95% of Product listings on Amazon are not set-up correctly
Reading this article could improve your Amazon product’s sales by 300% and increase the overall conversions of the listing over 500%.
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 us get started. Oh and remember to share and let us know what you thought!
As mentioned, 19 out of 20 Amazon listings we see are not optimised correctly.
When we say optimised, we 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 algorithm is people purchasing your product. If you’re completely new to this idea, start by reading up on what the A9 algorithm actually is. At it’s simplest, it’s a method of sorting products and offering the most relevant to potential buyers. If your product listing doesn’t contain the appropriate keywords, you have no chance of being seen by the right people. If you have a great listing that is well optimised for Amazon with keywords but does not make users think “this looks cool”, or “I need one of those”, then guess what?
People are not going to buy!
If your listing page looks sh*t, no one is going to buy your stuff. – Shocker.
Pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how many sellers throw up a listing and compete on two key elements. We will talk about these in the “main mistake” section below.
But for now, understand that when we talk about optimization, we are not just talking about ranking higher in Amazon’s search engine. We are instead talking about how we can build a more profitable product overall.
If you have any questions about Amazon management or marketing or would like to know more about how we’ve helped over 200 sellers earn more on Amazon please check out our client case studies.
The Strategy To A Successful Amazon Business Is Really Quite Simple:
- Build a Great Product.
- Optimize Amazon Listing
- Rank Amazon Listing.
Three stages, but far easier said than done. The first stage to any successful Amazon SEO campaign is going to be on-page optimisation.
Now to the point that most are probably waiting for. Will the SEO expert please write about optimization! More specifically How to optimize an Amazon listing.
Fair point so we will get to it!
Firstly, if you have not added a product to Amazon yet, then check out this guide as you will need to know how to do that before continuing.
How to Optimize Your Amazon Listing
Does your listing look good and is it easy to understand what you are selling?
There is a 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 an attention span less than a goldfish now.
Make your listing glance-able.
We call this the glance-able test. Can someone who sees your listing for 5 seconds know exactly what you sell, or at least find it “interesting”? If they do, then you have successfully overcome the first test. If they do not, then you have failed. It shouldn’t take concentration and in-depth reading to learn about your offering. Ask family members and friends to help you with this if you need.
This is one of the many reasons why Anker does AT LEAST $30 million a year through Amazon’s platforms. Not bad really for a brand no one outside of Amazon has ever heard of.
1. Build For Mobile & Tablet Devices First
One of the main elements of a successful product is 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. It is not really surprising and that was back in 2015! The stats are now even more skewed.
All this really boils down to is building your listings for mobile first. It is the same with websites.
Luckily Amazon is hyper-optimized for mobiles, so as long as your listing looks good on desktops, it will come out looking pretty good for mobiles too. However, 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 two.
The first is assuming just because you launch a product you will make sales. We see this all the time and it is why there are so many sellers on Amazon that do not make any money. It is the same principle of why 95% of businesses fail in the first 5 years.
The second is zero effort and keeping everything focused on 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 do not 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 is just incredibly risky. If you come against any financial, cash flow issues, or if Amazon increases their fees, then guess what. You lose a lot of money. Risky.
Also, you might think this is a temporary solution. Unfortunately, it does not work like that. Customers expect a certain price. If that price is not delivered, they are not going to be loyal customers. Loyal customers are what create exponential profits.
So by now, you should have an idea of the general overview. The style a listing should emphasise. Next, we will talk about keyword research. Specifically, user intent.
2. Start with
People are lazy. They want to make instant decisions. They don’t want to compare a ton of stats and features to figure out which product is the best value.
90% of people do not fully read Amazon listings. I would say it is probably close to 100% in many instances too.
Another important stat: 90% of people will not fully absorb that stat when they first read it!
People want to make decisions fast. They want the first product they click on to be a great option so they can get on with their day. Don’t give them a reason to think it isn’t!
“This product looks cool”, click, buy, arrive. Or “I do not like this title or image”, back to the search results never to be seen again. It’s really that simple.
As we mentioned above, we need to pass the glance test. Once we do, we have about another 30 seconds to convince the potential buyer this is the product for them.
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. Although Amazon is 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. A more relevant algorithm equals large profits (Google proves that). So here is a quick section that if you understand fully, you will 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 the cycle continues. If you make them less money, they will rank you lower and you will make less money.
