How To Rank Your Merch by Amazon Products Higher

Let’s talk about how you can increase the search rankings of your Merch by Amazon products.

You may have a couple of great t-shirt or hoodie designs constantly fluctuating on that are being outranked by other products that have much less creative designs… This happens all the time!

I’m going to try to cover the fundamental basics of properly optimizing your product listings using relevant keywords, and I’ll also go over a few other key metrics to give you the best understanding on how you can rank your Merch by Amazon products higher.

Understanding Amazon’s A9 Product Search Algorithm

The most important thing to understand and cover first are the basics on how Amazon’s A9 algorithm works. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will cover what’s relevant to Amazon Merch in the A9 algorithm. When ranking products on Amazon you don’t necessarily want to optimize them for Google, you want to optimize them for Amazon.
Simply put, A9 is the name of Amazon’s product search algorithm, and Amazon reveals some details on how they calculate search results on their official A9 website.

Amazon states:

“Our work starts long before a customer types a query. We’ve been analyzing data, observing past traffic patterns, and indexing the text describing every product in our catalog before the customer has even decided to search. As soon as we see the first keystroke, we’re ready with instant suggestions and a comprehensive set of search results.”

As you can see most of the work on Amazon’s end is done before the customer even puts in a search query. Thus it’s important to optimize your product listings with keywords that will give you the best chance of being indexed in the right niches and ultimately seen and purchased by relevant customers.

At the core of A9, Amazon primarily focuses on three key metrics.

Amazon A9 Search Engine Explained

What are the three key metrics?

The three most important key metrics for ranking a product higher on Amazon are conversion, relevancy, and customer satisfaction and retention.

Conversion Rate

The better your product converts the higher it will rank. Conversion is one of the most important factors in determining how high a product ranks. Simply put, more sales equals higher rankings.


How relevant your product is for the search results it appears in. Your product will be placed in various different searches based on your primary keyword and the different keyword variations you use. It’s very important to have a relevant design and to choose your keywords wisely and avoid keyword stuffing.

Customer Satisfaction & Retention

How does Amazon make the most money from a single customer? They do it by making a customer happy enough to keep coming back for more (retention). If a customer buys your t-shirt and leaves a 5 star review that’s a good sign that the customer was satisfied with the price and the product (customer satisfaction).
Reviews and price play a big role in how high your product ranks, especially in highly competitive niches.

Now that we covered the three most important factors in ranking a product higher on Amazon, let’s move onto understanding keywords.

Understanding Keywords for Amazon Merch

I believe that understanding how keywords work on Amazon is one of the most important and least utilized pieces of information for new Merch by Amazon users. When you understand keywords, keyword research, and how to properly optimize your product details page around them, you’re going to receive organic sales much quicker!

Keywords basically tell Amazon where your product should be placed. Keywords are also what customers type into the Amazon search box when they’re looking for a product to buy.

Understanding why a customer is searching for a product, why they want the product, and what relevant keywords and related words (synonyms) they’re using to search for the product is the key to the Merch game. Once you understand this information you can optimize your Merch by Amazon product listings accordingly.

There are a few other steps you can take to quickly gauge a niche market and a keyword to see how much competition appears in the space, how well the products in the niche markets are selling as a whole, and how many searches per month the keywords are receiving, and If the data appears good in all aspects, you more than likely found a winner that is worth creating a design around! I’ll cover keyword research in more depth in a later guide. For now, you can find a brief overview of it in this beginners guide.

The key is to find niches and relevant keywords that have lower competition, but high demand!

You can easily do this by using the premium product search feature inside Merch Titans or gain a good understanding with the free product research tool.

Once you find a good primary keyword you’ll want to optimize your product listing around it.

Optimizing Your Product Listing for Primary Keyword and Relevant Keywords

Now that you understand keywords, synonyms, and the various different ways your primary keyword could be searched for on Amazon you are now ready to optimize your product listing. This is an important step in making sure your listing is optimized the best way possible.

I always recommend that you follow this simple rule when optimizing your product listings.

What rule?

Make sure your primary keyword or a close variation of it is located in each of the fields that Merch by Amazon presents you with on the Product Details page.

You’ll want your primary keyword or a close variation of it in the Brand, Title, Bullet #1, Bullet #2, and Description.

Customers use various different words to search for the same products so you’ll also want to include a few synonyms, variations, and other related words that could potentially be used to search for your product.

There’s a catch though… You’ll want to include the keywords, synonyms, and variations in the most natural way possible in sentence form, especially in the bullets and description.

You can refer to the image and text below to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about.


If you can’t fully make out the text from the image the info and keywords that I used are posted below:

Weekend Forecast Camping Shirts

Weekend Forecast Camping With A Chance of Drinking T-Shirt

Bullet #1:
This Weekend Forecast Camping With A Chance Of Drinking T-Shirt is the perfect gift idea for Men and Women that enjoy having a few alcoholic drinks while they camp.

