As wholesalers, we often discount the importance of optimizing our listings. It sounds like a problem for private label sellers, right? Wrong! Todd has built key parts of his business around improving the listings of products that aren’t selling well but have great reviews. Taking the initiative to improve listings is a great way to impress suppliers and snag exclusivity agreements. Karon Thackston, copywriting expert, agrees, and she’s here to break down how to write stellar listings that drive traffic and boost sales. Stay tuned.
Click Here For 20% Off Amazon Product Description Bootcamp Promo Code: B00T20
Change Isn’t Guaranteed
It’s important to understand that as a wholesaler, you have no control when it comes to listings. Your suggestions to improve existing listings are just that: suggestions. If you don’t hear back from Amazon, Karon recommends submitting your changes again one week later so you’ll have a different representative. Or, you can contact the seller directly. Don’t let Amazon’s iron grip discourage you from making changes.
Keywords Are Your Foundation
Choosing keywords? Start with search terms. What did you search for to find this brand? If you’re selling a well-known brand, most search traffic is likely from users searching for that particular brand. As a result, Amazon doesn’t love it when you fiddle with those types of listings as they’re already performing well. However, if you’re searching for the brand and aren’t seeing the particular listing, including the brand name is a fantastic place to start. Always grab the low-hanging fruit.
As a rule of thumb, top keywords should appear in the title. All additional keywords should be used in the search terms field. Because we as wholesalers can’t see the backend, in the copy, list primary key phrases in order of importance.
Finally – a hugely important tip from Karon – relevance trumps search volume! In other words, users will immediately bounce once they realize that your posting isn’t what they’re looking for and high bounce rates will reduce where your listing shows up in rankings.
Let’s talk titles. It’s smart to place keywords as close to the front of your title as possible. This tells both Amazon and the customer what’s important. Karon recommends 175-190 character titles. Next, check out features that receive high search volume and add those to your title. When it comes to titles, favor features over benefits. If you’re confused, features are specific aspects of a product while benefits describe how they can solve your problems.
In terms of importance, bullets are next in line. You can write bullets that list feature benefit or benefit feature. If your product has features commonly searched for such as FDA-approved supplements, place features first. You can also target specific audiences with bullets. Yes, athletes search for sneakers, but so do medical practitioners and people with back problems. Use bullets to target all three audiences.
While we all love checklists, unfortunately, your bullets are dependent on your products. If you’re selling dog treats, customers care about whether or not a dog reacts so focus on benefits. If you’re selling software, customers care about storage space so focus on features. Karon recommends keeping bullets at 200 characters or less.
Last, (and yes, of least importance) let’s discuss descriptions. Descriptions should include items that didn’t fit into your bullet points or points that expand upon your bullets. Honestly, many users scroll straight past descriptions and right to bullets so spend less time squeezing in keywords and phrases here.
If you’re truly looking to master listings and everything copy, Karon has a fantastic course that you can enroll in for 20% off with the coupon code B00T20. Todd has taken the course and highly recommends! Happy selling everybody.
Resources From This Episode
Outline of This Episode
[00:00] Todd’s introduction to this episode
[09:58] How Karen became an Amazon expert
[13:59] Why wholesalers have no control
[16:05] Why keywords are your foundation
[25:59] Titles 101
[33:19] How to write bullets
[40:46] A few notes on descriptions
[47:10] All about Karen’s course
[50:16] Todd’s closing thoughts on this episode
As wholesale sellers, we don’t necessarily think about optimizing listings, but I’ve really built out this tactic where I’m taking listings that are collecting dust and maybe only getting a handful of sales, optimizing them, making them look awesome and boosting those sales. So maybe 50 or a hundred units per month and getting most of that all to myself. So in today’s episode, I’m bringing on Karon Thackston to go over how you and I can optimize our listings better to get more sales, stay tuned.
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the Amazon Seller School podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an eCommerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host, Todd Welch
What is going on everybody. It is your host Todd Welch of entrepreneuradventure podcast. And today we have a really good episode. We went into a lot of detail with Karon Thackston today from marketing words on how to optimize listings in wholesale. Now I know in the wholesale world, we don’t necessarily think about optimizing our listings too much. We usually think that, you know, that’s for the private label world, right? We don’t have to worry about that. But my tactic of taking listings that are collecting dust and maybe only getting a handful of sales, maybe only have merchant fulfilled seller on there. The title, the pictures, the bullets and description are really bad. I take that listing, make it look awesome and boost those sales from maybe five or 10 to 50 or 100 become the first FBA seller. And I get all those sales to myself for quite a long time.
