November 13, 2021

Succeed as a Seller: Amazon Product Description Guidelines

In this post you'll learn:

To succeed as an Amazon seller, you must follow Amazon's product description guidelines. Learn what they are and how to write product descriptions that sell!

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In 2021, Amazon did well over $450 billion worth of retail e-commerce sales worldwide. And thanks to the Amazon Business Seller Program and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), millions of sellers have claimed their slice of the pie and built profitable businesses via this behemoth marketplace. 

But still, succeeding in such a crowded arena has its challenges, one of them being writing product descriptions that sell. What does it take? To find out, let’s go over Amazon’s guidelines, along with some best practices and other key info that you’ll find helpful.

Understanding Amazon’s product description guidelines

As you know, product detail pages are home to all the info a consumer needs to learn about and feel comfortable with, before buying your product. That includes your product names/titles, images, customer reviews, and, of course, descriptions. 

What are Amazon’s guidelines for product descriptions? To name a handful, they must:

  • Be clearly written and help consumers to understand the various features and benefits of your product
  • Meet character limits (for example, 200 characters for most titles)
  • Not contain any HTML, JavaScript, or other types of code
  • Comply with the company’s style guide, which is easier to ensure when you use the appropriate template for your product category
  • Not encourage shoppers to buy from you directly or elsewhere by including website URLs or contact info
  • Not include customer reviews, quotes or testimonials (or solicit positive product reviews) 

Of course, to fare well in the Amazon marketplace, your listings have to be active. So it’s worth reading the full product detail page guidelines to avoid having them removed for violations.

That said, these guidelines aren’t the only things you need to know to drive sales. It’s also essential to be informed about: 1) Amazon’s SEO algorithm, 2) how to choose keywords and optimize for them so that your products get seen by the right people, and 3) how to turn visitors into customers.

How your sales depends on Amazon’s search algorithm

Just like there are many competing brands in Google’s search results, there are commonly hundreds of products on Amazon’s search engine results pages. Can you imagine how time-consuming it’d be as a shopper to have to sift through them manually to find the most relevant products? Thanks to the A9 algorithm, which decides in an instant what products to show first, so you (and your target customers) don’t have to! 

A9 weighs numerous ranking factors but three that are directly related to your product descriptions are: 

  • Conversions: If a high percentage of the people who visit your product detail page end up buying, that’s a good sign in Amazon’s eyes and can help your product rank higher in search results. 
  • Product listing completeness: A low-effort listing with very little product information is far less likely to rank than an informative, well-rounded product listing. 
  • Keyword relevance: Keywords give Amazon an idea of what you’re selling so that it can be shown to the people who are most likely to buy it. But, for it to rank in a prime position (within the first page or two of search results), your description has to be relevant to your chosen search term. 

That last point—keyword relevance—brings us to an important step that must take place before you dive into writing your next description. 

Choosing the best keywords for your product description

To give your Amazon listing the best chance of showing up in relevant search results, take cues from what relevant keywords are currently performing well in your product category. For example, let's say that you sell theft-proof luggage and typed the search term “theft-proof luggage'' into Amazon’s search bar. What would the search results reveal about the keywords potential customers are searching for?

Amazon SEO Keyword Research Example

Notice that the top-ranking products—all of which have been purchased hundreds of times over—include the keyword “anti-theft” in their titles instead of “theft-proof.” This would be a clue that “anti-theft” is a more commonly searched term and one that you may want to target. 

All in all, your keyword research process may look something like this: 

  1. Type your product category into Amazon’s search bar and take note of items similar to yours that are featured or displayed in Highly Rated, Amazon’s Choice, Best Seller, and other categories.
  2. To get ideas for your descriptions, make a list of the terminology commonly used in both their titles and descriptions.
  3. Select a term that’s popular among the best ranking products and use it in your product title and once or twice in your description where it fits naturally. Also, use variations of it when possible.
  4. Repeat this process periodically to find the most up-to-date search terms and optimize your descriptions.

This will give you a good foundation for ranking high up in Amazon’s search engine results pages. And a well-written description can build on that foundation and improve your sales dramatically.

Best practices for Amazon product description writing

The most effective Amazon product descriptions typically have 5 things in common—they use the following best practices. 

1. Take a buyer-centric approach 

One of the top rules for copywriting (including product description writing is this: Know your audience. If you don’t, how can you know what to say to predictably generate sales? You’ll just be doing trial and error, costing yourself hundreds of potential customers now and in the future. That’s why it’s important to have well-researched buyer personas for each of your ideal customers and to write for those personas specifically. 

This means including search terms they would use to search your product, highlighting how your product helps them to achieve their goals or solves a problem they face, and doing it all in language that they use and can understand. To see how this is done, check out the description for TurboTax Deluxe 2020. 

TurboTax Deluxe Buyer-Centric Amazon Product Description Example

It’s buyer-centric in that it: 

  • Targets a keyword (in this case, it’s the branded keyword “TurboTax”) 
  • Immediately identifies who the software is for and speaks directly to them
  • Emphasizes a main goal of its ideal customers—wanting to be sure that they’re getting the max deductions, credits, and refunds possible
  • Highlights ease-of-use, even for people who have complex tax situations, which is also a big desire of TurboTax’s ideal customers

If you use a similar approach, it will increase your chances of showing up in relevant search results and increase your conversion rate.

