“How do I get my product in front of more customers?”
That’s the million-dollar question every Amazon seller should be asking themselves.
As we’ve outlined before, optimizing your product listing remains a foundational building block for maximizing your visibility. And part of optimizing your listing’s copy means utilizing as many keywords as possible that customers use to find products like yours.
You may find competing brand names in your keyword list during the optimization process. Depending on your product, this may be more prevalent than you’d guess.
Sometimes, a brand name becomes synonymous with the product, and the brand name becomes a generic term for its market. Think about Kleenex, Velcro, Bubble Wrap, Jacuzzi, Chapstick, Popsicle, and the list goes on and on.
But what do you do when a competitor’s brand name is found in the search terms? Can you include their name somewhere in your listing to index and potentially rank for a recognized competing brand to steal their sales?
These are great questions, and to arrive at these questions means you’ve done your homework on Amazon SEO. One seller in our Facebook group for Amazon sellers asked it this week.
So we’re here to shed some light on this intelligent question and clear the air regarding branded keywords.
Can you use trademarked terms as keywords in your listing?
When selling authentic goods, a seller may use a trademarked name to list them. For example, a seller who lists an authentic “Pinzon” product is not necessarily infringing on the Pinzon trademark owner because the seller is using the trademark to identify an authentic product.
When using a trademarked word in its ordinary dictionary meaning.
When making truthful statements that a product is compatible with a trademarked product. For example, if you offer a cable that is compatible with the Kindle e-reader, you can use the brand name “Kindle” to indicate that compatibility in the text of your detail page. You cannot use a logo to indicate compatibility, only the brand name. Any statement you make about compatibility must be true. If you want to indicate the compatibility of your product with a product of a different brand in the product title, please build your product title as follows, taking also account of the Amazon Brand Name Policy. If you do not apply this format to your product title, your listing may be removed as potentially trademark infringing.
As Amazon continues to fight against counterfeit products on its marketplace, it has tightened up on the usage of trademarked terms in listings not belonging to the trademark holder.
Violation of these rules opens sellers to warnings, suspension, or a ban from the Amazon marketplace. On the bright side, you can use these same rules to protect your brand from others if you’re enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry Program.
What about in the backend search terms?
Still, the answer remains no.
While one might think the backend search terms are the optimal place to index for trademarked terms without confusing a customer as to who the seller is, that is not the case. Amazon finds listings that violate this rule and violators likely face punishment as a result.
Can I do anything to gain visibilty on trademarked keywords?
Although you can’t use trademarked brands as keywords, there’s a way to potentially earn visibility for a name brand that customers are searching for: PPC advertising.
Keyword targeting allows sellers to appear for search terms that they bid on. Below, you can see how a competitor can sweep in to be prominently displayed in search results for a search for a trademarked product.
However, there are many pros and cons to consider depending on your product, market, and the brand you’d target.
For example, Nike is one of the largest, most recognized brands on the planet and has built strong brand loyalty. So it may be reasonable to believe a customer searching for “Nike shoes” may be looking for a specific Nike product or that they’re dead-set on buying shoes with the famous Swoosh.
It’s also likely this brand had to outbid Nike vendors and major brands like Adidas, Reebok, and so on. Most likely, these ads probably aren’t cheap!
The sneaker market is incredibly competitive and full of industry whales like the brands mentioned above. With the degree of difficulty to consistently rank organically for high-volume search terms, PPC presents the opportunity to compete and even have a positioning advantage over name brands.
Additionally, this particular brand does have one huge selling point over Nike that sellers should consider: price. Certainly, many will breeze right past the ad and scroll down through Nike’s extensive catalog. But others just looking for a comfortable shoe might balk at paying prices up to 4 times that of the brand running the sponsored ad.
Ultimately, these measures will vary from product to product and should be heavily considered if you’re looking into experimenting with this keyword-targeting method.
For the most part, Amazon sellers are limited with options to poach customers from competitors through trademarked terms. However, options exist to gain visibility from searches your rivals generate through their brand.
Do you have any experience with Amazon trademarked terms? Feel free to let us know about your experience in the comments!
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In the pursuit of maximum visibility, too many sellers neglect keyword optimizing their product listing.
You’ve performed product research and found the perfect product to sell. You found the right manufacturer. You’ve created your Seller Central account and are ready to start your FBA career.
It’s time to get down to business on your Amazon marketing strategy! That begins with making sure your product listing is set up for maximum visibility and able to convert shoppers to buyers.
We consider your product images and copy to be the foundation of a successful Amazon marketing plan. Every aspect of your selling experience will benefit from high-quality images and sales-inducing copy optimized for search.
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Although many don’t think of Amazon as a search engine, that’s precisely what it is.
Is your listing optimized to take advantage of this humongous audience?
Sellers who don’t optimize their listing to reach all the customers for their product are not only leaving sales on the table; they’re encouraging customers to buy from competitors, resulting in ranking changes that further minimize your visibility. Whether creating a new listing or enhancing your existing listing, Viral Launch’s Keyword Research tools are all you need to maximize visibility, increase exposure, and most importantly — boost sales.
STEP 1: Find your seed keyword
First, we’ll need to determine our seed keyword. In the Amazon world, this would be the most relevant keyword that has the highest search volume. In other words, the most popular term that customers are using to find your product on Amazon.
Think about the product you want to sell. If you were a customer, what would I search for my product to show up as a result?
For some products, this is as simple as it sounds. But for others, it can be trickier than you’d think.
Consider soft drinks. Is it soda, pop, or are you like me and use “Coke” as a catch-all for every fizzy beverage? Without a doubt, this likely depends on where you’re from or where you currently live.
From this example, you can see how colloquial language can change depending on geography and how the same product may have a few different primary keywords.
Finding the right seed keyword is one of many reasons why Viral Launch’s Keyword Research tool is a must-have for writing your listing. Filled with years of search volume data, Keyword Research makes the process of finding a seed keyword and knowing your primary keywords a simple one.
For the remainder of our SEO exercise, Keyword Research plays a huge role not only regarding what keywords we use but where we place them. The proprietary keyword metrics such as Priority Score, Relevancy Score, and Opportunity Score provide valuable insights for us to draw from and prioritize our keywords.
Dig around with keyword research before deciding upon your seed keyword. You may be surprised at what keywords fetch the most searches for your product.
Step 2: Find Relevant High-Volume Keywords
Filter out keywords that aren’t relevant to your product. Use the filters to customize your keyword list, removing competitor brand names and any keywords that don’t apply to your product.
After you’ve found the right seed keyword, you’ll have a comprehensive list of related keywords along with helpful data points such as Viral Launch’s exclusive Priority Score and Relevancy Score. We recommend sorting by search volume estimates, as these are going to be where much of the traffic via search.
Sort this list by search volume estimates to get an idea of what keywords or phrases people are using to find your product. Since search volume estimates are an incredibly powerful indicator of consumer demand on Amazon, we can quickly see which keywords are being used to find your product and the depth of the market.
