Lessons Learned In Business

Creating New Listings and Listing Optimization For Amazon – Wholesale Course Module 3 Part 7

creating new listings on amazon

This Post is part of the “FREE Wholesale Training Course”.  You can view the entire course listing and introduction to the course here.

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Module 3:  Value Propositions

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Creating New Listings and Listing Optimization For Amazon

When running a UPC code list from a brand owner, you’ll see lots of cases where there are no listings found.  Most people skip these products – but these are potential opportunities!  In addition, you may be looking at existing listings from brand owners, and they just don’t look great.  You can fix them!

In this section of the module, we are going to discuss the theories behind when you should create new listings, how to do research for them, and how to optimize existing listings.  Knowing how and when to add new products to Amazon’s catalog is an important step, because a lot of sellers just don’t spend the time to do it.  Knowing how and when to fix existing listings can give you an immediate boost to sales, and can help you close accounts with suppliers.

When Should I Create a New Listing?

The easy answer is “when there isn’t already a listing on Amazon for an item”.  In a perfect world where you had all the time in the world, and all time was free – this would be the right answer.  But, we all have time and working capital constraints.  In order to create a new listing, there needs to be a strategic advantage to do so.  Here’s some examples where there would be a strategic advantage to create a listing:

  • You’ve done adequate research and have determined a specific product that is not currently on Amazon would have a good chance of selling well.  “Selling well” is really up to you as a seller to determine.
  • You’ve decided to create a bundle based on research you’ve done.
  • You’ve talked to a brand owner, and creating new listings is the only way you are able to close the deal to carry their products.  The upside on other products needs to be high enough to support the time spent to create the listings.
  • You are consulting for a brand owner, and you are paid to create the listings for them.

Now that you know when to create a new listing, let’s go over the steps you should do when creating a new product.

New Product Research

When we talked about “adequate research” above, this means to determine if there is enough demand for the product, and if the competition is low.  In the previous module, we discussed setting buying guidelines for your own business.  The numbers we discuss below can fluctuate depending on your own personal buying guidelines.

Determining New Product Demand

First, let’s determine if there is enough demand for a product.  You’ll want to think to yourself “how would a customer find this product on Amazon?”  More than likely, they would type something into the search box at the top.  What they type into that search box is called a “search term”, or “keyword” in optimization lingo.  To determine demand for a product, we want to get an idea of how many people are actually searching for that type of product.

It’s time for some brainstorming.  You want to come up with some ideas of search terms customers would type in to find your item.  We’re going to use an example as we move along, to make it easier.  Here’s the item we want to see if it makes sense to bring to market:

hubert garlic press

We are going to open up a spreadsheet to keep track of our ideas.  Google Sheets is a free spreadsheet software that I would recommend, but Microsoft Excel works well too.  Start brainstorming the keywords someone would use to try and find this item on Amazon.  Put them in a list in Google Sheets.  Here’s what I came up with quickly for this item:

garlic press keywords

I came up with these just by looking at the title.  In a few of the keywords, I put the brand name along with it, because at times people will use brand names to find an item.  All we are trying to do is quickly determine demand, so it’s not necessary to spend a ton of time on brainstorming keywords at the moment.

Once you have a few good keywords to start with, there are three tools we can use to determine demand: Merchant Words, Jungle Scout Chrome Extension, and Google Trends.  Let’s break down each one.

We’ll go to Merchant Words, and put in our first keyword: “garlic press”.  What Merchant Words will do is give us the estimated search volume per month for a specific keyword.  In order for an item to potentially be viable, we like to see at least 20,000 searches per month between the top 5 keywords driving traffic to a listing.  Depending on your buying guidelines, you may want to increase or decrease this number.  The higher the number of searches, the higher possibility there is of more sales.  Here’s the results:

garlic press merchant words

Merchant Words gave us 407 results for this keyword.  Scan through the list and see which keywords would be applicable to your specific item.  For our garlic press, there are four keywords that would work, which I’ve put nice red boxes around in the image.  There is a lot of volume for this item, as there are over 1.3 million searches per month alone for garlic press.  This would tell us there is enough customers searching for this product.

If you are creating a bundle of multiple items, remember that each item in the bundle can have their own keywords that can drive traffic to your listing.

