On Monday, Amazon announced an upcoming change that will affect plenty of product listings. Starting July 17, 2021, Amazon will no longer support HTML tags in the product description of product detail pages.
You can view the entire statement from Seller Central below:
In order to provide security for our customers as well as versatility to list products on non-HTML devices, after July 17, 2021, we will stop supporting the use of HTML tags in the product description on product detail pages. Please refrain from using HTML content on detail pages as outlined on our Product detail page rules 260 Help page.
We encourage you to update any product detail page for your listings with an HTML tag. You can use Seller Central or your usual channel for such updates.
Any product description containing HTML tags in the product detail page which are not supported after July 17, 2021, will stop showing HTML formatting. For example, if you use HTML tags in one line of a product description, the line might be removed or shown without HTML formatting, depending on the usage of the tag.
The statement reads somewhat confusing, especially as the Product Detail Page guide referenced mentions that line breaks (written as “</br>”) can be included in the description as a special case. HTML line breaks in listings, as they break up text into smaller, more readable text blocks.
How It Appears
Additionally, the inclusion of “non-HTML devices” is a headscratcher, as most devices can read and display HTML markups without issue.
Nonetheless, Amazon sellers should prepare accordingly.
While product descriptions don’t make a significant impact on keyword indexation, it allows an excellent opportunity to describe your product, explain crucial product details, and close the deal with a customer.
If segments of your product description are removed or displayed in an undesirable manner, it could consequently lead to lower conversions. Making sure your product description answers potential customer questions, highlights differentiating points, and is reader-friendly can certainly go a long way toward giving your product listing an edge over the competition. Any failure to do so invites customers to click off and check out your market rivals.
Of course, we’ll continue to monitor the situation as more information becomes available regarding the update. The announcement serves as the latest update in what’s been a rather busy week for Amazon news. Stay tuned for more regarding HTML tags on Amazon.
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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
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.
Keywords are what set your listing up to rank well and sell well, but there’s a catch. People also need to understand what your product is and what it does from your copy. How can you inform shoppers and do Amazon search optimization at the same time? Join hosts Cameron Yoder and CEO Casey Gauss for this conversation with Viral Launch Lead Copywriter Yale Schalk. And find out how to set up the best possible listing with these 3 Amazon SEO tips.
Contrary to common belief, getting ranking on Amazon is not about lowering your BSR. It’s about getting sales attributed to a keyword. Keywords are what set your listing up to rank well and sell well, but there’s a catch. People also need to understand what your product is and what it does from your copy. How can you inform shoppers and capture all your product’s keywords at the same time?
I’m Cameron Yoder, your host for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. In this show we leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 30,000 product launches and our experience working with 6500 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, more importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.
In today’s episode I sit down with our Lead Listing Specialist, Yale Schalk, to talk about the best practices for writing an Amazon listing. We’ll talk about the keyword research, writing for Amazon SEO and how to convert shoppers. Let’s jump in.
So okay, we have Yale in with us today. Casey’s also sitting in on this.
What’s up, guys?
So we’re talking to Yale today about listing optimizations. First, Yale, thank you so much for coming in on the show. How are you feeling about being on the podcast?
Awesome. Awesome, Cam. Really, really excited to debut on our expertly-produced podcast, which by the way I just want to say that everyone should be subscribed to, and you know, every morning you wake up just find your nearest rooftop and shout it and tell everyone. But yeah, excited for that and really excited to kind of jump into some key information that I really know is going to help a lot of people out there.
Yale is also already on the ball with recommending the podcast, which is great. I love it. Yale is our Lead Listing Specialist, okay? And he’s been a veteran writer with 10 years of experience writing about retail products. So he’s written for brands like Nike, Adidas and Reebok and is known in the office for his excellent taste in sneakers, okay? So actually Yale, what is your favorite pair of sneakers?
Oh, wow, that’s – it’s literally an impossible thing to answer. You know, obviously, I was raised on Michael Jordan and Air Jordan sneakers, so I can at least narrow it down to that, but from there it’s all bets are off. There’s just too many.
