How to write an Amazon product listing

Writing an Amazon product listing is different to writing for any other marketplace.  How these differ from listing in other marketplaces, is there are lots of rules you have to follow around the words you can can’t use / the numbers of characters you can use / field you have to complete and how your images have to look.

However, I think it’s a great structure.  If you write a well-optimised listing for Amazon, it will work well on any other online marketplace.

Here’s my quick checklist of things to look at before considering your listing fully optimised.

Have you:

  1. Done your research?
  2. Highlighted your product’s benefits (Not the features)?
  3. Ensured you have great images?
  4. Checked your product title includes your main keywords?
  5. Made sure your title makes sense?
  6. Filled out your back-end keyword fields?
  7. Formatted your product description in HTML?

Remember, the only goal of sales copy is to sell. (And get found in the first place!)

Let’s take each in turn.

Optimised Amazon listing free checklist Chipmunk Coach

Have you done your research?

This is so important that I talk about this first – before I even suggest you sit down and write anything. Hopefully you carried out some research before you even selected your product. By knowing what customers value, and don’t like, about your competitors products you have a massive advantage, as you can address that in your listing.

For example, do people complain that your competitor’s exercise bands are uncomfortable to wear?  If yours are comfortable, make sure you say this!  Be as upfront as possible and include this in the title and/or key features.

Keyword research

You can also see which keywords your competitors are targeting and make a note of these to include in your own copy.

There are plenty of keyword tools on the market but, if you don’t want to pay out for one, you can do a lot of valid research yourself, using the Amazon search bar and by examining other listings and taking note of the words they use (particularly in their titles)

You can also identify long tail keywords by pretending to be a customer.  (Long tail keywords are effectively a keyword phrase – i.e muslin swaddle blanket.)  For example, I sell 100% bamboo muslin swaddles.  If I go to Amazon’s homepage and type in swaddle, it brings up a list of options to finish that search term – and these are the things people are actually searching for.  For example ‘swaddle blanket for newborn.’ You can use this method to work out the terms people are searching for and then include these in your listing, or in your paid advertising if you decide to use that.  

If you do want to pay for software, I recommend Jungle Scout.

Highlighted your product’s benefits

Good copy should highlight benefits – not features.  

Taking my products as an example, saying they’re made of bamboo is a feature – but that alone won’t sell them as well as explaining all the wonderful benefits – and why the fabric choice makes it ideal for babies and children.

For example, my towels absorb 4 times more water than cotton – making them much more practical.

Or that the insulating properties of bamboo naturally help keep your baby stay warmer in cool temperatures and cooler in warmer temperatures – preventing them overheating, or getting cold. This means that you can use your 100% bamboo muslin swaddle blankets year round! (Which means just one purchase and better value for money.)

Think about what problems your products solve and be very clear about how it has the answers!

Get some great images

The key thing to know is that your main image has to be the product alone (not showing anything that isn’t sold with it), on a plain white background.  That’s the one shot you absolutely have to have.  

Not only do you need quality product images, you also need some photos of your products being used.  

This is referred to as lifestyle photography and means that you ideally want a photo of a smiley child wearing the towel (see below), a dog out on a walk, happily wearing his lead, a kettle sitting on a kitchen counter, or being used by someone to pour out a hot drink. You get the idea.

Baby wearing Tiny Chipmunk bamboo hooded towel - yellow

This article from Jungle Scout contains some examples of inspirational photography you might want to consider.

Remember you also need to ensure your images meet Amazon’s product image requirements, which can and do change.

Have you used your keywords?

I talked above about identifying the keywords you want to target.

Before hitting publish, do a quick check that your key ones (yes, that’s right, I do mean your key-keywords!) are in your product title.  That is the first place that Amazon pulls results from (other than Sponsored Products) and has the greatest impact on your Amazon SEO.

It’s also one of the biggest influencers of click-through rates.

Speaking of titles…

Does your title make sense?