2. Sell the outcome, not the product

Briefly mentioned above was the importance of explaining how your product helps solve a problem or reach a goal. When browsing through Amazon product descriptions, potential customers are judging whether or not the results are aligned with the end goals they’re after.

So, if you forget to talk about those end results in favor of only listing product features, you’ll be in trouble. While it’s beneficial to explain what your product does or has, to get a complete picture, consumers primarily need to understand the most desirable outcomes those features produce. 

3. Be concise

You don’t need to use every last character allowed in your description to sell your products successfully. Longer descriptions aren’t synonymous with more effective descriptions. And neither is copy that goes into detail about every feature and benefit—large and small. 

The ultimate goal is to highlight the main features that lead to the top outcomes your target customers care about. That information is what’s going to persuade people into buying from you; not the million other minute details you could add. While most product descriptions aren’t quite this short, the description for Fitbit’s Ace 3 Activity Tracker drives home the point.

Fire TV Stick Product Description Example

Given that the other elements on its product detail page give additional product info, the actual product description is only needed to reiterate a few main points. These are: 

  • That Fitbit motivates kids by making fitness fun
  • What the Ace 3 does (activity and sleep tracking) and other notable features such as 8 days of battery life
  • That Fitbit fosters a sense of togetherness by encouraging families to build healthy habits together, which is a main goal of its ideal customers

This brief description is effective! The product is the #6 Best Seller in the Fitness & Activity Monitors category, has been rated by over 1,100 people, and bought by who knows how many more. Being concise works! 

4. Cut the fluffy language 

Being concise is important in making sure that every word you use has meaning. It’s easy to take shortcuts by claiming that you have “the best” product, a “high-quality” product, a “durable” product, etc. But these adjectives are so overused that they’re pretty much meaningless. 

Instead of making such claims without any evidence to back them up, show how your products are durable or high-quality or whatever you claim they are. Have they been proven to last longer than products from competitors? Do you use patented technology to get better outcomes for users? Specific details such as these, when linked to the big benefits your target customers want, will serve you better than empty adjectives. 

5. Don’t forget about readability

In addition to packing your descriptions with meaning and getting straight to your biggest selling points, you must make sure that your descriptions are easy to read. If your descriptions are massive walls of text, very few potential customers will take the time to sift through them. The majority will quickly move on to other products with easily digestible descriptions. 

This is why it’s important to use bullet points when you can and to break chunks of text up into paragraphs of a few sentences each. Amazon itself shows how this is done with the description for its Fire TV Stick 4K, which uses white space, short paragraphs, and images to prevent the text from looking cluttered and overwhelming.

Fire TV Stick Product Description Example

Leverage Jarvis to create impactful product descriptions

The best practices above are meant to make your Amazon product listings as persuasive as they can be, helping you earn more customers. But did you know that you can also make the process of writing them at scale faster? 

With Jarvis’ templates, you can crank out optimized descriptions for your Amazon product pages in minutes. For example, two obvious favorites are the Amazon Product Description (Paragraphs) template and the Amazon Product Features (Bullets) template. How do they work? 

In the Amazon Product Description template, simply enter your product name, product info, and a desired tone of voice. 

Jarvis Amazon Product Description Template Input

Jarvis will do the rest, generating paragraphs that expand upon the information you entered. Can you see how this would save you a ton of time, especially if you’re writing descriptions for a large catalog of products?  

Jarvis Amazon Product Description Template Output

And what about the Amazon Product Features (Bullets) template? Enter: 

  • Your product name
  • Some basic info
  • Key benefits and features worth mentioning
  • Your desired tone of voice
  • Examples of the kind of outputs you want
Jarvis Amazon Product Features Input 2

You’d then get a variety of bulleted lists to choose from. They can be used as-is or combined and tweaked to create one comprehensive, cohesive list of bullet points. 

Jarvis Amazon Product Features Output 2

And the same basic process also applies to other Jarvis templates including: 

  • Product Description to get other description ideas
  • SEO - Product Page - Title and Meta Descriptions to decide on your titles
  • Sentence Expander to give well-rounded explanations of the features and benefits of your product
  • Content Improver to polish descriptions you write on your own or create using various templates 

Want to learn how to use these and other templates like a pro, save yourself a ton of time, and sell more effectively? Then, Jarvis Bootcamp will be right up your alley since it covers how Jarvis thinks so that you can get the best content possible out of him. Dig into the training today and sign up for Jarvis to start generating high-converting Amazon product descriptions today!

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Meet the author

Austin Distel
CMO at Jarvis.ai

Austin Distel is the CMO at Jarvis.ai, your AI content writing assistant. He's also an Airbnb superhost in Austin, Texas and fun fact: Forbes recently wrote an article about his stock photography being the most popular on the internet with over 700 million views. You can follow Austin's adventures around the internet and the world at distel.com.

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