Optimize Your Product Listings
Amazon is growing its market share every year and has become the third most valuable company in the world. So, it's no question that the opportunity for Amazon Sellers is awesome – just as long as your listings are optimized. Amazon SEO can make or break your brand. Done right, it can optimize your product listings for visibility, relevance, and conversions and help turn Amazon browsers into buyers. Following our tips for these 6 sections of your Amazon product listings will put your organic search game on point. Then, you'll be ready to rank with the best of 'em.
We'll go over the following vital aspects of a successful Amazon product listing optimization strategy:
1. Product Listing Title
Your product listing title is one of the most important tools you have for ranking well and converting sales. It should include your brand name, the product line and/or product type, any key features customers need to know, as well as specifications like color, size and quantity.
You'll want to be deliberate about how you word your title with all the key information and make smart choices about any additional keywords to integrate. When conducting keyword research for Amazon SEO, two helpful tools are Keyword Inspector and Helium 10.
For organic Amazon SEO results, titles generally range from 115 to 145 characters. It varies from category to category, though one thing that is always important is to place the most important keywords at the beginning of the product title. From a human perspective, this lets your customers quickly assess that your product is a good match for what they're seeking. As far as Amazon's SEO algorithm goes, titles structured with strong keywords up front tend to rank higher:
Clear and Stylized Product Titles for Amazon SEO
Since Amazon product listing titles can be quite lengthy due to keyword targeting and the necessary product information, it can help to break them up with stylized punctuation:
- Divider | Lines
- Simple , Commas
- Ampersand & Symbols
- En – Dashes
In the example shown here, you can see the brand name and what the product is are the first facts listed, followed by important features and variations of keywords customers may search to find the product. Last is the specifications like fabric, size and color.
Although it is important to include relevant keyword data in your title, you must ultimately write for your shoppers, rather than for the search engine algorithm. Lastly, don't keyword-stuff your title, and make sure that humans can easily read and understand exactly what it is you are selling, so they'll know they've found the perfect match.
In order to best strategize your search terms, these are the tips you'll want to follow with your keyword selection.
- Don't add any product identifiers like UPC, EAN, JAN or ISBN.
- Avoid misleading information. In addition to ticking off your customers, misleading information can even lead to product listing suspension.
The poorly-rated product listing above is ranking for "indestructible dog toy." Although this is a common type of toy that dog owners search for, it's not something you ought to include in your strategy if you can't deliver on the promise. However, there are plenty of gentle chewers out there whose owners would be happy not to leave you scathing reviews if you simply target your product for appropriate search terms.
- Don't include long-form content in your search terms.
- Try not to be repetitive. "soft" and "softest" don't both need to make an appearance in your keywords.
- Other types of repetition to avoid is pulling keywords from your title or brand.
- Use singular or plural, but not both. If you include "backpack," you do not also need "backpacks."
- Optimize the order of your keywords, with important ones first, followed by relevant search terms in a sensible sequence.
- You can skip common misspellings. "Indestructible dog toy" is just fine – no need to add "indistructible dog toy," too.
- On the other hand, you can include spelling variations, such as "hanukkah" and "chanukah" candles.
- Also take into account common abbreviations like "bb cream" for "beauty balm cream.
- Make sure you don't exceed the character limit for search term length
- No need for capitalization – all-lowercase keywords will suffice
- You can separate keywords with spaces but don't need to use any punctuation
- Stay away from stop words in your search terms, such as "a,” “an,” “and,” “by,” “for,” “of,” “the,” “with,” etc.
- Don't use superlative or short-term claims like "best" or "on sale now."
- Avoid offensive language.
- You won't need to include any translations because Amazon will do this automatically for each user.
3. Product Images
Product images are a huge help to customers when they cannot physically examine what they're buying. As you can see in the Dorotea 4-pack of plates product listing shown above, having clear, relevant images is the goal. Additionally, including lifestyle images and even videos in your image set can bring added value to your listing. Because lifestyle images put products in context, shoppers get a better feel for the style. They show how products will fit into – and positively impact – their lives.
