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How to Optimize your Amazon Listings for Visibility and Sales

rOptimizing Amazon listings ain't exactly a piece of cake. You know better than anyone how much there is hanging on your product listings being set up well for both visibility and conversions. You want more sales rolling in, more profit (obvs). So how do you set up your Amazon listings for success?

For a start, Amazon has its own search engine (A9) that doesn't work the exact same way as Google does. A lot of the advice out there is based around Google optimization practices. Just, no. The good news is that it's not as advanced as Google's algorithms so theoretically, it should be easier to please. Actually, that's great news because getting ranked well on A9 is much more high-value than ranking well on Google.

Chad Rubin at Single Grain notes that:

"nine out of 10 searchers on Google won’t purchase anything, while Amazon’s searchers are usually there to purchase… and purchase soon. Unlike Google, Amazon is a product search engine, full of high-intent visitors."

Amazon manages to filter out only the people who already have one hand on their credit card. But sadly, people on the brink of purchase don't tend to trawl through pages and pages of product listings. In fact:

  • 70% of Amazon shoppers never click past the first page of results
  • 35% of Amazon shoppers click on the first product featured on a search page
  • The first 3 products siphon away around 64% of the clicks

 

Ok, great. A truckload of pressure. This infographic can help us break down what A9 looks for:

 

 

 Source

 

According to Amazon:

"Customers must be able to find your products before they can buy them, and searching is the primary way they can do that. Customers search by entering keywords, which are matched against the information (title, description, and so on) that you provide for a product. Factors such as degree of text match, price, availability, selection, and sales history help determine where your product appears in a customer’s search results. By providing relevant and complete information for your product, you can increase your product’s visibility and sales."

So. We're gonna focus on a few key areas you can optimize so that a) customers can find you easily and b) they're more likely to buy from you.

In this guide:

  1. How to do Amazon keyword research
  2. The best ways to optimize your product titles
  3. Make your product bullet lists irresistible
  4. How to make your product images conversion-ready
  5. How to get great Amazon reviews

 

How to do Amazon keyword research

The most important thing to remember here is that user behavior on Amazon is very different to Google. Guy W Lecky-Thompson phrases it best in this Quora thread:

"Most answers [keyword research advice] that you’re going to get will be pretty open-ended: use Google Trends, Brainstorm your keywords, use the Keyword Planner, etc. While these are usually a good starting point, understand one thing: Amazon is a destination site, with its own search engine.Your customers are not going to Google and looking for 'books on cat grooming', or 'cat grooming kits'. They’re going to Amazon, and maybe even directly to the Kindle pages, and looking for 'cat grooming'."

So yeah, with that in mind, we're gonna stay Amazon-specific and tap into data from A9 only.

You don't necessarily need to follow every single step in here, so don't feel overwhelmed! These are just a selection of methods that have proven to be worthwhile.

 

Find your seed keywords

These are your basic keywords that describe what your product actually is. They're usually short in length (1-3 words). So if you're selling a protein shaker bottle, "protein shaker bottle" would be your first basic keyword. Then you might have "blender bottle". Then "white blender bottle". You get the gist.

Rachel Chan, a blogger at Amazon Seller Resources, offers this advice:

"Learn your product well and make a list of all the aspects your product has. An extremely cliched line, but it’s something that still works 'Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.' Think all the queries your product might be an answer to and convert them to features."

Alex Knight over at repricer.com has this tip: "If you had to describe it [your product] to someone in just two or three words, what would you say? Note these thoughts down."

He also advises that you make sure you're on the right track with your primary seed keyword. Using the earlier example, this would be "protein shaker bottle". He suggests pulling up the top 5 ranked products for that keyword then doing a reverse ASIN search to see what keywords those listings are ranking for.

So here's one of the top 5 results for "protein shaker bottle":

 

 

 Source

 

Scroll down to get the ASIN number:

 

 

Next, we're gonna head over to Sonar, a free Amazon keyword research tool, and put the ASIN in.

 

 

 Source

 

Sure enough, there are a couple of ideas in there that we didn't think of. Yay.

The cool thing about this tool is that it only gives you the keywords that the product is ranking on the first page for. So you can clearly see which keywords are responsible for the majority of a product's organic sales.