Ensuring that your product is indexed for the majority or all of your keywords are the first step in making sure your listing shows up for customers. Without indexing for these keywords, achieving sustainable sales is an uphill battle, to say the least.
As you filter through your list, you’ll find keywords that don’t apply to your product, such as competitor brand names. Unless you’re selling one of these brand names, it’s best to remove them entirely from your keyword list.
How to Filter
We recommend using the “Keyword Excludes” filter to take irrelevant or inapplicable keywords for maximum efficiency. Due to Amazon’s robust size, it’s impossible for a machine to automatically pull a keyword list ONLY related to your product. But the “Keyword Excludes” filter allows you to take out keywords that do not apply to your product. Once completed, you’ll have a keyword list made exclusively for your product.
In the image listed for this step, you’ll see I’m filtering out “La Croix” since that is a competing brand. Further down the list, this brand name is mentioned multiple times. Filtering it out just once will get rid of all mentions of “La Croix” with that exact spelling.
For the same reasons we remove results with competitor names, you’ll want to eliminate other results that aren’t relevant to your product, such as size, color, dosage, or product specifications that don’t apply to your product.
Once you’ve finished filtering, put these keywords into action by adding them into your listing’s copy. You can do this yourself OR use a tool like Listing Builder to make the process much more streamlined.
STEP 3: Piece It All Together
The beauty of Listing Builder is that it allows for experimentation with your listing’s copy and enables real-time feedback for you to see how each change affects your listing.
Creating a listing can feel a lot like putting a puzzle together, and Listing Builder empowers you to move the pieces around to see what works.
You’ll see your filtered-down list of keywords, sortable by search volume estimate, priority score, and opportunity score. On the right, you’ll see the fields for an Amazon listing that you can use without affecting your actual listing.
As you type each keyword in, you’ll notice that each keyword will be crossed off your list. This feature assists you to be as space-efficient as possible with your listing. Likewise, Amazon doesn’t place extra weight on keywords for repeated use, so once you’ve used it once, there’s no need to add it again for SEO.
Know your (character) limits
Your product listing has a character limit for title and bullet points, typically between 50 and 200 characters for each. Your limit depends on what category Amazon recognizes your product as, and this can play an enormous impact on how you execute your strategy.
If you include your brand name in your title to align with Amazon’s style guide, 50 characters become even less. Product listings with 50 character titles will have to be more “meat and potatoes” while extended character limits allow more room for sales-inducing, descriptive language.
Across all listings (except for listings with EBC), you will have up to 2000 characters to use at your discretion.
HOOK CUSTOMERS IN WITH YOUR TITLE
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and your title is the first impression on the shopper. A thoughtfully crafted title and a professional main product image are a recipe for you to get customers to choose your product over the other search results.
Amazon recommends starting your title with your brand name. We always recommend meeting their style guidelines to ensure you don’t get your listing suppressed.
Staying within their guidelines can be a pain and stand in the way of the keyword or phrase you’re just dying to fit within your limits. But we must remember this is only part of doing business since not following the guidelines can defeat the purpose of optimizing the copy in the first place.
DON’T BE A BOT
A common mistake that sellers make is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing describes including as many keywords as possible without regard for readability or sense. Not only is keyword stuffing against Amazon-style guidelines, but it’s also not shopper-friendly.
Nobody wants to read your keyword list, so don’t make it your product listing! All too often, sellers use various keyword stuffing methods and see great optimization scores, but wonder why their product isn’t selling.
Writing a keyword-optimized listing is both an art and a science. It requires the science of search data with the art of integrating these keywords into your listing in sales-inducing language.
Ideally, your listing is indexed for each and every keyword on your list. Depending on character limits and how many keywords are relevant for your product, this might not be possible. But don’t panic! This underlines the importance of being strategic with which keywords get left on the cutting room floor.
Our end goal is to increase rank, which occurs when you achieve sales through searches for keywords that you’re indexing for. Don’t get too caught up writing to the algorithm! Remember the goal is to inform and market to the reader you’re trying to convert to a customer!
MAKE SURE YOUR BULLET POINTS HAVE BITE
Once your title has been expertly crafted, the bullet points should be next up on your order of operations. This is where customers get to know your product. What’s unique about it? What sets it apart from the competition?
The bullet points are an excellent place to boast selling points and add keywords that couldn’t be squeezed into the title. Most listings will include five bullets, so think about 5–7 selling points of your product. Prioritize them, and place them in a way that makes the most sense.
Sticking with our fictional soda example, let’s highlight a few of the selling points to start it off.
TASTE THE TROPICS: Quench your thirst with a can of our refreshingly sweet, all-natural orange soda
Within 100 characters, we caught the shopper’s attention with a catchy slogan, informed the customer it comes in a can, and highlighted two major selling points for our fictional orange soda: it’s refreshing and completely natural.
We’re answering customer questions while addressing a few primary benefits of this particular soda. We’ve used a few crucial keywords as well, all without appearing to stuff them unnaturally.
CLOSE THE DEAL WITH A KILLER PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
The customer found your product and liked what they saw with your title and header image. They saw your bullet points, and they haven’t left looking for competitor products. You’ve got this customer on the hook.
Now close the deal.
Psychologically, the customer is looking for a final reason to buy or not buy your product. Answer any potential questions they may have. Show and tell the customer why your product is superior to others on the market.
Your product description likely has a 2000 character limit and offers minimal indexing weight. But do not make the mistake of ignoring this section because it won’t increase your visibility.
The longer character limit and lack of indexing weight make this area ideal for describing your product’s selling points.
Take on the mentality of a customer. What’s in this product? How is it made? What sets it apart from Competitor X? How does this product make my life better?
Answering these questions could be the difference between a customer adding to cart or starting their search over again.
DON’T SKIP THE BACK-END SEARCH TERMS
Sellers frequently make the mistake of leaving their back-end search term areas blank! Just because customers can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t have value.
The backend search term fields are a terrific way to grab “low-hanging fruit” in the form of relevant search terms containing common misspellings or search queries made in foreign languages. Toss those lower relevance keywords that you weren’t able to squeeze into the title or bullet points here.
The backend search-term field is a lifesaver for including keywords that wouldn’t make sense to include in a product listing such as common misspellings and Spanish phrases.
Importantly, leaving this area blank willingly misses out on thousands of searches each month and the sales that come with them.
Also, you’ll see optional areas to fill out, such as Intended Use, Target Audience, Other Attributes, and Subject Matter as backend fields. While we have found no significant correlation between these fields, Amazon occasionally tweaks its algorithm.
Despite the lack of tangible benefits, we recommend filling these fields in case these fields come into play later.
An expertly crafted, keyword-optimized product listing makes you more likely to land you on the coveted Page One of results. Of course, this comes after sales trickle through via the keywords you’re indexing for. Then, you’ll see your rank improve so you can start receiving
Both inexperienced and veterans sellers should optimize their product listings for maximum performance. Optimizing your product listing by keyword is a tactic that rookie and experienced sellers alike should be doing. Trends change, so it’s worth monitoring your keyword performance and optimization score every few months. Monitoring keywords keeps you on top of your game and give your product detail page an edge over the competition.
