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5 Tips to Optimize Your Amazon Listings for More Sales

May 2, 2019

Running a successful Amazon business goes beyond uploading information about your product and waiting for sales to come your way. As a business owner, you need to make sure that your potential customers actually see your product so they can decide to buy it.

Knowing how to optimize Amazon listings is one of the crucial aspects of boosting sales on this platform.

Today, we will be talking about how a little Amazon SEO can help your target customers find your product to do just that.

 

Amazon’s Market at a Glance

Amazon is the online shopping destination of choice for many people today. As of 2016, they have reported a total of 310 million active users worldwide according to Statista. In 2018, its total net revenue was USD 232.88 billion according to the same report. Of this, USD 65.86 billion was generated through international revenue channels. Meanwhile, the platform’s e-commerce market share was 48 percent in the US, 5.6 percent in non-US territories, and 13.3 percent worldwide.

With its competitive pricing, a vast selection of products, convenience, and value-added services such as Amazon Prime, it’s not difficult to see why the platform is continuing to grow and expand both for sellers and for consumers.

 

Amazon as a Search Engine

Did you know that more and more people are using Amazon to look up products instead of Google? According to Jumpshot’s Competitive State of eCommerce Marketplaces report in 2018, about 54 percent of product searches begin on Amazon.

Today, Amazon is more than just customers filling up digital shopping carts and hitting the checkout button. It has evolved over the past few years from being a shopping site to a product search engine.

This shift can be attributed to the fact that Amazon is an excellent product resource for buyers. The presence of basic descriptions and features, photos, as well as extensive product reviews and Q&As influence customers’ buying decision.

A9: Amazon’s Search Algorithm at a Glance

For most consumers, their purchasing journey on Amazon begins with the search bar. They type in keywords and Amazon returns results from its vast catalog of products and services. In fact, according to Jumpshot, 90 percent of all product views on Amazon result from Amazon’s product search and not merchandising, ads, or product aggregators

Just like any other search engine, Amazon uses a search algorithm to decide which product recommendations to make. This is called A9 and it uses a two-pronged approach to returning results to customers.

Basically, it shows customers products that they’ll want to buy based on the relevance and profitability of a listing:

  • uses a search formula to scan, read, and analyze data on the platform based on the keywords entered on the search bar, and
  • considers a shopper’s actions, past activities, and interests to tailor-fit results.

Since Amazon inherently wants to sell products and to maximize revenue per customer, A9’s recommendations are directly influenced by four factors: product availability, text match relevancy, price, and sales velocity.

 

Why You Need to Optimize Amazon Listings

Amazon can be a lucrative marketplace even for small and independent sellers. However, every brand on the platform has to compete for visibility and high ranking in the results pages. It is, after all, a search engine, too.

What this implies is that sellers can also benefit from using SEO strategies on Amazon and its A9 algorithm in the same way they would on Google.

According to the Jumpshot study above, More than 2/3 of all product clicks come from the first page of Amazon results, and 1/3 from the first two rows alone. This means if you’re not on the first page of the search results, then you won’t be making money any time soon.

The fact of the matter is you need to be seen in order to sell your products. Therefore, knowing how to optimize Amazon listings is crucial for any seller who wants to run a successful Amazon business.

Five Tips to Optimize Your Amazon Listing

Amazon is primarily a platform that sells products. When returning results for customer product searches, Amazon takes into consideration which listings will most likely lead to a purchase and pushes them to the top of the search results. Therefore, it’s important for your listing to be both relevant and potentially profitable so that A9 will pick it up and show it to potential customers.

The key to ranking higher on Amazon search results is to have high-quality and optimized listings. So, you need to employ on-page optimization strategies so that A9 notices your brand and recommends it to users.

It is worth noting that since Amazon is a search engine, it relies heavily on keywords and search terms to determine which listings are relevant.

Below are five crucial tips for optimizing Amazon listings to improve relevance and boost your sales:

 

1.  Make the most out of keywords

As with any search engine, keywords play a crucial role when you optimize Amazon listings. For example, if you are selling a cold brew coffee maker, you need to optimize for keywords related to this product or else it won’t show up on search results.

Not sure where to start with finding the right keyword? You can start conducting thorough keyword research using free Amazon keyword research tools.

Once you’ve found the right keywords, you need to make sure that place them properly on your listing. You can place keywords on the product title, the bullet points, and the product description.

The important thing to remember here is to avoid keyword stuffing. Make sure that the keywords do not disrupt the clarity of the text to your product page.

Another way to use keywords to boost your listing’s discoverability is to use Amazon keywords, search terms, hidden keywords, or backend keywords. According to Seller Central, it’s important to provide search terms customers might use when searching for what they want to buy. Note that Amazon limits the length of the Search Terms attribute to less than 250 bytes.

