Recently I was invited to speak at the eCom Sellers Summit on listing optimization strategies to maximize sales for Q4. The virtual summit offered presentations from 22 eCommerce experts teaching techniques and strategies to help sellers successfully grow their business, particularly during Q4. Each session was designed to leave attendees with a “quick win” to incorporate in their business right away! My session focuses on how to optimize your product listings for Q4, and all year round, how to find the right keywords, how to use listing optimization tools, and most importantly, ninja tricks for filling out those backend keywords, intended use, and subject matter fields in seller central. If you like this training and would like access to the rest of the training offered from other speakers, you can visit my affiliate link here.
Watch the presentation video above for lots of great tips and tricks. If you’re a reader, check out the transcript of the presentation below.
Hello, I’m Amy Wees from Amazing at Home Business Consulting. And I’m going to tell you today how to rank organically and beat your competition with listing optimization. Now I know we’re focused on q4, but listing optimization is one of those things that you’ll want to do all year round. And in this presentation, I’m going to teach you how to do it specifically for q4, but also how to dominate sales during all seasons of the year.
Why Listing Optimization? Number one is that it’s the largest factor in your organic reach. If you think about selling online, everything hinges on search engine optimization (SEO). Customers, in order to find products are typing keyword phrases into that magical search bar on Amazon. And when they type that keyword phrase in what does Amazon do? They give them all these suggestions and say, maybe you’re looking for this. And the customer usually says, oh, yep, that’s it. And they click on one of those suggestions. If your listing is not written to that keyword phrase suggestion, your listing isn’t going to show up organically on page one or page two. And you’re going to have to work very, very hard in PPC, in order to rank through advertising. So our goal with listing optimization is to make sure that our listing is fully optimized for search phrases that people are typing into that beautiful search bar. And we want to make sure that the search phrases that we use in our listing are the same ones that are the most relevant to our listing. This is how I’m able to write so many organic page one listings for my clients, because I really focus on those search phrases.
Listing optimization increases your PPC performance and lowers your costs. Why? Because PPC is a bidding war. And those bids and your ad placement is based on the relevant content in your listing. So if you try and rank or you try and get a great ad placement on the keyword “Christmas gifts for baby”, and if that phrase is not in your listing anywhere or not in your back end keywords, you’re going to have a really hard time getting Amazon to show your ad. On the contrary, if you optimize your listing for those keywords, and you’ve had lots of page visits, and you’re starting to show as relevant for those keywords, your PPC is going to be much more effective and affordable. Your bid is going to be able to be much lower with your ad being placed much higher, because Amazon will see it as relevant to your listing. Remember, Amazon’s a big search engine, they also want to make their customers happy. So they’re not going to show your ad for something that the customer won’t see as relevant.
Being found is the most important aspect of selling online. So in order to be found, we have to make sure that our listing is optimized for those magical keywords that customers are searching for to find our listing.
Top ranking factors in your listing, first and foremost, I typed in “floor lamp” and look at all of the different suggestions here that come up for lamp with shelves floor lamp LED. I’m able to get this search volume right in the search bar with a free Chrome extension I use called keywords everywhere which shows me search volume across the internet, anywhere I am on the internet. So on YouTube, it shows me this on Google. And it’s just very, very helpful for me to find the most relevant keyword phrases because when I write a listing, I don’t only want to rank organically on Amazon, I want to rank organically on Google. I want to be found everywhere I can be found across the internet. So it’s really important to pay attention to what the search bar says what suggestions are given.
When I am writing a listing for the first time, what I’ll do is I’ll try to find that product without knowing anything about it. So if I was a customer, I was looking for a floor lamp. I’m going to start typing in floor lamp, and then I’m going to choose the suggestion that is most relevant to the floor lamp that I’m looking for.
I want a mid century floor lamp. I’m going to click that. And I’m going to see search results for that.
