Amazon’s algo list is getting longer. You can officially wave goodbye to A9 and say hello to the new Amazon A10 algorithm.
As an Amazon Coordinator for Ignite, I’m on top of all things e-commerce. The A10 algorithm keeps an emphasis on providing the best possible customer experience, but not all stays the same.
The new variant shifts the focus from PPC advertising to product relevancy, seller legitimacy, and driving external traffic to the marketplace.
In this blog, we’ll look at the history of the A9 algorithm, the factors in the A10 algorithm, and how to optimize your listings when selling on amazon.
Where We’re Coming From: The A9 Algorithm
The A9 algorithm impacted product ranking in four direct ways:
- Text match relevancy
- Sales Velocity
There were also six indirect factors involved, including:
- Fulfillment method
- A+ content
PPC ads also played a major role in this model. Basically, the algorithm rewarded the best sellers by displaying their products to shoppers higher in the SERP.
The key thing to note about the A9 algo is that it threw a lot of sellers for a loop. A lot of brands that previously ranked high suddenly fell off the mast. By covering the new algorithm, I can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and avoid faltering in the wake of an update!
The Details: What is the Amazon A10 Algorithm?
As we know, Amazon has always put an emphasis on the consumer. With the updated A10 algo, they are making further strides to ensure that the customer experience is put first.
While A9 ranked products based on profit, A10 instead focuses on showing customers the most accurate results, regardless of profit. It just goes to show that Amazon is veering more toward user-friendliness across the platform. Accurate results are at the forefront of the update.
So why change from profit to consumer experience? Because Amazon wants to up the ante on their marketplace experience. It’s no longer enough to be pushing conversions. You have to be relevant to the consumer above all else to ensure consumers continue to come back.
That’s why PPC loses so much momentum in A10. Sponsored posts aren’t always an answer to the buyer’s question, so why should Amazon give them the top spot?
All things considered, paying attention to the update is necessary if you want to stay relevant in the marketplace. As a search engine all its own, you don’t want to sleep on Amazon.
Factors that Affect the New Amazon Algorithm
What is the Amazon A10 algorithm in practice?
Amazon hasn’t publicly weighed the factors that affect the Amazon algorithm by importance. However, as an Amazon Guru by trade, I’ve taken it upon myself to prioritize them in what I believe to be the most relevant way.
Seller authority: This involves the seller’s control over the Amazon listing or the buy box. So what impacts this? The platform pays attention to how long a seller has been active on the marketplace, their feedback rating, their performance metrics, and how many products they have in their catalog.
As a merchant, you can’t go back in time and change how you started, but you can optimize your practices moving forward.
Sales history: This facet is two-fold. One, it matters how well the product sells. Two, the level of sales affects how a product ranks organically on the search engine result page (SERP).
PRO TIP: Want to maintain a strong product ranking? You ought to ensure your product is always in stock. You can also institute promotions to keep your sales velocity strong.
Impressions: This refers to the number of times a product is seen on the Amazon marketplace, as well as affiliate and partner sites. Ideally, you want a lot of views because it can help improve product ranking.
Impressions really increase in weight for this algorithm update.
Internal sales: This refers to purchases on Amazon that are not a result of a search. Specifically, we’re looking at purchases from ‘recommended,’ ‘similar products,’ and ‘frequently bought with’ product purchase categories.
I recommend using a really high-quality and flattering photo to capture attention in this area.
Off-site sales: This factor is valued more in the A10 algorithm than the previous A9 version. As a seller, you can boost your off-site sales by including links to your Amazon listings on your website, in your own/guest blog posts, social media, etc.
Both the Seller and Amazon benefit from driving external traffic to the site because the seller gains more brand awareness and Amazon receives new customers who may not have landed on the marketplace otherwise.
Click-through rate (CTR): How many times do people click on your product after seeing the listing or ad? With ads, CTR is a great way to see how successful your ad relevance and ad placement are. The higher the CTR, the better, because it’s driving more traffic to your product listing (which ultimately makes for more sales opportunities).
Factors like a strong main image and an attention-grabbing title can help improve your CTR.
Conversion rate (CVR): It’s not enough to just get views on Amazon. You need sales, too, which is why CVR (the rate at which users view and then buy your product) is a pivotal factor.
Unsurprisingly, a high conversion rate results in a better product ranking.
Organic sales: These occur when a buyer purchases your product without any marketing or promotion involved. For example, if someone searches for a reusable water bottle on the web, clicks your organic listing, and ultimately purchases the product, it’s counted as an organic sale.
A robust product listing and indexing for search terms majorly come into play here, so make sure your listings include the right information which will help consumers make an informed purchase decision.
Pay-per-click (PPC) sales: In the A9 algorithm, PPC was a major factor for ranking. Now, in the latest update of the Amazon algorithm, it has a much less important role.
It’s still imperative to run PPC campaigns for a new product or uplifting underperforming products. This practice can help you create a solid organic sales strategy that will allow for long-term success.
How to Ensure You Have the Optimal Listings to Rank Well On Amazon in 2021 and Beyond
All those factors may seem overwhelming, but they’re pretty much a guide to how to do Amazon right.
With that in mind, there are some actionable steps you can take to optimize your Amazon listings with the A10 algorithm in mind.
Prioritize reviews, but don’t purchase them.
Fakespot has more than 325,000 users (the plugin that spots fake reviews and rates Amazon listings based on their credibility just raised $4 million of capital to up their efforts in December 2020).
You’ll also want to include all product info in the listing and stay connected with customers through various channels.
Audit Your Product Listings Consistently
This helps you ensure your listings are always optimized. So how do you do this? Set solid product images (especially the first one, because that’s the only one customers will see on the SERP). You need an attention-grabbing, informative title. While you’re at it, revise the copy so it’s clear what you’re selling. This means including keywords to help with SEO on the SERP.
Your goal is to provide relevant information on every listing. This way, you’re giving A10 a helping hand to match your products to buyers’ searches.
Take Competition Into Account
See what differentiates your product from the rest and include that in the content on the listing. You can do this through automated tools or manually (sometimes, there’s nothing better than rolling up your sleeves and digging through your competitors’ listings).
Visit others’ reviews and take note of their customer complaints so you can be the winning solution. You want to use your competition as a learning tool to see what works and what doesn’t.
Place a Big Emphasis on Driving External Traffic to Your Amazon Listings
The marketplace wants to reward those who bring them more customers. This is a great opportunity to improve your ranking and grow your brand awareness while simultaneously adhering to the new Amazon ranking algorithm.
If you’re after a solid way to drive external traffic to your Amazon listings, you should definitely use the Amazon affiliate and influencer programs to uplift you, as well as Amazon Attribution to track traffic.
Set the Perfect Price
Price matters a lot on Amazon. You don’t want to list the product too low because it won’t generate a profit—but if you price it too high, you won’t get sales. It’s a real balancing act.
You have to be careful with coupons, promotions, and discounts. They can be harmful to your brand image if you use them incorrectly, so be wary of how much you’re discounting when using them. Consumer sentiment is everything, and an underpriced product can be just as skeptical as an overpriced one.
Welcoming the Amazon A10 Algorithm with Open Arms
Moving into the Amazon A10 algorithm, sellers should remember the shift from PPC to the consumer experience.
Amazon wants to grow its marketplace and plans to do so by ensuring all customers have a positive shopping experience. Sellers and Vendors on Amazon must adjust their strategies and adapt to the change, all to score long-term success and grow their brand.