Amazon has been fighting a battle against fake reviews recently, but false reviews are only part of the problem with seller marketing on the platform. Amazon product descriptions read like bad advertisements from direct mailers in the 1990s. In a world where consumers are getting savvier about where and how they spend their -earned cash, no ecommerce seller can afford to overlook the quality of content.

Playing Operation: Dissecting a Bad Amazon Post

I often find myself researching products on other sites to verify the brand quality and product description accuracy because the content I find on Amazon seems inherently untrustworthy. Here are some of the red flags that make an Amazon post seem less than honorable:

  • Random capitalization: Some Amazon sellers think shouting via text or using aLtErNaTiNg (alternating) capitalization will make content seem more interesting. In reality, these tactics make descriptions difficult to read and cheapen the overall effect. Use all-caps or intermittent caps in moderation.
  • Excessive wordiness: A product description that describes the same benefit in five different ways makes it seem like its marketers are trying too hard. Saying something is “anti-aging” in one bullet point and in another suggesting its “youthful” qualities is redundant.
  • Keyword-stuffed titles: Amazon is a vast marketplace, but top-quality products do not need four lines of text in the title. Choose your terms carefully and keep titles short.

Even an untrained eye will notice an Amazon post that tries too hard to make an impact. Rarely do these content-marketing gimmicks actually influence a purchase. Instead, many purchasers look for:

  • Product pictures and videos
  • Brands they already know and trust
  • The best prices on cheap supplies
  • Best sellers
  • Recommended products from third-party sites
  • Video, picture, and written reviews that resonate with their own opinions

In the end, a description can enhance the purchasing experience, but it will not make or break a purchasing decision. With that in mind, sellers can use some simple tips to create compelling, straightforward Amazon descriptions that highlight a product and add value to the shopping experience.

Nine Ways to Develop and Market Helpful Amazon Product Content

The next time you launch a product on Amazon or update your product description, use these tips to keep your content honest, engaging, and helpful for the people who use the site:

  1. Word limits indicate the maximum, not the required length. Amazon’s description rules indicate a seller should not exceed 200 words for the product title. Avoid trying to create a title that’s 200 words long. Instead, use the fewest and most impactful words possible to describe the product. If you’re worried about keywords for search engine optimization purposes, focus more on sprinkling relevant keywords throughout the content instead of focusing it in one location.
  1. Use bullet points, but give them some structure. Unless each bullet point contains only a full word, preface each with a simple topic or category. If you’re describing a hair dryer, for instance, write:
  • Package contents: Comes with diffuser, concentrator, and hairdryer.
  • Speed: 2000-watt motor delivers faster drying times.

Instead of:

  • A diffuser works well for curly hair and a concentrator increases the airflow for sleek styles.
  • 2000-watt motor offers higher speeds.

The first example qualifies the bullet point instead of just making a series of marketing statements.

  1. Always answer the basic questions. In grammar school, every story includes an answer to the basic questions of who, what, where, when, and why. Use the same questions to provide a complete product story for your audience. Include who the product is for, what the product features, etc. Use real-world information about your audience to answer questions they might ask before making a purchasing decision.
  1. Keep it simple. Answer everything your prospective purchaser might need to know and then leave it alone. You don’t need numerous fancy-sounding adjectives or repeated phrases to drive home the point. Instead, spend more time accurately filling out product categories and the complete product form before you post it. Research the top keywords and avoid adding them to every sentence you write. Your content should first and foremost appeal to your buyer.
  1. Use multimedia to enhance your post. If the opportunity arises, you can post several images of your product and a video to showcase its features. The right image or video could change someone’s mind about making a purchase if he or she still has questions after reading the description.

Pixabay public domain

  1. Answer all questions. Once you launch a product on Amazon, don’t set it and forget it. As your product picks up reviews and purchases, the real work of managing a profile begins. Answer questions posted about the product, and review your content regularly. If several people wonder the same thing, consider adding that fact to the overall product description.
  1. Use strong review practices. Every seller wants nice reviews to earn more sales, but modern consumers know to take Amazon reviews with a grain of salt. Use ethical practices to boost honest reviews. You can offer a freebie or discount in exchange for a review, just don’t try to dictate the content of the review afterward. Images and video reviews can really enhance your Amazon SEO and overall sales.
  1. Edit constantly. Once an advertisement goes to press, you may not have an opportunity to make changes. Online, however, you can always go back and update your profile to optimize your writing for search engines and readers. Edit your content for grammar and style, but also for impact. If your product isn’t selling as well as you hoped, consider reworking the product description and trying again. Each iteration of your description should come closer to what buyers want to read.
  1. Produce offsite content prolifically after a launch. Flood social media pages, company blogs, and third-party sites with information about discounts, sales, or the merits of a product launch on Amazon to increase visibility in the marketplace.

Amazon product descriptions seem like a simple part of a marketing strategy, but they can underpin an entire product marketing campaign. With the right written descriptions, your product won’t have to work as hard to shine among competitor brands and offerings. Keep it honest, keep it short, and keep it optimized to realize month after month of success on one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world.