How To Turn Amazon Browsers Into Amazon Buyers with Emma Schermer Tamir
Dustin and Kris are joined by Emma Schermer Tamir who shares how she started her Amazon marketing business, Marketing by Emma, and things Amazon sellers need to focus on to increase their conversions, bring in more customers, and turn Amazon browsers into Amazon buyers.
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How To Turn Amazon Browsers Into Amazon Buyers with Emma Schermer Tamir
– Hello everyone. And welcome to episode 61 of “Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone”. Today, Chris and I are joined by a special guest Emma Schermer Tamir from Marketing by Emma. Emma how are you doing.
– Other than being caught off guard as people tuning in may not know. I thought we were just having a phone call. And so moments ago I looked a little different and my dog was roaming around. So I had to do a quick wardrobe change. And hopefully provide some great content about copywriting and listing and all that stuff.
– Well, sorry for catching you off guard, but we’re excited that we’ll be able to chat with you right now. And you’re a fellow Missourian. We were talking about that before. And usually, Chris and I are like decked out in our chief’s gear, and we should be ’cause it’s Superbowl week right now but it’s always nice to have fellow Missourians and mid-westerners on the show. It’s fun.
– We’re a rare breed. My Clubhouse profile actually says where I’m from. And then it says, if you don’t know where that is then you need to go study geography. But also if you close your eyes and imagine the middle of the U.S. or somewhere in there.
– Yes, dead center. We’re the fly-over state. Just fly-
– We actually have a restaurant that’s really good called Flyover and a little cheeky nod to why people think that this place isn’t worth coming to. But you know what? It’s been a great place to live, to build a business. We have green spaces, so we’re not feeling quite so claustrophobic during this pandemic. So I’m happy to be here for the most part.
– Plus you got the University of Missouri there and that’s a lot of riders come out of there.
– Oh yes. It is a great source of talent from which we definitely look when we’re searching for new people to add to the team.
– Well, let’s jump in here, and let’s talk a little bit about you and your background. ‘Cause your company Marketing by Emma, they do have services for Amazon sales which we’re gonna jump into in terms of copywriting, and words do matter a lot. So we’re going to dive into that. But how did you get into this space? How did you get started working with words?
– Yeah, so I feel like I’m a little bit non-traditional in the Amazon space because I’ve never been an Amazon seller. I actually started in more traditional marketing. So I’ve worked with everything from startups to fine dining sort of just like across-the-board health products. And I was actually living in Israel when I met my husband. And on our second date he told me, I don’t know whether we’re going to continue seeing each other but I can tell you’re miserable at your job and you should leave it. And I know a bunch of people that would probably love to hire you. And then he had to push that for a few more years until I finally, well, I didn’t even relent. I was away on a business trip and I came home and he was like, “Okay well here are all these people that wanna work with us.” And so our business kind of came into being through him but I don’t know how many people know, there’s actually a very large Amazon seller community in Israel. And so that’s where we really started to understand the need for great writing within the Amazon space was connecting with people in my husband’s network who were all saying like, “Yeah we need to make sure that our product pages will actually sell our products.” And so I started learning all the ins and outs of what makes an effective Amazon listing because it’s not just great copywriting that’s really important, but you also have to understand all of the ins and outs of what you can and cannot do on Amazon, and making sure that you’re able to weave all of that into a really compelling piece of copy that is functioning on all those different levels simultaneously.
– Yeah, you make a good point ’cause the content and like the titles all that really makes a difference, especially being a product that you sell online. Like you have to have really good words and marketing content when somebody’s looking for your product. So you make a really good point there but when did you like get into it and start really understanding the SEO part of it. Like having short titles versus long titles. And was it just a lot of testing or how did that all get started?