Well, all that being said, Yale is definitely deserving to be on this podcast talking about listing optimization when it comes to Amazon specifically. But before we dive into Amazon-specific SEO and Amazon-specific listing ops, I want Yale – Yale, can you touch on just SEO in general, SEO as a practice?
Absolutely, for sure. So you know, when people think of, you know, the term SEO or, you know, properly search engine optimization, you know they think of Google, right? They think of, you know, their minds go right to Google because Google is this ubiquitous thing that is just out there. So but SEO is not confined to Google. You know, it’s like if you’ve ever seen the movie The Matrix, you know at the end when Neo sees everything in just this digital rain, and it’s just like streaming lines of green code everywhere, you know, I like to think of SEO like that. I think it’s, you know, it’s very much in the fiber of anything that you search on the internet, and it’s necessary, you know, any time that you type something into a search bar.
Yeah, The Matrix.
I love that analogy. If you haven’t seen The Matrix you just missed out on a great analogy.
Watch The Matrix, buy some sneakers, and then you’ll be set. So that’s general SEO, right? So can you move further maybe into like, I don’t know, Amazon or Google specifically?
Absolutely. So the way it works is basically that, you know, the input for a search is almost always language, and then the search algorithm uses that language to return a set of results, and then to get your content in that results list you have to give the algorithm basically what it wants. So then that begs the question, okay, so what does the algorithm want? In terms of Google SEO, that’s about proving credibility with, you know, relevant headings and meta-descriptions and links, and of course language for Amazon. It’s different from the standard SEO set up in that the results exist within Amazon’s platform. You know, for example, you don’t navigate to a different domain when you click on a result. So Google looks for site credibility with links and traffic, while Amazon looks for language, you know, or specifically keywords. So it’s really important for everyone to keep in mind that Amazon is really its own ecosystem when it comes to how searches are conducted and how those searches help determine the results you get when you or, you know, your potential customer, is looking for something.
And I think it’s important to mention that – I think this is a stat from either 2016 or 2017, but over I think it’s like 55% of product searches begin on Amazon. So when it comes to king of search engines, when it comes to product searches, I think Amazon takes the crown.
And that’s something I don’t think a lot of people think of, simply put, Amazon as a search engine. But in fact, like you said, it is, and listings in a sense really are all about SEO when it comes to Amazon specifically. So Yale, would you be able to introduce to us just some tips, maybe three basic tips that you have for everyone when it comes to listing optimization and keyword optimization on Amazon?
Absolutely, for sure. And you know, I think the good set up for this is like, you know, obviously everyone wants the highest visibility for their product. You know, ideally that’s page one. That’s what everyone wants to be on Amazon. So you really cannot afford to overlook the importance of keywords when assembling your product listing. You know you can have, and you know I never tire of saying this, but like you can have breathtaking photos, and you can have the most exquisite product description, but you know, without the proper keywords and the correct placement of those keywords in the listing, you know you’re basically – you know you’ve got a Ferrari with no engine. You know, it’s looking amazing, but it’s not going anywhere. So I just really want to emphasize, you know, first off that, you know, you can’t just throw information together and hope something happens. You know, I can tell you that it won’t. It doesn’t work that way. So it’s vital to get that keyword foundation in place.
So I would say for the first tip is plurals, plurals of words. So Amazon says that they account for plurals of words. So if you search swaddle blanket, you know, you’ll get different results than if you search swaddle blankets. So some listings will have, you know, both the plural and the singular form of the keyword while others won’t. So when someone searches blankets it’s, you know, hard for the algorithm to determine, you know, what exactly that person is expecting. So the algorithm is very smart, but it has its blind spots, and so one of the blind spots is it doesn’t know, you know, for example for this example that, you know, if you’re looking for multi-packs of swaddle blankets or if they’re looking for all the swaddle blankets on Amazon, so having both forms of the word, you know, or multiple forms of those words, those keywords, is really important for you to show up in any search related to your main search terms.
