Q4 Prep Webinar Series: How High-volume Sellers Optimize Their Amazon Listings
By Andrew Maff, on October 2nd, 2018 ,
Curious about our next webinar? Check it out right here!
On September 27th, 2018 our own Andrew Maff sat down with Jordan Turley from Nozani, all-inclusive, E-commerce management agency, to talk about Q4 preparations and how you can optimize your Amazon listings.
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Andrew Maff: For everyone who's joining in right now, obviously thank you so much for joining us. I'm gonna mention this a couple times, because I didn't get any volunteers, which doesn't surprise me, because no one wants to be embarrassed in public. But Jordan and I are willing to do a complete listing tear down of anyone who wants to volunteer their listing. So towards the end of this webinar, I'll see if we can't pull up someone's listing and actually through it for you. If you think it's great, then perfect. We'll pull it up and be like, "Yeah this is great, you did a good job, you're probably killing it," or we're just gonna straight up tell you, "Hey, reach out to one of us."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We need to talk, yeah. I mean, most likely there's gonna be good stuff, there's gonna be some stuff to tweak, so yeah.
Andrew Maff: Plus, as we get into this, we'll definitely discuss, some of it's up for speculation, some of it's up for what we think the Amazon algorithm actually looks for versus what it really does.
Jordan Turley: Absolutely.
Andrew Maff: There's definitely been some stuff that they actually did publicize and then there's stuff that obviously they didn't. But we'll dig through optimizing everyone's listings. Let's do a little intro, Jordan, if you wanna kick this off.
Jordan Turley: Yeah. For sure. Yeah, so I'm Jordan Turley, I'm the director of marketing at [Nozani 00:01:22]. We're an Amazon optimizationship agency, so Amazon's our bread and butter. We do optimize for some other marketplaces, but heavy on Amazon for sure. I personally have helped several brands scale on Amazon specifically to seven plus figures. I'm a current Amazon seller, so it's fun to talk the talk, but I love walking the walk as well. I don't talk about really any strategies or these hacks that I haven't actually done and proven myself. So yeah, I pride myself in being a marketplace strategy expert. And married to my beautiful wife Bethany, and a father of two little boys. Huge soccer fan, and closet musician.
Andrew Maff: Nice. Andrew Maff, Maffettone, I always put Maff because it's too long and it won't fit on this slide. I'm director of marketing and operations here at Seller's Choice, we're a full service e-commerce for on an off Amazon, but we started on Amazon, CEO as a seller. I have been in and out of the industry for a little bit over a decade now, started in Amazon, and still in Amazon. Not a seller myself. Love marketing, can't stand operations, so I never wanted ... That's why I never got into it.
Jordan Turley: What are you doing, man?
Andrew Maff: Fulfillment and inventory, I'm not touching that. Also married, also a closet musician, drummer.
Jordan Turley: [crosstalk 00:02:53] Let's collaborate maybe.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. No kids though. So I'll have a little more free time than you will.
Jordan Turley: Yep.
Andrew Maff: But, all right. So let's get into this. Again, I had mentioned, feel free to send over questions as we go through this webinar. I'm assuming we're gonna get a lot of questions, a lot of I'm doing this, why did you say that this is wrong, or vice versa. So we're gonna try and get to as many questions as possible. I also mentioned earlier, if you're willing to let us tear your listing apart live, I will pull that thing up and we'll see what we can do. It's totally up to you. And then at the end, of course, Jordan and I both have some fun stuff to give you guys as a little thank you for sticking around. Plus, I will have all the slides up on a slide share, I'll send it out in email, we'll get the YouTube video up and everything too, so everyone can revert back to this later, you don't have to worry about if you miss a note or something that you wanted to take.
But, I think ... If you're here, obviously you're most likely an Amazon seller or you're thinking about being one, maybe. But maybe you have a conversion rate issue, maybe you have a BSR issue. My favorite thing I hear all the time, looking to get to page one, which is always a very interesting response, which I'm sure we'll get into as well. There's been some speculation on what's indexed, what's not, what you're structure should be, variations, child listings, things like that, so we'll get into that. I personally have been doing listing automization for some massive sellers over the years, well into eight figures. So I'll show you guys what we do for them and what's helped them so that you can start prepping out that. And then of course, because you've joined us, chances are you're flat out awesome. So we'll get into that.
Jordan Turley: Yeah.
Andrew Maff: All right. Let's get started. Again, if you have questions along the way, we'll try and make sure we keep this as interactive as possible, so feel free to send those questions in and we'll try to get to them, either Jordan or I, and obviously we'll try to answer them as best we can here.
Everything we're gonna cover, we're gonna try and go through every aspect of the listing possible, from the top to the bottom, so we'll go over the structure of everything, obviously all the back end stuff as well, how we're doing keyword research, what your titles look like, bullet points, product descriptions, obviously the imagery. We'll even touch in on enhanced brand content. And if we have some time I'll see if we can't dive into how we deal with reviews and things like that too. But we'll start off at the top.
Jordan Turley: Cool. Yeah ...
Andrew Maff: So, structure.
Jordan Turley: Sorry, really quick, I wanna mention, as we're going through all of these slides, these sections, and talking about how to optimize everything, just keep in mind that on Amazon, there are basically three types of buyers that are most common, and we've actually had people at Amazon confirm this. There's basically, you have your head of household, mom or dad, looking to get a great deal, pinch some pennies, the best option for their family. You have your product researcher that's actually gonna maybe read your content, which not a lot of people do, and we'll get into that, but you have people who are researching product, comparing prices, reading your reviews, and then you have your impulse buyer.
As we go through this, keep that in mind and understand that you have to talk to all three of these buyers and optimize in every section of your Amazon listing to meet the needs of all three, because such a huge chunk fall into these three.
Anyway, just something to keep in mind, and yeah, let's hit it.
