Amazon Listing Optimization for Dummies: Top Three Actionable Tips for Driving More Sales
“What exactly is Amazon listing optimization and how do I optimize our own Amazon listings?” asked my boyfriend one day after coming home from work.
He works on a hydroponics farm that grows herbs, spices and small plants and they recently entered the ecommerce world by setting up a couple of Amazon listings for their products.
“Well, you asked the right person,” I said as we sat down at the computer.
Setting up an Amazon listing is one thing, but optimizing is another thing entirely. If not done properly, your strategy will be ridden with mistakes. We spent the next two hours walking through each listing and made some key adjustments that are guaranteed to increase the visibility of their products on Amazon. Which means more sales. Lots of them.
After going through this process with my boyfriend, I decided to outline my top three actionable tips for getting more eyeballs on your product, taking your Amazon listing optimization game to new heights.
Tip 1: Peek at Your Competition’s Amazon Optimization Strategy
In this case, peeking over to see what the competition is up to will actually help you design a better product listing yourself. Start by taking inventory of the top ranking sellers for your product category and establish a pricing spectrum to get a lay of the land. Start by answering:
- Where on the pricing scale do you fit? Low-end or high-end?
- How many sellers are priced above/below your product?
- Can you afford to lower your price to be more competitive?
With competition being aplenty on Amazon, pricing can be the single most effective way to differentiate your product from others. Even lowering your product listing by just a couple of cents can help you move up the food chain and win the Amazon Buy Box.
For example, one of the products we were optimizing for was Aloe Vera (the plant). We listed the top competing Aloe Vera plant products on Amazon by price, in order from low to high. Our product price point (with shipping included) is highlighted in red below, ranking at about mid point on the spectrum. We figured the farm could reevaluate their pricing structure to offer a more competitive price.
We also looked at their top competitors’ (i.e. top ranking Aloe Vera listings) customer reviews, product description, product title and special offers. We were able to identify some of the common keywords they were optimizing for (which I’ll get to later), as well as ways to add additional product value, like including a bonus plant, decorative pot, plant superfood, etc.
Competitors’ product reviews can be a gold mine for optimization of your own listing. For example, we quickly identified both customers’ pain points and aspects they liked about the product:
- Arrived in good condition
- Healthy looking
- Not a lot of care required
- Beautiful aesthetic
- Smaller than pictured
- Only received one plant (set of 3)
- Arrived damaged
- Died quicker than expected
All of this intel would help us write a fully optimized Amazon listing product description (and bullets), which brings us to tip #2…
Tip 2: Amazon Listing Optimization, The Write Way
Your product bullets and description copy can make or break your Amazon listing. Online shoppers are browsing multiple items before they purchase, and your window to capture their attention is small.
As a writer, I’ve noticed that concise copy is hard to come by. Your bullets should be able to clearly convey the unique benefits and value your product provides. Try to avoid stuffing generic adjectives like “BEST”, “AFFORDABLE” or “EFFECTIVE” into the description and instead focus on the tangible ways your product adds value. Here’s an example of 2 contrasting bullet points for the Aloe Vera plant:
- EASY CARE: Our Aloe Vera plant is 100% high quality and easy to care for. Grows effectively and lasts forever - it’s the perfect plant for anyone. Never stress about your Aloe Vera plant dying, making it the best plant for any environment.
- LOW STRESS PLANT CARE: Aloe Vera requires minimal care, but provides a beautiful aesthetic with its vibrant green colour and long slender shape. Aloe Vera only needs to be watered every three weeks and can be grown indoors or outdoors, making it a versatile, low stress plant to take care of.
While there’s nothing obviously wrong with the first bullet, the second bullet provides specific benefits; only needs to be watered every three weeks, can be grown indoors or outdoors, describes what it looks like. Instead of generic descriptors as used in the first bullet, opt for specific, evidence-based benefits that your buyer can relate to.
Remember the competitor research you did? That is key information that can help formulate your product’s main value proposition(s). Digging into customer feedback means you can speak to their pain points. From our competitor research we outlined five main value props (to be listed and elaborated on as bullet points) below:
- LOW STRESS PLANT CARE: Value prop - Minimal effort required
- THE LONG LASTING PLANT: Value prop - Won’t die easily
- AESTHETICALLY BEAUTIFUL: Value prop - It’s pretty to look at
- FOR VERSATILE ENVIRONMENTS: Value prop - Option for indoor or outdoor growth
- SAFE DELIVERY GUARANTEE: Value prop - Will arrive in one piece, or money back
In knowing what the buyer is looking for, you are armed with the information to optimize your Amazon listing and convert browsers into buyers. Writing a clear and concise listing is one thing, but using the right words is another. Which brings me to my third tip…
Tip 3: The Art of Using Keyword Search Terms to Optimize Your Amazon Listing
Keywords, search terms, SEO - buzzwords you’ve likely heard over and over again if you’re researching ‘Amazon listing optimization.’ Just because they’re buzzwords doesn’t mean they aren’t important - because they are, and there’s so many ways to use them.
As we outlined the bullets and product description, I explained that everything from the title right down to the product photos were essential for optimizing the listing.
Back when we were doing competitor research, remember that we identified the top ranking Aloe Vera plant listings and picked out some of the most relevant long-tail keywords used in their titles:
- Aloe vera in pot
- Aloe vera plant
- Aloe vera planter
- Aloe vera easy to grow
- Aloe vera easy care
- Medicine plant
- Organic aloe plant
Another easy way to validate keywords is through Amazon’s search bar. Type in your product and Amazon’s algorithm will suggest commonly used search terms related to your product. Generally speaking, these are high volume search terms. If used properly in the listing, you increase your chances of showing up in searches for any given product, and in this case, aloe vera.
This process can tend to be a bit manual, as you’d want to capture as many ‘aloe vera ____’ variations as possible to cover your bases and improve search visibility (equating to more sales).
There are many tools that can help automate this process by pulling nearly all product related search terms - and their search volume - to help identify the best keywords to use in your listing. I’ve listed a few keyword tools below:
After plugging in 10 different long-tail search terms (i.e. aloe vera planter) for aloe vera in an Amazon keyword tool, we were able to generate hundreds of relevant keywords that could be used throughout our listing, and especially in the title.
Arguably more important than the body copy is how you write the title. Both Amazon and the customer pay a great deal of attention to this part of the listing. My tips for a well optimized Amazon product title:
- Ensure your top ranking keywords make an appearance towards the beginning of the title.
- Keep it readable for both humans and the algorithm.
- Include key differentiators that make your product a better option than your competitors’.
- Include details on product size, quantity, style and materials if relevant.
- Use up all of the character real estate, within Amazon guidelines (150-250 characters).
Below is my favourite formula to use for Amazon listing titles:
[MAIN KEYWORD] by [BRAND NAME] | [HIT 3 KEYWORDS WITH HIGH SEARCH VOLUME] + [VALUE PROP] + [STYLE OR QUANTITY IF APPLICABLE]
And just like that, you’ve got yourself a searchable, easy-to-read product title that’s ready to convert potential buyers and drive real sales.
Do-It-Yourself or Do-It-For-Me Amazon Listing Optimization
No sweat, right? If this all seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. My boyfriend happily passed the project off to me. And if you feel like doing that too, there are Amazon listing optimization services that have got you covered.
But if you’re feeling good and want to give it a try yourself, this in depth guide on Amazon listing optimization will take you step-by-step, all the way through. Keep in mind that beyond optimization, there are many other ways to get eyeballs on your product, such as through social media and PPC advertising.
Remember that a keen eye, proper research and well written copy is the key to success on Amazon - best of luck!