10 SEO & Amazon Listing Optimization MISTAKES Amazon Sellers Make (#4 is Fatal!)

You get a brilliant product idea from an Asteroid Aim video, you sample, source, ship to Amazon, and you get your listing up only to leave the listing as... an unoptimized mess?!

You’ve already spent the money on product, get a reward from it!

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Since my optimization service can only help so many people, here’s an open letter to all those sellers who trip at the finish line, so to speak.

Here are 10 common mistakes that Amazon sellers make when optimizing their listings.

1. The main photo isn’t on white. This is against Amazon rules. Best case, it looks bad. Worst case, the listing has been suppressed and you didn’t even know it. Which brings us to point #2...

2. It’s suppressed. Just look at all of these reasons for which Amazon will make your product virtually invisible to shoppers: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200898450 shoppers with credit cards on file search Amazon 1.1 million times a second (and that’s of 2013), with your suppressed listing nowhere to be seen.

To fix it, Amazon says:

“click the Inventory tab and select Manage Inventory. Select Suppressed in the top navigation pane. If you have suppressed listings, you will see "Suppressed" in the top navigation pane. If you do not have any suppressed listings, you will not see this option.”

If you don’t see this in Seller Central, this isn’t the problem, though. I don’t want to be like WebMD that says that everything is some serious disease.

“I’m not making sales.”

“Sessions lower than usual.”


But, let’s assume we’re at least visible. What about getting clicks?

3. There’s no price drop. Every seller has the option to artificially inflate their price a little bit and then put their product on sale. Here’s how:

Inventory > Manage Inventory > Offer. Then set your Standard Price high, and your Sale Price for what you actually want to sell for. This creates an attractive price slash that pushes buyers through the door with the perception of a limited time offer.

4. On the other end of the spectrum, the product is too cheap and becomes an Add-on item. I see this all the time at belowcost.club. Sellers, with good intentions, price their product extremely low to encourage organic traffic to buy.

Great idea, except in some cases, the product becomes an Add-on Item, which means that buyers are required to buy a Cart of $25+ in order to buy your item. This kills sales. If you have the blue kiss of death on your listing, increasing your sale price above $10 should fix is automatically.

The rules vary by category. For example, phone cases can get dirt cheap without ever becoming Add-ons. This mostly applies to products that really shouldn’t be priced as low as they are, and then Amazon slapping them with this designation.

5. Split parent-child relationships. This one’s super common. Say a seller has the same product in red, yellow, and blue. Instead of making this listing a 1 parent listing with 3 variations, they make 3 separate listings. Marketing 101: make it impossible for customers to find similar products to ones they’re interested in. Genius! Also, you want to consolidate the sales and ranking into 1 parent ASIN, instead of split across separate ASINs that were meant to be together. Bonus fact: “ASIN” stands for “Amazon Standard Identification Number”. I didn’t know that!

6. They don’t max out their character limits. Most people have 150-200 characters for their titles, 250 characters x 5 bullets, and 2000 characters for the description.  

Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t stuff your title and you should never EXCEED the character limits that Amazon gives you. But if you’re under, it’s like licking the cheeto dust off and then throwing it away. Not useful. And weird. For a deep-dive on text optimization, watch this.

7. The listing has redundant keywords. In Amazon’s Teen Choice Award Nominee “Optimize for Search and Browse”, they give the following example: 

If the title is “Diamond Flower 14k White Gold Ring” then bad keywords are “Gold, ring”.

Now, you’re thinking: why is that the case. Those keywords apply to the product? It’s because they’re already there! Redundant keywords are the equivalent of licking Cheeto dust again, because they don’t do any good.

You won’t be suppressed for it, there’s just no reward for it, either.

8. FDA violations. This applies mostly to supplement sellers, but also people in the Beauty & Health department. Amazon policy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=202024650

“The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers from unfair or deceptive advertising and marketing practices that raise health and safety concerns.. The FDA and Amazon prohibit the sale of supplements that claim to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent diseases in humans. The following are some example of diseases that supplements cannot claim to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent.” Followed by WedMD’s diagnosis for the symptoms ‘mild fatigue with headache’.

9. Points outside of Amazon. Some sellers have their website somewhere in their listing content. Amazon, for obvious reasons, doesn’t want people going off platform.

10. The description. If the seller’s using a traditional text description, it lacks HTML tags (even a few <p>/</p> paragraph breaks can make a huge difference in presentation and readability).

By way of a bonus #11. Let’s end on a positive, future-facing note.

11. Sellers may not be considering Enhanced Brand Content. EBC is the up-and-coming replacement for traditional HTML-formatted descriptions.

Now, you need to complete the Amazon brand registry process to create EBC descriptions (verifying that you’re the rightful brand owner), but that’s a “win-win” because it helps protect against imitators hijacking your listing, anyway.

More exciting still, Amazon will eventually roll out video into product seller descriptions, giving you another selling device, and another way to convert customers. And when they do, you can bet that you’ll be able to optimize that, too, at asteroidaim.com. Oh wait, you're already here...

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