So tip number one, overall is suggesting to use both the singular and plural form of your primary keyword, or how many keywords do you think this would apply to?
I would say as long as you’re starting with your root keyword you want to kind of work in maybe the most common – and this is something that you’ll be able to kind of see in your keyword research, but and you’ll be able to notice patterns of what people are searching for, but usually you’ll just find like those simple little variations, those little, like little degrees of that root word, you know, just plurals and just different tenses of the word that people might throw in there when they’re searching for products.
I think it’s important to mention also, I think one common mistake, and I don’t know if this is one of the tips, but you know, people always want to know am I indexed for this word. So just because you’re indexing for a word does not mean that you’re driving the same amount of keyword power or keyword juice, however you want to refer to it, to those words. So this is an important concept, and you’ll hear more about it.
Let’s go on to tip number two.
Tip number two. Tip number two is keyword stuff the title. Yeah, you heard that right. Keyword stuff the title. So there’s been – this has always sort of been a philosophical debate on, you know, are you going to be rewarded if you keyword stuff? Are you going to be penalized if you keyword stuff? But I can tell you in the case of Amazon, in the Amazon world you’re going to be rewarded. So the title is definitely the most important, you know, real estate in your listing in terms of SEO. So you should really use as many keywords as you can fit, you know, without compromising quality or under-serving your character limit or overstepping that. I mean when you overstep that’s definitely something you’ll be penalized for, but so you know, what do I mean by compromising quality? So you know you have to make sure that you’re showing shoppers the information they’re looking for, like you know, things like ounces or fluid ounces might be important to consider, you know, if they’re considering price, or you know, certain features like dimensions or certifications like organic are there to include. So you know, this tip is really about just including as many super relevant keywords, you know, while leaving just enough space for those important, you know, product tidbits that people are looking for.
And I always like to say, you know, I would much rather have, you know, a 3% lower click through rate because my title isn’t as beautiful but rank for, you know, twice as many keywords or three times as many keywords simply because I’m putting them in the title versus having that super short, you know, elegant, you know, four-word title that has like my brand name and just a few other words. Let’s say it’s a frying pan, so brand, you know, stainless steel frying pan. There are so many additional words that you need to be including in your title to maximize the position and total volume of keywords that you can rank for; well, rank well for. And so yeah, I would much rather have this longer title, rank for so many more keywords than you have this beautiful title that may drive slightly higher click through rates.
Yale, what’s your opinion on having the brand name in a title?
It’s awesome that you mentioned that because I was just going to follow up on that point. Yeah, a thing that I really want to talk about for a second is not insisting on including brand names in titles. I empathize with, you know, every seller that, you know, wants to do that. I mean, everyone wants to have the competitive advantage and get their brand out there, but I would say that you have to apply a pass/fail in terms of your brand name. So look at it this way. You just have to treat it as another keyword, and if there aren’t a ton of people searching for your brand name, then it’s always a good rule of thumb to substitute in an actual, you know, high-volume search term instead of your brand name. And I know that there might be a conception out there that, you know, people aren’t going to see your brand and you know, that’s something like that’s going to be a disadvantage for you, but you know, don’t worry. It will show up – you know, your brand is going to show up in the subheading. You just want to make sure that you make the most use of the title.
Yeah, to summarize it, people, you know, aren’t searching your brand name. If they are searching your brand name they’re going to see it in the search results. It says, you know, by brand in most categories. And even if not, if they’re searching for your brand name they should know what your packaging looks like because you should have cohesive labels or packaging or whatever in your photos. They will recognize your brand. You should not be concerned about them recognizing or not recognizing your brand. And by including that brand name in your title you’re just wasting super, super valuable character space.
I think the question should be what more valuable words you can put into your title that would take the place of your brand name.
Yale, what is tip number three?
