How to improve your Amazon ranking

Posted by Cristina Cairone Oct 11, 2017 12:00:00 AM
Cristina Cairone

To sell on Amazon is the strategy adopted by many online sellers and that could lead to many results if faced with a professional and careful behaviour. Maybe you do not know that, but Amazon is relating more and more to the best search engine: Google. According to a survey carried by Bloomreach in 2016 (in the USA) among the 44% of the users is searching products directly on Amazon, while, on the other hand, only the 33% of the users decide to search first on search engines as Google.

It happens, sometimes, to look at prices on Amazon even if you (but also me!) have found that product on another website.

The Amazon ranking of the listings, for this reason, is likely to be one of the most important factors to gain visibility. In order to do so, you have to look at some expedient and techniques.

Do you know what these techniques are? Let’s see them together!

Techniques to improve your products’ ranking

To understand what the ranking factors are, we have to clarify how does the Amazon search engine work. We are talking about the A9 algorithm.

Just think about its main goal… The answer is easy, to sell as many products as possible!  It is likely that Amazon will give visibility to the products that will make Amazon gain more. So the metrics will be:  

  • Relevance
  • CTR (Click Through Rate, it’s the ratio of the number of clicks you get from your listing  to the number of time that your listing is seen by the users)
  • Conversion rate (relationship between visitors/sales)
  • Revenue
  • Gross margin per search

From here, we can start a line of reasoning: if the ranking factor is the conversion rate, this means that first of all the visibility of my product and the number of users in my sheet must increase.

How can this be done?   

The product listing’s page must be well-finished and very precise. The page must have all the information that the prospective buyer needs. Unfortunately, this is the first obstacle: often we are not the owner of the product’s page. Moreover, if we decide to modify the page we will give it “for free” to our competitor and also our adjustments cannot be there forever.  

At the moment, there is not an official statement by Amazon where the ranking factors used by the search engine are defined. However, we know from the research done by some expert that there exist 38 factors which classify the visibility on Amazon! They have not the same “weight”, some of them affect the position more than others. For this reason, I will try to gather them into macro subjects.

This graphic, taken from, sum up the categories of the factors that influence the positioning of products. This graphic was posted online in 2015, but we think that the situation nowadays is not so different. Indeed, I am using this graphic to help me talk about these macro subjects and the strategies to use.


1. Click Through Rate

To improve the CTR on Amazon could be as hard as to do that on Google: there is not only one activity you can do. Instead, a series of techniques are required to increase the percentage. The factors that have a direct impact on the increase of CTR are:

  • the title: well-expressed for the users but also with incisive keywords and CEO-oriented: try to wear the users’ shoes, what could you write to search for that given product?
    • use all the space available you have
    • avoid abbreviations and check grammar
  • the reviews: they are very important and they should show the high quality of the product (at least 4 stars): a product with 4,85 stars and 55 reviews has a higher relevance compared with a product with 2,5 stars and 300 reviews.
  • the images (authentic and with good quality): a good image should respect these parameters
    • represent the product and have a white background
    • no digital watermarking, drawing or others
    • the product must be at least the 85% of the image
    • must be at least 1000 x 1000 pixels
  • the brand: the brand of a product has an important role and attracts the customers

2. Conversion rates

To increase the conversion rate could be convenient for the seller but also for Amazon thanks to the commission. This is why the Conversion rate has a big “slice” in the graphic. It is reasonable that Amazon pushes at the top the listings that brought more incomes: to sell more, try some price strategy or use the sponsored ads.   

To make your listings more visible, Amazon allow the sellers to sponsor the listings. In your Seller Central the heading Advertisement> Manage Campaign, you can create advertising campaign for the products to sponsor and use the automatic targeting (take into consideration that it is Amazon which associates keywords to your products) or the manual targeting (with whom your listings are found when the client’s search matches the keywords you added).

sponsored amazon

Another relevant aspect, that is not taken into account by Amazon, is the quality of the description: anyone is more attracted to a product that has an accurate description instead of an incomplete description. As a consequence, a well-done description can increase the conversion rate.

3. Sales And Product Listing History

Amazon gives a score to the performances of each item in the active stock and takes also into account all the selling history.

The Sales History of the seller surely affects the position in the ranking chart: to evaluate the Sales History, Amazon takes into account the total turnover, the CTR, the increase rate and the sale performances in the last 7, 14 and 30 days.

Also, the long-history listings are awarded: the more the listing is dated, the more it has reviews and incomes and the more it is more important than other listings.

4. Internal Referral Path

It is important, on Amazon, to add precise keywords in every item. Do you know why? Because Amazon builds the URL slug (the URL-friendly version of the string) starting with the keywords at the beginning of the product’s name. To get more visibility, indeed, you have to know which words to use without doing keyword stuffing - not so appreciated by both Amazon and Google.

5. Review

This group is not easy to manage because there are so many factors involved. The number of reviews is not enough to influence the ranking but these factors have to be kept in mind:

  • Number of product’s reviews – from 2 to 15 reviews could be ok, but it’s over 15 that you can hope to reach the highest seller
  • Mean score values of the reviews
  • Lengths of the review – the more they are long the more they help –
  • Total in € for each review’s author
  • Link (in the review text) to another competitor
  • Presence of at least a review from a “top contributor”
  • Presence of videos and images in the review – likely to close a transaction –
  • Score value/number of review compared to the number of direct competitors
  • Positive reviews on competitor’s product in SERP
  • Presence of questions and answers from users
  • Presence of reviews considered useful by other users
  • Presence of keywords in reviews or comments

At this point what do you do? Do you give complete authority to your clients? Obviously no, it is worthwhile to have as much positive (and real!) reviews as possible. I say real because for some time on there were different platforms that gave fake reviews in exchange for free products or discounts. But Amazon is really severe on this point nowadays.   