And I may even be able to work that into an exclusive agreement with that brand. So today we’re really going to dive into how I go about doing that and optimizing those listings. If you’ve never done optimizing or looked into it before we go into the basics, as well as to some of the advanced. So you may want to listen to this episode two or three times, if any of this goes over your head or just to learn more stuff, right? Because learning is good. We never want to stop learning. If we stop learning, then we’re just going backwards. So we always want to be moving forward, learning new stuff. Now we are going to have a sale on Karen’s course. She has a course called Amazon product bootcamp. Normally it’s $229. I bought this myself at full price and loved the content. I gave it to my virtual assistant.
Who’s gone through it as well. And now she’s writing my descriptions, bullets, and titles and stuff, but normally it’s $229. But just for the next week, from Tuesday, when this to the following Tuesday, which I believe is going to be the 14th, you can get 40% off of that price. So that’s going to be about $138 is all you have to pay for this course, which goes in depth into how to optimize your listings. And I’m talking about like step by step to figure that out. So if you want to take advantage of that, the link is going to be down below in the show notes. So if you’re not in the show notes, click on over to the show notes, you can get it there. If you’re on YouTube, the link will be down below here as well. And you can purchase that course.
I highly recommend it. So right now it’s on episode seven or version seven of that course, or version six, one of the other, and they’re going to be coming out with the next version here in September. And so for the price of only the one 38 with the 40% off, you’re going to get the current version and the next version with the updated content. So definitely a great deal. All you have to do is when you click that link down below, use the promo code, Todd 40. So T O D D 40, and the show notes for this episode are at amazonseller.school/ 31 is where you can get that link as well to check it out. Definitely recommend it if you’re interested in doing the tactic at all that I talk about in this episode and in the past of optimizing poor performing listings to get more sales all to yourself. So with that, let’s go ahead and dive into this listing. Again, amazonseller.school/31 for that promo code and the link to the course. If you’re interested.
Today, I have Karon Thackston on the podcast and she is an expert in copywriting and really can help us dive into Amazon optimization of our listening. She does a lot more than that, but that is one part of her business. In fact, she’s been in business from since 1999 in the copywriting and advertising world and stuff like that. So truly an expert in that space. So Karon, I really appreciate you coming on the show. Can you just tell us a little bit more about your background,
Sure thanks so much for having me Todd, it’s exciting to be here and to get to talk about this with new and up and coming. Amazon sellers background started when I was about six years old or so and used to watch Saturday morning cartoons. And I would see certain animated commercials that would come on and looked at my mom one day and pointed to the TV and said, I want to do that.
And she thought, I meant be the cartoon character, but that, wasn’t what I was talking about. I wanted to make those commercials and that’s pretty much all I’ve ever wanted to do. Things have, have led me to the marketing space since I was just a very young child. And as I grew up, I worked in radio stations and newspapers and full service ad agencies and in house ad agencies and all sorts of other spaces. And 1997 ish was getting really tired of office politics and started thinking, you know, with this new internet thing, I wonder if that could be used so that you could work from home, you know, is anybody doing that? And it all went from there one day I turned in my notice and uthank God things worked out that I was able to slowly, gradually break down my hours in the office and build up my hours at home. So it was a really smooth exit and never looked back. Absolutely.
Very nice. That’s awesome. So what year was that that you made that transition?
99 are actual marketing words. Actual start date is in November. So I took four months. I, the, the luck was there, the blessing was there, whatever you want to call it. When I decided with my husband that I was going to go into the office that day and turn in my two week notice, there was another lady in my department. This was a very small company that we worked for at the time. And she had come in early to turn in her notice. So I heard her when I walked into the building, talking the office door was open and whatnot, talking to the supervisor for both of us and thought, I think I’m going to change what I was just about to say, and maybe tell them that I’m willing to work for about four months part time, you know, three hours a day or whatnot, and we’ll help them interview and train my replacement if that works for them. And of course they jumped on it. So it was a really smooth transition. I didn’t have the terror of letting go of all of my previous income before I started this business. And it that’s the, if you can work it out that way, that’s the way to go.
Awesome. Because I had a very similar experience when I started my first business, which was a TC techs, computers, a computer repair business. And I was working at a Marshfield clinic, which is a hospital system in Wisconsin. And they allowed me to utilize their retirement process where basically I could work part time and train my replacement over the course of a few months. So it makes things a lot easier than just like cutting off clean and hoping that it works. Right.
I don’t know about you, but it was exhilarating and absolutely terrifying at the same time. Okay. Where are you? They’re going to do this all the way, or I’m going to fall flat on my face, but you know, we’ve, jumped off the cliff now. So here we go. Yeah.
