Table Of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Start with Keyword Research User Intent
- 3 Introduction To On-page Optimisation
- 3.1 Bit Of Background about Amazon’s Algorithm & Me
- 3.2 Title – Amazon Product Title Optimization Checklist
- 3.3 Bullet Points
- 3.4 Description
- 3.5 Search Terms
- 3.6 Image Optimisation Of A Listing
- 4 Remember Copy Is King. Optimisation second
- 5 Next Level Ninja Amazon Training
- 6 Best Seller Rank Spiking
- 7 The Next Stage
- 8 Conclusion
95% of Product listings on Amazon are not set-up correctly.
Reading the next article could improve your Amazon product’s sales by 300% and increase the overall conversions of the listing over 500%. — Updated Jan 28th 2018.
This is a pretty in-depth guide so take some notes, run alongside with your product listing page open and make edits as you go along, or simply enjoy the ride. Let’s get started. Oh and remember to share and let me know what you thought!
As mentioned 19 out of 20 Amazon listings I see are not optimised correctly.
When I say optimised I mean 2 things;
- Optimised for their correct keywords in relation to Amazon’s algorithm.
- Optimised with correct copy and images to generate a high visitor to conversion rate.
One thing everyone forgets is that behind Amazon’s algo is people purchasing your product. Start by reading up on what the A9 algorithm actually is. If you have a great listing that’s optimised for Amazon, but one that doesn’t make users think “this looks cool” or “I need one of those.” – Then guess what?
People aren’t going to buy!
If your listing page looks sh*t, no one is going to buy your stuff. – Shocker.
Pretty obvious but you’d be surprised how many listings just throw up a listing and compete on 2 key elements, which I will talk about in the “main mistake” section below.
But for now understand that when we talk about optimisation we aren’t just talking about ranking higher in Amazon’s search engine. We are instead talking about how we can overall build a more profitable product.
Does your listing look good and is it easy to understand what you are selling?
The very basic principle of selling on Amazon – Is it completely obvious what you are selling and who it is going to benefit. Remember people have the attention span less than a goldfish now.
Make your listing glance-able.
I call this the glance-able test. Can someone who sees your listing for 5 seconds know exactly what you sell and at least find it “interesting.” – If they do then you’ve successful overcome the first test. If they don’t then you have failed. Ask family members and friends to help you with this if you need. Let’s take a look at the glanceable test below. In 3 seconds could you understand what this product is and sells?
Build For Mobile & Tablet Devices First
One of the keys to a successful product is of course making sure it looks good on non desktop devices. In 2015 TIME posted a stat that more people shop on Amazon using a smartphone than a desktop now. And it isn’t really surprising and that was back in 2015! The stats now are even more skewed.
All this really boils down to is building your listings for mobile first. It’s the same with websites.
Luckily Amazon is hyper-optimised for mobiles, so as long as your listing looks good on desktops it will come out looking pretty good for mobiles too, but always remember to double and triple check your listing when you make any major changes.
The Main Mistake With Amazon
So what is the main mistake with Amazon? Well there are 2.
The first is assuming just because you launch a product you will make sales. I see this all the time and it’s why there are so many sellers on Amazon that well just don’t make any money. It’s the same principle of why 95% of businesses fail in the first 5 years.
The second is zero effort and everything based back to price.
Amazon is a price market, there is no doubt about that. They are a priced focus marketplace. If you do not have a competitive price for your specific product then don’t head to Amazon. If you do and you can brand yourself in a specific way, we can overcome those hurdles in-between price and profitability.
But just lowering your price to a point where your margins are below 10%, well that’s just incredibly risky. Any financial or cash flow issues or if Amazon increase their fees, then guess what – You lose a lot of money. Risky.
Also you might think this is a temporary solution, unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Customers expect a certain price and if that price is not delivered then they aren’t going to be loyal customers. Loyal customers are what create exponential profits.
So by now you should have an idea of the overview of what you are looking for. The style a listing should emphasise. Next we will talk about keyword research…. Um I mean user intent.
Keyword Research User Intent
People are lazy. They want to make instant decisions.
90% of people do not fully read Amazon listings. I’d say it’s probably close to 100% too.
90% of people won’t fully absorb that stat when they first read it.
People want to make decisions fast.