If you are to publish products that are not yet in the market, you can take advantage of the program - created by Amazon itself. Amazon Vine

Invite the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions. Amazon invites customers to become Vine Voices based on their reviewer rank, which is a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other Amazon customers. Amazon provides Vine members with free products that have been submitted to the program by participating vendors. Vine reviews are the independent opinions of the Vine Voices.

6. Inventory

Without knowing, Amazon gives to each seller a metric according to the availability of products inside the inventory from Seller Central. Amazon appreciates if the seller has a high number of products in stock. Indeed, if the product is not available for a long time, the ranking is going to lose value. Maybe, for this reason, it is worth planning to have restocked supplies before the out of stock. In a way, Amazon is rewarding your knowledge to satisfy the market request. Do a test: take a product that is going to finish soon and update it with a high quantity. You will see that your listing will have a big incentive!

7. Keywords

Let’s talk again about keywords. At the end, it is probably the most common subject by talking about ranking.

Before, we said that it is important to do a list of keywords in order to use them in listings. If you don’t know where to find the inspiration you can use these online free tools:

Once found the keywords, to maximize the visibility and the sales you have to take into consideration these fundamental elements:

  1. Title: maximum length of 200 characters, write a clear title with the keywords organized in a balanced way - the most important words first;
  2. The 5 Bullet Points: descriptives, with the highest number possible of keywords without doing keyword stuffing but with a list of the main features of the item;
  3. Description: maximum length of 2000 characters (c.a. 300 words). It should illustrate the main characteristics in a detailed and complete way. Maybe you can add directly here the frequently asked questions. Pay attention if you take the descriptions from your website: you can save time, but Google could recognizes the duplicated product and would prefer the Amazon page instead of yours;
  4. Search Terms: here you can add extra keywords (do not repeat the same) including e.g. synonyms, particular variations, etc.

Indeed, it is important to add keywords in the product’s review and in comments.

8. Impression

A small “slice” of our pie graph is represented by the impression. For this reason, it is not such a relevant aspect. Moreover, some tests showed that Amazon traces the views coming from the referral traffic, namely through external links on social networks or marketing campaign.

But Amazon does not give them a particular value. It is, however, an efficient strategy that it is worth testing.


9. Seller Account Authority

We have already talked about that in the post “Amazon BuyBox: what is it and how to achieve it” about the importance of the seller’s performance during the run to achieve the  Buy Box.


As for seller performances, I suggest you read this article. In this article, the criterion used by Amazon to evaluate the seller’s profile are explained. As a consequence, you can work in this sense and improve your performances.

Let’s sum up with some practical advice…

To leave the prices of your products unchanged is not a wise choice. Indeed, as you know well, Amazon itself changes the prices over and over again during the day. To do Repricing there are different online repricer software that can help you, among them, you can find the Instant Repricing of eDock. To have a minute-competition is likely to help you achieving the BuyBox, get more views and increase the CTR and the percentage of selling.

In conclusion, if you have a product to launch on Amazon, according to what we have said until now, the factor you should focus on are:

  • title and description – optimized with the keywords you chose
  • link building – add on Facebook or other social network the link to your listing’s page
  • supervise the competitors, to control e.g. the price of a similar product
  • choose carefully the department for your product
  • do not go out of stock
  • use the Amazon FBA (to know how to do that, read the article Amazon FBA: how to use Amazon fulfillment)
  • ask the buyers to leave a feedback and a review after they received the item
  • sponsor your top items

For everything else... you are in the buyer’s hands! Do whatever you can to offer a great sales experience, to interest the buyer with your product and to choose carefully the person to whom offer a review.

The other advice I can give you is: trace the data! Do some tests with the items you want to push, write down the strategies you adopted and the consequent effects. By doing in this way, you can surely know how to rank your products on Amazon!


At the beginning of the post I mentioned the 38 factors, here you are!



keywords in the product’s name (positive)


keywords in the description (positive)


keywords in the name of the department – choose the right department positive)


keywords in the review (positive)


keywords in the comments of the review (positivo)


total amount of € purchased on Amazon by the author of the review (positive… not every five-star review has the same weight!)


pageview of the product (positive)


sessions and single user’s view (positive)


average time for the page-reading (neutral)


number of product’s reviews (positive)


value of the review of the product (positive)


link in the review to other competitor’s product (positive)


length of the review (positive)


at least one top-contributor review (e.g. top 1000)


images or videos posted by the author of the review (positive)


Answers and questions from the buyers (very positive)


Score value/number of review compared to the number of direct competitors (positive)


prestige of the seller (better if more than one product is linked!) (positive)


facebook + twitter reshare of the product’s page (positive)


quantity and quality of external referral (positive)


use of Amazon affiliation link for the promotion of a product ( positive factor!)


CTR on the bestseller’s page for the department of the product (positive)


CTR of the product when it appears among the related of another product (positive)


CTR on the serp of the main keyword (positive)


% of Amazon’s monetization (positive)


update the description of the product (positive)


update to the cover (negative factor)


update of prices (even in reduction, positive factor)


positive reviews of products competitor in serp (apparently negative factor!)


preview download – only for ebook (positive)


n° purchased products (less important than what you think!)


product purchased together with other high-rate product (positive)


direct publish through the Amazon tool – no third part (positive)


high number of products in stock (only for physical products, it is said over 150 products)


return rate (negative)


Conversion rate (positive)


Rating/review number related to direct competitor (positive)


sales history (positive)

Topics: Marketplace EN

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