“Now if you’re selling a mid century floor lamp, and your listing is not optimized for floor lamp mid century, if your floor lamp mid century is not on your in your title in that exact way, it is going to be very hard for you to rank organically on page one for that specific keyword unless they’re almost no competitors“
If you’re wanting to rank organically, you really need to pay attention to the phrases. So in your title, you want the six most important keywords followed by a dash. And then the rest of your title can be other symbols and things but you shouldn’t use another dash in your title. The reason for this is because it sets what’s called your canonical URL. And that’s how you rank organically across the internet.
Amazon Product Title Optimization: Your title is your six most important keywords followed by a dash. And then I like to use pipes that is the the one that if you hit the shift key, it’s right above the Enter key on your keyboard, and it’s just a straight line. So to set it to separate the rest of the listing, I will use pipes normally and I will leave commas out and simply use title case. For my bullets and description. I really want to emphasize phrases over keywords, phrases, or what people type in phrases or what people click on the suggested search terms in the search bar. Here we see floor lamp gold, that’s a phrase. So we want to make sure that our listing has these phrases in it. I can’t tell you how many listings I have fixed, that someone paid a copywriter or an agency to write and they had the hardest time ranking. And this listing is full of individual keywords. So basically what this copywriter did is they took all of these keywords, they did the keyword research and they did all of these individual keywords. So they’ll have like a floor lamp, and it’ll say something like this is a dimmable
perfect home accessory, but it doesn’t say floor lamp dimmable in the actual listing that exact phrase which helps you rank organically.
The best tool for listing optimization that allows me to “cheat” is called listing lightning from seller SEO, and it gives me all of those phrases to use in my bullets and description, and even back in keywords, but I really want you to focus on phrases over keywords because those phrases are how you rank organically
Then focus on your main keyword phrase and not outliers. So this is what we’re talking about with floor lamp with reading like these long tail keywords right for lamp mid century.
The other big mistake I see people make is they try to rank for everything. “My floor lamp is a dimmable floor lamp, but it’s it’s also it could be gold, it could be led, it could be with a reading light,”… The other thing is I’ve seen people try and rank for other less relevant keyword phrases which sometimes can be a good strategy, but if it’s not related to your product, so if you wouldn’t pay for a PPC bid on that keyword, it probably doesn’t belong in your listening because you really only get one browse note on Amazon. If you try and rank for everything, you’ll rank for nothing. So it’s really important that you pick one main keyword phrase and then choose related phrases that are related to that exact product. So what I mean here is if you’re going for floor lamp, it’s okay to say dimmable and floor lamp wind and floor lamp mid century if those things are all relevant to your product, because they’re all part of the floor lamp browse node, right? But if suddenly you try and rank for lampshade, well, you’re going to have a problem right? Because your product is not a lamp shade. And, and you’re going to have you know, the search engine is going to go well wait, what is it relevant for and every time it crawls your listing, it looks for certain phrases and it goes Oh, okay, the customer search for that one check. And then it goes back down and goes up the customer search.
Just for that too Oh, I guess it’s really relevant for floor lamp okay check it goes back down up that’s another thing that customers search for in our in our search engine check you know but if you have a bunch of unrelated things like lampshade but and floor lamp and you know Christmas gift for Baby, you’re not going to rank for for floor lamp gold if that is your main keyword. So hopefully you guys are understanding that. I often see people make that mistake. So focus on your main keyword phrase, not the outliers, not things that are less relevant that you wouldn’t pay money for a PPC bid on phrases over keywords. Don’t just use individual phrases smattered about your listing. Use keyword phrases, at least two phrases in every bullet is my favorite way to go about it.
You really want to optimize your backend and that’s what we’re going to focus on in this presentation, your back end of your Amazon listing and that’s what I mean when you go into inventory in Seller Central and you click edit on the listing or you create a new listing, you have a keywords tab and it has search terms. It has subject matter and intended uses. And you have a more details tab. And so many people skip these because they don’t know what to put in them or what format to use. And these are goals they index with your listing, and they are amazing. So we really want to get them filled in and I’m going to show you how to do that in this presentation.
