amazon optimization

The Essential 9-Step Amazon Optimization Checklist

keith villano Product Listing Optimization, Profit Peak, Split Testing Best Practices 1 Comment

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You’ve invested a significant amount of time and effort to get up and running on Amazon. Wouldn’t you just hate to be missing out on daily sales due because of an “inefficient” product listing? Well, don’t neglect Amazon Optimization!

With the right knowledge and by using best practices, you can attract more traffic and increase the conversion rate for your products. These changes will not take long to make but they could significantly increase your selling power.

If you’re selling products in high demand markets, this is the best way to achieve a competitive edge. The difference poorly and well-optimized listings can be night and day in many cases.

But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a one-time set-and-forget process. You will need to revisit your products periodically if you wish to stay on top in this game.

We created a 9-step Amazon optimization checklist to simplify this essential process for you. It highlights all the key areas and current best practices you need to know to optimize your listings. Plus, we also included extra tools to give you a greater advantage over your competitors.

Before we get stuck in, we’ll quickly cover what you should aim to achieve using this optimization process.

 

Maximizing Revenue With Amazon Optimization

Most FBA sellers do not perform this kind of systematic optimization on their listings. Nor are they armed with the latest Amazon best practices and tricks. So, going the extra mile now will help you leapfrog your competitors.

The most immediate benefits you stand to gain:

  • Amazon Keyword Ranking – for increased sessions and sales
  • Higher Amazon Sales Rank – for further increased sessions and sales
  • Higher Conversion Rates – for leading to more sales and revenue
  • Overall Increased Profits 

Amazon optimization enables you to get the most out of every product listing. Here’s how to get started:

 

The 9-Step Amazon Optimization Checklist

We’ve structured these tips in a checklist format. First 5 steps are internal changes to product listing itself, then additional 4 steps are external.

1. Perform Keyword Research + Enter Backend Keywords

First and foremost, you need a list buyer keywords to drive highly-relevant traffic to your product. These keywords must be reflected in upcoming sections of your listing so you are indexed by Amazon’s search engine.

Successful optimization will trigger dramatic and sudden changes to Amazon keyword ranking- within hours in most cases. As your rank increases product visibility is boosted, offering an opportunity for greater daily sessions and sales.

Check out our Amazon SEO Tactics post for a full explaination on why and how we perform keyword

All your keywords should be entered in the backend of your product page through Amazon Seller Central. These non-public fields tell Amazon you wish to be indexed for those keywords.

Best practices for entering Amazon backend keywords:

  • Fill in All Fields – There are 5 fields to populate and only 250 characters are supposedly indexed*
  • Don’t Waste Characters  – You don’t need to use punctuation (including commas), repeated words, singular or plural words- Amazon already has this covered.
  • Only Use Spaces – Nothing else needs to be placed between each word.

* There is actually still quite a bit of confusion about these character limits. It used to be 5000 characters but recent announcements state it’s been reduced to just 250. But it’s not been confirmed if this is across all fields or on a per field basis. Interestingly, it still allows you to enter more than 250 characters per field without refusing the entry. Also, many sellers are claiming to rank for keywords they entered outside these limits.

We recommend sticking with 250 characters per field. If you do want to try and exceed this, front-load your best keywords to make sure they are definitely indexed.

2. Write an Attractive Product Title

For most categories, you’ll have a 250-character limit for titles. Some categories have longer and shorter limits. But we suggest you always make use of all available characters.

Most up-to-date and best practices for writing Amazon product titles:

  • Write For Humans Not Robots – Don’t get so caught up trying to optimize for Amazon’s algorithm that you forget about your actual shoppers. Your main focus is attracting their eyes and clicks. Don’t stuff in strings of keywords!
  • Add Unique Value or Benefits – This is your chance to stand out as different from the rest. Think about your target audience, what are they looking for? Perhaps they are more eco-friendly?
  • Include Primary Keywords – Since keywords in your title have the greatest influence of all, get your best 1-3 keywords in here. Make sure they are highly relevant and can fit naturally into your title.

 

3. Go All Out With Product Images

You can have up to 9 product images including your main image. Again, make sure you take advantage of them all.

Since we are visually driven by nature, product images are very powerful for catching shopper’s attention and creating a good first impression.

Best practices for optimized Amazon product images:

  • Optimal Size or Greater – Make sure your images are 1000px wide by 500px height minimum. More is better, as this will further enhance the clarity of the zoom feature that shoppers love to use.
  • Get Professional Shots – It’s worth investing in high-quality, professional photographs. Make sure you get different angles, zoomed in and out. After all, these are going to have a huge influence on both click-through rates and conversions.
  • Stick With Amazon’s Regulations – Main images must have a plain white background, without infographics or watermarks. Otherwise, Amazon may eventually ask you to remove it.
  • Include Lifestyle Images – Showing the product in use is quite effective for attracting buyers. It’s also a chance to demonstrate the scale and size of the product.
  • Include Infographics –  Create helpful infographics to further demonstrate the benefits of your product visually.

 

4. Create Benefit-Rich Bullet Points (Product Features)

These 5 bullet points are your chance to highlight the features and benefits your product has to offer. There’s a 1000 character limit to do this.

