November 17, 2021 - By Hawke Media

Amazon Listing Optimization 101: What Sellers Should Know

Featured, Latest, Latest Strategies, Marketing Strategy, Paid Media, Recent Articles

Every eCommerce business would like more sales. Working with Amazon as a vendor can be tricky, requiring not only a knowledge of Amazon’s search algorithms, but also an understanding of what your target customer is searching for. That’s where Amazon listing optimization comes in.

What is Amazon Listing Optimization?

Amazon listing optimization is the process of ensuring that products have improved visibility in search results. It also includes improving click-through rates (CTRs) and ultimately conversion rates (CRs) or sales. 

Just like Google, Amazon knows shoppers rarely go beyond page 3 of search results, so Amazon wants to present the most relevant results to shoppers first. Amazon’s goal — just like yours — is to sell more, and they know that higher-ranked products have a higher likelihood of getting clicked on and purchased. 

Some of the guidance in this process comes from the fundamental logic of search engine optimization principles. If shoppers type a keyword into the Amazon search engine that does not appear anywhere on your product page, then your product will not show up in that user’s search results. Without that keyword on your page, there is no way for that user to find your product using that keyword. 

Some of Amazon listing optimization also comes from basic user-experience concepts from the Web: A listing with a more attractive photo, for example, is likelier to convert than a listing for the same or a similar product with a less-attractive or less-informative photo.

Keyword Optimization: The First Step in Getting Found on Amazon

Again, keywords are critical for the visibility of a listing. 

Sellers need to think of any and all relevant keywords associated with a product. Keywords include language used to describe the product, what it might be used for, and who would most likely use it. 

Often, merchants need to think of keywords that a user might type into the Amazon search engine, even if it differs from the manufacturer’s description. This requires creativity and the ability to put yourself in the mind of the shopper.

For instance, the color of a particular leather accessory might be listed as “espresso” by the manufacturer, but a shopper is not likely to type the word “espresso” into the Amazon search engine expecting to see leather accessories. Instead, use “dark brown” in the listing to get better results. Take time to perform thorough research into any and all keywords that would be associated with your product.

Then it’s critical to ensure that keywords are inserted into the listing in as many strategic, relevant places as possible. Note: This does not mean in every place possible; you don’t want to “keyword stuff” to the point that your listings become unreadable and illogical to the shopper. 

Be sure to add keywords to your product title, product description, bullet points, and other product attributes, such as target audience (e.g., men/women) or size/materials, because these can be filtered by shoppers.

Content Optimization: Creating Engagement and Click-Throughs

Content optimization is next. This is improving a listing to increase the CTR in the search result and hopefully the CR on the product page. Conversions mean sales, which signal to Amazon that your product is exactly what shoppers are looking for. As a result, you will be rewarded with higher rankings in keyword search moving forward, and hopefully, the cycle continues.

Content optimization revolves around both the text/description for the product and photos

Text/Description Optimization

To optimize the text/description, think about not only the product’s features but also its benefits. Often in performing keyword research, it’s the product’s features that come to mind — because that is what a shopper will be searching for. 

But don’t underestimate the benefits of the product. Sometimes a shopper will be looking for a product that does something rather than a product that is something. For example, a shopper on Amazon might not know the exact name of the type of cushion or pillow that eases lower-back pain, but this language could very well be something they’re seeking, so it needs to be part of the content on the page for a product about lumbar support. Benefits can also be considered the unique selling proposition of your product.

To visually enhance the listing, especially as more and more shopping has moved to mobile, try listing the features and benefits/unique selling propositions as bullet points — and do some testing on different devices to see how the page renders.

Photo Optimization

A product listing on Amazon allows for a main image and then additional images. These of course are critical to CTRs and CRs, so it’s imperative to test various iterations of the image to see which ones deliver the strongest results.

While the main image must be of the core product only on a white background, there is much more flexibility with the additional images. Merchants can present images of the product from different angles or in use by typical customers. Other photo ideas include the product’s packaging or a comparison photo of the product next to similar products, to give an idea of dimensions or proportions. Additional images can also include text, such as descriptions — but this text is not used for search rankings.

Remember, content optimization is about improving CTRs in order to signal to Amazon that your product matches what customers were looking for in the first place. The stronger your content optimization, the stronger your CTRs and CRs.

Learn more about how to optimize your holistic Amazon marketing strategy.

Additional Content To Optimize Your Amazon Listing

Other product-listing features that serve to expand the content on the product-listing page include reviews and Q&As.

Reviews

Reviews are not content that you can directly control, but they are important because they help shoppers move faster toward a purchasing decision.

It’s not that a product needs only five-star reviews; the quantity of reviews demonstrates that a large number of people have already bought the product and, hopefully, are satisfied. Even negative reviews that are addressed promptly show strong customer service — and might encourage that buyer to change their review.

Amazon has several programs in place to garner and manage reviews. Strong review management is key to validating your product and increasing your CRs. That said, you should never use black-hat tactics to build up reviews for your products, it’s a surefire way to get your Amazon seller account suspended

Q&As

Amazon has a feature where prospective buyers can ask the seller questions about the product. Sellers and even other customers can answer these questions, adding to the organic, community nature of the product listing. However, sellers should always step in and answer unanswered questions regularly, to ensure that customers receive correct answers.

Questions and answers not only improve the information and quality of the content on the product page; but they also help in content optimization, as new potential keywords you may not have thought of now appear on the page. You can see that if certain questions are asked, then the description needs to be improved in order to better address questions that potential buyers have. 

Final Thoughts

Amazon listing optimization is imperative for any seller wishing to continue doing business on the platform. Even if fundamentals are in place, it pays to continually refine and adjust your content, to ensure that your product listings appear as high as possible.

New photos, new Q&As, and new reviews ensure that a product listing is never static. Amazon wants you to succeed, so keep up with as many new features or programs as you can to help you optimize your listings and improvise CTRs and ultimately CRs.

Ready to take your Amazon strategy to the next level? Reach out to Hawke Media to schedule your free consultation with an Amazon expert today.

Jake Wengroff writes about technology and financial services. A former technology reporter for CBS Radio, Jake covers such topics as security, mobility, eCommerce, and the Internet of Things.