Amazon Infographics: Do’s and Dont’s of Photo Text

The importance of infographic photo text in Amazon listing photos is often overlooked or downplayed. By the time you get to this stage of a project, you might be completely burned out after months and months of product design, development, negotiating with manufacturers, setting up marketing campaigns, writing text for your listings, etc.

But the fact is, infographics can make or break your listing. If you disagree, read this blog and think again!

Today we’re going to talk specifically about the photo stack, or the product images at the top of your listing (not A+ content, which is a little different). 

Buckle up and get ready to learn 7 simple steps to make this part of the amazon listing optimization process one of the easiest!

Know the Rules

gavel striking the bench to indicate a list of rules

As with everything else on Amazon, you’ll want to be sure to carefully study all the rules and regulations relevant to photos and photo text. Check out the Amazon listing photo requirements and take some notes.

When the time comes for a graphic designer to render your infographics, make sure they have all this same information. Provide them with links to the pages or copy/paste it all for their reference.

Understand the Space

person standing on the precipice of amazing Amazon listing photos

It’s often said that a picture speaks a thousand words. But what does this cliché really mean, particularly on Amazon?

An image contains a vast amount of information. You might speak 1,000 words to describe a gorgeous scenic view, and even then, the other person won’t have your first-hand experience. If you show them a picture of what you saw, they’ll understand a lot better…unless you talk so much they can’t absorb the picture.

If an image speaks 1,000 words, any words you add to the image need to enhance the messaging, and not speak over it.

At MxEm, we tend to aim for 100-150 characters maximum in an image. That works out to somewhere between 15 and 25 words (way less than 1,000). We allow the images to speak for themselves, while directing focus with text.

Prioritize Information…AGGRESSIVELY

person writing on a board during a meeting and listing priorities

Give yourself permission to leave some information out of the photos. Infographics aren’t about saying everything; they’re about saying the right things to convert shoppers into buyers.

This means you’ll want to pick the top 5-10 things you want your shoppers to know. There are exceptions (which we’ll talk about later), but a good starting point is to assign 1 single idea to each photo. 

Why? All that stuff about “goldfish attention spans” is a myth; what’s not a myth is that people have better things to do than sit through a dense presentation about your product.

Visualize the Text

woman closing her eyes to visualize amazon listing photo text

It’s all well and good to understand how to prioritize information. The bigger problem with infographics is visualizing how much information you can fit while being effective.

Let’s try an experiment to show you just how little beneficial space you have to work with. You can repeat this experiment later to check if your photo texts are too busy. 

Grab a sticky note or a similarly sized piece of paper. Copy the text below onto your paper, like in the example on the right. Write it big enough that you can read it while holding it at arm’s length. There should be extra space; you can fill it in with a little doodle to simulate the photo subject being there (absolutely zero technical art skills required).

examples of amazon listing photo text

By doing a physical mockup of our computer-drafted text, you can see that:

  1. There is enough space for the photo to breathe and shine.
  2. The text can be rendered big enough to be read on phone screens without having to zoom or pinch. 
  3. Your graphic designer will not curse your name when they see the design brief!

Seeing your text in context will prove to you that less is more. If you have some listings already published, give this exercise a try with some of your photo texts!

Put Together a Playbook

person preparing meal representing prepping for amazon listing optimization

Having a reliable photo subject playbook will save you loads of time brainstorming, drafting, and creating your infographics. Let’s suppose you have 7 Amazon listing photos to create text for, and your product is a nice chef’s knife. You’ve read our blog about lifestyle photography, and want to excite the senses with compelling imagery.

Your photo sequence could be something like this:

    1. Tap into Emotion – How will using this knife increase their enjoyment of cooking? Showcase this with a lifestyle image and complementary photo text.
    2. What Does It Do? – A lifestyle photo of the product in action can do a lot to help the customer form ideas about owning the product. Show the knife cutting through a food item.
    3. What’s the Main Benefit? – People care about end results. Show them the beautiful food they can make! Visually correlate cause with effect.
    4. Who Is It For? – Help the target customer see how the product meets their needs. Busy parents might appreciate how the knife makes it easier to make food for their family.
    5. What’s It Made Of? –Informed shoppers love to know what exactly a product is made of. Make the product look shiny and special while highlighting that the blade is full tang 304 stainless steel. Home chefs will drool!
    6. Expectation Management – Is there something that your customers need to know to ensure a good outcome or maximize their enjoyment of the product? Minimize the probability of disappointment and returned products by managing their expectations.
    7. Cross Promotion or a Graceful Goodbye – If you have more products, let your customers know! Cross promotion can greatly enhance consumer confidence in your brand. If you don’t have many products, or if cross-promo doesn’t make sense for your listing, end with a “Graceful Goodbye.” Leave your customers with an optimistic, uplifting, or positive idea.

Avoid Clutter at All Costs

grid of clutter amazon listing photos

Take a look at this collage of badly cluttered examples. These are all too overwhelming for most shoppers, pretty boring, and difficult to read without zooming in. Some of them aren’t high-enough resolution to be read easily even with zooming.

Here are some of the most common types of infographic clutter to avoid:

  1. Text-Heavy “Feature” Photos – If your product has more than 5 “features,” they aren’t going to fit cleanly in an infographic. Worse, it will come across as a list of boring tech specs.
  2. Text-Heavy “Instructional” Photos – There’s a thin line here. Including instructions can be great for expectation management and for inspiring confidence. But if you just copy dense text from your product’s user manual, you run the risk of overwhelming your shoppers.
  3. Lifestyle images where the image isn’t allowed to speak. – Why invest in professional photography just to cover it all up with blocks of text?
  4. Multipanel photos with too many panels. – There are potential benefits to creating multipanel photos. You can express complex ideas, show off a range of case-uses, and highlight different features. In theory, these photos should perform the work of as many photos as there are panels. But as with other types of infographic photos, the returns diminish really fast after a certain point.

Let Your Products Shine

lights shining

Photo text on Amazon is a funny thing. It seems like a much more complicated issue than it actually is. It’s not about doing all the things—it’s about doing effective things, strategically. 

Understand the space and your shoppers, and let your photos work for you. Let your infographics highlight specific things, evoke emotions, convey ideas efficiently, and of course, make your product look wickedly cool.

Don’t be worried or confused about the level of detail in this blog. With a little bit of practice, study, and a willingness to trust yourself, creating infographics that pop will become second nature to you. It’s way easier than it seems!

What Did We Learn?

person pointing to a blackboard

  1. Avoid mistakes and frustration by understanding the rules.
  2. Understand the limitations of the space, both on desktop and mobile screens. Set realistic expectations and targeted limits for character count and content.
  3. Prioritize information more aggressively than you would in other sections. Respect the customer’s time and the fact that your listing isn’t the highlight of their day.
  4. Learn to visualize how the text you write will translate to physical space in an image. Solidify your spatial understanding with the sticky note exercise described above; this will help you feel more confident about keeping character count limits low, and will give you a clearer idea of what the end result will look like.
  5. Have a playbook. Do things that work, and don’t be afraid to be different from your competitors!
  6. Avoid things that don’t work. Most of the things that don’t work could be described as “too much visual clutter.”

Don’t overthink it! Writing photo texts for your listing should be one of the smallest time commitments for the project. Trust in subtlety. Enhance the images without choking them. Say “look at this thing!” and then get out of the way. Let the customer look at the thing without “talking over the photo.” If it helps, remember that 90% of information that goes to most folks’ brains is visual, not textual.

Want some feedback on your new, improved photo texts? Contact us for a 100% free listing analysis! Mention this blog and we’ll be sure to focus specifically on your infographics. 

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And, if writing infographic texts turns out to just not be your thing, send us an email—we are more than happy to help!

Sean Levine


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