Andrew Maff: All right. Variations. I'm gonna touch on variations real quick and how we structure stuff. At the same time I'm actually gonna send out a poll. If you know your actual conversion rate of your Amazon listing, would love to know what everyone's conversion rates floating around. I get this question a lot about what's a good conversion rate. We get a lot of questions like that. What's a good number for this, what's a good number for that, what should I be targeting, things like that. To be honest, from what I've seen, there's no real good answer there. There's some that fluctuate, and what we think it should be, what you want it to be of course, but every category's different. Every product is different. Every listing is different, reviews are always different, you're gonna get a huge differentiation on conversion rate out there.
I just sent out a poll. Everyone should see that thing. It looks like right now, majority of people don't know. Which I kind of suspected, which is why I put that as an option there. Big number you should be looking at. Big number.
Jordan Turley: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Andrew Maff: If you're doing PBC stuff, especially, chances are if you're spending a lot, but you seem like you're not converting, chances are you have a conversion rate problem. So if you have a high click through rate, that means you're hitting the right traffic, but for some reason they're not buying. So that probably is a listing problem. That's why we wanna dig into this.
Let's see if I can close this poll out.
I don't know if you guys can actually see the results or not. I haven't been on the other side of one of these in a while. But 45% of you don't know, 9%, 21 to 50. So it depends on your category, as I'd mentioned, or obviously as your product. I've been in several situations where I've had sellers in the 30, 40, 50 range before. Those are typically consumables. CEO of ours actually has a business of his own. One of the things he sells is vacuum filters. You're not shopping around for vacuum filters. If you need one, that's the one I need, great, I'm buying it, so your conversion rate is typically much higher. The 11 to 20, that's usually about that nice pocket you wanna be in if you're selling really anything else. Five to 10, you might wanna look into that. 9% or less, definitely wanna look into that one, unless you're such a wildly differentiated product that people are clicking in to see what it is, in which case we can get into branding and stuff.
One of the things that we had recently done, this slide that I have up here, this is a client of ours we actually work with, where he has ... He sells collegiate apparel. Massive guy, sells stuff all over Amazon. The issue he's having is ... This Harvard T-shirt, he would sell Harvard T-shirt in maroon in small, medium, large, extra large. That would be one listing. Then he would have another one for University of Florida, and it would be the same thing.
We started to say, "Yeah, it makes sense if you're searching for the University of Florida, but why don't you combine them all? What if you thought it was the right college and it's not, or you wanna look at what other colleges you offer, anything like that. So we said, "Hey, let's combine all these." So we combined all the colleges. You can see that was one of the things that we have over there off to the side that's all highlighted.
Basically what we did is we combined them all. We finished that project with the help of his team, because it was a massive project, but we finished that project, and he just about 3X'd in like a month. Just a matter of huge conversion rate increasing. Shoppers basically take it as okay, these are my options, I'm gonna shop here, as opposed to leaving your listing and going to search again. We did this for another seller recently and had almost the exact same result.
It's simplicity of if the buyer doesn't have what they want or isn't seeing what they want, and they're not too satisfied with what they're seeing, they're gonna leave and go search again, in which case you now run another list of them not finding the size that they want or anything like that, and they potentially land on a competitor's page. A lot of sellers we find love the real estate game of yeah, but if I have all these listings, all this is gonna help. If you combine the listings, not only is it a higher conversion rate for your consumer, but all of your reviews get combined. So all the reviews that he had, which is why he's at 683, they were not at that height when he had them all separated out. So now every single one of these shirts now has a better conversion rate ranking, a better review ranking, they're all coupled into the same listing, and he had a huge increase.
A lot of sellers we've done this for recently have done this because what we've notices is that Amazon caters so much to the consumer that if you stop worrying so much about the algorithm and actually worry more about the consumer and how their experience is, in turn you're actually gonna end up getting coupled up under the algorithm.
Jordan Turley: Yeah. Love it. Exactly. I mean, just to mimic that, Amazon absolutely cares more about the customer experience than really anything else. So imagine waling into a retail store. You see these shirts for example, some college shirts, and you walk up to the table that the shirt's laid out on. You're gonna see all the variations, for example in color in that shirt right next to each other. There's not gonna be one on one table, and then across the store there's gonna be the different color. Basically replicating an in store retail experience is what grants your customer the best customer experience in Amazon, and that's absolutely what they care about. So variations are key.
I love that you guys here made it very apparent in the title that there are variations. It says right on the title multiple teams. So somebody knows, if they're generally looking for college shirts, that they're gonna be able to see a bunch of different NCAA teams and shirts within that listing, and then each listing is also optimized at the child level, meaning you have unique lifestyle images, unique content per child variation, that's key. If you have a blue sleeping bag and a red sleeping bag for example, you want your lifestyle images to show what actual variation that customer's looking at rather than having the same lifestyle images of the one color underneath the red bag. So that's definitely super important to keep in mind.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. I touched on this, the real estate game, that was a big problem. I tried to ... If I took an example of hey, don't do this, I tried to blur out the name in case they happen to attend this webinar. So it's not a real estate game. You'll notice neither of these have any reviews, so combining them is not gonna do too much, but this was just an example I pulled up. But combining everything, letting everything, especially if you have a bulk option. If you have a one pack, a two pack, or a three pack, and they go to buy and they see that little unit price is like ... Let's not use this as an example, let's say it's vitamins or something, and it's 47 cents per unit, and then the next tier over, it's like it's down to 39 cents per unit, and it's a vitamin, like you know what, I'll go 60 days with it.
Now all of a sudden, not only is your conversion rate increasing, but so is your average order value. So even if you start offering bulk options, and you wanna do one, two, three packs or even more, it's better to actually combine them all and give the option there. Show the consumer the option to hey, it's basically an upsell on Amazon. It gives you the opportunity to sell a little bit more and make a little extra money off it.
Jordan Turley: Okay.
Andrew Maff: Key word research. This ones always really interesting. Every time I touch on this, everyone's like, "That's not how you do it, and that's not what it is," and blah blah, and look. I've been doing this for a while. This is what works for me. Everyone's got their own theory. This is what I put in. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it.
