The fact is, 90% of buyers will probably never even read your full listing or product description, HTML formatted or not.
But, it’s still massively important for one simple reason: Keywords.
When looking over products or doing audits / listing creation for clients, the one thing I notice is people are, for the most part, just not upping their game on the copy side of things. So many times I money on the table because of unoptimised titles, crappy bullets, no keywords and a terrible, unformatted block description.
I also get the feeling that a lot of them have been written by people that have overdosed on cliché infomercials.
To create a good listing, you need: good, detailed keyword research + good, keyword-seeded copy.
The main goal is to get your listing looking good and indexed / popping up in the serps for as many different relevant keywords as possible.
Your keyword research needs to be excellent – you should have Merchant Words (or pay someone who does) and be running reverse ASIN searches on your competition at a minimum. I can’t stress this enough: if you don’t have an idea of the high search volume keywords related to your product, you are shooting in the dark.
Not to mention, when you don’t have the top terms listed and seeded, at least in your title, your PPC won’t get the impressions and won’t get the job done. Again, I know this because I work on and have worked on dozens on PPC campaigns on all the main Amazon platforms!
Sure, the copy also needs to be tight (please don’t ever pay someone 5 dollars to make a listing for you) and, preferably, not sound like a shitty late-night infomercial, but most buyers won’t read it.
The exception would be for a new, complex or higher-ticket item. When people drop more money, they tend to go through the details (high end cosmetics, jewellery etc). But, let’s be honest, the majority of PL items like garlic presses and silicone BBQ gloves don’t exactly need the Shakespeare treatment.
That’s why your listing (mostly) is a vehicle for keywords
And yes, I know that, officially, Amazon only indexes the product tile and backend keywords, and yet, time and again in practise, I see things from the bullets and description getting indexed.
Whether this gives rank juice, I can’t say, but they absolutely do index keywords from the bullets, description and even reviews. This is something I see over multiple accounts and clients I work with. (Fyi this is a random example I pulled).
Plus, in any case, seeding them in there, if done correctly, has no down side and only potential benefits, so why not do it?
Instead, people skimp on it
When building a physical product business for Amazon, we spend hundreds on samples, hundreds on software & products, hundreds (sometimes thousands) on photography for our listing and then thousands on the actual products.
But when it comes time to craft great listing copy, I see what can only be described as something the local Nigerian prince of infomercials has written, sometimes void of keyword researched!
This is crazy to me, why do everything 110% and then skimp on the listing copy?
Every sale you don’t convert puts money in the competition’s pocket.
When you fail to convert a sale, you don’t just lose out, you give your competition more ranking juice for that keyword.
So please, if you are not great with words or don’t write much, outsource it just like would any other task and focus on building your business.
Heck, just contact me if you need listing help!
I have years of writing experience working as a journalist, editor, copywriter and, of course, private label seller and Amazon consultant.
Sure, a lot of people overestimate the power of copy in the listings, but it should be as good and get those keywords indexed and ranked! Bring the full visual and verbal package.
Finally, about the HTML
Man, if I had a pair of silicone baking gloves for every time I heard some rule stickler on a forum say ‘um, excuse me, Amazon say HTML is not allowed, you are breaking the rules!’
Amazon does state this, and yet, we can use bold and breaks, so I will use it because, that block of unformatted text is garbage and will hurt your conversions.
If your competition are all using formatting (and trust me, they are), you stand to lose by not using it too, it’s an arms race. You’re not breaking some huge black hat rule by using a few line breaks and a bit of bold - the FBI will not be issuing a warrant for your arrest.
The worst case scenario is Amazon slaps you on the wrists and you can delete the formatting and get back to selling, no harm, no foul.
So in this case, the reward outweighs the risk about 100 fold.
So wrapping up on that note, please treat your listing with just as much TLC as your images!