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How to Optimize Your Amazon Listing to Rank Higher and Increase your Sales

Updated: Jan 28



Amazon Optimization can be an easy-breezy learning affair. Are you ready?

If you’re not completely happy with your sales and you suspect there’s something you can improve in your Amazon listings, then you’re probably right.

Gut instinct is sometimes the wisest business advisor.

The first thing you can do is optimize your content with Amazon SEO keywords and enticing copywriting for a higher organic ranking and more conversions.


Ok, so what does this mean?


Amazon is known as one of the world’s largest retailers, but it’s also a search engine (like Google). Buyers type in the products they’re looking for and Amazon uses a complex algorithm to show them the most relevant results. People click on listings and after going through the Title, Bullet Points, Product Photos and Product Description, they decide to buy or NOT to buy.


"So, it's a buyer-based platform." Bingo!


Each listing section is very important because they all work together to close that sale you’re after. The better they add up, the more visitors will buy from you.

"Nobody reads the Product Description." Myth or Truth?


It’s often said that most people don’t even read the product description. Maybe. In this case, you only have the Title and the Bullet Points to convince your future buyers. Fair enough.


But then, what if they need more info and they scroll down to product description to find nothing there. Besides, why waste 2000 characters? That’s a free ride given by Amazon - you get to describe your product better, and use all the SEO you can while doing it. Why not make the best of this?


#SEOExpertTip: write a kick-ass Product Description as it’s a small but important step in your listing optimization.


The magic wand of optimization


Now let me share a secret: even if your product won't become a best seller overnight, optimizing your Amazon listings will pay off by helping you convert visitors in the smartest, non-intrusive way. How come?

1. It will boost your sales (revenue)

2. More sales, more traffic (Amazon “encourages” listings with a higher conversion rate).


Now you step in. Once people land on your listing, you have to give them the best possible content – yes, THE OPTIMIZED content that will turn them from visitors to buyers.

No matter what needs, goals, and budget you have, an optimized Amazon listing will rank your products (and sales) up high! That is for sure.


Ok, so let's get this done.

Are you ready to pump some ranking into those listing of yours?


STEP 1. KEYWORDS


The first step towards maximizing your Amazon listing conversion capacity is to use the most relevant keywords. Keyword research is 80% of the job.


Accidentally forgetting to include a few vital keywords in your listing can harm your chances of being listed in the top search results. The smarter and broader is your SEO keywords use, the higher your exposure to potential buyers.


Sometimes, the difference between “sale” and “no sale” is in a keyword. As simple as that. Keywords help Amazon figure out what’s your product about. When people type in “disco ball”, if you sell disco balls and you used these keywords in your listing, Amazon will display your product in customer’s search results. If the listing is convincing, coherent and powerful enough, they’ll buy the disco ball from you. If not, they’ll simply leave as they arrived, and they’ll take their credit cards with them - to your competitors’ page ☹.


#AMAZON #SEO #ExpertTip: The secret is to have the best of both worlds: rich SEO keywords presence and well-written content.


Your "cure" is a perfect balance of SEO/search terms/keywords and persuasive texts (Title, Product features, Product description). Or, keywords density meeting excellent readability (as I previously said in another article on this blog: Write for humans, not for robots)

Not spending enough time on optimization [or paying someone to do it for you - yup, you can hire us and save time, #JustSaying ;) ] is just like throwing money out of the window. There’s nothing wrong with that (just tell me where your window is).


Then think about it this way: optimization is a small investment that will generate profits in the long-run. If you’re either launching a new line-up or you want to boost your sales, maximizing your listing’s potential is a necessity. The sooner you take action, the faster the results will show up.


A few TIPS for your SEO and Keyword Research:


Go to Amazon and use it as a buyer. What would you type if you’d be looking for your product? You’ll notice Amazon is ready to help by suggesting more keywords. Jot them down in an excel spreadsheet.


Let’s say you sell snorkeling gear. By simply typing “Snorkel”, Amazon will already suggest “snorkel set”, “snorkel mask full face”, “snorkel vest” for you. So that’s what people who are into snorkeling need and that’s what they search on Amazon.



You can also pick up a few suggestions for Google, but always remember Google is more general. Amazon is your marketplace. That’s where your shoppers are and that’s where you’re selling.