If you're doing PBC, pull out search term report, that one's obvious, that one seems pretty straightforward to me at least. If you have existing data, use it. We use this suggestion expander. If you have a product that, obviously it's a main product, so I'm gonna use this as an example probably all day. But I have a Steelers Tervis. So I'm going to plug into Amazon Steelers Tervis, and I'm gonna use this Amazon suggestion expander, and it's going to show ... It's a chrome extension. So basically what it'll do is it's gonna show me every type of variation that someone has searched this for. So maybe gold Steelers Tervis, Steelers Tervis with lid. I'm gonna see all those, and I'm gonna go okay, I'm gonna take all this information and I'm gonna pull this and I'm gonna use this information. If you're using it for PBC, you're gonna wanna use all of that. If you're using it obviously to optimize your listing, you're gonna wanna make sure you go after some of the top ones.
So then, how do you figure out the top ones? I like Merchant Words, I've been using them for a while now. Haven't really had anyone with ... That I think is this easy. So we take a majority of those, plug them into Merchant Words, see what the search volume is, and start utilizing, okay, these are some of the top ones that we're going after. You're still gonna have to continue to test stuff.
Okay, now you have, these are some of the top search terms with the most volume, so now let's plug these back into Amazon, and let's use something like Unicorn Smasher or Jungle Scout to see what's the top product showing for that keyword right now, and what's the estimated revenue, because I still don't believe that these are that accurate. They're usually wildly off, so I try to get a number in the middle there.
What product is showing? Now can I compete with that guy? Is he very different, is he not different and he's just got a ton of reviews and you're never gonna catch him? Then look at, okay, let's look at another key word. Okay, this one. Let's try this. Who's my competition here, who am I going after? I'm really not a fan of, for this, gold Steelers Tervis, okay it's a little bit longer tail, but if I did Steelers cup, I'm gonna be fighting with so many people for a space there. Go after those long tail ones and try to show there, and own the more niche, or niche, whichever you prefer, market, that you're not struggling so much and you're gonna start getting sales right off the bat.
We try to combine all that data into one spreadsheet, it's how we do this here, and we look at okay, this one's working the best, this one's working the best, let's try these for a little while. Then you let it sit and you say okay, it's working, it's not working. Or if you're running PBC, you let that data start to teach you if it's a little bit different.
Typically, what we'll do is once a month or so we'll pull another search term report, and we'll go okay, what is the top keyword we're converting for right now, because this is what people are searching that actually like our product, so I'm gonna go back into my listing, I'm gonna make sure that keyword is as prevalent as possible so that they know that this is exactly what you just searched.
Jordan, I'd love to know what your approach is.
Jordan Turley: Yeah. Honestly, super similar. Yeah, we love Merchant Words. We combine that with Scope from Cellular Labs as well. And essentially, we do the same thing as far as using the suggestion expander. So we'll search for synonyms associated with the product, we'll research the broad product category as well to find these similar search results. Again, like you're saying, that's not what we're gonna go and hit head on right in the beginning, because those are usually very competitive. We actually have a formula we have developed here that will spit us out a number and the whole ... Basically we'll look at a keyword, put it through a criteria, and it'll give us a number based off of is it a high search volume keyword, or medium to high, but it also has a low competition, or medium competition. Because you go into Merchant Words, most likely, broadly for your category, that first search term that has the highest volume that comes up is probably gonna be the most competitive one.
Pretty much exactly what you were saying, Andrew, we wanna go for some of these long tail ones, get some really quick wins, start generating some revenue, and then long term obviously, the goal is to rank on page one for those more broad terms associated with your product.
Yeah, I mean, it's super similar.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Yeah, definitely that page one thing. I mean, if I had a dollar for every time some one told me, "Oh, I rank on page one." Page one for what? It's literally-
Jordan Turley: Page one of Amazon, Andrew.
Andrew Maff: ... it is an infinite amount of page ones. It's ridiculous. And then, "Oh, I'm Amazon's choice for my brand name." You're like, "I'd hope so. You should be." But, yeah.
Keyword, I tried to touch in on some stuff about don't ... This goes with the whole broad thing. I threw an example off to the side here you don't really need to bother with plurals or hyphens. Amazon does that stuff automatically. So making sure, obviously, that they're negative, making sure that they're relevant should be pretty obviously. But you don't wanna skip on the long tail stuff, and then again, stressing over being page one.
The example I had here is if you're targeting a Shark vacuum or something like that, and one of the keywords you wanna keep going after is shark, do you know how may things you're gonna show for? Shark toy or shark cup or shark computer case. I'm looking at my desk. But you gotta go long tail. You're not really gonna win on the broad stuff. The broad stuff you just happen to show for.
We'll get into titles. I actually have a tweak on this one, because it's not as updated as I thought it was when I pulled this. I'll touch on it though. But I'm a big fan of keeping it simple. I don't like keyword stuffing titles. If your title is a paragraph, chances are the consumer's not gonna want to read it. They're gonna skim through it and they're gonna miss information that you maybe thought they should have.
It is theorized that Amazon only indexes the first 50 characters of your title. So you wanna focus on the beginning stuff, which, even if they don't ... Let's say it's not true and you actually start to write for the consumer, you're gonna lose them after a few words anyway, so make sure you put that stuff front and center. And of course, keeping it main keyword friendly. Go after the main stuff, don't get crazy with ... The T-shirt example I had earlier, it wasn't like available in red, blue, green, yellow, gold. That stuff's gonna get indexed regardless. You don't need to worry about that. And we're really big fans of writing for the consumer here. If you stop stressing out about the algorithm, you'll actually end up doing better, because your conversion rate increases, your consumer's going to purchase more often, which means you're gonna get more reviews, and that is what Amazon cares more about than you getting indexed for a keyword.
Your main stuff that you're getting rated for is how much is a consumer like you, and then what are the keywords that we're using that as an example for? So shoving the same keyword throughout your title or throughout bullet points, which we'll get into, isn't gonna help you.
One of the things I touched on and don't ... Actually, you know what? I'll let you ... I forgot you have more.
Jordan Turley: Yeah.
Andrew Maff: Why don't you touch on this one?