Ninja Tip One: Keyword Focused Amazon Sales.
So far we have mentioned that you need to nail user intent and make Amazon money. Probably not the most “aha” moment you have ever heard.
But there is a ninja tip to do this.
It is something we call keyword focused Amazon sales.
This is something that we think we came up with first as it hasn’t been mentioned anywhere else online. It was a result of close testing, creative thinking and a bit of understanding what makes algorithms tick.
Ninja Tip Two: Amazon Choice Technique
Wondering how to get the Amazon choice badge?
Unfortunately, we have decided not to include this section as it gives us and our clients too much of a competitive edge to reveal for free. If you want to discuss this technique further please get in touch or consider becoming one of our partners. This involves us managing your entire Amazon seller central account as if it was our own and pushing unbelievable increases in rank and profit.
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 attention. If we can do that, we are one 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 will talk about this later.
Next step, as a nerd, this is one of my favourites.
Keyword Research For Amazon
Keyword research for Amazon is pretty much the same as keyword research for Google. However, instead of using the Google keyword planner, or a tool like Ahrefs, we use a tool like MerchantWords or Helium10. There are others on the market, but we find these to be among the easiest interfaces. This is even acknowledging a number of downfalls that are pretty obvious, yet a lot of people miss completely.
In our PPC course, we go through this section. We 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. Yet, 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 is 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 is that it is not 100% accurate and some of the data is an estimate. When you sell your own products, you will, 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 is not so good.
None the less, it gives us a good idea of profitability even if it is not all that accurate.
3. Amazon Product Title Optimization Checklist
The title is the single most important TEXT part of your listing. This is the first thing potential buyers will see and should instantly tell visitors, searchers and Amazon what your product is about. Yet, 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
- Incorporate connectors (words that go before or after the exact primary keyword)
- Enforce primary benefits upfront in keyword form.
- Add other functions + secondary uses of the 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 us say we have a pair of gloves. Without even looking at the keywords, we know our product title does not just want to say “gloves” – Instead we need to implement a huge number of long tail primary keywords and connectors. In this example for touchscreen gloves, we might also have smartphone gloves, mens/womens, kids, colours, thick/thin and that is 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 us take a look at a few examples we 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.
4. Bullet Points
The bullet points inside an Amazon product listing is where you SELL your product. You don’t need to put the obvious info here that the title has already covered. This is the section people read if they are on the fence about purchasing, or are looking for a very specific benefit 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 of marketing and influence in these bullet points. Starting with 10 million+ (social proof) along with the great reviews (more social proof) is a very powerful Amazon 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, 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.
5. Product Description
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 are not sure about it quite yet. The description is important for people selling products for $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 the end user of what you are selling and why it is more than the competition. If you cannot convince them, they are not going to pay a premium for the product.
We also like implementing a lot of keywords that may not have been relevant in the title or bullet points. Secondary keywords or connectors that we have not managed to implement 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.
6. Search Terms
The search terms section is only shown in the back-end of the listings. There is a lot of debate around this section, but honestly, it is something that does not 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 is really that simple. 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. Always remember to mix the keywords up in the search terms. Do not just put the same thing but with connectors.
7. Image Optimization of a Listing
Images are something the majority of Amazon sellers get wrong.
Luckily, it is not the toughest one to master. All you need is a cool little tool if you have a small product. If you are looking for some professional product photography, then just send them over to this section to read before going to the shoot. There are two 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.
8. Remember Copy is King. Optimisation Second!
Ironic that someone who makes mid 6 figures a year solely through optimisation of marketing, listings and websites is saying copy is more important than optimization, but it is the truth!
Basic marketing and copywriting principles are something many Amazon sellers forget to implement into their listings. This is essential. 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 do not bounce back to other results, or end up going with a competitor.
If you stuff your listing with keywords to the point that it doesn’t make sense, you may succeed at getting people to see the listing, but it’s highly unlikely any of them are going to buy. In that sense, balancing keyword optimization and good old-fashioned copywriting is the most important aspect of creating an Amazon listing.
Generally speaking, we 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. When this is translated to top-line revenue, you can see it is almost a doubling effect.