Title – Rank Everywhere. Remember how it was talking about how you really want to use a dash after your first five or six keywords in your listing. That is because it sets the
canonical URL. And you can see this title right here that’s only using commas and slashes.
Its canonical URL says “IMIGY goose neck brightness, temperature technology”.
So if I search Google for lamp temperature technology, which no one is searching for, you’ll see this listing shows up first, right there.
The canonical URL is how you’re found outside of Amazon. It’s like the plain English in your URL. So it matters and how do you reset this, if you’ve already screwed it up, you simply only use one dash in your title after the first five or six keywords in your listing, and it will automatically update and then the rest of your symbols need to not be dashes and they need to be either commas or pipes. But, but I do know that your your dash matters. And again, what would be really great is if this dimmable floor lamp could rank for dimmable floor lamp on Google, wouldn’t it? We would love for this listing to show up first on Google for that.
Your main photo, it matters. Why does it matter? Because this is how when customers search for floor lamp on Amazon, this is all they see. They see your main photo, and they see your title. And so if your title doesn’t make any sense, and your main photo isn’t really compelling, or it’s it’s hard to see, they’re not going to choose your product.
The next question I have for you is do reviews count for listing optimization and why?
I always tell my clients don’t start PPC until you get an initial review at least one five star review. Why? Because this is what customers see when they search on Amazon, they see these reviews, they see your title and they see your main photo. So if there is no social proof, and that’s all they have to search through when they’re looking, you definitely don’t want to be paying for ads that are not going to convert, right? So you really want to make sure that as part of your listing optimization, you also ensure that your reviews look good. I mean look at this simple designs, home floor lamp over here suddenly got three and a half stars. Does it look good against the competitors in this row? It doesn’t. And for me the this IMIGY main photo, even though they’re breaking the rules of not having a plain white background on Amazon, it’s very compelling. I want to click on it because they show this light beam coming down.
I really like that it sticks out from the competition. So anything you can do to get it to stick out from the competition like I love this one where they have the zoom in of the remote control there. And they have the shadow on the on the ground of the lamp. So anything to kind of make it look different and go, okay, it’s not just a plain floor lamp, right? It’s not too hard to see. So photos really matter your main photo, your title, and your reviews matter.
As part of listing optimization, photos matter. No one reads the listing. They really don’t.
You know, if you’ve been selling on Amazon for any period of time, you’ll be frustrated when you get returns. And they’ll be for reasons of things that you mentioned in your listing. And you’ll say well, what didn’t they read the listing, I wrote that specifically in the listing, and they’re returning it for that reason, but it’s there. Well, if you don’t say it in your photos, if you don’t tell the story of the listing with your photos, you are missing out on potential sales that your competitors are making because they are doing a good job of this.
And you’re encouraging the customer to scroll down in your listing, which is my number one rule! Most customers, they look at the main photo and the title, they click on it, then they go right through your photos before they even read the listing. And if your photos don’t say anything to them, if they’re just like, I can’t even tell what this product is. They start scrolling. They don’t want to read yet but they’ll read it if it’s in your photos because like this one sensitive touch control multi angle head, it’s showing that this is a power button that you can change the color tells the story of the listing right in the photos and that’s what you want to do.
If you do not have infographics and lifestyle images in your listing, it is not optimized. You do not want customers to scroll down in your listing.
Make sure that you optimize for mobile. So number one, I will always encourage you to check your placement both on desktop and mobile on a regular basis. Because if you can’t find your listing, neither can the customer. So check your placement. And also look for your placement on mobile so that you can make sure that if you’re on page one on desktop, where are you showing up on mobile? If you have to scroll for a while or how does that look? Also, your description shows up first on mobile, not your bullets. So you want to make sure that your description is HTML format it okay you so that it’s not like this big blob of text. A really great free tool you can use is by seller app, the HTML product description editor, it’s free. And you can just put your text in there. And you can make it bold and add bullets and all of that. And it will give you an Amazon friendly description to paste in their HTML formatted. I recently heard from a client, she said I couldn’t update my HTML. Amazon says it’s not allowed anymore. I was trying to update my listing. And we have found that it’s really about the HTML formatting tool that you use because they don’t allow some characters but if you use that tool by seller app, that free tool, everything that is there is allowed on Amazon. So you should get a great HTML formatted description out of that.