Tip three, prioritize keywords and then write your copy. Yeah, this is another thing that I’ve seen a lot where maybe sellers get focused on, you know, really fleshing out their copy, their listing, and they’re focused on, you know, stuffing as much information and even sort of messaging, you know, that they’ve come up with into the listing. But I would say that, as we’ve said, you know keyword is king, and you really have to sort of like lay that foundation first and then, you know, work in your copy from there. You know, again, it seems to make a lot of sense to look at your listing from your sort of branding ideas and everything like that. But you’ve got to get the keywords right, and then you know, then you can provide the insight and wrap everything around that.
I think this fits well, actually, with your second tip, which was keyword stuffing the title. In a lot of cases I think people have a rough time picturing where – and correct me if I’m wrong, Yale, but people have a tough time picturing where to get started with keywords, and so maybe they’ll write – they’ll try to eloquently put together like a string of words that connect well, maybe have some keywords in, and then they’ll try to like piece together other keywords that they want to put into the sentence that they’ve developed.
When in this case you’re saying like no, start with the foundation, like with your title. Let’s say with your title. Start with the foundation of as many keywords of like a bunch of high-end keywords, keywords that are going to convert or have a lot of traffic leading to them. Start with that foundation of all those keywords, and then maybe piece them together. Is that what you’re saying?
Oh, for sure, for sure. I mean you really do, like we said, with the title you really have to get the right keywords up there upfront and you know obviously try to assemble those in, you know, the most beautiful way that you can and sort of balance, you know, walk that line of getting the keywords and getting the product information up there for people, and then from there it’s really just a matter of prioritizing.
Yeah, and this is what I was kind of alluding to earlier that I didn’t want to go into because I didn’t want to steal Yale’s thunder, but just because you are indexed for a word does not mean you are driving the same amount of ranking power. So what this means is just because you have, you know, keyword XYZ in your description that yes, you – or a bullet point or whatever – yes, you will be indexing for that, but just because you are indexing because the word is in a bullet point doesn’t mean you’re driving the optimal amount of power, and you’ll drive that optimal amount of power by having it in the title, preferably the highest volume keywords at the beginning.
Yale, can you touch on just a little bit about how much energy people should be putting into their bullets, into their descriptions or their backend keywords? I think a lot of people tend to freak out about the bullets as much as they do the title. And you already mentioned that the title is going to be your primary keyword ranking driver, but where are the other aspects of a listing when coming into this?
Oh wow, yeah, so you the – yeah, of course, like we said, the title is obviously the most important part, and you know, where the keywords are really prioritized there. But from there I think the most important point for crafting your listing is to keep in mind that buyers by and large are on Amazon to basically scan information. They’re not there to, you know, read novel length listings, and a lot of the times yes, you know, obviously your product information is obviously helpful when they’re, you know, comparing products and trying to make a decision. But a lot of the time they’re just scanning that information, and they need it very succinctly. They need it very concisely, and that’s really going to a lot of times be the difference between, you know, someone adding your product to cart and checking out and, you know, maybe passing over and going with someone else. So yeah, definitely keep that in mind. You know, think of it in terms of a priority list. So the title is the number one priority, then the bullets number two, product description three, and so on. So yeah, definitely assemble your information accordingly.
Yale, is there anything else that you’d want people listening to know, even if it’s just in general, about listing ops or if you’d want to summarize in any way? What more, what else do people need to know?
I would say, you know, I think the thing that comes to mind most for me is that each segment of the Amazon selling process is so important. And you know, that’s really why Viral Launch exists. You know, we exist to help you get that right. You know, so I would say use our software. Get in touch with us to do your product photography. Get in touch with us to do your listings. You know, we really have – we’ve really refined and really perfected the entire process. So you know, we really are here to help you be successful.
That’s great. Casey, do you have anything to add?
