Tricks of the trade: why better content will boost your performance on Amazon
In the current climate, your online product pages – whether on Amazon or your own website – are providing the critical link between the customer and your products. Driving traffic to these pages has now become as vital as generating footfall once was in the offline world.
Google may command the most search queries, but Amazon has stolen its crown when it comes to the product search. As many as 66% of product searches now start on Amazon, and the platform’s dominance has become so pronounced in recent months that it has even been described as a ‘public utility’. Amazon customers are splurging at least $11,000 (£8,845) every second, and a whopping 64% of US households have signed up for Prime, with 89% of them visiting the site at least once a month. With this captive pool of consumers at its disposal, Amazon has blithely emerged as one of very few companies whose popularity transcends generational age groups. A recent Brand Intimacy survey reveals that Amazon is favoured by millennials and baby boomers alike, but the older generation values its convenience most of all, naming it their No. 1 brand .
In this context, treating your Amazon presence as an afterthought to your primary ecommerce site is a glaringly false economy. In an economic environment where many companies are fighting for survival, optimising for Amazon could make all the difference. But in a frenetically busy marketplace with more than 350 million products listed, how can you stand out from the crowd and convince shoppers that your products are the best ones to choose?
Amazon looks at a number of elements in deciphering which products to prioritise, including your review scores, merchandising options, fulfilment and ad spend, however, the most critical factor influencing which products gain prominence appears to be content and the quality of your Amazon product pages… So, which elements of your Amazon listings are most important?
An optimised title is one of the easiest ways to grab your customer’s attention. Very few products on Amazon are unique, but eye-catching titles can help yours to stand out from the herd. Effective titles will not only contribute towards higher search rankings, but also promote more clicks and traffic. While it’s important to make your title catchy, some more prosaic considerations must also be observed. Ensure your listings contain clear product-identifying keywords, such as “hiking boots” or “vase”. Also: limit the number of characters in a title to 200, avoid tacky promotional phrases, such as ‘100% Quality Guaranteed’ and leave out superfluous, decorative punctuation.
Main product ‘hero’ image
Brands that overlook the importance of their main product image do so at their peril. Top quality product photos are an enticing tool when it comes to maximising click-throughs from search result pages, because shoppers tend to scan images before they read the text, making snap judgements about a product’s quality or desirability. But choosing the right images has an importance that extends beyond aesthetics: photos that fail to comply with Amazon’s standards can cause listings to be supressed in product search results, leaving them out in the dark. As well as meeting Amazon’s technical specifications, your main image should be professionally shot, against a white background, occupying 85% or more of the frame and free from watermarks or text.
Extra images and video
When it comes to product images, 7 is the magic number – and 5 the bare minimum. Impactful additional content can help secure sales by providing the more detailed information that uncertain shoppers will be looking for. These visuals can also boost conversion rates by conveniently segueing into related products. To cover all bases, include one or two product images which show the product from a different angle or up-close, as well as images which highlight a product’s USPs (such as all-natural) and a lifestyle image or video showing the product in use (e.g. homeware shown in an aspirational interior setting). Where appropriate, consider including ‘infographic’ images, which combine a product shot with text or graphics to highlight different features – research suggests that these are rated the most useful by Amazon shoppers. The ultimate aim is to show customers all the important features and benefits so they know exactly what they can expect and can imagine how your products will fit into their lives.
Product bullet points
An analysis of Amazon’s rubric reveals that product listings must feature at least 5 bullet points to generate high ranking scores for content, and Amazon’s algorithm favours relevance over volume. Supplying snappy and salient bullet points with carefully integrated keywords can impact both search result rankings and conversion rates, leaving shoppers feeling confident that their pre-purchase questions have been answered. To hit Amazon’s sweet spot, your optimised bullet points should be 170-200 characters in length.
Persuasively worded and accurate product descriptions – optimised to reflect Amazon’s guidelines –will not only improve your search rankings, but also support conversions and reduce the need for returns. Your product description needs to be accurate, yet succinct, consisting of no more than 2,000 characters. Above all, it must contain the relevant keyword(s). Without these, your listing won’t show up in search results and the customer is unlikely to see your product.
Only available to sellers who have been approved as brand owners through the Amazon Brand Registry program, enhanced A+ marketing content really is the jewel in the crown when it comes to Amazon content optimisation. According to Amazon, using this feature to enhance listings has been shown to boost sales anywhere from 3% to 10%. It differentiates you from the competition, increases trust and conversions, and increases basket size by allowing product comparisons within your range.
Premium A+ content
For the select few, Premium A+ or A++ Content is an invite-only option that enables brands to display superior imagery such as interactive pictures, slider galleries and video loops on their listings – for a fee. First launched four years ago, and geared at further boosting sales, this content was initially available to a small number of high-profile brands including Dove, Sony and Bose.
On ecommerce sites, a comprehensive Q&A section can prove invaluable when it comes to pre-empting and answering your customers’ concerns and putting their minds at ease before they make a purchase. Amazon’s integral Q&A section is slightly different because it is organically generated by shopper’s questions, but these can still serve a similar function, as well as providing a useful indication about gaps in your product descriptions, allowing you to adjust your content accordingly.
Taking a strategic approach to your Amazon content makes it possible to meet consumer expectations while addressing Amazon’s own search metrics, transforming a former sidekick into a lucrative revenue stream with the potential to attract new customers. To be truly effective, the content you provide must be unique (avoiding SEO-damaging content duplication) and optimised to target Amazon’s search functions.
For more information on how to optimise your Amazon product pages and achieve this optimisation at scale across all of your product ranges please get in touch. Alternatively, please request a complimentary audit of your ecommerce and Amazon content.
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