Just because Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce site doesn’t mean Amazon sellers have it easy. On the contrary, the site is an incredibly competitive environment. While some sellers are able to create a sustainable business on Amazon, it takes a ton of focused effort to make it as a long-term Amazon seller.
One integral way in which sellers can gain a competitive edge is to make Amazon listing optimization a priority. Optimizing product listings in Amazon is similar to optimizing a web page for search engines like Google. This is because Amazon uses a search engine too, only that it's used to find products instead of web pages. Consumers are constantly using Amazon’s search engine to find products and make purchases, so it’s extremely important for sellers to rank their products high on the search results if they want to maximize product sales.
Amazon listing optimization hinges mostly on your Amazon product page. After all, the way you list a product on Amazon shapes the user experience and ultimately decides your conversion rate. Because other sellers offer similar products, you need to enhance your approach to increase your chances of ranking higher. In order to help you more effectively compete, let’s review some key ways to improve your Amazon product listings.
Optimizing your Product Listings with Amazon SEO
Ideally, you want your Amazon listings to perform well in traditional SEO (i.e., on sites like Google). But more importantly, you want to engage in smart Amazon SEO best practices. In this case, tailor your listings to reach your target customers from within Amazon. Because of its e-commerce focus, Amazon’s algorithm is entirely different from other search engines.
Here are some general areas for optimizing your listings:
- Deciding on your product’s title: As you might imagine, your product’s title is among the most impactful parts of your Amazon listing. As you optimize your Amazon product page, be sure to put all the most pertinent keywords into your product title. Be as specific as possible, trying to imagine what your ideal customer will be searching for.
For instance, instead of simply saying you have a “blue pen” available, include details such as its brand name, color, quantity, and size. As of this writing, the “Amazon’s Choice” product result for “blue pen” is the BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point (1.0mm), Blue, 60-Count.
See the difference? If you’re looking for a single tip on how to get your product on the first page of Amazon, this is it.
- Fostering ratings and reviews: One of the biggest deciding factors Amazon customers consider when making a purchase -- other than price -- is a product’s rating. Because the site offers so many product options, consumers rely on ratings and reviews to narrow down their search. Because of this, you need to make it a point to collect that data.
More than just driving your conversion, your product’s ratings and reviews also affect where you rank among Amazon search results. In fact, after product titles, this is arguably the second biggest way the site prioritizes products. Take our “blue pen” example. All the most popular products have high ratings and thousands of reviews.
By strategically using email and other communication methods, you can foster relationships with your customers and ask for reviews while you’re at it.
- Producing high-quality images: The old adage is true. A picture does indeed speak louder than a thousand words. So you can imagine how vital it is to the performance of your product listing to have high-quality images accompanying your product descriptions. In fact, Amazon has its own required quality standards to enable zoom.
That BIC pen currently enjoying its status as “Amazon’s Choice” has no fewer than six photos. These images include the product in its packaging, close-ups, and action shots, and even a video. You could even boost your listing’s aesthetic appeal with Amazon’s Enhanced Brand Content tool, which brings a new level of visual richness to your data.
High-resolution images not only help your product stand out from the competition. They also give you the opportunity to present your product in the best possible light. Seize it.
- Optimizing your product description: As much as you want your product title and images to convey everything to your customers, that’s just not feasible. But your product description provides you with all the space you need. Sure, include as many details as you can, but do so in a way that plays up the value of your product over its peers.
In addition to using descriptive wording, you can apply conventional SEO best practices here to help your product listing rank higher. One of the best ways to enhance readability is to include a bulleted list. This makes the information much more digestible for readers than a big block of text. Of course, Our BIC example takes full advantage of this.
With greater detail, you are far more likely to perform better than your competition with regards to Amazon SEO. And that only bodes well for your conversion rate.
7 Common Product Listing Mistakes
Just as you should observe the best practices in Amazon listing optimization, you should steer clear of the many ways in which your product listing can fall short. In order to keep your Amazon listings from going awry, you need to know what red flags to look out for.
While it is by no means exhaustive, here are some common mistakes Amazon sellers make:
- Don’t leave errors in your product details: The last thing you want is for prospective customers to be turned off by simple mistakes in your product description. Spelling and grammar mishaps should never happen. And of course, the same goes for any major issues, such as matching the wrong description for a product. Such basic problems are easily avoided. So don’t let that trip you up.
- Don’t overlook your product’s features: We already covered how important it is to give customers a glimpse at everything your product has to offer. But at the same time, you need to highlight any and all distinguishing factors that make your product different from the competition. Presenting a laundry list of features won’t sell to your target customers as well as pinpointing why your product is exactly what they’re looking for.
- Don’t make any obvious fulfillment mistakes: A snafu on the order fulfillment side of things can really eat into your bottom line. So double and triple-check your product pricing and inventory. After all, just one seemingly minor error can cause a trickle-down effect that slows or even halts your business. Pay close attention to your orders and minimize any chances you’ll get something horribly wrong.
- Don’t forget about applicable sales taxes: Depending on where your customer is, sales tax might be a factor. Whatever rules apply to your product, make them clear to avoid any confusion on the customer end. Naturally, no customer wants to discover after the fact they’re on the hook for additional fees. The best thing you can do is get it on in the open before it becomes a problem.
- Don’t leave customers hanging for long: You need to run your Amazon store like the reliable business it is. So, whenever customers submit questions or reach out to you, you need to make it a priority to respond in a timely fashion. More often than not, this will increase your chances of getting a sale, and it reflects greatly on your professionalism. While you’re at it, solicit feedback from customers and be open to constructive criticism.
- Don’t become a slave to the marketplace: As much as you should consider feedback, you shouldn’t let what consumers think or what the competition is doing cause you panic. Assess what elements of your own strategy are working and not. Then, after measured consideration -- including external responses -- you can decide how you can course-correct without giving your Amazon store some serious whiplash.
- Don’t try to compete directly with Amazon: No matter how many sellers are out there with a similar product, perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is attempting to face off with Amazon itself. Ultimately, as with casinos, the house always wins. No one understands the site’s algorithm like Amazon. The sooner you understand and accept this, the more energy you can devote to more fruitful approaches.
Hopefully, the above breakdown has helped you understand a bit more about how extremely important product listings are. You literally can’t grow your sales and boost your conversion rates without first leveraging your product listings.
To compete with other sellers, you need consumers to find your product, and that can only happen with a little bit of strategy. But by implementing Amazon listing optimization, you’ll be able to get closer one step at a time.