With Keyword Research and Listing Builder, it’s never been easier for sellers to create their keyword-optimized product listing. If you have any questions about Amazon’s guidelines, their product page style guide comes in handy.
Additionally, our customer support team is always willing to help provide clarity. Sign up today and select a plan that includes our listing optimization software bundle to maximize your listing today
By the end 2020’s first quarter, more than half of sales on Amazon’s marketplace were through third-party sellers. It’s grown even more competitive since then, and Amazon product listing optimization is the best strategy for sellers to avoid getting lost in the crowd.
An Amazon listing score is a measure of how well your listing adheres to the keyword strategy that our Keyword Research tool has suggested for your product. The research tool uses search volume directly from Amazon’s data combined with a forecasting formula generated by in-house data scientists for statistics you can trust.
We generate the Amazon listing score by analyzing the keyword list the tool gathers related to the primary keyword you’ve chosen for your product. It’s based on how many of the suggested keywords are in the listing, how keywords with the highest search volume are prioritized by placement, and how many of them are the most relevant.
What’s the Value in an Amazon Listing Score?
The forecasting formula we utilize is proprietary, though it’s based on applied weights in volume, relevancy, priority, and keyword phrasing. This means you can use the Amazon listing score to optimize any listing, at any time, with the highest-quality keywords of the moment.
These three strategies will help you get the most value out of the Amazon listing score:
1. Optimize listings from the start.
The point of Amazon listing optimization is to make your listing eligible for indexing and ranking for a keyword. Optimized listings on Amazon are the most visible ones, and greater visibility is essential for being ranked higher.
Think of your listing’s copy as a foundational piece. Once you’ve successfully indexed for a keyword, you’re eligible to be ranked as you generate sales through keywords, increasing your likelihood of organic sales as your ranking climbs. Enhancing a listing’s keyword ranking also boosts your chances of organic sales by putting your listing directly in front of customers’ eyes (at zero cost).
2. Grab the low-hanging fruit of keywords.
The keyword opportunity score within the Listing Builder and Keyword Research tools will help you find the low-hanging fruit: keywords that receive search volume but are largely neglected.
For example, if you sell first-aid kits, indexing for a niche phrase like “first-aid kit for cars” could be what puts your listing in front of customers. Also, include common phrases in other languages, like Spanish, and common misspellings in the listing’s back-end search terms.
3. Keep listing optimization reader-friendly.
Your product’s Amazon listing score will help you ensure the listing is optimized, but it’s up to you to make it as reader-friendly as possible. Keyword stuffing is a terrible strategy, and Amazon will do its best to weed it out. Amazon listing optimization is both an art and a science. Use marketing-minded language while incorporating the right keywords to masterfully create a listing that’s not only optimized, but also set up specifically to drive sales.
A lot of Amazon sellers rely on trial and error, blindly tweaking their listings’ keywords, copy, or photos without any hard data to back up their decisions. Gain a greater competitive advantage by using keyword research and our Amazon listing score to optimize your Amazon listings with proven, high-quality keywords and phrases.
Selling on Amazon is unlike running any other online store.
The beauty is that it’s both marketplace and search engine rolled into one: Buyers search for and purchase what they need without ever having to navigate to another site. This makes for an exciting and dynamic seller experience — but it also means sellers must market correctly in order to see real results.
Because of this layout, you need to treat Amazon as a search engine when advertising your products. If you want to get your products in front of people who are searching for them, you’ll need to know how to optimize the right keywords for your Amazon listings.
Any failure to understand how to optimize your Amazon listings gives your competitors an advantage in your market. Don’t give your rivals the upper hand!
How Do Keywords Work on Amazon?
On any other search engine, such as Google, getting a brand or product to rank high means building up your organic search engine optimization. The same is true on Amazon. The majority of sales happen organically, with products that are highly optimized.
When optimizing your listing, be strategic. Keep SEO in mind to set up your product for the highest potential visibility, and most important, make sure to get things right the first time. Editing a listing that was already written can hurt the listing’s SEO ranking.
For example, make sure to include the most frequently used variations and prioritize the right keywords for the right audience at the right time. You’ll need the help of our Amazon keyword tool, which is designed to help you find and use every relevant keyword.
For one of Viral Launch client, the strategic use of the Amazon keyword tool helped it reach $40,000 in sales within 30 days of its new product launch. By the end of the launch, the product had gone from ranking No. 300 to No. 1 in search results for the targeted keyword.
A Few Amazon Keyword Tips
Our Amazon keyword tooltells you which keywords shoppers use most often when they shop for products like yours. It also helps you include these keywords in your listing without breaking Amazon’s character limits in any of the fields.
When used correctly, the Amazon keyword toolgives you the power to find all the keywords and variations relevant to any product. To use them to your ultimate advantage, keep these three points in mind when choosing which keywords to use:
1. Lean heavily on search volume data.
Our Amazon keyword toolgives you actionable data about the search volume of any keyword. The industry-leading search volume estimates generated are constantly updated, so the data is always fresh and safe to rely upon.
Each time you research a keyword, the tool will also provide exact and broad match data surrounding it. You can see the immediate and far-reaching impact it could potentially have on your SEO ranking, as well as the keyword’s current standing in the market.
2. Dive into the keyword’s history.
Every relevant keyword around your product has a history, especially those that have the highest search volumes. Our keyword tool is the only one that can bring you exhaustive historical data, helping you dive deep into the history across the entire market — including competitor usage.
Accurate historical keyword data is important for several reasons. It includes historically relevant horizontal keywords you can use to boost the product’s listing. Additionally, it gives you full market context so you can strategize around each keyword’s popularity trends.
3. Keep the keyword’s relevancy in mind.
Although search volume is essential to choosing the right keywords, relevancy to your product is just as important. Some terms might have attractive volumes but may not actually fit the customer base for your specific product.
Because the majority of Amazon sales happen organically, our Amazon keyword tool can give you deep insights into which keywords and variations are most relevant to which products with the Viral Launch Priority Score. It allows you to easily compare terms, finding the most appropriate ones for your listing based on relevancy and search volume.
Finding the right keywords for your Amazon listings is vital to successfully selling on Amazon. But you can’t do it manually. Learn more by starting your free trial of Viral Launch to get access to our suite of keyword research tools.
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Amazon is a search engine first and foremost. Customers will inevitably find any product you list by using search queries, so optimizing Amazon product listings is vitally important to your success as a seller. That means knowing not only which keywords to use, but also where they carry the most SEO weight.
For example, your listing’s title has the biggest SEO impact, followed by the bullet points, description, and back-end keyword fields. Because it functions like a search engine, Amazon indexes all of these fields for its SEO purposes.
You should prioritize Amazon’s keyword best practices to find the most relevant keywords and give each listing the greatest exposure.
How to Optimize an Amazon Listing
Having a comprehensive SEO-based keyword strategy is important, but optimizing Amazon product listings is about more than just choosing keywords. For instance, there are also Amazon title best practices to consider. We strongly recommend writing a title that begins with about five words followed by a colon. This establishes an ideal canonical URL to help with external SEO efforts (such as Google listings).