Yeah. I remember the day that my business partner and I decided, okay, let’s pay ourselves $5 every day so we can buy lunch. And so that was pretty exciting, but come a long way since then, but it’s always fun to look back. I also always envy people who figured out their calling, like so young, you said you were what, six years old and you were watching cartoons and you’re like, yeah, I want to make commercials. I think, I think Russell Brunson has a similar story where he was like going through phone books and ordering catalogs and stuff. Cause he loved just looking at the ads and things. So it’s really interesting. I found my passion in computers probably around 14, so a little bit older than yourself, but always interesting to hear people’s backgrounds. So why don’t you tell us a little bit more about how you got into the Amazon world and optimizing Amazon listings
That was completely trial by fire. We had a client at the time located in New Zealand and they manufacturer some really high quality supplements and they only sold in New Zealand and Australia and they wanted to break into the U S market. But of course that was enormously expensive. Inter Amazon’s FBA program. This was many, many years ago and they began looking into that and decided, okay, you know, we could ship inventory to the U S that was all it was available at the time. They had not been Amazon had not gone global because FBA was a very new program. And the contact at the company emailed me and said, have you ever written any Amazon listings? Nope. Not even one. You want to learn how sure. What do you know about it? Not much. I was okay.
We’ll figure it out together. And we made every classic mistake, got a couple of listings suspended and had all kinds of fun trying to figure this out because there wasn’t anything. I mean, back then, these were some of the first people that got into the FBA program to start selling there. So all of the things that are in the back end of seller central, now all the videos and the somewhat logical format of start here and go here. And if you have questions about this type of listing or whatever, you know, you could go through the different categories, they wasn’t there. They had style guides sort of, and that was about it. And you think contacting seller central now is a gamble Turkey shoot. You should have seen some of the answers we got back from representatives way back when, when you try to get answers on things. So it was absolutely by falling on our faces and stumbling over some pretty major boulders that we were able to figure out, okay, this is what it takes to be able to sell these kinds of supplements on Amazon. And it was pretty funny. We eventually got it to work and they’re still selling on Amazon today. They, they ended up opening their own in house marketing agency. So I’m not associated with them any longer, but some of our original listings are still up
Nice. That’s awesome. And there’s been a lot of changes as we have grown alarm from that time. But yeah, seller support is still frustrating, but it’s definitely gotten better since way back in the beginning. So come a long ways. So the people that are watching this podcast, and normally when we do optimization of listings, we’re thinking about like private label sellers or brands that are selling their own products. So for us wholesale people, it’s a little bit different because we’re typically selling other people’s products. And one thing though, that I’ve gotten really good at is finding like listings that are kind of have been less left in the dust, so to speak. And the pictures are maybe really bad, maybe like a couple word title and one or no bullet points and a bad description. Ubut they have like good reviews, you know, maybe 10 20, 30 reviews.
And it’s like four and a half five stars. So I grabbed those lists things. I buy the product, take new photos, update the listing and everything and get those selling. So that’s the kind of stuff that I’ve been doing and I’m looking at helping other people do as well. And you have a course called the Amazon product bootcamp, which is what I took to learn this. And so let’s kind of dive into those kinds of things that we can do as wholesale sellers when it’s not necessarily our product, but we want to make it look good and boost sales. What are the kind of like a low hanging fruit kind of things that we can do
Well now in you’re talking about suggesting changes to Amazon about an existing listing, is that what you’re talking about? Correct? Yes. Okay. The first thing to understand is that that’s exactly what you’re doing. You are making suggestions when you use that edit feature. And a lot of wholesalers who are putting products are sending inventory in for an existing listing on Amazon. Don’t realize that, and they get frustrated because they go into the edit category and they began to put in titles and bullet points and whatever, and nothing happens. And you know, why won’t Amazon, let me make changes to the listing. And they’re seeing these people in Facebook groups, you know, Oh, I did it. And blah, blah, blah. If you did not create the original listing, you do not have any control over it whatsoever. And you can submit your suggestions to Amazon. And if somebody seller central or whatever department is responsible for that goes through and thinks what you’ve submitted is better or essentially will bring Amazon more sales is really what they’re looking for.
Then they’ll allow that change to go through. If they don’t, you’ll never hear back from them. And the listing will never change. It’ll just stay the same thing. If you get material that you want to edit and put in to make that suggestion, and you don’t hear back, you can either wait for a week or so, and resubmit the same stuff. You’re probably going to get a different representative and that person might be in the mood to let the changes go through. They might think they’re better than what was already on the listing. Or you can sometimes contact the wholesaler and talk to them about what you plan on doing and not in too much detail so that they could do it themselves. And if they agree, they could give you editor access to their account to go in , and do that for them, maybe for a charge, maybe not for charge, you can work that out with them.
