We keep diving deeper and deeper into what makes Amazon’s keyword ranking algorithm work. The only way to truly analyze it is by looking at data served up from listings that are already in top ranking spots, or those that move into those spots after promotion and optimization. The interesting thing is, as we dissect the listings, often the data comes at odds with conventional wisdom. This time is no different.
The data we dug into for this examination was specific to bullet points. We analyzed 2,500 listings; the top ten results of 250 keyword phrases. We focused on a very simple set of criteria:
- How many full bullet points were showing.
- How many times was the searched for keyword mentioned within the bullets.
The idea behind this was to determine how much of an impact bullet points and bullet aspects had on keyword ranking. The logic was that, if bullets played a big role, we’d see all the conventional wisdom we have grown to understand about listings come to light. Things like keyword density, repetition, rich copy and all the other details we are taught to abide by would reign supreme among the most searched items on Amazon.
Rich Copy vs Short & Descriptive
The first segment of our research analyzed how many full bullets were showing. Many layouts on desktop now cut off, or truncate, part of the bullets after a certain character count. Even those that don’t, you are still given a limited amount of space “above the fold.” This means that, if all bullets are showing, likely it is because the copy is short and concise. Desktops still allow for a decently larger space for characters, but nonetheless these listings wouldn’t have the long-form sales letter-esque bullets.
Of the 2,500 examined listings, a staggering 71% of them had all bullets showing. And not just all bullets, but FULL bullets. Basically, the vast majority of top ranking listings had short and concise bullet points. Most were only one line long, with a handful at two lines.
This data is somewhat at odds with a lot of the advice we sellers get about bullets. Many would say that the bullet section is your opportunity to include feature rich, persuasive and lengthy sales copy aimed at swaying potential buyers. That is not to say this tactic DOESN’T work; only that the current data presents something of a counterpoint.
This segment of the analyzed data is, by far, the most interesting. Not only is the prevailing advice that we should include dense keyword levels in our bullet copy, but research WE’VE done shows that Amazon spiders crawl and consider keywords within bullets. Be that as it may, of the 2,500 listings in our sample only 33% mention the searched for keyword AT ALL. And only 15% mention the keyword more than ONCE!
Talk about confusing data. This is reminiscent of our title research where we uncovered that the vast majority of top ranking listings had titles less than 80 characters long. It simply flies in the face of what we have come to understand about the algorithm. Or perhaps, more likely, we simply aren’t interpreting the data correctly.
What Does This Mean for Your Business?
As is often the case with Amazon data, these results raise more questions than they answer. However, we can still use the information to help better our businesses. If this data tells us anything, it is that people clearly still have short attention spans. This means bullets should get to the point quickly. It also appears that keyword density has little (if any) effect on ranking. However, we have shown that keywords are crawled in listing copy. This may mean that your listing copy is better utilized, from the perspective of SEO anyway, as a place to ensure important key phrases are indexed (and leave the ranking to other means).
So keep your key features above the fold, and use the space in your bullets for varying long tail permutations of important key terms to ensure indexing. Afterward, as usual, utilize the tools you have access to (such as Blasts) to rank for high traffic keywords and you should be well on your way to building a solid presence on Amazon.