If you’re an Amazon seller, it’s likely that at some point that you’ll need to create an optimized Amazon product listing. This could be for a private label product, a new retail arbitrage product or a unique bundle. Having product listings which are informative and persuasive can help boost your sales and product ranking.
If you make regular purchases on Amazon, you’ve probably come across examples of poor product listings which you can learn from. Typical product listing mistakes include titles spammed with keywords, confusing images and mediocre product descriptions.
In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the ways you can improve and optimize your Amazon product listings and in turn, rank better on Amazon.
Amazon Listing Optimization Overview
Amazon’s product listing can be broken down into eight different components.
- Product title
- Product images
- Key product features
- Product description
- Search terms fields
- Product reviews
- Product rating
Each section should lead the buyer through a process helping them decide if they should purchase your product or not. Your listing should be search friendly and ideally unique.
Now, let’s look at how you can optimize each element in your Amazon listing.
1. Product Title
For most categories, Amazon allows you a product title length of 250 characters. Interesting, most sellers are staying below 200 characters. While Amazon says you can use up to 250, they also still have a suppression rule in place that suppresses listings with titles that go over 200 characters.
The title should give the buyer enough information to decide if they want to continue. Include the most important information — the information you would want to see if you were searching for your product… Think brand, model, size, quantity, colours etc.
Here’s a good example of a product title for wireless headphones.
In addition, consider what questions shoppers are asking about your product. What can you include in the title that would give them enough information to click and read your listing?
Using the example of Bluetooth headphones, a customer might want to know what devices they are compatible with, what type of headphones (slim, over-the-ear, etc.) and what features the headphones have.
If you could only choose one keyphrase to rank for, what would it be?
In this instance, Anker has chosen “Bluetooth headphones.” That phrase needs to be in the first 80 characters of the title if at all possible.
Amazon seller Anker does a wonderful job of crafting their title while balancing the needs of Amazon’s search engine and human site visitors. Notice their primary keyphrase is upfront, with numerous features mentioned (which are also good keywords) and compatible devices included.
When selecting keywords for your title, consider another type of balance: that of high search volume and relevance.
Many sellers make the mistake of adding all search terms with high volume regardless of how relevant those words are to their products. In this instance, Anker might have chosen to add keywords such as “headset with microphone.”
While this term does have high search volume, it isn’t relevant to the product being sold. Headsets typically go over the head and completely cover the ears with padded earpieces. These are not the same as headphones or earphones, which can be either style.
By sending irrelevant traffic to their page, Anker might have experienced a great number of bounces (customers who land on their listing, then leave without buying). Amazon takes note of such actions and can demote listings in the rankings if too many bounces occur.
- Don’t use all caps.
- Capitalise the first letter of each word.
- Use “and” not ampersands (&)
- All numbers should be numerals
- Don’t include price and quantity.
- No promotional messages such as discount or sale.
- No symbols.
2. Product Images
Amazon will allow you nine product images including a lead image. Include as many high-quality images as you can, sized 1,000 pixels wide and 500 pixels high.
For most products, we’d advise using a white background for the main image. For the other images, show your product from different angles, show the product in use and include a photo of the product packaging. Amazon recommends that the product fills at least 85% of the image.
Your photos should also demonstrate the size and scale of the product you’re selling as a lot of negative feedback can come from buyers not realising the actual size of what you’re selling — “It’s much smaller than I was expecting” is a common complaint from buyers.
Anker include images of the product and the product in use.
Overall, you should definitely include more than one photo, use images with a minimum size of 1000 x 500 pixels that explain your product.
3. Key Product Features
Amazon gives you 1,000 characters to describe your key product features. Use it to persuade potential customers that your product is better than the competition’s by explaining the uses and benefits of your product.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes — help them to visualise the experience of using your product and the benefits it brings.
How do you help them experience your product? By helping them conjure images of themselves using what you’re selling.
This might mean giving real-world examples or lifestyle uses, or showing how your product solves their problems.
The length of Amazon bullet points varies from category to category. Unless otherwise restricted by Amazon, around 200 characters will give you enough room to define features and incorporate keyphrases into the bullets.
Currently, Amazon is only ranking the first 1,000 characters of the bullets. Using 200-character bullets means all five will be indexed but as you will see below, incorporating a variety of bullet formats like Anker does will help you hold the attention of more shoppers.
Anker uses four different styles of bullets, as you can see in the example above.
- Attention-Getting: A short phrase to capture the attention of the shopper, and then deliver information.
- Benefit First: Stating a benefit about the product, followed by the feature specs.
- Feature First: Stating a physical feature of the product, followed by a benefit.
- Informational: Listing answers to questions customers ask before they purchase.
Always keep mobile optimization in mind
On Amazon’s mobile app, bullets display below the A+ descriptions. Sometimes they are truncated with only around the first 400 (or so) characters showing before the customers have to click to read more.
Other bullet lists show all the copy for every bullet. If your bullets are overly long, you end up with a wall of words that is difficult to read on a smartphone.
Here’s how Anker have done it.
- Highlight the top five features you want customers to consider.