But when you begin to look at what needs to be changed or what you think might want to be changed, the place that I always suggest you start is with the search terms, where did you find this? What were you searching for? Did you go straight into the brand name? If it’s straight into a brand name and it’s a nationally known brand, then that could be where all their sales are coming from. If you think about it, when you go to a store or you see something on a TV commercial, and it’s a national brand, you might think, Hmm, wonder if I could get that cheaper on Amazon. So you go and you look up, I’m staring at my external webcam. You go and you look up logic tech C two 99 or whatever the model number is that you saw on the commercial.
And sure enough, there it is. You’re not searching for external webcam, USB webcam, none of those search terms, you’re going straight for the brand name, you know exactly what you want. So for companies who depend on those types of searches, it won’t matter to them at all. Whether you have better copy bullet points or whatever, they may be completely happy with the listing as it is when it comes to Amazon, you may have the same thing. And I’ve, we’ve run into that actually with several people who were trying to do this because that listing is selling so well right now, Amazon, isn’t willing to make changes that might potentially mess it up. If you are looking for external webcam and whatnot for a particular listing, and it isn’t coming up, the one you saw isn’t coming up in those searches, you can start there. If you can get Amazon to accept your changes for some additional key phrases, then you can kind of track what you’re doing. And you’ll also have key phrases that you can use in the copy that, you know, Amazon has said, this is a good key phrase for this particular listing. So that’s where I start, is making that foundation with keywords.
Okay. Very interesting. That was not what I was expecting to start with, but that is good to know. So in search terms for anybody who doesn’t know, that’s when you edit the listing and I forget what tab it is, but on one of the tabs, there’s a search terms field. And in there we can type different keywords on the description. Okay. And we can tag different keywords in there that we want to listen to show up for. And you just put a space between each word. Now, the words that you’re putting in that backend are those ones that we are not going to put in copy, or is that just like our main keywords that we want to put in the backend
I would test? Well, you can’t really test it with these particular listings. I would put them in the title, the number one, gotta have it. If you could only choose one or two key phrases for this listing to show up for, I would put them in the title in the front somewhere within the first 80 characters or so. Okay.
Okay. So in the backend in the search term field, we’re putting our main keywords plus cause a lot of times what I’ve been doing is putting like misspellings and stuff like that in that search term,
I wouldn’t put the main keyword. I wouldn’t repeat the main keywords in the search term fields, but those in your title got it. Yup. And the search term fields, typically what we do when we’re optimizing listings is putting, I hate to call them the leftovers because they’re still important phrases, but the ones that weren’t used in the copy, Amazon pulls, those in higher regard, especially the title. Then they do ones that are only in the search term field. They also suggest that you not duplicate terms if they’ve been used in the title or the bullets or Amazon says the description, but I haven’t found that too much to be true. If they’re in those, they tell you not to repeat them in the backend. The problem that wholesalers have is you can’t see the backend. You don’t know what’s already there.
Absolutely. So you’re kind of having to rely on Amazon.
Yeah. And so in that case, I would suggest putting as many of the primary key phrases that you want to use in the copy, the title of the bullets, the description in order of importance in that order of importance. And then whatever’s in the back end key keyword fields that happened just happens to show up there.
All right. Very good. So yeah, most of the listings that I’m working on and what I usually suggest people is definitely stay away from name brand products. For the most part, like big name brands, I should say. Most of the ones that I sell and optimize and make lists things better. 99% of people probably never heard of the brand before. So most of the time it’s just someone, some other wholesale or probably threw up a listing there’s maybe one FBM seller on there. So I can come on and be the first FBA seller, update everything and get it selling better. You know, maybe it’s only selling a handful of units per month right now, but if I optimize it, then maybe I can get it to 50 or 60 or a hundred units per month as it gains traction. You know? So that’s kind of the stuff that I’m focusing on more now, how are you guys going about finding what search terms something should be for? Like, I use a tool called ignite or not ignite a scope in labs. And so that gives me a bunch of search terms that it believes people have searched for. How do you guys go about that when you’re doing it for someone
We have used that before, and it’s a pretty decent tool. We switched to helium 10, their keyword research app is called magnet actually magnet2. And because there are some other tools that incorporate with magnet to help weed out unwanted search terms and to find the ones that other competitors are using, you know, because all of it integrates, you can go in and do some reverse ASIN searches and then weed out, you know, certain things are or whatnot using a couple of modules and the helium 10 suite. So that makes it pretty easy to narrow down the pack and make sure that you’re getting ones that are driving traffic more so than other ones. The key with keyword research is absolutely relevance. Relevance is more important than search volume. In my opinion, we’ve had clients that have sent us projects and some of them would send their list of keywords and whatnot.
