Amazon is a big deal.
Amazon SEO? It’s kinda important, too. Just check this insane statistic out: 55% of US shoppers start their shopping trip on Amazon, making it surpass Google as the most popular search destination.
This is why being able to optimize Amazon product listings is essential. Good SEO means more visibility for you and your products. After all, Amazon stocks millions of products, including loads by your competitors.
Annoying? Frustrating? It Can be.
But it isn’t if you’re good at Amazon SEO.
Grab yourself a coffee and let’s find out together how you can increase your Amazon sales with these findings:
FIRST, WHAT WE DID
To build the best listing, you need to learn from the best.
When it comes to Amazon, we at Skubana knew there had to be a fundamental difference between what the top performing sellers are doing and what the rest are doing.
And we reckoned it came down to the way they optimized their listings.
Amazon recently published a report that compiled the sales velocity of the top 10,000 ASINs across 31 categories. The report is data heavy reading and covered the US, Canada and Mexico.
We set out to analyze the data of 3,000 product listings in three broad categories:
- Garden Supplies
- Health & Beauty
We also decided to split the listings into 1P sellers vs 3P sellers. This way we could understand what 1P sellers have in common, since they tend not to work as hard as 3P sellers.
We found that the majority of sellers are 1P:
- 1P vendor listings (1st party selling to Amazon) – 1,774
- 3P seller listings (3rd party selling on Amazon) – 1,226
#1: PRODUCT LISTING TITLE LENGTH
We wanted to figure out what the correlation was between the length of a product’s title and how many sales that product had.
We wanted to know if there even is a correlation.
Product listings that contain between 40 and 80 characters make up 33% of the top 1,000 product listings.
This means that, if you want your product to be on par with the Top 1,000 ASINs, your product listing must contain between 40 and 80 characters. This also helps with the average cut off in search, which is between 74 and 110 characters depending on what device is being used.[*]
A watch from WOLF, as per the image below, contains 59 characters in its title length. In just 59 characters, the company establishes the brand, the color of the watch, a key feature (a cover) and they use a power word (heritage).
We then dug a little bit deeper to see if there were any patterns between the title length of vendors and sellers.
It turns out that as many as 40% of Third Party sellers include more text in titles, with their listings containing over 120 characters.
Vendor listings, meanwhile? Only 15% contain over 120 characters.
Vendors are doing it right, because their listings account for 68% of the Top 1,000 ASINs.
Moreover, it’s worth pointing out that Amazon truncates a product listing at exactly 112 characters.
Key takeaway: Spend time on your titles. It is one of the most important factors, if not the most that determines your CTR from a product results page. Titles should be between 40 and 80 characters.
#2: NUMBER OF PRODUCT LISTING IMAGES
When we compared the difference between vendors and sellers where product listing images are concerned, we found that pretty much ZERO seller listings contain just one image.
62% of the best 3P listings have 5-8 images and our findings suggest that the sweet spot for 3P sellers is 8 images.
Vendors don’t seem to have a set pattern of images on their product listings as the distribution is much more even. This could also be because the images are embedded in the HTML through different Amazon content services like Amazon A+.
The second highest frequency is just 2 images – but it’s hard to ignore that more than double go all-out with 8 images.
This is a smart move. Think about it: The more your customers see of a product, the more convinced they will be about buying it. This works for 3P sellers great, as they typically can’t really on a brand name to sell their product, such as Panasonic.
As you can see from the image below, Blackstone do what a lot of top ranking ASINs do and pair up their 7 images with text that describes the specific features.
Key takeaway: Take advantage of the space Amazon is giving you and use 6-7 images.
#3: NUMBER OF FEATURED BULLETS
As you can see from the image, the data on this one is crystal clear: Five featured bullets is the sweet spot.
80% of 3P sellers used 5 bullet points and only 58% of 1P sellers 5 bullet points.
We assume that 1P sellers are not taking full advantage of the 5 bullet points available because they may:
- Be a big brand and don’t see the need to dedicate the resources to creating the extra content
- Amazon is in control of is presented to the user and have a lot less incentive to fully optimize the listings
Here’s an example of how it’s done by Toshiba:
Other quick insights we learned (let’s use some bullets ourselves):
- The info you want a customer to know more than anything else (the hook) must be in the first bullet point. For example – Risk Free Lifetime Warranty
- Include the most important info at the start of each bullet point. In other words, ain’t nobody got time for a long winded story until you finally get to the point, captain
- Amazon truncates bullets at 140 characters. This is a deadly trap. Avoid it by sticking to less than 150 characters
- So use five featured bullet and make every single one of them count. Cram them with valuable info that you know will draw an audience in
Key takeaway: Fill all five bullet points with information. Your top selling point belongs in the first bullet and keep the character count under 150.