No, Yale’s just been killing it. You know I think that too many people – you know, I’ve definitely seen plenty of people say, you know, I don’t have time for keyword research. I don’t have time to put into my listing so I just threw something up, and I’m moving on. Essentially people just look at it as just another box to check, and the thing is like Yale mentioned at the very beginning of the listing, or sorry, the podcast, the listing is absolutely critical to achieving success on Amazon, especially as you continue to enter more and more competitive markets. The greater the level of competition, the greater your listing needs to be from a, you know, keyword structure standpoint. So if this is not on point it’s going to be so much more difficult for you to drive rankings, to sustain rankings and to drive sales. And so if you aren’t willing to take the time to invest in this listing, you know, I think your Amazon FBA journey is going to be pretty difficult.
This is one of those – it’s another one of those no-brainers. It goes with photos. Like why would you not have the best photos possible? Why would you not have the best listing optimization possible? If you don’t optimize this, if you don’t put energy or effort into it, then you’re not going to get the results that you could if you would have put that time or those resources into it.
Yeah, it’s just another corner that people like to cut that really ends up biting them, you know, later.
Don’t cut corners. In this case one of those corners is listing optimization. So do not cut listing optimization.
Yeah, I got good feedback from somebody at a conference that I spoke at this weekend, and they loved the – you know, everybody’s looking for that silver bullet. And we say you don’t need a silver bullet. You need an arsenal. And one of those weapons in your armory needs to be an amazing listing.
Well thank you so much, Yale, for joining us and for providing so much valuable information on listing ops.
Well, that is all for this week. Thank you so much for listening to Follow the Data. For more insights and reliable information about how to succeed on Amazon, subscribe to the podcast and check us out on YouTube. For those of you who are looking for your next great product I have a series of product discovery walk-throughs videos on our YouTube channel that show you really how to leverage the tool. Just search Viral Launch on YouTube, go to our page and look for my face in one of the videos. Don’t forget to leave us a review and let us know what you think of the show. And if you really like the show and you like what we’re doing here at Viral Launch, tell your fellow Amazon sellers about us. We want to be a resource for sellers and the information source in this space. So please tell your friends, spread the word and share the show with other Amazon sellers.
Thank you, again, so much for listening. Feel absolutely free to hit us up on Facebook or tweet at us if you have any questions or feedback. And if you want to be featured on the show or have an Amazon related question or an idea for an episode, feel free to leave us a voicemail. Our number is 317-721-6590. Also feel free to just hit us up on Facebook or tweet at us if you want to be featured on the show, too. We can always take those questions and feature them on the show if you don’t want to call in. Until next time, remember, the data is out there.
Follow this guide and learn how to how to maximize keyword rank and drive traffic to your listing!
If you had to determine the most important aspect of an Amazon listing, what would you say?
The star rating? The photos? BSR? The description?
While all of these elements are certainly important at some capacity (and some more important than others), we believe that the most important and underrated aspect of a listing is the product’s title.
The title has tremendous ranking power for a listing. With a keyword-rich title, a product will be indexed for numerous keywords. Add some sales, and that listing can be ranking really well across hundreds, even thousands of keywords!
To illustrate this point, we’ll discuss a product launched through our Flight Crew Program. To protect our Flight Crew partner, we’ll call her Sarah.
A Title Success Story
As a part of our Flight Crew program, Sarah teamed up with Viral Launch to set up her listing for maximum exposure, clicks, and conversions. One of our talented copywriters went to work creating a listing for the product.
Knowing the importance of the product’s title, our copywriter Becca dedicated a good amount of time to crafting the title. She extensively researched related keywords and scouted out the competition to develop a strong list of keyword contenders to include in the product’s listing. We cannot stress enough the importance of thorough keyword research. Choosing the most relevant search terms could be a matter of hundreds of sales per month. Then, Becca beautifully crafted a reader-friendly title that included a diverse collection of keywords that would allow the listing to rank for a wide variety of customer searches.
While having a great listing/title is necessary, that is only half the battle. In order to achieve rank for any meaningful keywords, sales must be driven through the listing to show Amazon that your listing is highly relevant for those search terms. With that said, after applying the new content to the listing, we ran a promotional launch, driving plenty of sales, allowing the product to achieve a page 1 ranking for its target keyword. Here’s what we know: every single word in a product’s title is fair game for ranking attribution with each purchase. So, if I searched “Dog Leash” and bought the product pictured below, the listing would receive a boost in ranking for “Retractable Dog Leash” as well, since it also appears within the title.