Lets move on to using Jungle Scout Chrome Extension to determine if customers searching for the product are actually buying.  When doing a search on Amazon, the Jungle Scout Chrome Extension will grab all of the search results from the first page, and give you important information about those items.  The information most important for determining volume is the “estimated sales” and “estimated revenue” areas:

garlic press estimated sales

If we move in for a closer look, we can see the volume numbers:

garlic press jungle scout 2

In this image, we are looking to see if there is enough demand for this product.  Studies have shown that 90% of people typically will purchase items from the first page of a search.  Everyone (including you) are competing to be on that first page, because that’s where all the money is at.  Take a look at the estimated sales and revenue numbers above.    It is possible you could get ranked in the top five spots on that page with enough work.  With less work, you could end up somewhere else on the first page.  Would any of these hit your buying guidelines?  Understand the higher ranked you want to be, the more competition there will be, and the tougher it will be to get there.  I would look at this keyword and say this likely would hit everyone’s buying guidelines for volume.  There are plenty of sales here.  This would tell us there is enough volume to potentially move forward to determine if the competition is too high.

Finally I like to look at Google Trends to see if this item is an all year round item, seasonal item, or item on the rise or decline.  The numbers we are looking at from Merchant Words and Jungle Scout Chrome Extension are based on recent historical trends.  The reason you want to verify the trend of the keyword is because the numbers from those tools may be inflated or deflated depending on the time of year.  A quick example would be if you sold something that says “Happy Mother’s Day” on it.  If you tried looking up the data in October, the numbers in Merchant Words and Jungle Scout Chrome Extension would be extremely low.  But, if you looked them up in May, the numbers would be much higher.  Looking the keywords up in Google Trends helps to verify if the item is seasonal or on the rise / decline.

Here’s the Google Trends graph for garlic press:

garlic press google trend

I put red boxes around the areas that you see spikes.  These spikes are predictably during Christmas.  You’ll see this for pretty much every type of product you’ll sell on Amazon.  Where you want to focus your attention on is the area in between each Christmas.  Is it relatively consistent throughout the rest of the year?  If so, is it significantly less?  In this case, the areas in between Christmas seem to be relatively consistent month to month, and the drop off isn’t too much after Christmas.  In this case, I can assume this is an item that is likely to sell all year round, and will sell better during Christmas.  This also means the data I’m looking at from Merchant Words and Jungle Scout is a pretty accurate portrayal of what we will see all year (outside of Christmas).

For a quick example of a Google Trends graph that is seasonal, let’s look at the keyword “mothers day gift”:

mothers day gift google trends

As expected, there is a massive spike in May, and the volume dies off the rest of the year.  One thing I didn’t expect was the really small bump in front of the large one, which seemed to be between the last week of February to second week in March depending on the year.  I suspect it’s because Mother’s Day may be observed in other countries on a different date.  To confirm this theory, I changed one of the filters to only show United States searches.  Here’s what it looks like with that filter on:

mothers day gift google trends us

As expected, the small bump disappeared, which proved it is something that happens outside of the United States.  There are two things to take away just from this:

  • It may be wise to set the filter to United States only at times if you want to verify the trends for Amazon.com
  • If you have the ability to sell outside of the United States, you can use the filtering to figure out when those trends hit other countries.  I did a quick google search for “mothers day dates around the world”, and found a website that shows all the Mother’s Day dates around the world.  This again verifies many countries in the Middle East celebrate Mother’s Day in March.

If we saw a trend line like the one above, and we were going searches in November for Mother’s Day gifts, the Merchant Words and Jungle Scout data may not be totally accurate.

Finally, let’s look at one more Google Trends example.  In this case, we are going to look at a product on decline: “shopkins”.

shopkins google trend

Shopkins are a toy line that came out in 2014.  The graph you see above is pretty typical of a toy product.  Generally there is a consistent rise of interest after first release, peaking during Christmas (first red box).  Take a look at the Christmas after (second box), and you can see the spike generally associated with Christmas isn’t as high.  Also, you can see the overall interest throughout the year has continued to decline.  Why is this important to know?  Well, you want to be able to forecast sales in the future.  Say you were creating a listing for shopkins because you had the ability to buy 1,000 units of them at a cheap price.  After looking at the trend and knowing the interest in shopkins is declining, you may decide to buy a little less.  The same goes in the opposite direction – if you have a product that is increasing in popularity, you can expect the sales and search data from Jungle Scout and Merchant Words to be a little low.

