If you’re still just optimizing your Amazon listings for desktop, you’re behind.
Amazon shoppers are using mobile more than ever.
Recent reports indicate that Amazon’s mobile app has the biggest market share of any shopping app out there–claiming 50% of US shoppers and crushing competitors like Walmart.
It’s still important to keep your Amazon product content optimized for desktop, and include all relevant front-end keywords.
However, it’s also important to give your mobile users what they need–easy-to-digest content that still gets your products to rank in the SERP.
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How do you strike that balance?
Today, we’ll answer that question, and we’ll cover:
1. How Amazon Product Listings Appear on Mobile
2. How to Optimize Mobile Content for SEO While Improving Readability
3. Mobile Product Content Formatting Best Practices
4. How to Use A+ and Enhanced Brand Content on Mobile
Let’s get started.
How Amazon Listings Appear on Mobile
The first thing you’ll notice if you do a search for the same Amazon desktop vs. mobile is that content shows up in different places.
We’ve covered the detailed differences in product visibility across Amazon’s desktop site, mobile site, and app before.
Here’s an example of a product detail page on Amazon’s mobile site:
And here’s the same product detail page on desktop:
The first difference is pretty obvious–there’s a lot more space for content on the desktop product detail page, and it actually shows up above the fold.
Content on mobile actually shows up below the buy box.
Why would Amazon push product content (features and descriptions) below the buy box? Don’t users need that information to make a purchase?
You would think so, but mobile users are starting to use mobile for more than just research.
From October 2013 to 2014, we saw online shoppers indicate a strong preference for using mobile platforms (including tablets, apps, and mobile sites) over desktop when browsing.
When we look deeper into the data, we find that there’s clearly a trend in favor of smartphone over tablet for not just browsing, but also making purchases on smartphones (3:2).
Even more significantly, 57% of users reported they preferred to make an actual purchase on a mobile app, not just a mobile website (43%).
Part of the reason content is given less priority on mobile may be because according to one Gallup poll, 58% of adult smartphone users engage in showrooming–where they check out a product in a brick and mortar store, but then research and potentially purchase that product online.
Where does that online purchase usually take place? You guessed it: Amazon.com.
“Customers shop differently on mobile, and Amazon has optimized the experience to provide just the necessary information above the fold and a large ‘buy box’ button to make purchasing on mobile as easy as possible,” says Jordan Gisch, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy.
How to Optimize Mobile Content for SEO While Improving Readability
It’s important to incorporate keywords into your front end content because it’s still a big part of the way to rank on the SERP. How can you incorporate right keywords and still make content digestible on mobile?
“While it is important to include the necessary core keywords and search terms related to your product, you want to ensure you are balancing it out with thoughtful copy, use-cases and examples, and your brand mission and story,” says Gisch.
“Maxing out the available characters in your content with extra keywords and fluff is not always the best approach. This can deter a potential customer and you could lose out on a sale to a competitor.”
Mobile Product Content Formatting Best Practices
As we stated before, Amazon’s set up a buy-box first mobile experience.
“If a consumer is researching your product on mobile, it’s not as easy to find details as it is on desktop,” says David Cooley, Manager of Marketplace Channels at CPC Strategy.
“They actually have to scroll down pretty far and click through an additional link to find out more about a product.”
If a shopper goes through all that effort to find more information, it’s safe to assume they’re closer to a purchase than the average browser.
However, since they’re on their mobile device, they probably also have a lower tolerance for long chunks of text and keyword-stuffed sentences.
“The important thing to remember when optimizing content for mobile is that you shouldn’t just focus on the length of the content, but more the format,” says Nick Sandberg, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy.
“It needs to be skimmable.”
Start with these best practices for optimizing your Amazon listings for mobile.
Use Bullet Points, Bolding, and Caps
Shoppers can click through one of two sections on a product listing: Description and features & details.
Notice the bullet points in the features & details section above, which makes it easier to catch the main points at a glance.
“Highlighting certain words, phrases, and sentences by bolding the copy is a great way to get something to stand out,” says Gisch.
“Additionally, using all caps and bolding the beginning of bullet points will give the shopper a better idea about what each point is about. It is also important to provide paragraph breaks in your descriptions to give the consumers eyes a break.”
Try using caps and bolding at the beginning of your features section bullet points, and incorporate spaces within your description.
- Add spaces to break up long paragraphs in the description section
- Bold and/or capitalize the beginning words for scannability in the features & details section
Use Content Tailored Specifically for Amazon
Before you import bullet points from your Walmart product listings onto Amazon, think twice.
“You’ll see some sellers use the same bullet points they use on Walmart or Target for their product listings on Amazon, and it often results in needless or poorly formatted information,” says Cooley. “You really need a content approach that’s tailored to Amazon.”
