Amazon Selling

(Guide) How to Optimize Your Amazon Product Listings – 2019 edition

In this step-by-step guide, you will learn the steps required for listing optimization so that shoppers reading your listing will understand what you're buying and why they should buy it.

You'll also learn how to write your listing content for Amazon's “A9” search algorithms so that you are properly “indexed and ranked” for your product's most relevant and traffic-generating search term phrases.

Step 1: Optimize your title.

For indexing, the product listing title is the #1 most important string of text in your entire listing.  There are some very basic guidelines you should follow to ensure that the Amazon A9 search algorithm is indexing and ranking you properly for what you’re selling:

  1. Make sure your title has your primary traffic generating keywords ordered FIRST after your brand name.
  2. Be sure to capitalize the first letter of each word.
  3. Do not use special characters or punctuation (hashtags, quotation marks, periods, exclamation points) – commas are okay if used sparingly and it makes sense.  It is better to use the pipe symbol “|” or dashes “-” to separate phrases.
  4. Do not use any promotional or marketing language (“sale”, “best”, “warranty”, “guarantee”, “deal”)
  5. Be sure that your title does not exceed the max character limits
  6. If you have a product that has size, dimensions, and/or colors, put that at the very end, in parentheses.  An example:  Marvel Avengers Captain America Mens Graphic Shield Design T-Shirt (Blue, XL)
  7. Pay close attention to how your title reads naturally as if someone's actually searching for your product (write in a natural and phrase-driven voice)
  8. Mobile optimization: ensure your most relevant and traffic intense search phrase is at the front so that is visible to those shopping using the Amazon mobile shopping app.

Step 2: Optimize your images.

  1. The main image should have a pure, white background (no “pixelation” or “artifacts” ) and should fill up 85% of the image frame.  No text is allowed.
  2. All images should be “zoomable” which means that if a shopper hovers their mouse cursor over the image, they will be able to see a high-resolution close up of the product.  This will require images be uploaded with at least 2000 px on either side (width or length)
  3. Incorporate a mixture of high-resolution lifestyle images and infographics explaining the features and benefits of the product when in use.
  4. Avoid using stock photography.  Invest in having professional photographs taken of your products in use and on display.   People have keen eyes and can generally tell the difference between a “photoshopped” image and something that is really being used in the photo.

Here is an example of a listing with a good main image combined with lifestyle images (using the tried and true “stainless steel garlic press” example):

Step 3:  Write Benefit Driven Feature Bullets

Aside from your main images, price, and number of reviews, often times your feature bullets will be the final “conversion factor” in determining if a shopper browsing your listing is going to click the “Add to Cart” button.

Pro Tip:  Write bullets as if you were answering common/frequently asked questions or “concerns” the shopper has.  Think here about the specific utility and function of your product and why someone is wanting to buy it to begin with.

Well-written feature bullets will lead with the feature and follow up with the benefits behind the feature.  Alternatively, you can lead with a benefit statement, a use the features of the product to highlight benefits.

Here is an example that was taken from the listing referenced in the link above.  The features are highlighted in blue. Benefits are highlighted in red.

The Orblue Stainless Steel Garlic Press is a food-grade garlic crusher and mincer that sports an ergonomic design for quick and powerful processing with minimal effort. FDA approved for food safety.

How to write great Amazon Listing Feature bullets:

  1. Lead with features, follow with benefits
  2. Note how many characters you are allowed (most categories allow up to 500 characters) and utilize as much of this space as you can using keyword driven statements relevant to your product.
  3. Remember, as with the title and other content in your listing, be sure you are only using the most relevant and related keywords and search phrases so that the search algorithm will display your listing to potential buyers that are actually wanting and searching for what you’re selling.

Step 4:  Use your Description to Restate your Feature Bullets and Add More Detail

Did you know that when you check your listing on the Amazon mobile shopping app, the description, NOT the feature bullets appears first?

Think about how this impacts the ability for you to communicate the key features and benefits of your product to all those shopping using their smartphones (which accounts for more than 50% of all Amazon sales).

Write your description in such a way that outlines the same statements in your bullet points, but utilize the extra space here to make your statements more complete.

If you are brand registered and have Enhanced Branded Content enabled, you should use this feature to replace the description by leading first with your features and benefits as the description block will be replaced by the enhanced content.

Here’s what a good Enhanced Branded Content page optimized for mobile looks like.  Note that the seller has outlined the key features and benefits at the top.
optimized enhanced branded content listing on mobile

Here is an example of how to NOT write your product description – notice how the seller just talks about their business and warranty information.

Not to mention the fact that it’s written in poor English (likely a foreign seller). This forces the shopper to scroll to the bottom to learn more about the product itself.

It is recommended that you keep scrolling time at a minimum as people are likely not to spend a lot of time reading.  Attention spans are short and the sooner you can communicate your features to your potential buyer, the better.

Example of How Not to Write a Product Listing Description

Step 5: Optimize your Backend Keywords

Depending on the product and category in which you sell in, you may have the following attributes available to enter attribute data associated with your product.  These attributes are keyword and search-indexed, which means that Amazon’s A9 algorithms use the data in these fields to match customer search criteria. Amazon also uses it to target sponsored ads.

This is why it’s important to fill these fields out completely if you have them available.

These fields are:

  • Intended Use
  • Target Audience
  • Other Attributes
  • Subject Matter
  • Search Terms
  • Platinum Keywords (for Platinum Merchants only)

Let's say you're selling a men's blue ski jacket and you're trying to fill these fields out.

Intended Use would describe the most ideal uses for your jacket.

  • Skiing
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Snowboarding

Target Audience would be the people who are most likely to buy your product

  • Men
  • Women
  • Unisex -adult

Other Attributes are fields that describe other features associated with your product that might not already listed in your feature bullets.

  • easy to fold
  • dries quickly
  • easy pull zipper

Subject Matter are fields that contain information about the topics related to the intended use of your product.  In this case, skiing.  You can use Amazon's search results for “ski jacket” to come up with ideas as to what subjects your product is related to.  Just go to Amazon and search for “ski jacket” and note the sub-categories the search results are connected to.

use Amazon's search to find out what related subjects are connected to your product

From this list we see that we could add several subjects, but the most relevant to “men's ski jacket” would probably be:

  • Men's Skiing Clothing
  • Men's Activewear
  • Men's Snowboarding Clothing

In Conclusion

A highly optimized product listing is critical to converting traffic to sales on Amazon.  Of course, there are other key factors at play here – the primary ones being price and reviews.  Without a competitive price and social proof, despite a “well-optimized listing”, you will struggle to get sales for your products.

If you still are having difficulty achieving sales after implementing the 5 steps above to improving your on-page and backend content, you should look at your the type of product you’re selling, the price in relation to your competition, and the number of reviews you have.  There are always ways to improve your sales without having to get hundreds of reviews, but you must “win the sale” in other ways through other marketing strategies such as external promotions via social media, influencers, and paid advertising.

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