Additionally, your listing’s click-through rate, conversation rate, and other audience engagement metrics have a definite impact on organic SEO ranking. To help maximize that impact, follow these tips when optimizing your Amazon product listings:
1. Start with a keyword tool.
Choosing the best keywords to optimize your Amazon listing takes research. Fortunately, you can make keyword research and analysis much easier with help from a comprehensive keyword research tool.
Our unique tool offers historical keyword data alongside current data, showing the full scope of the keyword landscape. You can get insights into Amazon-specific search queries with highly precise breakdowns of keywords relevant to your product.
2. Infuse relevant language in your keywords.
It’s critical to describe your product and form your keywords using the exact language that customers use in their search queries. For example, plenty of people will discover the stereo headphones you sell by using the term “headphones,” but thousands of others might also search for earbuds, headsets, and other variations of the same keyword. Make sure you adjust your listing not only for the main keyword, but also for other relevant terms your audience might be using.
3. Make sure to categorize your listing correctly.
The descriptions and keywords you use will go a long way in defining your product. But you still have to assign categories and subcategories that will determine its placement on Amazon’s website. If you’re not sure which categories or subcategories to choose, search for your product in Seller Central and see which categories similar listings fall under.
4. Use plenty of high-quality photos.
According to a 2018 e-commerce survey, 73% of U.S. consumers who shop online say they won’t consider a product that has fewer than three images. To stand out, then, use multiple high-quality images of your product.
A mix of studio and lifestyle shots that feature your product in the most attractive light can help consumers envision themselves using it. Our photography resources can help you learn how to capture the perfect product photos to catch potential customers’ attention.
5. Optimize pricing to fit the market.
No matter how keyword-rich and image-heavy your listing is, you won’t get much engagement or many sales if your prices are too high for your market. For most new sellers (and even most veterans), it’s difficult to sell any product at a premium price point. Fewer conversions also mean a less favorable keyword ranking. Instead, try slowly increasing your prices as your listings perform better.
6. Keep everything you do within Amazon’s terms of service.
No matter what you try to optimize, do so while staying within the bounds of Amazon’s terms of service. Its terms place strict rules that can have a direct impact on SEO rankings, particularly regarding customer feedback and reviews. For example, sellers are prohibited from compensating users for favorable reviews and ratings.
To be a successful Amazon Seller, you have to approach optimizing your Amazon product listings as you would with any other search engine. Take the time to research which keywords best support your product and use them to create an attractive, informative, and optimized listing.
For more information about how to optimize your Amazon listings, speak with one of our experts today!
The title of a product on Amazon carries a lot of weight when it comes to organic rank and click-through rates, and if your listing isn’t in step with the official style requirements, the upcoming Amazon policy enforcement should motivate you to make some changes.
Amazon recently announced that on July 22 it will be “suppressing ASINs from Amazon Search that violate Amazon’s title guidelines.” According to the announcement, the reason behind this new enforcement is that titles that don’t comply with Amazon’s guidelines “result in a poor customer experience.”
As shown in the news release above, the announcement mentions some specific requirements:
No promotional language can be used, such as “free shipping” or “100% quality guaranteed.”
Other examples would be “Best Seller” or “Hot Item.”
No non-readable characters can be used, such as HTML code.
The length of a title can’t exceed 200 characters. Titles must include “product identifying information,” which describes what the product is, such as a garlic press or first aid kit.
Although not mentioned in the announcement, the Amazon Style Guide also contains a number of further requirements, such as prohibiting the use of all caps or special characters (such as ! or $.)
No one wants their business disrupted, so it’s important to understand the effect of what this new level of Amazon policy enforcement may have on your brand, and then take some practical steps to ensure you can maintain your visibility and sales.
What This Means for Amazon Sellers
The most important element of a product listing is its title, and having it optimized for organic search is a vital part of gaining visibility under any conditions.
The “suppression from search” for those who violate the title guidelines is open to interpretation, but the announcement indicates that this suppression would actually be a removal from search entirely.
Amazon mentions that if a product title is penalized, “[o]nce the issue is fixed, we will remove the search suppression and the ASIN will appear back on Amazon search.”
From this statement, the penalization wouldn’t be a matter of your product taking a drop in organic ranking and be languishing many pages deep in a search. It would be an outright elimination from organic search, and the effect on your product’s visibility and sales would bring your business to a halt.
Considering the amount of products that exist in Amazon’s marketplace, how quickly they will be able to roll out this tighter enforcement is uncertain. It likely won’t happen immediately, yet ensuring your title is compliant with the style guide so that your product remains searchable should be your current top priority.
Getting Your Listing Ready for Compliance
To avoid losing visibility, ranking, and sales, we’ve provided a list of crucial steps for becoming compliant with the title guidelines.
In case you aren’t clear on the guidelines or need access to them, we’ve created a downloadable spreadsheet, Amazon Style Guides by Category. It breaks down what the title counts have previously been for each category and provides links to the style guides for each category. The announcement states title character counts cannot exceed 200 characters, so it remains to be seen if certain categories will continue to be limited to 50 characters.
Another requirement in some categories is that businesses must include their brand name in their product titles. Although this helps promote your brand, it essentially restricts the character limit even more, forcing business to balance visibility, precision, and helpful information.
How To Stay Compliant
Before the deadline arrives, follow these five tasks help you stay compliant and avoid any issues:
1. Access your style guide from our spreadsheet and track down the category-specific limitations for your title. Find the exact character count and if you’re exempt from having to include your brand name. Keep in mind that Amazon updates style guides regularly, so be sure to stay up-to-date.
2. Write a new title, staying within the new limit for your category and including your brand name, if required. Our tool Listing Builder can help you quickly devise a new one and move any previous info from your title into your bullet points.
3. Set up organic rank notifications for a particular keyword in Keyword Manager. Go to the Notification Settings, and under Rank Change Notifications, choose to receive messages based on whether the rank increases or drops, or only if it drops. You can then specify how high or low you want the rank positions to be and in this instance you should set wide parameters for the notifications. The tool will then message you if your organic rank changes after the new policy goes into effect. (You can also receive notifications on your Sponsored Rank, as shown in the GIF below.)
4. Set up buy box and Best Seller Rank notifications in Competitor Intelligence for your ASINs. If any changes occur, we send an alert to keep you informed. Using CI, you can track keywords a competitor is targeting and indexed for, and see the keywords’ organic rank. You can then choose to receive change alerts for the keywords’ ranking. This can occur on an hourly basis, as shown below.
5. If notified that your ASIN is affected, implement your new title and bullets to your product listing. After you make this update, Amazon will re-index your listing. As a result, you’ll temporarily see a drop in your organic ranking. But based on your sales history, reviews, and traffic, you’ll see your rank resume its position.
Stay Compliant, Stay Successful
The recent announcement regarding titles has received a variety of different reactions. And many sellers may be asking why it took Amazon so long to enforce its own policy. No matter how you feel, ensuring your title meets Amazon’s policy requirements safeguards your listing. Since visibility remains crucial, avoiding penalization and a loss in visibility helps maintain your sales opportunities.