 

Search bar autocomplete

A9 does have some of the perks that Google does. For instance, you can get a wealth of keyword suggestions using the auto-suggest feature in the search bar. Pop in your keyword and autocomplete will come back with search terms that Amazon customers are proven to use. It's also a good idea to do this in incognito browser.

 

 

 

Robin Hanna at Sellics points out that you could enter a keyword and put a random letter after it to get more search combinations. You could even take this stuff super seriously and work your way systematically through the whole alphabet. Go wild.

To save you writing all the suggestions down, you can just use Keyword Tool that pulls the autosuggest results for you.

 

 

 

Analyzing your competitors

Chad Rubin at Single Grain says you should:

  • Start by selecting the three top-ranked competitors for the particular product that boast the most number of reviews
  • Pore over their product copy and title descriptions to discover the keywords they’re using
  • With the list of keywords in hand, remove those that aren’t relevant. As easy as that, you’ve got a handy list of keywords in your arsenal!
  • In most cases, data from 3 or 4 competitors is enough to get started

Don't forget Sonar will help you figure out the well-ranking organic keywords.

 

Customer reviews

We can't stress this enough: customer reviews are a goldmine. It's well worth looking through your own product reviews, or your competitors', to gather the words your customers are using to describe your products. Guy W Lecky-Thompson says to pick the top products in a category and go through the reviews looking for keyword phrases that are significant. Not only does review-hunting give you search terms, but you also get a ton of insights you can use to boost conversions.

Why does this work so well? Because the words your market are using are often different to the marketing talk we put out there. Instead of guessing at what words they're using, reviews show you the raw reality. You'll start to notice patterns the more you work through the reviews. Words that come up repeatedly is what you need to focus on.

If you want to squeeze golden nuggets from reviews, there's a monster conversion-focused post over here that includes a whole section on how to do review mining properly (complete with example worksheets).

If you're launching a new product, Lecky-Thompson has these great tips:

  1. Go visit your nearest competitors, and extract the keywords used by their customers, and use THOSE keywords to research auto-suggest phrases used by actual Amazon customers whose credit cards are already halfway out of their pocket.
  2. Do #1, and then pay attention to the 1–2 star reviews. Those are people who want YOUR, better, product.

 

After all that, which keywords should you focus on?

So you now have a bunch of keywords that you need to whittle down. After all, you don't have limitless space in your Amazon listings. And nobody likes spammy keyword-stuffers anyway. Some of the keywords on your list may not even be searched for that often which is a waste of precious space.

Raymond G. Walker advises in this Quora thread that you need to narrow down to the best ones on the basis of relevancy, popularity and search volume.

This is where keyword tools come in. Some of the best ones are:

 

Whichever tool you go with, plug the keywords in and see which ones have the most searches. Jonathan Bowser, Marketplace Specialist and Amazon Coach, says you should take special note of keywords with more than 10,000 searches a month. Jonathan Dean at Helium10 says to dismiss keywords with less than 500 searches a month.

Once you've narrowed down the keywords with decent search volume, you need to choose which ones you want to target. Bowser points out that the main factor in this decision should be the competitors you're going up against. He advises that you search the keywords you want to evaluate and see what comes up in Amazon search results. Bowser says:

 

"You will want to evaluate the competition on page 1 and 2 as they are your true competition. If the competition for the keyword is too steep. For example, if everyone on page one has between 750–1000+ reviews, and your product is brand new you may want to avoid that keyword for now, until your review count is higher (reviews matter on Amazon, this is the reason many Amazon PPC campaigns flat out fail, there’s not enough social proof on new products.)

You may want to highlight which keywords have significant volume along with the least amount of competition between competitors. Focus on these less competitive keyword terms and they may give your product the boost necessary for true success. Once your product is able to compete with these higher competition keywords, you can re-optimize if the search volume is significant."

 

Don't forget marketplace specificity

It's easy to make the mistake of targeting the same keywords across different geographical locations. If they're all written in English, they should carry across all English speaking areas, right? Jonathan Dean from Helium10 explains that if you're selling on the US version of Amazon, you shouldn't just carry the same listings over to the UK version (or any other location). The highest searched terms in the US may not be the same in other places. You need to do keyword research for each location you sell in. Bit tedious? Yup. Sorry guys!

