Leveraging Amazon’s Algorithm To Boost Visibility.
Are you an author looking to get visibility on Amazon? Do you feel like your books are getting lost in the crowd amongst the millions of other books on Amazon? If so, then this blog post is for you! Join me (I am an indie author) as we learn how to leverage Amazon’s algorithm to boost your book’s visibility and increase the chances of it being seen by potential readers. This article is for new authors, indie authors and self published authors, it is for those looking to understand the Amazon search engine, Amazon SEO and for those looking to optimise their listings to potentially increase book sales, sales rank and visibility. As an indie author myself, with an SEO and marketing background, who sells print, kindle and has books in the KDP kindle unlimited programme, I know through experience that understanding the Amazon algorithm is one of the most important things I can do. So let’s get into it.
Understanding The Amazon Algorithm
Amazons Amazon’s A9 ranking algorithm is a powerful tool used by the company to determine how products are ranked in search results. You have experienced it yourself. Type in your keyword and within milli-seconds the results appear, but what exactly happens in those milliseconds between you hitting return and the results arriving?
In a fraction of a second, the Amazon Algo uses a variety of qualifying factors, such as your input i.e. the keywords you used. It then cross references this with its index of appropriate titles. The Amazon search engine is trying to return you the best and most likely products for your search term. The better it gets, the fewer obstacles there are between you, the customer, and the checkout. So, as you can imagine, it is Amazon’s best interest to make this as good as it can be. After you hit return the A9 algorithm looks at and analyses the associated keywords, it checks BSR – Best Seller Rank, sales history, market trends, competitor data, customer reviews, ratings, book titles, book descriptions, advertising, price points, availability, time frame i.e what is most popular now in terms of sales and many other factors that we are not privy to. By taking all these elements into consideration, Amazon can accurately determine which products should be placed at the top of search results. The A9 algorithm is constantly evolving and improving as Amazon continues to refine its search engine capabilities. As a result, customers are able to find exactly what they’re looking for more efficiently than ever before.
For those looking to market their books on Amazon, understanding the Amazon A9 algorithm is the first step in making sure your book is found by potential readers. As noted above the A9 Algorithm is the system that Amazon uses to decide how products are ranked in Amazon’s search results. Each sale or download of a product counts as one point towards a hypothetical “rank score” and each day the preceding day’s score decreases. This means that it is important to have consistent sales and downloads in order to stay on top of Amazon’s rankings. At the end of the day Amazon is interested in serving books that readers will actually buy. If you type in “Harry Potter”, Amazon knows that there is a high percentage that you are looking for a harry potter book and won’t serve you a book in the style of harry potter or a book written with similar themes, stories and characters, as you are less likely to buy that title. The data also shows that the original Harry Potter titles sell consistently and have a far better “Rank score”.
Indexing On Amazon
Another thing to note is indexing and ranking. Your book must first be indexed. As mentioned in my Publisher Rocket Review, Amazon only shows a few hundred options over 20 or so pages, however there may be 100,000 results available for the search term you used. Having your book indexed, means that it has a chance of being referenced and served when Amazon’s A9 returns the customers’ results. Indexing is not automatically done when you upload your book, rather, it is included in the index when you make a few sales. This is why a book launch to secure those first crucial sales is so important to your book’s success.
Further to this and building upon this, if your book is continuously selling, Amazon’s algorithms know that there is potential in the product and may artificially boost it. I.e. if it is getting consistent sales with a traffic volume of 400, if the traffic increases and the sales continue at the same rate, it is in theory, in Amazon’s interest to do this. Afterall the system is designed to find what sells and amplify it. Amazon is in the business of making money! There are many strategies that attempt to take advantage of this, including rapid release and high spend amazon advertising.
Understanding the Amazon algorithm is essential to achieving success in book marketing on Amazon. Knowing how to leverage the algorithm will help you to increase your visibility and boost your sales.
Factors that Influence Rankings
To make sure your book is doing well on Amazon, understanding the factors that influence rankings is essential. Amazon’s A9 is the algorithm that determines product rankings by analyzing your book listings, matching them with online shoppers’ search queries, and taking into account a variety of factors. These include keyword relevance and the book’s popularity on the platform. To increase visibility, it’s important for authors to optimize their book listings. These are the most important aspects to optimise to stay competitive and work with Amazon A9 algorithm to dominate your competition on Amazon.
START: Make a Plan!