“This product looks cool”, click, buy, arrive. Or “I don’t like this title or image”, back to the search results never to be seen again.
As we mentioned above we need to pass the glance test. Once we do we then have about another 30 seconds. But…..
What actually just happened?
That one sentence is what originally separated Google from the other search engines. The quality of the algorithm based on user intent. And although Amazon are a long way off from Google when it comes to user intent metrics integrated into the algo, they are making inroads to get to the same place, as a more relevant algorithm equals large profits (Google proves that). So here is a quick section that if you understand fully, you’ll be a successful seller on Amazon for years to come.
The Amazon Algorithm
To understand the algorithm you have to understand Amazon’s CORE metric – “Money for them!”
This means if you make Amazon more money, they will rank you higher and in term make you more money and the cycle continues. You make them less money, they will rank you lower, you will make less money.
Ninja Tip One: Keyword Focused Amazon Sales.
So far we’ve mentioned that you need to: nail user intent and make Amazon money. Probably not the most “aha” moment you’ve ever heard.
But there is a ninja tip to do this.
It’s something I call keyword focused Amazon sales
This is something that I think I came up with as can’t see it mentioned anywhere online and it was a result from close testing and a bit of understanding what algorithms do best.
Ninja Tip Two: Amazon Choice Technique
How to get the Amazon choice badge?
Unfortunately I decided not to include this section as it gives me and my clients too much of a competitive edge to reveal for free. If you want to discuss this technique please get in touch.
But back to user intent for a second.
Our primary goal from the glance test is to earn the next 30 seconds of that individual’s life. If we can do that, we are 1 step closer to a sale.
In the next 30 seconds nearly 100% of buyers make their decision on the following information:
- The Title.
- The Reviews.
- The Price.
- The Images.
If we can accurately smash this information we can convert 90% of users, even if our bullet points and description were actual gibberish. We’ll talk about this more later.
Next step, as a nerd is one of my favourite.
Keyword Research For Amazon
Keyword research for Amazon is pretty much the same as keyword research for Google. But instead of using the Google keyword planner or a tool like Ahrefs we use a tool like MerchantWords. I use this tool, there are others on the market but I find this to be the easiest interface despite having a number of downfalls that are pretty obvious yet some people miss completely.
In my PPC course I go through this section and I wanted to copy that paid video here for everyone now so you can get a perfect idea of what to look for. The video is below.
Using a tool like merchantwords makes this process very easy, but you still need your seed group of keywords to be perfect. Most of the time this will be common sense, but if you are lacking in that department then just go use Google Keyword Planner.
Once we have our keyword research we will be able to move onto the next stage which is competition analysis.
Competition analysis can also be referred to as determining how profitable certain keyword rankings would be. Although the data we are going to use is from Junglescout which is not 100% accurate, it gives us a really good idea of what works and what is just a waste of time to target.
Using Junglescout it’s pretty easy to get an idea of what is working, all we need to do is type in one of our keywords from the technique above and click the Chrome extension. We will then see a number of estimates of revenue and monthly sales, as well as information based on reviews, what type the seller is (FBA or Merchant) and a bunch of other great data. If we take a look at the search results for “bluetooth speaker” in Amazon we can check the results below.
This shows it is really easy to get some solid semi-reliable data on what products are selling. One of the issues with Junglescout though is it just isn’t that accurate, when you sell your own products you’ll of course know your monthly sales volume. When you check this against JS, you can see if it really is all that accurate or if it’s not so good.
None the less it gives us a good idea of profitability even if it is not all that accurate.
Introduction To On-page Optimisation
Now to the point that most are probably waiting for… Will the SEO expert please write about optimisation!
Fair point so I’ll get to it!
First up if you haven’t added a product to Amazon yet then check out this guide as you will need to know how to do that before continuing.
Bit Of Background about Amazon’s Algorithm & Me
I originally started as an SEO consultant. I’ve built websites, ranked them and sold them for mid 6 figures. I’m involved with 2 Ecommerce sites that make 6 figures in revenue per month with the majority of this from organic traffic. I also have an link building agency in the UK that specialises in building white hat backlinks that profits in the 6 figures a year range too.
Long story short, I’m addicted to algorithms.
And tackling Amazon was next on my list.
What’s really interesting (from a nerd point of view.)
Is that Amazon is a 2009 version of Google. (full post on that here.)