Bullet #2:
This funny tee has a graphic print and features the quote “Weekend Forecast Camping With A Chance of Drinking“. It’s the perfect gift for lovers of beer, alcohol, nature, trees, and the great outdoors.

This funny graphic t-shirt features the quote “Weekend Forecast Camping With A Chance Of Drinking“. It’s the perfect gift for any man or woman that occasionally enjoys camping and alcoholic beverages on the weekends.

Again, follow the above keyword rule of placing your primary keyword or a close variation of it in all possible fields to really give yourself the best chance of determining the niche and positioning of your product on Amazon within the search results.

6 Most Important Product Ranking Factors for Merch by Amazon

The below factors all fall under the three most important search ranking factors from Amazon’s A9 algorithm. They are the most important factors to consider optimizing for in terms of increasing your Merch by Amazon product rankings.

#1 Sales Rank (BSR)More sales = Higher ranking

#2 Click Through Rate (CTR)Make sure your design stands out in the search results and is more likely to be clicked (and purchased) over competing designs.

#3 Customer ReviewsGood customer reviews will definitely increase rankings.

#4 Design & Keyword RelevanceHaving a great design with keywords relevant to the customers search query will increase rankings.

#5 Product Listing Optimization & CompletenessFully fill out each field on the product details page (title, brand, bullets, and description) and optimize them for your primary keyword.

#6 PricePrice slightly lower than the market average to increase your rankings.

Finishing Up

This guide covers the most important ranking factors that Amazon’s A9 search algorithm takes into account when determining how high your products will be ranked among competing products. If you take this information and apply it your existing product listings and your new product listings I’m sure you’ll notice a considerable boost in rankings and ultimately sales over the coming weeks, and remember… the more sales you receive, the higher your product will rank! It will have a compound effect.

If you have any questions just let me know in the comments section below.

Get your Merch Titans Account

Get Started Here

Comments 17

Add Comment

Thanks for all the good info. What tier are you currently on now? TIA for the answer and keep up the good work.

    Curtis Blackmore

    Hey Jason,
    You’re welcome!
    I’m currently at the 2K tier, but should be tiering up to 4K soon.


Thanks so much Curtis Blackmore. I have followed this guide but not yet sale. Not yet Tier up. Cry Cry

    Curtis Blackmore

    Just stay consistent. Keep tweaking your keywords if neccessary. Max your uploads daily at the low tiers. The more t-shirts you get up, the better the chances of sales.

Vu Cong Kien

Thank you for your awesome post! I’m sitting on Tier 100 now and get Tier up soon! Keep hard working !

Erhard Kunz

Thank you and Merch-Titans is a great tool!
The other Merch Tool Blog tells the same in a case study like you: Repeat important keywords.
In some FB groups they say that each keyword should occur only once in the listing.
Do you have any idea why in the FB groups claim the opposite?

    Curtis Blackmore

    Everyone has their own strategies.
    I recommend you experiment with strategies/methods until you find something that works for you. I follow this general rule, and it definitely works for me. 🙂

      Erhard Kunz

      Hard to experiment with only a small number of sales 😉
      That’s why such articles are so interesting.

      Have you noticed that older designs work better than new designs? From the beginning of February (first sale) until the middle of March things went well for me, then suddenly hardly any sales. With T25 I sold ten times more than in T500 with over 250 designs.
      Such experiences are also reported by many others in the FB groups.
      That’s why completely new strategies, ideas and findings are very interesting. 🙂

Tom Connelly

Hi, I see many keyword combinations that include things like great Christmas birthday etc gift for mother father son daughter brother sister (etc etc) in addition to the main keywords to increase chances of ranking if someone is searching for something like that. Is this recommended or not?

    Curtis Blackmore

    Hey Tom,
    It’s good to have a several good keyword combinations in your bullet points, but in a natural way such as a sentence that makes sense. Avoid keyword stuffing.

Bobby T

Great article. For brand name, I’m using long tails, 4 – 6 words. I guess this is ok?
Also, what do you recommend as a start off price?

    Curtis Blackmore

    Long tail is okay, but you want it to look like an actual brand name, not necessarily a keyword.
    Example: Funny Halloween Shirts Co
    As for starting price, I simply look at the niche/market and see what others are pricing at, and price slightly below the average to start, and then up the price every few sales.

    Curtis Blackmore

    Thank you, Danny.
    I haven’t experimented with that yet. I’ve been quite busy working on our Automation software. I’ll give your blog post a read though. Thanks for the share. 🙂

Add a new comment in How To Rank Your Merch by Amazon Products Higher article.