The backbone of optimisation is SEO. Akin to websites ranking on search engines such as Google, it’s just as important for product listings to rank on Amazon. After all, Amazon isn’t just an online marketplace, it’s a search engine.
So for brands and sellers, what this means there’s ample opportunity to enhance your product visibility, providing you adopt the right SEO strategy. In other words, optimisation ensures that amid the sea of countless products and listings, potential buyers can effortlessly find and choose yours.
Today’s article is going to touch upon the intricacies of Amazon SEO and shine a light over the fabled A9 algorithm – yes, it really does exist! We’ll also uncover the tools and knowledge needed to effectively optimise a product listing, fill your boots with tips to create strategies that convert, as well as highlight common mistakes and pitfalls that you should avoid for sustained success.
So, whether you’re a seasoned seller or brand new to Amazon, this guide promises insights that can elevate your sales game.
Understanding Amazon Product Listing Optimisation
Amazon product listing optimisation is imperative since it has a direct impact on how products rank in the marketplace. A better ranking equals more visibility, which increases the likelihood of sales (conversions). Furthermore, an optimised listing improves the user experience (UX) by providing clear, concise, and relevant information to potential buyers, easing their purchasing decision.
There are five key areas to address when looking to perfect a listing:
- Product title
- Bullet points
- Search terms
So what makes these key elements so important?
Title – The first piece of information your customers will read. Include all the relevant details so the buyer knows exactly what they are looking at, such as brand name, product name, type of product, and quantity are vital bits of information you should relay.
Bullet Points – Think of this as your product’s USPs. As a seller, once a customer has clicked on your listing, they will want to learn more about your product. This is where you begin to explain what your product does, how it will do it, and how the customer’s life will be better once they’ve bought it.
Description – Now you can go into all the little details about your product. Speak about the brand behind the product and further your brand’s message, mission, or purpose. For sellers that have completed Brand Registry, A+ content and Premium A+ content are fantastic opportunities to showcase your product in stylish, engaging, and easy to digest ways. We have an article on why Premium A+ content is a must-have function here.
Search Terms – Finding it difficult to work in all your relevant keywords into your listing copy? Don’t fret, because each listing allows for up to 250 characters that a seller can add to their listing in the back-end. These words won’t show up on your PDP, but will still allow your listing to rank for them.
Images – We’ve said it before we’ll say it again. An image speaks a thousand words. Customers want to see what it is they are buying. A product’s listing images must not just show the product, they should sell the product. More on this later.
Conducting Keyword Research for Amazon SEO
Research, research, research.
It can’t be emphasised enough. Keyword research is critical. If you want your product to be found, you need to rank for the words, phrases, and terms buyers are using. By carrying out the proper research, a brand can increase the visibility of their products by ensuring that their listings show up in relevant search results.
Showing up in the right search results improves conversions by driving more and the right type of organic traffic to your product page.
So where do we find these magical SERP inducing incantations?
Sadly, there’s nothing magic about it. No spell, no potion, or mind trick. However, the good news is that there are several methods by which to obtain the vocabulary you require to make your listings glisten.
Amazon’s Auto-Suggest: Simply typing a product-related term into Amazon’s search bar will yield a list of commonly searched phrases.
Amazon Brand Analytics: Provides valuable insights into search term popularity and conversion rates for Amazon registered brands.
Third-Party Tools: Platforms such as Jungle Scout, Helium 10, and MerchantWords offer extensive keyword data, including search volume and competition levels.
Competitor Analysis: Examining the listings of top-ranking competitors can provide insights into potential keywords they’re targeting.
Amazon’s auto-suggest is a fast and free way to find popular search terms
Once you’ve assembled your arsenal of keywords there are things you need to consider. Firstly, what are buyers searching for when shopping for your product. Your keywords must reflect the words and terms shoppers use to describe your product in the search bar, not what you the brand wants to be ranking for. Remember, it’s about the UX!
Secondly, look at keyword statistics. You should analyse search volume vs. competition. Target keywords that have a decent search volume but aren’t overly competitive. This is the sweet spot between visibility and attainability.
Finally, short-tail keywords vs long-tail keywords. Each potential customer is at a different stage of their buying journey. For those browsing, broader terms are used AKA short-tail keywords.
Whereas buyers who know what they are looking for and ready to buy are more likely to use long-tail keywords. This narrows the search to specific items. Also, from a brand’s perspective, it’s a great way to target specific customer queries.
Optimising Product Titles and Descriptions
Taking your hard-earned keywords and chucking them into a string of unorganised mumbo jumbo and calling it a product title is the fastest way to go from hero to zero. But with the right strategy you can make that 100 character line sparkle and shine.
Tip: the title limit is actually 200 characters, so after you’ve finished reading this article check out our how to optimise your Amazon listing for mobile feature to find out why we’ve only mentioned 100.