And the best example I have is a client that was selling those plastic lunch plates or food storage plates with three sections in the lid that goes on top and whatnot, you get them in a pack of 10 or what have you. And he wanted every type of phrase that had anything to do with plastic containers included in there. And one of the terms he had among others that were very questionable was plastic cereal container, well, plastic cereal containers look like this, like a box of cereal and plastic food plates look like this. So you wouldn’t want to put your lunch into a cereal container because it’s just not the same thing. But the plastic cereal container had extremely high search volume. And like, what will happen is you’re going to send irrelevant traffic to a listing. They’re going to take one a look and go. This is not a serial container. If they even click from the homepage at all, they’ll get to the page they’ll bounce, which means they did nothing. They saw the page then left. When that bounce rate goes up, Amazon starts taking notice. It’s not converting into sales. So they start reducing where that listing shows in the rankings. And eventually you’re left with a big puddle of nothing.
Yeah, we used to do back in the day, it was commonplace to do like keyword stuffing, just put anything and everything in there. And that has basically reversed. Now that less is more basically you want it to be highly relevant because if that conversion rate drops, then like you said, you’re going to lose your place in the search results.
Right. And something else that a lot of newer sellers don’t realize is the backend keyword fields. You only need individual words, not entire phrases. And Amazon does have instructions for this in seller central. But if you have Turkey, dog treats and chewy dog treats and crunchy dog treats and things like that, you would remove all the dog treats you have at one time. So you have chewy, crunchy Turkey dog treat, but you take all that duplication out. And because you only get 200 and essentially 249, we never go all the way to two 50, just in case. That’s not a lot of space to put those words in there. And I’m sure that’s why Amazon does that. So you want to remove the duplication of the keywords as well.
Okay. Yeah, absolutely. No repeating words in the search terms. All right. So the search terms, we’re good there. So we’ve got that filled with all those keywords that we’re, you’re not necessarily going to put in our copy now, how do we write, let’s say a title. That’s going to get people to click over and actually view the listing. Assuming they got what they’re searching for,
Right? Usually your keywords are going to go as close to the front as possible. And there’s a twofold reason that tells Amazon that that’s the most important information about this listing. It also tells the customer that it’s the most important information about this listing. So after that, we typically will look at features that get high search volume to tell us what’s more important to the shoppers. If you know, a particular feature is that it’s waterproof or I’ll stick with the dog treats. How about that? So if crunchy dog treats comes up higher than chewy dog treats, even if it’s a multipack that might have both, or you know, this one of the ones that are crunchy the outside chewy on the inside, we’ll let that order where the features come afterwards and the title, the key phrases. Well, not just the title everywhere. You’ll notice that the key phrases are almost always feature based.
They’re not typically benefit based. So we don’t put tons of benefits. We will look at who the listing is for and ways that it can be used. So let’s see what was the one I saw the other day that was interesting to me. There was a listing that was for boots and they were hiking boots, but they had a different type of toe. And I paid attention to this because my husband works in an industrial environment and has to wear safety boots to work. They had a different type of toe in the front of the boot. And because of that, they were also including the terms and the title for outdoor rated and hiking boots and safety boots, as well as work boots. They were able to reach out to some additional target audience segments by incorporating those additional terms that I didn’t see in other people’s listings. So I thought it was interesting how they did that.
Okay. Now I thought I remembered reading somewhere somewhere in seller central, that you’re not in the title. You’re not supposed to put for this, this, and this is that. Or did I misread that?
That is in there. They don’t typically enforce it, but the way that you write it, you wouldn’t necessarily have to say for, you know, for working in a warehouse for outdoor hiking or whatnot, you can include those without saying that that’s what it’s for.
Yeah. So you can say warehouse boots, work boots, that kind of thing,
Right. And they don’t have to be blop, blop, blop, you know, one right after the other. In that order, you put the first ones in the beginning portion of the title. And as you go along, you stick second one. And if you have room, you put the third one in a, as you go through the title, but you don’t have to put them, you know, one behind the other like that. But Amazon doesn’t like is people got really carried away. There was a span of time where almost every listing, for example, when there’s outdoor nylon hammocks that hangs up and every listing had nylon parachute, nylon, outdoor hammock, or camping and backpacking and the beach and blah, blah, blah. And so 15 other things like that, they, Amazon pays much better attention now than they used to when it comes to things like that. They to go on forever. Do you, were you selling when there would literally be titles that were 400 characters long and Amazon very gradually whittled that away too. Yeah. That’s all of this as a residual.
Okay. So are you, how long are you usually making the titles? Are you using up all the available space for whatever category you’re in or are you trying to keep it short?
We typically will give clients two titles. Almost nobody wants to test ones that are a hundred characters or less Amazon swears and seller central in numerous places that titles of 80 characters or less do best. Sellers that we have worked with, who went through the process of testing. The titles did not find that to be true. So we typically give two titles and most of the time sellers choose to go with the one that’s roughly 200 characters. There are categories in Amazon that now say you can have up to 249 characters or 250 characters. But here’s the problem with that? Several years ago, Amazon initiated a suspension rule for titles that exceeded 200 characters. If you had 201, they would not suspension, sorry, suppression. They would suppress your listing in the search results. They wouldn’t suspend the listing, but you wouldn’t show up anywhere to my knowledge, they have never rescinded that.