Jordan Turley: Yeah, I just wanted to expand a little bit on writing for the consumer. We're of the same mindset, Andrew over here. Yeah, don't keyword stuff. Write with your consumer in mind. If you really understand who your customer is, you know that they're trying to get from point A to point B, so it's speaking to the end result and what they are specifically looking for and putting that into your title, mixed in with, like Andrew mentioned, your most important keyword.
We're actually pretty much consolidating all titles across all categories now to 80 characters, because we've seen Amazon start to implement that across several categories, and we are of the belief that they're gonna roll that out category wide, so we're preparing now. But basically I wanna touch on this.
This was a great example by a very large private label company that you probably all know, but I blurred out the name just in case. But this is for a Bluetooth speaker. You can see here they have, obviously, huge search volume keywords, Bluetooth speaker, but then they have some really rich adjectives that you can tell they know what their customer is looking for. They have loud stereo sound, they have rich bass, and then the word perfect, perfect for. They know that their customer wants something portable and they wanna reach all devices, iPhone and Samsung being obviously the most popular.
Yeah, just wanted to expand a little bit on that and give another great example of a company that's doing that well.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. The 80 characters thing definitely makes sense. We've had this problem, which this is what I wanted to touch on, because ... If you don't have a big brand, and you're just selling a product and you're just transacting, so you're only on Amazon, you don't have a brand, that's another problem for another webinar. But you putting your brand name first if no one's ever heard of you is just a waste of character space. However, what we've found recently, which the 80 character thing would make sense for a lot of these categories, a good amount of categories we've been working with lately, if we don't add the brand name in the beginning, Amazon is actually doing it themselves. They're actually indexing, have you added your brand name, no? Okay, I'm gonna add it for you. So they've been forcing you to put that in the front.
If they're doing it for 80, that definitely makes sense now for some categories that are doing it because they're probably under the assumption you have at least 30 characters give or take of a brand name, and then the 50 of whatever else comes after that. Everything else could potentially be fluff, so they're leaving it alone.
For a while, I had don't have your brand name first, because you're wasting characters unless you're a larger brand, which is why I had the asterisk, but now you're being obligated to do it regardless. So maybe just go ahead and do it.
Jordan Turley: Right. I've tried to not do it, and if Amazon makes you, then it is what it is. But 100% agree. Unless you have a brand name that has a high search volume because people know you, try not to put it there.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. And then I had my fun example there. But yes, same stuff I mentioned, don't over keyword stuff, don't make it crazy long, and don't bother writing for the algorithm, make it consumer friendly and just use the keywords that you have to.
Product descriptions. This ones a little interesting too. Some people don't know that if you have enhanced [inaudible 00:26:10] content, this still gets indexed. As far as we know that's still the case, so we definitely don't think you should skip out on it. If you don't have brand registry, go get it. But if you don't, you can still make your product description a little more entertaining than normal.
This one has html in it, which I know a good amount of sellers are probably freaking out about right now and are excited to yell at me for it, but let me ... Hold on. You wanna obviously address all the important stuff. Hopefully you've done this in your bullet points already, hopefully you've done this in your imagery, which again we'll touch on. You wanna make it consumer centric. You wanna keep it simple and straight to the point, again, so a consumer ... But the bullet points, and making it more readable.
Everyone says the html is against Amazon's TOS because it's clearly stated in the TOS, which I understand. However, from what I've seen, there are certain things in html that are not flagged. Bullet points and bold is arguably all we see, and I think italics too, which this one doesn't have, so I'm not ... We usually don't use them. But you're not doing anything too crazy, we're not adding emojis, I'm not doing big page breaks or anything like that. It's just to simplify and break down a little bit. Just like if you were writing a blog post or something like that, you don't wanna have a paragraph. Someone's gonna look at that and go, "I'm not reading that," and they're gonna keep scrolling. So you wanna keep it short and simple and straight to the point, get right to the good stuff and then make it interesting.
When I say making it consumer centric, the problem with product descriptions is usually people start to read them, and then they'll go, "All right, this is boring," and they'll move on. We typically try to make them really entertaining while still having the keywords in there. The Bluetooth speaker you had as an example, there are things you want to mention about the Bluetooth speaker, but you don't have to just say "It has this, it has this, and it has that." You can literally write a story about one day, Sally was sitting at a park with her Bluetooth speaker that had a 66 foot long depth in it, or however it's stated. And actually telling a story, because they'll start to read it and they'll go, "What? Who's Sally?" And they'll keep reading it and they'll go through.
In a lot of cases I've seen listings go viral just because people share them on social media, and be like, "I don't care if you buy this or not, but you gotta read this product description." So maybe invest in a content writer to actually make it a little more entertaining.
Let's see. Someone asked a question. Once again, if you have enhanced brand content, you should still make your product description. Yes. However, if you have it, you don't really have to worry about how it looks, because no one can see it. So html and stuff like that not really important, but yes, I would definitely still fill that out.
Let's see. Stuff not to do. Having a ton of copy in one paragraph, which I just mentioned. Links, oh yeah. Don't mention your website anywhere, don't mention your email, don't mention your phone. I've seen a ton of listings get suppressed for stuff like that. That's a pretty standard Amazon TOS rule. Same thing with your bullet points and your images and all that fun stuff. I would definitely not do that. And I've seen a ton with just one line of copy, it's just one simple line underneath the product description. And if you're looking at a desktop, if someone's shopping there, which I know most are on mobile now, but if you're looking at a desktop and it's just one simple line, to me I don't even see it most of the time. I have to search for where is the product description on this guy's listing, I go, "Oh, there it is. Okay, I see it now." That would definitely be something I would say. And then the html thing I touched on too.
Jordan Turley: Yep.
Andrew Maff: Back end information. This one's really not that sexy, so I didn't dive into it too much. But if you have the information, if you have your product in house, get the size, get the weight, get everything that you can possibly think of, get all the information from your manufacturer that you can fill out. Every extra thing that you add is still indexed by Amazon, and if you're adding more and more information, Amazon thinks hey, they're providing this consumer with every piece of information they need to know for this product. It can in fact help you with your rating. Whether it's actually really indexed or if they just count all these things are filled out, I don't know. But definitely fill out as much as you can.