Give a Clear Reason to Buy Inside the 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 does not increase the unit COST of your product, but something that adds an insane amount of value. Give them a clear reason to hand over their hard-earned dollars or pounds to you.
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>
a. 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 are not meant to mention anything like this to Amazon. However, as their support is so bad nowadays, it would probably take them about 2 decades to pick up on these things.
b. Sell the Benefits, as well as the Benefits of the Benefits
One of the oldest copywriting principles. What problem does your product solve and how does this solved problem have additional benefits.
For example, if we have a microphone that stops all types of cracking when recording. That is the benefit. But continue down this line of thinking. For instance, this means your recordings come out crisper and 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? It’s not just about the feature itself, but how that feature will improve the life or business of the customer.
c. 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.
d. 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, or it is 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.
e. 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, brands that trust you, or where your product is featured. All these help build trust to your product and brand, which 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 is tough but possible.
Bit Of Background about Amazon’s Algorithm & Us
The founder Tom Buckland originally started as an Amazon SEO consultant. He built websites, ranked them and sold them for mid 6 figures. Also, he is involved with 2 Ecommerce sites that make 6 figures in revenue per month, with the majority of this from organic traffic. Additionally, he has a 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, we are addicted to algorithms.
And tackling Amazon was next on my list.
What is really interesting (from a nerd point of view) is Amazon is a 2009 version of Google. A full post on that here.
Everything is the same, except for one core factor. Amazon’s sales are equal to Google’s link metric.
We cannot state how important that is. Back in 2009, you could build hundreds of links to Google, it did not really matter what the quality of the links were as you would rank regardless. 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 cannot use discounted products and massive spike best seller rank unnaturally. There will be more on this in the final section.
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 do not trust us 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 do not need to worry about the future.
Please only read on if you are a ninja.
Next Level Ninja Amazon Training
If you have not implemented the above already, or do not yet make $20k/month on Amazon, we would not 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 did not hear this from me. Get someone you know to purchase and review the product with a really in-depth 200+ word review with images. Inside this review, 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 can work well if someone has a blog or YT channel in your specific industry. For instance, back to the recording example. We could 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
Start changing major elements inside your listing and split testing the results. For example, change the featured image for a month, 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. However, this is why you need to be making sales in the first place, otherwise, this information just will not be relevant and you cannot split test if you have no sales or traffic. There are some Amazon split testing tools that can help you with this too.
There are hundreds of ninja tactics that we can use to skyrocket optimization conversions of a listing. At the end of the day, if no one is visiting your listing this does not matter all to much. This is why the below section is ESSENTIAL!
Best Seller Rank Spiking
Bestseller rank spiking 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 would actually rank! It was the strangest, yet most profitable technique ever! It was pretty expensive up front 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 fairly disappointing fact.
1.) Why it is good – New competitors with mediocre products will not be able to launch and rank on day one, limiting your competition to those who deserve to be there.
2.) Why it is bad – We cannot rank instantly and then use more advanced techniques to stay ranking.
3.) Why it is really bad – It is 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.
We write strongly about this topic because it is such a simple concept, but also because most marketing agencies do not talk about it or possibly aren’t even aware. It is what our entire business is designed to achieve for clients.
Instead of writing another 4,000 words on what to do next, your best options are to either get cracking utilising the tips on this page or to request a free proposal, allowing you to learn exactly how our experts can do it for you!
Optimising your product pages is incredibly important. Remember the key tips mentioned above and do not overdo the keyword elements. Although optimisation for the algorithms is extremely important, what is even more important is the copy and user journey for the listing.
Once complete, remember to take the next step and actually market your listing and increase your organic ranking.
If you would rather us take care of your Amazon listings and boost your rankings and profits, you could also request a proposal to learn more about our Amazon listing optimization service and 100% guaranteed ranking boosts. This has the benefit of allowing you to spend your time running your business and finding new products, while some of the leading Amazon marketers in the world build your rank and profits with proven, customised Amazon listing optimisation techniques!
You can also make use of our one off EBC services.
Remember to SHARE if you enjoyed this guide to Amazon product listing optimisation, and keep your eye on AmazonSEOConsultant for more in-depth guides!
Tom Buckland is the founder of Amazon SEO Consultant & HQ SEO – An organic marketing agency helping businesses grow through the Amazon channel.