So when I was in touch with Amazon actively about this whole thing, because they would say, in seller central in the title section, you click the little eye to get more information. They would tell you there, you can have up to 250 people would put that in. And their listings would never show up because they would be suppressed. Amazon’s gone back to doing that. They used to have a warning. If you went past 201 characters, they would tell you, you know, you’d have to, you can’t do that. You have to take it down. I don’t recommend that you go past 200 characters. As a matter of fact, we stick to about 190 characters just because sometimes you have characters in there that count as two instead of one. So we try to stick to 190 or less. There are some sellers that want to take up the entire two 50, but we don’t suggest that.
Okay. Very good. So around 190 characters or less than that, so maybe 175 to 190 use up the title, were putting our absolute top features. You said not necessarily benefits, but features are we putting it in the form of key phrases? Okay. And so the features are like the specific things about that product, like a work boot or Brown work boot and things like that. Right?
Those are your nouns. That’s the way I think about it. You know, if physical, tangible elements
Yeah. Or benefits are more like what problem you’re solving, like keep your feet safe with steel-toe tips or whatever. However you would say that, right? Yep. Exactly. Okay. All right. So in the title, it’s all the benefits or the features is what we’re focusing on there. And so next up, what would you focus on next as importance? The bullets or the description? Bullets. Okay. All right.
Bullets can be written in a lot of different ways. One of the most common is feature benefit or benefit feature, depending on what you’re dealing with. If it’s something common that has features that people require, they need to know that it’s FDA approved. If it’s a supplement, they need to know that it’s all natural. That it’s not a synthetic thing. If there are features that people are constantly looking for and the external video camera example that we used a minute ago, 1080p, or that it’s an HD camera, putting a benefit first, isn’t going to give them that immediate information. It isn’t going to answer their questions right away. Most copywriters you hear say, you need to do benefits. You know, people buy with benefits, not always used to be so, but consumer shoppers have evolved over the years. So you need to realize if this is a product that people are buying based on features, and then you back it up with benefits, or if it’s the other way around, it could be that food items, unless you’re doing a vegan, vegetarian, keto thing, non-GMO things like that, that people are looking for.
And you don’t have to do them all the same way for the food example. If it is Keto item that’s non-GMO and it’s vegan friendly, you can add those and then still have benefits fills you up fast with fewer calories, satisfying chocolate taste without all the sugar or whatnot, you know, and you can put those things into the bullets as well. They don’t all have to be written the same way, but you can also do bullets based on your target audience. And one example that I use and the Amazon product description bootcamp is athletic shoes. And there are lots of different types of products that this would apply to with athletic shoes. You have people who are athletes who purchase these shoes, but you also have people who are medical practitioners, doctors, nurses, dentists, veterinarians, whomever who were on their feet all day long and want comfortable shoes.
You also have people who have medical problems bad back, bad knees, things of that nature. And they’ll wear athletic shoes all the time. So just because they’re sneakers doesn’t mean only athletes are buying them. Running shoes are not just for runners anymore. You can, depending on what you’re writing and what you hope to accomplish, write a bullet for each of those segments of the target audience. You know, athletes will appreciate LA LA LA, but the cool looking stripes or whatever. And you know, memory foam, you know, 24 hour memory foam comfort or whatever the feature is, give medical practitioners support and blah, blah, blah. You know, you fill it in with all the benefits that come after that. So the bullets don’t have to all be written the same way and they don’t all have to include strictly features and benefits.
Got it. Okay. So kind of a mix and it all depends on the product, obviously, but if we kind of mix it to like three, starting with features and then with benefits, and then two with benefits ending with features or vice versa, we might get the best of both worlds that way.
Well, it’s people love a checklist and they say, okay, if I do A, B, C, D, it’s going to be perfect. And unfortunately this is going to greatly depend on what the product is you’re writing for. So I hate to say, do three of them this way and two of them that way and it’ll work out, okay, it’s going to take a little bit of research to figure out, you know, especially with technical items, with electronics and other things, you’re probably going to do a lot more features than you’re going to do benefits. People are just looking for that hard data. When it comes to a laptop computer, does it have this much memory? Does it have this type of screen or this type of memory core for security cameras for their home? You know, all of these other things like that. So it really depends if you’re doing pet products they’re going, or a few features to know that those pet treats, those dog treats don’t have all the yuck in them and they’re not made overseas or whatnot, but a lot of it is going to be, look how high my dog jumps.