Determining Competition Levels For New Product

You’ve done all the research above, and have determined there is enough demand for the product you are looking to create a listing for.  Now, it’s time to look at the competition levels.  When you are attaching yourself to other listings already in Amazon’s catalog, your competition is other sellers competing for the buy box on that specific listing.  When creating a new product in the catalog, you have another form of competition to deal with: other listings that are ranking on the first page for search terms.

In order to know how to determine what the competition levels are, you need to understand how items are ranked on Amazon.  Just like the buy box, Amazon has a black box for how listings are ranked on Amazon for searches.  Just like the buy box, sellers have figured out what the largest factors are for high search rankings:

  • Sales Velocity.  Amazon rewards items that sell quickly by giving them high rankings.  It’s a vicious cycle:  Sell more, get higher rankings, which gives you more sales.  The BSR is a gauge of how well an item is selling.
  • Reviews.  Items that have more GOOD reviews tend to rank higher on Amazon.  This means you want to get as many reviews as possible, and make sure those reviews are good!
  • Conversion Rate.  Conversion rate means number of items people purchased vs. number of times people viewed the page.  If there were 10 sales, and the page was viewed 100 times, that would be a 10% conversion rate.  The goal would be to make sure people that come to your product page actually buy.   Images, descriptions, titles, bullet points and price can impact the conversion rate.
  • Relevancy to Search Term.  If someone is searching for “stainless steel garlic press”, they want to see stainless steel garlic presses.  They don’t want to see plastic garlic presses.

If you’ve gotten to this point on a new product, you are now trying to figure out what the competition level is.  We already know there is enough demand, which means we aren’t looking at the sales velocity.  We are looking at the other three areas.  Here’s how we would attack this for “garlic press”:

First look at the number of reviews.   The lower the number of reviews on the first page, the better.  Remember, your product is starting with 0 reviews.  If all the products on the first page have a lot of reviews, it will be much harder to compete.  To figure out the number of reviews, we will go back to the Jungle Scout Chrome Extension.

garlic press reviews

Oh my.  Some of these listings have over 1,000 reviews.  Knowing a very small amount of people leave reviews when they buy items, 1,000 reviews will take a LOT of sales to generate.  Possibly 50,000 – 75,000 sales.  Overall, most of the listings in the top 10 have a lot of reviews.  Once you get past #10, the reviews start to get a little softer.  There is one listing somehow supposedly generating 349 sales a month with one review (#15 on the list).  If you see something like this, the first thing to do is look at price.  The most common reason why an item will be ranked this high with minimal reviews is because the price is extremely low, which causes the conversion rate to increase.  Look at that item, and it’s priced $6.99, which is significantly cheaper than the $14.53 average price on that page.  If you are getting your garlic presses for 50 cents a unit, $6.99 might be a sustainable price.  But if your cost is closer to $6, selling at $6.99 will not work at all long term.

Looking at the number of reviews on this search term, I would say the competition is extremely high.  You typically would like to see less than 50 reviews on most of the items on the first page.  This is clearly not the case for “garlic press”.  Does this mean our garlic press saga is over?  Should we stop here and say garlic presses are done?

Not quite yet.  Remember, there are other search terms that had pretty good search volume according to Merchant Words.  We want at least 20,000 monthly searches for a term, and “best garlic press” has 30,100.  Maybe the competition is less there.  Let’s look:

best garlic press reviews

Yeah, no.  I think this one is almost worse than “garlic press”.  Maybe there’s some other terms that can add up to 20,000 searches.  On the list above, we saw “garlic press stainless steel” had 16,100 searches, and “stainless steel garlic press” had 6,600 searches.  If they both work out, that adds up to over 20,000 searches. Time to check them out.  Here’s “garlic press stainless steel”:

stainless steel garlic press reviews

Not quite nearly as bad as the other ones, but the competition is still pretty stiff.  I think it’s safe to say, the garlic press is an item I would skip on, and move on to something else.  But, since this is an example, we will move on…

Let’s say you have an item where the competition doesn’t seem too stiff (obviously not the garlic press).  Can you potentially create listings better than the other ones that will convert better?  This is where you would physically look at the listings on Amazon and see if you could make better listings than they do.  If you can, it’s likely people will buy the item in your listing, while passing on the other listing.  This is great, because it gives you sales – and increases your conversion rate.  Which, of course, increases your search rankings.  Sticking with the garlic press theme, I would look at the listings that have lower reviews. Your goal is to take the place of someone else already on the first page, so the ones with lower reviews are the easiest ones to pick off. From the image above, we’ll look at listing #12, as it has 22 reviews:

garlic press listing

There are three specific spots to look at initially on the product detail page as noted in the image above:

