If you happen to be one of the 197 million people who have made a purchase from Amazon this month, chances are you have come across some poor Amazon product listings.
You land on a detail page which has only 2 blurry photos; a poor, confusing description and the title is littered with spelling mistakes.
Listing mistakes such as these can be red flags that drive your potential customers away and these are all optimisation issues which can be easily resolved.
Why You Need to Optimise Your Product Listings
It’s not rocket science that if you make the display of a product as presentable and informative as possible, it’s likely to perform better.
Your detail page, in that sense, is essentially your sales pitch for your product.
It should tell the browser exactly what your product does, what it looks like and should feature glowing reviews from previously satisfied customers in order to convince the viewer that your product is exactly what they’re looking for.
If you get your pitch just right, you’re likely to convert.
Not only this, but Amazon’s amazingly complex A9 ranking algorithm, which determines their search results, favours those products that are well optimised with good seller conversion metrics, like price, performance, customer satisfaction & sales history.
In summary, listing optimisation is VERY important and can essentially be the decider as to whether or not you’re successful on Amazon.
Once you have your ASINs ready to be sold, thats the hard part, now let the algorithm work on your side!
How the Amazon A9 Algorithm Works
Whilst there is little known about the theory behind Amazon’s secret A9 algorithm, the principles and functionality behind it are easily understood.
The purpose of the algorithm is to ensure that every shopper who searches for an item is met with the most relevant products to them.
Hence it primarily is used to rapidly rank products in order of how likely they are to be purchased by the viewer.
It is because of this, that understanding how the algorithm works is pivotal for sellers to understand how to climb the ranks and increase their reach.
AI-based framework ranks products at the top of results pages based on relevance to the customer’s query. In turn, optimizing listings for SEO and ensuring they are relevant when customers are searching will help them rank higher.
Not only does it take into account the relevancy based on the search term, but it also utilises historical data about the shopper and adapts to display important results to its customers.
Features affecting the Amazon A9 Algorithm
Although the basis seems relatively straightforward, there are many factors that contribute to the algorithm’s final ranking results. Some of these are listed below…
- Parent-Child Products – Products with variations in colour, size etc are more likely to rank highly. They offer the customer more options for the product they are looking for.
- Text-Match Relevance – The match between the text written in your products description and title and the customer’s search term is a key deciding factor for your ranking
- Sales Velocity – Amazon favours sellers that have a high sales velocity and have received the most orders, this keeps the market competitive. It also plays into the fact that those that are selling in high amounts must have a good product.
- Stock Availability – If you are low in stock, Amazon‘s algorithm will drop you in the ranks and customers will be much less likely to find you. This encourages sellers to have a good inventory health.
- Pricing – Alongside the other factors, the algorithm will take into account how suitable your price is for the product. It considers how reasonable your pricing is and adapts your ranking slightly based on this.
- Customer Reviews – Positive ratings and reviews contribute positively to the A9 algorithm and provide evidence that your product is deserving of a high rank.
- High-Resolution Images – Having high resolution images display your product in its best form, enhancing your conversion rates and increasing your favourability on Amazon’s ranking.
Optimising Your Listings
With the above factors in mind, you can optimise your listings in order to use the algorithm in your favour.
Although it is harder to control elements like sales velocity, there are various product listing features which can be optimised for a high ranking.
Here are the most important ones and our top tips for optimising them:
Your product title is one of the most essential places to have fully optimised as it contributes significantly to your relevance for a search term and hence your ranking.
Here are some of our top tips for ensuring your product title will not hinder your ranking:
- You should always include your most relevant keywords and as many of them as possible
- As you have a limit on the number of characters, you have little opportunity for ‘waffle’ or impressive, fluffy vocabulary
- Avoid using subjective adjectives like ‘amazing’ or ‘beautiful’
- Always include a brand or a maker of the product
- Include as much relevant information as possible – for example colour, general size, quantity, model number and its primary functions
- Utilise between 100-150 characters
- Capitalise the first letter of every word, but don’t capitalise all letters in a word
- Tailor the title’s tone to your target audience and their primary reasons for buying the product
- Don’t spell out numbers (write ‘13’ instead of ‘thirteen’)
- Do spell out measurement units (eg ‘pound’ instead of ‘lb’ and ‘stone’ instead of ‘st’)
- Don’t include promotional messages or discounts in the title
- Use ‘-’ and ‘|’ between keyword phrases
Amazon recommends using this structure when creating your product title :
[Brand] + [Sub-Brand] + [Model Number] + [Size] + [Product Description] + [Defining Features]
A good example of a product listing can be seen below:
Prior to reading the title and description, the majority of shoppers will first scan through the pictures and see if the product fits the visual brief of what they are looking for.
From here they will often then look to the description to understand its in-depth features before purchasing.
As a result, it is incredibly important to have optimised images, which will also increase your ranking via the algorithm.
Due to this, many sellers opt to use professional photographers to perfectly capture their product.
Here are our top tips for image optimisation:
- Including 5-7 images is thought to be the optimium number
- Only use JPEG pictures
- Show the products different features off by providing pictures from multiple angles
- For the main image, use a white background and place your product in the centre with no accessories or additions to the picture
- Your product should take up at least 85% of the image
- You can use a scale to demonstrate the size of your product, this prevents customers returning the product based on misunderstanding its size
- Don’t add your logo or watermark to the image, though it can be shown on the product
- In order to generate more sales, add an infographic about the product’s benefits
- If applicable, use a video to display the product
Below is an example of a good set of product images showing the features of the product and including a video
Key Product Features
In this section – Amazon grants you up to 1000 characters and 5 bullet points in order to describe your product in as much detail as possible.
