How to Rank Products on Amazon in 2022
Everyone wants their product to rank in the top 3 organic slots for their juiciest keywords on page 1.
But how do you rank your products on Amazon? It’s actually pretty simple (“Just make good products!”), there are specific levers you can pull to help give your product rankings a boost.
To help with execution, we’ll break down 7 main ranking factors on Amazon, and then specific actions you can take to influence those ranking factors, and which factors each individual action influences most.
The 7 Main Ranking Factors on Amazon.com
1 - Sales Velocity
This is one of the big daddies that seriously influences product rankings.
Sales velocity, at least on Amazon, is based on how much product you sell consistently.
Amazon also measures your sales in two ways: Overall historical sales and recent sales. This is the reason why you can see products with not many reviews among other products with thousands of reviews.
2 - Review Velocity
Generally, reviews for products come in at about 2% of sales. So if you sell 100 units, you’re likely to net 2 reviews (give or take a few).
Amazon’s algorithm looks favorably on products that can gain 5 star reviews, and can get them consistently and quickly.
3 - Conversion Rate
While “conversion rates” is a bit broad, it involves things like relevancy, if people ultimately make a purchase, and if people leave your listing after viewing it.
A good conversion rate indicates a lot is right about your product, so it’s only natural that Amazon’s algorithm looks very closely at conversion rates of all products when ranking them.
4 - Return Rate
Your return rate is how many returns you have on a product relative to the amount of sales.
Again, Amazon looks favorably on products that don’t get returned often compared to similar products within a category.
5 - Relevancy
This is a tricky one, as the inner workings of the so-called “A9” Algorithm determine how relevant your product is based on a bunch of different factors.
Relevancy is how likely Amazon thinks someone will purchase your product based on the keyword they typed in the search bar.
If Amazon believes your product is a good match for a specific keyword particularly well based on a variety of factors, you will rank highly for that keyword.
6 - Complete Listings
A complete listing is one that has filled every possible text field, image slot, and answered every question asked by shoppers.
If you want to know about every text field you can possibly fill out for an Amazon listing, check our Amazon SEO guide that covers this topic.
A quick overview of a completed listing:
- Fills out every available text box. That includes backend search terms, bullet points, title, description/A+ content, and relevant attributes.
- Has a Main image and fills every available Alternative image slot.
- If you’re brand registered, you have a video about your product and have filled out the A+ content
- If there’s any questions asked about your product, they are all answered
Amazon likes listings that provide the most information to both Amazon and to customers.
7 - Best Sellers Rank (BSR)
Best Sellers Rank, or BSR for short, is a literal ranking that Amazon assigns to every product within its subcategory.
You can find the BSR for any product on Amazon towards the bottom of the page on a listing:
This product, for example, holds 5th place for most sales within the subcategory.
You can even view the list of the best sellers in that subcategory:
If you are #1 within your category or subcategory, you will receive a best seller badge for your product:
Badges are worth a lot on Amazon, so while getting one shouldn’t be your only goal, it is something to work towards and is a good indicator that you’re doing things right.
According to Amazon, your BSR is “calculated based on all-time sales of an ASIN/Product where recent sales are weighted more than older sales.”
While a better BSR doesn’t guarantee better organic rankings, they are a factor.
How to Improve Product Rankings
1 - Lower Your Price
Have you ever wondered why when you search on Amazon for general things you want rather than a specific brand, the top organic spots always seem to have products that are on the cheaper end?
Searching for Gaming Keyboards on Amazon, who doesn’t know the brands Redragon and Snpudiri?
It’s obvious here that the #1 and #2 organic spots here are taken by relatively unknown companies because they’re cheap (and on sale, and one even has an extra coupon deal on top of a sale).
Razer, a more recognizable brand, likely only has the #3 spot for now because of a 33% off temporary sale.
This happens because price is a huge factor in conversion rates, and a low price increases sales velocity.
Therefore cheaper products typically dominate the top slots on Amazon for a lot of keywords.
While you don’t need to be THE cheapest to get into the top slots, you need to be within the ballpark of other top offerings, and having a higher price means you’ll need to make up for it with a better product and better branding.
Ranking Factors Affected by Price:
- Conversion Rates. A lower price will make a shopper more likely to buy your product.
- Review Rates. Since reviews come in around 2% of purchase rate, a lower price will therefore enable more reviews over time.
- Sales Velocity. Lower prices will obviously increase overall sales.
- BSR. Since BSR is directly linked to Sales Velocity, this will be affected.