- Begin each bullet point with a capital letter.
- Be specific with product features and attributes.
- Do not including pricing, shipping or company information (Amazon prohibits this).
- Use a consistent tone.
4. Product Description
The product description is your opportunity to demonstrate why your product is superior to other similar products.
Amazon gives you 2,000 characters to show potential customers what your product is and what it does. And as per usual, try to use as much of the 2,000 characters that you can and elaborate on any of the features you mentioned in the previous section.
Use short sentences to make it easier for potential buyers to read and emboldening to highlight any key information. You can also include any important details about the product or company here.
Don’t over embellish here as you don’t want to mislead the buyer or create expectations that your product can’t meet.
What can you do in your product description?
- Expand on Your Bullets: If there wasn’t enough room in the key feature bullets to fully explain all the information available about that particular feature or benefit, use the description section to explain further.
- Introduce Additional Features/Benefits: If your product has more than five features or benefits, include them in the description section.
- Highlight Uses: Sometimes, despite your best efforts, simply listing features and benefits doesn’t help the customer to fully understand how your product will positively impact their life. Including real-life uses goes a long way toward helping them experience your product through the copy they read.
- Support Your Claims: When you say something exciting about your product, it is subjective. Of course, you think your product is wonderful, but when another business or industry professional says something about your type of product, it’s proof.
While you cannot include reviews inside your product description, you can mention things such as:
- Reports naming your type of product as the best (without calling it “the best”). “Most teachers recommend 3-ring binder-style notebooks because ______.”
- Celebrities wearing/using your type of product. For aviator sunglasses, you might include “Look just as cool as Tom Cruise in Top Gun.”
- Use light HTML to break up paragraphs and embolden key information.
- Include your keywords that you’ve don’t have in your title or backend keyword section.
- Don’t include your seller name, website URL and company information.
- No promotional language such as sale or free shipping.
To optimise your product listing, it’s useful for sellers to know what keywords they are targeting and ranking for.
The misuse of keywords in a product listing is a common Amazon seller mistake. You should only use keywords that are relevant. Keywords can be added to your title and/or your product features.
Keywords should be added to your Amazon product listing in appropriate places such as the title and your product features.
To find keywords, you need to think like a customer looking for your product and sometimes think outside the box.
Amazon also gives you the opportunity to provide backend keywords to enhance product discoverability. This requires you to think outside the box.
Don’t use the same backend keywords that you use in your title etc. as it is a waste of precious space.
Conducting Amazon keyword research is a bit like running down a rabbit trail. One thing leads to another and another and so it goes. What should you look for when conducting keyword research?
- Product Types – What do you call the product? Headphones? Baby blanket? Start with a core word search and see what options are available.
- Features – As you discover additional terms, look for those specific to the features of your product such as wireless, Bluetooth, lightweight, etc.
- Benefits – What is the big deal with wireless headphones? There are no cords to get tangled up. Easy on and easy off. Do you see keywords related to these benefits or others?
- Related Terms – Instead of wireless, perhaps search for cordless to see if that term offers good search volume. Instead of lightweight, how about just light?
6. Search Terms Fields
Once you discover your list of preferred keywords, you’ll want to use them in your title and bullet points. Whatever is left over will go into the backend Search Terms fields.
The standard Search Terms field allows no more than 250 bytes for keywords. These should be terms that are not already used anywhere in your copy. A byte equals one character for letters and numbers and two characters for symbols and special characters.
If your Search Terms field exceeds 250 bytes, all the keywords in that field will be ignored.
You can also include less-important keywords in the Intended Use, Target Audience, and Subject Matter fields. These terms should be specific to the names.
For instance, the Target Audience field should include terms related to your audience: hair color for me, children’s cough medicine, etc.
The Intended Use field would be filled with keywords such as hammock for camping, runner’s sneakers, and so on.
The Subject Matter field is more general and would contain terms about the subject of your product. For instance, sunglasses might be related to the subject of sports or fashion or eye protection.
Provided your list of keywords has a good balance of relevance and search volume, fill at least the Subject Matter fields. The others may or may not be used for ranking purposes.
7. Product Reviews
Product reviews are very important on Amazon. They provide social proof that your product is of a high standard. However, getting product reviews isn’t easy, especially for new sellers/new products.
Using automated feedback services like FeedbackExpress can take the hassle out of requesting product reviews.
You can get ahead of your competitors by using templates proven to result in higher levels of engagement from buyers.
Some sellers will also run campaigns and promotions in order to get more product reviews.
8. Product Rating
Providing a high-quality product that you described accurately is the best way to gain 4 or 5-star reviews. If you do receive any negative or neutral reviews, check they are within Amazon’s guidelines.
For example, if a buyer leaves seller feedback as a product review, you can ask Amazon to remove it.
The final element of Amazon optimization listing is by making sure it’s competitively priced. With competition more intense than ever and lots of sellers selling the same products, price is key.
Repricing software like RepricerExpress can help you keep your listings competitively priced 24/7 and help you win your share of the Buy Box.
Try it free for 15 days.
Thanks to Karon Thakston from Marketing Words for her help with this article.