Best practices for writing optimized Amazon bullet point features:

  • Why Buy Yours? – Imagine yourself as a potential buyer; what do you need to know? Why should you buy this product? Tell visitors why they should buy yours over your competition’s product.
  • Order By Importance – Readers tend to skim, so make sure you deliver the best stuff first.
  • Answer Any Objections – Try to address potential objections now and show your product as the best choice.
  • Include Warranties – Standing behind your product with a strong guarantee can decrease buyer uncertainty. Even though they’re already covered by Amazon there are still benefits to playing it up!
  • Provide Solutions – If your product solves a specific problem, explain exactly how it will help the buyer.

 

5. Craft a Narrative Product Description

Product description allows up to 2000 characters. Use it to elaborate on key features and seduce visitors with your copywriting skills.

Best practice and tips for optimizing Amazon product descriptions.

  • Easy to Read – Keep the language simple, use short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Benefits Over Features – Don’t bore them with technical specifications. This is where you can fully explain how and why your product will improve their lives. Try to make readers feel like they NEED your product.
  • Create a Narrative – Getting creative and use a storytelling approach also works very well here.
  • Go Easy On Keywords – By all means, try to get most of your keywords in here. But not at the expense of the reader. There’s no benefit to stuffing keywords in here and will become difficult to read.

Check out our ultimate Amazon Copywriting & Product Description Template for more guidance.

6. Get More Positive Product Reviews

Reviews offer credibility, trust and social proof that’s crucial for driving sales. If you have more positive reviews than similar products it can drastically increase click-through and conversion rates.

You want as many reviews as possible while keeping your overall rating in the 4-5 star area. But frustratingly, it’s become much harder to get reviews as Amazon tightens their policies. So we’ve got to work a little harder to encourage buyers to come back and leave reviews.

Here are some the best strategies for getting more Amazon product reviews:

  • Use Auto-Responder Systems – Create fully automated email campaigns to communicate with buyers and encourage them to leave reviews. Jump Send is our top recommendation for this.
  • Inform & Follow Up – Inform your customers when they should expect their products, follow up, make them feel valued and then ask for honest feedback.
  • Don’t Break the Rules – Incentivized reviews before purchasing are a big no-no. Review groups of the past are also now very dangerous. Don’t break Amazon’s rules regarding reviews or you risk losing both reviews and potentially your account!

Here’s the latest Amazon Seller Policy regarding reviews:

Reviews are important to the Amazon Marketplace, providing a forum for feedback about product and service details and reviewers’ experiences with products and services—positive or negative. You may not write reviews for products or services that you have a financial interest in, including reviews for products or services that you or your competitors sell. Additionally, you may not provide compensation (including free or discounted products) for a review. Review solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited. You may not ask buyers to modify or remove reviews.”

Your Amazon product listing should be in pretty good shape by now. But while you’re here, let’s take it to the next level!

 

7.  Crank Up Amazon PPC Campaigns (Short Term)

Amazon Pay-Per-Click can also be used to quickly boost sales, increasing keyword and sales rankings. If you’re struggling to rank your primary keywords, consider creating a “rank boosting” campaign.

That is, aggressive manual PPC campaigns using your keyword with Exact and Phrase match.

Setting the bids higher will help you catch more sessions and potential sales. It is not always going to be profitable, nor suitable for as a longterm campaign. But you can use it as needed to quickly boost sales and keyword ranking in a matter of days.

When you achieve a high ranking, you’ll have much greater exposure. Once the PPC campaign is switched off, you will need to achieve enough organic sales to hold your new position. i.e. your product is making a competitive number of daily sales for its position.

Otherwise, you may need to run this campaign periodically to prevent it from falling back down.

 

8. (Secret Sauce #1) – Start Split Testing

Even when you feel you’ve fully optimized your listing, Split Testing can still offer further refinement.

Running two test variants against each other with a single element changed is the quickest way to measure optimization efforts. This includes pricing, titles, images, bullets, descriptions and backend keywords.

We’ve covered explained this process in greater detail in our Amazon Split Testing post.

Split testing does take considerable time and effort. But we have simplified this process by using our own unique Amazon Optimization Tools. Forget daily recording and calculations, use Splitly to do it all while you sleep.

We’ve seen incredible results from many of our users, including doubling their average daily sales in one case. So don’t miss out!

 

9. (Secret Sauce #2) – Use Amazon Compliant Launch Platforms

Here’s another secret weapon for you hungry FBA sellers out there!

Jump Send provides a powerful way to launch and grow Amazon revenues. One key feature is their marketplace full of ready-to-buy shoppers to run quick promotions.

With a surge of purchases available on demand, you can boost sales velocity and increase ranking at the drop of a hat. Their platform is 100% Amazon compliant and supports multiple international Amazon markets.

 

Now Over to You

We really hope you found this Amazon optimization checklist useful. We know keeping up to date with Amazon’s latest best practices is a pain, so we try to keep our readers well informed.

While competition is as fierce as ever, great success is still available for those who work little harder (or smarter). If you’re reading our blog then you’re likely doing both!

Do you have any Amazon optimization related tips or questions? We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you soon.

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