2 - Run More Ads
Ads are playing a bigger role on Amazon today than they ever have, and they will continue to do so in the future.
While some platforms, like Google, have it so ads don't affect organic rankings, this is not the case with Amazon.
A sale scored through an advertisement on Amazon will only be a benefit to your organic rankings.
Therefore you should not only be running ads all the time for your products, you should be utilizing every ad type available.
Amazon doesn’t allow non-registered brands to access 2 out of the 3 types of advertising.
So if you’re not brand registered, now is the time.
Need some pointers on ads? We have a quick guide for giving your PPC efforts a boost.
Ranking Factors Affected by Running Ads
- Sales Velocity. More ads means more product listing slots, which means more eyeballs on your products.
- Review Velocity. Since reviews are tied so closely to sales, this will also be affected
- BSR. Increasing sales velocity will improve your Best Sellers Rank in your product’s category.
3 - Update Listings: SEO + Images
Your listings are the lifeforce of your Amazon business.
There’s so much your listings are responsible for, it’s incredible that so many sellers don’t pour every ounce of their efforts into making perfect listings.
They are how shoppers interact with your business, they are what convince a shopper to buy, they convey your branding, and so much more.
If you want a rankings boost fast… start updating your listings!
If you want to update your images but don’t know where to start, check our Amazon Product Image Guide.
If you want to make sure you’re filling all the text properly on every available text field, check our Amazon SEO Guide.
Ranking Factors Affected by Updating Listings
- Complete Listings. There’s a chance if you update your listing you’re filling out some field you previously missed. A more complete listing will give you better chances at higher rankings.
- Relevancy. Since SEO and Relevancy are directly related, giving your listings an SEO upgrade will give you a relevance boost.
- Conversion rate. Better listings let your listings reach to every corner of Amazon, and they let customers know your product is the one for them.
4 - Make Better Packaging
Packaging is an area many sellers fall short.
If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you’ve likely received products that just come in a clear plastic bag, not sealed in any way besides some tape.
Having bad packaging has a lot of downfalls:
- Your product can be damaged easily on the way to the customer, which is responsible for a HUGE amount of 1 star reviews on listings.
- It doesn’t give a good first impression of your product to a new customer, which means your brand isn’t memorable or worth looking at for future purchases.
- It makes your product hard to gift. Gifting is a huge part of shopping online, and if your product is beautifully packaged, it can be sent directly as a gift to someone through Amazon.
If you want to see an overall lift in the performance of your product line, improve your packaging look and durability.
Also, if you have really nice packaging, you can even include it on your Main image to add a bit of differentiation to your listing.
Ranking Factors Affected by Better Packaging
- Return Rate. Stronger packaging = less damaged product = fewer returns = better metrics on Amazon which can lead to higher rankings.
- Review Velocity. Good branding and packaging will leave a good impression on your customer, which will take up mindshare and improve your chances of getting a review.
5 - Stay in Stock
Staying in stock is absolutely critical on Amazon.
Which is a bit ironic, because you’re at the mercy of Amazon to get your products shippable to customers in a timely manner once it’s on the truck being sent to their warehouses.
Regardless of this, you should do your best to keep healthy stock levels of your products.
Good inventory management and keeping a close eye on sales will let you keep a steady stream of inventory going to Amazon warehouses.
Ranking Factors Affected by Staying in Stock
- BSR. Your BSR rank tanks when you’re out of stock.
- Sales Velocity. If you go out of stock your sales velocity will literally be 0.
6 - Have Product Listing Match Delivered Product
Do the images in your listing perfectly match what your customer receives?
Does your product DO exactly what your listing says it does?
Your customers are smart. If you promise something sturdy, they will test its sturdiness. If you promise a large quantity of something, your customers will count the amount.
Try to make sure any image of your product in your listing matches the final product and make sure your product does not over-promise on what’s delivered.
Ranking Factors Affected by Matching Listing with Delivered Product
- Review Velocity. When people get exactly what they expect, you can expect more happy reviews.
- Return Rate. An absolute ton of returns and bad reviews on Amazon are due to packaging issues and products being damaged. If you can prevent this, you can expect fewer returns.
In the end, ranking is a straightforward concept to grasp, but difficult to execute on perfectly. If your product line is constantly growing, it’ll be harder and harder to give each listing the care it needs to perform at its fullest potential.
Always be optimizing and come up with operating procedures that allow you to keep your listings polished while not taking up all of your time.