  1. Images.  The first image should be a good close-up of the product, with high resolution.  You should be able to zoom in on the image.  There should also be additional images showing all sides of the product.  “Lifestyle images” help sell the product as well.  This usually means showing how the product is used in action.  Amazon allows up to 7 images.  It’s wise to use all of them.
  2. Title.  The title should have as many keywords as possible, while still sounding good to a human.  Amazon uses the title as a way to help determine which keywords the product should be ranked for, which it why you should have target keywords in it.
  3. Bullet Points.  They should be benefit based, not feature based.  Not familiar with the difference between features and benefits?  Check out this article which does a good job of explaining the difference.

Scrolling down the page, you also want to look at the description area:

garic press description

The description should continue to tell the story of the product, and sell on the benefits of buying the product.  Breaking up the content as shown above in paragraphs instead of a block of text is good as well.  Easier to read – the better!

Looking at this particular product, I think they’ve done a pretty good job on the listing, and it would be unlikely we could significantly improve on that listing.

Now, let’s take a look at a good selling product that doesn’t have a great listing:

desk detail page

Looking at the same three things as the last listing, let’s identify why this isn’t a great listing.

  1. You can’t zoom in on the image.  There’s also just one image, and none showing the usage of it.  Imagine if there was another image showing how this desk would look in a room?  Or, next to other products you sell?
  2. The title has no keywords at all, other than the brand name and “desk with drawer”.
  3. This is the one part they have right.  Most of the bullet points are benefit based, and not feature based.

In a vacuum, if you could source a similar product and make the listing better, your conversion rates would likely be better than the one for this listing.  Of course there are other factors in play like price and the massive amount of reviews.  That’s why a listing that doesn’t look amazing can still be ranked extremely well and out rank other listings.  Just keep in mind, if all other things are close to equal, making the listing look better than your competition can improve conversion rates.

Finally, the relevancy of the search results should be taken into account.  Let’s say you were searching for “stainless steel garlic press”, and the results mostly had plastic garlic presses.  If you created a listing for a stainless steel garlic press, it has a very good chance of taking over plastic garlic presses that have a lot of reviews and sales velocity.

What About Name Brands?

All of the things above being said, name brand products can somewhat skew the results in the favor of the name brand.  Why?  The name brand has built in name recognition, which can improve conversion rates.  It also gives you additional non-generic keywords that could generate traffic to the listing.  An example of this for the garlic press example we’ve been using is Oxo.  Oxo is a name brand that is carried in a lot of brick and mortar retail stores, which means a lot of people know the name.  Someone may do a search for “garlic press” and see the name Oxo in the results.  The customer may click on that listing over others simply because they are familiar with the brand name.  Someone may also search for “Oxo garlic press” because they saw it in a brick and mortar store.  This is additional traffic to those listings that you would never see from generic search terms like “garlic press”.

Brand names at times can overcome lack of reviews and poor listings.  This is extremely important to understand when determining weather you should bring a bundle to market or not.  Putting two strong brand names together in a bundle can sometimes outrank and out sell non name brand items that have a lot of reviews.  As long as there is enough demand for the product, you can be a little more aggressive for competition when you have a brand name item you are listing.

So, How Do I Know If I Should Create The Listing?

Yes, that’s a lot of info to take in.  There’s no bullet proof way to say “yes” or “no” if you should create a listing.  But here’s the quick bullet points I would run through:

  • Is it a name brand? If so, I give it a little extra nudge towards yes.
  • Can I sell the product at the margin levels necessary to meet my buying guidelines?
  • Is there enough demand for the product to meet my buying guidelines?
  • Is the competition low enough where I feel comfortable I can land on the first page of a search term?

You’ll likely be uncomfortable creating listings the first few times you do it.  If you decide to create a listing, take notes of all the metrics above when you make the decision.  That will allow you to come back and look at the metrics and adjust on your next few new listings.  If you want to be a little more cautious, just buy a case of an item, and test it out before you buy more.  In the end, the goal is to get better and better on your decision making as time goes on.

