If you have aspirations of multichannel distribution that enables your customers to buy wherever they like, Amazon should be a large part of your strategy.
And if you want to win on Amazon, it all starts with your Amazon listing.
Your product listing is not only hugely significant in terms of your product-specific conversion rate, it’s also the entry point for your brand on Amazon. This is not something you want to take lightly. Luckily, producing a killer Amazon listing isn’t that complicated. But while the process is pretty straightforward, there are some best practices and watch-outs you'll want to understand before you launch.
In this post, we’ll provide a guide on how to setup and dial in your Amazon product listings based on research-backed methodologies that anyone can use. We’ll walk through a detailed overview of each component of an Amazon product listing and follow up with strategies and tactics to help you optimize your listings.
Let’s get started.
The Anatomy of an Amazon Product Listing
First off, let’s get clear about the definition. An Amazon listing is the product page for each of the products you sell on Amazon.The basic components include:
- Bullet points
Note: Reviews and ratings are also part of an Amazon listing, however you don’t have direct control over those. For a more in-depth look at how poor product listings and data can lead to negative reviews, check out our related blog post: How Bad Product Data Can Drive Sh*tty Reviews, Returns, and Refunds.
From a customer standpoint, your product listing is responsible for two things:
Discoverability - Does your product rank highly in relevant searches?
Conversion - Do people add your product to their cart?
Each of the six components above plays a role in both of these outcomes, so let’s dive into each one in detail.
The description is below the fold, but still an important part of an Amazon listing. Most of this should look familiar to you, both as a consumer and an ecommerce retailer, so now it’s time for the fun part—how to squeeze as much value as possible out of every component.
How To Optimize Your Amazon Product Listings
We’re going to go through each of the six components of the graphic above in detail, but first we have to set the stage with the proper research and strategy.
Keywords and More Keywords!
Similar to Google, Amazon aims to satisfy a user’s product search with the best possible match, and it uses keywords to do this. Unlike Google, Amazon uses a different algorithm, so you’d be wise not to try and do your keyword research with something like the Google Keyword Planner.
Instead, consider a tool like MerchantWords. This will show you how many times per month your keywords (and similar keywords) are being searched on Amazon. Here’s a handy video to help you do an in-depth keyword analysis.
Once you have a list of keywords with decent volume, you’ll want to test each one via Amazon search to understand the user intent. This is somewhat of a common sense approach—search the keyword and observe the first few pages of results. Does it seem like people viewing these results would also be interested in your products? If yes, you can begin optimizing your product listing pages around those keywords.
Note: Spend some time on this step. If you optimize for the wrong keywords, you’ll end up with a lot of impressions that aren’t converting into sales, which will hurt your rankings over time.
OK, with your list of keywords in hand, let’s put them into action via the various on-page elements of your Amazon listing.
1. How to Optimize Your Product Title
No surprise here, go ahead and list the name of your product. While you don’t want to force the issue awkwardly, it is best to make sure that you lead off strong with the keyword you’re targeting.
Amazon allows 500 characters in your title, so you have lots of room to expand beyond the keyword. With that many characters, you can actually turn your title into a mini-description, and you should do so. Provide information such as brand, product name, model number, color, size, and type, assuming these all apply to your product. Do not count on people to read all your bullet points or description—get as much information out into the title as possible.
2. How to Optimize Your Image(s)
Yes, that’s images, plural. Each listing should have about five images. Again, this tip is pretty straightforward, but there are a few things you’ll want to get right.
First, show your product on a white seamless background from a variety of different angles. Yes, people do want to know what the back looks like. Second, especially for apparel, show your product in action. Being worn, being used, etc. Sweaters should be on models, kitchen knives should be cutting through fresh bell peppers; you get the idea. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure your images adhere to Amazon’s list of technical specifications.
3. How to Optimize Your Price
Needless to say, competitive pricing is an absolute must for success on Amazon. Consider the famous words of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, when describing how he planned on taking on ecommerce competition:
“Your margin is my opportunity.” - Jeff Bezos, letter to shareholders circa 2004
Consider using a tool such as an algorithmic repricer to help you stay competitive in real time.
4. How to Optimize Your Variations
If your product has variations in terms of color, size, etc.; you definitely want to list the options a consumer can choose for in a single product listing. We repeat—do not create multiple Amazon listings if the only thing that’s different about the product could be classified as a variation.
Note: If you have a lot of variations in a large product line, this is where product information management (PIM) can make your life way easier.
5. How to Optimize Your Bullet Points
Directly under the title, price, and variations; you have an area to list additional product details in the form of bullet points. You have room for five bullet points, each with a 500-character maximum. Really though, you don’t want to overload each bullet with the full allotment of characters.
Keep your bullet points strong by using active voice and speaking directly to the product benefits and features, in that order. Also, this is a great time to time to dust off the keyword list we created earlier and put those to use again.
The bullet points section is really important because if the user isn’t sold via the title, price, or variations; they’ll most definitely glance at the bullet points—which are still within a glance of the add to cart button.
Note that the bullet points do not always appear on mobile.
6. How to Optimize Your Description
Last but certainly not least is your Amazon listing description. While this is not nearly as important as your title, bullet points, or images; it still bears some thought and planning to get it right.
The first thing to know about your description is that it sits below the fold in the no-man’s land between your price and your reviews. In that sense, this is a great area to win over picky buyers who are doing more research beyond the essential details listed above the fold.
Again, you’ll want to use your keywords to fill out your description, but definitely write for the human here, not the algorithm. Feel free to go into full-on storytelling mode here, but keep your paragraphs short and concise, providing the reader with ‘snackable’ copy they can skim.
Note that you can (and should) use images in the description.
Important: Because of the rich formatting options available in the description of your Amazon listing, ensure that your text and graphics are optimized for mobile with no unusual or inactive spacing or cut-off images.
Next Step: Manage Your Products with a PIM
At this point, you should have a lot of actionable advice to go forth and optimize your Amazon listings in terms of both discoverability and conversion. You know what’s cool? Optimizing your Amazon listings and making more sales on Amazon.
You know what’s really cool?
Optimizing your product listings everywhere and making lots more sales!
And that’s exactly what a PIM system is for. Look, you’ve already done a bunch of hard work to optimize your Amazon listings, why not take all that effort and apply it to Google Shopping feeds, Ebay, and more? Triple the benefits, half the effort. Ditch those cumbersome spreadsheets and use the right tools to streamline product information management and distribution to multiple channels.
You want omnichannel? You got it!
You can always give us a call at Plytix and talk omnichannel with us all day, (seriously, it’s our lives) but you can also continue to research and learn omnichannel best practices all by yourself. If that sounds like you, go ahead and grab yourself a copy of our free ebook on going omnichannel: A Guide to Expanding Your E-Commerce Business Beyond Your Website.