(2022) Ultimate Guide to Amazon Product Listing Optimization

Table of Contents

Amazon is the world's largest online retailer with over 300 million active customers.

And you want to sell on it to make some money? Understandable.

So you find a supplier, post the product on Amazon, fill in the blanks, follow some rules, and voilà, you have a stagnant Amazon product listing unready for sale.

What went wrong? Might be a couple of things—but the bulk of it has to do with how your information (those blanks you filled out) was being conveyed. Little heads up: it's likely not being presented in the best way possible.

But don't worry, at Embarque, we're going to show you how to get the ball rolling with this ultimate guide to Amazon product listing optimization.

We'll cover everything you need to know (like importance, ranking factors, and actionable guide to each part of your product listing) to improve your product's search visibility on Amazon. We'll also discuss ways to increase conversion rates and boost sales through the effective use of images and descriptions.

So whether you're a first-time seller or a seasoned pro, read on for some invaluable advice. Here we go.

What is Amazon listing optimization?

Simply put, it's the process of tweaking your product pages to increase search visibility in Amazon search, improve click-through rates (CTR) to your listing page, and boost conversion rates for your actual products.

It's similar to the search engine optimization (SEO) you might do to power your website's organic traffic. Some of the key elements that must be optimized for an Amazon listing are the:

Why is Amazon listing optimization important?

Amazon is a massive, massive marketplace.

By 2021's third quarter, Amazon conducted about 332 billion USD in sales, the majority being net product sales. And guess what, the top-dog competitors in your space are powering those numbers as the primary results on Amazon's search page.

They're getting all the traffic and purchases because amongst some other things, they're optimizing their listing pages, and you're not. Your #1 goal with your Amazon business is to make money. And the #1 way to do that is having a highly visible product listing like your competitors.

Specifically, Amazon listing optimization can:

Common mistakes Amazon sellers make with listing optimization

Amazon listing optimization is important, and it's not to be taken lightly. But often, Amazon sellers make simple mistakes like:

  1. Keyword stuffing titles. Keyword stuffing is when you overload your title with keywords, making it awkward and unreadable. Your listings look spammy that way and won't perform well in search or click-through rates.
  2. Not doing enough keyword research. Keyword research is the foundation for ranking higher on Amazon search results and targeting phrases your potential customers are typing into Amazon search. We'll talk more about keywords later in this blog post.
  3. Thinking that listing optimization is limited to just the product. Many businesses focus all their attention and resources on creating beautiful videos, high-resolution images, and other deliverables. Though it's important to come off legit with professional-grade product media, these elements aren't indexed by Amazon, so they won't directly help your product's discoverability as much as optimizing your product descriptions, titles, and layout.
  4. Not using customer reviews & questions. Amazon likes to push high-rated products to the top of search results. Positive social proof is a strong purchasing factor anywhere, so reviews are like an online survival currency, especially for new sellers. And Q&As give valuable information about your product, so customers can get a sense of your brand's legitimacy and how it works before purchasing. A confused customer will never buy from you.
  5. Limiting experimentation & sticking to one strategy. You're selling yourself short by not A/B testing product listings with different copy and keywords to identify what's working best. You can then double down on the successful strategies and make tweaks to optimize pages with data-backed insights.

Factors influencing the A10 algorithm

The A10 algorithm is Amazon's latest proprietary search engine ranking algorithm that computes which products get to rise to the top of search results.

Though it's a complex system running mostly on its own, we do know some of the special factors that go into your listing's ranking position. Let's go over them:

1. Sales history

The more units you sell, the higher your rank will be. To determine how to rank your product organically, Amazon looks at all of your product's sales history.

So be sure not to run out of inventory, have backup suppliers, equip for seasonal changes, and of course, continue to offer quality products because that's what ultimately drives your ongoing sales.

2. Impressions

Your product's impressions are the number of times it has been viewed on Amazon and partner sites. The more views, the higher your rank. And the higher you rank, the more views your listing will get—it's a symbiotic relationship.

It's important to remember that the first step to more conversions is a large impression count. You can increase your impressions by following on-page optimization best practices, getting more reviews, and off-site links.

3. Seller authority

This neat little metric measures your seller performance, feedback ratings, how long you have been selling, the number of products in your catalog, and other seller-related factors to determine how trustworthy your brand on Amazon is. The higher your seller authority rating, the more likely your product listings will show up first. All in all, your seller profile is equally important to your product reviews. 

4. Click-through rates

Higher click rates tell Amazon and Google that people are attracted to your post, and will therefore push it higher in listing rankings. One of the biggest influencers of getting a click is a relevant and attractive product photo and headline. So be sure to split test your images and titles to find the best combination to use.

5. Conversion rate

Following the similar logic of click rates, as your conversions increase, so does your rank because it tells search engines that your product is in-demand, desirable, and reliable so others may want to see it.

6. Off-site sales

It's terrific that you're getting sales on the Amazon platform, but drive outside traffic to your product listing and Amazon will truly love—and reward—you for it. Sales generated from outside traffic outweigh sales resulting from Amazon Sponsored Ads.