This section should be keyword rich and informative, with the bullet points making your key points more digestible for the viewer.
Here, you are given the opportunity to distinguish yourself from the competition and drive home your USPs.
In saying this, be mindful to keep the information interesting and descriptive. If you have a good product features description, you are more likely to win the buy box.
The image below shows the Key Product Features which are seen underneath the heading ‘About this item’.
Here are ways we often advise people to optimise their listings:
- Order your points based on their importance. Your biggest USPs should be at the top and your less important features should come later
- Use the 5 bullet points you are given, the more reasons to buy your product you can provide, the better
- Ensure you have your primary keywords within this section, but don’t force them in. These bullet points should read easily and be very clear
- Imagine you are the customer, explain examples in which your target audience may need your product and help them to visualise using it and the benefits of having it
- Begin each bullet point with a capital letter
- Do not including pricing, shipping or company information (Amazon prohibits this).
- Using short titles for each bullet point can help you get your most important points out if the reader skips over the majority of the text.
- In the example above, these titles include ‘One-Touch’ and ‘Recharge’, honing in on their best features
This is another opportunity to entice your audience, helping you to set yourself apart from the competition.
Whilst it comes below the Key Features section, you are given up to 2,000 characters here so can go into more detail about the product.
A lot of consumers will not even read this section, but those that are thorough may depend on it.
It becomes even more pivotal for goods selling at a high price point which require a lot more consideration from the customer before purchasing.
If someone is reading this, they are more likely to buy your product, but still aren’t sure, this is your final opportunity to persuade them.
Here is how we would recommend optimising this section:
- Utilise all 2000 characters, or as close to this as possible
- Use short sentences to keep the information digestible, make use of the ability to bold words to highlight key points and use light HTML to break up paragraphs
- Expand on your bullet points, this both reinforces what they have read and allows you to go into more depth on the details that matter the most for your product
- Introduce features that may not have been discussed in your 5 bullet points
- Include proof that people like your product, this can be things that people or businesses have said about it
- Go into more depth about how this product can be used by your target audience
- Don’t use promotional language like sales offers
Failing to use the most relevant keywords is one of the biggest mistakes that Amazon Sellers make and yet they play a giant role in your ranking and reach.
Keywords can be found in the product title, description and key features sections.
Some people will use intuition and Amazons own powerful keyword tool which auto fills keywords that are highly searched for by users. Others will invest in a keyword tool that finds the search terms with the highest search volume and implement these.
Either way, keyword optimisation is crucial and here are some tips for making sure you are being as selective as you can with your keywords:
- Avoid using the same keywords in your backend optimisation as in your product title, this is unnecessary
- When conducting keyword research think about different categories of keywords to start with and go from theer, we have listed some below
- Product Type – what is your product? What else can it be called? Does it have an abbreviation or nickname?
- Features – As you discover additional terms, look for those specific to the features of your product such as electric, wooden, bluetooth
- Benefits – Look for keywords which describe the benefits of your product eg, easy tie, comfortable to wear, ergonomic
- Related Terms – Look for synonyms for terms you already have eg if you are selling hair bands, look for hair bobbles, hair ties, scrunchies etc
Make sure to consider both front end and backend keywords.
Some tools we like to use for keyword research at Clear Ads are:
Search Terms Fields
Since you now have your keywords, the next point of action is to implement the majority of them into your product title and bullet points.
The left overs can be sifted into your backend Search Terms Field in your Amazon Seller Central account. These should be placed one per row.
Our top tips:
- Use abbreviations, misspellings, and applications of the product
- Include a few other secondary search terms.
- As mentioned, don’t nclude keywords that you have already used in the title.
- There is no need to use your brand name or the seller’s name here, Amazon has already noted this from your title
Product Reviews & Rating
It goes without saying that customer reviews are of the utmost importance, both for your ranking and your conversion rate.
It helps the A9 algorithm determine how well received your product is by your customers and hence, rank you accordingly.
Whilst this is often forgotten, your product detail page can have a big impact on your customers perception of your brand and their overall experience of your product.
If your images are professional; your bullet points and description are well written and you answer their questions in the Q&A section, you will leave them with a positive impression before the product has even arrived.
After this it is imperative that you follow through on the quality of the product in order to maintain this repor. Nice packaging, personalised notes and good delivery time will all help with this as well.
If you are struggling to gain reviews, you may be eligible to enroll in the Amazon Vine programme in which ‘Vine Voices’ receive your product for free and give an honest review.
This should help bolster your review number and increase your rating if your product is worthy.
Even if you do everything right in preparation, things can go wrong and people can be unhappy.
Answering any questions and resolving any issues for the customer before they write a negative review can help prevent poor ratings.
If you do receive any negative feedback, check they are within Amazon’s guidelines, they may be able to remove them if they are not.
While less of an optimisation hack then a general tip. With the market continuing to expand every day and Amazon’s A9 Algorithm favouring products that are economically viable for its customers, it can be a good shout to keep your prices as low as you can while being profitable.