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Amazon is obviously one of the most powerful forces in eCommerce today. However, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has only increased in prominence and profitability for sellers.
While the potentially record-breaking sales figures that marketplace sellers are seeing presents great challenges for merchants, it also has provided them with tremendous opportunities–that is, if consumers can find them.
Despite the fact that Amazon is a specialized search engine that deals exclusively with products, it is still a search engine just like Google, Bing and the like. Therefore, it is critical for merchants to consider the elements that go intoAmazon product listing optimization for increased sales, particularly amid the current crisis.
Those who are capable of achieving substantial amounts of visibility stand to increase their sales and market share significantly. In fact, while this is typically true, the situation at hand has amplified that potential to far greater degrees than usual.
Fortunately, when exploring theAmazon versus Google dichotomy, optimizing product listings for the Amazon marketplace is far simpler than implementing the multitude of optimization techniques required for more traditional search engines like Google.
On Amazon, there is far less to account for and the company’s algorithm changes far less frequently. However, this is not to say that topping the marketplace SERPs will be easy, as the levels of competition on Amazon continue to grow by the day.
That said, for those who wish to optimize their product listing for optimal performance, there are nine key areas to which they should pay particular attention.
But, before diving into the tactics necessary for Amazon product listing optimization, it is vital to possess a firm understanding of the algorithm that dictates a product’s visibility.
Amazon’s A9 Algorithm Explained
Like any other search engine,Amazon’s A9 algorithm utilizes a set of rules and weighted criteria to determine how it will rank products based on the queries entered by shoppers.
Amazon’s A9 algorithm, which is the guiding force for allAmazon SEO strategies, reads, scans and analyzes all of the data on the Amazon marketplace. Utilizing artificial intelligence, the algorithm finds products that best match a user’s search and ranks them according to those that are most relevant and likely to satisfy a customer’s needs or wants.
While Amazon has never revealed the ingredients that go into the A9 algorithm or how these factors are weighted, retailers have observed that some of the most vital elements for ranking well in the marketplace include:
Text match relevancy: Determines product relevance based on keyword usage in various places within a listing.
Sales performance history: The velocity with which an item sells.
Price: If multiple sellers offer the same item, Amazon will feature the lowest priced one.
Availability: If an item is out-of-stock, it will likely decrease in rankings or disappear outright.
While these elements are some of the most important, Amazon does take a variety of other factors into consideration when ranking product listings. Some of those components include:
Internal, organic, PPC and off-site sales
That said, sellers in pursuit of Amazon product listing optimization should focus the bulk of their efforts in the nine following areas.
9 Keys to Amazon Product Listing Optimization
Given the nature of the Amazon marketplace, there are a limited number of areas for retailers to optimize. Therefore, when it comes toimproving product pages, sellers should give considerable focus to:
Write Informative Product Titles
Naturally, the title is one of the most important elements in Amazon product listing optimization.
It is important to note that while Amazon does give sellers 200 characters to work with here, it is not advisable to use the entire allowance. The fact is that if a title goes beyond 80 characters, retailers could find their listings suppressed as they are not optimized for mobile devices.
However, unlike the title of blogs, videos and othertypes of content, the title doesn’t need to be compelling, per se. Instead, retailers are looking to craft highly informative titles that will drive clicks by showing shoppers that a product meets their criteria.
That said, it is important to ensure that keywords users are likely to search are present in the title. Therefore, a product title structure that is commonly utilized due to its effectiveness for meeting the previously mentioned benchmarks is:
While keywords can naturally be woven into this structure, and retailers can potentially include two or three, it is critical to note that (as in all other types of content) keyword stuffing is a bad idea.
Therefore, to meet Amazon product listing optimization standards for titles, the aim is to craft clear, informative and search-relevant titles.
Use Bullet Points to Highlight Benefits
The bullet points that reside on the Amazon product listing page are often referred to as the features list.
While this is technically correct, a more useful way to utilize this space is to not merely list an item’s features (which many merchants do), but instead to list the benefits that buyers would receive from the product.
The fact is that shoppers don’t care as much about the features of a product as they do the benefits that they will receive from those features. Therefore, if a retailer is selling a pair of over-the-ear headphones, instead of listing “memory foam ear cups” as a feature, say something like “memory foam ear cups allow for a comfortable listening experience all day long.”
Through the latter example, sellers can still inform shoppers about the product’s feature, while also relating it to what that characteristic does for the end customer, thereby increasing the item’s desirability.
While this space should predominantly be utilized to entice consumers into a potential purchase, it is also a great place to integrate valuable keywords that will help show the product’s relevance to Amazon.
In this section, Amazon provides retailers with a whopping 2,000 characters to convince consumers that they have found the item that they are seeking. Given that the product description resides lower down on the page, shoppers who view this section are clearly interested in learning more about a product. Therefore, carefullycrafting product descriptions that sell is of the utmost importance.