– So we started our business in 2016 when just some sort of like friends and friends of friends started hiring me at the time to do that work. And so fortunately some of those people had been in this space for a long time and had a bunch that they could teach me about, you know also 2016 in Amazon years is like a million years ago. Like that was the time when it was the more characters, the better in everything. So you would have these 500 character bullets each that were just like these, I can’t even believe that I contributed to creating things like that, but that was what was being done. You know, it seems like every time you bat an eye Amazon changes to something else. And also just the consumers change and evolve over time. So they’re more knowledgeable and they have more options and all of these different things building on each other. But fortunately, I was very lucky from the very beginning to be sort of welcomed in and taught the importance of all of these things. And so then it was really just a matter of researching and learning and doing as much as I possibly could to understand every aspect of things and to also make sure that I had a really good network so that if something did change, I would understand how that was going to impact what we were doing to make sure that we don’t potentially do something that could, you know contribute negatively to a client’s performance. Like I guess it was, I feel like it was almost around two years ago that the people started getting flagged for pesticides that were not pesticides at all. And at first, everybody was just like, “What is going on? What is this? Like, this is so random.” And Amazon didn’t really have a lot of information at first about how to resolve that. And I mean, it used to be that even if you were in the U.S. trying to get that fixed was incredibly complicated and took a really long time. And so just making sure that we’re, you know have our fingers on the pulse of everything so that we can be as forward-thinking as possible when it comes to making sure that you’re not doing anything that could be putting your account at risk. And that’s something that people don’t really like to talk about a lot when it comes to listing optimization because it’s not really like the stuff that’s like gonna send sales soaring but at the same time, if you’re doing something that could get your listing suspended then you’re really not going to be selling well. And so it’s worth understanding that even if you are going to take a risk and do something against Amazon’s terms of service you’re at least doing that knowingly and then making a conscious choice to take a risk rather than doing something unknowingly and then being caught off guard when you get in trouble for it.
– That pesticide thing was a mess. People were getting their accounts flagged.
– It’s going on believe it or not. It’s still an issue for a lot of people. It’s just that at least Amazon now seems to communicate about it a little bit better than they were at the beginning.
– Whether it’s pesticides now it’ll be something in the future. And that’s why like you said staying on top of it is so important. I mean, anything in the PPP or PPE world right now is a struggle with different keywords and what you can… It’s ever-evolving and it’s important to stay on top of it. Go ahead You said something.
– I was just gonna say, you know a lot of times people will look at their competitors for examples and say “Oh, they’re doing this or they’re saying this.” And that isn’t necessarily good enough because, with a lot of things, Amazon is reactionary. So they’re not necessarily looking at everything from top to bottom when you list it. But if they have a cause to think that there may be an issue here, or customer complaints or their algorithms pick something up, then you could be subjected to disciplinary measures. And so try to be a little bit more investigative than just looking at your competitors as an example of what to do or not to do.
– Absolutely. Real quick. Just want to go back a little bit to sort out your story about how you got started. Were you in the marketing field before you decided to make this venture on your own?
– Yeah, I was in marketing. I kind of fell into it a little bit. So I was always a very good writer and it was one of those things that I was always gaining acknowledgment for. And then when I started working, even during college my bosses always just ended up discovering that I could write. And so then I would be tasked with creating newsletters or blogs or all those types of things. And so at first, it was more of just other tasks that I was doing even if they were pretty far from what my position was. And then over time, I started to develop more of an interest in it. And so I eventually, more intentionally pursued jobs that were marketing and really started to study things like copywriting to understand what impact even just one word can have on how somebody perceives and responds to a sentence.
– Well, I’m excited to dive into this because honestly from my perspective I feel like the copywriting part is not one of my strengths. I think, and I’ll speak for Chris too. I mean, I think we understand there’s words. We want to get into our listing and we need in our listing but to put them in a narrative that flows and not only does it meet what you’re trying to do for getting keywords in your listing but also sell your product is a challenge. And I think there’s a really special skill. And I think that’s one of the interesting things about selling on Amazon is you have to have unique skillsets. Like images is a unique skill set. Writing is a unique skillset Picking your product is totally different like an analytical mind than everything else. So having an expert, we talk about this all the time. Having an expert, do what they’re good at for you where you’re lacking can be enormous in your success. So I wanna dive into all of the aspects of copywriting and how it can make a difference. What’s the number one biggest mistake you see people making when they’re on their listings in terms of their content.