We’ve already touched upon what your product title must comprise earlier in this article. What we’re exploring now is a method that will increase your listing’s visibility. And that is the structure. At TIU we adhere to a format that applies to your listing without sacrificing readability. Warning. Trade secrets ahead!
[Brand Name] – [Product Name/Identifier] – [Primary & Secondary Keywords] – [Quantity/Size]
Looks pretty straightforward, right?
Yes. And that’s the point.
By laying out your titles this way we allow for brands to be recognised, products to be easily identified, ranked for key features and benefits, and included variables. It’s clear without being stuffy, but provides so much information. And this is even before the listing has been clicked on!
So what about the remaining keywords you’ve spent hours digging up? After all, you’ve probably got a handful and only used around 10 of them.
Product descriptions. Keywords in the title get the listing in front of the customer, but so do the keywords you’ve woven into your sales copy. Keywords in your product descriptions work just as hard as those in the title because the A9 algorithm picks up words and terms throughout the listing, not just those used in your title.
So, for wordsmiths, you’ve got 2,000 characters to show the world what your product is and does, and squeeze in those keywords into your writing. And for brands that aren’t too savvy when it comes to wordplay, this is where hiring a professional copywriter or working with an agency like This Is Unicorn pays dividends.
Enhancing Bullet Points and Product Features
You get it, keywords are important. But we’re not done yet.
Bullet points are where brands expand on their products’ USPs. After all, the customer doesn’t just want to know that the truffle sauce they’re buying tastes great. They want to know where it’s made, how it’s created, how kind it is to the world, dietary requirements, and why your product differs from the next. This is where your wordsmith/pro copywriter/TIU account manager will weave in keywords among all those intricate details about your product while using actionable language in their copy.
Tip: Rank your Bullet points in order of importance, with the essentials going in the top spots. And remember the UX. Cut the jargon and keep those bullets to the point!
Optimised bullet points showcasing keywords that rank in flavour, dietary, style and use
We can’t talk about listing optimising without including A+ and Premium A+ content, formally EBC (enhanced brand content). Registered brands swap out their wordy product descriptions for a more attractive, captivating design. Why say a 1000 words when you can showcase everything with 1 picture. With A+ content you can say several thousand words!
Amazon suggests that basic A+ Content can increase your conversions anywhere from 3% to 10% while Premium A+ users can see an increase of up to 20%.
How does this work?
Again, it’s all about the UX. Listings that look professional, credible, of higher quality, and build stronger connections with their customers see better results. As a buyer, these qualities influence our decision whether or not to purchase from you. For brands, adding A+ to your optimisation strategy should be near the top of your list.
Leveraging Backend Keywords and Search Terms
And what about the rest? The odd few that’s racking your brain trying to find a spot where you can work it in nicely.
You’ll often find that it’s just not possible to include every single keyword into your optimised copy, whether that’s because of character limits or because it just doesn’t flow when you read it back to yourself. Backend keywords and search terms are here to save the day! For those words that you don’t want to miss ranking for but can’t fit them into your page listings, Amazon kindly lets you include them here.
This is a delightful opportunity to include words you couldn’t include before, such as misspellings, variations, synonyms and abbreviations. Take full advantage of human error because a typo here and a typo there when included in the backend, increases your reach.
Tip: Utilise the maximum character limit in the search terms for greatest visibility
To save you the hassle of having to rewrite your listing copy each time a season or holiday comes around, updating your search terms with words that often change, like, Christmas, Halloween, or Summer is a smart strategy that helps to keep your listing up-to-date. Read more in our Amazon holiday strategy guide.
Furthermore, use reports to identify which terms are performing well and others that are not. This presents you with an opportunity to replace those words with something better.
Maximising the Power of Product Images
Ok that’s enough on wording. It’s time to let the images do the talking.
In online retail where buyers can’t physically touch products, and reading about them doesn’t quite cut the mustard, images are especially important. Here’s what you must do to fully optimise your listing images for maximum success.
Use HD images
Ensuring that your product is clear and easy to view builds trust with shoppers, as this allows them to inspect the size, shape, dimensions and colour, and judge the overall quality. When customers know what they are purchasing, they are less likely to return the item because of missed expectations.
HD hero image makes the product easy to see and understand
Tips on capturing visually appealing and informative product images
There is a standard that has to be met in order for your listing images to qualify and pass the Amazon terms of service. To ensure you achieve the correct results, follow our best practices.
Use a Neutral Background: A white background with an RGB value of 255, 255, 255 makes the product stand out and become the focal point.
Perspectives: Photographs from various angles provide a comprehensive view of the product.
Ratio: Close-up images can draw attention to specific characteristics or the quality of materials used, allowing the customer to make a more informed decision to purchase.