Some best practices that retailers should take into account when crafting the copy for this field include:
Reiterating important product features and benefits
Including info on warranties, care instructions, dimensions and other specifications
Writing clear, complete sentences that are free from grammatical errors and utilize punctuation appropriately
Include relevant keywords that shoppers are likely to search
Once again, it is important to refrain from keyword stuffing, as this will only harm a product listing’s performance. That said, when aiming to optimize this area, retailers might consider taking the time to comb through the reviews of competing products. By doing this, retailers will be able to see the exact words that buyers are using to describe an item, perks they see as important, as well as the pain points that they might have experienced with an item.
Possessing this knowledge will enable sellers to craft more relevant, informative and arresting product descriptions.
However, when it comes to crafting compelling product descriptions, there is one component that retailers can use to really make their listings memorable.
Enlist A+ Content
Amazon’s A+ Content, formerly known asEnhanced Brand Content, is a powerful means of creating standout listings that aid in Amazon product listing optimization.
“Enables brand owners to change the product descriptions of branded ASINs. Using this tool, you can describe your product features in a different way by including a unique brand story, enhanced images, and text placements. Adding A+ to your product detail pages can result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales when used effectively.”
With this free tool, retailers can enhance their product descriptions by leveraging pre-made templates that allow retailers to include supplemental images, more copy to better inform consumers about an item and create a unique portrayal of a brand that lends credence to a seller.
Employ Powerful Product Images
Product images reside at the core of Amazon product listing optimization. After all, when product pictures are sparse, low-quality and all-around lacking in information, shoppers are going to find another product that appears more professional and trustworthy.
Much like drafting enticing descriptions is vital to sales, includingstunning images that sell is a key factor in increasing sales velocity. Therefore, utilizing high-quality photos is an absolute necessity for succeeding on Amazon.
Ensuring pixel dimensions of 1,000 or larger for height or width
As far as Amazon’s color standards are concerned, it is critical to adhere to these guidelines in particular as utilizing RGB (Red, Green, Blue) could distort the color of an image and leave customers quite dissatisfied.
To prevent color exaggerations, be sure to utilize CMYK or sRGB color modes.
When a user searches for a product through Amazon’s homepage, they are taken to a results page. Once they click on anything within the SERPs, anything they do going forward will be contained in a particular category.
Therefore, if merchants are not categorizing their product correctly, they will not show up when shoppers are browsing for items in that class of products.
With this understanding, it is critical for retailers to take the time to ensure that they are selecting the correct, most relevant categories for their products. Failure to do so will likely result in lost sales.
Increase Customer Reviews
Product reviews are critical to increasing sales. This is a well-known fact within the eCommerce industry. No matter if consumers are digging through Amazon, a retailer’s dedicated site or another resource altogether, the number and general sentiment of the reviews present could be the difference between a bounce or a sale.
When speaking to Amazon product listing optimization, product ratings lend credibility to a seller and the items they offer. Those who have more reviews are likely to generate more sales, which earns more reviews and so forth.
Therefore, devisinga strategy for earning Amazon reviews is a vital component to success on the platform. While Amazon has streamlined the process with the recently added “Request a Review” button, retailers should go beyond this component and establish alternative ways to reach consumers and generate product reviews.
Use Sponsored Products
Amazon’s Sponsored Products are a great advertising option for increasing sales through the marketplace. In fact, asAd Age reports, “Sponsored Products accounts for the majority of ad revenue, 88 percent, that Amazon makes from search-based advertising.”
Sponsored Products allow merchants to create adverts that display at the top, bottom and to the right of the organic results, as well as on product details pages. Because of all the destinations in which this advert shows, it can be instrumental in driving sales and increasing Amazon product listing optimization efforts.
Competitively Price Products
Price is a critical component of Amazon product listing optimization as items that appear on the first page are almost certainly the most competitively priced in their category.
Moreover, if a merchant sells the same thing as other retailers on the platform, holding the lowest price is necessary towin the buy box in Amazon.
However, merchants are changing their prices all the time, meaning keeping up with the latest developments can be quite the challenge. Therefore, it is necessary to utilize an automated repricing tool such asPrisync. With this kind of tool, retailers can obtain competitive pricing intelligence and aid Amazon product listing optimization efforts by ensuring that they always feature the most competitive price.
However, it is essential to note that optimizing rates doesn’t always mean engaging in a race to the bottom. Retailers should ensure that their products remain profitable. After all, while the lowest price might help win the buy box, it won’t help the company if products are being sold for next to nothing.
There is a lot that goes into Amazon product listing optimization. However, by starting with these nine elements and investing the time and energy to really make them shine, retailers can increase their Amazon presence and performance substantially.
It is critical that sellers invest the necessary resources to optimize their listings because there are competitors who are already one step ahead of the curve.
If your business would like to ensure that its optimized product listings are getting in front of shoppers and generating sales, reach out toVisiture’s Amazon PPC management masters.
We can help your brand build an incredibly profitable presence on the world’s most popular online marketplace.
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And see how Visiture can grow your revenue online through award-winning transactional focused marketing services.
Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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