Search terms, you're limited to 250 bytes now, so be careful with that. Platinum keywords. I get a lot of questions about platinum keywords. It's only indexed if you're a platinum seller. How to become a platinum seller, you gotta be huge. What we usually suggest though is look forward and be hopeful, and fill them out anyway.
Jordan Turley: It's a good idea. Doesn't hurt.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. They're not gonna do anything, but if one day you become a platinum seller, you don't have to go back and redo it. You're in there, go ahead and fill it out, it doesn't hurt anyone. And then fill out all the target audience stuff, all the intended use stuff, as much as you can. They're gonna give you suggested stuff to fill out. You don't have to do the suggested stuff. You can actually fill out whatever you want. That's personal preference. Actually in fact, here in the office, it depends on who's doing it, whether they use the ones that are suggested or not. I don't know what your thought is on that, Jordan, but usually I prefer to go with the suggested stuff because I know that that's gonna be indexed, but sometimes I have seen them filled out custom and it works the same way.
Jordan Turley: Yeah. Yeah. I've done it both ways, but I usually tend to do the suggested piece by Amazon.
Andrew Maff: Don't bother reusing keywords, so get rid of all your synonyms, get rid of as much as you can. You only have 250 bytes to work with, so make sure that you're using them to as best as you can. You don't wanna repeat yourself all the time. Don't forget to check everything went through. That one's really standard to me. Push your listing live when you're done. Maybe wait 24, 48 hours and then go look at your listing on the front end of Amazon and make sure it actually went. I have people here who are professionals at filling out tickets now because Amazon doesn't, they don't register some of the stuff you put in the back end. So always double check your stuff. And then don't worry about punctuation or anything like that, but otherwise the rest is pretty straightforward.
Jordan Turley: Yeah. Really quick, on reusing keywords. There are a lot of sellers that think the more they have a keyword somewhere, the more Amazon's gonna give them impressions and help them rank, and it's actually the complete opposite. Spread your net wide. If you've already used a keyword on the front end, don't use it on the back end. In fact, Amazon has told us, and we don't see that this is actually happening in most cases, but what we've been told is that there's a chance that a keyword could be canceled out and not be indexed if it's used in the back end and the front end.
Again, does it actually happen? Not always, not usually even. But don't reuse keywords. There's really no need. If it's in your front end, that's more than enough.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. I would imagine they have to have some kind of duplicate content thing in place that, for your speaker example, if I just put Bluetooth in the back end 50 times, and then put it on the front and on the back, it's not gonna help me any. Like I'd mentioned earlier, the algorithm's more catered towards conversions and reviews than it is what keywords you put-
Jordan Turley: How many times you put it.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Images. This one's a little more sexy. This one's more fun. High definition, white background. If you can, 3D renderings are always great. Otherwise, get some awesome photography. Lifestyle images, I mean, that one ... Those are all standard for the most part. The call outs and the infographics are the interesting one. I come across a lot of listings where it's just pictures. And although that's great, but no one's reading your really long title, no one's reading your bullet points, especially if you made those into paragraphs, which we've seen a lot, which I thought we should have hit by now. I hope I didn't miss it.
Jordan Turley: We might have, actually.
Andrew Maff: Did I miss it? Did I skip over bullet points?
Jordan Turley: In my deck they came before product description, but we can head back.
Andrew Maff: Oh man. All right. We're gonna come back. I'll do images and then I'll go back to ... I don't know how that happened. No one's gonna read the bullet points. Your average consumer, what we've tried to instill here is that the average consumer is not stupid. The average consumer is just lazy. They don't wanna read everything, which is true. I don't wanna read half the stuff either. So even when I shop on Amazon, I just look at the pictures, I see what it is, I go, "Great," I start scrolling down to the reviews, if there's enhanced brand content you're gonna catch me with more visual stuff, so that's why it helps with conversion rates, which is why we'll get into that. But, everyone's just reading the images.
If there's important stuff that you need to get across about your product ... If it's a shirt and you wanna make sure 100% cotton or something like that and you need to get through that, put it in your imagery. All your secondary images you can add anything you want, excluding your website and your email and phone number and all that fun stuff. But call outs, infographics, especially for sizing, things like that, really important. You have ... What is it? I forgot how many images you can have now. But you have a ton of images you can work with. So do as many as you can. Work them through. They have to be mobile friendly, make sure they're mobile friendly. That one is pretty obvious, and I think it's a majority of people shop on mobile, if not they start on mobile and then move over to desktop.
Even though you got a bunch of sales on desktop, they may have actually started on mobile, so you have to make sure it's as mobile friendly as possible. And now you have video which is great. If you have brand registry and you go into the enhanced brand content area, you can add a video, which actually goes into your main listing images, not the enhanced brand content. I don't know why they put it in there, but they did.
This was just a few examples of clients we had done before. Definitely have to make sure that that first image is a white background. I know that there's a lot of sellers out there that have lifestyle images as the first picture and they haven't been suppressed yet, or they haven't gotten flagged. I've definitely seen some that have and I've definitely seen some that haven't. They tell you it's against the terms of service. Maybe it's dependent on how many sales you're getting in, or it could be dependent on PBC, things like that. But in reality, everything we know, it needs to be a white background for the first image. The rest have fun with it.
Jordan Turley: Do what you want. Yep.
Andrew Maff: And I know you got one in here too, right? Yeah.
Yeah, I do. I wanna expand a little bit more on lifestyle images and infographics. Make sure that you know, obviously first step, is know who your customer is. And in your lifestyle images, show who your target customer or customers are. I mean, I've seen products ... Here's an example. We've got the warrior blend example, that's a good example. [inaudible 00:37:29] which is an infographic we did, and then this center one of the watch I put on as a bad example.
