Amazon Product Listing Optimization: The 2017 Amazon SEO Guide For Improved Product Search Visibility
When SEO is mentioned, people would typically relate it to websites competing for the top page of a search result. And though that may be true, what people fail to realize is that the idea behind SEO is the implementation of methods to ensure that a URL is favored by an algorithm over others, and that Amazon is no different.
If I were to relate it to standard SEO, Amazon is the search engine, and each listings are websites. Just like any search engine, Amazon has an algorithm (named A9) that goes through each listing and is responsible as to what appears on every product search result.
And just like standard SEO, Amazon’s A9 algorithm have specific factors it uses to favor one listing from the other. And some of those factors are:
- Keyword-rich titles
- Bullet points with rich information
- SEO friendly description
- Detailed images that covers every angle of the product listed
- Seller/Product ratings and reviews
- Best Seller Rank
So it’s easier then than regular SEO?
It’s both a yes and a no. Yes, due to the fact that it has less variables tied to it, thus making it less complicated. And no, based on the fact that sellers that have been effectively doing SEO for quite some time have established their authority over specific search terms, making it difficult for newer ones to dethrone them.
Add to that the fact that an SEO campaign, regardless of how well it’s implemented, takes time to bear fruit.
Don’t worry though as it is not too late for you. And in this article, I will run you through all the things you need to know to optimize your listings. The type of optimization that will get your products get better search visibility and conversion rates.
Let’s start with:
Writing Effective Product Titles
As with any type of optimization, the title that you will use plays a major role, and is one, if not the biggest factor in the equation.
Your title must be a keyword in itself. So make sure that it is one that people are actually using to search for products on Amazon.
Luckily for you, and unlike internet search engines, Amazon itself is not secretive about how it wants you to format titles for you listings. And this is how you should sequence titles.
Brand + Model Number + Model Name + Product Type, Color
Looking at the image below, this is how you should format all of your future listings.
Now let’s dig deeper and talk about other factors that you will surely encounter, or ask, when optimizing product titles.
Should I use private label (brand) names?
There has been a long standing debate regarding this. And from how I see things, both camps have valid arguments. Personally though, I see it as a case to case basis.
Here’s my point:
Private labels ranges from completely obscure brands that nobody has heard of to that of one that has a cult following.
Being an SEO guy since the mid 2000, experience would tell me to use the name of a private label, only if it is an established one. And my rationale behind this is based on the relation between keywords and search results.
The way I see it, people use brand names when searching a product because they are familiar with it. Now if you use the name of a private label that only you and a few others are familiar with (given that it isn’t gated, or you have permission to use it) you are technically using a keyword that nobody is searching for.
Read about Brand Gating: What Is “Brand Gating” And How Does It Impact You As An Amazon Seller?
I’m not saying that my analysis is 100% accurate, but it sounds logical right?
What keywords should I use?
For those that are not familiar with SEO and how it works, no, we don’t just pick random words related to our products and use it as keywords.
Keyword research plays a vital role in the success of an SEO campaign and entails a careful analysis of two important variables.
- Number of people using the keyword to search for a product
- Number of people using the keyword for their listing
In order for you to come up with a list of good keywords, you need to do keyword research using one, or more, of the tools below.
Now when it comes to using keywords, standard practice is to use the one you want to rank for first, and then use related keywords after.
Note: When doing keyword research, separate your list into two. One for main keywords and one for secondary keywords.
Your main keywords are those that best describe your product and has a huge search rate.
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Word count: How much is too much?
Technically, Amazon allows you to use 500 characters for your listing titles. But no, I highly suggest….no, plead, that you don’t use all 500 characters.
- It will make your title difficult to read and look as if it was made by a 4 year old
- It will make your listing less presentable
- It looks unprofessional
Note: Use as much characters as you want, but make sure that it doesn’t read and look spammy.
How do I format effective product descriptions?
An effective product description must instantly convey;
- what the product is
- what its features are
- what value will it give its user
Top tip: Use your main, or secondary keywords, in the description. Just make sure though that you insert it in a very discreet way that does not interfere with the flow of your content.