Everything is the same except one core factor – Amazon’s sales is equal to Google’s link metric.
I cannot state how important that is. Back in the day (2009) you could build hundreds of links to Google, it didn’t really matter what the quality of the links were and you’d rank. Nowadays this is not so much the case, but with Amazon the direction is the same.
Nowadays the viral spiking of sales rank is different, we can’t use discounted products and massive spike best seller rank unnaturally. (More on this in the final section.)
But all you need to know is that Amazon is Google from 2009. The function: relevancy is exactly the same in all search engines.
If you don’t trust me on anything else, trust me on this: Amazon will become smarter and old product promotion strategies will NO LONGER WORK in a year, 2 years MAX.
So in the future, on-page optimisation for an Amazon listing is going to be more important than it currently is. So do it properly now and you don’t need to worry about the future.
Title – Amazon Product Title Optimization Checklist
The title is the single most important TEXT part of your listing. This should instantly tell visitors and searchers (and Amazon) what your product is about. But we have to make sure we write it in the correct way. Implementing key keyword elements as well as good copy to “win the click” of the user. Below is a checklist to run through when you start writing your titles.
How to write an Amazon Title:
- Utilise pipes (|) and dashes (-) to help break up keywords and improve readability.
- Implement primary keywords utilising longer tail variations
- Implement connectors (words that go before or after the exact primary keyword)
- Implement primary benefits upfront in keyword form.
- Add other functions + secondary uses of product.
- Include any USP’s of products.
- 200 Characters max. (Amazon always changes this though.)
- Write for the USER FIRST then for the algorithm.
For example: let’s say we have a pair of gloves. Without even looking at the keywords we know our product title doesn’t just want to say “gloves” – Instead we need to implement a huge number of long tail primary keywords and connectors. In this example if might be: touchscreen gloves, we might also have smartphone gloves, mens/womens, kids, colours, thick/thin and that’s just off the top of my head. You should be able to write the perfect title for both users and Amazon utilising pipes and dashes in the right places. Let’s take a look at a few example I like:
“Padded Deadlift Straps for Weightlifting & Powerlifting | Extra Long Wrist Weight Lifting Straps- Ghost Fitness | Crossfit Gym Straps”
“Bluetooth Speaker, Anker SoundCore mini, Super Portable Speaker with 15-Hour Playtime, 20 Meter Bluetooth Range, Enhanced Bass, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Nexus, HTC, Laptops and More”
If you are struggling, build the title as follows:
“Primary benefit integrated with KEYWORD for <type or person or keyword> | Function + USP + Keyword – Brand Name – <Compatible with or secondary uses for>…. Secondary brands + keywords.
The bullet points inside an Amazon product listing is where you SELL your product. This is the section people read if they are on the fence about purchasing or are looking for a very key benefit of feature that the product needs to deliver on. If we take a look at some of the big players in the industry we can see how they build out a listing. This is for an Anker powerbank product.We can see the key elements on marketing and influence in these bullet points. Starting with 10 million+ (that’s social proof) along with the great reviews (more social proof) a very powerful marketing technique.
Then we get into the specific features of the product and the exact details. People love details. Recharges itself in 10 hours. Can do XYZ. It is 100% safe and then finally what you get from the product. Very concise and clear with a good mix of copy and keywords. Exactly what we want.
How to Write Amazon Bullet Points
- Use Concise Effective Language.
- Add social proof throughout.
- Talk about the clear benefits and features of the product. We Do THIS. You Get THIS result.
- Talk technicals – What you get is: this, this, this.
- What or Who is it for – Connect instantly with the audience – This is built to keep your tech running on the go.
- Add an additional purchasing benefit/product – Add a PDF of how the product works. Warranty if relevant or video guide if relevant.
Your description is where you tell your story. If someone gets to the description they are probably right on the edge of purchasing your product but just aren’t sure about it quite yet. The description is important for people selling products $100+.
As we mentioned earlier Amazon is a price orientated market, so if you are selling higher end products we have to position them in such a way using our title, bullet points and description. The description should be the story of the company. Why are you selling this for so much? Convince me and the end user what you are selling and why it is more than the competition. If you can’t convince us we aren’t going to pay a premium for the product.
I also like implementing a lot of keywords in this section that may not have been relevant in the title or bullet points. Secondary keywords or connectors that we haven’t managed to implement quite yet into the content. The checklist for the description is below.
