Amazon experienced exponential sales growth in the last twelve months, generating $108.52 billion in the first quarter of 2021. What this means for Amazon sellers is increased competition to remain visible and relevant in the growing Amazon eCommerce market.
A seller’s main goals on Amazon are to rank high in Amazon’s search engine, increase conversions, and generate revenue. This can be difficult, especially for new sellers, since many successful Amazon merchants continuously rank high and make sales, leaving novices to pick up the leftovers. In this Amazon product listing guide, we discuss what Amazon listing optimization is and how to leverage it to increase your visibility and conversions.
Amazon Listing Optimization: Key Takeaways
- Amazon listing optimization requires foreknowledge of Amazon’s guidelines, methods, and keyword rankings.
- Sellers need to optimize listings to increase visibility and conversions.
- All elements of a listing can be optimized by following the above guidelines.
- Strategies for maximizing profits on Amazon require a balance of search volume and relevance. Prioritize the prospects most likely to convert over the greatest number of impressions.
What is Amazon Listing Optimization?
Depending on how you list a product, it can be more easily found by the Amazon search engine. The process of making your products as easy to search as possible is aptly called “Amazon listing optimization.
Therefore, the elements that the Amazon algorithm checks when choosing products to display in search results become the steps to any strategy that aims to optimize your product’s ranking. This includes the keywords in your listing, the customer reviews you have accumulated, your list of product features, the images you post, and more.
The elements of Amazon listing optimization can be broadly separated into three groups: the terms customers search, the content on your pages, and the customer engagement with your products. All three must be optimized to improve your Amazon PPC metrics, which include impressions, CTR, visibility, and more.
Why is Amazon Listing Optimization Important?
Search visibility on Amazon is the key factor in determining the sales results of your Sponsored Products campaigns. Without visibility in the search results of potential customers, your click-through rate (CTR) falls, your conversion rate stagnates, and your profits plummet compared to your competition.
Optimizing your listing drives traffic to your products by helping them rank in search results. Amazon’s A9 Algorithm determines which products customers ultimately see, by comparing the keywords they search with the data on your product’s listing. It then ranks applicable products by “relevancy” and delivers this ordered list to the customer.
Many factors impact how relevant A9 perceives your listing, including whether it is in-stock, priced accordingly, or fulfilled by Amazon. These factors are relatively easy to manage since they can be answered by the program as either “yes” or “no.”
Other factors are more complex and require more careful management to optimize. Here’s what sellers need to know.
When users search Amazon for keywords related to their needs, the first thing Amazon’s algorithm does is connect them to a product title that contains these keywords. How these titles can be optimized for visibility relies on how the choice of words impacts optimization.
Match keywords to your customer’s needs
The keywords you add to your product title determine how it ranks in Amazon’s search results. Choosing the right words requires researching trends in your industry, including the search volume for specific words.
Include searchable features
One shortcut to matching your product title to a prospective customer’s needs is to include searchable features in your listing. The benefits that a customer hopes to get from your product should be prominent in its title.
Describe the product
Mention the material or brand in the title to target users looking for something specific. Any special status that you can mention may also make the title more eye-catching, such as a “premium” or “limited edition” product.
Though including the right keywords increases visibility, overusing keywords (known as “stuffing”) will not increase your chances of being noticed by the audiences most likely to convert. For instance, the keywords “fun video game” can attract users looking for video games. However, if the item is an LCD Writing Tablet, including this inaccurate keyword will not increase conversions.
Keywords should be used to strategically attract your target audience, not to draw in as many searches as possible, regardless of relevance.
Overstate the information
Novice Amazon sellers see the product title as an opportunity to add as much information as possible, including irrelevant keywords and descriptive adjectives. However, Amazon only allows a 250-character maximum for the titles. Sellers should not include so much information that users have trouble identifying the product from the title.
Self-promote your company
Another example of irrelevant information is self-promoting your brand in the product title. This includes adding links to your website or other advertising information. The goal of the title is to describe the product, not to promote it.
The product images draw prospective customers’ eyes and define for them how well your product matches their needs. High-quality images are a necessary marketing investment on Amazon as they are often all that stands between a customer clicking through to your page or scrolling down to someone else’s.
Create an attractive image
On Amazon, images are a form of encouragement as well as a demonstration of features. They are the quickest way that a customer assesses your company’s product quality. A professional photographer with the right equipment who can give you multiple choices for your main product image can give your listing a vital boost in conversions.
Follow Amazon’s guidelines
Amazon offers guidelines for how to post your primary and secondary pictures on your product listing. Their advisement should be treated as a requirement since the Amazon algorithm prioritizes attractive listings based on these criteria:
- Products displayed on a white background
- Picture size of 1500×1500 px
- Products that take up 85% of the picture
Name the image correctly
Even if you shoot the right image, you can name it improperly and reduce your listing’s visibility. The file name on the image factors into the way A9 ranks your listing. Add relevant keywords to the file name that will convince the algorithm to increase your listing’s visibility.
Choose a cluttered photo
You want to emphasize the main product on a clean white background for the customers scrolling through dozens of similar items. Include only the main item being sold and save everything else, including demonstration photos, photos with backdrops, and accessories, for the secondary pictures.