Main Product Image
Your main product image must meet Amazon’s standards, which can be found on their website. Here is a summary of the most important rules:
- The background must be pure white (no shadows or color variations will generally be accepted).
- Image dimensions must be at least 1000px in either height or width. Larger images will generally perform better with Amazon's zoom function.
Secondary Product Images
The remaining photos should be chosen to help sell your product. These are some of the main points to consider when curating secondary images for your product listing:
- Ensure that your images represent the product description. Show the size, color and quantity that you specify in the text.
- It should be simple to see the details of the product and not lose it among other elements in any lifestyle photos. Customers need to quickly recognize your product in the images.
- Amazon requires you to use photography, rather than illustrations. Photorealistic product mockups that look exactly like the real product may also be accepted.
If you look carefully at the Amazon product listing shown above, you can see that it is actually a very well-done 3D mockup, rather than a photograph. Comparing it to this lifestyle photograph of the same product, you'll see that the rendering is easier to read, cleaner and does not leave out anything you might get from viewing a true photo of the product. If, however, your product rendering is inaccurate or is easily distinguishable from photography, you run the risk of your listing being rejected or suspended.
More product image tips for success
- Your product photography should be shot from a flattering angle, with the product in-focus and well-lit.
- Zoomed images need to clearly show product details that are unobscured by highlights or shadows.
- The product should take up 80% or more of the image area. Below is a diagram that will give you an idea of how much space you should aim for your product to cover in the image. If you draw a circle inside the square bounds of an Amazon image, that will take up approximately the minimum amount – go, math!
- Be sure that the full product is shown in your main image. Nothing should be cut off and out of frame.
- Backgrounds must be clean & simple and not distract from the product.
- In addition to providing quality product images, include as many different images as you can. You can even show swatches to get the full close-up detail shoppers look for when buying products online.
Close-ups and product swatches
In the above example of an Amazon product listing, the images show the product alone on a white background, within a lifestyle image, and also a close-up highlighting the fabric swatches featured on the front and back of the blanket. Therefore, you get a good feel for the knit and the pattern, and you can really imagine how soft it is with this level of detail represented.
Aspirational lifestyle images
The example below is an Amazon Best Seller for more reasons than one, but we assure you the images aren't hurting their status. Not only do all the people in the images look like they are having a great time, but you get the feeling that the featured speaker is a large part of the exhilarating experience.
The goal is to make your product images so good that customers feel that if they purchase your product, that imagery will become their reality!
4. Key Bullet Points
The next area you are going to want to perfect is the key features or bullets that help to further describe your product. This is not the place to tell the customer what they already know about your product in different words and call it a day. You should add value here by including details about what the item is made of, specs like size, weight and dimensions, warranty information and anything else you would want to know about a product that you are considering purchasing.
Also, make sure to use keywords that were not already used in the title. Get creative and read your product reviews to help figure out what your customers love about your product and why they are buying it. Time and time again, straightforward bullet points with a simple focus convert best on Amazon product listings. This is where customers come to learn about key features of your product and what sets it apart from your competition. Once you've gotten a shopper's attention with a well-done title, the bullet points section is where you can really make the sale.
Optimize your bullet points for Amazon SEO
- Before bothering with the exact wording, figure out the top 5 features you want to convey.
- Keep the information order consistent across your products. If you mention the target age demographic first (i.e. Perfect for toddlers!), then do this first across the product line.
- Emphasize key points from the title as well as those you will use in the product description, but don't reuse the language verbatim. This is your opportunity to work in any keywords that did not make it into the other sections of the listing.
- Avoid promotional or pricing information.
- You do not need to include closing punctuation at the end of each bullet point.
- Use capitalization and punctuation to make your bullet points more digestible and legible.
In the two Chefman bullet point sections for coffee maker listings shown below, you can see the brand employs a number of these strategies to improve their product rankings for Amazon SEO. In both listings, they begin with information about the brew and end with information about the warranty. They capitalize the theme of each bullet point for emphasis, and each point is focused and concise. Although we would leave out the periods at the end of their bullets, overall, Chefman offers an example of a good approach.
Consider the mobile experience
Be sure to order the first 3 bullets from most to least important when it comes to key features. What information does a customer need to know that will convert them? When you are creating your listing, you want to take into account the customer experience on mobile.
