CEO and Founder of Sosemo, an award-winning digital marketing agency that specializes in search marketing and paid social media marketing.
When improving product page rankings on Amazon, optimizing content on product pages can be quite similar to optimizing webpages for other search engines, like Google. All in all, Google and Amazon are both search engines, sharing the ideology of strong user experience. More granular best practices may differ here and there, but the overall core idea of creating straightforward, descriptive content still holds true. This allows us to apply our unique approach to SEO optimization to the optimization of Amazon product pages for an all-encompassing, combined approach.
Similar to how Google factors in page titles, Amazon product titles are heavily weighted when ranking product pages. In addition to delighting Amazon’s ranking algorithm, a solid product title can pique user consideration, so optimizing titles with strong keywords is recommended, while keeping to 200 characters or fewer. While Amazon has a few more stipulations for its product titles than Google does, it also shares some of the same stipulations:
• Write concise, descriptive titles.
• Capitalize each word’s first letter (minus conjunctions).
• Use digits for numbers. Don’t spell numbers out, unless they’re part of the brand name.
• Don’t use question marks, exclamation points or other symbols (like dollar signs), unless they’re part of the brand name.
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• Spell out measurement-related words (e.g., pounds, yards, ounces).
• Don’t include promotional or suggestive language in the title (e.g., “Best-Selling,” “#1,” “On Sale”).
• Don’t stuff product titles with keywords.
• Don’t stuff key product features and product descriptions with keywords either, as credit will only go toward utilizing the target keyword once within the product title.
Every category’s product title begins with the brand and product name, but some categories’ product titles require a slightly different formula than what’s provided above, to include at least one of the following:
• Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN).
• Product style/pattern.
• Size (if more than one size is available).
• Quantity (if more than one).
• Color (if more than one color is available).
• Power level (current, voltage, MPH, etc.).
Key Product Features
Key product features include a bulleted list of the product’s top five most important facts that the customer should be aware of before buying, such as potential safety information, target age, sizes/dimensions, etc. The bulleted list should be no more than 500 characters. As with product titles, there are best practices to follow for writing favorable product features:
• Capitalize the first letter of the first word in the bullet point.
• Use digits for all numbers.
• Write bullet points in fragments without end punctuation.
• Be as specific as possible with product features.
• Don’t include company-specific pricing, shipping and promotional info in the key product feature section — this is forbidden.
• Spell out measurement-related words (e.g., pounds, ounces, feet).
If not signed up for Amazon Brand Registry as a seller (also called third-party sellers), as opposed to a vendor (also called first-party sellers), Amazon may aggregate various sellers’ product data to use as product descriptions. We have seen this same method used occasionally by Google with meta descriptions if the provided meta description is not deemed relevant.
The product description section can be used as a space for anything that was not included within the key product feature section, such as answers to frequently asked questions. It can also include HTML capabilities, such as paragraph breaks, bold font, etc., and should be limited to 2,000 characters. Applying what we know about Google’s preference for showing the most useful and important content first, we recommend practicing the same for your product description. Despite being slightly more free-flowing and customizable than the product titles and key product features, including any of the following items can result in the product page being removed from Amazon:
• Website URLs or email addresses.
• Seller names.
• Product information not specific to the main product on the page.
• Promotional or suggestive language (e.g., “free”).
• Information about the company, if it does not directly apply to the product’s description.
One of the biggest differences in product page optimization on Amazon and webpage optimization for Google is keywords. For a long time now, Google has not considered meta keywords as a ranking factor. These are not to be confused with keywords found within the body copy, title tag, etc. However, backend keywords or tags are still relevant on Amazon and can even help a product page’s rankings. Keywords should be:
• Limited to 250 characters.
• Able to trigger phrase matching (e.g., “brown messenger bag” vs. “messenger bag brown”).
• Uploaded as an .xml file or .csv file.
Within Google’s 200-plus ranking factors, there may not be one as prominent as the Amazon A9 algorithm’s top-ranking factor — sales, the most crucial and heavily-weighted ranking factor for Amazon. The higher the conversion rate of a product, the better ranked the page will be. However, utilizing relevant SEO tactics can help you understand user and search engine trends for an advantage on competing brands. Product page optimization and sales complement one another to help product page rankings be as optimal as they can be. Therefore, combining these best practices when optimizing each section of the product page with high-converting product pages can keep the momentum going and yield the highest opportunity for Amazon success.
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Author: Larry Gurreri, Forbes Councils Member