The Don'ts of Amazon Listing Optimization

June 20, 2017 Allison Hess


We’ve given you our Ultimate Guide to Amazon Listing Optimization and an article on How To Win Amazon’s Buy Box, which teaches you the ways to use SAO (Search Amazon Optimization) to gain visibility and sales. But what about those things that hurt your Amazon listings? Let’s take a deep dive into what not to do in order to keep your product listings optimized and profitable.


About Search Amazon Optimization  

Most Amazon users find products they are looking for using the search bar. Keywords make your product listings appear in these search results. Keywords are those terms that your customers would use to find your product. While keywords are not the only aspect of search results (price, availability, selection, and sales history also play a role), they are the primary force to put you in front of competitors who have similar products.


Amazon’s search algorithm works slightly different than Google’s and other search engines’. Amazon’s optimization is highly precise and not as intuitive as Google. In this way, you need the right keywords in the right layout to ensure you attract the right customers.


What Not To Do

 1. Don’t keyword stuff.

It’s important not to overuse the same or similar keywords. Unlike Google, Amazon optimization is not based on keyword “density.” Amazon will see a high density of keywords as “spamming,” and your listing could be penalized for it.


Consumers most often use a variety of keywords when searching for a product—so you should use an assortment of keywords in your listings. Using several keywords in your title and description boosts your visibility while also showing Amazon the legitimacy of your brand. Good keywords are related to your products’ brand, product line, key features, product type, color, size, and packaging/quantity. A keyword for each of these features is a great way to gain visibility.


Think of your product listing title as your ultimate keyword resource: try to pack in as many quality keywords as possible. This will widen your potential real estate on Amazon searches.


2. Don’t use variations of the same keyword.

Some Amazon sellers try to get around the idea of keyword stuffing by “stemming.” This is when you repeat the same keywords using different endings like water filter, water filters, filter, filters, and filtering. Amazon treats these variations of keywords as the same, so it will still be labeled as “spam.”


3. Don’t use punctuation.

Amazon sellers often make the mistake of using punctuation as a means of separating keywords, but this only takes up character space. Amazon recommends separating keywords, especially in the title of a product, using a single space. For example, a good title for this product would be “Keurig Charcoal Water Filters 6pk” as opposed to “Keurig, Charcoal, Water Filters, 6pk.” Punctuation distracts the consumer and takes away from the character count.


In this way, you should always put keywords in logical order. This will help minimize any possible confusion that comes from not using punctuation. Furthermore, Amazon’s search results see keywords as precise phrases. For example, your product description of “filter water” may not show up in search results if the consumer searches for “water filter.” Amazon’s key phrases are exact.


4. Don’t use temporary sales terms.

Amazon will punish listings that include temporary statements like “new,” “on sale,” or “for a limited time.” The way to connote a flash sale or a change in the status of a product is through Amazon’s today’s deals feature. Don’t do so directly on the listing.


Similarly, don’t use subjective claims like “in great condition” or “the best.” Let the product speak for itself. Plus, these statements are a waste of characters in your title that could instead be used for strong keywords directly related to the product.


5. Don’t provide inaccurate information.

Giving the wrong information, whether misleading or false, can cause bad customer satisfaction and negative page ratings. Using misleading terms and information often causes returns and bad reviews, which damage your short-term and long-term business.


Furthermore, using irrelevant keywords will attract customers that aren’t looking for your product, and you ultimately won’t have any conversions or sales. Focus on the great qualities of your product, and don’t oversell in a dishonest way—it’ll only hurt you.


6. Don’t use competitor names or products. 

One misleading piece of information is using a competitor’s name as a keyword in your listing. Some sellers think this will get traffic to the page, but Amazon classifies this as “keyword bombing” and will penalize you for it. Again, stick to your product’s qualities and relevant keywords.


7. Don’t forget the descriptions.

Amazon sellers often make the mistake of creating really strong titles, but then skimp on the product descriptions. While the title attracts the customer to your site, Amazon holds almost equal weight in the description fields. The five description fields are a great way to add new information and search phrases to attract your customer to your page—and then convert them to buy!


8. Don’t provide too much content.

Even though you have a lot to say about your product, try to condense it as best you can. If you stuff your listing filled with keywords, Amazon will scan your page and view it as spam. Additionally, customers find a dense product listing challenging to read and are thus less likely to buy. Instead, concisely show customers exactly what they need to know in order to buy the product. Focus on those qualities that stand out above your competitors.


The Bottom Line  

Increasing visibility and potential sales are about having relevant keywords presented in the appropriate way. Fill out the title and descriptions with quality, relevant information, and keywords that will attract the right customers to your page. Think about what the customer needs to see in order to find, purchase, and be satisfied with the product—then put that on your listing!


HomeRev’s Managed Services include listing creation with SEO keywords, high impact product images, content standardization, and optimized titles and descriptions. Contact us to see how we would make your Amazon listing optimized for strong visibility and conversion.

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