1: Book Title
2: Book Description
3: Book Cover
7: Author Profile
8: Good Reads
9: External Marketing And Building An Author Platform
Make A Book Marketing Plan
Developing a promotional strategy is essential to ensure that your book is noticed by the right people. To maximize the success of your book launch, consider creating a comprehensive plan that includes email campaigns, social media marketing, paid advertising and more. You can also utilize Amazon’s pay-per-click system to help boost visibility for your book. Invest in optimizing keywords, as well as researching and targeting potential readers. Additionally, you can analyze the effectiveness of your promotional strategy by regularly checking your book’s visibility on Amazon. This can help you identify areas of improvement and make the necessary adjustments to help increase sales.
NOTE: One of the most powerful tools for analysing and getting the best data from Amazon is Publisher Rocket. Publisher Rocket is an author’s dream tool, and can help you rank on Amazon and sell more books. It allows you to research the best keywords, check out the competition, see what categories they are listed in, how much money they are making, as well as help you plan your amazon adverts. For a full in depth review of Publsiher Rocket Click here.
Or to buy click below
1,2 & 3 Your Amazon Sales Page
The algorithm is complex and ever-changing, but there are several simple steps you can take to make sure your book stands out from the competition. Amazon’s algorithm pays special attention to the number of reviews and ratings your book has, the keywords used in the title and description, and the content of the product page. By optimizing these factors, you can increase your book’s visibility on Amazon.
Once you have a good understanding of the Amazon algorithm, you can make it part of your marketing strategy to add more content to your books sales page that will complement the algorithm and your books goals. This can help boost your visibility and rankings on Amazon. Adding relevant and targeted content to your sales page will not only help boost your book’s visibility but also help attract the right readers.
It is important to include a compelling book title and a description that accurately reflects the content of the book, as well as an eye-catching cover image which is similar in quality and style to the best sellers in the category. A few reviews from beta readers or early testers. Additionally, including videos and other visuals can help capture readers’ attention and showcase the book in a more engaging way. Amazon allows for A+ content includes modules for series, author backgrounds, cover art and book samples.
Read more about there here https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GCKLH8V7ULLD5EXY
How do you put this into practice? First off, you define what your book is, who your audience is, what search terms they will use etc. Then you tailor your Title (possibly not if it is a fiction novel) subtitle, description, backend keywords (Amazon allows you to add up to seven long tail keywords for every book) and any other material in your books listing to narrow down and inform Amazon exactly who your audience is and show your potential readers what your content covers. This includes making sure that your description is at least 100 words long and using genre-specific terms that will help refine, target, and boost the visibility of your book. Additionally, make sure the description accurately reflects the content of the book. Being honest and straightforward about what readers can expect from your book will help you build credibility and trust with potential readers. Be specific, cast your net too wide and it will be lost at sea!
4: Make It Part of Your Marketing Strategy To Solicit Reviews
Reviews and ratings are essential in helping Amazon’s algorithm determine the quality of a book. By soliciting reviews and gaining ratings, you can increase your book’s visibility. Reviews and ratings are one of the most important factors in Amazon’s algorithm as they indicate the quality of your book and give Amazon and the reader real world feedback from readers of the book. This can be a powerful way to boost your book’s visibility and increase sales. However, it is important to remember that reviews and ratings should be genuine, and not motivated (by money) or written by the authors themselves.
Reviews are an important part of any book marketing strategy, and Amazon’s algorithm rewards books with more reviews. However, as any indie author knows gaining genuine book reviews at or close to release is extremely hard. Therefore you must make it a firm practice to solicit reviews from early readers and influencers in your genre, and consider offering incentives (a free copy, not money) for them to review your book. I personally have found this easier when releasing Non-Fiction books and or short stories and so much more difficult when releasing epic fantasy novels.
There are many platforms today that will allow you to promote a heavily discounted or free version of your book on their platform, in exchange for you paying a monthly subscription. These platforms are generally full of readers who will leave a review in exchange for a copy of the book, however most will leave a comment like “Received as part of a review programme”, “Received an ARC copy” or something similar and also Amazon does not show the “verified purchase” wording next to the review, which has both an influence on genuine readers and the algorithm.
One way to find reviewers for your book is to explore the review section of other books in your genre. Reach out to potential reviewers who have already expressed an interest in books within the same topic area, (they can often be found via their username, some have website, social media accounts or accounts with popular review sites) offer them a copy of your book to review. You can also join Facebook or Reddit groups related to your book topic, and ask people if they’d be interested in reviewing your book. Additionally, you can leverage your existing network by asking friends, family, and colleagues if they’d be willing to review your book. This is a great way to get honest and unbiased feedback for your book, as well as increase visibility for it. But, it can be a hard slog. You must be bold and confident in your book.