Creating the Listing

Now that you’ve decided it’s a good idea to actually create a listing for a product, it’s time to actually do it!  There is one final bit of research you should do before crafting your listing: additional keyword research.  The reason why you want to do additional keyword research is for the following reasons:

  • When writing your title, you will want to have the best possible keywords in it.
  • You will want to weave your keywords into the bullet points and description when possible.
  • There is a field for keywords that you enter when creating the listing.

Here’s the process we use for keyword research:

  • Find as many keywords as possible by using the tools mentioned below.  Put the keywords in a spreadsheet, so you can access them later.
  • Determine which keywords have the most volume and the least amount of competition.  These are known as your “target keywords”.  You likely already know at least the main keyword from the research done earlier.  Use the process above to determine the competition levels for the potential target keywords.  These target keywords are what you use to help write your title, bullets and descriptions.
  • Take the keywords and put them into a tool to remove duplicate words.  This is the string of text you will use for the keyword area when creating the listing.

I mentioned tools above.  Here’s the tools I like to use for keyword research:

If you are unfamiliar with Google Keyword Planner and Keywordtool.io, Jungle Scout did an amazing article that describes how to use each of those tools to find keywords.  No need to re-invent the wheel, they describe each of them better than I would have!

We previously went over how to use Merchant Words.  It’s a matter of putting the main keyword in the search box, and then picking out the search terms from the generated list that seem to fit for the product.

Finally, I like to use Keyword Inspector.  This is a paid tool that allows you to do reverse searches on other Amazon listings.  It’s a pretty simple tool to use: put in the ASIN of the listing you want keywords for, decide if you want the ASINs in a group, choose what search type you want, and then run the search.

keyword inspector reverse search main-1

keyword inspector reverse search keywords-1To determine which search type you want to use, it really boils down to how much data you want. The USA Extensive ALL search costs 5 times as much as the USA Extensive search.  That doesn’t mean you’ll get 5 times as many keywords.  They claim you’ll receive 1.5x to 4x the amount of keywords, including what they are using PPC on.  Personally, I think the Extensive ALL is overkill for this purpose, because you are already using other tools to find keywords.

Keyword Inspector will usually give you the best keywords to target, because it tells you exactly what your competitors are targeting.

Now that you’ve compiled all the keywords in a spreadsheet, you can figure out the target keywords, and run it through the remove duplicate words tool.

Amazon’s Guidelines For Creating Listings

Amazon has specific guidelines on how you should create listings.  They are called “style guides”.  There is a quick start basic style guide, which is useful for every category.  Here is the current basic style guide info:

basic style guide 1

basic style guide 2

You should read those guidelines and understand all of them.  The ones that sellers tend to forget / break the most often are:

  • Using words such as sale, free shipping, best seller, hot item, best item in the title.
  • Using the seller’s name as the Brand or Manufacturer.  This is acceptable if you are private labeling the item.
  • Using promotional language in the bullet points such as “buy 5 get 1 free!”
  • Using promotional text on images.
  • Using an image that doesn’t have a pure white background.

There is one thing in the style guides that a lot of sellers tend to break: “Colored backgrounds or lifestyle pictures”.   I actually recommend breaking this one myself, but only as secondary images.  This is one specific guideline that rarely is enforced by Amazon unless you are using a colored background or lifestyle picture as the main image.  The upside of using lifestyle images for secondary images is pretty high as it increases conversion rates and search rankings.  It’s one of those cases where you need to take an assessment on what risks you will take on in your business.  The risk is extremely low, with a high upside, which is why I recommend lifestyle images as secondary images.

Once you have the basic style guide down, there are additional style guides for specific categories.  When you determine what category your item is in, you’ll want to download the style guide for your specific category and follow it.

If you are still confused on style guides, Amazon has a section in Amazon Seller University specifically on style guides you can check out.

Time to Create the Listing!