#4: PRODUCT DESCRIPTION LENGTH
Product Description length – there are so many different opinions on what makes a great quality description.
We confined our analysis to items that contained non-enhancing content only.
As you can see from the image below, the Top 1,000 keep their product descriptions short, with 20% of them containing less than 100 characters.
53% of the random set have descriptions of 300 characters or less.
The picture was similar when we compared vendors with sellers. 70% of vendor product listings contain less than 500 characters, while seller listings also vary from a large percentage that have short descriptions to a large percentage that have over 1,100 characters.
When we look at the sellers listings, 36% of them have 1,100+ characters.
Below is an example of how Black and Decker described their toaster oven in almost 800 characters characters:
This, as you can imagine, left us with a bit of a conundrum: Where product listing descriptions are concerned, is it better to go long or short?
Considering the data, our answer is that both seem to be viable strategies. But with sellers over 51% of product listing descriptions contain less than 400 characters.
Key takeaway: Keep product listing description under 400 characters.
#5: NUMBER OF PRODUCT REVIEWS
Check the image below. It shows you that most of the Top ranked Amazon product listings have 1,000 reviews or less.
The first bar represents 0 to 500, the second represents 501 to 1000 and so on.
Very few products have over 1,500 and the numbers tail off after that.
Most listings have between 500 and 1,000 reviews accompanying them, while 26% have between 500 and 1,500.
When we dives further into research we found that Belkin has a 4.3 in reviews
This data is not surprising in the least. After all, you’d expect a top selling product to have lots of reviews.
But here’s the curveball question that we need to address for SEO purposes: Does more reviews help with sales, and if so, do more reviews increase visibility?
Let’s compare sellers with vendors.
As you can see from the image, sellers get less reviews per product than vendors.
There’s also a colossal drop-off of reviews over 500 on seller items. The law of diminishing returns kicks in at about 446 reviews.
At this point, more isn’t better.
Below is every category across 10,000 listings per 31 categories. All but two categories are above 4.0 stars. Jewelry had a 3.96 and Appliances had 2.45.
Key takeaway: Get the first 100 reviews on a product to see real results. Focus on quality. Product reviews need an average ranking of 4.0 to reach the top spots.
#6: PLAIN, A+ AND ENHANCED BRAND CONTENT
The jury is still out on enhanced brand content.
A+ is an Amazon program that sellers sign up to if they want their product pages enhanced with marketing content and visuals. Amazon say they can guarantee that sales will go up by at least 3% and by as much as 10% if sellers sign up to this premium content feature. Below is an example of an Amazon A+ page.
EBC, meanwhile, stands for Enhanced Brand Content. For sellers who sign up, it improves the way their content and product information looks on their listings page. You can’t fully customize it yourself like you can with A+ but its templates are super easy to use, and you can add images as well as make your paragraphs, subheadings and so on stand out. Below is an example of an EBC content.
When we analyzed the random listings, we found that almost 75% of them had plain content, as per the image below.
Our conclusion? There isn’t much to say other than that most sellers aren’t willing to pay for enhanced brand content.
The top performing 1,000 listings, on the other hand?
You’ve probably already guessed it: Yup, the majority of them use enhanced content, as per the image below.
This is probably the biggest difference in anything we’ve analyzed. Put simply, the top performing sellers use enhanced content, and the rest don’t.
For 3P sellers, enhanced brand content is still relatively new to them and 67% are still using plain content.
Key takeaway: Top-performing sellers are spending time and money on creating better content. If you do not want to invest money on Amazon’s paid service, it’s worth spending the time learning to use their free content enhancement service.
KEY TAKEAWAYS ABOUT AMAZON SEO
So what does all this mean for you? Below are the key takeaways from our analysis of 3,000 top ranked amazon product listings:
1) When it comes to product listings, vendors are doing it right because their listings account for 68% of the Top 1,000 ASINs. Most of their listings contain up to 120 characters, with just 15% going over 120.
2) Amazon let us use 8 images max. The top sellers use 8 images (often accompanied by text). Don’t scrimp on images.
3) Bullet points – use five per product listing, give away the most valuable info as soon as possible and don’t go over 150 characters (Amazon truncates at 140).
4) The length of product descriptions can vary, but if you were to push us we’d say go with 400 characters or less.
5) Get your first 100 product reviews ASAP and then take it from there.
6) Set aside some of your budget for enhanced content. It makes your content look more presentable and appealing, and most of those in the top 1,000 use enhanced content. Winners win and losers lose.