For any help getting in step with Amazon’s product title guidelines, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team ensures your product listing complies with Amazon’s style guide and remains optimized to increase your visibility, conversions, and business growth.
We are taking a deep dive into the foundation of every successful strategy on Amazon: keyword research.
When looking to private label a product on Amazon, it’s extremely evident that the markets are flooded. Now more than ever, it can be an incredibly difficult feat to drive sales for a new product with no reviews and no sales history. That said, there is still a (literal) wealth of opportunity in the Amazon space for savvy sellers who package a well developed strategy with their product offering.
At Viral Launch, we’ve seen one recurring fundamental reason for a product’s failure on Amazon… lack of strategy. It’s not good enough to source a product, throw up a listing, and wait for the sales, and (perhaps unfortunately) focusing on sourcing a product that’s objectively ‘different’ or ‘better’ than your competition doesn’t matter much when you’re given one image and around 100 characters to draw the attention of shoppers.
Everything on Amazon comes down to strategy, and strategy is the result of thorough research. Sourcing the right product and ensuring that it’s positioned correctly in the market is the key to driving success on Amazon. While we have recently published two lengthy posts which cover how to generate product ideas and how to launch and rank products, due to ever increasing importance, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the foundation of every successful strategy on Amazon: keyword research.
The Strategy Behind a Well Crafted Listing
It’s important to recognize that while many people think of Amazon as more of a digital store, the reality is that Amazon.com is first and foremost a search engine. For this reason, when creating a product listing, it’s important to understand that your written content must serve dual purposes.
The first purpose is to produce an attractive listing. Like an advertisement for your product, you need to ensure that you’re using persuasive language and providing a value proposition to help sell your product. If your content doesn’t make sense, doesn’t read attractively, or doesn’t adequately explain the tangible value of the product, shoppers will inevitably be inclined to choose a different product.
The second purpose of your listing is to appeal to Amazon’s search engine. Because your product is inevitably found through customer search queries, ensuring that you’re understanding the keywords that shoppers are using to find your product (and understanding how to prioritize them in your listing) is critically important for driving success. With this, diversifying your keywords as much as possible helps you to index within the results of more searches, thus widening your listing’s potential visibility.
Ultimately, a well optimized listing (a balance between keyword rich content and sales language) is the cornerstone of a successful product. If you focus too heavily on making a persuasive appeal to your shoppers, there is a good chance that you’ll end up limiting the quantity of searches for which your product will be indexed. On the other hand, if you focus too heavily on overloading your listing with high value keywords, it may show up in more searches but it’s likely that the product’s conversion will be low. Even if you can get your listing in front of people, if it doesn’t read well, or draw people in, you’re not going to be able to maximize your sales perspective.
Great listing content is a fusion between art (sales language) and science (keyword research). The art of this equation is something that comes from understanding your product and the benefits, differentiating factors, and qualities that can persuade buyers. The science comes from market research, data analysis, and in most cases, a quality set of tools to help your pursuit.
This article will be addressing the science of keyword research.
While the purpose of this article is educational and not a sales pitch, and while there are several tool suites that can be utilized to help you conduct research, this article will be referencing the Viral Launch research tools for ease of reference.
While some of this should even be done prior to sourcing a product, when beginning to analyze keyword markets, Keyword Research should be the foundational reference point for building your listing content. To start, you’ll want to search for your product’s primary keyword. This is logically the keyword that you would search if you were looking to buy a product in your market. From there, Keyword Research will populate a list of associated keywords along with key metrics such as search volume, relevancy score, etc.
This list of keywords of populated keywords contains many of the important search terms that you should seek to prioritize in your content. Because Keyword Research is algorithmic, however, you’ll need to review these results to pull out the best keywords to include.
For starters, sort your results by search volume. This should give you the most competitive keywords in your market. These are the terms being searched most heavily by shoppers and have the potential to drive a large volume of sales. That said, they’re also going to be difficult and expensive to rank for, meaning that while it’s important to include these terms in your content, you’re going to want to target some quick-win keywords as well that can help you to drive sales early on.
It’s important to note that you’ll also want to remove any ‘branded’ keywords from consideration. For instance, if you’re selling socks, keywords like ‘Nike socks’ may have high search volume, but since you’re not Nike, these keywords can’t be targeted by your content.
Once you have identified a good selection of high volume keywords, it’s important to now look for keywords with high opportunity. A high opportunity keyword is a keyword that is not included in the content of many/any competing listings. Within Keyword Research, opportunity is scored from 0-1000. Keywords with a 1000 opportunity score means that no listings on page one have this exact phrase keyword included in their content. The lower the score, the more listings include this term.
To identify high opportunity keywords, it’s recommended that you sort by opportunity score, and look for any keyword with an opportunity of 750-1000 with a search volume of at least 1000 searches per month. There are typically plenty of keywords that have high opportunity, but if no one is searching for them, there isn’t much potential to drive sales. Because each section of a listing has a character limit, it’s important to prioritize keywords that have better potential to drive sales (i.e. keywords that have search volume).
Finally, performing a quick review of high priority and high relevancy keywords will help you to catch any other terms that may have been missed. Particularly, priority is determined by assigning a score based on search volume and opportunity, meaning that it will help to show keywords that are easy to rank for while having some degree of customer audience.
It’s also recommended that you repeat this process by searching several high volume keywords within Keyword Research. Though the majority of the keywords should overlap, ensuring that you’re not missing any other valuable keywords can be helpful.
As you collect these keywords, you are able to move them over to your keyword bank, allowing you to create your listing within Listing Builder. You’re also able to copy and/or export your list to a CSV file. It’s highly recommended that you keep an organized record of your targeted keywords for reference for tracking and advertising purposes.
While using Keyword Research is a great way to understand your market and build a collection of high volume keywords, it’s also important to understand your product market within the context of the competition. By understanding what keywords your competitors are running ads to, driving sales through, prioritizing, and/or ignoring, you can begin to build a strategy around how to position your product within a market.
With Competitor Intelligence, you can review your competition’s keyword data and use their data to your advantage. Through keyword analysis on several market competitors, you can construct keyword lists based on a few different considerations.
Primarily, Competitor Intelligence can show you what keywords are driving sales for your competition. The tool is able to present any listings, organic ranking for each keyword, ad placements, and keyword search volume, allowing you to review and monitor the keywords that correlate to a bulk of your competitor’s sales. Through this, you can start to build a profile of the keywords that drive the most sales for listings in your market and prioritize your listing content accordingly.
Additionally, using Viral Launch’s Reverse ASIN 2.0 technology, Competitor Intelligence will also show relevant keywords for which your competitor is not indexed and/or ranked for. Comparable to opportunity score, if there is little to no search volume for these keywords, they may not be worth prioritizing. However, if your top competitors are missing a few quality keywords in their listing, it may create opportunity for you to drive sales with little competitive resistance. Especially early on in the life of your listing, understanding how to drive easy sales by capitalizing on the missed opportunities of your competition can be a useful tactic to begin building visibility, sales history, and reviews. This data has the power to help you drive sales through opportunities that your competitors don’t even know that they’re missing.
