Ep. 013 Keyword Podcast: Listing Optimization

January 16, 2017
Ep. 013 Listing Optimization

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Show Notes:

In most cases optimizing your listing will do more to increase sales than any other activity you do. This means making sure your title, your photos, your keywords are all working together to help shoppers discover your product and then convert them into sales.

We’re taking a look at several ways to optimize your listings by helping you focus on what’s the most important.

Our Amazon Insiders tell us the most important elements of your product page to optimize are the content and details shoppers see when your product listing page loads. This is called above the fold and includes things like your title, pictures, review score and bullet points.

“Everything that Amazon has that’s above the fold which is what’s visible on the screen when you first load the detail page is the most important information,” says Tim Hughes, former senior product manager of the Marketplace at Amazon.

“Then as you start scrolling down you start seeing a lot of other stuff, now that stuff is important, if helps with conversion but it’s not as important as all the stuff up top,” Tim says.

Amazon has rigorously tested what is most important to converting shoppers. If you heat map a product page, almost all the actions a shopper takes is above the fold, even if that page as A+ content. Everything below the fold, or what shoppers see when they scroll down, still needs to be optimized, but it’s secondary to above the fold.

The title and description play a dual role in helping convert shoppers once they are shopping on your product page, but it also helps shoppers discover your product page using keywords.

Tim tells us that Amazon started limiting titles to 200 characters for most categories because sellers were trying to game the system by bombarding titles with keywords and the titles ended up being two or three lines long. It looked messy.

“When you’re writing your title, your description and putting together your listing, make sure you’re putting together all those keywords that people would be searching for thinking about when they go to discover products,” Tim says.

But since you have a limited number of words to pick, you have to be smart on picking keywords that drive the most sales. There’s several tools that can help you do this. There’s one called Scope by Seller Labs which tells you which keywords drive the most sales. It’s a step up from another tool called Merchant Words which will only tell you impressions. Our Insiders do recommend using a data source to help tells you what keywords belong in your title and description.

Now another area above the fold that many sellers are likely not taking full advantage of is the image gallery.

Here’s a powerful statistic that you need to know when it comes to images: 90% of Amazon shoppers who purchase a product look at all the images and videos above the fold. So you need to ask yourself, are you using all of those image slots in the gallery and do you have the best possible content there? If any slots are blank, there is room for improvement. You also want images that best show your product.

Amazon has very strict rules on the first image slot and requires a white background, but Amazon is far less restrictive of what content can go into those other slots. So that’s where you can be more creative and really showcase your product.

Another above the fold area to look at is your overall review score of your product, which appears as a star rating above the fold. This plays a significant role in affecting purchase.

Amazon banned the use of review clubs in the North American Marketplace last October. Amazon is testing their own review platform for third party merchants, one that they can fully control. That should roll out sometime in 2017 with the launch of Brand Central. Amazon has not announced when that launch will happen.

There are a few details Amazon has posted on their website about their upcoming review club. One important detail is that they will limit the number of reviews a product page can get through the club. So even using their platform, you will not be able to generate hundreds of reviews by giving away products.

We know reviews and a high product rating are important to get sales. So our Insiders tell us you now have to work even harder to get reviews. You’ll need to solicit product reviews from your current buyers. Our Insiders recommend using an autoresponder such as Feedback Genius. You’ll also need to provide great customer service to prevent bad reviews and comment on the bad reviews when they do appear.

Amazon has just rolled out a major change for third party sellers with Enhanced Brand Content, also referred to as A+ Content. This allows merchants to add additional graphical elements to their page. Tim says this is exciting, but it’s still less important than you think.

“It’s really not super important to make your listing, your description section to look pretty,” Tim says, “What’s really important is that it contains the information to help describe your product and help people discover your product.”

But despite not being super important, it still has an impact. Amazon would not roll out Enhanced Content to all third-party merchants if it didn’t increase conversion. In a future episode we are going to dive deeper into Enhanced Brand Content and the steps you need to do to properly optimize it.

jonathan - January 16, 2017

What is the impact on search of the keywords loaded on the backend through Seller Central?

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