Keep in mind that you are trying to supply information for consumers to give them better a better understanding about your product, which hopefully will convince them to click the buy button.
Lastly, include a Money Back Guarantee clause. Or better yet, make this a standard practice for all your listings.
You see, one of the biggest concern of online buyers aside from fraud and online security is the thought of them not being satisfied with what they bought.
By eliminating this concern, then you encourage them to hit that buy button without the risk of being disappointed. It’s just three words, but you would be surprised how powerful they are in the eyes of consumers.
Do I need to use bullet points?
Yes, you should.
Be it for desktop or mobile, the main use of bullet points for your product listings is to provide short and concise information to your potential customer. So make good use of it.
As a seller, you are allowed to use 5 bullet points per listing. And though it is said that using bullet points may not earn you extra points with Amazon’s A9 algorithm, there is no harm in trying.
But again, you need to make sure that how you use the keyword does not in any way ruin the content’s readability.
Use HTML Friendly Descriptions
HTML descriptions come in many form. It could be line breaks, special characters, etc etc. Using these codes will not only make your description look unique, it can also help keep a customer stay interested in your content….and hopefully end in a sale.
You dont want your product description to look like this right?
THIS is how you want your description to look like.
Sadly, many don’t utilize this approach since it entails the use of HTML language. And yep, not everyone is familiar with it. But that doesn’t mean Google can’t solve it. Just do a quick search for HTML language generators, and whalaa! Problem solved.
And to make it even easier on you, here are two websites that I use.
Use Professional Looking Product Images
Would you ever buy a product that is presented using a pixelated image? I know I won’t.
“First impressions lasts”, and on Amazon, your first contact with consumers is your product’s image.
So when choosing what photos to use and post on your listing, make sure that you:
- Only use images with the minimum pixels of 1000X1000. This is to ensure that once the pointer hovers on the image, the enlarged picture would still look clear
- Upload images that shows the different angles of your product
- Use a “main image” that has a white background. No, this is not about my taste and preference. Amazon prefers your main images that way
- Use infographics as another way of providing information for your product if possible
- Include images of bonus products (if you’re offering them) in the secondary image
- Include an image that shows consumers how they will receive what they bought from you
- Include a special item sticker on special items
Get Positive Reviews And Feedback
What has this got to do with SEO on Amazon? Well apparently, a lot. You see, not only will a seller account with a positive review/feedback rate is favored by A9, but it also emits trust. And if there’s one thing that surely translates to sales in online retail, that is trust.
But how do you get positive reviews in the first place? And more importantly, how do you keep them?
- Only sell high quality products
- Be honest when it comes to describing your product
- You need to develop a good relationship with your clients
- You need to send follow-up emails to new customers asking them about the product they bought. Are they happy with it, did they receive it on time, what there are problem with the product etc etc
- If a customer informs you of a problem with a product he/she bought from you, contact the customer immediately and resolve the issue
- Send a series of emails that slowly leads your customer into giving you a review
If you want a more detailed take on how to get positive customer reviews and feedback, then read our article on How You Can Get 5 Star Customer Reviews On Amazon.
Now if you want to know the difference between an Amazon review from a feedback, then I suggest you read What Is Amazon Seller Feedback, And Why You Should Prioritise It?
And if you’re concerned about getting negative feedback, then we got you covered on that one too with our article on Amazon Business Psychology: How to deal with Amazon buyers and minimize negative feedback.
So, are you ready to start optimizing your listings?
Remember, the gains that you get from optimizing your listings will happen overnight. I tell you, it will take time. And sometimes, your patience will be tested. But if you keep on practicing good Amazon optimization, all your efforts will pay off in the long run.
As always, if you have anything to add to this article, do leave them at the comment section below.
Good luck, have a great day, and see you next time!
Johann is a Psychology major turned online writer and branding/marketing consultant since 2008. He now happily calls SellerLift home, and is the person behind their blog content.
In his spare time, and to remind himself that there is more to life than his computer monitor, he throws himself down steep country roads on his longboard, takes black and white photos, and produces lounge music for an independent music label.