When I say, do you want these baking treats, you know, ABC brand baking treats and they go nuts. So there’s an unlimited number of ways that these can be written based on what the specific product.
Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And that’s one reason I recommend people when they’re start selling products to start and really go into a category that they’re familiar with, or they have some background in a job or it’s a hobby, because that way, you know, you can be your own target market and kind of figure some of that out. And that’s a lot what I’ve done. And I, with my account you know, some of the listings that I’m optimizing, I can just update them right on my page. So I actually can do some split testing and stuff like that. I don’t know if it’s because my account is so seasoned and Amazon has seen me doing all of this and kind of trust me a little bit more than other people. I don’t know, versus someone who is just starting out if they wouldn’t have as much luck as I do. But yeah, it’s, it’s always interesting to test those things back and forth and see what works and what doesn’t work.
It does. It does. And it’s easier to get Amazon to accept changes on listings that aren’t doing well already, because, you know, and you said those are the ones that you’re typically looking for because obviously any change that improves this, you know, 1 million, 682,000 BSR is going to bring money into Amazon’s pocket. So if you start sending in suggestions to listings that already have decent sales and rankings, Amazon’s a little more hesitant to let those go through.
Yeah, yeah. And what I’ve found, you know, a majority of the time, if it’s not brand registered, you can get it changed. If you have like a picture of all sides of a product, like a normal picture from your camera and a link to the manufacturer page that shows the at least something similar to what you’re trying to change. Majority of the time, like 75, 80% of the time, you can get those changes to go through with seller central or seller supports help with that. So we’ve got the backend keywords, the title and the bullets done next up is, would be the description. Where do you guys, what kind of stuff do you put in there? Because on mobile, the description is actually showing up above bullet points right now, which is strange.
Yeah. Well, it’s done that for, a while now, but typically the description will compliment the bullet points for if there wasn’t enough room to put the information, all the information into the bullet points because of space constraints, we will expand on that in the description. So anything that features and benefits that you couldn’t fit into the bullet points, we’ll go into the description or additional information. I mean additional details about the same topics in the bullets, but you know, expanded. So there’s more information there and because the bullets are bullets and they’re easier to read a lot of people if it’s on their phone, especially, and that’s my we’ll scroll past that description to get to the bullet points.
I’ve never understood exactly why Amazon does that on desktop and mobile differently. I’m sure they have some testing that makes sense to them. But to me, it doesn’t a whole lot what I usually do in the description and let me know if this is maybe wrong is basically take, not rewrite What I put in the bullets, but like rephrase it into like the first short paragraph being like a summary of those bullets. So it’s like all the main points as to why someone would buy that product and that kind of break it down from there throughout the rest of the description. Is that something that I shouldn’t be doing, or I may not maybe not going the right way about that
Including us summary is a good idea because of, especially on phones, you know, there’s compact information that gets them right at the beginning of the description. So yeah, that is something that we sugest
Okay. And after that, just kind of expanding beyond the bullets, because we don’t want to have like super long bullets, which we didn’t talk about, but how many characters are usually going with a bullet point now?
Our favorite number is 200 characters or less because they display well in all the different formats, whether the desktop image is off to the side or it’s below. When you get a little more thing that you have to click, when you’re on mobile, you don’t have to scroll, you know, if you have these monster size 300, 400 character bullets, it’s just scrolling, scrolling in this giant block of words on the cell phone that is not easy to read. So 200 typically gives enough space to put an, the features and benefits needed. And two, if it’s the type of product that needs a little bit of an emotional smoosh, then you know, that gives you room to work with that as well.
Okay. Very good. Now, in the description, are you guys doing any HTML in there, like bolding and new lines and stuff like that? I know we’re not supposed to do that per the policy, but it seems like Amazon doesn’t really care too much.
I have never had a seller tell us that they got slapped for having bullet points or bolding. And you’re right. Those are not legal. The only legal tags are the paragraph tag and the line break tag. Yeah. I would say probably 75% of the sellers that we work with request HTML and we’ll do that for them. And haven’t heard of anybody. That’s had a problem with that in a very long time used to hear about it years ago. But I think Amazon has pretty much said whatever, you know, not, not a Hill worth dying on.
Yeah. And for anybody who doesn’t know, HTML is basically like the base programming language that websites are made in. And all that I really use in my listings are like line breaks. So the BR slash thing. And then I usually just use dashes for the bullets instead of adding that extra code in. And then I might add like one line of bolding, just make something stand out at the end, you know, to entice them, to buy the product. So have you found much is the disruption, in your opinion, is that indexed currently for search?
