Product Listing Optimization Best Practices For Amazon SEO And PPC

Ranking well in Amazon’s search engine algorithm is incredibly important for sellers and having a good product listing is the first step towards achieving success on the platform. Product listing optimization is done partly for our customers and partly for the algorithm, in a way where it works positively towards boosting your Amazon SEO and organic rankings.

Great listing titles don’t just entice shoppers to click-through and purchase, they are also incredibly important for Amazon SEO. With a well-founded strategy, sellers will benefit from better organic ranking, sales, and advertising results.

In this article, we’ll go through the rules and best practices for creating winning product titles and bullet points including how these can impact your Amazon advertising.

Product Title Must-Haves

In the past, having poor listing text would result in poor click-through and conversion rates. While that still holds true, Amazon also rolled out new updates to their title guidelines that will make non-compliant product titles nearly impossible to find in search results. Overall, the implications of poor listing text have escalated from sub-par results and lost potential to absolutely no results at all.

Before discussing what elements your product titles should have, we need to explain what your titles must-have. The following are requirements set forth by Amazon, and ignoring them could kill your listing’s SEO.

  • Capitalization
    • Capitalize the first letter of each word.
    • Do not use ALL CAPS.
    • Conjunctions (and, or, for) and articles (the, a, an) should not be capitalized.
    • Don’t capitalize prepositions with fewer than five letters (in, on, over, with).
  • Numbers and symbols
    • Use numerals (“2” instead of “two”)
    • Spell out measurements ( “6 inches” not “6”” )
    • Don’t use symbols, such as ~ ! * $ ? _ ~ { } [ ] # < > | * ; / ^ ¬ ¦
    • Don’t use Type 1 High ASCII characters (Æ, ©, ô, etc.)
  • Product information
    • Include relevant product information such as type of product.
    • Include the size and color in child ASINs for variations (see below).
    • Don’t include the price or promotional messages, such as “sale” or “free shipping”.
    • Don’t use subjective commentary, such as “Hot Item” or “Best Seller”.
    • Your merchant name for Brand or Manufacturer information should not be included unless your product is Private Label.

Product Title Best Practices For SEO

Generally, Amazon wants products to match the formula of ‘Brand + Model + Product Type’. For example, a listing title for a pencil may be: ‘Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencil’. With the concise title above, the product is really only in a position to index for the branded traffic (ignoring product description and other text-based listing fields). Since we are able to utilize up to 200 characters in the listing title, we likely want to expand upon that for SEO and alignment with how customers search.

Aligning your listing titles in a more logical manner with how customers search in Amazon is one of the most important aspects of SEO. For example, if we are selling a pink #2 pencil, we would definitely want to include the color in the listing title – it is a unique attribute and we want to encourage traffic from shoppers interested in pink pencils while weeding out shoppers interested in standard yellow pencils. In such a case, we may update the listing title to the following: ‘Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencil, Pink’.

One of the best sources of information to use in your listings are advertising Search Term Reports. If you are running sponsored products ads, pull a search term report and sort by sales high to low. Examine the search terms with the highest sales, conversion rates, and click-through rates (CTR). Your ad data gives real visibility into what customers search when they buy your products. This data can be a gold mine for SEO.

Other Product Title Best Practices:

  • Include the highest priority keywords at the beginning of the title (if possible, from actual search data); Keywords in your title have a large effect on Amazon SEO and customer click-through rate
  • Don’t over-stuff keywords. Your title should include the most relevant keywords that you want to rank for, not a string of loosely related keywords. Favor quality over quantity and readability.
  • Include 1+ key benefit(s) or differentiator(s)
  • If for a specific audience, make sure to include it (e.g. for babies, for dogs, for kids, for women, etc.)

Bullet Point Overview

Much like the listing title, bullet points (or key product features) are very important for Amazon SEO. That is, the curated selection of keywords you use in your bullets will be used for matching shopper searches to listing text and having the products display in search results.

Your bullet points come into play after shoppers have already clicked your listing and are viewing your product detail page. Therefore, bullet points also need to convince shoppers already viewing your product page to move forward with the purchase. Use bullet points to communicate important and unique product features and to inform customers what they are purchasing.

