My biggest tip to optimize Amazon listings?
What comes to my mind is not what you’d think.
People expect to hear about repetition of search terms
or fitting in as many keywords as the character counts will allow.
But that’s not what works.
Let me explain:
Following that type of strategy when you optimize your Amazon FBA keywords on a listing can backfire, hurt your rankings, and ruin your Amazon business.
Handpicked Content for You: The Simple Quick Start Guide to Amazon FBA.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is shoving as many keywords as possible into a title, bullet, description, or Amazon Seller Central back-end (Search Terms field).
Amazon is stingy with its character counts these days, so every word matters.
Therefore, filling the back-end keywords, your listing title, and other areas with everything that possibly relates to your product means you can send unqualified traffic to your product pages.
Avoid “Bounces” on Your Listing
A bounce is when someone clicks on your listing, has a quick look, then leaves because your product isn’t what they thought it would be, Amazon takes note.
So, if you get too much traffic bouncing off your page, Amazon will begin to demote your listing in the search results.
After all, Amazon only wants to display listings that convert well and make them money. Also, your listings won’t be able to be replicated as easily by hijackers.
Because many sellers don’t understand how Amazon’s search engine works, they mistakenly assume it operates like Google.
Focus on Sales, With Amazon, Sales Are Priority #1
Here’s the thing.
Amazon’s #1 concern is sales.
That’s the biggest indicator of your listing’s success (or failure).
They want listings that are not only optimized for search but also optimized for conversions with incredible photos and descriptions.
That means keeping the customer foremost in your mind.
Here’s an example:
Let’s pretend you’re shopping for a baby swaddle blanket.
Based solely on the title, which of these (taken from actual Amazon listings) would get your click?
The top one is stuffed full of key phrases.
The shopper is completely ignored because it only repeats variations of search terms over and over.
Now the improved title at the bottom:
Offers information that customers want to know in order to encourage them to click to your listing.
- Blankets are adjustable
- Come in a 3-pack
- Are soft cotton
Focusing all your efforts on Amazon FBA keywords is also a one-sided deal.
Amazon will never purchase anything you sell.
Customers (aka humans, shoppers, buyers) are the ones with the credit cards, so you have to pay as much (or more) attention to them as you do to Amazon’s A9 search engine.
Customers are more likely to leave reviews for positive experiences. Reviews lead directly to more sales.
So, what’s the first word that comes to mind when sellers ask me about using Amazon FBA keywords to optimize product listings?
You want search terms in your title, bullets, and description, but you also need useful information that will guide the shopper to click on your listing.
Handpicked Content for You: Get Your FBA Business Ready for Tax Time (Updated 2018).
Where Should Keywords Go to Use the Available Space Most Effectively?
All the words in the title are searchable in any order.
It’s not helpful to repeat full key phrases.
Using the example above, reduce the duplication and make room for details that would be helpful to your shoppers.
Here’s one way this title could be reworked:
We recommend including one to two key phrases
Along with 2 or 3 individual keywords if there is space.
Most importantly, the title has to make sense. Confusing titles are a sure way to turn off shoppers.
2. Key Feature Bullets
Don’t repeat the same keywords or phrases you had in your product title in the bullets.
There’s no penalty if you do repeat them, but if you have other search terms to use, you’ll be better off using them.
We suggest using 1 key phrase per bullet and another 2 or 3 individual keywords if there is room. Also, if doing so doesn’t make the copy sound stupid.
3. Product Description
The product description section does not index reliably.
So, while we do sprinkle some keywords and phrases throughout this area, we don’t focus our optimization efforts heavily here.
What You Don’t Need to Include in Your Backend Search Terms Fields (and Why)
The other place to include keywords is the Search Term fields.
Don’t neglect optimizing the Seller Central back-end of the product listing. Search optimization plays a big role with Amazon FBA keywords . You have the opportunity to provide extra information that can rank your listings organically.
The best part?
You gain the opportunity to be discovered by thousands of more buyers.
Optimizing back-end keywords (as they are sometimes called) may be useful in helping guide the right kind of traffic to your listing.
Why did I bold the word “may”?
Because the Search Terms fields:
- Are not mandatory (according to Amazon)
- They are not guaranteed to be used
- And are given the least amount of weight when compared to keywords in the copy
To use the precious space with the best results possible, do not include the following in your back-end keyword fields (aka, Search Terms fields):
- Duplicates of keywords/phrases used in other areas of the listing — title, key feature bullets, description, or brand (yours or competitors’)
- Duplicate words within the Search Terms fields (crunch dog treats, chewy dog treats… use “dog treats” only once)
- Variations on capitalization or spacing such as Dog Treats vs. dog treats or 80mb vs. 80 mb
Amazon reserves the right to either use or ignore the keywords you provide in this section, so don’t expect them to make a huge difference in your listing.
The search terms that are not important enough to make it into your title, bullets, or description (the leftovers) should fall into the Search Terms section in the back-end.
Handpicked Content for You: Learn to Ship Directly from China to Amazon FBA (Shipping Guide from an Amazon Pro).
Formatting the keywords is another matter.
Using its latest round of updates, Amazon doesn’t require that keywords used in other sections (title, bullets, description, brand, UPC, etc.) be used in the Search Terms fields.
It also doesn’t need individual words to be duplicated. That means a lot of comparing in order to weed out the repeats.
For example, if your title is:
And you have 5 bullets that use the phrases:
- swaddle wrap
- swaddle blanket for toddlers
- baby wrap blanket
- snuggle wrap blanket
- baby swaddle sack
You want to remove all of those words from the Search Terms fields in order to maximize space.
That means none of these words should appear in your back-end keywords:
You get 250 characters (NOT including spaces).
If the majority of your key phrases include the words baby, swaddle, and blanket, you might not have very many keywords left that will go into your Search Terms section.
Should you fill the remaining space up with anything else that remotely applies to the product you’re selling?
No! (See the beginning of this article.)
What you can do is go a little broader. For instance, look for synonyms for “baby blanket.” You might consider:
- baby cover
- baby coverlet
- baby throw
- swaddle cover
- infant swaddle blanket
Make certain these are actual synonyms for the product you’re selling.
Go to Amazon and search for these terms.
Do you see swaddle wraps? If not, don’t use these types of phrases. They would most likely drive unqualified traffic to your page.
Handpicked Content for You: Retail Arbitrage on Amazon: What Happened When I Tried It For Myself.
Order of Importance When Optimizing Keywords In Your Amazon Listing
As you optimize your listings, remember that the order of importance for your keywords should go from the top of the page to the bottom.
- Title (most important terms)
- Feature bullets (second most important keywords)
- Description (third most important terms)
- Backend keywords/Search Terms (optional terms / leftovers)
Once you get the right flow, you should begin to see better results in Amazon’s search pages. Because you’ll be driving qualified traffic to your listings, conversions may get a boost, too!
These tips work whether your selling via retail arbitrage or private labeling. When you keep the customer first in mind.
What’s the Best Way to Learn More
Karon guides you through every step of expert-level keyword research, creating copy and optimizing your listings in her popular Amazon Product Description Boot Camp.
Check Out The Boot Camp Here!
Watch and learn as each section is broken down into easy-to-understand methods. This multi-session, web-based training is specifically designed to help you rank higher, convert better and make more sales.