Amazon product title optimization should get way more attention than it does.
Focusing on optimizing your title can improve your SEO rankings making your PPC campaigns more profitable.
If you haven’t spent much time working on your Amazon titles, you may want to start now. It could change your business!
So let’s dive right in.
Side Note: Feel free to skip this section and head straight to 4 Principles to a Great Product Title if you already know this stuff.
The Importance of Optimizing Your Amazon Listing Title
While every component of an Amazon listing needs to be optimized, the title should certainly be at the top of your list.
The more you improve the title, the better your rankings and traffic to your listings will become.
Titles Influence Amazon PPC and SEO Algorithms
The Amazon algorithms use your keywords and phrases in your title to determine relevancy for both your SEO rankings and your PPC campaigns. The closer your title matches the keywords you are trying to rank and advertise for, the better your rankings will be and the less you will spend on advertising.
Titles Influence Shoppers
When a shopper is looking through the search results, the title and image influence which product they are interested in. Just like the Amazon algorithm, the more relevant the title is to what the shopper is looking for, the more likely they will be to click on your listing.
Historical Performance Matters for Product Visibility
While Amazon doesn’t disclose the factors that influence rankings, it is safe to assume that a product with an excellent history of getting clicks is going to be prioritized over a product that has a poor click history.
If you have a title that Amazon understands, along with shoppers who keep clicking on your listing, you have performance metrics that Amazon is looking for to increase rankings and help you get more traffic to your listing.
Amazon’s Rules for Titles
In order for Amazon to deliver a consistent shopping experience, they have come up with a set of style guidelines that you need to follow.
Amazon warns sellers that failure to adhere to their requirements may cause a product to be suppressed from the search results. Therefore, we highly recommend that you visit this page on Amazon to get the details.
Here are the general Amazon rules:
- Titles must follow the recommended length for your product category and must not exceed 200 characters (including spaces).
- Promotional messages like “100% Guaranteed”, “Free Shipping”, etc… can not be included.
- Titles can’t include special symbols for decoration such as “$, #, ; , ?”.
These are just general rules that all listings need to follow. Certain product categories will have much more restrictive guidelines that you will need to comply with.
Researching Your Keywords
While there are endless Amazon keyword research tools out there, we don’t think using one is necessarily a requirement.
If you understand your product and how your customer might search for your product, then you are already armed with the most important keywords that your product needs to rank for. No extra tools necessary.
Don’t Ignore Your Amazon PPC Campaigns
Whether you have new or existing products, advertising on Amazon can be one of the best sources of keyword data available.
Armed with a search term report, you can quickly sort the data to show you which search terms have the best click-through-rate (CTR), impressions, orders, etc.
The best part is that after you have updated your listings, you can get feedback within 24–48 hours, signaling if you are heading in the right direction after you update your listing.
Ignore Keyword Volume From These Tools
While almost all the keyword tools provide some type of search-volume number, please do not be misled by that number. In late 2018, Amazon removed access to both search volume and relevance from the data they provide to 3rd party software providers.
Because of this, the numbers are definitely not accurate and in some cases, these tools are pulling search volume from Google, which does not correlate.
Please check out this great article from Viral Launch, a very popular Amazon software suite provider, if you want a very detailed explanation.
The reason we point this out is we consistently run into titles that read horribly because the person writing the listing tries to stick high-volume keywords in the title instead of letting it read naturally.
Our Suggestions for Keyword Research
With that being said, we love keyword research tools like Helium10, Viral Launch, etc., but we use them as more of a thesaurus to help generate ideas to describe a product, and ignore the rest of the data.
So if you are stuck with how to describe your product, feel free to use them, otherwise I would keep this process simple and rely on your intuition and logic to come up with a solid list of keywords.
We will go into more depth about our keyword research process in a separate post, but for the sake of brevity, let’s assume that you have your top 1 or 2 keywords that perfectly describe your product.
Choosing Title Keywords
People try to make this way more complicated than it has to be. So let’s simplify.
If we were to ask you what is the #1 phrase that describes your product, what would you say?
Your answer is the first keyword that I would put at the beginning of your product title.
Again, forget search volume, and write for your real customer and not for the search algorithm.
If you have more room, then see if you can sneak in some other relevant keywords, but don’t force it. There are plenty of other opportunities throughout the listing to incorporate additional keywords.
4 Principles to a Great Product Title
Through years of experience working with both large and small brands, we have seen what does and doesn’t work when it comes to optimizing Amazon listing titles.
Below are the common traits found in the most successful listings:
- Write for your customer and not for the Amazon search algorithm. The algorithm doesn’t purchase your product, a real person does.
- Keep your titles legible and use hyphens to provide space between different sets of keywords.
- Cut out the junk and fluff in your listing. Make sure everything in the title has a purpose and isn’t filler.
- Try to include some benefits if you have space.
Listing Title Formatting
While we will have many future posts planned about our title-writing process, we decided to include a few title formats that we have successfully used over the years. We hope it helps.
Should I include my brand name at the beginning of the title?
This is a hotly debated topic. While some seller’s swear they get an SEO boost from leaving their brand name off the listing, Amazon recommends that you begin with the product’s brand name.
However, if you do a quick search on Amazon, you will see that both products with and without their brand names rank right next to each other.
So claiming there is an SEO advantage is not necessarily true.
And while we can spend paragraphs debating other benefits of leaving the brand name off the product title, at the end of the day you need to decide whether those benefits are worth the risk of your listing potentially being suppressed on the search results.
Pay Attention to Character Length
An Amazon shopper searches for your product on a variety of devices. Because of this, the search results on Amazon might cut off your title at around 80 characters on mobile whereas Amazon might display up to 130 characters when shopping on a desktop.
Make sure your most important key phrase is placed either right after the brand name or at the beginning of the title if you don’t care about the brand name recommendation.
Our Recommended Title Formula
Certain product categories have specific title restrictions. So while the formula below is our recommended style, it might not work perfectly for your category.
Here is our Amazon title formula:
Brand + Most Important Keyphrase – Line/Pattern – Material – Form Factor – Color/Packaging
Bonus Points if you can squeeze in a few keyword-rich benefits in the title.
Ongoing Title Optimization
Finally, if you are looking to improve the performance of your listing, then we highly suggest testing different titles.
Between the new data that your PPC campaigns generate and the keywords and phrases your customers leave in their reviews, finding new ways to describe your product is endless.
And while we recommend testing one listing-element at a time, testing different titles to increase your profits and listing performance is time well-spent.
If you follow the advice above, you should be well on your way to creating a traffic-grabbing title that attracts the customers you are looking for.
But remember, optimizing your Amazon product title is an ongoing process that never ends. The common theme among top-performing brands is that they never stop optimizing their listings.
Whether you use a company — like ours — to do the work for you, or decide to tackle it yourself, the effort you put in will certainly be worth the reward.