 

Do a keyword relevancy check

This one sounds really obvious. But you have to think about whether shoppers would raise an eyebrow if they search for something and your product pops up in the results. Put the customers before the algorithm, always (that's what Amazon want you to do anyway!). Jonathan Dean says in this article that if you target a keyword that isn't extremely relevant to your product, customers won't click on your listing which sends a signal to Amazon to push your listing down in the rankings.

So how do you improve your keyword relevancy? Dean says that you should pair a main keyword with a feature that sets your product apart from competitors. For example, if you're selling a protein supplement, you could pair that with the form it comes in. So "protein supplement" + "powder" to set it apart from pills etc.

 

How to use keywords

Now it's time to blend those keywords into your listings. Always, always prioritize the shopper over A9. Because at the end of the day, if your algorithm game is so good that you rank highly, but prospective buyers are turned off by your spammy-looking, gobbledy-gook listing, then you won't sell much. Which will hurt your organic ranking. Click-throughs and conversions matter to Amazon (after all, they favor the products that will make them the most money.)

You can sprinkle keywords in your:

 

Final tip: if you're struggling to shoehorn certain keywords into your listings . . .and sacrificing natural-sounding text in the process, consider popping those keywords into the backend search terms instead (for Amazon's eyes only).

 

The best ways to optimize your product titles

They are one of the first things a shopper sees, but you wouldn't believe how many sellers don't put enough effort into optimizing them. The title is usually one of the main culprits if you struggle with low rankings and sales. Writing good product titles is a balancing act between optimizing for A9 and grabbing the interest of prospective buyers.

For optimized length, make sure your titles are no longer than 200 characters (Amazon has a habit of changing this limit). This rule also varies between product categories. Definitely make good use of all the characters you have as not giving enough info can be the difference between people clicking through and . . . well, people NOT clicking through (which then impacts ranking).

Like this for example:

 

 

 

 

So much potential to do more with that product title. Why should we click on that one out of all the other listings? What specific features does it have? All we know is it's large and grey with an arrow print. Wouldn't a parent looking for a practical diaper bag - that's great value for money - need more details to be enticed to click? As Tom Buckland and Diana Soare point out, there should be benefits in the title and features that customers are looking for in that particular item.

Here's an example of a good product title that makes use of the space and conveys a bunch of beneficial features upfront :

 

 

Right, ok. So at a glance, we find out the product is:

  • Multi-functional
  • Waterproof
  • Ideal for travel (duh)
  • Spacious
  • Durable
  • Not considered ugly
  • And we can deduce there is a variety of colors to choose from

 

What should your product titles include?

Your titles should include details like:

  • Brand
  • Product line
  • Material or key feature
  • Product type
  • Color (if relevant)
  • Size (if relevant)
  • Packaging/Quantity

 

Diana Soare also offers up these tips:

  1. If your product is eco-friendly or biodegradable etc, it's a good idea to include this in the title as a lot of people keep an eye out for products that are environmentally friendly.
  2. If your product has features and benefits that set you apart from your competitors, use your title to make these stand out.
  3. Don't repeat keywords. Amazon have stated that using a keyword several times won't give the keyword A9 superpowers. You could cram that sucker into the title 5 times but your ranking will stay the same and be horribly unreadable. So use the space efficiently.

 

A note about including the brand name: it's usually the first thing in the title, and is recommended by Amazon, but it's not mandatory. As Diana Soare points out, "it depends how much importance the brand has over the product." Bryan Bowman at BigCommerce recommends testing out variations to see what converts best for you.

In terms of keywords, you should add your primary ones to the title - the keywords with the highest search volumes and relevance to your product. You should also put the most important, relevant keywords at the beginning of your title. Bryan Bowman at BigCommerce explains:

"This has both practical and algorithmic implications. From a practical standpoint, we want to make sure every customer, regardless of search result location, knows exactly what we’re selling. Anecdotally, the algorithm correlates higher relevance with keywords that appear earlier in the title.Therefore, we recommend making a list of your most important keywords and strategically placing them before each character breakpoint in the title."

Bowman also points out that title visibility varies in length between mobile and desktop. You don't want the juiciest info stuck on the end of your title if that part gets cut off on mobile devices.

