Reading Time: 15 minutes Notes: All resources and links mentioned will also be made available at the end.
In this post we’re going to touch on how to perform keyword research (phase 1), what to focus on when creating a killer listing (phase 2), and getting your first 5 reviews (phase 3).
Phase 1 – Keywords Research
Good comprehensive keyword research requires a thorough market & competitor analysis. There is almost an art to the science, and we’ve honed it over our 1700+ listing optimizations for customers. So what does it look like?
To research keywords successfully, you need to determine the most relevant & converting “money” keywords for your product type. There are a lot of different approaches, but one that we follow is to get the most converting keywords from Merchant Words. This is a paid service with a $30 monthly membership fee (OR you can skip the membership and have us do it for you here!).
Let’s see an example. In your Merchant Words account, search for “dog puppy toys”.
Then, let’s pull the list of all the words related to that phrase along with their estimated monthly search volume.
Once we have the full list of terms, we can ignore any keywords with search volumes under 1000 and anything that’s not too relevant to your product. This becomes your starting list.
Next, we identify our top 3-4 competitors that are crushing it (they will have a low BSR or best seller rank) and extract their backend search terms using our competitor spy services. We then consolidate those terms with our list to get a “master list”.
This completes our market & competitor analysis. The next step is to use these highly searched highly converting keywords in your listing’s title, bullets and backend search terms.
Phase 2 – Amazon Listing Optimization
Arguably the most important factor of your listing is the listing title. If you were to ask us what the order of priority should be – it would be Title, Images, Backend Search Terms, Bullets & HTML Description.
There was a recent study done by an analyst firm of the top 1000 Amazon listings that found the following factors in common:
The best listings had anywhere between 40 and 110 characters in their title. It seems that on mobile, Amazon truncated display for titles after 112 characters, so this made sense. Another important note here is that the most important keywords were placed at the beginning of the title which was a key differentiating factor for listings outperforming others with titles that seemed to go all the way to 200 characters and crammed every keyword possible.
We’re visual creatures! So it goes without saying that you need awesome images that describe your product. Amazon has some guidelines around this – they encourage sellers upload images that are at least 1000 pixels on the long side and 500 pixels on the short side for it to be “zoom-able” which according to research has proven to increase sales. They also recommend having anywhere between 5 to 9 images. A sweet spot would probably be 7 images, but if you can do 9 – go for it!
Some other guidelines are that the first 2 images have a clear white background and at least 1000 pixels. The 3rd image should be used to drive home the benefit of the product. The 4th image should entice the customer with the lifestyle aspects of having that product. The remaining images should show more of the specifications of the product. One of the best image re-touching services I have used to get a clear background is Pixelz. The best full service photography service is definitely Product On White – you can check out their photography full service here.
Amazon Search Terms
The least sexy part of a seller’s listing is the backend search terms. When sellers think “listing optimization”, it typically means the front end (i.e. the “visual part” ) of your listing on Amazon. However, to ignore the optimization of your backend keywords could mean the difference between a few handful of visitors to your listing to virtually thousands (when chosen right).
So what are these Amazon search terms? They’re basically keyword tags that Amazon uses to discover (i.e. match for relevance) your listing when customers search for a product. It’s broken over 5 lines in the backend of your seller central account. Although in the past sellers could enter anywhere from 1000 to 5000 keywords in their backend, Amazon published a new rule (read full statement on Seller Central) confirming that the company would be limiting the backend keywords to 250 characters total (or 50 characters max per line) and any line that went over that 50 character limit would not be indexed by Amazon.
Why did they do this you ask? To “improve” the relevancy of listings on their marketplace. Yes, gone are the days you could stuff as many words as you could type into your listing’s search terms. Now Amazon wants you to be very diligent and targeted with your keyword research. Well not to fret, we could use this to our advantage by understanding the basic do’s & don’ts when entering your Amazon backend search terms
– Include most converting money keywords
– Include any common misspellings and terms in different languages
– Include keywords not mentioned in your title and bullets
– Don’t include any keywords already on your title
– No brands
– Don’t put everything on the first search field – break it out into all 5 lines
– Don’t have more than 250 characters (it’s pointless)
– Don’t use special characters (@, $, !, etc) – they take up precious characters and have no intrinsic SEO value
– Don’t repeat words over and over!
Remember your list of keywords from the earlier part of this post? Split your keyword list into individual rows in Excel/Google sheets using the text to columns fixed width option, keeping the above rules in mind.
Next choose the first 250 characters, split them into 50 characters approximately each and stick them into each search line in your backend. A bit laborious, but hey its worth the effort to get the perfect fully optimized amazon search terms for your listing. Or you could just have us do it for you as part of our Supreme Package.
Great! Now your most relevant and highest converting backend keywords are set.
These are the key points you want to mention about your product. You really need to sell it here by touching on your product’s unique/popular features as well as any guarantees (example 100% money back, etc). In the above study, it was found that the top listings kept it to 5 bullets and had important keywords at the beginning of each bullet. It is also recommended to keep each individual bullet count to 140 characters or under for maximum readability.
If a browser has reached this portion of your listing, this is where you pack your final “punch” so to speak and really drive home the sale. The best listings seemed to use HTML tags in their description to use bolding and bullets to capture the customer’s attention. It was also noticed that the top performing listings had on average atleast 400 characters in their product description.
At FosterFBA, we offer a full service listing optimization with complete keyword & competitor market research, including providing the best back-end search terms to use – all part of our Supreme Package. Let us turbo charge your listing for conversion today!
Phase 3 – Launching & Getting your first 5 Reviews
After you’ve written up your Title, Bullets and Product Description, uploaded your images and set your backend search terms and Subject Matter fields, firstly pat yourself on the back! ?
Then, let’s keep that momentum going – submit your changes into your seller central account and launch it to the world.
You need to rank for your top keywords and setup a solid Traffic and Review Strategy, there’s no better Review Follow up sequences like Messenger as it has incredible open rates (around 90%) compared to Email (around 10%). In fact, I recently released the ‘TSR Amazon Jumpstart Pack‘ that gives you an entire Plug & Play framework and includes a solid Review Followup sequence in Manychat that you can use to increase your review rate by 5% or more.
That’s it! The success here is in the follow-up so make sure to follow up with your top 5-7 family and friends and ensure you get those verified 5 star rating reviews.
In the final day of this FBA training series, we’ll go through how to quickly rank your product on the 1st page for top keywords!
Let me know if you have any questions about getting your listings optimized. Happy to get you a highly optimized listing developed with your top keywords laced in.
Fostering Amazon Sellers to Leap Frog the Competition
P.S: If you are making over $5K/month and want to take your PPC sales to the next level. We’re offering a “done-for-you” Amazon PPC management service that does just that. You can schedule a call here to see if we’re a good fit: