You’ve toiled day and night building your business. From choosing a catchy brand name to refining your product’s features, you’ve spent countless hours conceptualizing, creating, and championing your product. You've opened your Amazon Seller Central account, and now you’re here, staring at the behemoth, wondering how the heck you’re going optimize your listing to make your product shine amidst pages upon pages of products.
There are a multitude of factors that can impact the performance of your Amazon listing:
- Product category
- PPC and advertising strategies
- Return rates
- Your Amazon seller account health
- Main white background image
- Competitive landscape
- Time of year
- The listing content itself ie. listing copy and search engine optimization
So how can you conduct Amazon listing optimization to get your products to rank well, when there are so many factors to consider?
Let’s start by establishing our foundation:
What in the world is listing optimization for Amazon?
In essence, Amazon listing optimization involves crafting your listing product page in a way that it appeals to both your customers and the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) bots crawling your listing so that you organically rank higher and attracts more sales. But traffic isn’t all that matters. Amazon takes into consideration your conversion rates when determining your rank. You need people to like your listing once they click on it and want to purchase. Search Engine Optimization is a lot more than keyword research and this requires a certain finesse.
Is Amazon listing optimization worth it?
Absolutely. Without any form of Amazon listing optimization, failure to launch will be an understatement. Without proper keyword research, well-crafted copy, and/or extensive competitor/product research, you won’t know who you are and therefore, your customers can’t know who you are or trust what you’re selling. You also many not be found at all without the right blend of competitive, long tail keywords and compelling text.
The average Amazon seller conversion rate is 10-15%, which can vary based on the category you're selling in, so how do you reach that percentage or take your listing soaring to the 20s, 30s, and beyond?
- Boost organic search ranking
- Increase product page visits
- Drive sales and improve conversion rates
- Maximize your FBA profits
That’s where compelling copywriting for Amazon comes in to play. If you’re wondering: how do I create an optimized listing on Amazon? Don’t worry, we are taking a deep dive into effective Amazon listing optimization. I’m going to walk you through our process, from forming the title to finishing up with a call-to-action.
Step 1: Dig Deep
Unlike your own website, Amazon sellers are going head to head in one crowded arena. Your direct competitor may be sitting right next to for your potential customer to see and compare. Understanding your merchandise, rival brands, and dream clients is crucial to creating a convincing listing that won’t get knocked out cold in this kind of space. Your main priority with your product listings is to stand out and shine above all the rest and this even matters in even the smallest areas like your main, white background photo. Help shoppers to immediately sense what makes you different with proper brand positioning.
1. Your Product
Effectively selling a product, whether through an Amazon listing or face-to-face, requires a deep understanding of its ins and outs. Note your product’s features, the problems it solves, purpose(s), dimensions, key components, colors, variations, and any unique qualities.
2. Your Competitors
Survey the battlefield. Figure out your competitive edge by identifying how to set yourself apart from the competition. Is your product nearly identical to the top players? That's no excuse to settle for the same! Identify a new use, an under-represented client base, or influential details that other brands make an afterthought.
3. Your Customers
Get to know your customers. Identify what online shoppers who purchase products like yours care about. Feeling stumped? Perform product research and check out competitor customer reviews for great insight into how humans use these products and what online shoppers really care about.
Bonus: FREE Convert Like Crazy Worksheet
Identify your competitive edge with this e-commerce and Amazon listing optimization branding and positioning worksheet.
Step 2: Keyword Research
If you want to rise the ranks in the search results, you need a solid Amazon SEO strategy. Getting your product detail page on the first page of the organic search results requires more than just keyword research, but this is an important place to start.
Researching keywords and terms for your listing can be a temperamental beast. You have to account for the season—is it Valentine's Day and every keyword you find included, “v-day gift for husband?” Loads of irrelevant keywords to wade through may populate and you could have a lot of competition. Additionally, there are a load of keyword research tools out there such as Helium 10, Zonguru, Datadive, and Jungle Scout.
So, how do you choose the right keyword research tool and give your product listings the best chance to reaching the top of Amazon's search results?
- Take a look at how these tool gather their data, how often they update it, and the factors they account for when formulating their results.
- Once you choose a tool, boil down what your product is and the most basic terms a person would use to search for it. If you’re selling a pot holder, don’t make it complicated. Search for keywords first from that term—pot holder.
- Consider how customers searching for items like yours would describe what they're looking for. Be sure to focus more on product-specific terms versus category-specific terms. Category specific terms tend to be more general and may have lower buyer intent.
- We recommend sorting your keywords by search volume and keeping an eye on the number of competitors. If the search volume is 200,000 but the competitors are a whopping 500,000, you many not get much traction there. Snag keywords that have high search volume without putting you in the arena with overwhelming competition.