Make sure that your photos look good on mobile. You want to make sure your photos are minimum of 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels. That would be a square right? But you can’t zoom in if your photos are not at least 1000 by 1000 pixels, so you want to make sure that your photos are loading properly, and that they look good and that they look at on mobile and desktop because again, your photos really the text in your listing is all about search engine optimization and being found for those phrases. And your photos are all about making that sale along with your reviews, right.
Back end keywords is where the magic is the extra magic after you fill out your front end with those awesome phrases and all of that you have great photos, you have great reviews, everything’s looking good and the customer can make a buying decision. How can you take that even further, you can take that even further by here on this keywords tab filling everything out. So I have filled out the search term. Now Platinum keywords you can ignore because those are only four Platinum vendors I’ve seen a lot of people fill these out they don’t indexers
Backend Search terms – you want to make sure that they are not repeated words from what you’ve already put in your listing, okay, you’re only going to use those keywords that you haven’t used in the front of your listing, this is a great place to put misspellings of your brand name. This is a great place to put other keywords that are less relevant. So let’s say that your your floor lamp is a white floor lamp, but you know that gold and black format floor lamps are also very popular. Well, in that case, you could put gold and black in these back end search terms because you know, they’re highly searched, but and you want your listing to show up for lots of results for floor lamp, but they they’re not as relevant. You don’t want to try to fit those into the friend of your listing. It’s not very good for readability should that customer choose to read it, you want to make sure that it’s readable and that it’s good compelling copy. So the search terms here, you want to have them in Word space word format, no commas, and you’re not going to repeat words that you already use in the front end of your listing.
Target audience, Intended Use and Subject Matter. These index, where can you find words to put in this particular these particular fields, when you search for your product on Amazon on the left hand side after you review the search results, there’s a ton of great information. So you can see the results that I got for floor lamp, kids, kitchen, dining bedding that these are different departments that floor lamps are found in. So do you think that it would be great to put some of these in under subject matter. These words decor home some of these words under subject matter and target audience.
More Details tab. the more details tab has a ton of stuff that lines up with the information on the left side of Amazon when you’re scrolling. So search for your product and then come to this More Details tab in this keywords tab and start looking and trying to match things up.
Product classifier tool. Find it in the seller central help bar and click here on classify your products with product classifier and click on the product classifier tool. And you can see I searched for floor lamp here and look at all the various things that I get for subject matter. I could put ceiling fans and lighting. These are the different departments that floor lamps are founded. So I could put office furniture. Great, you know, and those are things I wouldn’t have thought to put in the front of my listing, but they’re going to really help my listing show up for tons of great search results. The product classifier tool is another great tool to use free tool right inside of Amazon to grab some of those great words to use for your subject matter and intended use and target audience fields that index up to 50 characters per line. That’s a lot of stuff and in some categories, you can click add more and keep adding more lines. So fill those out, get them done.
More Details tab, you might find some golden here that will go in your More Details tab. You can see look at all of these included components, additional features, occasion type, I can’t tell you, I was writing a listing for a serving tray, and I looked on the left hand side of Amazon, all the filters and everything. And I saw holidays parties, all these different occasions to filter there. I’m going to use these that are suggested by Amazon, not just these occasions that I come up with on the top of my head because people click on those and they filter out for those. So I use those occasions in the occasion type. So that’s what you’re looking to do, you’re wanting to fill out those fields that are relevant, and that are that you can find them that align with the left side of that Amazon filtering bar in your More Details tab, and that’s really going to help your listing show up for a lot of great stuff.
How can we dominate q4 with keywords? We know q4 is all about Thanksgiving. It’s all about Christmas. It’s all about gifts. So, again, use the Amazon search bar. It is the best free keyword tool you could ever get right? Because it’s going to tell you what people are searching for. So first I thought, how could I sell a floor lamp as a Christmas gift? And I typed in Christmas gifts for RE and I saw Christmas gifts and then suddenly it went to reusable Christmas gift bags. So as a suggestion, so Christmas gifts for readers right now is giving me zero results. Now could this give me better results during q4? Sure it could, but I typed in best gifts for readers. And I got whoa 480 a month across the internet.
Do you think I could add some of that to my listing and be able to make some sales of my floor lamp as a Christmas gift for readers? Heck yeah, why not? So that’s the thing. Make sure that it’s a search for keywords. This is a thing. I often see copywriters write gift bullets, they’ll say this is the best gift for or they won’t say best gift. They’ll just say, perfect gift for Christmas, birthday, bosses, secretaries, everything you name it. Well, that’s not a phrase that’s just individual keywords smattered throughout the listing and remember what we said about that, that doesn’t help rank you. What I always do when I’m writing a gift bullet, which is one of my template bullets, I always look for the most relevant gift keyword phrase and I use the Amazon search bar for that and if I was selling this floor floor lamp, I would put right in my listing best gifts for readers. I love writing things like voted number one best gifts for readers. What? You don’t know I mean, I’m not going to cite a magazine, but you know, it sounds interesting. Oh, okay, this is a great gift for a reader. I would appreciate a floor lamp. If I was a reader. How do you take these gifting keywords that you’ve just discovered and add them in to increase your sales during q4?
Add those gems to your listing. You can add them in your front end bullets, description, or your back end subject matter or search terms but again, no need to repeat them. You just need to make sure that that phrase is in your listing somewhere as that phrase, you could add a photo to show it as a gift. I always add gift photos to every relevant product that I have that would make a great gift as part of the seven photos that I do for product photography, it’s great to show it as a gift, and helps others to see it as a gift. So do this at Christmas time. If it’s a great Christmas gift, if it’s a great for under the tree, show a photo of a critical Christmas tree with it right underneath there, right? Help the customer see that and make a connection with that and help them make a buying decision. So then last up, you’re going to run PPC on those keyword phrases. So you want to start ranking for you know, best gift for readers. Well, let’s let’s build on that. And now the phrases in our listing and it’s looking great and and hopefully we can get some some traction there.
Get Page Visits to Index Your Listing. All right, the last step. I have to tell you guys, so many people hire me to do listing optimization, and they’re wondering why their sales have suddenly stopped “you optimize a listing and you don’t know why your sales have stopped”. What’s going on? Well, it’s because what happens when you fully optimize listing (Now this doesn’t happen when you just add some keywords to your back end. It doesn’t happen when you add a sentence to one of your bullets.) But when you change out your title and your bullets and your description, you fully optimize a listing, it is like hitting the reset button. Because the web crawlers that look for updates on web pages, say hey, wait, this is changed. Oh, wow, this is really changed up start over let’s let’s read it again. Put it back into the indexer and let’s see what this page is relevant for. Anytime you optimize a listing, if you leave my listing optimization training today and you’re like I’m pumped up, I’m gonna go add these phrases in here. I’m gonna get organic page one and you fully redo your listing, that’s great. And you’re probably going to see some amazing PPC results. And you’re going to see some much better search volume and traffic and all of that. But, but you may lose some sales initially.
So how do you prevent losing sales after listing optimization? The first thing is you gotta get page visits. It really helps as soon as you write a listing, I always tell my clients this when we’re going through launch, as soon as you write your listing, your listing goes live, you want to make sure that you can get as many page visits as possible, just so that Amazon’s algorithm will go, “Hey, this page is getting visited a bunch”. What is it relevant for again, let me check, you know, so you definitely want to get a bunch of PAGE visits.