You can use these online services to find readers who are willing to review books in exchange for free copies. However, I will always recommend that you do not pay for book reviews, the quality will be low and return on investment will not be good. With more real reviews, your book will have a better chance of appearing in Amazon’s search results.
Check out this article on Book Promo Sites For new Authors (Coming Soon)
5. Take Advantage of Amazon’s Pay-Per-Click System – Advertise On Amazon.
Now we have an understanding of the Amazon algorithm and have established a strategy for your book listing. You can now take advantage of Amazon’s Pay-Per-Click (PPC) system to boost visibility for your book. Amazon PPC is an advertising platform that allows you to create ad campaigns for your books, based on bidding and auction. Through this platform, you can promote your book on a cost-per-click basis. When an ad placement is open, an instantaneous auction system displays the product that best matches the buyer’s search query. In this way, you can use Amazon PPC to increase the exposure of your books and attract more customers by leveraging these powerful in-house tools. You can ensure that your book is seen by the right people at the right time. Check out my Amazon Ads Authors Guide for a simple overview utilising on to simple methods!
6. Know Your Amazon Categories
When you list your book you are given the option to select only two categories. However, the more categories you list your book under the better. Up to a maximum of ten. Categories are different across regions, so UK has slightly different categories from the USA etc. Some, categories like Fantasy will require hundreds of sales in a single day to get to the top of the best seller list and sub categories of Fantasy may only require 20 sales in a day to get into the top of the best seller rankings. For more information on categories check my Publisher Rocket: As an indie author/self-publisher. Is it worth it? article:
7. Create An Author Profile
Use the tools available from Amazon to make an author profile. Here you can write a little about yourself, add image, video and even an RSS feed to your website blog. All things that can help a potential buyer make the decision to buy from you. People buy people! Tools like Amazon Author Central are invaluable. Sign up today it’s free. Claim your books, make your profile, see sales rankings and more.
8: Good Reads
The largest community of readers and authors on the internet just so happens to be owned by Amazon, and as of 2023 some Good Read reviews are now appearing on the product pages of well known authors and books on Amazon. Good Reads is a great place to join and interact with your community and your readers. Building a good reputation hear is invaluable.
9: External Marketing Bnd Building An Author Platform
Increase your chance of making a sale on Amazon by building an external platform and funneling people to your sales pages on Amazon. Each of my books are listed on this website and each of my books sales pages has Amazon sales buttons.
Check for an example.
One of the best ways to maximise your book’s visibility on Amazon is to build an author platform. An author platform consists of a strong presence on social media, a website, and a blog. Having an established platform gives you access to a wider audience and allows you to build relationships with readers. It also gives you the ability to reach out to bloggers and reviewers who could talk about your book and help spread the word.
Additionally, having an author platform enables you to reach out directly to readers, letting them know when your book is available, who you are, what you’re interested in, allowing you to build a community. This can be especially beneficial for authors who are self-publishing and don’t have the resources to promote their books through traditional channels. At the heart of every Author Platform is a solid website, take my website for example. It houses links to all my books, feeding people into my Amazon sales pages ( Good for the algo) it houses my blogs (Like this one, which brings people from the internet to my site), my fantasy author interviews (Author community building), my software reviews, sign ups for my newsletter, links to my social and more. A functioning and regularly updated website is at the centre of a strong author platform. Read about how to build one with my complete author website guide and check out my Self Publishing 101 for more ideas on building an author platform and more.
Conclusion of Book Marketing On Amazon.
Reap the Benefits of a Well-Executed Amazon Strategy
Using the strategies outlined in this article, authors like you can leverage Amazon’s algorithms to maximize their book’s visibility. With the right combination of tactics, authors can reap the benefits of a well-executed Amazon strategy, including increased sales and more engaged readers. A successful Amazon strategy requires authors to stay on top of their book visibility and make adjustments as needed. Analysing data and responding to customer feedback will help you continually refine your approach and ensure your books stand out among the competition. Combined with an effective marketing plan, a solid website (author platform) a well-executed Amazon strategy can help authors reach their desired readership and achieve success and an increase in sales.
Go forth and conquer and if you found this article useful please share it with your friends and your community.