In the previous episode, we began our discussion with Dana Derricks of copywritingprofessor.com about the importance of copy and a little about the format he explains in his book, The Amazon Listing Optimization Secrets Work Book. He also explained why the title is 50% of your listing in terms of optimization. The title has two jobs: get ranked for certain keywords and get the click. Here he shares what to do with the rest of the listing.
You’ve got your listing clicked on because your title has benefits. That’s half the job done. The other half is once people are there, you have to get them to buy. That’s where bullets come in. Anybody that’s buying anything has the main benefit they’re after, but then they have secondary benefits. For example, if you were to go buy a car, maybe the main benefit is that you want to have something you can fit your whole family in, so you need plenty of room. But you might also want the secondary benefit of fuel economy or gas mileage. Then another secondary benefit is you want to make sure that it’s safe. It’s the same on Amazon: customers have one main one that draws them in, but then there’s a bunch of other ones that you need to think about too.
Amazon is going to want the features too. You have to give that to them, but you can do it in a secondary way. Because what the people want are the benefits, that’s what gets them to pull out their wallet. So give the benefits first and then give the keywords with features afterward. This addresses the customer psychology but also the Amazon requirements and the algorithm.
If you can master building a completely optimized listing for Amazon and can do well with it in the toughest place on earth to sell, everything else you do is going to be easy. This stuff is very transferable to anything else you do, which is an interesting side benefit and yet another reason to get good at copywriting.
Dana’s book lays out an all-caps format for the beginning of each bullet when if comes to Amazon listing optimization. He suggests using the beginning of each bullet to explain every single possible benefit or reason someone would buy the product. Then you have to get the keywords in because Amazon indexes the bullets as well as the title. Integrate the keywords into the lower case sentences after the all-caps beginning. Those sentences must flow properly so that the keywords get used in a way that makes sense and will actually convert people. Use capitals are for the benefits, then normal lower case sentence for the details and main keywords.
For a while, the description was one of those things that people said not to bother writing about because it didn’t get indexed very highly. Dana has tested this pretty extensively and while the description is far less important than the title or the bullets, it is important to focus on and get it done well to have proper Amazon listing optimization.
The description is sort of an extension of the bullets. You don’t want to introduce any new stuff. If the customer has gotten to the description, if they’re reading it, they’re sold. If you add new stuff it will confuse them and possibly drive them away. It’s a sensitive place because above and below the description are about two-dozen other similar products. It takes one click and they’re gone. So the description is taking what you started on your bullets and elaborating on that, bringing it home.
Once concept from Dana’s book is called Dual Readership. A group of people out there need to read every word and know everything about something before they read it. So the description is a fantastic place for those people.
Another thing to know is that the description is indexed, but not always. The algorithm is funky and always changing. Dana prefers to put eggs in the basket of things that have a timeless impact. The description is not indexed with the weight that the bullet points are. It’s good to put the longer-tail keywords in the description because the competitors are probably not wasting the space in their title or bullets for the longer-tail keywords. It’s an automatic win if you do use them in your description. Your competitors likely aren’t even trying for the long tail keywords.
It’s important. But of everything that Dana has spoken of so far, he says this is the one that changes the most often and is, therefore, the most frustrating. Everyone is saying something different about this back-end part. Some people say you need to put exact phrases in and use all 5 fields. Some people say you should only put in new fresh words and load up the first field with as many as they’ll let you. He doesn’t invest a lot of time and energy into this place because it changes all the time and it’s less important to Amazon listing optimization.
The best advice he has is that you have to test it and see what works for you. If you’re trying to constantly change the algorithm, you’re chasing a moving thing. Instead, focus on the timeless stuff like the title, the bullets and the description. In terms of keywords, don’t go to extremes, try to find the happy medium between too much and too little keywords stuffing.
A golden rule is that you don’t want to waste space. Use all the space in your listing, always. When it comes to what you’re writing about, don’t introduce anything new. Elaborate what the customer has already been introduced to. When it comes to the formatting, there’s a specific formatting that works on Amazon. You don’t want it to become one big blob of text. There are HTML characters that will still work and will always work because it makes the description look a lot cleaner and help your Amazon listing optimization.
Break the lines up so that there are nice clean line breaks. Use bold and all caps to make it easy to read for the readers, easy to skim for the skimmers, and brings it all home. As far as keywords go, keyword stuffing is not a good approach for Amazon listing optimization. Even if it gets people to your listing, it doesn’t get them to convert. The description needs to captivate and sell as people read. Get the keywords in there in a way that makes it readable so that at the end of it, they want to buy. It’s a more sophisticated approach.
If you’ve ever been on Craigslist, you have likely had the experience where you find a listing that you think is going to be what you want but you get there and it’s not. You realize they stuffed the bottom of the listing with a bunch of unrelated keywords just to index the listing. This is a huge mistake. It wastes people’s time and makes people feel deceived. Once your customers arrive at your listing, if the product is not what they want because you used unrelated keywords, it actually has the opposite effect and might drive customers away from you. Have the courage to ignore the keywords stuff. Focus all the copy on ranking for the things you should rank for and then converting the sale. Don’t just fill the space, do it purposefully.