How to Write Amazon Listing Description
- Tell your story – Why your company is established.
- USP – Ongoing USP of the brand – Why they should stay loyal to you in the future.
- Tons of details about the product – Secondary features and benefits and remember to include a number of keywords here too.
- Call to action – Remember to actually have a call to action in your description, if you do not then you will not make the sale.
- Guarantees – You should mention guarantees and refunds inside your listing at the bottom anyway mainly because you have to provide refunds to your customers anyway, so may as well remind them they have this option.
The search terms section is only shown in the back-end of the listings. There’s a lot of debate around this section but honestly its something that doesn’t need to be complicated.
Simply place your primary keywords ONE PER LINE in this section. For example if we were selling speakers we may use the following:
It’s really that simply. Remember to not only input keywords people are actually searching but change these if you find that (for example during your PPC campaign) some keywords convert a lot better than others. And always remember to mix the keywords up in the search terms – Do not just put the same thing but with connectors.
Image Optimisation Of A Listing
Images are something the majority of Amazon sellers get wrong.
Luckily it’s not the toughest one to master. All you need is a cool little tool if you have a small product and if you are looking for some professional photography then just send them over to this section to read before going to the shoot. There are 2 options really. If you just type into Amazon “photoshoot box” you will get some good ideas.
Key Elements To Successful Images On Amazon
- Ensure the product imagery has a white background.
- Ensure the product imagery is large enough to enable zoom. Amazon recommends at least 1260 on the longest side, but ideally 2560.
- Add BENEFITS inside the product listing itself. For example;
- Include a custom graphic showing how soft the product is.
- Include a tagline that states the durability of the product.
The reasoning behind this is that 90% of buyers do not fully read the listing before making a purchasing decision. Many just base their information on the price, images and reviews. So we need to convince an individual to purchase in these 3 sections.
Good examples of benefit driven images are below:
Remember Copy Is King. Optimisation second
Ironic that someone who makes mid 6 figures a year solely through optimisation of marketing, listings & websites is saying copy is more important than optimisation but the truth is it just is!
Basic marketing and copywriting principles are something many Amazon seller forget to implement into their listings. This is essential as even if we have a high amount of organic visibility we want to ensure our visitors go on to purchase the product from us and don’t bounce back to other results and end up going with a competitor.
Generally speaking I have a list of 6 key elements to integrate into every Amazon listing. If you can achieve all of these the conversion from visitor to customer will go from maybe 1 in 10 to 1 in 5/6. When this is translated to top-line revenue you can see it’s almost a doubling effect.
1.) Give A Clear Reason To Buy (Inside Bullet Points)
Your product should be good enough to sell to anyone but giving a benefit to purchase right now (scarcity) is going to drastically improve conversions to a new level. Here you should include something that people do not expect to receive with your product. Something that doesn’t increase the unit COST of your product, but something none the less that adds an insane amount of value. Give them a clear reason to hand over their hard earned dollars or pounds to you in.
So what sort of things could this be?
- Instructional video on how the product works.
- 20+ Uses for the product outside the obvious (sparks curiosity.)
- PDF guide on how to use the product effectively.
- Coupon to a course that is usually $XX but now only $X.
- 197 Recipes/Tips/Ideas to make <niche> more effective.
- 3 Steps to Avoid <X issue> Whilst using <X product>
2.) Make Reference To “Perfect Reviews” (In Bullet Points)
Make reference to how many perfect (5 star) reviews you have. This is playing on the principle of social proof indirectly. This also works best if you have a website that also has a bunch of reviews. Officially you aren’t meant to mention anything like this to Amazon but as their support is so bad nowadays it would probably take them about 2 decades to pick up on these things.
3.) Sell The Benefits (And the Benefits of the Benefits)
One of the oldest copywriting principles. What problem does your product solve, how does this problem solved have additional benefits.
For example if we have a microphone that stops cracking of all types when recording. That is the benefit. Our product stops cracking in your recordings (that’s cool and a really good selling point.) But continue down this line of thinking. For example; “Our product stop cracking being recorded, this means your recordings come out crisper & sound more professional as if they were recorded in a soundproof studio with thousands of dollars of technology. This in turn will drive up the price of your recordings!” – See how we related this all back to the initial benefit.
4.) Start With WHO Your Audience Is/Are
Call them out in the first bullet point or anywhere above the fold. “Are you a” “Have you been looking for” etc. This helps them pay more attention to your listing and also helps get rid of any time-wasters. Back to our recording example above. Our first bullet point could be: “Are You A Recording Artist Looking For The Perfect Solution To High Quality Sound?” – If they are they will read on.
5.) Use Positive Imagery & Bright Colours
If you are using an image without a white background (which you should try not to do) then ensure the people in the image are happy/smiling or it’s showing your product in a positive light. Bright colours are a must. Make people feel happy and in a good mood when viewing your listing.
6.) Establish Trust
This is really easy inside of Amazon as you have to offer refunds anyway, so why not call attention to that fact. “If you are not 100% happy with the product” etc. Also if you can establish trust through other factors such as relating to big corporations or brands that trust you, or where your product is featured. All these help build trust to your product and brand and will drastically improve conversions.
Implement all of the above into your listing and you will be close to the golden land of perfectly optimised Amazon product listings! It’s tough but possible.
Please only read on if you are a ninja.
Next Level Ninja Amazon Training
If you haven’t implemented the above already or don’t yet make $20k/month on Amazon I wouldn’t recommend the below techniques as they are hyper-ninja stuff.
This is what distinguishes the businesses that make $20-50k/month on Amazon and the ones that make well over $100k+ every single month.
If you have decided to read on then good luck.
Leveraging Key Reviewers
Vote up the best reviews that include images and also hidden benefits within the review. These are best if they are initially written naturally but (you didn’t heard this from me) – If you get someone you know to purchase and review the product with a really in depth 200+ review with images and inside this review you include some of the less obvious secondary benefits that might only be mentioned in the description of the product listing.
Get A High Level Influencer To Review
Similar to the above technique but starting with an influencer. This works great with our influencer marketing techniques talked about on the process page but can also just work well if someone has a blog or YT channel in your specific industry. So for example back to the recording example if we get a music YouTuber to review the product and post a video of them using the product, then upvote this review. This will explode conversions and you might even get some exposure from the YTer too.
Start A/B Testing inside the listing itself
Start changing major elements inside your listing and split testing the results. For example change the featured image for a month and check conversions and traffic for the listing inside Amazon seller central. If everything increased then leave this new image in, if it decreased then change it back. Very simply A/B testing. But this is why you need to be making sales in the first place, otherwise this information just won’t be relevant and you can’t split test if you have no sales or traffic.
There are hundreds of ninja tactics that we can use to skyrocket optimisation conversions of a listing, but at the end of the day if no one is visiting your listing this doesn’t matter all to much. This is why the below section is ESSENTIAL!
Best Seller Rank Spiking
Best seller rank spiking (this is what we DO!) – About 12 months ago you used to be able to hire a viral launch service like Zonblast, (which it looks like has re-branded to SixLeaf) send it to a crappy product listing and you’d actually rank! It was the strangest yet most profitable technique ever! It was pretty expensive upfront (as you had to essentially give away free products) but it worked so well that your ROI would be huge from month 2 onwards!
Unfortunately this is no longer the case, which is a good, bad and extremely annoying thing.
1.) Why It’s Good – New competitiors with mediocure products will not be able to launch and rank on day 1.
2.) Why It’s Bad – We can’t rank instantly and then use more advanced techniques to stay ranking….
3.) Why It’s Really Bad – It’s now even more difficult to outrank the competition for highly competitive keywords.
So what do we do instead?
The Next Stage
The next stage is to RANK ORGANICALLY FOR YOUR PRODUCTS.
This is the difference between having a successful PASSIVE Amazon business and just having a failing business.
I write strongly about this topic because its such a simple concept but most people don’t talk about it. It’s what my entire business is designed to achieve for clients.
Instead of writing another 4,000 words on what to do next, simple go to: https://amazonseoconsultant.com/our-process/ and follow the EXACT STRATEGY!
Optimising your product pages is incredibly important. Remember the keys mentioned above and don’t overdo the keyword elements. Although optimisation for the algorithms is extremely important, what’s more important is the copy and user journey for the listing.
Once compete remember to take the next step and actually market your listing and increase your organic ranking.
Remember to SHARE if you enjoyed.