Sneak a peek at your competitors. You’re after the same snorkeling enthusiast’s credit card after all. Pick up the top sellers and the ones who have many reviews, copy their listings’ titles in a word doc and take a good look at them.



You’ll start to notice the most relevant search terms yourself, for instance, “snorkel set”, “diving mask” “diving set” “trek fins” “flippers” “silicone mask” “snorkeling set”. These are all your go-to keywords you’ll have to add in your excel spreadsheet.


You can always use free tools like Keyword Tool (as you can see below, they already found 145 keywords based on “snorkel”. Not too bad, eh?) or KWfinder.



AND if you can spare some dollars, you can go pro and use Merchant Words. The difference is that Merchant Words will give you 4368 keywords only for the US. It’s up to you how deep you want to dive into this keywords research.



Now copy everything in your excel and that should give you a pretty good idea of what your SEO should be focused on.

#ExpertTip: Remove duplicate words from your keyword list.


In a nutshell:

  • Use the keywords suggested by Amazon search

  • Use competitor’s products for inspiration

  • Seek “professional” help from Keyword Tool, Merchant Words, KWfinder.


STEP 2. TITLE


Amazon has product-specific Title structure guidelines, for instance:

➡️ Desktops and Laptops: Brand name + Model no. + PC Type + (Processor + RAM MB + Hard Drive Size + Optical Drive)

➡️ Bedding/Pillows: Brand name + Line + Size + Product Type, Quantity

➡️ Tableware Sets: Brand name + Style/Pattern + Product Type, Amount

➡️ Cookware: Brand name + Line + Size+ Product Type

➡️ Small Home Appliances: Brand name + Model # + Model Name + Product Type, Color.


In general, a listing title must contain at least the following: 

  • Brand name

  • Colour/flavour/variant

  • Size/quantity

  • Keywords.

An SEO-optimized Title will focus on the last part: Keywords.


Now three main questions arise: 1. Do we use the keywords in a specific order? 2. "I've seen SEO titles and they look horrible". They look like they were written by ET for some other extraterrestrial entities. CAN THEY make sense to a human being AND rank well at the same time? AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: 3. Is there a secret formula to a fully-optimized Amazon product page Title? Yes, there is. Here are 3 helpful suggestions you can start with:

1️⃣ Primary/most relevant keyword) by [Brand name][3 high-volume keywords strictly related to your product ][quantity/size]

2️⃣ Brand name + main keyword + product attribute + key feature + variant

3️⃣  Major benefit + Keyword for [person/type/activity keyword] Function + USP + Keyword – Brand Name – Compatible with [Secondary brands + keywords].


Now, remember, Amazon doesn’t like keyword stuffing and neither do your clients. Stringing together as many keywords as possible, without any sense of logic or coherence might help your ranking, but it will definitely not grab anyone’s attention.

Instead of displaying a robotically-pasted list of “terms”, you can pick up the most valuable keywords and smoothly weave them into a powerful headline that’s informative, full of benefits and SEO-friendly.


Title guidelines, as per Amazon Seller Central:

Capitalization:

  • Feel free to capitalize the first letter of each word, but don’t use ALL CAPS.

  • Don’t capitalize conjunctions, articles or any prepositions with less than 5 letters (or, for, and, an, a, the, over, in, on, with)

Numbers and symbols:

  • Use numerals (“3” instead of “three”).

  • Spell out sizes (5 inches, not 5″).

  • Don’t use symbols (! * ~ $ ?) or Type 1 High ASCII characters (such as ô, Æ, ©).

Product information:

  • Don’t include price or promo messages (“Sale” or “Free Shipping”).

  • Don’t use subjective wording, such as “New,” “Hot Item” or “Best Seller."

  • Don't include marketing tricks ("Bonus,""Free," "Stylish," etc.).

Leave out stuff that doesn’t mean anything to your audience: Serial numbers, words or codes (in the listing title below, the “DZT-50-9BK” part could be easily replaced with some fantastic product benefit that makes your client’s life better, happier, etc).




Include awesome features that jump right out to your people (clients).

Now back to the snorkel set... check out this listing:



Notice how they use powerful keywords we bumped into earlier? They also explain briefly how their nice set helps snorkelers see better underwater thanks to the anti-fog lens. Plus, the diving mask is made of “Impact Resistant Tempered Glass”, it’s "watertight" and it has an “easy adjustable strap”. More - “Waterproof Gear Bag Included.” What’s not to like?