This is a, I just typed in sport watch on Amazon. This is supposed to be a sport watch, it's waterproof for triathletes, things like that. And the only lifestyle image with a person in it was him and he's wearing a suit, which might be great for one lifestyle image showing that it's a sport watch but it also looks good in a classy environment. But there was no sporty lifestyle image at all. Yeah, just touching again on mobile. All that people see in the Amazon app is basically your title, price, images, and reviews. So this is where you speak to your customers and you wanna try to get them to imagine using your product as best as you can through imagery, and then video is obviously going to be huge.
Warrior Blend, great example, this girl doing yoga, hits a portion of their target market very well. It's a plant based vegan protein. The two generally go hand in hand. And then, yeah, this infographic. As Andrew mentioned, if you need to get through specific benefits and selling points, the consumer is gonna see it in your images, they're not going to go down and read a massive paragraph that you've written in your product description.
On Amazon, images sell your product. Your copy really doesn't. Words don't. So If you're gonna use words, throw them on images.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Don't ... Ton of copy in there. You actually just touched on that. Adding your website and phone, email, don't do that, definitely get into Amazon's rules. Small or low definition. By small I mean when you ... Obvious email you have the images off to the side and if you click on it it expands it. If you have a small image, pixel sized small, and it opens up, it's gonna really frustrate the consumer if they open it up, and great, zooming in did nothing for me.
Poor grammar. That one's my favorite. Coming across, like hey, that's not how you use there. But stuff like that, because those are usually glaring. And then limited images. Having one or two image, no. Get some images in there. You should be at least six or seven usually, depending on what your product is.
But here, let me ... I don't know how I did this. So we're gonna scroll back, we're gonna go over bullet points real quick. Include your most relevant keywords, get right at it. Short, readable phrases and fragments. Don't do a paragraph for each bullet point. It's just gonna ignore ... The consumer's gonna ignore it, they're not gonna read it, then if you're imagery's not optimized, like we just touched on, they're not gonna read that either. Usually we try to limit the length.
Address the most important stuff. I personally am not a fan of the capital letters at the beginning, and I think emojis have died off too. There's a standard, I think there's a standard there. Some people still use it, I don't like to use it. We haven't had any issues not using it, so it's been working really fine. Then emojis, I mentioned that one, we don't wanna touch on those anymore.
There's also a theory that only the first bullet point is actually indexed now and the rest are just there for the consumer. Again, it's a theory. It's what we believe based on what we've read from some stuff through Amazon, but it's always gray, it's never in fact. So we go off of let's make sure that first bullet point is really driving home the important information, and then the rest is really there for the consumer.
If you got something coming in a box, or anything like that, make it very clear on what's coming in, what's not.l you don't wanna have too much copy because then they won't read it. And I have so many sellers sometimes who will come to us and say, "We get a lot of complaints that they didn't know it didn't come with batteries, but it's clearly written right there in our third bullet point." Like yeah, well even I didn't read that.
Jordan Turley: [inaudible 00:41:44] reason.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. What else we have on ... And then don't ... Yeah, all caps. Mentioned that one. Emojis, symbols, things like that. Shoving keywords in there, that's another one, that's where those big paragraph comes around. The mention of a warranty or guarantee, that one, usually we suggest not to do it, but you can definitely word it correctly and you're usually okay. Just try to dance around the warranty or guarantee option. I don't know, Jordan, do you use those?
Jordan Turley: No, not really.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. We've had issues with Amazon saying you can't guarantee anything, blah blah blah, stuff like that. Because then it's up to Amazon to deal with that.
Jordan Turley: Yeah.
Andrew Maff: This is great, by the way. I saw this.
Jordan Turley: Yeah yeah yeah. That was me. Yeah. So if you're trying to figure out, hey, is my imagery good, especially specifically your main image, we like to perform what we call the Tinder test. Just a fun little thing, just imagine if your product was on Tinder, would you swipe right? I think that's a great indicator. Sometimes it's so easy to get in your own head and try to convince yourself that your product photography is great or something like that. So tinker around, look at what your competitors are doing, and then perform the Tinder test, man. Would you swipe right? A couple examples here. Super flat sleeping bag, and then obviously a very professional sleeping bag.
Andrew Maff: Let's do the enhanced brand content one, or the A plus content. I sent out a poll, would love to know if you have enhanced brand content already. I've heard a lot of things about enhanced brand content. There's the new stuff. Obviously we already mentioned the videos that came out. Those actually aren't in your enhanced brand content, they're in the image listing, but it's in the enhanced brand content area, so it is what it is. But let us know if you have it already or if you like the one you have or if you don't like it or anything like that, and we'll chime in a little bit there.
They added alt text now. That is actually being indexed. Amazon came out, and that was pretty straightforward that they said yes, in fact this is being indexed. For those of you who don't know what alt text is or how to do it, it's not like shoving keywords in there. It's definitely not another area for you to place keywords. What it's meant for, if you picture it as, pretend that a blind person is trying to look at this and someone has to describe it to them. That is what alt text is for. That's how it gets indexed. If you do it appropriately, it can actually really help in terms of being indexed. But keyword stuffing it isn't gonna help. You want it to be descriptive and explain what's in the picture.
Let's end this poll. 40% say yes, and it's great. Good. Yes, and 20% yes but it's not working. So that would tell me that your conversion rate has fallen or it's still the same, or obviously sales haven't gone up, which means your conversion rate hasn't moved. 33%, no but I'd like to. Great. We'll talk later. And then 0% said no and I don't want to, which is good, and then 7% said you don't have brand registry. So that 7%, go get your brand registered if you can.
Jordan Turley: Start the process today.
Andrew Maff: Definitely a big one, especially if you can't get brand ... If you don't have your brand registry, enhanced brand content's awesome, headline ads do fantastic if you do them right. But the biggest thing is you can block people out of your listings. You don't wanna get your listing hijacked, and it's really hard to kick people out unless you have brand registry.
