6 Tips to Optimize Amazon Product Listings for Auto Parts eCommerce
We’ve written at length about the potential of Amazon for selling your auto parts online so you should already know why you need to be taking advantage of this extremely popular marketplace. And, luckily, Amazon makes getting your auto parts on their site a pretty straightforward affair but that begs the question: how will your auto part product listings stand out from the competition? With literally thousands of sellers in the automotive niche alone and over 50% of the items sold on Amazon being listed by 3rd party sellers, it should be clear that you’ve got to up your game just to survive, let alone thrive. Keep reading to learn six essential ways to optimize your auto parts & accessories listings—increasing your chances of rising to the top of search results.
1. Keywords and Text Relevancy
Amazon’s A9 algorithm uses a number of different factors to rank automotive product listings and, just like Google, one of the most basic and important factors for crafting a winning Amazon marketing strategy are keywords. Selecting and using the right keywords in your titles, product description and in the product fields that aren’t visible to customers but are indexable by A9 is the foundation upon which a successful listing is built. These features of your product listing comprise the first three elements you’ll need to optimize to boost sales, and “game” the SERPs.
2. Creating a Product Title that Ranks and Sells
Amazon takes a lot of the suspense out of the equation by giving you a 250 character limit which comes down to around 50 words for your product title (this holds for Amazon automotive parts but differs in some selected categories), and you should be sure to use every single one of them.
Back in 2010, Amazon was more or less the Wild West when it came to auto parts product titles. Sellers had the ability to use as many as 500 characters in their titles and they did, with predictably horrifying results. Titles became almost unreadable due to rampant keyword stuffing so in 2015 or so Amazon put the brakes on and changed the limit to the 250 we cited above. It follows that, although we certainly do want to include keywords in our titles, we should always put priority on the fact that they need to be written for human readers. Consider this: if you saw a long wall of text where you were expecting a concise, descriptive title, would you be inclined to buy or pass on by?
Other things to include for highly optimized automotive product titles are:
- Be sure to list a product benefit or a unique element to differentiate your auto part or accessory from others in the same niche.
- Include your target keyword.
- Include your brand name (if you have one).
- Add up to three, relevant, high-traffic keywords.
- Include a value proposition which tells why or how your product will make your buyer’s life better.
And finally, you need to be sure to avoid this one, big pitfall: superlatives. In other words, using terms like “Best,” “Best-selling,” “Number 1,” and the like are listed under Amazon’s Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions. Why risk getting deindexed, or worse, when you can stay away from claims that are clearly untrue and detract from buyer trust in the first place?
3. Writing Car Part or Accessory Descriptions that Sell
Amazon’s official guidelines state that the product description character limit is 2000 which comes out to roughly 300 words. Although you will want to be sure to incorporate relevant keywords, much of the trick here comes down to the tried and true essentials of good copywriting. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be sure to get the results you need.
- Keep your sentences short and to the point (between 15 to 25 words).
- Highlight features and benefits; details should come second to how it can improve your buyer’s life.
- Make sure your writing is readable and relatable; complex or overly-technical language will have your readers dropping like flies.
In short, tell a story with your description that includes what author Drew Whitman calls the “Life Force 8” — the eight basic human instincts hardwired into every person so you can be sure your part or accessory sells.
4. Bullet Points for the Win
Bullet points are a staple feature of Amazon listings and may be the only thing most buyers ever read. Amazon’s official character limit gives you 1000 characters or 250 words to work with and you should be sure to make use of at least five different bullets. Your bullet points should include every important feature that distinguishes your part or accessory from that of your competitors. Here is another excellent place to use the Life Force 8 propositions to close the sale.
5. Using Automotive & Accessory Product Images to Close the Sale
We recently wrote a post about optimizing your images which we recommend you check out but, since we know time is a precious commodity, we’ll give you a quick rundown here, so you get everything you need to know. At the time of writing, Amazon gives sellers 9 photo slots they can use. Be sure to use them all.
You get one main photo. It should be a minimum of 1000px by 1000px in size to enable zoom. Be sure that it is shot or edited so that the background is pure white and that the accessory or car part fills at least 85% of the frame. Also, make sure that the aspect ratio is 1:1 (i.e., a square) or Amazon will automatically pad and resize it.
Your next five images should be so-called glamor or detail shots on white using an infinity cove effect. This ensures that you’re your item is seen from multiple angles and the negative space allows you to up the contrast so your product colors and details can be seen in stark relief.
Your final four images should be dedicated to lifestyle or benefit shots. These images should show people using your parts or automotive accessories, images with overlaid text and mentions of guarantees. This is especially easy to accomplish with aftermarket accessories. For example, a photo of a person stepping into the cab of a truck with pair of muddied boots is the perfect shot to show the benefits of floor mats and an image of a young couple pulling their surfboards off a roof rack at the beach is a great way to illustrate lifestyle images. These images are often called “Hero Images”, because they allow your buyer to project themselves as the hero in the lifestyle image your photo portrays. Beyond this, however, the inclusion of humans in product imagery has been shown to convert higher than photos and almost automatically attract views.
6. Product Reviews and Ratings
Of all the factors we’ve discussed, product reviews are the one feature over which you have the least direct control. And yet, your reviews are one of the most important factors in auto parts product optimization because they directly fuel your rating and your placement in the rankings. Whether you’re updating your catalog for the latest model year and you need to accumulate reviews or you’re struggling with lower ratings, we’ve got a few tips to help:
- Use automated messaging campaigns from companies like SellerLabs or FeedbackFive.
- Gather as many reviews as you possibly can so any negative ratings can be outweighed and buried by the good.
- Proactively provide great customer service and be sure to follow up with all negative reviewers not only to improve your product but mitigate damage.
In short, the best way to optimize your reviews is by clearly explaining what your part does and its fitment, meeting shipping promises and quickly solving customer problems. On Amazon that can often mean offer a full or partial refund, but it can be worth it in the long run to preserve your ratings as both a seller and on the product level.
Now that you’ve got tools and know-how, put them into to practice on your best sellers. Depending on your catalog size, you may want to start with a select few and work your way through or, if you only sell a handful, just do it all in one fell swoop. However you put your plan into action, you can be sure you’ll reap the benefits when you optimize your online automotive part and accessories listings with our five, easy to implement tips.