If you want to learn all about how to get your book on the first page of Amazon, you are in the right place!
Amazon is currently the largest bookstore in the world. Which, as you can imagine, makes it an excellent marketplace to grow your business as an author/publisher. Unfortunately, it's also incredibly competitive. It is, however, possible to compete with hundreds of thousands of other sellers for the top spot on Amazon's search results page, depending on the genre your book is in.
How can you stand out from the competition and achieve the number one ranking on Amazon? In other words, how do you get noticed by buyers searching for books similar to yours?
In this article, I'll explain how to optimize your Amazon listings for Amazon SEO, so you can rank higher on the first page and sell more books.
How To Get Your Book on The First Page of Amazon
To rank well on Amazon, you must understand three fundamental things:
- What are your potential customers searching for when they’re looking for the books like yours?
- Where to place your keywords
- How A9 (Amazon's search engine) works and how the results are ranked.
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these so that you can have the best opportunity to snag that coveted Amazon front page spot.
What Are Your Potential Customers Searching For When They're Looking For Your Books Like Yours?
This is the first question you will need to answer when trying to get on your book on Amazon’s front page. To get your answer, start by brainstorming the search terms that you would use to search for books like yours.
Then drop them into Amazon and take note of the books that come up. Are these books in your genre? Would someone who read the books you found want to read your book? If so, jot the search term you used down and save it to be utilized as a keyword later. Try to niche down as much as you can (i.e. the term ‘Interracial Little Mermaind Fairytale Retellings’ would be far more targeted than using just ‘Fairytale Retellings’).
Since Amazon only displays listings that contain the keywords added in the user's search query, it is very important that you use these keywords in your listings. Although you have already brainstormed some relevant Amazon search terms, it doesn't hurt to take a look at your competitors' listings for additional inspiration.
You can then begin assessing overall search volumes for these keywords using tools such as LSIGraph, Hubspot's Keyword Tool, Google Keyword Planner, and etc.
Where Should You Place Your Keywords
When you have identified the Amazon search terms people will use to possibly search for your books, the next thing to consider is keyword placement. This is essentially where your keywords will be placed in your listings.
You do not want to get crazy here as keyword spamming generally do more damage to your book’s ranking than good. The secret to increasing the visibility of your Amazon listings may lie in strategically positioning your keywords.
There are several ways to use keywords in an Amazon listing, well, four to be precise:
1. In Your Book Title.
Not only does your book title hold the most weight when Amazon matches your product to a user's search query, it also influences how many people actually click on it and view your listing.
The reason why this is relevant is that you shouldn't write your title with the Amazon search engine in mind. Instead, you should focus on how you can convey the information your customers care about to them in a way they will click on.
Your Amazon search ranking is more heavily influenced by the keywords in your product title. This is the first thing a customer sees, and as such, should be extremely relevant to what the user has specifically searched for.
2. Amazon Product Description.
You can take advantage of the long-tail keywords you identified during your research in the book description on Amazon.
It is important to include the main keywords in the subtitle of your book, but you should also further explain how this is explored in this section. Rather than simply listing the books key headings, the best Amazon product descriptions tell a story about the book (sort of like a small plot summary) and convince buyers as to why they should buy.
Understanding A9 (Amazon's Algorithm For Ranking)
If you want to rank on the front page of Amazon, you’ll need to understand how their search algorithm works. It is important to remember that no two search engines are alike when it comes to SEO. In other words, Amazon's search engine algorithm - A9 - will be different from Google's and eBay's.
Amazon returns relevant search results as an example of this. Any search engine places importance on relevancy, but Amazon places a high premium on specific keywords that appear in the query. For this reason, it only displays products that contain these keywords within their listings. This includes variations of words as well.
For instance, consider the following example. Searching for "candlestick" returns 31,346 results. On the other hand, "Candle stick" returns 11,272 results. This is a significant drop in listings and in competition. You should be populating your listings with all relevant keyword variations, which is perhaps the biggest takeaway from this. Keyword stuffing is not the answer.
In addition to price, availability, and sales history, text match is a huge ranking factor, and the information you provide in your title and description will not only determine where you rank on Amazon but if you rank at all.
When you've met all the criteria and have been selected as a result of a relevant search query, the next step is to understand what determines where you rank.
The search for candlesticks returns 31,346 results, so getting onto this list should be your primary concern, but optimizing your listings to appear at the very top of this list is another challenge.
The Top Two Factors That Affect Your Amazon Ranking
Google ranks its results by those that most accurately answer the searcher's query, while Amazon ranks its listings based on those products that they believe the searcher is most likely to buy.
Although I covered a lot of ground up to this point, it's important to keep in mind that your search ranking isn't solely based on your keywords and how well you optimize your book title and description.
In fact, they are critical for helping Amazon's search engine determine how relevant your book is to the customer's search term. However, even the most optimized listings won't be found on the first page of Amazon if they have a poor sales history and/or a bad seller rating. Because of this, it is important to understand how Amazon ranks products.
While Amazon doesn't explicitly disclose the criteria and weightings they use to determine a book's position on the search results pages, information available through KDP and A9's website gives us a good idea of what factors are considered.
The top two in terms of books seem to be:
The role of keywords in Amazon SEO has already been discussed, but when it comes to the most crucial ranking factors, text match (or more specifically the keywords used in your Amazon title), book description and subtitle all play a significant role.
It is likely that you will achieve a higher search ranking if your keywords are relevant (particularly those in your title).
Price & Current Amazon Promotions.
Pricing is one of the most important factors Amazon takes into consideration because customers seek out the best deals.
Amazon also takes into consideration price when selecting products for the Similar Products, and Also Boughts, another great way to increase sales.