazon (Search Engine Optimization)

Long before search engines, there were directories for finding things online. You would click on a directory and then start browsing around for what you need. Next in the evolution came the search engine with a simple concept, you type in a query and the engine spits back out relevant results & websites based on that input.

This worked great and E-Commerce channels like Amazon were early adopters to this technology, making the discovery of a product amongst a huge catalog of items relatively quick & painless until brands started figuring out how to manipulate the engine.

The engines turned into more complex algorithms and an industry was born learning how to best tweak results (pages & products) to have the best chance of showing up first in the engine.

Today, the underlying concept is the same but the methods of appealing to the search engine have fully evolved. Amazon’s search output has combined a number of layers of complexity by intertwining advertising metrics, listing copy, inventory strength, product standing (reviews & price) and a whole host of other factors to determine what shows up first on the search engine results page (SERP).

This goes back to the prior blog’s topic of the flywheel. All of the above components are needed to keep the wheel spinning and the strength of those pieces together helps determine the strength of the organic rank for the listing.

Amazon SEO: Listing Optimization

For SEO in particular, the goal is to optimize the listing for the robots as much as possible while balancing out readability, salesmanship and an accurate description of the product being sold.

The weight of each part of the product detail page (PDP) is explained in other places, but the gist of it is: appeal to the search engine by strategically placing highly relevant, high search volume keywords in the right places and at the right frequency. The aim for sellers should be to build a strong keyword universe and disperse those terms & phrases in every aspect of the listing.

Once that is done, SEO on Amazon is an iterative process. It is a constant check & refining of keyword rank to see what influences movement. Oftentimes paid marketing efforts can be a big influencer on the organic changes. Additionally, any other component of the flywheel losing strength (say pricing goes up by 50%) causes the whole thing to slow its spin.

SEO Keyword Strategy

The best way to do SEO on Amazon is by leveraging the tools & data that are available. Build a keyword universe not by guessing what terms your product should rank for, but by using Amazon SEO tools such as Brand Analytics, Search Query Performance Dashboard, Product Opportunity Explorer, and Third Party SEO Tooling (myHorizons, Helium10, Jungle Scout, etc). 

Review competitors on and off of Amazon to see what words they are using to sell products. However, don’t copy one competitor’s listing or keyword. They could be doing a bad job even if they are selling a lot! Use multiple competitors to aggregate relevant keywords across the niche and use those selectively to build out your listing. 

Amazon Badges – Amazon’s Choice, Bestseller Badge

Envision Horizons Director of Paid Media, Colin Bashor, explains why organic rank and Amazon badges play such an important part in the flywheel concept…

“Amazon search is kind of like Google, most of us aren’t scrolling beyond those first two or three results that we’re seeing. This means that if you’re organically appearing in the top 2 or 3 results in Amazon search, you’re going to be collecting the majority of sales for that search term. If you can get into the top four organic placements, you’re going to get a lot more sales, which will then also open you up to earn Amazon badges such as the Bestseller Badge, Amazon’s Choice Badge, or other tags that Amazon awards. These badges give your listing Amazon’s stamp of approval and help you stand out in the SERP, which will make people more likely to click on your product and complete a purchase.”

Full Guide to Amazon SEO

Check out our Full Guide to Amazon SEO with 40+ Expert Tips, written by our VP of Growth Todd Piechowski, for more information on optimizing your product title, bullets, back end, and much more. 

Core Components of the Amazon Flywheel

We’re breaking down core components of the Amazon Flywheel that lead to long term growth on the platform. Stay tuned for the next 5 blogs in the series on the following topics…

Amazon Flywheel

  • Core concept explained
  • How to start the flywheel

Amazon SEO

  • Understanding Amazon’s algorithm
  • Improving organic rank: listing optimization, keyword strategy, amazon badges, etc.

Catalog Strategy and Inventory Management 

  • Catalog size and retail readiness: quality over quantity
  • Pricing strategy focused on both competitive edge and profitability
  • Importance of demand planning and staying in stock
  • Healthy maintenance of account standing and performance metrics

Customer Experience and Brand Reputation on Amazon

  • Creating a positive branded shopping experience: higher conversion rate and brand affinity
  • Customer service and positive review generation
  • Utilizing creative assets to Improve both the customer experience and your brand presence on Amazon: Lifestyle imagery and video, including UGC content

Advertising

  • PPC
  • Sponsored Brand, Sponsored Product, Sponsored Display
  • Amazon DSP

Driving External Traffic

  • Influencer marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, earned and paid media placements
  • Paid advertising, Email marketing 

Long Term Strategy

  • Focusing on long term growth means avoiding black hat strategies that could offer short-term benefits
  • Investing in scaling

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