In a nutshell:

  • Use all the characters available and use them wisely.

  • Avoid promotional or salesy phrases and simply tell it like it is.

Format your title to increase readability. The most powerful tricks here are: capitalize the first letter of most words, and use | and – [] as much as you like.

By doing so, you allow your title to breathe and look more natural, and secondly – you give your future clients a nicer reading experience instead of attacking them with a string of SEO stuff which basically reads like “cafsfa slfmlkv mdk svndskvn divje.”


Don’t underestimate your buyers. Treat them with easy-reading titles and they’ll return the favor by clicking on your product and eventually adding it to their cart.

#Shortcut AMZ #writing tip: Alright, alright, let's say you're in a hurry. You have one hour, and 20 product titles to spruce up. There's a fast lane, my friend. It's a great Amazon keyword tool for Title optimization called Title Builder (read about it here). There you go. Chop chop.


STEP 3. BULLET POINTS


You have 5 bullet points. Use them as your elevator pitch. Most buyers don’t get to the Product description so this might be your last chance to show them your product is amazing.

Nail it! Don't forget that bullets should be keyword-optimized, so include some powerful keywords from your excel list.

According to Amazon Guidelines, you can follow this pattern:  

  • Bullet #1: A short description of your product

  • Bullet #2: Materials and construction

  • Bullet #3: Major feature(s)

  • Bullet #4: Minor feature(s)

  • Bullet #5: Included accessories.

OR you can highlight the TOP 5 features and their benefits. Your visitors already know from the title what you’re selling so now show them how your stuff makes their day/life/garage/home/holiday better, faster, happier.


A nice way to structure these bullet points is by using CAPITAL LETTERS in the beginning.


Be concise, stick to the essential features that differentiate your product. Why it stands out? Pick your words carefully. You only have 100 characters for each bullet, so be wise. You’ll have plenty of space in the Product description to fully describe everything your product does.

Fill in as many details as possible. Use minimal punctuation, if any at all.


Never, ever leave fields empty.

Be unique. Be creative and of course...USE YOUR KEYWORDS :)


Also, don't ignore your competitors. Stalk them. Ouch, that doesn't sound right.

Ok, study them. See the bits where they fail and build on that to make your listing stronger.

Phew, it’s a lot to take in... If it’s any help, keep in mind that you don’t do this every day.

Let's see an example given by Amazon as "best practice":  • Earphones with three separate balanced speakers  • Noise-isolating design attenuates external noises by an amazing 26db  • Recording-engineer studio-reference quality sound  • Secure and comfortable ear loops  • Includes Universal Fit kit and a protective metallic travel case to store earphones


STEP 4. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION


Optimized product descriptions help your Amazon listing in 4 major ways:

  • they boost customer conversion;

  • they take your search engine optimization to the next level;

  • they educate buyers about your product's specs and features;

  • they increase brand awareness.

Amazon wants you to succeed and that's why they give you a hand to visually enhance your content. You can pick enhanced brand content (EBC) if you're a brand-registered seller or A+ enhanced marketing content (EMC) if you are a vendor. Both of them, according to statistics, can increase sales and shopper engagement with up to 10%.


Ok, now when it comes to writing your product description (2000 characters), describe in a natural way why readers should buy your product.

  1. Use unique texts (don't copy from your website - the so-called "cross-platform content cannibalization"- check out point 7 from 9 Amazon SEO tips to step up your online sales).

  2. Seduce them with active sentences.

  3. Use the keywords you researched earlier.

  4. Tell them how and why your magnificent product will enrich their otherwise pointless existence. :) I'm kidding. Erm, actually no, I'm not.

  5. Remember, they already know what the product is. Now insist on WHAT it can do for them.

Use the "Features-benefits" duo. You can start by making a list of product features and for each of them, describe the benefits they bring.


Make the content skimmable (easy to read). Don't throw giant blobs of text at your page visitors (see below):



Besides, Amazon's guidelines are pretty straightforward:

  • Write concisely and clearly.

  • Include only product-related info.

  • Make sure the images match the product description.

  • Keep it short (the longer it gets, the greater the risk of your product page to be removed completely).

Even basic formatting helps a lot. And to understand the difference, take a look at the Description in the picture above, then see the nice paragraphs below. If you can't use EBC (Enhanced Brand Copy, don't be afraid of HTML. There are websites like HTML Cleaner that instantly convert your texts into HTML so they look nicer on Amazon.


