How to optimize Amazon listings

Amazon listing optimisation: How to avoid 8 common errors on your product detail page

When it comes to Amazon, most businesses know the competition is fierce. With 8.8 million sellers around the globe (2.2 million currently active sellers, according to Marketplace Pulse), plus Amazon vendors and own-brand offerings, the competition can seem absolutely mind-blowing. You might even be thinking, “How can I get an edge on Amazon?” Fortunately, there’s a straightforward way to help you gain exposure and customers on Amazon: Listing optimisation.

What is Amazon listing optimisation?

In relation to an Amazon product detail page, listing optimisation refers to improving the basic details to increase discovery, clicks (CTR), and conversion. A well-optimised product detail page will result in better sales and more revenue for the seller or vendor. This basic process involves an overhaul of existing content, or a fresh start (for new products). We tackle the titles, feature bullets, product description, main product images, and all of the back-end keywords and details that make your product succeed within the Amazon A10 algorithm. Like Google SEO, Amazon’s search engine works with keywords in deciding what results are most relevant to a particular customer’s search. However, unlike Google, A10 weights sales and conversion history when filtering products. In order to achieve sales, you need products that are discoverable, informative, and buyable. And we can help.

An Amazon listing

Product description on Amazon.com

(Examples of product title, product feature bullets, and product description.)

How do we optimise products on Amazon?

At eCommerce Nurse, we help both sellers and vendors beat the competition with legitimate, proven tactics (no black-hat tricks here) to optimise content for our clients. While we offer a wide range of services, one of the most basic and crucial things we start with is listing optimisation. No matter how good your physical product is, listing optimisation for sellers and vendors can mean the difference of a product that sits with minimal sales and revenue, or one that climbs the Best Seller rankings, is easily discoverable, and knocks sales targets out of the park. 

How do we make it happen? Our in-house copywriters and marketing specialists are not just wordsmiths who are good at grammar, spelling and catchy marketing copy, they are ex-Amazonians who know how to deliver SEO to achieve success specifically on Amazon. After all, proficiently working at Amazon can almost be like speaking a second language. 

To get more detailed, we’ve compiled a list of 8 common listing optimisation issues to highlight some things you might not even be aware of.

8 common listing optimisation issues

 

1) Not basing content on relevant keywords 

Like we mentioned before, keywords are the building blocks of Amazon’s A10 search algorithm. Keywords should be woven into your content as much as possible. If your product is not tied to the keywords customers are searching for, your product will not surface in search results. And it will not sell. Before creating any content, you should have a list of relevant keywords. There are many ways to go about this, including third-party keyword tools, looking at competitors, Googling, etc. 

For example, if you are selling an inflatable swimming pool, and your research shows “kiddie pool” is a top-searched term, you know you need that phrase in your content. If you decide to call it a “water play centre” in the title, instead, and don’t use the words “kiddie pool” or “swimming pool” anywhere, your content is not optimised correctly.

2) Keyword stuffing your content

Keyword stuffing is when a business jams as many keywords into the content as possible, and not in a good way. Your content should always be readable and make sense to the customer. This is the information they use to make a purchasing decision, so while a random list of phrases might boost your relevance in search, it is not going to help you convert customers when they land on the page. And if your product isn’t converting, it’s not going to surface. Remember, the Amazon philosophy of a good customer experience is paramount. 

For example, if you are selling a small swimming pool and your title is: “Intex Kiddie Pool Outdoor Toy Summer Fun Best Cheap Deal on Amazon Pool for Kids Toddler Pool Easy Setup Inflatable,” your content is not optimised correctly. 

3) Not using all of the available space to optimise content

Your product details are there for a reason: To market your product to customers and answer their questions. Depending on your category and your seller or vendor status, there will be limits on how many characters you can fit into your content. The most up-to-date info is in Seller Central or Vendor Central. But in general:

  • Sellers are allowed five product feature bullets up to 500 characters each. 
  • Vendors get seven product features bullets up to 250 characters each. 
  • A product description allows 2000 characters. 

You don’t have to max out each field (and usually shouldn’t). Customers skim information and aren’t going to spend ages reading a novel. But, use this space to your advantage. Discuss the benefit and quality of your product, the how-tos, and what makes it stand out from the competition. This is especially important if your product is at a higher price point than competitors. Maybe it’s because it’s eco-friendly, and is made to be more durable, for example. Customers only know what you tell them. Leaving information out can result in high return rates, increased customer service contacts, and customer dissatisfaction that shows up in the form of poor reviews and low ratings.