The enhanced brand content, why does it help, what is it there for, what does it do? I mentioned earlier, people come to your ... Go through the buying process. Watch an average consumer shop. If you ever need something, and you're like, "Oh, you know what, I need a new stapler." Instead of you going on your phone and ordering a new stapler yourself on Amazon, give it to someone who's not in your industry, watch what they do. They're gonna shop, they're gonna type in stapler, they're gonna look at the pictures of the top one, they're gonna read the title really quick, and they're gonna go, "That sounds right," and they're gonna click on it. They're gonna look at the pictures, they're gonna ignore the bullet points and everything else and probably not even look at them, and they're gonna start scrolling down because they wanna know what are the reviews on this stapler, does it break a lot, blah blah, what are the top best reviews, what are the worst ones, and go from there.
The reason enhanced brand content helps is because as they're scrolling down to go look at those reviews, you are now providing them with this custom designed, beautiful looking imagery graphic design heavy area of more information about your product.
I grabbed some examples of stuff we did. Big thing that you gotta make sure you do on these is make sure they're mobile friendly. If you haven't used these before, or if you have you already know, they're modules. You have, there's a big horizontal one, then you have the boxes one. If you do the horizontal one, you have a little text in there, it doesn't have the option to expand or anything like that on your mobile, so you gotta break up the important information that you need to write a little more about, you gotta put those in modules so that it's as mobile friendly as possible.
Some of these were ... The one in the middle, Drinkapalooza, really fun game, by the way. But this was one we did a while ago. Incredibly heavily graphic design. That's what we see always works best, because it's mostly images. If you get a lot of content in there and you have one little picture and then a paragraph, no one's reading that stuff.
I'd be interested to see that 20% that said yes they have it but it's not working, look at how much content you have versus how much imagery you have, and that may actually tell you, that could potentially be your problem there.
More lifestyle shots, we touched on that one. More infographics and call outs and things like that. It's a really great area for you to just ... You basically have freedom for the most part in this whole space.
This one's yours on [crosstalk 00:48:10]
Jordan Turley: Yeah, just a couple more things to touch on. You can almost think of EBC, and not entirely, there are definitely differences, but almost like a homepage on a website. Having a value prop at the top, and we test this, not every time to we start it that way, but here with Purple Mattress is one of our clients, we have the immediate call out to their value prop which is perfect spinal alignment on both your back and side. And that's proved to work really well.
The other thing is educate and show the desired end result. Before after works really well, as you can see in that little module there with the teeth whitening kits. And then yeah, touching again on design with mobile in mind. There are a lot of modules, unfortunately, and a lot of them are usually the more design centric models that when they shrink down to mobile they look terrible. So we've tested all these modules, and that's one thing that you're gonna wanna do. So test your EBC, check to see how it looks in mobile, look at some other examples that you find from competitors or products that you like, that you think their EBC looks really well, and make sure you look at it on mobile.
Because again, so many shoppers are on their purchasing the majority on mobile or they're starting on mobile like Andrew mentioned earlier. So make sure you know which modules are gonna actually expand and minimize and look good on desktop and mobile. And then EBC's great to tell your brand story. Obviously, not necessarily in words, but in using a lot of imagery and things like that to really solidify your brand on Amazon. Just a couple more things there.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. If you look at the fact of the capabilities of the Amazon storefront that you have now, the capabilities that you have of enhanced brand content, the fact that Amazon's almost forcing you to put your brand first on their titles now. Amazon is getting so brand heavy and so brand centric, because in reality, what I think they're trying to do is kick out a lot of these smaller sellers that are flooding Amazon with bad product that breaks conveniently the day after you write a review. It's becoming ... It's hard to find the good products now than it was before. I find Amazon, for certain products it's almost like a glorified flea market in certain cases, depending on what products you're going after.
Having enhanced brand content, doing great images, having a storefront, really writing for the consumer, stuff like that, that really will differentiate you from the issues of all these smaller sellers that come in with product that they've found at their neighbor's house kind of thing. So it's definitely a big branding play now. We see that the most successful sellers, the really big guys, the eight figures, the way up there, they are big sellers on Amazon because they're such big sellers off Amazon. Because they have such a big brand. There's not a lot of people that do eight figures and higher and are only on Amazon and aren't anywhere else.
If you wanna be successful on Amazon, like really successful, you have to be successful everywhere else, or at least try. We have a lot of sellers that do really well on Amazon, and have their own store, but just redirect everyone to Amazon. They don't even bother with their own storefront, because like me they don't wanna deal with operations. So they just send it off and FBA it there.
You really have to do what you can off Amazon to help your on Amazon presence, but if you're on Amazon, you have a bad listing and you're sending off traffic, that's not gonna help either. This is really the bread and butter of your business is where you start, is right here on the listing, and this is really how enhanced brand content can help.
Jordan Turley: Right. And if you look at it, I mean even the evolution of Google, when keyword stuffing worked, and that's what everybody was doing, that might have worked on Amazon four, five plus years ago. But you're 100% right. Amazon is absolutely, 100% rewarding companies that are building a brand and building a great customer experience within their Amazon listings. So that's what you have to do. The sellers that do that are gonna be the ones that have long term sustainability, and with all the changes that come in Amazon, they're not gonna dip with those changes, they're just gonna keep growing.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. Stuff not to do, I mentioned don't have a ton of copy, don't have information redirecting to your site. No matter how much you wanna keep the customer, Amazon will never let you. Poor quality imagery, that one's obvious. Poor grammar. I had to throw that one in there. Random stock photos is always my favorite, because I know a lot of people who really want lifestyle images but don't wanna pay to have a model model them or have someone Photoshop the product in. So instead what they do is like, oh, my product is great for business people, so I'm gonna go to Shutterstock and get the top three business people images and put them in my enhanced brand content. That is ... When you have that stuff in there, even the average consumer knows that's a stock photo, that was a lazy [crosstalk 00:53:31]. I'm not doing that. So don't even bother. You're probably better off having another picture of the product or something like that than having a random stock photo there.
Jordan Turley: Yep.
Andrew Maff: So that was it. Top to bottom.
Jordan Turley: Boom.
Andrew Maff: I think we hit it all. If anyone's got questions, comments, anything like that, start sending them in, we'll see if we can get to them. I did have one volunteer for us to dig apart a listing, but-
Jordan Turley: Perfect.