 

Amazon product title guidelines and tips

Amazon lays out these guidelines:

 

 Source

 

A few other tips:

  • If the size isn't a relevant detail, don't list it in the title (Amazon)
  • If the product does not come in a variety of colors, the color shouldn't be included in the title (Amazon)
  • Don't forget to spell out measure words like Ounce, Inch and Pound (Amazon)
  • Ampersands (&) should not be used in titles unless part of a brand name; spell out and lowercase "and" (Amazon)
  • Use pipes (|) or dashes (-) to improve readability and break up target keywords (source)
  • Add a CTR element - leverage your knowledge of your ideal buyer to help win the click (source)

 

Make your product bullet lists irresistible

The 5 bullet points you get as a seller (vendors get 10) is your big chance to sell. And what you include in them can make the difference between a sale and no sale. As Tom Buckland at Amazon SEO Consultant says:

"When a user is reading your bullet points, it means they are very close to pulling the trigger on a purchase. They’ve searched a specific keyword, found your listing, clicked through and most likely reviewed the price, images and reviews, too. They just need a tiny push to convert into a customer – potentially a life long one."

Here are Amazon's official guidelines:

Screenshot (18)Source

 

But we're not just gonna give you a screenshot and send you on your merry way. We need more to work with than some technical bullet points that don't tell you how to make your bullets pack a punch.

 

Where to place keywords in the bullet lists

There is a bit of debate as to whether the bullet lists affect your organic rankings or not. This article from SalesBacker points out that Amazon's guidelines say they're not a ranking factor . . . but that several Amazon selling experts have found that placing keywords in the bullet points does help increase search rankings. The article claims these experts have observed listings shoot from page 3 to page 1 after adding keywords.

It doesn't hurt to add keywords naturally into your features list, as long as you write for humans first. No repetition or stuffing. Because yeah, nobody wants to read that. If you got really into your keyword research and have loads to work with, then chances are you'll run out of room to include them in your product title. So once you've filled your title with the most important, top-of-the-list keywords, lightly season your bullet list with the remaining keywords.

And that's all we have to say on the keyword side of things. The main thing we need to look at is making your bullet lists conversion-friendly. Because if you write a fantastic feature list that dramatically boosts your sales, then Amazon will take note and push your product up the ranks anyway (never forget they favor sellers who make them more cash).

via GIPHY

 

The most important thing to focus on in your Amazon bullet lists

Your key features list is your sales real estate. So we need to squeeze the most out of it. Typically sellers are given up to 500 characters to play with for each bullet point. Having said this, Sellics say in this post that to preserve readability, it's a good idea to stick to 2 rows per bullet point.

It's about striking a balance. You don't want to say too little and not give people solid reasons to buy. The example below only uses 3 bullets and none of them are particularly attention-grabbing (do people care about having conditioned eyelashes?). Had no idea that was a thing.

 

 

 Source

 

But you also don't want to cram in a truckload of copy and scare potential buyers away. The copy isn't terrible in this example (and they're selling pretty well) but man, in terms of user experience, that is one off-putting block of text. This image is also zoomed out, we might add. When we first landed on it, the list stretched pretty far down the page!

 

 

 Source

 

This example, on the other hand, sticks to the "2 rows per bullet point" recommendation WHILE still focusing on the shopper and including strong selling points. A double whammy of digestible and persuasive is what we're going for.

 

 

 Source

 

The most crucial thing to remember when writing is to put yourself in the customer's shoes (cheesy as it sounds.) It sounds obvious, but a lot of sellers struggle with this because, as Carina McLeod at OneSpace puts it:

 

"Brands live and breathe their products. This often means that how they see the products is different than how the customer sees them. Brands know their products inside and out, but the customer may be new to them with limited understanding of their features and benefits. This disconnect often results in brands writing complex content that is difficult for customers to understand or focusing on points that are not actually important to the customer. The bullet points should focus on the concrete benefits to the customer; features should be secondary."