If you are only using two bullets that are one sentence each and a short product description, your content is not optimised correctly. 

4) Not utilising free A+ Content

A+ Content used to only be available for vendors. For sellers, a similar setup was called Enhanced Brand Content (EBC). There were slightly different options for sellers and vendors, but this marketing content used to be a paid feature. Not anymore. 

A+ Content is free and available to all sellers and vendors. What is Amazon A+ Content? It is an expanded Amazon product description that includes rich images, text, charts, and more elaborate details. It is customisable to your product, can tell a brand story, cross-sell products, and does much more to educate and inform the customer. If done correctly, it can help you beat the competition.

A+ Content examples

(Examples of A+ Content for Amazon sellers and vendors. For more detailed examples, check out our client success stories.)

You are not required to use A+ Content. It may be free in theory, but perhaps you don’t have a designer or copywriting resources to create this level of content. For some product types, you may be able to say everything you need to in basic product content. However, if you have a more technical product (consumer electronics, nutritional supplements, exercise equipment, etc.) the additional space and information can help answer FAQs and details that customers want to know. 

If your competitors are doing A+ Content, and you are not, your content is not optimised correctly.

5) Ignoring variations and creating content for every child ASIN

This aspect of Amazon ties in more to product setup, but it can impact your listing optimisation dramatically. If your product has variations (ie, one parent with many children, such as colours, flavours, sizes or pack sizes), you want them all on one detail page. You also want to optimise at the parent level. Every color or size shouldn’t have different content on a different parent ASIN. Think carefully about how to set your products up. For example, a blue shirt and a red shirt that are exactly the same (except colour and size selection) should be on the same product detail page. This allows them to both benefit from keywords, reviews, ratings, FAQs, and other info. 

If your products contain variation, and you have set your products up and written various content on separate pages, your content is not optimised correctly.

6) Failing to utilise optimised product images

Amazon typically shows six product images and one video (video is only available for vendors or US sellers, at the moment). Your main product image must be clear, with the product showing in 80% of the space, and have a white background. This image will show on the search page where the customer can click it. 

But you can get a little more creative with your other product images. It is important to use this space to market your product to potential buyers. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can use lifestyle images, text, infographics, etc. to communicate to customers in this space.

Optimizing Amazon product images

(An example of an optimised product image on Amazon.co.uk.)

If you are not optimising your images, as well as your written product info, your content is not optimised correctly. 

7) Forgetting about hidden keywords

The hidden keywords field is used when uploading information to the back-end of a product. It is not customer-facing, or visible to competitors or anyone else. This field is available for keywords that didn’t organically fit into your other product information. You might include things like common misspellings, synonyms, relevant associations, etc.

This field allows up to 250 characters. Use them! As an example, if your product is a set of colouring pencils, you might use some hidden keywords like, “childrens art supplies coloured colored craft pencil set kit kids gift idea” etc. This field has its own rules and strategy, to be sure, so make sure you are following guidelines.

If you are not using the hidden keywords field, your content is not optimised correctly.

8)  Using content that contains errors

Like anywhere else you might market your product, you want to look your absolute best. Make sure you proofread any and all content before uploading it. You do not want spelling issues or grammar mistakes, as it undermines your authority and makes you look unprofessional. Have a consistent tone across your brand. And know the rules so you don’t violate Amazon’s guidelines. Getting a listing removed or your account suspended certainly won’t help sales!

If you haven’t carefully reviewed and posted your best work, your content is not optimised correctly.

Conclusion

There are many steps to listing optimisation on Amazon. The way to manage it is essentially the same in every Amazon locale, whether you are in the UK, US, EU or elsewhere. However, like most things related to Amazon, there is also not a one-size-fits-all approach that will work for everyone. Best practices exist, but they are tied to your specific business, vendor or seller status, category, and product type. For instance, if you are selling a product in both the UK and Germany, you wouldn’t want English text on your product images. If you are selling a health or wellness product, there are certain words that will get your product removed if you use them (like advertising your product as a cancer treatment). This is why it’s sometimes best left to the experts! 

The bottom line is: Use your resources and available space to inform the customer as much as possible, while simultaneously using relevant keywords. If you want expert help, contact us and learn how eCommerce Nurse can support you. 

Katy Luxem

Katy Luxem

Katy Luxem is the content manager for eCommerce Nurse. She has worked for Amazon in both Seattle and London, delivering results for multiple different teams and product lines across the U.S. and Europe. Katy's experience is focused on making sure customers have a best-in-class experience. She enjoys helping businesses and brands succeed and grow with next-level content.

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