Use subheadings, bullet points, spaces and try to have a page that allows readers to breathe and to easily move from one paragraph to another (see how nice and easy to read is the Product description below?)


STEP 5. SEARCH TERMS


Now, how many keywords have you used? If you still have a few left, now it's their time. You can add them to the Back-end Search Terms category (initially 5 lines x 50 characters each, and recently changed into 1 line of 249 characters). Their purpose is to push your product up the Amazon search results list. The more keyword combinations your listing has, the better it will perform. They must be relevant and related to your product. Amazon search terms tips:

  • No commas, no semicolons

  • No filler words or misspellings

  • Popular abbreviations are welcome

  • No misleading or irrelevant keywords

  • No subjective terms (good quality, new, amazing, best seller)

  • Avoid redundancy - don't use terms you already captured throughout the listing.

For instance, if we were to write the search terms for the snorkeling sets above, it would make no sense to add "snorkel" or "mask" since they're already featured in the title, bullets, etc.

#ExpertTip: Use hyphens to cover more keyword variations. [!This is available as a general rule for all Listing sections, especially Bullets, Product Description, and Search terms].

In other words, if your keyword "XY" it can only be found if people search "XY" - NOT OK

What you can do instead is use a hyphen ("X-Y"). In this case, your listing will show up whenever people Amazon buyers search for "X", "Y", "X Y", "XY" and "X-Y". OK :)

#ExpertTip: Don't shy away from the "Subject matter" keywords section. As with search terms, you get around 250 characters (according to experts who tried this with their listings) which help more than search terms themselves because indexing experiments show they're instantly indexed, even regardless of whether terms are relevant to the listing or not.


Oh, and now let's talk about "stemming" - the process in which Amazon's search algorithm reduces search terms to their stem word and indexes phrases based on it. In other words, -ing forms, past tenses, plurals or other word "alteration" shouldn’t impact the indexing, according to Amazon, at least. Experiments proved it's not entirely true since it looks like it only works for basic plurals when an "s" is added. Not a single hit for "ing" and the rest.


The greatest news about the "subject matter"field is that all key phrases and keyword combinations are instantly indexed within 15-20 minutes.


BONUS TIPS:

Use 100% unique content


Each item you sell should IDEALLY have its own unique description and details that speak straight to your target customers. When using a “standard” description provided by the manufacturer, you’ll be facing the following drawbacks:


  • Manufacturer’s content is poorly optimized for the Amazon search queries and for your audiences;

  • 99% of the time, manufacturer content is replicated by countless other sellers, which means “content duplication” (creating a duplicate content issue);

  • Most of the time, it consists of basic product specs without translating them into real-life benefits for Amazon customers.

That’s why you need to work on it. You need to understand WHAT pushed your audiences into choosing your product. Address their pain points. Show them HOW your product will help them. Only by writing passionately about what you offer you’ll manage to obtain a detailed product page – informative, valuable and highly-converting.


Optimized Product Images


Amazon has strict rules for how photos can be used and displayed in product listings, as strict as suppressing listings with poor-quality images for some categories – so if you don’t have at least a 1,000 x 1,000 pixels (or at least 1280 on the longest side) photo that allows hover-to-zoom, you’re out.


Truth is images don’t just impact the customer experience, but they enhance your listing visibility AND conversion. Almost 70% of online shoppers think that images are an “extremely important” factor when buying a product online.


Here are some best practices related to Amazon product images:

  • Use bright, clear, and high-quality close-ups of the product;

  • Upload as many images you’re, taken from various angles – allow your customers to visually “feel” every inch of your product – remember, they can’t hold your product, so try to make it up for this with crisp and state-of-the-art photography;

  • If you can do ultra-HD photos with at least 2560 pixels on the longest side, go for it!

  • If you have the budget for a video, do it! Show them how they can use your product;

  • Context + Background – for some items, it’s super important to help your customers visualize their next purchase in their environment and hot it fits there – if you sell house plants, upload some photos with them in a living room, etc.

  • Lifestyle images – very product sells an experience and some life choices. Make your customers click with your brand by portraying items in various lifestyle snapshots. If you’re selling shatter-proof sunglasses, use some photos

That's it for now. Comments? Suggestions?

Have some tips of your own, don't be shy and share them below.

Cheerio!

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