– So I think one of the biggest mistakes that I see. When I say Amazon sellers, what I’m typically referring to are those businesses that they’re starting on Amazon first. They’re using Amazon as a platform to launch a product. So I’m not so much speaking to the more established companies that are really looking at Amazon as another marketplace that they can be selling on another channel that they can be connecting with customers. So when you think about the typical Amazon seller I think that most of the time they are more comfortable in the analytical space. So they really like doing the product research and the keyword research and looking at numbers. Again, this is a generalization but it’s just something that I see a lot after working with a lot of Amazon sellers. And so because of that, I think there is an over-emphasis on the importance of keywords and sort of treating those as the one and only thing that needs to happen. And almost this, like, religious zeal for needing to follow this very formulaic approach to things and that by not doing that, you are instantly going to fail. And I think it’s funny because Amazon is obviously a very sophisticated company. So to think that their algorithm is so simplistic that the only thing that’s going to impact whether you index and rank is if you include a keyword exactly as it is in exactly that spot is just ludicrous. First of all, it wouldn’t be good for Amazon because it would mean that you could index and rank for things that have nothing to do with your product. But it also means that those products that are good matches would be really limited in scope with where they could be searchable because it’s only if those words are included in exactly that way. So we are seeing that the Amazon algorithm is actually factoring in many different things like relevancy, conversions, seller account health into their ranking algorithms. And so it is really important to understand that it is much more than just including the keyword but that you’re really thinking of the full story and making sure that that keyword makes sense. That it fits in. That it’s not detracting from the customer’s ability to understand what your product is and why your product is so great. And that it’s ultimately helping to drive the right kind of sales so that it’s not just turning around and becoming a return and potentially negative review or just an unhappy customer and extra expenses and all of that. So that was kind of a long-winded way of really saying like too much focus only on the keywords and really not kind of thinking bigger picture and really trying to communicate effectively with the customer.
– You make a great point there with that. Everybody thinks that the first keyword has to be in the first five spots of the title and like it has to be there because that’s where I wanna put my URL has to have that in there, something like that. So in your experience, that’s not really a big factor. Would that-
– Well so that’s different. What you’re talking about is the canonical URL. So that is something that once it’s created, at least from my understanding, you can’t change that. So this is specifically relevant to when you’re first listing a product and being really thoughtful about what keywords you’re going to include in those first five words can be really powerful for an SEO perspective actually off of Amazon. So that is something that is then going to be searchable on search platforms like Google. And so being able to choose a phrase that is going to have a high likelihood of ranking on those search engines can be really worthwhile but you have a whole title to work with. That’s not the only part of a title. And the same thing can be said for your bullets and your description. And that yes, keywords are important. Yes, you do want to use keywords, but if keywords are getting in the way of customer comprehension if they’re making you write these really long lengthy winding sentences that are hard to follow or just detracting from the customer’s ability to quickly and easily understand what the product is. It sounds so simple, but as a customer, all of the time I’m just completely dumbfounded by how frustrating it is to shop on Amazon.
– I was going to ask you that, like what do you think about buyers?
– I mean, truly, I think that any Amazon seller should spend some time taking off their Amazon seller hat and putting on their customer hat and thinking about what it feels like when you have to shop for a product or shop for products. And see that when you go to the search results page, and if you see all these titles and all these pictures, and they all look exactly the same and they’re priced exactly the same and they’re within a range of reviews of each other, that’s not necessarily helpful for the customer. So they’re probably just gonna go with the first, second or third option. When you get into the listing, if you see that all of them are kind of like the same and talking about the same stuff or really lacking information, like a lot of times people are using poor listings as examples to model their writing off of. And so they’re kind of setting them up themselves up for failure from the beginning, because they don’t necessarily, you know it’s like. I was trying to think of a sports analogy. And then I realized how foolish that is because I don’t actually like sports. I would definitely choose something that sounded really stupid. And then I would tell my husband and he would laugh at me.
– That’s funny. You bring up so many great points there. I mean, just your initial point about Amazon’s algorithm is not so simplistic that it’s just if you put the magic keyword in there all of a sudden you’re gonna be a home run and rank for that. I mean it’s so many factors and you’re right that sellers do put a lot of importance on it. In those listings, you can see them a mile away from the keyword stuffing, it’s just rambling. And you can tell they’re just stuffing them all in there. And you’re right. It does detract from the customer experience. So I got so many questions. I got so many about how to do it right ’cause you’re really getting me thinking. I like what you said about if you just look at all of your competitors and this is a mistake, and it’s taught a lot. Just mimic what your top competitors are doing. And if it’s bad, you might be missing a way to differentiate yourself from them. So let’s start with the title. What are you-
– Can I say something else first?
– ‘Cause you know, yes, sometimes it’s bad but also does you wanna be mimicking if somebody’s already doing a really good job of that, or do you just wanna do the same? Because if they already have an awesome listing and they’re killing it and they’re selling a lot of products and they have great reviews and then you’re just mimicking them. You’re kind of like the knockoff. You’re not really doing anything to show to your customers why you’re different or better for this particular segment of customer. So in either case differentiation is so important, both because you want to make sure that you’re setting yourself up to be as competitive as possible, but also to really identify who your specific customers are so that you have a better fighting chance at really succeeding instead of just trying to piggyback off of, another product that is just like the clear winner. You’re not going to win by doing exactly what they do. You have to be scrappy and figure out what your fighting style is so that you have an opportunity to unseat them there. I got a sports analogy. I think it worked.