Let’s walk through the steps of how to actually create a listing.  In Amazon Seller Central go to Inventory > Add a Product:

amazon add a product

On the next page, click on “create a new product listing”:

amazon add a product - create new product listing

Next, you’ll be classifying the category of your product.  The best thing to do is put the top keyword of your product in the search box and click on find category.  Amazon will attempt to find the most accurate category.

amazon add a product classify category

On the next page, select the most accurate category for your product:

amazon add a product classify category garlic press

If an accurate one didn’t come up for some reason, hit the back button, and use the previous menu system to find the most accurate category:

amazon add a product - select category

Once you’ve selected the correct category, it’s time to start entering in information about your product.  I would suggest selecting the “advanced” option at the top right side of the page.  This will uncover more options to enter additional information about your product.  The more information you can give about the product, the better chance you have of selling it.

amazon add a product - advanced view

Next, Start filling in as much information as you possibly can on each tab.  I’ll highlight a few specific areas:

“Product Name” is the title you are using for your product.  Remember to use your target keywords in your title, while making it flow for customers.  In addition, you want the length of the title to meet style guidelines for the category.  Amazon says titles should stick around 80 characters, but in most cases style guides allow for 200 characters.  Here’s some other title notes:

  • If the brand name of the product is a selling point (it’s a name brand everyone has heard of), it’s recommended to put it at the front of the title.  Example: Oxo Garlic Press
  • Immediately after the brand name (if using it first), use a descriptive target keyword to describe the product.  If you aren’t putting the brand name first, use the top target keyword first.  Example: Stainless Steel Garlic Press
  • Weave in as many high volume keywords as possible while making the title not seem spammy.  There’s no need to duplicate words either.  Example: If your target keywords are “stainless steel garlic press” and “silicone garlic peeler” because the product has both features, you wouldn’t need to duplicate the word garlic.  Use this: Stainless Steel Garlic Press with Silicone Peeler
  • If there is a part number of the product that makes sense to add (usually this will end up being a target keyword if the part number is important), include it in the title.
  • If the item is a bundle, make sure to put the word “bundle” in it, and ensure it contains what’s included.
  • Make sure to look at the style guide for your specific category, as Amazon changes the guidelines somewhat regularly.

amazon add a product - title

“Product ID” is where you enter the unique identifier for this item.  Generally, the product ID will be a UPC code.  Use the UPC code from the packaging if you are able to.  If you are doing a bundle, you’ll need to use custom UPC codes.  We discussed Amazon UPC code usage in the previous section.amazon add a product - product id

“Key Product Features” are otherwise known as bullet points.  This is where you want to put your benefit driven statements about your product.  Remember – benefits, not features!  Try to include your keywords in these bullet points if possible.  You have the ability to make five bullet points.  Use them all!

The description should include the features and benefits of why a person should buy the product.  To make the description look better, you should use HTML tags.  Using tags such as <b> and <br> can make a huge difference on the look and feel of the description.

amazon add a product - bullet points

“Search Terms” are where you are going to put the long jumbled up list of keywords you put together earlier using the remove duplicate words tool.  A few notes on this:

  • You can enter in a list of keywords on each line.  Don’t use commas, just spaces in between each word.
  • It’s not necessary to use the same keywords you’ve added in the title or bullet points.
  • Just like the title, there is no need to duplicate words.

Skip where it says “platinum keywords”.  That’s only for platinum merchants.  If you don’t know what that is – you probably aren’t one!

If you would like additional information on search term optimization on that field, Sellics has written a solid article on the topic.

amazon add a product - search terms

Make sure you fill out as much possible information throughout the tabs as possible, including the offer tab for your price and SKU.    If there are variations for your product (different sizes, colors, etc), use these instructions to create variations.

Once you are done entering all the information, click on “Save and Finish”.  Amazon will give you a confirmation page, along with the ASIN for your product.

Congratulations!  You’ve created a product!

Existing Product Optimization

Now that you know how to create an optimized new product listing, it should be a piece of cake to spot poor existing listings, and optimize them.   You’ll use the same basic guidelines as mentioned above, just the execution of updating existing listings is different than creating your own listings.

As you may know, product listings are owned by Amazon once they are created.  This means Amazon has guidelines on who can change them.  If a brand is brand registered, the seller account that’s associated with the brand registry will typically have an easy time making changes to listings.  In some cases, you can make changes to the listing, and they are immediately updated.  If you don’t have a brand registered account (which will be the case on most listings), your changes might not immediately go into effect on Amazon.  Amazon may require you to jump through hoops to make changes to product listings.  This is why if you have a relationship with a brand, I would strongly recommend going through brand registry for that brand, which makes it a lot easier to control the content on the product detail page.