 

Take this listing below for example. It's very much about the company (which goes against Amazon's guidelines), rather than staying focused on the product benefits to the customer:

 

 

 Source

 

The end result, harsh as it sounds, is dull-as-dishwater copy that doesn't engage with the consumer or tell a story. It doesn't connect the dots at all. In fact, we're left with unanswered questions instead of the unshakable feeling that this purchase will be awesome. Why should we buy this product, what's so special about it? An improvement on the original - how? What's an assist handle and how exactly will we benefit from it? Why, specifically, will it be a go-to pan for generations? How is the population size of South Pittsburgh at all relevant to the product? Leaving consumers with more questions than answers is a sure-fire conversion killer.

For every key feature your product has, you need to directly connect it to a desirable outcome for the customer. Don't make them guess what they'll get out of the product.This is where customer research comes in. Your market will tell you what they need to hear about your product, if you listen closely enough. We wrote a post about how to do awesome customer research over here.

Once you've done the research, you'll know what their problems are that you'll need to target in your bullet list (and you can use the same words they use so the copy resonates more with your market). In short, you won't be left scratching your head wondering what the hell to say about your product.

Tom Buckland at Amazon SEO Consultant offers these tidbits:

  • Consider what holds people back from clicking the Buy button. You should try to overcome these hurdles in the bullet list. You can find out these objections through customer research.
  • Mention how your product benefits are better than your competitors
  • Browse through your competitors' negative reviews and try to understand how those products weren't in line with the customers' expectations. This can help you position your product in the most effective way.
  • Don't make "false promises" or "tall claims"
  • Add social proof to your bullet list if you can
  • Add a trust element to push them towards a purchase (things like warranties, risk-free money-back guarantees, any authoritative certifications your product has been awarded, if applicable)
  • Use clear, simple language. Don't bombard people with complex jargon, unless that's appropriate for your market.

 

Look at this example:

 

 

 

 Source

 

It ain't perfect but for the purposes of what we're discussing here, it's a pretty good example. It has plenty of trust elements, from the USDA certification to the 365-day 100% money-back guarantee. Anything that reassures customers they aren't taking a risk is worth including. The list also stays focused on the benefits to the customer with "grow lush long eyelashes", "stimulate hair growth", "smoother skin". The company have included specific problems the product treats which makes it super easy for someone to confirm that yep, this product helps with scars. It's kinda like running through a checklist in the customer's mind before they decide to spend their money.

And to round off this section, here's some final tips to bear in mind when crafting your features list:

  1. "Do not use special characters or all caps for emphasis. This looks unprofessional, and you want your listing to show a quality product and build customer trust." (source)
  2. Test the content and order of your bullet points to see what converts best (source)
  3. Your bullet list is a good time to mention products your listing is compatible with. Those terms will usually be indexed so your product also pops up in searches for the products it works with (source)
  4. Try including product warranty information in the last bullet
  5. The strongest selling points should be placed in the first 3 bullet points as mobile devices will only display 3-4 bullet points (source)

 

A note about your product descriptions

You mean to say we aren't gonna dedicate a big chunk of space to product descriptions?! We're not going to in this guide, because we already wrote a massive post about how to write high-converting product descriptions.

We just have a couple of things to say in terms of keywords and organic search. So, as Helium10 puts it:

"Your Amazon product listing description gives the majority of the necessary information regarding your product’s purpose, features, and functionality. Fit in as many of your keywords as possible here while maintaining sensible grammatical and sentence structuring."

Sellics mentions that a product will not be found for a single keyword that is only within the description. But they did do tests which "showed the product will be found if 2 or more words from a keyword are placed close to each other within the description."

Go forth and experiment to see what works for your listings. Just remember the golden rule: no keyword stuffing and always write for humans before algorithms.

Here are Amazon's guidelines:

 

 

 

 

 

How to make your product images conversion-ready

We all like to see exactly what we're buying before we pull out our wallets, don't we? Being able to touch a product, hold it in our hands and do that "quality assessment" thing. But we're kinda robbed of that tactile experience when we shop online. Instead, we have to rely on images (and reviews, which we'll cover in the next section). So those images better be damn good if they're gonna convince us to part with our hard-earned cash.

If your images are enticing enough to get more click-throughs and conversions, then this has a great effect on your ranking.

Here's Amazon's official guidelines:

 

 

 Source

 

And here's some tips to help you get those clicks.

 

Use all of the images available to you

So you get 9 images in total to show off your product. And you should see each of these images as a crucial opportunity to sell your socks off.