Because the title was so strong at the time of the sales, our Flight Crew product wasn’t only on page one for the target keyword after the launch, it was ranking on page 1 for almost every single keyword associated with the product. No matter what related search term a shopper typed into Amazon, we were on page one. This provided incredible visibility! We saw a tremendous jump in organic sales after the launch, quickly reaching the 50-75 units/day mark. The remarkable thing is that the product only had a few reviews, but it was selling at the same volume organically as its highest competitors. And now, a month after the launch, the product has maintained rank. We believe these sales are attributed to being ranked so well across almost every single relevant search term. No matter what search phrase customers used to find this type of widget, they would find our flight crew product.
Amazon doesn’t show what keywords your sales came through (that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?). But if they did, I bet we would see a whole slew of different keywords that those sales were driven through. It’s pretty simple: if we didn’t have that visibility, we wouldn’t have had such tremendous sales.
Many times for long-tailed keywords, we rank first while similar products with comparable sales and weaker titles are ranking on page two or below.
How Your Amazon Title Can Make or Break You
I wish I could share some screenshots of the Flight Crew product with you just to show how truly remarkable the keyword exposure is. We’ll keep that part a secret in the best interest of our Flight Crew partner. But, let’s take a look at some other examples showing the importance of a well-written title.
Here are a couple of products with weak titles. They are short and missing many important keywords. Due to the lack of keywords, these products rank on page one for their main keyword, but they cannot be found when searching through relevant lower-volume or longer-tail keywords.
Weak Title #1:
These are just the search results that I combed through. This listing is missing out on potentially hundreds of long-tail keywords, simply because the title is lacking optimization! With the keywords from the list above, this product is missing out on almost 150,000 monthly searches! (And that’s just the data according to Merchant Words)
This title needs these simple, descriptive keywords: personal, kit, nail care, clipper, etc. If it had them, the product would receive keyword boosts with each sale. Then, the listing would begin increasing in rank for these relevant keywords. And with better keyword visibility, I’d expect overall sales to increase.
Weak Title #2:
Again, these are the few keywords that I looked through, but just from this cursory glance we can see this product is missing out on huge sales potential! With those nine keywords I listed, this seller is missing out on over 775,000 monthly searches for relevant keywords! If the title were to include these important search terms, visibility would increase exponentially with sales and so would sales opportunity!
Now we will look at a couple of products with strong titles. Although we didn’t write them, we think these sellers have done a pretty good job integrating keywords. These listings rank across almost every single relevant keyword, both big and small, similar to our Flight Crew product. For almost every related search term a shopper types into Amazon, these products are visible and are strong competitors for a purchase!
Strong Title #1:
This title isn’t perfect, but it’s a great representation of how integrating many keywords helps a listing to rank across lots of relevant search terms. It’d be nearly impossible to look through every long-tail keyword, but this product is ranking for just about each one. Whether a shopper is typing in Leg Pillow or Knee Pain Management, or even Gentle Surgery Pillow for Pain Relief, this product is likely a search result thanks to its keyword-rich title.
Strong Title #2:
Once again, these are just the keywords I looked through, but I think you’re getting the idea. The more relevant keywords a title has, the more opportunity for snatching up sales.
Now you may be asking: What’s the difference between keywords in your title and keywords in your bullet points/description?
Like we’ve discussed, keywords in the product’s title have a tremendous effect on keyword ranking. Amazon also recognizes keywords in the bullet points and description, but from our findings, they don’t receive as much ranking attribution with sales. Those keywords come into play more when actually indexing a product, and you’ll see the customer search term italicized in a search result as shown in the screenshot below. So, while it’s still extremely important to put additional keywords in your bullet points and description, you’ll want to be sure to fit as many of the most important ones in your title as possible.