Let’s talk about the title for a minute.  This is key as it impacts search results and, along with the main image, plays a big part in whether someone actually decides to click through or not.

A common mistake sellers make is to cram the title so full of keywords that it doesn’t actually read correctly, or make a lot of sense.

Here’s an example of a title stuffed with keywords:

Squeaky Fun Dog Toys Gift Set – Large Plush Non Stuffed Durable – Raccoon & Squirrel Animals, Interactive Chew Exercise Play Rope With Tennis Ball  For Puppy – Adult Dogs

Here’s the same title, with the same keywords, rearranged in a more logical way!

Squeaky Fun Dog Toys Gift Set – Large Non Stuffed Durable Plush – Raccoon & Squirrel Animals, Interactive Play Rope With Tennis Ball – For Chewing, Boredom, Games & Exercise –  For Small, Medium & Large Puppy & Adult Dogs

Ok, this is a real example I edited this week – so I might have snuck in a few extra keywords to help my client out, but hopefully it illustrates the point.

Also, while we’re talking about titles:

  • Don’t repeat words.  It won’t do anything other than take up valuable characters (plus it may not make sense).  It’s definitely not a case of the more times you say it, the further up the results you’ll be.  You’d be better to put another keyword in its place. For example, you might replace the word ‘muslin’ with ‘wrap’ or ‘swaddle’.
  • Don’t use punctuation in your heading.   This mainly applies to brackets and commas, apparently, as they are ignored by Amazon’s search algorithms (so if you’re using them to separate long-tail keywords it may not work).  I replaced all mine with emdashes (-) .  If nothing else, it looks better on screen, as the spacing is better and it separates text nicely.
  • It should go without saying, make sure your spelling and punctuation is correct. 

And finally, the last thing to do with your keywords…

Complete your back-end keyword fields

You can now add just 250 characters for keywords. (It used to be much more.)  Use these wisely.

The best way to use this space is a string of words, with no punctuation, commas, etc.  Use spaces to separate them.

It’s ok to repeat words you’ve used in your description text, but don’t include duplicate words in your search terms. You don’t need to include sentences, phrases, or words like ‘and’, ‘o’f etc.  Always use the plural where you can and it makes most sense.  (For example dogs, rather than dog.)

For example, rather than:

Premium coffee bags

Single serve coffee bags

Organic coffee bags

Coffee bags

Organic coffee

 

You’d write:

Premium coffee bags single serve organic

The algorithm will do the rest!

 

Another tip here is to include common misspellings – if you have the space – as Amazon won’t automatically pick up on these.

Optimised Amazon listing free checklist Chipmunk Coach

Format your product description in HTML

Having a well-formatted description gives a much more professional look than a standard paragraph of text.

You use basic html coding to break your text into paragraphs and highlight key phrases/information (by putting them in bold text.)

As an example:

<p><b>What makes our muslin swaddle blankets different?</p>

<p>We’re proud to use bamboo, a material with amazing natural properties. Bamboo is ultra-soft and light-weight, yet strong – making it <b>the perfect choice for swaddling your baby.</b></p>

<p>Our swaddles are the perfect choice for parents who want the <b>best quality for their baby</b> – and care about the planet too. Our swaddle blankets are <b>perfect to use all year round</b>, as bamboo will naturally keep your baby warm in cooler temperatures and cooler when it is warm. They’re breathable, which helps prevent overheating.</p>

It’s as simple as a few p’s and b’s and looks much better than Amazon’s default.

I use wordhtml to do this – it’s quick, easy and free!  Do note that the html might need some tweaking, as it often adds in random characters, but you can do this all on the editor.

You can also use A+ content for even more options (if your brand is registered), bu that’s probably one for a separate post.

I can help!

I am well aware this can seem overwhelming!  If you need help either writing or optimising your listings, I can help you.

From a quick proof read and edit, to writing the entire thing from scratch.

Just get in touch, to talk about what you need.  I’ll happily share some examples, plus reviews from happy customers!

 

Screen Shot of Tiny Chipmunk review for Amazon support