Remember when your parents taught you that if you threw cooked pasta at a wall and it stuck, then that indicated it was ready? Much like throwing random pasta at a wall, you used to be able to throw just about anything up on Amazon and it would sell. Many people fondly refer to this time period as the “wild, wild west of Amazon.” Then, it became all about feeding the A9 algorithm to show up on SERPs using highly-searched keywords and using tactics like keyword stuffing. Now, subpar images, overuse of keywords, and “me too” products simply don’t cut it in the current competitive landscape of Amazon. Writing a great Amazon product listing in 2021 is an art form. No pasta is sticking to these walls.
To be clear, you still need proper SEO to feed Amazon’s algorithm so it will know your product listing is relevant for the right keywords. However, you also need to communicate the actual benefits of your product the right way to the right people.
There are likely many products for sale just like yours. And even if your product is better or more unique, there isn’t a whole lot of time to convey that to your potential buyers. It’s important to note that Amazon customers spend roughly 4 seconds on a listing and will immediately exit out of the detail page if you haven’t captivated their interest. That’s not a lot of wiggle-worm to be messing around with images that don’t carry messages, super long bullets, and product descriptions that are analogous to weed-whacking through the trenches.
Amazon is all about providing a great experience for its customers. Customers don’t purchase things due to keywords. The only value for keywords is to help your product be found on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). That’s it. A customer types in what they are looking for and, if you are ranked for that set of keywords, then your listing will show up SOMEWHERE on the results pages.
Because your title is your most valuable real estate in terms of ranking juice, you want your main two keyword phrases in your title, with the most important one being in the first 80 characters. Why?
Not only does Amazon pull the most significant data from your title; your potential customer wants to know that your product is exactly what they are searching for. And, on mobile devices, the Amazon titles are truncated at 80 characters so you want the reader to know within that allocated text that your product is relevant to what they are looking for.
So, if someone is searching for “waterproof boots for boys ages 5 glow-in-the-dark” and your title doesn’t have the words “ages 5” and “glow in the dark” until, say, 100 characters into your title, a customer looking for those particular attributes on mobile may bypass your listing because they don’t immediately know that your product matches their requirements.
The point is that your title should be a succinct combination of keywords and descriptors so that a customer has a clear idea of what your product is. It should also read well so that it actually makes sense. Otherwise, buyers will either pass over it altogether OR they may click on it and realize that it’s NOT what they are looking for which will negatively affect your ranking. Remember: if people click on your detail page and it doesn’t convert to a sale, Amazon will assume either A) your product isn’t relevant to the search term or B) you have a crappy product. Neither bodes well for you.
To be clear, keywords are important throughout your listing - both on the front side and backside. But your detailed page is your chance to use persuasive sales copy to, you know, actually SELL your product. Think of it as if you were running a brick-and-mortar storefront: the ads you put in the paper, the sign on your shop, etc. are going to bring people into your store, but then it’s on you to actually sell your products.
This is no different on Amazon. KEYWORDS don’t sell products, your IMAGES and CONTENT sell products.
When you try to use too many keywords throughout your DP, it makes it really hard for a customer to understand. Always think about things from a customer’s perspective. If someone was trying to convince you to purchase their product, would you want them to use nonsensical terms that didn’t pertain to your needs or repertoire? No. So, don’t do the same to your customers.
- Keep your bullets around 200-250 words each. Most people don’t want to read a book.
- Make sure the title of each bullet focuses on the benefit of the product and then the features. Of course, features are important, but people buy things for only 2 REASONS: To make their life easier or better. They want to know why your product will do that for them.
- Stick to only 1-2 keyword phrases a bullet. Again, there is no need to stuff your listing with keywords. It doesn’t help the A9 algorithm in any way and it makes it illegible for the customers
- Remember that Amazon only indexes the first 1,000 words of your bullets. THIS DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO STOP WRITING AT 1,000 WORDS. What this means is that you have to make sure your keywords are within that allotted space of 1,000.
- If you are Brand Registered, take advantage of A+ content! On mobile, your product description or A+ content is the first thing that appears. Utilize this opportunity to really make your product pop! Also, avoid using the same images and features you made in your bullets. It’s okay to reiterate certain points that are prevalent to the reader but think of your A+ content as a space to tell your brand story. Make your readers connect with your brand, your mission statement, your purpose. Remember: people look for products based on need but they end up purchasing based on emotion. Tap into that emotion for extended brand loyalty.
As the old adage goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is particularly true online where the fervor of millions of users on Amazon, social media, and search engines limit the attention span for most. What makes for good images?
- Due to Amazon’s TOS regarding your primary image, there may not be a whole lot of creative room for you to do anything to showcase your product. However, that should mean that every photo after should really focus on making your product stand out from competitors.
- Infographics are imperative because many potential buyers skip bullet points and the product description. Make sure your infographics are easy to read (no crazy fonts) and that they don’t take up the whole frame. Viewers should be able to understand the features and benefits by reading just a few words - a sentence at most. Lengthy infographics are near impossible to read on Amazon. Plus, who wants to read a paragraph on an image?
- Lifestyle images are really important to have on your listing because they act as a way for the reader to connect with the product. I can’t emphasize this enough: people respond to emotion. They want to SEE themselves using your product. They want to know why your product will better their life. Ex: If you are selling a baby product and you have zero pictures of a baby or parent in your image stack, it will be much harder for the person wanting to purchase your product to emotionally connect with it. Sure, maybe your sippy cup doesn’t leak but HOW does that make a mom’s life easier? Convey this through imagery!
As an Amazon seller, you are not selling to Amazon. You are not selling to the A9 algorithm. Keywords may get your foot in the door, but that’s about it. Understanding your niche isn’t just about understanding WHO is buying your product; it’s about WHY they are buying your product. If you can’t understand why your product improves their lives, then the chance of your business succeeding diminishes greatly.
Yes, selling on Amazon is hard and can be complicated, but it shouldn’t be void of common sense. Observe your audience, listen to your audience, and then offer your audience something they can’t refuse.
McClain Warren has been in the Amazon industry for 7 years now and owns The Write Buzz - a copywriting company that offers a whole-picture approach to marketing and content - helping multiple service providers and sellers find their company’s voice through the creation of blogs, web content, listing optimizations, avatars, and marketing strategies. Feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or check out her website at www.yourwritebuzz.com