7. Organic sales

Sponsored listings are good, but when someone naturally finds your product on the Amazon search results page and buys it (otherwise known as an organic sale), that carries a lot more weight. So the more organic sales you make, the higher your product ranks on the SERP.

How to optimize each part of your Amazon listing

Now comes the good stuff. How do you actually optimize the different parts of your Amazon listing page?

Let's break down the entire listing page optimization process into eight different components in-depth here with leading examples and tool recommendations.

Conduct deep keyword research

If you want to optimize your Amazon product listing, then as a seller you need to know which keywords your products are ranking for and target them on your own listing page.

There are a couple of ways to go about this. And for the best results with keyword optimization, you should do them all:

  1. Think like a customer shopping on Google/Amazon. Which keywords would you use to make a search for your desired product? Start with a head term or two, and take advantage of Google's and Amazon's auto-suggestion feature to complete long-tail keywords to perhaps use later in your own title.
  2. Have a peek at your competitor's titles. Your top-performing competitors are doing something right, right? They're nailing their title. Look for relevant keywords and mentions that you can mimic in your own titles.
  3. Use a keyword research tool. The best way to get the most comprehensive keyword data is by using an actual SEO keyword research tool. With SEO Scout, the internet's keyword trends for your niche and product are at your fingertips. With AI-powered keyword research, you can uncover keyword permutation around a core term like computer to use for optimizing your content.

Just looking at the screenshot above, you might start forming ideas on how to prioritize product features, benefits, and activities with the bag in your headers, images, and descriptions, while answering the right customer questions too.

More on the application of thorough keyword research in the later sections.

Pro tip: Optimize the Search Terms field

Amazon allows you 250 bytes (1 byte/letter & 2bytes/symbols or special characters) to input backend keywords to improve your product's discoverability. These are essentially HTML tags that specifically tell search engines what your product listing is about, and can help them easier rank your content on the search results page.

If you can, it's even better to use terms that aren't already used in your copy and obey the limit cap (otherwise none of your keywords will rank). These terms should be more specific (long-tail), like "tent for camping" instead of "tent."

Write a detailed product title

The product title is your virtual storefront's headline, and if you're not optimizing it to be eye-catching, enticing, and keyword-rich then you're leaving money on the table.

Amazon allows the product title length to be 250 characters max, though sometimes they suppress listings that go over 200 characters. Your title should be concise, giving the buyer enough information to decide if they want to continue.

How to write Amazon product titles

Think about what you would want to see while searching for a product—perhaps the brand, model, size, quantity, colors, device compatibility—it's pretty product-dependent.

 You can see what your top-performing competitors are mentioning for inspiration. And with some keyword research (which we'll cover later), you can see questions shoppers are asking about your product—and optimize your headlines to those buzzing queries.

Here's an example: imagine you're in the market for some LED lights to spice things up in the bedroom or vibe at a party (anything really).

Naturally, the customer may want to know the LED strip length for instance, and that it runs on Wi-Fi to work with Alexa and Google assistants along with the remote control app. So without looking anywhere else on the page, you've just absorbed the most important information needed to purchase the product right now.

And, some keyword research could've revealed that before purchasing LED lights, people tend to ask why they need it, and how they'd use it. Accordingly, the title caters to the thought: "...App control and Music Sync for Home, Kitchen, TV, Party..."

Unlike most SEO title best practices for Google, it's okay—and encouraged—not to write short headlines on an Amazon listing page. So think about your own product and the most important details. Namedrop them in the title.

It's a given that the Amazon product listing title is one of the most important factors impacting your CTR and conversions. So if you prefer a pro to write out a highly relevant and impactful headline for you (along with everything else), consider hiring professional eCommerce copywriting services.

Use your nine product images resourcefully

On Amazon, you can add up to nine high-quality product images to your listing, including a lead cover image. It's best practice to include as many high-quality images as you can, sized 1000 pixels wide and 500 pixels high.

Here are some quick pro tips for nailing your Amazon product listing images:

The following picture panel is from the Drive Auto Products Store on Amazon. During the time of this writing, their product has over 15,500 ratings, with an average of 4.6 stars of 5. Notice how they implement each dot jot in their pictures:

Can you guess the main image? (It's the first one silly) They also show different angle points, put them in real-life scenarios to help users visualize the application and size, and the brand stitch is also in clear view.

Key product features

You can describe your key product features in 1,000 characters on Amazon. Use this limited space wisely by describing the uses and benefits of your product to convince potential customers that your product is better than the competition.

A good idea, again, is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What do they want to see? Make them envision the product experience with real-world examples or lifestyle uses, or show exactly how your product solves their problems.

How to write the key product features in your Amazon product listing

Bullet points on Amazon vary in length depending on the category. Unless Amazon specifically restricts the length, the 200 characters for your bullet points should be enough room for defining features and inserting key phrases. But why 200?

Right now Amazon ranks the first 1,000 characters of the bullets as visible content. Using the 200-character bullets means all five can be indexed. But, as you will see with brands like Anker making millions of sales on Amazon, employing a variety of bullet formats can help hold a shopper's attention.