Ultimately, through viewing the keywords that your competitors are using to drive sales, as well as the overlooked keywords which have the potential to drive sales, you can ensure that you’re not missing a single opportunity!
For Existing Product Listings:
If you have an existing product listing that you’re seeking to improve, the best strategy is to start by using Listing Analyzer. By linking your Seller Central account to your Viral Launch account, you’re able to seamlessly pull your product catalog into the Viral Launch interface.
From the Listing Analyzer tab in your Viral Launch dashboard, you can run an analysis on your product. Our software will pull metrics and keyword data from your listing, presenting you with an overview of your product in comparison to the market, along with a listing quality score. Through this tool, your listing’s images, reviews, competitiveness and copy are analyzed and you are also provided with a list of competitive and comparative products.
Additionally (and most importantly within the context of this article), Listing Analyzer will also provide you with an extensive list of keywords which are relevant to your product market. This data is relatively similar to Keyword Research (with regards to the metrics provided), however you are also able to review whether or not the keyword is being utilized in your listing.
From this list, you are able to select keywords that are relevant to your listing and move them into Keyword Manager to monitor, track, and/or incorporate into your listing.
On a final note, it’s important to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to optimizing your listing with the strongest keyword spread possible. That said, if you are working with an older product, particularly if it’s selling relatively well, changing your listing content can create a ‘reshuffling’ of your keywords within Amazon’s system. Because of this, you can sometimes see a short term detriment to ranking and sales as your listing is reincorporated into Amazon’s SEO structure. Therefore, while it can be beneficial in the long term to fully optimize your listing, you may need to weigh this against the potential setbacks to determine if and when to change your content. Ultimately, while this can be a good tactic for working with a new listing, altering your content becomes more complicated as your listing ages.
For a New Product Listing:
If you are beginning your keyword research prior to having an active listing on Amazon, you will want to begin your process by building out your keyword list through the use of Keyword Research and Competitor Intelligence.
Once you have a listing on Amazon, it’s advantageous to run your product listing through Listing Analyzer to further ensure that you’re maximizing your keyword/ranking potential.
While you do need an existing listing in order to run an analysis, it’s worth it to think of Listing Analyzer once your product listing is up on Amazon as a final check to verify listing quality. At this point, you can review the provided keyword data through the tool and make any final adjustments if you notice any missed terms.
Note: If you are running an analysis on a brand new listing, it’s unlikely that you will have a perfect score, as review quantity, revenue generation, etc. in comparison to the market factor in to the assessment. While you want to note these data points as a means of knowing what’s needed to maximize competitiveness for your market, early on, the best use of Listing Analyzer is to verify your keyword list and review competing and complementary products for the purpose of product targeted advertising.
Now that your keyword bank is compiled (and hopefully added to your listing), it’s time to start benefiting from your research. Keyword Manager helps you to track your keyword bank and understand how and where you’re driving sales.
Considering it’s almost impossible to go a single day without encountering the immense reach of Amazon, it’s obvious that the largest e-commerce marketplace is also an insanely saturated e-commerce marketplace. While employing thorough keyword research into your listing is a critically important element of success, it is very unlikely that you will magically appear at the top of the search results. Amazon favors products that perform and as a new product, you have to prove that you can get sales in the market in order to gain visibility. Driving sales is not always easy, especially with a new product with no reviews or sales history, but with the proper strategy around marketing and advertising, you can begin to generate sales and improve keyword ranking (thus driving organic visibility).
By utilizing Keyword Manager to track your relevant keywords, you can monitor your progress to better determine which keywords are producing the most growth, and which keywords you’re having more trouble with. You can use this data to develop a strategy to continue building momentum, and you can ensure that you’re not missing a beat by establishing notifications and hourly tracking on your most critical search terms. If your ranking fluctuates, or your ad positioning changes, you’ll be able to respond quickly and efficiently to address the situation.
While Keyword Manager isn’t explicitly a keyword research tool, it’s a great resource for helping you to fully capitalize on your keyword strategy. With the ability to review organic and sponsored positioning, prioritize by opportunity and search volume, and track your movements in your market, Keyword Manager gives you the tools you need to harvest the fruits of your (keyword research) labor.
As more sellers enter the Amazon marketplace at an accelerating pace, the importance of thorough research and a deep understanding of your product market is crucial for driving success. Robust keyword research is the cornerstone of any successful strategy for launching a product on Amazon. Developing a well prioritized bank of keywords helps you to establish a wide breadth of searches through which you can gain visibility and sales, while also enabling a deeper understanding of how to use PPC and marketing to effectively grow your product.
Ensuring that you have the broadest range of keywords possible, and knowing how all of your keywords interact with the market informs you on how and where to drive sales and ranking. Through adequate keyword research, you can understand where your competition drives sales, which keywords generate the most sales for your market, and which keywords you can most easily gain ranking traction for.
The importance of performing your due diligence when performing keyword research cannot be overstated. Implementation of this process will ensure that you’re well positioned to take on the competition and achieve success with your business. To learn more about how to successfully launch and rank products, check out our blog post here.
Forget Reverse ASIN Lookups, and close out your keyword spreadsheets. Imagine inputting your ASIN into an algorithm that, in return, gives you a full list of your product’s most important keywords… all with no human intervention.
Introducing ARCS – ASIN Relevance and Conformity Semantics – the world’s first technology that can programmatically determine an Amazon product’s main keywords.
Why It’s Important to Know Your Product’s Main Keywords
You may think you already know all of your product’s most important keywords. But how can you be so sure? What if you’re just missing a few keywords with significant search volume… who cares, right? Actually, neglecting even one relevant keyword in your copy can result in hundreds of lost sales.
When you include a word in your product listing, Amazon indexes, or catalogs, that word for your product. When a keyword is indexed, Amazon is recognizing that term as relevant. Where and how you use that keyword determine how relevant that word is for your product.
As shoppers purchase through your listing, Amazon starts to prioritize the keywords in your copy. Their algorithms determine each keyword’s relevancy, which has a direct impact on where your product ranks in the search results. With thousands (or even tens of thousands) of Amazon shoppers searching for multiple different related keywords each day, it is your job to get your product in front of as many of those searches as possible.
In order to rank and be found by a shopper, that search term must be relevant to your product. In order for that keyword to be relevant, it must be indexed. And in order for the keyword to be indexed, it must be included in your copy.
To ensure that your product is found by as many shoppers as possible, and to even make sales while you’re sleeping, it is imperative that you start by knowing every single important keyword for your product. Important keywords are those that will lead customers to purchasing your products, which means you need to make sure they’re all highly-relevant.
How to Determine Your Product’s Main Keywords
Identifying the main keywords for your product is not a new concept. In fact, there are entire companies built upon helping sellers to do just that. Let’s say your brand sells a grill brush on Amazon. Today, there are two ways to identify your brush’s most important keywords: manually and programmatically.
