Just as it is in everyday life, you only get one chance to make a good first impression when selling a product online. Amazon titles are a product’s introduction to the customer, and if that title is sloppy or uninformative, the customer will probably move on from the interaction as quickly as possible.
Amazon titles need to walk a thin line to be successful: they must be explanatory without being overindulgent. Good titles need to contain all of the product’s pertinent information without being stuffed with keywords, and for many products, extra attention needs to be paid to how the titles will sound when read aloud by Alexa. Add the increased pressure of being indexed by search engines, and Amazon titles become arguably the most important piece of information on the product page.
What Makes a Good Product Title
It’s not rocket science, but many brands refuse to understand that a product title simply needs to convey what a product is, and not what it does. While it is important to include the most relevant SEO-optimized keywords, stuffing Amazon titles with too many keywords makes them instantly lose scannability. Doing so is likely to lead to the customer glossing over the heap of text in front of them and quickly moving on to the next product. Here’s an example of what not to do:
It’s hard enough for the eye to read through this unpunctuated laundry list of ailments and body parts, so just imagine how it will sound when Alexa attempts to read it out loud. The customer will think your bad product title has broken their robot.
For customers who use voice assistants, the title is often the only thing they hear before deciding to make a purchase. This doesn’t mean that planning for Alexa needs to come at the expense of good content, though. Brands can, and should, do both simultaneously.
Really, creating titles with Alexa in mind is just another reason not write over-long titled stuffed with keywords, rebate info, claims, or sales messaging. Humans don’t like to see it. It sounds bad when mechanized voices read it. And Amazon actively doesn’t want you to do it. They used to penalize product titles that exceeded 200 characters because they knew those titles are usually padded with unnecessary information in an attempt to gain page views. Now 200 characters are the maximum length, but Amazon may still choose to suppress products with over-long product titles from appearing in search results.
Finding the Right Length for Amazon Titles
Amazon is very clear on what it believes constitutes a good product title. This is their preferred naming convention:
Brand Name + Series Name + Model Name + Form Factor + Unique Identifier (color, capacity, pack size, etc.)
Sticking with this convention ensures that only the most important information is included in the title and nothing more.
Amazon’s Seller Support has described the optimal title length to be around 80 characters. But for products that are regularly searched for on the Echo, we’ve found that Amazon automatically shortened many best-selling product titles even further to around 50 characters.
This Bose title, including the item’s SKU number, is only 51 characters. In that little amount of text, the product title offers everything a potential customer needs to feel comfortable moving forward to continue learning about the product.
While this low character count may not be feasible for all products, it works nicely into a larger theme: keep your Amazon titles concise and efficient. The only information that distinguishes a product from other nearly identical products should be included in the product title.
Good Amazon Titles Improve Organic Search Results
Bad product titles have larger repercussions than simply turning away shoppers at the door. Amazon’s search algorithm indexes product titles and relies on them to help determine relevance, so good or bad titles are directly related to customers seeing your products at all.
Effectively named Amazon titles raise a product’s discoverability, which puts it in front of more customers on the search page. This naturally results in more sales, which leads to higher search ratings, and so on, feeding into the cyclical loop of Amazon rewarding high-selling products with higher search results.
Key Tips for Writing Product Titles
- Stuffing titles with keywords is a bad strategy, but that doesn’t mean your titles shouldn’t be SEO-optimized. Say you’re selling rain jackets, and they’re made with Gore-Tex. If your title only says “rain jacket,” but “Gore-Tex rain jacket” is a highly searched term, you should add “Gore-Tex” to the title. It’s never a bad practice to integrate words that are relevant to both SEO and to the customer’s understanding of your product.
- Be mindful of whether or not customers are likely to search for your products with Alexa. If you’re selling paper towels, light bulbs, or other household items, it’s more likely your products are going to bought using digital assistants than if you sell HDTVs or laptops. Though every brand should keep titles short and sweet, those who sell on regularly on Alexa need to pay special attention.
- Follow Amazon’s naming convention. They want titles to be written that way for a good reason: it’s good for them, it’s good for you, and it’s good for the customer. Every brand should make sure that all of their product names follow the same concise and effective formatting, and they should aim for Amazon’s recommended length of 80 characters.
Amazon is a fiercely competitive retail market, and product titles carry arguably the most weight when it comes to optimizing product pages for both humans and the computer programs that sort them. Good product titles have added importance for categories like household goods and kitchen & bath, where items are frequently searched with Alexa. Creating concise and efficient Amazon titles is the best way to maximize usability for customers and digital voice assistants boost discoverability for Amazon’s search algorithm.