 

2.  Mind your product title

The product title is the most important part of your listing, so make sure you write it correctly and optimize it for your target keyword. While Amazon has a few rules for specific products, the general format for product titles is Brand + Model + Product Type.

Amazon also has some guidelines for creating product titles for listings, including:

  • Capitalizing the first letter of each word
  • Spelling out measure words such as Ounce, Inch, and Pound
  • Typing in all numbers as numerals
  • Not using ampersands in titles unless they are part of a brand name, and spelling out “and” in lowercase
  • Adding size to the title only if it is a relevant detail
  • Not adding color to the title unless the product comes in multiple colors

Apart from following these rules, you should also make sure that the product title includes all the other relevant information that a customer is looking for.

 

3.  Leverage Amazon bullet points

Let’s face it, the average consumer will often avoid reading lengthy descriptions of a product. This is why bullet points are a helpful tool for introducing and highlighting important facts about a product.

When coming up with bullet points for your listing, it’s important to ask the following questions:

  • What do your customers want to know about your products?
  • Why should they buy your product and what value are you offering?
  • What problems is your product trying to solve?

Some pieces of information that can be used in the bullet points include dimensions, age appropriateness, ideal conditions for the product, skill level, contents, country of origin, as well as any guarantees or warranty you are offering.

Bear in mind also to put the most important features on top of the list so your customers can easily spot them. And, as always, incorporate your keywords in this section but avoid overstuffing!

4.  Use high-quality photos

Product images are important tools for making a good first impression on your customers. Apart from appearing on your product page, images are also displayed as thumbnails in search results.

To effectively optimize Amazon listings, you therefore need to make sure that you use images that effectively get the message across to buyers and inspire a purchase. You may use six to nine images to give your customers a better grasp of the product you are offering. You may include things like:

  • Close-ups of buttons, switches, or special features
  • Different angles of the product
  • The product being used in action
  • Measurements of the product
  • An infographic showing how to use the product or other important information that is better conveyed visually

A key aspect of optimizing product images is following Amazon’s product image requirements, including:

  • The image must be the cover art or a professional photograph of the product being sold. Drawings or illustrations of the product are not allowed.
  • The image must be in focus, professionally lit and photographed or scanned, with realistic color, and smooth edges.
  • All other products should fill 85% or more of the image frame.
  • Backgrounds must be pure white (RGB 255,255,255).
  • Pornographic and offensive materials are not allowed.

5.  Tell a story using your product description

The product description lets you tell a story about your product that resonates with your customers. With a 2000-character limit, this section lets customers dive deeper into the product and see how it can solve their problems and why it’s the best option for them among the thousands of offerings available at their fingertips.

Using a customer-centric approach for writing product descriptions can effectively optimize Amazon listings. Write as if you are talking to them in person and relate to how your audience will use the product to solve real-life issues. You may also keep your shoppers excited by showing usage suggestions that they might not have thought about already.

It’s also important to comply with Amazon’s guidelines for creating product descriptions. This includes:

  • Describing the major product features, such as size, style, and what the product can be used for
  • Including accurate dimensions, care instructions, and warranty information
  • Using correct grammar, punctuation, and complete sentences
  • Not including information such as seller name, email address, website URL, any company-specific information, details that don’t talk about the specific product on the listing, and promotional language such as “SALE” or “free shipping”

Pro Tip: Outsource Amazon Listing Optimization to E-commerce Professionals

As any seller owner can attest to, running an Amazon business can and will take up a lot of your time.

There’s just so many things you need to do day in and day out—you need to deal with suppliers, manage your inventory, run advertising campaigns, fulfilling and shipping orders, addressing customer concerns, and so much more!

The good news is that you can always turn to e-commerce freelancers to handle tasks related to your Amazon business once you have the process down pat. Freelancer marketplaces like FreeeUp pre-vet professionals who can help you with product listing and optimization strategies mentioned above.

Parting Words

Selling on Amazon can be a rewarding thing for business owners. With the sheer number of potential customers and the global outreach the platform has, it provides sellers with the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience than they normally would if they sold their products offline.

However, you need to understand the intricacies of the platform in order to make the most out of it.

Part of having a clear grasp of Amazon as a selling platform and a product search engine is knowing how to optimize Amazon listings. By applying strong optimization practices, you can increase the discoverability and potential sales of your product.

Do you have further questions or tips on how to optimize Amazon listings? What aspects of running an Amazon business do you find challenging? Let us know in the comments below!

Aaron O'Sullivan

Connor Gillivan  CMO, Co-Owner, FreeeUp.com

Connor Gillivan is the CMO and co-owner of FreeeUp.com, a rapidly growing freelance marketplace making hiring online simpler. He has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, CO.

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