The main image is kinda a big deal as it is:

" . . .the driver for clicks to your product, as it is the only image that is visible in Amazon’s search results. Customers will fly over the list of product images in the search results page, and click on the products they find most interesting. We recommend for your core product to be centered with a white background, and make sure the well lit image fills 80% of the frame. - Angela Yuan at Sellics

Your other images should "tell a story" (marketing buzzword alert!) about your product to get across why people should buy it. Use these supporting images to convey the essentials.

 

Take full advantage of Amazon's zoom function

 

 

 

It's the closest people are gonna get to your product so you should make sure ALL your images are large enough to enable Amazon's zoom function. Amazon says “images should be 1,000 pixels or larger in either height or width, as this will enable zoom function on the website (zoom has proven to enhance sales). The smallest your file should be is 500 pixels on the longest side.”

High-quality is therefore critical so people get a crisp image like the one shown above. It's worth investing in professional photography or a really good camera if your budget allows. If not, there is a fantastic article about how to do DIY product photography (spoiler: it involves a bathtub).

 

 

Take images from different angles

It's a good idea to show the product from different angles. Because as Angela Yuan points out, "this serves to make the customer feel as if they have seen the whole product and not just what you want to show them."

We wanna make shoppers feel as close to actually handling the product as possible. If the example below just showed the front of the watch and nothing else, people may be wary about buying because they haven't got the "whole picture". At the end of the day, people don't like feeling that they're being foolish with their money.

 

 

 

 

 

Show the product in action

It's important to engage the consumer's imagination (especially online). People are sold on a better version of themselves that a product provides, not the actual product itself. We need to get them imagining what their life will be like once they receive their purchase.

Take the example below.

 

 

 

Just one lonely, uninspiring photo of a couch. It doesn't connect the dots for us. What will life look like with this couch? Hate to be a downer on the human race and all, but we are lazy creatures. This brand needs to show us our slick new bachelor/bachelorette lifestyle with this couch, not make us do all the work!

Compare that to this product image:

 

 

 

Not only does it look like the comfiest seat ever, but there's a whole bunch of other stuff going on here. Idyllic view out the huge windows, a cozy fire, everything is clean and neat. It sells you on this new identity you're gonna have if you buy: everything under control to the point where you have time to chill out.

Sure, your living room may look nothing like that. But it's the atmosphere we're being sold on. We could be the ones feeling totally relaxed and comfortable with a book on a crisp day. (Hang on, just grabbing a cloth to wipe the drool from the keyboard.)

The next example also makes us visualize our lives with the product. Instead of being shown some bland, lifeless photos, we're sold a lifestyle through the images. We can almost smell the warm croissants and a lazy Sunday morning springs to mind. The person writing this blog post (hi) kinda wants the coffee machine and she doesn't even like coffee. That's how powerful this "selling people a better version of themselves" stuff is.

 

 

 

 

We'll round off this section with a helpful infographic from Ignite Visibility:

 

 Amazon-Product-Infographic

Source

 

 

How to get great Amazon reviews

Here's the deal with reviews:

"Reviews, as you most likely already know, are a major conversion factor to consumers making a purchasing decision. The more (volume) and better (ratings) the reviews, the higher your conversion rate will be. Reviews impact sales and sales impact your organic rankings. In other words, reviews impact search rankings through the sales they help happen. So, it’s safe to say that reviews are an indirect ranking factor."- Tom Buckland, Amazon SEO Consultant

 Amazon reviews and organic rankings

Source

So why do reviews have such an impact on conversion rate? Megan Marrs at Wordstream points out that:

"We are still programmed to make choices based on the actions of others. There is safety in numbers with the herd mentality, so when we see a lot of people recommending an item and saying they HAVE to have it, we tend to feel likewise."

 

Take a look at this:

 

 Source

 

Damn, those are some tiny "Never" margins. So let's start laying the groundwork for getting positive reviews.

First of all, make sure you're giving a fab customer experience. Sounds really obvious, we know. But Megan Marrs observes that the majority of bad reviews are caused by people feeling misled about a product. So she advises that you "be honest about what you're selling and provide as much accurate, precise information about your product as possible to avoid any confusion or false expectations."