Product Key Features
Amazon provides 1,000 characters to explain how your product can be used and the features that set it apart. This is a seller’s opportunity to beat their competition by optimizing their Advertising Cost of Sale by attracting customers looking for something specific.
Demonstrate the product
The listed features should relate to what a customer needs from your product. Briefly describe the product in terms of its real-life uses, addressing your ideal customer’s pain points. In other words, leverage the product’s features as a solution to their problems.
Keep it simple
Overcomplicated or lengthy product descriptions can confuse your customers. List the most important features in a clean bullet list, limit yourself to five key characteristics, and include simple key phrases in each point related to the benefits your customers can expect from this product.
Proofread your work
A grammatical or spelling error in a product description can tell a customer that you don’t pay attention to details. Your credibility depends on making sure that the prose is concise, readable, and correct. Remember to capitalize the beginning of each bullet point.
Mention limited time offers
Whatever you write in the key features should be permanent product information. Do not list temporary promotions or shipping information, which will be different for each customer.
Just because you have five bullet points to fill doesn’t mean you should cram your list of features with irrelevant or insignificant points. Provide three accurate, relevant points rather than five that strain your credibility.
Product descriptions show in more detail how your product can be used and what it is. Amazon provides space for 2,000 characters. It makes sense to use most of them to flesh out your key features and highlight your buyers’ concerns.
Elaborate on the key features
You described the key features in the bullet points at the top of the listing. In the description, elaborate on them with the extra space. Inform buyers about the product’s dimensions, appearance, and uses in greater detail.
Stay concise and accurate
Provide users with accurate descriptions of your product’s uses in readable sentences. Use details to visualize the product and include important facts like warranty and assembly information.
Proofread your work
Just as with previous entries, your product descriptions are searchable on Amazon. The algorithm will not recognize your key features if you misspell them, but your potential customers will recognize your lack of professionalism.
Self-promote your company
Your product description, like the product title, should be focused on the customer. Do not promote your deals or your brand in this space. These statements will distract customers from important information and lower your credibility.
Add HTML links
Amazon rejects descriptions with special characters, including HTML links. You cannot link to your company’s email or website in the product description, which is another form of brand promotion. Use this space only to elaborate on key features.
Keywords clarify to both the Amazon algorithm and potential customers what needs your product’s features hope to address. Choosing the right keywords to rank in search results increases your page impressions and raises conversions as a result.
Research relevant words
Keyword research is a vital step towards Amazon product listing optimization due to how relevance impacts visibility. The terms you use should relate to the type of product you list, the features it has, and the benefits it provides. Include related terms to cast a wider net. For example, if a product is “wireless,” you may also tag it as “hands-free.”
Utilize backend keywords
Backend keywords are hidden. Amazon provides space for sellers to list these without showing them to customers. Backend keywords can increase visibility by leading customers to your pages behind the scenes.
Obsess over keyword ranking
Your products may sell more often to users looking for something specific. Lower-ranking keywords that are more relevant to your product may improve conversions more than generic keywords that barely apply. The latter may increase your product’s visibility but not its sales.
Search Terms Fields
After optimizing your title, description, and key features, an optimized Amazon listing includes any leftover keywords in the Search Terms fields. These include fields for “Target Audience,” “Intended Use,” and “Subject Matter.”
Include less significant keywords
The Search Terms fields are the places for less relevant keywords. In the Target Audience field, you can get over-specific with words in a way that wouldn’t fit in the general product description. For instance, you could include “best tools to fix my house.”
Balance volume and relevance
The Search Terms Fields, especially the Subject Matter field, are most useful when they balance the number of users that will search for them with the importance of those terms to the product. Consider a listing for shoes. In the Subject Matter field, the seller could include “fashion,” “sports,” “soccer,” or other tangential terms.
Repeating backend keywords in the product title and the Search Terms fields does not make your product “more visible.” Use this space for words you have not used yet.
Exceed the space
Ensure that you have a well-researched list of keywords because Amazon only provides 250 bytes of space for additional entries in the Search Terms fields. If you exceed it, none of your entries will count.
Product reviews drive conversions on Amazon. Studies have shown that 79% of Amazon users are influenced by the reviews of their potential purchases. Therefore, how these reviews are presented is essential to optimizing an Amazon listing.
Maintain customer service
Customer service can impact your product’s reviews. Even dissatisfied customers can change their reviews after having their concerns addressed. Refunds, returns, and other fulfillment procedures can improve your product reviews.
Answer customer questions
Many customers will have questions concerning your product at every stage of the sales cycle. By answering their questions promptly and with a professional tone, their experience will be smoother. This will make their reviews more forgiving.
Pay for fake reviews
Many Amazon sellers think they can game the system by paying for reviews. Unfortunately, these reviews rarely look real, and falsifying your product’s features and quality only causes more customer complaints in the long run.
The product rating on Amazon is a logical visualization of your reviews. Anything above a 4 out of 5 puts you in pretty good shape. However, since negative reviews can hurt your rating, you should know how to optimize your listing to deal with them.
Read negative reviews
Once you see negative ratings, you should read any corresponding reviews to see if you can correct the issue. If the same complaints repeat, you may be able to change your listing or the product itself to rescue your rating.
Avoid Amazon’s guidelines
Ignoring customer feedback leads to increasingly negative reception for your products. Amazon provides guidelines on how to handle customer service issues. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to account suspension.