This goes for both your features and descriptions.
“Don’t use the bullet points in the features section in the description,” adds Sandberg. “Use that space to tell a story about your brand or product that makes you stand out.”
- Don’t simply import product listing content from other sites, tailor it to Amazon
- Don’t use the same bullet points from the features section in your description
Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Titles for Mobile
The first thing to remember about titles is first, that–just like on the Google SERP–there’s only so much room, so they will be truncated. Place your main keywords at the very front of your titles.
“If you have a prominent brand name for a product, put it in the front,” says Sandberg. “But if your brand isn’t prominent or you’re not concerned about building it, put it at the end.”
Now let’s talk about those keywords. A huge problem we see at CPC is titles that are either too long or too short.
“If [your titles] are too short, you’re probably missing out on important keywords you could be ranking for,” says Cooley.
“On the opposite end, we see some sellers cramming keywords into the title. Just don’t do it. The algorithm is smarter than that, and it’s also just a bad customer experience.”
And finally, a note about formatting from Sandberg:
“You don’t want the titles to look like a run on sentence–it’s better to have a comma or a dash to break them up visually.”
(Check out the Kong product titles in the image above for an example.)
- Place main keywords/prominent brands at the front of titles
- Don’t miss out on valuable keywords, but also don’t stuff keyword stuff titles
- Use a comma or dash to break up titles so they’re visually appealing
How to Use A+ and Enhanced Brand Content on Mobile
Again, it’s an extra step to see these pages on mobile, so if a user clicks through, it’s important that they find the information they need easily. Both A+ and EBC provide a better brand experience for your shoppers, so they’re worth investing time in.
Amazon Enhanced Brand Content on Mobile
EBC Content gives 3P sellers (specifically brand owners) the ability to modify the product description field of their branded ASINs and include a brand story, enhanced images, and text placements.
On desktop, the text description is suppressed and the Enhanced Brand Content takes over that space.
On mobile, however, to see EBC, a shopper must click through the ‘description’ link in order to see it. It’s important to remember that the beginning of your text description is still visible from the main product page as in the example below:
Because EBC allows for images and replaces the description, many advertisers will attempt to fit a lot of text into those images.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t play out well on mobile devices–and Amazon won’t index your EBC content anyway.
“If your EBC page is very text heavy and embedded within an image, it will shrink on mobile and may be difficult to read,” says Ashley Koons, Amazon Content Project Manager at CPC Strategy.
“You want to use the [EBC] space for showcasing your product with lifestyle and product images, overall enhancing your product and brand messaging.”
According to Koons, although EBC suppresses the traditional “description” portion of your listing, it’s still indexed by Amazon, so it’s important to keep the text parts of your product description optimized.
If you’re not using Enhanced Brand Content now, you should start ASAP. Right now, it’s free–but that could change.
“I’m 99% sure they’ll start charging for it this year,” says Cooley.
- EBC is for 3P Sellers
- EBC replaces traditional description with customizable images and brand story
- Keep optimizing text content on EBC pages, it is still indexed on the backend
- EBC is currently free
Amazon A+ Content on Mobile
To reach A+ content on mobile, shoppers must scroll down to the “description” section, enter the description page, then scroll past the initial text description to view A+ content.
It’s listed under “from the manufacturer,” as you can see below:
Scroll down further to see the rest of the beautiful content (Full disclosure–we created this A+ page for Serta Simmons Bedding):
There’s one key thing to remember with A+ Content.
Text is still visible and indexed.
“With EBC, the description is suppressed and your Enhanced Brand Content takes over that space,” says Koons,”With A+ content, on the other hand, your text description is still visible once the reader clicks into the description page.”
Not only should your A+ description be optimized with the right keywords, but it should also provide a graceful, readable intro into your customized A+ content section right below it.
- A+ pages are for brand manufacturers
- A+ content shows up under the description section below “from the manufacturer”
- The traditional description will show up above your A+ content, and will be indexed
The Bottom Line
The best strategy for content is one that includes great formatting and takes advantage of Amazon’s customizable EBC and A+ content pages when possible.
With all of these best practices swirling around in your mind, don’t lose track of what you’re aiming for: better product visibility and buyability on Amazon, specifically on mobile devices.
With that in mind, Gisch recommends that advertisers stay razor-sharp on content–only providing what’s absolutely necessary for the best results.
“With a lack of real estate to share everything you want about your awesome product, you are going to need to pick the most important product features, the most vital brand information, and your best keywords,” Gisch says. “Keep your mobile content concise and get rid of the extra fluff.”
And the best way to cut that extra fluff on mobile: Start with a strategy. Sure, it takes more time. But it can have huge positive effects on the future of your Amazon selling career.
Have questions about your Amazon mobile strategy? Email Leanna@cpcstrategy.com