Here’s a few articles that discuss brand registry where you can learn more about that topic:

Now, let’s go through the process to actually update listings.  First you’ll need to already have the item listed in your inventory.  Go to Amazon Seller Central, and visit Inventory > Manage Inventory:

Amazon optimize listing - manage inventory

Next, find the ASIN in your inventory by searching for it.  Once you’ve done that, click on the edit button.

Amazon optimize listing - search inventory

Everything else should look similar to what creating a new product looks like, except some existing information will already be filled in.  Change the fields that need to be changed to optimize the listing.  The most common ones to optimize are:

  • Title.  A lot of titles won’t have proper keywords in them.  Properly optimize the title for more traffic.
  • Images.  A lot of listings will only have one image.  Adding more will help conversion rates.
  • Description.  A lot of descriptions don’t read well.  Rewriting the descriptions can help improve conversion rates.
  • Bullet Points.  Most bullet points focus on features instead of benefits.  Rewriting the bullet points to focus on benefits can help improve conversion rates.
  • Search Terms.  Some sellers ignore this field when creating listings.  Adding additional relevant search terms can help drive more traffic to your listing.

When you are making these changes, I would recommend copy and pasting them into a spreadsheet, so you have them saved.  You’ll learn why in a moment.

Once you are done, click on save and finish.  The confirmation page will tell you the changes have been made.  But, have they really been made?

You’ll want to wait at least 24 hours to see if your changes have been made to the product detail page.  If you go back 24 hours later and nothing has changed, the next step would be to open a ticket with seller support to make the changes.  This is where having the changes saved in a spreadsheet can come in handy.  You’ll want to be able to easily copy and paste this information into the ticket you are opening.

Go to Help > Contact Us like you normally would to open any other seller support ticket.  On the next page, go to Selling on Amazon > Products and Inventory > Product page issue.  Finally, click on “Fix a product page”.

amazon optimize listing - product page issue-1

Next, put in the ASIN you want to fix and click on search.

Amazon optimize listing - seller support

After you click on search, #2 in the list will open up.  Choose the attribute you want to change.  In this example, I’m going to select Title.

Amazon optimize listing - seller support attribute

Next, make the changes you want to make. You can only do one attribute change at a time, so if you want to change bullet points and title, you’ll need to open two seller support tickets.  Under the section “Why should we accept your updates”, you want to select the best option you have available.  If you have a manufacturer’s website that shows proof of why you want the change, its wise to select that option.  In this example, I’m going to use “other reason”, and explain why I want the change.   When explaining why the change should be made, always mention that it will improve the customer experience.

Amazon optimize listing - seller support proof

Finally, scroll down and make sure your contact information is accurate.  Click on send, and it will open the ticket!

Once the ticket is in the system, seller support make the change.  Or, at minimum, ask you for more info or proof on why the changes should be made.  Always be respectful, and always mention you are doing this for the customer to be able to make a better buying decision.

Using Product Listing Optimization As A Value Proposition

Now that we’ve learned all the nuts and bolts of listing optimization for new and existing products, how do you use this as a value proposition?

Here’s a few ideas:

  • When talking to a potential wholesale target, you can look at the existing listings on Amazon and determine if some of their listings are of poor quality.  You can discuss those listings with the brand owner, and offer to upgrade the listings for them.  If the competitors have better listings, show the brand owner why they should upgrade theirs.
  • If you see good bundle ideas, you can bring those ideas to the brand owner as a reason for you to do business with them.  You can mention you do a lot of keyword research, and create fully optimized listings.  By doing so, it should increase the brands overall market share on Amazon.
  • When you get good at creating new listings and bringing products to market, you can offer that service to brand owners.  It may help you land exclusive deals for specific products.
  • If a brand owner has a decent size catalog, and a good chunk of their items aren’t on Amazon at all, you can offer that service to them.

I’m sure there are other ideas you can think of.   Creating optimized listings and optimizing existing listings can open up a lot of doors for brand owners when you are good at it.

Phew.  That was a massive post.  Already over 6,700 words at this point.  Glad you made it to the end!  Now let’s move over to PPC as a value proposition.

Need help with optimizing listings?  We can help with our Mentoring Program.

Continue on to Module 3 Part 8: Paid Advertising (PPC)

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Chris Potter

Chris Potter is an internet entrepreneur that loves working on businesses and helping others with their businesses. He has operated businesses that have sold over $25 million in retail sales, bought and sold a blog design business, and started websites from scratch. Skyrocket your business by joining his Mentoring Program!

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