In 2015, Amazon reported over an average of 30 million shoppers were using the Amazon mobile app, and that number is growing every year. Additionally, the "Buy now with 1-click" option makes impulse shopping a lot easier. When a customer sees your listing on mobile, it is optimized for their device, which means descriptions are cut short and bullets drop from 5 to 3.
Check out this curling iron listing. Here, you see all 5 features of the product in the bullet section:
Below is the same product on mobile. Now, only 3 of the 5 bullets appear. As a customer, I am more interested in knowing that this product heats up in 30 seconds and automatically turns off than the vague bullet point explaining that I can simply wrap and go.
5. Product Descriptions
Your product description should follow the same guidelines as your bullets. Use different keywords, and make sure the first sentence is the most descriptive. Again, this will keep your mobile experience on par with your desktop listing and encourage conversion.
Since your description will be cut short on mobile, you want to make the section that shows up worth reading. This is what we like to call converting content. Did you know that in some cases, your description does not even show on desktop if you have Enhanced Brand Content on the page, but still shows on mobile? All of your listing content is important and should be utilized for optimization.
As you describe your product, you should consider including some key features listed in your bullet points, reworded to capitalize on important variations. This is a great place to utilize any vital insights from your Amazon Sponsored Products, in terms of how shoppers look for your products.
Well-written product descriptions help the buyer imagine what it will be like to own and use what you are offering. Incorporating vivid descriptions of the fabric, use, feel, and experiential benefits of your product goes a long way to convince shoppers that they need this particular item. It's the closest you'll get to mimicking the brick & mortar experience, which is especially important for the types of items people love to browse in person, like clothing and home decor.
An example of a strong product description
Take a look at the product description for the Yeti Roadie cooler. In addition to avoiding a repeat of their bullet point section, this listing uses the product description section to paint a picture of the life you can live with their product.
"Always ready to hit the road. If you love staying on the move, you're sure to be a fan of the compact YETI Roadie. It's on the smaller side of the scale compared to other Tundra's, but that's what makes it so appealing to canoeists, kayakers and day trippers. But don't let its size fool you! It's still built with the hard-sided, hard-knock rotomolded construction for which YETI is famous. Whether you're in for tailgaiting or dangling your feet from the dock, this Roadie is ready to hit the road with you."
Just from reading the first section of this description, you have the idea that you could use this product for boating, day trips, tailgates, riverside excursions and more! The best product listings paint a picture that allows shoppers to immerse themselves in an ideal lifestyle.
6. Backend Optimization
All the items we have discussed so far are front-facing. The backend keyword section offers even more reach for your product listings. In the keywords tab of your Seller Central account, you will find search terms.
Use this area for all the words that a customer might use to find your product, separated by commas. You can add about 200 per line – so, go crazy. Incorporate your research from automatic sponsored ads, social sites, Google and Bing to build out this section. It's also a great place to focus on keywords that might be relevant to your product but not something you would want to have showing in your listing.
For example, if you sell anti-itch foot powder, but you know that many of your customers use the product for jock itch, the back end is a perfect place to enter that keyword so your product still ranks for customers that need it.
What You Now Know About Amazon SEO
To conclude, your Amazon SEO strategy comes from working on your: Product Listing Title, Key Bullet Points, Keywords, Product Descriptions, Product Images and Backend Optimization. So, begin with a solid title that focuses on keywords for ranking your listing and the important info shoppers need. Organize your five bullet points from most to least vital with the top features that set your product and brand apart. Then, choose relevant keywords using Amazon tools and insights from your paid search campaigns. Use your product description to transport your customers into their future lives with your awesome product. Put yourself in their shoes to think about what you would need to know to click that "Buy" button. Take professional (not cell phone) photographs of your product on a white background and in the fantastic places your product is used. Then keyword-stuff the back end of your listing to your heart's content.
Once you've taken the time to carefully craft these 6 sides of your Amazon listing for SEO, you'll be well ahead of most of the competition in the marketplace. And, you'll be in a prime place for ranking high up in search results so that your customers can find – and purchase – your products on Amazon.