Manually Finding Keywords
This first process involves researching your product’s main keywords (that you’re identifying yourself) along with your top competitors’ listings to compile a full list. Using this method, you will often start by using logic to determine “grill brush” as one of your main keywords. You may then run “grill brush” through a keyword research tool to return relevant words that relate to your seed term. Of course, some keyword tools are going to return better results than others based on their algorithm formulations (our favorite is Keyword Research). But no matter how good your keyword research tool is, it can only give results based upon your input. So although your product is in fact relevant to your “grill brush” search, the tool is not understanding your specific product.
Next, you may choose to run a Reverse ASIN Lookup, or even multiple of them, to see what words your top competitors are using in their listings. This helps you understand how other grill brush sellers are prioritizing words, but a Reverse ASIN Lookup’s most obvious issue is that it misses out on keywords that your competitors are not using. If they’re all missing a highly relevant term with decent search volume, you will be missing it too.
While you can gather a great list of keywords through a manual discovery process, you’re not guaranteed to capture them all. Not to mention, the process can be really time and labor intensive. To save time for more important entrepreneur duties, many Amazon sellers are turning to Automated Keyword Discovery.
Programmatically Finding Keywords
Getting started with this method, you don’t even need to identify what your product is. Whether you call it a grill brush, a wire scraper, or a thingamajig, the automatic keyword discovery process is going to identify keywords based on your ASIN itself.
To get your complete list of the product’s most important keywords, simply identify the ASIN you want to run, and let the algorithms go to work for you. The result is a truly comprehensive list of that specific product’s most relevant keywords, all compiled with no human intervention. On the market, there is only one technology powerful enough to successfully complete this automated keyword discovery process – ASIN Relevance and Conformity Semantics, or ARCS.
What is ARCS and How Does it Work?
ARCS stands for ASIN Relevance and Conformity Semantics. Formulated through months of hard work by the data science team at Viral Launch, this proprietary technology evaluates up to 10,000 keywords and 500,000 products to determine an ASIN’s most important keywords – with no human intervention.
Far superior to any form of a Reverse ASIN Lookup, ARCS takes an ASIN and understands the entire market to programmatically return a near-perfect list. Shedding hours of manual work and any human error that comes along with it, ARCS gives you a full list at the click of a button.
How ARCS Works to Find a Product’s Main Keywords
We would love to walk you all the way through the nitty-gritty just so you could see how much processing occurs as ARCS works its magic. But in order to preserve the algorithm’s secret sauce, we’ll explain the process at a bird’s eye view.
Starting with an individual product, ARCS determines candidates for main keywords using a variety of reliable Amazon sources. Using a proprietary discovery process, the algorithm then works to identify up to 10,000 potentially-relevant keywords (we experimented with up to 1 million keywords but didn’t see an improvement past 10,000 in terms of relevancy plus search volume). Through a complex prioritization process involving a variety of critical scores, ARCS determines the product’s five main keywords.
ARCS can then confidently work with the product’s newly-identified main keywords. The algorithm runs the entire process again, now with a more reliable entry point, to ensure the highest level of accuracy for the list as a whole. To account for additional factors such as competition, ARCS runs its secret sauce to then deliver a precise list of up to 1,000 of your product’s most important keywords.
ARCS in Action – Try it for Yourself
Don’t take our word for it. Run your product through ARCS and discover just how powerful this set of algorithms can be for your business. At the click of a button, you can literally have every important keyword at your fingertips. Changes in the market? Don’t dig through the archives for those messy keyword spreadsheets. Simply re-run the algorithm for an updated list.
Currently, the only tool on the market powered by ARCS is Listing Analyzer by Viral Launch. To run your product through the ARCS technology, simply import your catalog and click the Analyze Listing button. After the algorithm processes hundreds of thousands of data points, you’ll receive a tailored list of keywords to include in your copy and your ads… all without lifting a finger.
Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) is one of the most customizable tools in a private label seller’s marketing toolbox. With EBC, you can add your own creative touch to your product listing to build brand recognition with high quality photos, graphics and video.
Two of the largest challenges for private label Amazon sellers are differentiation and instilling buyer confidence. First, your product must somehow stand out from the thousands of others in that market. Second, you must convince online shoppers that your product will fulfill their expectations, even though they won’t have the chance to see the product for themselves until after it arrives at their doorstep. Luckily for private label sellers, Enhanced Brand Content can help with both.
What is Enhanced Brand Content on Amazon?
Enhanced Brand Content is a simple way to visually enhance the product descriptions of specific ASINs in your catalogue. EBC is one of several marketing services available to private label sellers, though it is currently only available for sellers who are enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry. EBC is still in a “promotional period” and is free to use – though that may change in the future.
Enhanced Brand Content is your chance to share special details, additional information and instructions that do not fit in your main listing. EBC is especially useful for complex products, new or innovative products, and products in highly competitive markets.
Your EBC differentiates your brand from other brands in your market – generic and name-brand alike. Using consistent colors and fonts across your registered ASINs will increase brand recognition and provide a more coherent look across your catalogue. If you are competing in a crowded market, well-designed EBC could be the deciding factor between you and your competitors.
Consider the example below. Stackable steamer inserts is a fairly competitive market with not a lot of variation between products. Which stackable steamer insert do you think buyers will choose, if everything else is equal: one with a block of text, or one that visually informs the shopper through the use of infographics, cooking tips, and in-depth instructions for care? Any way that you can set your listing apart from competitors can help you claim more market share.
Though the copy is not indexed by Amazon, EBC indirectly helps your ranking by providing extra details that make shoppers feel more confident about purchasing, thereby driving sales, increasing conversions, and potentially decreasing the number of returns. To help your listing’s organic rank, remember to ensure complete optimization of your title and bullet points and add back-end keywords. EBC is indexed by Google, so do not forget to add alt text to images within your EBC modules to help rank higher in Google Search results.
How to Add Enhanced Brand Content to Your Amazon Listing
EBC can only be added to ASINs registered under your brand. In Seller Central, access Enhanced Brand Content under the Advertising menu and enter the SKU of the product you wish to enhance. If you choose a parent SKU, all variations will show the same EBC content.
Choose one of the 5 pre-made EBC templates or create a template of your own. Modules include text, images, images with text overlay, comparison charts, sidebars, highlights, and specifications.
You can use up to 7 modules per template, but you are not required to use them all. It is far more important to provide high quality relevant photos and informational content.If you decide not to use all 7, Amazon will automatically reformat the content to make up for the extra space.
Not every template will work with the type and amount of content you have. For example, if your product has detailed instructions, choose a text-based module. If you have several infographics you’d like to use, choose a template that favors large images. You can always preview how the content will look and make any necessary changes before submitting to Amazon.
Photos or graphics must be equal to or smaller than the maximum size allowed per module. Text can be bold, italicized or underlined, and can include bullet points and numbered lists. Some content will cause Amazon to reject your submission, including but not limited to:
Contact information including addresses or numbers
Blurry or low quality images
Images with unreadable text
Warranties, guarantees, boastful comments or promotional claims (like “cheapest pepper grinder on Amazon” or “#1 best selling item”)
Use of copyright, trademark or registered symbols
Grammatical errors, punctuation errors, misspellings, strings of all-capitalized words
Any violations to Amazon’s Terms of Service or Selling Policies
Amazon will approve or deny your submission within 7 business days. If denied, Amazon will include suggestions on how to edit your content to remove violations. If approved, your EBC will go live on the product’s detail page. You can submit up to 20 templates for review at a time.