In summary, bullet points are used to help shoppers find your products (SEO) and entice shoppers to buy the product once they click through to the product detail page.

Bullet Point Best Practices For SEO

As with product titles, there are guidelines, Amazon recommendations, and industry best practices when it comes to listing bullet points as well. In the spirit of the topic, here are each broken out as bullet points:

Amazon Guidelines

  • Measurements should be formatted like “Measures 16 by 12-1/2 by 4 inches”
  • Never abbreviate, unless it is a common industry acronym that is never spelled out
  • Don’t use symbols (like the TM symbol)
  • Always use numerals instead of spelled-out numbers

Amazon Recommended Format

  • General product description
  • Materials and construction
  • Details on the most important feature(s)
  • Details on other important feature(s)
  • Dimensions

Industry Best Practices For Good Amazon SEO

  • Relay the most important aspects of the product
    • What’s included?
    • Material & construction
    • Major features and benefits
    • Uses and users
    • Warranty
  • It’s what you say and how you say it
    • For SEO, utilize high value, searchable keywords, and synonyms
    • For SEO, avoid redundant keywords since you won’t index better by repeating keywords
    • Always utilize actual customer search data when available while selecting keywords
  • List bullets in order of importance – shoppers have short attention spans
  • Think from the shopper’s perspective
    • What should I know about the product?
    • What reservations could I have? This is where you satisfy that concern and convert to a positive
  • In some cases, you may need to say what the product isn’t
    • If you have high return rates, you may need to clarify what the product isn’t
    • If there are uses that are incompatible or items the product doesn’t include, you may need to list it in your bullet points to reduce shopper confusion
    • Remember – returns are a leading indicator for poor reviews!

Advertising Implications of Product Listing Optimization

At Ad Advance, we only do one thing – Amazon advertising – and we do it extremely well. Since we don’t optimize listings, you may be asking why we are writing an article about product titles and bullet points. Apart from wanting to help as many sellers see success as possible, listing quality has large implications for advertising success. Listing text affects advertising outcomes to a very large extent – partly due to Amazon SEO and relevancy algorithms (related to this topic, you can also review our article on how your listing conversion rate can impact your advertising performance).

When bidding keywords in Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, Amazon runs a relevancy test before inviting ads to auction. Its algorithms match customer search terms to keywords being bid. Then it determines if the ad bidding the keyword is relevant and invites the most relevant products to the auction.

Listing text alignment to the keyword and customer search term are one of the most important aspects of passing the relevancy test and getting invited to auction. With poorly constructed listings, we could be bidding 10x the market rate, but Amazon may choose to exclude the ads from auction simply due to the listing text missing critical elements. In such a case, listing deficiencies could eliminate our ability to advertise the most relevant keywords for that product.

Amazon SEO

Beyond Amazon’s relevancy algorithms, listing titles can have huge implications for advertising success simply based on how closely customer search terms align with the listing title. When someone searches for ‘Pink #2 Pencil’ and my listing title has that exact string in the first 5-8 words, the likelihood of getting a click and conversion increases dramatically. Remember, shoppers only look at products in search results for a fraction of a second, so when their search string matches a portion of the listing title closely, they are far more likely to click-through.

Summary

Amazon SEO and PPC go hand-in-hand in improving your sales. Product titles and bullets not only affect the organic ranking but they also have a huge impact on the ads receiving impressions and the overall advertising performance. Click-through rates and conversion rates improve when the listing titles align with customer search queries, which nets better advertising results and organic rankings.

It is imperative to complete product listing optimization with the top-performing keywords and we recommend taking advantage of the actual search term report from your sponsored ads to make the most out of it. By leveraging this data in listing text, sellers can drastically improve their Amazon SEO in terms of both advertising and organic performance.

If you’ve already got it covered with good quality listings and want to fully take advantage of this using advertising, we are here to help you with Amazon PPC. Schedule a free consultation with our PPC experts and we can help to take your business to the next level.