While many freelance writers are familiar with the basics of SEO, most of that knowledge is focused on how to rank for Google. But what about writing on Amazon?
Amazon accounted for 43% of all U.S. ecommerce sales in 2016. So, it’s easy to see the value of ranking highly for relevant search terms.
There are a lot of different factors that go into determining the top rank for a given search query. This post breaks down how to write a product listing has everything it needs to rank well on Amazon.
Anatomy of a Great Amazon Product Listing
There are 4 main pieces of a product listing when it comes to writing for a product listing for Amazon:
1. The title
2. Feature bullets
3. Product description
4. Hidden keywords
The title is the main feature of a product listing.
With up to 200-characters to work with, crafting a descriptive and keyword-rich title is the first step to creating a great product listing. Consider this example taken from Amazon’s Seller Support.
“A product called Laura Ashley Sophia Collection 300-Thread-Count Pillow Cases (Blue, Queen, Set of 2) is better than Blue Pillow Cases.”
Copywriters are encouraged to include not only include the product name in the title, but also the brand, product line, material, product type, color, size and quantity.
But how you structure your product title will vary depending on the product category. Amazon has a list of formatting suggestions here, but I’ve highlighted a few below.
|TV||Brand + Model Number + Product Type + (Color/Pack Size)|
|Computers||Brand + Model Number + PC Type + (Processor speed + MB of RAM + Hard Drive Size+ Optical Drive)|
|Cookware||Brand + Line + Size+ Product Type|
|Bedding||Brand + Line/Pattern + Thread Count + Material + Size + Product Type, Color|
|Small Appliances||Brand + Model Number + Model Name + Product Type, Color|
Amazon is also very clear about their standards for writing product titles and what not to do:
- Always capitalize the first letter of each word
- Always use numerals (2 vs. two)
- Never include the price
- Never use ALL CAPS
- Never include words like “sale” or “free shipping”
Feature bullets are next most prominent part of a product listing. They’re used to highlight the top 5 features you want to customers to know about.
Similar to the title, the length and format of your feature bullets will vary depending on the product type. Have a look at the difference between the #1 product for “pens” and the #1 product for “Bluetooth speaker”.
The pen has short, succinct bullets.
The speaker has long, descriptive bullets that highlight various product specs.
Some best practices for feature bullets include:
- Focus on product-specific features, like dimensions or age appropriateness
- Don’t include shipping or company information
- Separate phrases in a single bullet with a semicolon
- Don’t include the price
If you scroll to the bottom of a product listing on Amazon, you’ll see the product description. Compared to the title and feature bullets, the product description is a bit hidden away on the product listing. None the less, it can be an important part of increasing your rank on Amazon.
While product descriptions aren’t indexed by Amazon, they are a great place to provide hesitant shoppers with a bit of extra information to help close the sale. This will improve your conversion rate and sales rank, ultimately helping to improve your search rank on Amazon.
When writing product descriptions, be sure to keep the following in mind:
- Consider how you can use images or videos to communicate your product’s value
- Use full sentences and proper punctuation and grammar
- Don’t include company information such as the seller’s name or website
- Don’t include promotional language such as “free shipping”
Last, but certainly not least, are the hidden keywords. Because product listings can only be found through search if the listing contains all the search terms used, it’s important to include as many relevant keywords as possible. That’s where the hidden keyword fields come in. These fields give you a chance to add a variety of keywords that may not be appropriate to include in the title or feature bullets.
Optimizing hidden keyword blocks is a very important part of ranking well on Amazon. Unlike Google, who is very secretive about their algorithm, Amazon provides some clear tips for copywriters.
Tip 1: Hyphenate words whenever possible – Amazon’s algorithm considers all combinations of hyphenated keywords, so including “noise-canceling” would also include “noise”, “canceling”, “noise canceling” and “noise-canceling.”
Tip 2: Never repeat keywords – One of the unique aspects of A9 is that the number of times a keyword appears in a listing has no effect on how well it ranks for that keyword. This means that writers need to use the space given to include a variety of keywords, related terms and common abbreviations.
For example, let’s say you’re selling organic skin cream. Then your hidden keyword fields might be “skin cream face body hand neck facial eye” and “moisture moisturizer lotion care filler ointment cosmetic”.
There are 5 hidden keyword fields, each with a 100-character limit so use those fields well.
A Final Thought
Writing product listings for Amazon is a unique challenge. Freelancers, marketers and copywriters that master the nuances of writing for A9 will have a valuable and highly sought-after skill.
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