Andrew Maff: ... I think we're pushing time a little bit here, but let's see what we can do. But I'll ... You know what, let's pull it up. I'll make it super quick. I won't say your last name, but Jonathan allowed us to dig into his listing. So we can touch on ... Why don't we, just for the sake of time real quick Jordan, why don't you tell them about what you got here too.
Jordan Turley: Yeah. Yeah. If anyone's looking to gain some insight into why you're losing customers, diagnose maybe why your conversion isn't doing well or why you're not getting a lot of traffic to your site, for anyone on this webinar, we'll offer a free listing analysis and basically hop on a phone with one of our Amazon experts, and we'll walk through the listing and figure out what's going on, and you'll walk away with some actionable insights and things to do better.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. I got the same thing. So give me a call. Fill out this thing, sellerschoice.agency/giveaway. I dated it so that it's just for you guys. Password Amazon listings. We'll hop in a call, I will dig through your listing with you, and we're gonna do one for Jonathan right now too. But we're gonna do that live.
Then, also, I have a need book, we put one together for listing optimization, so almost everything we went through is there. It's not gated, nothing like that, you just go there, it'll start downloading. It's bit.ly/listingebook. That's all yours. I will also have that in the email in case you guys don't feel like typing that in.
All right. So we're gonna do this live real quick, and we're gonna dig through Jonathan's Amazon listing here. Jonathan, thank you for letting us do this. Let's see how this goes. All right. Be a good time for my wifi to work a little bit faster. We're gonna dig through this listing, we're gonna see what our immediate thoughts are here.
Okay. I'm gonna be really honest. I feel like Jonathan pulled a prank on us. And that's a fantastic prank. And if it's not a prank, if this is your listing, I'm sorry for that comment. But you know what? I don't care. We're still gonna dig through this thing.
Right off the top. One image. I imagine these don't ship well. Pretty ... Even though I like the limited title, it shouldn't be that limited. And I like limited bullet points. It definitely shouldn't be that limited. You know what? I'll give this listing credit though. The image is pretty high quality for the most part. You need more. You need call outs. You need lifestyle photos, like have someone putting this thing on a pizza or something. But I love that you did this.
Oh, this is my little cheat sheet thing here.
And then ... This is what I was talking about, about product description. You have one line here. I would have missed this. Right off the bat, I would have never seen this if I was a consumer, which obviously means there is no enhanced brand content. I really appreciate the prank. I really feel like this was a prank. If it's not, call me, and I'm really sorry for calling you out, but one image after what we just went through, Jonathan? Come on, you know better.
But, you know what, it was good. Big thank you to everyone who joined us today. Actually you know what, Jonathan, you have any ... Jordan, you got any notes on this?
Jordan Turley: Yeah, I think the only thing we might have missed is just get some more reviews. Do everything you can to get an email follow up and reach out to an email list you might have that's about your product, whatever, but get some reviews.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. You got one though. Apparently they're good sardines.
Jordan Turley: It's good. It's a five star. Yeah. Hey, I might just go buy them, give them a try.
Andrew Maff: I know, right? We're gonna ... I think we're gonna have a big influx with this guy. This guy is gonna have a random amount of a lot of sales. But you know what? All right, because I think I got a joke one, I hope this one's not a joke. I got one more, I'm gonna do one more for you guys, just because this is kinda fun. But we'll dig through this one. I hope it's real. And then we're gonna call it just so I'm not taking up everyone's day.
Okay. Here we go. Thank you for actually doing this. Jordan, I took the lead on the last one. You wanna take the lead on this one?
Jordan Turley: Yeah. This is Valley Forge. What's up Valley Forge, I don't know who's on, but this is actually one of our clients. This is interesting.
Andrew Maff: Oh, this is one of your clients?
Jordan Turley: Yeah, it is.
Andrew Maff: I can't comment on it then.
Jordan Turley: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, complete transparency, you and I have a little bit different mindsets when it comes to a couple of things that we talked about. With us, because we're of the mindset, and with our relationship with Amazon, we ... Again, they're always vague, but we've been told that basically content is eventually going to almost die out. Nobody's reading it, they know that. So we essentially use content and the bullet points as pretty much an optimization tool for SEO. So we actually do maximize bullet points. We have really good content writers that, we don't keyword stuff, we write to the consumer definitely, but we mix in keywords within that. That sounds good, expounds on the bullet points, and we just like to get as much as we can on the front end while still including and enhancing the customer experience.
Variations are good here. Could use some more lifestyle images, definitely ... Oh, there we go. Okay, we got a, yeah, video.
Andrew Maff: [crosstalk 01:00:07]
Jordan Turley: But yeah, I mean, title looks good, lots of reviews.
Andrew Maff: Got EBC in here, nice.
Jordan Turley: So there's EBC. Again, modules unfortunately that look good on mobile are usually a little bit more text oriented. We're trying to experiment with some more ways to limit the text, because I 100% agree with you Andrew that the more visual you can get, the better that's going to convert.
Andrew Maff: Its reviews are definitely good.
Jordan Turley: Yeah.
Andrew Maff: Oh, you have ... This is the from the manufacturer area, which most people don't have. Of course, Valley Forge, I'm sure you guys obviously do. This is basically like you have the ability to have EBC as well as the product description. So it's why you got both here. But otherwise, usually it replaces it.
Hey, reviews are good. Nice. Nice nice nice. Yeah, my wifi is not helping out today. But that was fun. Never got to do that live before. That was a good time.
Thank you everyone for joining us. Like I mentioned, I'll try to get out the slides shortly here after the webinar, I'll email them out. We'll have video up in the next couple days or so. Thank you everyone for joining us. Obviously reach out to myself or Jordan if you guys have any questions. Bring this guy back up. Yeah. Thanks for joining us. Good luck out there. Q4. You got this.
Jordan Turley: Go and kill it.
Andrew Maff: Thanks Jordan, have a good one.
Jordan Turley: Yeah, thank you.
Andrew Maff: All right.