Another question may be: Should I put my brand at the beginning of my title?
If people aren’t directly searching for your brand name, then no. We suggest that sellers do not put their brand name in the title (for most products). In Amazon’s Quick Start Style Guide, the title guidelines state, “Do not include information about yourself or your company. If you own the brand, put your brand information in the brand field.”
Obviously, plenty of sellers are putting their brand names in their titles without consequence. But here at Viral Launch, we would rather use those characters for an additional keyword or two, especially when customers are not searching for that specific brand. Amazon shoppers want a high-quality product at a low price, and brand is usually disregarded. But that’s the beauty of Amazon – anyone can sell, even with an unknown name!
With an unoptimized title, you are missing out on literally thousands of shoppers who are looking for your product.
Yes, a shorter title may look cleaner and soothe your OCD, but you cannot afford to miss out on those sales opportunities! Optimizing your title is step one to taking your private label business to the next level.
Your goal should be to master this aspect of your listing, integrating keywords both big and small. Set yourself up for success from the beginning with a reader-friendly, keyword-rich title that puts you in a position to SELL.
Here at Viral Launch, we’ve run over 13,000 launches. We’ve harnessed the knowledge learned from that data to become experts at building incredible listings. Sure, you could read all the blog posts. You could listen to all the podcasts. You could go to all the conferences and listen to all of the gurus. But you cannot match this kind of experience with these kinds of results.
We’d love to help you take your private label business to the next level with a fully-optimized listing and a title that will increase your sales potential. While anyone can use these tools to cover the basics of Amazon listing optimization, you can always use a recommended Amazon product listing service to optimize your listing!
We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to comment below!
“67% of consumers consider image quality “very important” when making a purchase online” -BigCommerce.
Searching through products on Amazon is a highly visual experience. Try shopping with your eyes closed…kinda difficult. That is a little extreme, but imagine if there were no images, just text. Would you feel comfortable making a purchase without knowing what the item looks like? When scrolling through search results, customers are looking at your product images quickly judging whether or not the product is exactly what they are looking for. They are paying attention to how the product makes them feel, and depending on the item, what others will think about the product.
Here is an example:
How does this product’s images make you feel? When looking at the photos are you convinced this product is going to make your home more “homey”? Is it going to add to the ambience you are searching for?
What if you were scrolling and then saw this product? Based solely on these photos which product would you buy? At the very least, which are you more likely to click on to find out more about?
You are losing out on serious sales if a competitor’s product appears to:
Be more attractive
Better satisfy the customer’s need(s).
Be of a higher quality
These are all obtainable simply through high quality product photography.
Why We HAD To Begin Offering Product Photography
The reason we HAD to begin offering product photography is because we are seeing so many of our customers hit page 1 for their main keywords, but they were being devoured by their competitors because they didn’t have a listing that was ready to convert. Their photos and aesthetics were sub-par and could not compete against the well converting products that already had an established footing. The days of throwing up mediocre photos and being able to generate tons of sales are over. Why? Because competition has pushed the market to demand better design, aesthetics, listings, etc.
Once we noticed the dramatic increase in sales our clients achieved by improving their photos, offering product photography became one of our top suggestions. The problem was, sellers would find “professional photographers” to shoot their products and come back to us with photos that were of the same poor inconsistent quality. This happened over and over. So we knew we had to take matters into our own hands to help our clients overcome their competition and see true success in the market. We have spent countless hours researching and developing our photography services to help you drive more clicks and sales, while improving your customer’s experience. The results have been incredible.
We are hyper-focused on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Breathtaking Amazon product photography is one tool you MUST have in order to reach new heights of success now and in the future.
To help you improve sales and upgrade your product’s photos, we have a 55% off discount lasting only 24 hours!
Please take advantage of this deal. Not for our sake, but for yours. At this price, it’s not a money maker for us. Images are so important, and we really want to help you move your sales forward with an upgrade to your listing!
We will be back tomorrow with another great deal!
Wishing you the best in your entrepreneurial endeavors!