Tip: The zoom feature is available if the image has at least 1000 pixels on the longest side and 500 pixels on the shortest side.
By allowing the customer to see hard to see details improves the user experience
Maintaining a consistent look throughout your images will make them look uniform and professional, which will reflect the over-arching impression of your listing. A professional photographer will have the gear and knowledge to highlight certain aspects of your product or diffuse shadows with the correct lighting equipment. Factor this in when considering your image strategy.
I know, I know, we said no more words. But images do need to be given names, and this plays to the advantage of the seller.
File names – Image filenames should follow this standard format: product code (Amazon ASIN, 13-digit ISBN, EAN, JAN, or UPC) followed by a period, then the correct file extension. Remember, images can still appear in SERPs outside of Amazon!
Alt text – Located in the back end of the A+ content builder. A description of the content in the image that helps search engines understand the image’s context. It’s also important for accessibility, helping visually impaired users understand the image content. And as a seller, we want to be as inclusive as possible.
Lifestyles & infographics
There’s a psychology lesson behind featuring your products with people smiling, holding the product as if they were handing it to you, and seeing your product in a relatable scenario like in the kitchen.
The lesson itself, we can’t say because we’re no psychologist. But, we do know the effect utilising these images has on listing optimisation.
Seeing the product in a similar situation makes it relatable. Buyers can visualise themselves with the product, and how the product will fit into their home or life. They help the buyer to better understand the product too, seeing size, colour, or practical applications that it comes with.
Lifestyle image showing the practical use of the water bottle
We know how important it is to evoke emotions and desires with our copy. Lifestyle images are the cherry on top of a product listing. They empower a sense of desire and, for the brand, the ability to relay an emotion it wishes to associate with. They bridge the gap between the impersonal nature of online shopping and the tangible, emotional experience of conventional shopping. Don’t sleep on these when optimising your image stack!
Additionally, infographics are equally great in pinpointing USPs and benefits to buyers. For the mobile user, and the brands that optimise for mobile, infographics are a fast and efficient way to get your products essential info in front of potential customers before they lose interest and swipe away.
Infographics cut to the chase and showcase precisely what the buyer wants to see
Viewing substantial blocks of text on a small handheld screen can be quite the chore. In a day and age where consumers want speed and efficiency, flicking through a listing’s images is often as far as it goes for some customers. Infographics allow you to cater to these buyers.
Monitoring and Measuring Success
Its vital merchants, vendors, and brands monitor product performance in order to sustain long-term success on Amazon. By keeping a close eye on metrics, you can react to shifting market dynamics or adjust to client preferences through data-driven decisions. Amazon has strong analytic tools built-in to assist with this process. Two of those are Amazon Seller Central itself and Amazon Advertising, which provide critical insights about a product’s online wellbeing.
Tip: Click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and keyword rankings all serve as indicators of a product’s exposure, appeal, and general market traction.
Still, actions speak louder than words, and it’s just as important to be proactive and adhere to these insights to continuously improve your listing quality as it is to monitor them. Sellers can modify their strategy, rectify gaps, and capitalise on new opportunities by iterating on product listing optimisation efforts based on real-time data, ensuring their listings remain competitive and resonate with potential buyers.
Outsourcing Amazon Listing Optimisation Services
Outsourcing your Amazon operations is becoming an increasingly popular choice of brands who want to improve their online presence without delving into the complex web of Amazon SEO, PPC, algorithms and every other aspect beneath the Amazon umbrella. By utilising expert services and agencies like This Is Unicorn, sellers can take advantage of the knowledge of people who have specialised in this niche field, ensuring that listings are not only compliant with Amazon’s policies but also optimised for maximum visibility and conversion.
High-quality optimisation services may involve a large initial investment, but the potential benefits in terms of higher sales and market share justify the cost. In summary, while there is a cost involved, outsourcing to seasoned experts such as ourselves can provide a competitive advantage in the crowded markets of Amazon.
Having a fully optimised catalogue of listings is essential in today’s bustling marketplaces. eCommerce is growing year on year, and Amazon alone is where brands need to be. When you come to the realisation that Amazon is one of the top 3 search engines online – the other two are Google and Youtube, then do you realise the magnitude of this platform.
Then, consider the level of competition that comes with this position. Anyone and everyone wants to stand out, make the conversions, and be the market leader; and why wouldn’t you? But in order to be that brand that everybody turns to, you need to be that brand that puts itself out there. This is why optimisation is the single most important aspect of anyone’s strategy.
If your title isn’t as optimised as your closest competitor, you’ll lose the sale.
If your imagery isn’t as optimised as it should be, you’ll lose the sale.
If your copy isn’t as optimised as other sellers in your market, you’ll lose the sale.
If your keywording isn’t as optimised, relevant, and up-to-date, you’ll lose the sale.
“To be the best, you have to beat the best.”