And of course, reviews count towards your seller rating. According to Greg Mercer at StartupBros, If your rating is in the upper 4-5 star realm then you're doing really well. And if you're battling with a lower rating, Mercer offers an action plan to help you get things back on track:

  1. Look out for repetitive complaints in the reviews that could indicate an issue with the product that needs fixing.
  2. Gather feedback from customers using automated email campaigns as this could help you nip any problems in the bud if they were planning to leave you a bad review.
  3. Focus your efforts on gathering more reviews as this could help you balance out your overall rating with better reviews.

 

What to do (and what not to do) when asking for Amazon reviews

Amazon has some pretty strict rules about reviews which you can find out more about here. We're gonna do our best to run through the basics do's and don'ts in this little section.

  • Don’t offer money, free products, discounts or coupons directly in exchange for reviews. You can still offer things like coupons, but not if the buyer has to leave a review to get the perks.
  • Don’t review your own products or your competitors
  • Don't get your friends and family (or any other biased people) to leave you reviews
  • Don’t only ask for reviews from buyers who had a positive experience
  • Don’t ask a buyer to edit or remove a negative review (even if you've solved the issue)
  • Don't vote on the helpfulness of reviews

The key is to remain neutral. You'll quickly land yourself on Amazon's Naughty list if you reach out to customers and say things like "If you love your product, leave us a 5-star review!". But as Krista Fabregas at FitSmallBusiness points out, you can ask for feedback using these types of "safe" phrases:

  1. Your opinion matters to us
  2. We value your insight
  3. Share your experience with other shoppers

 

 

Strategies for collecting more Amazon reviews

 

1) Run promotions to get the ball rolling

Offering coupons and discounts is a great idea when you've just launched a product as it gets your sales figures up (duh). But with increased sales comes ripe opportunity to get reviews. Those first few reviews will hopefully snowball. Even if it's not a product launch, it's a good idea to run promotions anyway to see more sales and reviews.

And to keep the growing reviews positive, Chris Dunne at FeedbackExpress advises, "just make sure to keep offering stellar products, optimising your listings and photos, and responding to customers' comments and questions super fast."

 

2) Follow-up after every sale

This article advises that you add the task of sending follow-up emails asking for feedback after every purchase to your to-do list. (Or just automate the process.) People are busy and may need a little prod to get them to do it. And if they're happy with their purchase, they shouldn't have any objections. At the end of the day, if you don't ask, you don't get.

It is important to make sure you have this process nailed down, so customers aren't getting feedback requests months after they bought your product. You want to ask them shortly after they've received the product so it's really fresh in their mind (which will hopefully get you a more valuable, longer review too). There are tools you can use to automatically send customized emails asking for feedback.

 

 

3) Reach out to your non-Amazon customers

You can ask for reviews from your customers who didn't buy through Amazon but the strict review policies still apply. So as long as you're not coaxing people into leaving you positive reviews, it's all good. Megan Marrs suggests that you request reviews via your newsletters and social channels. She reasons that these people like you (or they probably wouldn't be subscribed or following you) so they shouldn't begrudge leaving you some feedback if they've bought and loved your products.

You could also set up an email campaign to ask for reviews. AMZIgnition put together this awesome, bribery-free email template:

Hello {first name}

We noticed that your order was delivered successfully and we wanted to take the time to thank you for purchasing at {store name} . If it’s not too much trouble, we’d love to get your feedback on {product} . Did {product} meet your expectations? Even a sentence or two would be greatly appreciated.

>> Click here to send feedback for {product name}

As a small business, your feedback helps us create a better experience for you and all our customers. If you have any issues with your purchase, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks so much.

Best wishes,

 

{Your name}

 

You could send a couple of follow-up emails if this email doesn't get them to take action. Any more than 3 is pushing it. Making your customers so annoyed they want to kill you probably isn't good for business. In the article, AMZIgnition also notes that this email campaign is not just good for collecting Amazon reviews, but for getting a big-picture view of product issues and customer happiness.

 

And, that's it. You may be thinking "god, this is a ton of work". Because yeah, it's not easy optimizing and tweaking every single Amazon listing. Especially if you're selling on other marketplaces or your own webstore too. The good news is it's easy to take control of your multichannel listings from one place with ChannelGrabber.

Do you have any other Amazon optimization wisdom to share? Comment below!

 

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