Optimizing the Amazon Product Description

Of the three types of “basic” content, the Amazon product description is often the most overlooked by brands. Product titles and bullets have prime real estate “above the fold” on product detail pages, meaning customers don’t have to scroll to see that information, but the product description area gives brands the most space to properly describe their products.

When used effectively, the product description is an invaluable resource for brands looking to tell their product story. And in addition to providing customers with essential information that can increase sales, well-written product descriptions also allow brands to strategically enhance the product page with smartly integrated searchable keywords.

Using Product Descriptions to Avoid Common Pitfalls in Basic Content

Amazon offers vendors a Product Details Page Guide that outlines their ideal specifications for each part of the product page. For the bullet section, they recommend that each product have 3 to 5 bullets, and that each bullet use around 100 characters. They specifically tell vendors: “Do not add more than 5 bullets or bullets with more than 120 characters; these decrease conversions and degrade customer experience.” Even with this warning, we still see a lot of product pages that look like this:

Amazon product descriptionFor some reason, many brands feel the need to not only use every character at their disposal in the bullet section, but they use those characters for asinine, all-caps statements like, “SOUND QUALITIES OFF THE CHARTS AND SO DOPE!” We don’t even need to go into how keyword-stuffed the title is with unimportant brand names.

The purpose of the bullet section is to include customer benefits, product uses, and compatibility information in short snippets. This section is meant to tell the customer only what’s most important about the product. When it’s time to give a more detailed exposition, that’s what the product description section is for. Let’s see how iLuv chose to use theirs:

Amazon product descriptionThere is very little about the actual product here that isn’t hyperbole or nonsense, and the first and only actual piece of definitive information about the speaker’s passive radiator has a typo in it. The final paragraph, “Get Your Moneys Worth,” makes you wonder if the Bluetooth speaker gained minor sentience and wrote the product description about itself.

Compare this to a Bluetooth speaker that literally says nothing but the product name. Which is better? It’s hard to say.

Amazon product description

Finding the Right Length and Tone for Amazon Product Descriptions

In Amazon’s ideal product description paragraph, the space should be used to describe major product features and warranty information. They advise keeping it “under 500 characters while still including critical information,” but the template allows up to 2,000 characters. In our opinion, if you have more than 500 characters to say about your product and you are using informative, concise language, it doesn’t seem like going over Amazon’s advised character cap will cause any sort of disservice.

Amazon product description

This description has 900 characters and uses simple language to detail all of the major features and benefits of the product. Bose has used this space to tell a story about listening to music by the pool, and they’ve done it with well-written sentences that never devolve into marketing speak or platitudes. The description references the same features and highlights as the bullet points, but not verbatim, and includes useful information like what’s included in the box and other available colors for the speaker. This is the sort of product description paragraph brands should aim for.

Optimizing Product Descriptions with Keywords

If you’re following Amazon’s best practices for titles and bullets – which you should – it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room in those sections to include SEO-optimized keywords. Stuffing either of those areas with keywords is an eyesore (see iLuv example above) and runs the risk of immediately turning away potential buyers. However, it is always a good idea to tastefully integrate optimized keywords in titles and bullets, as they are almost entirely indexed by Amazon’s search.

The wide open space of the Amazon product description paragraph is the ideal place to integrate larger amounts of SEO-optimized keywords. In general, it’s much more natural to include keyword variants in full sentences than it is in sentence fragments. However, it’s not entirely clear how Amazon chooses to index the content in product descriptions, as it can change between category, and works differently for individual keywords and multiple keywords grouped closely together. These indexing limitations mean that the best rule of thumb to increase conversions in Amazon product descriptions is to provide your customers with quality content.

The Takeaway

Many brands seem to think it’s a good idea to cram all of their product information above the fold, but Amazon does not share this opinion. Though often overlooked and underestimated by brands, the product information section is the perfect place to give your customers detailed information while enhancing your content with optimized keywords.