With Anker's Soundcore ear pods, they use 4 different bullet styles and follows a tried and true eCommerce copywriting formula, to boost conversions:

  1. Attention-Getting: A strong, attention-grabbing statement. Anker describes its main deliverable (incredible sound) and flexes the social proof of over 20 million users.
  2. Feature First: Stating a physical feature of the product first before following with a benefit. So these are Anker's "Multi-mode Noise Cancelling" and "Pocket-sized Pop of Color" points.
  3. Benefit First: Starting with a benefit from the product, followed by the feature specifications. Anker does this with the points "Fueled by the beat" and "Enhanced Call Performance" to connect with daily listeners and doers.
  4. Informational: Listing answers to questions customers ask before they purchase. You can create another point short-answering any important questions users may have about the product. But in this example, Anker embeds the relevant info throughout their points.

They fit all of this into 132 words or 861 characters—perfectly optimized for the 1000-character mark.

Remembering mobile optimization

On mobile, sometimes the bullet features are truncated to about the first 400 characters, at which points customers would have to select "read more." It's best to keep your mobile copy to the point because if they're too long, you'll have a wall of words difficult to read.

Looking at Anker, here are the pro tips:

And the last two points apply everywhere:

Woo hearts with your product description

This is your opportunity to explain why your product is better than others.

With 2,000 characters, Amazon lets you describe your product's features and benefits to potential customers. And as usual, it's best practice to use all the space you can and elaborate on any of the features you mentioned in the previous section.

Make sure to use short sentences so that it is easier for potential buyers to read any important details about the product or company.

What can you do in your Amazon product description?

  1. Expand on key feature bullets
  2. Introduce all the other features or benefits you didn't have space to list before
  3. Highlight use-cases to help customers experience your product through the copy they read.
  4. Support your claims. Of course you think your product is worth it, but your customers need to see social proof. And while you can't include reviews inside your product description (not allowed), you can be smart and mention:

It's worth noting that your product description doesn't have to be all words. In fact, pictures can really help your case. Bringing back the Anker earbuds example (which by the way has over 2000 reviews):

Anker elaborates on the points you may recall from the last key features section with images and in-depth descriptions below. They even include a visual how-to-setup section, which are so much more digestible and easier to follow:

The visual elements along with the concise copy help Anker boost their conversion rates on the Amazon listing page.

Product reviews & ratings

Product reviews are literally a digital representation of a small part of our social behavior. When we see others like something, do something, prefer something, we develop a natural trust and inclination toward that particular thing as well.

A high volume of positive product reviews instills user confidence in your product and builds seller authority on Amazon, helping you rank higher on search results.

So how do you get more people to leave a rating/review?

You'll see that every top-ranking product in every category has a healthy number of reviews. Say it's winter and your room's ventilation sucks. You search for portable heaters on Amazon, and it's safe to say you're probably going to pick one of these:

The Amazon listing optimization checklist

Reminders: 

🚫  Don’t solely focus on creating product media, focus on optimizing your copywriting throughout, too. 

🚫  Don’t keyword stuff titles

🚫  Don’t neglect keyword research

🚫  Don’t sleep on customer reviews and your FAQs section

🚫  Don’t limit your experimentation with copy and product images, A/B test everything

🚫  Don’t include pricing, shipping, or company information where you’re not supposed to—Amazon prohibits it.

Top factors influencing Amazon’s algorithm

  1. Sales history
  2. Impressions
  3. Seller Authority 
  4. Click-through rates
  5. Conversion rate
  6. Off-site sales
  7. Organic sales

How to optimize each part of your Amazon listing

 Conduct deep keyword research. Use Amazon’s auto-suggestion feature and/or keyword research tools to find keywords to place throughout your listing page.

✅  Write a detailed product title. Outline main desirable specs. Get inspiration from competitors and keyword research.

✅  Use your 9 product images resourcefully. Go with a blank-white background for your main product image. Use the other 8 to display different angles and use-scenarios.

✅  Nail your key product features. Keep this to 1000 characters max (200/point). Employ different kinds of bullet styles to hold reader attention:

✅  Optimize for Amazon mobile. Space out your text. Bold important info. Shorten longer points.

✅  Perfect your product description. Keep this under 2000 characters. What to include:

✅  Proactively collect product reviews & ratings.

Optimize your listing discoverability with Embarque

You made it! That was a lot to digest, but bookmark this Amazon listing optimization guide and treat it like your handbook and you'll be fine.

If you're looking for help optimizing your Amazon product listings, we here at Embarque can certainly assist. With years of experience in the digital marketing industry, our team of SEO eCommerce copywriters knows how to make your products stand out from the competition and drive sales.

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us show you how we can help increase traffic to your Amazon page and improve your product's discoverability.

 


Tameem Rahman

Tameem Rahman is a professional SEO copywriter from Canada. He has a world-class education on strategic marketing from the renowned Schulich School of Business at York University. He also studied neurolinguistics, copywriting, and digital marketing under industry-leading copywriters at the one and only University of Toronto. Now he runs his own publication, writes for 400k monthly readers, and serves multiple 6-7 figure clients worldwide.

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