I use Amazon giveaways. Amazon’s giveaways allow you to create an exclusive promotion just for people who enter the giveaway. So I’m not saying giveaway 20 products, I’m saying giveaway one or two. And what you do is you set up an exclusive promotion for everyone who enters the giveaway. And they come to the giveaway. And they’re like, Oh, I want to win a floor lamp cool. And they click enter the giveaway. And then it says, sir, you didn’t win. But you can save 20% off right now. And then they go, Oh, I guess I’ll go check it out. And they click on your listing. And right there, Amazon goes, “Oh, people are visiting this listing, it must be relevant for some stuff, like move it up a little bit”. So you’re getting page visits there. Now I can hear all of you data nerds out there who are who are nerds like me saying, well, you don’t want to send sessions directly to your listing, because if they don’t buy that’s going to screw up your ranking! Well, not initially. Not when you first write that listing and you’re not relevant for anything. And you haven’t really indexed. In the beginning, you want to get those page visits, it’s not gonna it’s not going to hurt your ranking. It’s only going to help your visibility and the amount of keywords that are indexed in your listing. So I’m not saying give away 100 products, I’m saying, Let’s get 1000 page visits from giving away two.
Then we use the two step URLs with external traffic. We want to use a two step URL because we don’t want to leave people directly from our listing from off of Amazon, because Amazon’s going to go, Oh, cool. People are visiting this listing from off of Amazon, move it up, but then they’re going to go wait, they’re visiting it, and then they’re leaving. The whole point of a two step URL is it appears that they were searching for certain keywords, and then they clicked on your listing, which actually helps your ranking for those keywords. So that’s why I use a two step URL. But so many people do not know this. Amazon’s algorithm ranks you higher for external traffic going to Amazon, then on Amazon PPC. So if you really want to rank a listing, run some Google Ads.
They’re dirt cheap, because you’re running them to such a big well known domain. And you can do them with two step URLs direct to your listing. Now you can’t track conversions, but I promise they will improve your ranking. I’ve done tons of testing on this, and it works great for me. But anyway, organic social media posts is another really great way to get visits. You just optimized it for “great gifts for readers”. Well, why not put an organic social media post out there? You have a reader in your family who could use this amazing led floor lamp, we’re running a 25% off special and just get some page visits with a two step and then you’re also ranking for that keyword “Gifts for readers”.
Check your advertising and your organic placement on desktop and mobile. Then on a regular basis, I cannot stress this enough. Again, if you can’t find your listing, neither can the customer and I can’t tell you how many people spend a ton of money on PPC, and they don’t actually check their ad placement. So don’t actually see if they’re showing up at the top of the page for their most relevant keywords. So again, if the customer can’t find your ad or your listing, they can’t buy anything from you.
So if you want to improve your sales, check your placement, and then also look at your competition on that page. So if we search for floor lamps, dimmable and we show up on page one, awesome, but what does our competition look like? How do we look up against our competition? What’s going to ensure that the customer feels compelled to click on our listing and then buy? That’s what I want you to focus on. I want you to check your placement. Check what your listing looks like next to your competition on a regular basis. And it is really going to help you make more sales and ensure that your customers can find you online.
Alright, so we’ve showed you how to increase your sales in q4. We’ve showed you how to increase your placement and your sales all the time.
Keep thinking of creative keywords beyond q4 things you can constantly add to your listing. Just remember, don’t keep completely re optimizing your listing or that’s going to be hitting the reset button and you’re going to be spending a lot of money on relaunches. But adding a few little keywords here and there and making use of those back end keywords and pulling out customer search terms from your advertising reports. Use those, you might find some gems in there that you never even thought your listing was relevant for. You can also create different mockups of your product and post it on social media to see which ones get the most engagement. So like I was saying with the greatest gift for readers, well why not create a photo of somebody reading with the floor lamp, post that on social media and see how it does. And maybe try and do a split testing and do another one of what else is a floor lamp good for a workshop, you know, do one in a in a guy’s workshop and maybe it’s the best gifts for men, right? Think of all the uses for your product and see where you get some organic clicks and see where you’re getting the most reach and response and then incorporate those things into your listing, advertise for them and make more sales.
All right now get out there and sell some stuff.
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