Adding Video to Enhanced Brand Content
As of summer 2018, brand registered sellers can also add video content to brand registered ASINs. Video content appears with the main images tiles at the top of the listing. Short videos are a great opportunity to assure buyers that your product looks and acts as you say it will, and to share information with buyers who will not take the time to scroll down for the rest of the EBC. You do not need EBC in order to add video, but the more information you can provide buyers, the better.
Add video the same way you would add EBC: choose an SKU under Enhanced Brand Content in Seller Central, and then click Upload Video. Amazon may reject your video submission if it goes against their content policy. Once your video is approved, it will appear in your product listing in a few hours.
Final Thoughts on Amazon Enhanced Brand Content
There is no single marketing strategy that guarantees overnight success, but combining Amazon Enhanced Brand Content with other proven marketing strategies can help you perform better in the long run.
Here at Viral Launch, we want to provide you with all the information you need to become a successful Amazon seller. For more on Amazon selling strategies, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog, check out our Youtube channel, and listen to our Follow the Data podcast.
The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, and it holds true even when it comes to product photography. Photos make a much bigger impact on shoppers than even the most eloquently written product description. The majority of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and everything else tends to fall by the wayside. Online shoppers might remember bits and pieces of the information they read, but photos make a lasting impression that keeps them on the page.
Because photos make such a big impact, the internet is overloaded with tons of visual content. This means that to stand out from the crowd, you need to produce unique images that capture the attention of shoppers and help them engage with your product like they would in any store on the shelf.
If you’re thinking about selling on Amazon or have already started and are looking for a way to set yourself apart, product photography is a great place to start. As you begin thinking about the best images to represent your product and brand, here are 5 important things you need to know about Amazon product photography.
1. Types of Product Photography
Many of our more experienced sellers are most likely aware of the types of photos that make up a photo set. But to be sure we’re all on the same page, let’s go over the basics:
Product only images – these are clean-cut images that appear on an all-white background and, as the name suggests, include only the product. Product only images show off the main features and details of the product. Amazon requires that the first image in your set, or the “hero” image, for any product be a product only image. It’s usually a good idea to include more than one of these images in your photo set that shows the product from different angles or even up close, so shoppers get the full effect.
Lifestyle images – this type of photo shows the product in context, placing it in an environment where it would most likely be used. Oftentimes, these photos include models using the product to give it further context. Lifestyle images help shoppers to visualize the product in their own lives, exciting them about the product and nudging them to add to cart.
2. Amazon Product Photography Requirements
For consistency across listings, Amazon does require that all the photos in your set meet a few technical guidelines:
Images must be in TIFF (.tif/.tiff), JPEG (.jpeg/.jpg), GIF (.gif) or PNG (.png) format
Image pixel dimensions of at least 1000 or larger in either height or width is preferred
Images should use either sRGB or CMYK color mode
Hero images have their own specific requirements since they are the first images shoppers see when browsing in the search results. These requirements include:
Photo must be on a plain white background (RGB 255, 255, 255)
Image must not contain extra products that may confuse the shopper
Image should not contain any text or graphics
The product should fill 85% of the image frame
Image should not be an illustration or rendering of the product
Photo should not show any excluded accessories
No logos, watermarks or inset images should be included in the hero image
Secondary images, including feature and lifestyle images, need only follow the technical requirements. Graphics and composite photos can be used on secondary images to further detail product features, but ensure they are not overwhelming or confusing to shoppers.
One other thing to consider is that Amazon displays all images in a square format, regardless of the shape of the original photo. Amazon automatically adds white padding around any long, rectangular photo to make it square. This could make the product appear smaller, making it difficult for customers to get a good view. For this reason, when completing your photography, it’s best to display the item or items in a way that can be easily cropped into a square image.
3. Product Photography Affects Clicks and Conversions
Before you hurry the photography process and upload unprofessional images that don’t adequately represent your product, you may be interested to know that product photography directly affects clicks and conversions. Some shoppers may even consider product photos to be more important in the buying process than spelled-out product information. Good product photography will help boost clicks and conversions by:
Making a good first impression – People form a first impression in a fraction of a second. On Amazon, the hero image is the first thing a shopper sees when browsing. Most shoppers are not choosing which items to click on by reading the title, but are instead making quick decisions based on the images they are seeing.
Engaging customers – A high-quality image will grab the attention of shoppers and make them more likely to stick around on your listing. Photos draw the customer in and encourage them to learn more about your product, which when paired with engaging product information, will nudge them to purchase.
Increasing the perceived quality of your product–Badly lit or unprofessional photos can quickly make your product seem cheap and undesirable. Even if you are selling a high-end product, a grainy product image will bring down the perceived value of your brand and customers will not bother sticking around to learn more.
Reinforcing your branding–Photos should always tie in with your overall branding goal. Generic or photoshopped images tell shoppers nothing about your brand or product. Presenting a cohesive brand across all marketing fronts will reinforce a professional image and make shoppers more confident in purchasing from you.
4. A Good Photo Evokes Emotion
With countless brands and products already available for purchase, online competition is fierce. In order to convert sales, you have to do more than just show your product in good lighting. An effective photography set will also evoke emotions and set a mood that connects with shoppers.
Many of the Amazon product photos do not do their jobs of advancing nonverbal communication. Your product photography should speak to customers and draw them in instead of being just another image they glance at and then ignore. Good photos will inspire shoppers to take action and buy your product.
Raising emotions in shoppers can be achieved by using appropriate lighting, product placement and props in your photography, much like the photos below. These images work to actively engage customers by illustrating how the product should be used. Each of these images sets the mood for the customers. Shoppers can imagine using the product to make a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. And all of this is achieved by utilizing natural light and summertime fruits.
5. Professional Photographers Know Best
While it is possible to create engaging and high-quality product images on your own, a professional photographer will have more experience and the right equipment to get the job done correctly. Especially if you’re working on expanding your business, it’s often best to outsource listing elements like this to the experts. At Viral Launch, our team of photographers has worked with hundreds and hundreds of clients to produce high-quality product photography for Amazon listings.
Viral Launch photographers work directly with clients to ensure images accurately represent the product and the unique branding of each business. If you’re just getting started in the Amazon game or have little to no photography experience, hiring a professional might be the best choice for you. This will ensure you get high-quality photos that work to convert sales.
Build Your Business
Product photography is just one component of a successful Amazon listing. While shoppers base many of their purchase decisions on images, you still need the rest of the components in order to make money. On Amazon, you must do everything well in order to do anything well. Consult with the professionals at Viral Launch to learn more about how photography and listing optimizations work hand in hand to promote sales of your Amazon product. We’re here to help guide you on the path to Amazon success!