It’s hard to say, and it has always been hard to say sometimes it seems as though in certain categories it is indexed, but we don’t focus nearly as much on including key phrases in the description as we do in the title and the bullets we’ll put some there in case Amazon does go full blown across the board and starting to dexting all of the descriptions. But if I had to give a yes or no answer, I would say, no, it’s not, not, not for search. You can do the test where everybody says, take a snippet of it and put it in quotes in a search. See if it comes up, everything in Amazon is indexed. All that simply means is that they took the data, they put it in the database. It does not mean that that data is used to rank your listing on Amazon.
Okay. All right. Very good. Yeah. And another thing I’ve heard recently too, and I’ve always kind of known this, but is that the plural of words is different than the non plural. Amazon says it’s that, but it really is. So you want to get both in your listings, right? The plural and non plural,
We just it and see what happens. You know, if the plural brings up the exact same search results as the non plural, then we don’t worry about it. Okay. Most of the time that’s not true.
Yup. Yeah. So just do a search for the plural, non plural. And if the listings are not exactly the same excluding the sponsored ads, of course, then you probably want to have both of those in there. Yep. All right. Very good. So anything we’ve missed before we kind of wrap up and talk about the awesome discount we’ve got for people?
No, I think we touched on pretty much everything. The key words, the title, the bullets and the description.
Okay, perfect. So, and this is the, actually the reason I brought you on, because I actually bought your course, went over it myself and thought it was excellent. And now I actually have my virtual assistant who optimize my listings for me go through your course as well. That’s why I wanted to bring you on and kind of give people some information about what they can actually do even in the wholesale world. And then,uhow much is your course currently? I don’t think it’s very much,
No. Yeah. Put me on the spot. I think that one is two, two 99, two 49. Hold on. I’ll tell you,
I’m looking at it right here on your website. So it’s $129. It’s got a bunch of videos and stuff in there and we are actually going to have a 40% off for one week. So this is releasing on Tuesday. So through next Tuesday, anybody who buys it is going to get 40% off. They just have to use the keyword B00T20. So B00T20, and they’d get that 40% off. And that course basically goes, you know, a lot more depth of everything we just went over basically.
Right. And B00T20is the coupon code that you’ll enter at checkout,
Correct? Yep. And I’ll have links for that in the show notes. And down below, if you’re watching this on YouTube as well, if you’re interested in this kind of stuff at all, I would definitely recommend getting it. I mean, as far as courses go to me, it’s almost free for the information that you get out of it. You’re going to make it up pretty quickly just getting some extra sales. So definitely check that out. Link will be down below any closing thoughts or anything like that. Karen, before we wrap up
Nothing that Springs to mind, one little bit of advice that I learned years and years and years ago is that clarity far out performs cleverness. We get a lot of people that say, we need a really clever title. No, you need a really clear title. There is some emotion, there is a lot of emotional elements involved with copywriting, but if people can’t understand what you’re selling and why they need it, it doesn’t matter how clever you are. They’ll click away and go purchase from somebody else. So don’t try to psych yourself into believing that you have to have some hyped up hard core copy in your listing in order to make sales because you simply don’t.
Yeah. And, and step out side of your own bubble as well. Right. And put yourselves in the shoes that people are buying it. They’re probably not going to know nearly as much as you know about that product. So you gotta, you gotta put yourselves in their shoes. Perfect. Karen, I really appreciate it. This has been an excellent one. I think we went through a lot of really good info and people are probably going to want to watch this two, three times to pick up everything we talked about. So I really appreciate it.
Absolutely. Thanks so much. You have a great day.
You too. Thanks.
All right. So there you go. What did I say? A lot of great information there. I even learned a few things throughout there and you can kind of pick up on that as I’m going through there, because I was always thinking to lead with benefits, for example, and follow up with features, but it makes perfect sense that some products you want to lead with features maybe, and follow up with benefits and go back and forth. So definitely got a golden nugget there for myself. And I hope that you got a lot of really good information out of this as well. If you did, please go ahead and share this on your favorite social media hit the like button hit the subscribe button. If you’re on YouTube and give me a review on your favorite podcasting platform, if you’re watching there. And again for that course, if you want to pick that up and again, I highly recommended I’ve purchased it myself at full price, which is $229, but you guys for the next week are going to be able to get it for only the one 38, actually a little bit less than that.
137 and change with the promo code. Todd T O D D 40. All you have to do is click that link, or you can go to Amazon Seller School.com/ optimize, and that will take you right to the core so you can purchase it there as well. Again, the show notes, entrepreneur aventure.com /31 for all the information and the transcripts and the links from this episode. I really appreciate you staying tuned all the way to the end here and following the podcast or watching us on YouTube. Thank you. And I appreciate it. And as always, I’m your host, Todd Welch signing off happy selling everybody.
Speaker 2 (52:04):
This has been another episode of the Amazon Seller School podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours. If you take it.