- Select a good number of highly relevant keywords with a blend of both long tail keywords and root keywords.
- Prioritize keywords in order from your title to bullets to the product description as a good rule of thumb. Then, utilize keyword strategically in your alt text, A+ content, search terms, and for your PPC campaign.
- Decide if the keyword is more appropriate for the frontend or the backend. Relevant keywords with natural phrasing are great for the product title, feature bullets, and product description. Less relevant keywords, misspellings, and awkwardly phrased keywords are better as backend keywords.
- Beware of lengthy keyword lists with 100’s of search terms! A massive keyword list will be overwhelming to try and incorporate and could result in keyword stuffing. Instead, curate a list of highly relevant keywords to use as you craft your listing.
Keyword research is just one piece of your keyword optimization for Amazon. Once you have your list of search terms, you need to use these strategically and effectively to boost your Amazon listing SEO for maximum ranking and indexing.
Step 3: Tips for an Enticing Product Title
Creating your product title is more than just plugging in a chaotic string of keywords. Yes, keyword research and the title’s keywords are an integral part of boosting your ranking, but it’s also an opportunity to show off your product’s features. That information, along with good ratings and a solid key image, is what gets browsers to click into your product listings.
What to include in your product title:
- Product Name
- Key Benefits
- Color, Quality, and Size
- Brand Name
Most categories have a product title character limit of 200 (this will vary, so make sure to check the guidelines for your product's selling category), but the first 80 are the most important. That's the mobile cut-off point, so make sure to communicate the key details to attract potential customers, no matter their device.
Ultimately, an optimized title seamlessly blends high value keywords, important product details, and unique differentiators to maximize your Click Through Rate (CTR).
Step 4: Boost Your Feature Bullets
Once a customer clicks your product title, they enter into your product page, it's time to show them what you've got. On desktop, your bullet points are the place to start communicating why your product is the obvious choice. On mobile, Amazon turns the tables and puts the description first. The takeaway: every part of your listing must be optimized to convert.
Like the title, character limits may vary from category to category, anywhere from 100-500 per bullet point. But just because Amazon allows some of you to squeeze in a whole lotta text doesn't mean you should. You'll scare away even the most avid readers with huge blocks of 500 character bullets.
What's the perfect length for Amazon bullet points? We find that keeping each bullet around the 200-character mark is the sweet spot that keeps your your bullets accessible and engaging for customer and properly indexed by Amazon's A9 algorithm.
As you write your feature bullet points, make sure to thoughtfully weave in keywords from your thorough keyword research, inform customers about key features, set up realistic expectations, and build excitement by:
Thoughtfully organize the most important details into skimmable takeaways. The more the merrier does not apply here. Each bullet point should have a concise focus with a clear message. Help your customers easily get the information they want. If the have to work with it, they'll lose interest. And if they lose interest, your chances of selling plummet.
Avoid overwhelming the customer with too many product features per bullet. Get clear on the key product features people care about, and structure each bullet around one of those.
"Features Tell, Benefits Sell"*
When you love something you love even the tiniest details, which can lead you into very dangerous territory when you're writing about your products. Make people care by explaining how these little details can have a big impact - for THEM.
Your products' key features are certainly important to whether a customer chooses your product. However, the better job that you can do of helping customers understand why these features matter, the faster and easier you make it for customers to buy from you.
Online shopping decision happen at lightening speed. People start to care about something when they understand how it will affect them. So tell them right away to maximize your sales potential.
Connect with Your Customers
Speak directly to your customers in a way that will resonate with them. Depending on what you’re selling and who you’re marketing to, the language, tone, and voice you use in your product listings will differ.
Creative Writing with a Dash of Keywords
Don’t overload your bullet points with so many keywords that it starts to sound like a computer wrote them! Weave keywords into concise, clear writing, while always keeping your focus on the human behind the screen, not the algorithm.
While trust is much harder to build when you don't have the chance to interact with your customers face-to-face, achieving longterm success selling on Amazon requires that you establish your brand as reliable. From delivering what you promise to managing mistakes professionally, all of your actions and decisions influence your trustworthiness. However, establishing a trusting relationship starts with your Amazon listing optimization.
In order to build trust, be sure to focus on the following:
- Triple check your work to ensure even the tiniest error doesn't slip through the cracks. Attention to detail is essential.
- Clearly explain what your product is and is not. Don't make promises you can't keep.
- Identify who shouldn't be your customer. This helps you build trust with people who are the right fit AND people who aren't.
- Create a cohesive story. Your photos, text, and brand need to align to paint a clear picture.
- Stay away from cliché marketing language (think late night infomercials with over-the-top enthusiasm). Customers can tell when you're trying to sell to them at all costs.
- Be thoughtful about how you manage criticism. Negative customer reviews and negative feedback can be an opportunity to learn, grow, and build relationships.
- BONUS: Establish your brand off Amazon. Open a website (even if it's just a basic landing page), a Facebook page, and other social media. Be sure you have a presence that customers can find when they want to do their research beyond the reviews on your product listings.
Step 5: A Dynamite Description
Don't get fooled into thinking the product description doesn't matter. While getting there on a desktop takes some scrolling, it appears front and center on mobile. For this reason, it's important to include crucial, decision-making information in the bullets AND your product descriptions.
Even if your product description isn’t always visible due to A+ content, you want to avoid stuffing it with keywords or leaving it blank. If your A+ content glitches and your product description is all customers have to go on, you could end up losing valuable sales.
But unlike other parts of your Amazon listings, product descriptions are far less rigid. Amazon gives you a 2000 character limit to use as you fancy. Set the scene, make bulleted lists, and more as you present your product and brand in its very best light.
Does your description look like a big blob? Use basic HTML tags and line breaks (<br>) to transform your description into a customer-friendly format.
Step 6: Enhanced Brand Content
We would be remiss not to mention the benefits of becoming brand registered. Brand registry is more than icing on the cake, it is the cake. It is like a mini-website where you can really strut your brand and product’s stuff with A+ content and brand story features.
A+ descriptions are eye-catching and informative, and could be the deciding factor that makes customers choose you over the competition. Not to mention, customers connect with the intentional branding that A+ content and brand stories allow you to present.
Strong Amazon A+ Content blends high quality images with compelling copywriting to set your product apart from the competition.
Plus, A+ Content gives you additional room for Amazon search engine optimization. In particular, alt image text, also known as image keywords on Amazon, is a great place to incorporate more challenging to use search terms.
The brand story is a carousel feature section that allows you to do what we talked about in step 1—dig deep and position yourself. Speak to your customers and show them the heart of who you are. Why should they choose you over a similar competitor. It could be the story of your humble beginnings or overnight media sensation that wins you the sale over someone else. Additionally, your brand story is displayed across your entire catalog to boost brand cohesion!
Premium A+ or A++ Content
Premium A+ content is a next level benefit for Amazon sellers if you have the opportunity to use it. The modules are incredibly robust, interactive, and allow you to insert videos into your A+ content. Although, it isn’t as accessible as standard A+ content, if you have the option, we highly recommend taking advantage.
With A+ content and brand stories as a option, not to mention the latest enhancements with Premium A+ content, without any kind of enhanced branding, we hate to say it but your listing is likely to be left in the dust. You can foster a deeper connection with your customers through the kind of intentional branding you just can’t infuse into Amazon without this level of content.
Step 7: Push Your Product Images Further
Take advantage of prime Amazon real estate! Your product images can make the difference between looking and buying. Before starting, Check out Amazon Seller Central to ensure you are adhering to their standards. Quality pictures plus captivating text inform your customers and motivative them to press that precious “Add to Cart” button.
In addition to standard images such as your main image with a white background, as dictated by Amazon seller central and images that show your product from different angles, you should optimize your photos with professional-images that include text.
- Environmental scenes that show product in action. These help people imagine your product in their lives.
- Lifestyle images— photos of people interacting with your product. Studies show that people pay more attention to photos with other people in them!
- Carefully-crafted text that communicates key benefits. Don't leave your photos interpretation up to the customer. Help them visually understand why your product is the obvious choice.
Bonus Amazon Seller Tip: If you are brand registered, you can add a video to your product images! This is an incredible benefit as product videos allow your customers to truly see the product in action and how others are using it. You think lifestyle images will grab their attention? Product videos take that concept to the next level!
Step 8: Put Your Listing to Work and Test It Out
You’ve built a solid foundation and now your Amazon product is ready to list! But, optimization doesn’t end once your Amazon listings are live. Change is constant when you're selling on Amazon. Everything from the competitive landscape to Amazon's guidelines is always evolving, so it's important to constantly monitor your performance.
To stay on top in the search results and maintain solid conversion rates:
- Test out content and the make periodic updates to see how it performs once you gather additional data from customer reviews and sales.
- A/B test your photos and copy. This means you essentially have two versions of your listing live. You can then see how they perform against each other.
- Your customers reviews and returns will tell you what customers really care about and what they are looking for. It is optimal to update your listing in Q’s 1-3 and advised to avoid updates during Q4.
- Avoid making updates too close together. You want to give the content time to perform and provide some usable data points.
A well-crafted, best-seller Amazon listing is your 24/7 salesman (or woman!). Grammar, an understanding of Amazon, psychology, and strong writing skills are just some of the things you'll need to make sure your sales team is trained and ready to convert. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed by your workload or prefer to leave the words to someone else, we know what it takes to get customers clicking the coveted Buy Box.
*Quote by Chet Holmes