– That’s a great point. That is a very great point that you wanna make sure that you are showing a differentiator of some sort. All right. So let’s talk about the title. What makes a great title on Amazon? What are the-
– We spoke a little bit about the canonical URL. So that’s essentially the first five words of your title offset by an em dash, an em dash is that sort of middle size dash. So it’s not a hyphen and it’s not an em dash. I know this is overly technical, but just so you know the specifics of what I’m speaking of. And so that’s really important, but one of the things that you really wanna be thinking about with any part of a listing that you’re creating is what purpose does it serve? And so with the case of the title, where does the title have the most impact. It’s really on the search results page. So it’s that combined with your main image have to entice somebody to want to click into your product page. So that can be a few different things is one obviously it needs to communicate what the product is. Again, you would think that everybody does a great job of that, but you would be surprised at how often times people don’t do that. And you also wanna be mindful of where the title truncates, it’s not an exact number. When I say truncate, I mean, the kind of the little dot, dot, dot, and cuts off. It happens both on mobile and on desktop. And so even if you are going for a longer title it’s possible that the customers aren’t seeing that full title. So you wanna be aware of that and really thinking about, you know those first 60 characters or so, how can you really communicate what your product is, basic. And then from there what are those key details that somebody needs to know. Ideally, the details may be differentiating. So let’s say you’re selling a product and everybody else’s products are plastic and yours is stainless steel. Well, that’s probably the reason you chose to manufacture something that’s stainless steel versus plastic is a really integral part of what differentiates your product and what a customer would be looking for. You know, maybe it’s like a spatula and you want a metal spatula that you can use at the barbecue grill. So that detail you would wanna make sure is earlier on in your title. Similarly, let’s say that you’re selling a set of something. You know, maybe it’s a three-pack of spatulas. And so if you don’t communicate and earlier on in your title that it’s a three-pack then customers are going to look at this title, they’re gonna look at the price and they’re going to probably be a little bit confused as to why your product is so much more expensive when perhaps because you’re selling a bundle, it’s actually a really good deal and would make a ton of sense. And so you wanna be thinking about all of those types of things or if your product is a higher price point maybe there’s a hero ingredient or something about the formulation or, you know… I don’t have a good idea of what product I’m talking about. So I’m having trouble thinking of a specific example right now. But if you can think of something like that that would make somebody understand why your product is more expensive, then you should include that. So those are the types of things that you wanna be thinking about, like those need-to-know differentiators that would pique somebody’s interest enough to click into your product page, to learn more.
– Very good. I understand that. That’s good stuff. Now on the bullets, let’s go to the bullets real quick. On the bullets, I’ve seen people do like, you know, 300 characters. Lots. And then they do like the itty bitty ones. Like plastic, two-pack.
– It’s some random number that you don’t even know what it’s referring to.
– So what’s the process there, like on bullets. Like if somebody comes to you and like, “Hey, re-do my listing, and I have a lot of bullet points.” Are you consolidating those down or what’s your strategy with the bullet points?”
– So first of all, a kind of disclaimer for all of this you should always, always, always check your category guidelines for things like character limits. For a couple of reasons. One is different categories have different rules, but two of these are the types of things that Amazon’s always changing all the time. So even if you hear me say a number now it may be different next week. So you just wanna be making sure-
– I didn’t know that anyway.
– We are actually staying on top of those things. Currently, unless a category requires otherwise we try to keep bullets in the 200 character range. Our reason for that is it allows you to say what you need to say but in a compact enough space so that it’s not going to create an overwhelming amount of texts. And it’s going to allow you to still have a very skimmable bullet section because you know again if we’re going back into the mind of a customer and you’re thinking about, okay, they saw the title, they are pretty sure that this product matches what they’re looking for but they’re not 100% yet. You know, they still have some set of criteria that they are using to match a product to what they’re imagining in their minds. And so you need to make it easy for them to go through a kind of skimming most likely and say, “Oh yes, this is it.” And then they may read a little more. Then they may look at your reviews. Then they may spend a little bit more time but I don’t wanna invest five minutes of my time reading a listing from top to bottom if it’s not the right product for me. So yeah, go ahead.
– So you see a lot of times on the bullet points. You’ll see either a word in all caps or bold. It must be durable and then there’ll be a sentence a couple of sentences after that. And then the next one will be comfortable. And so it’s like, they’re trying to hit all the high points, and then if you wanna continue on you can or they’ll put some emoji or something.
– Don’t do emojis. Don’t do it.
– There’s a lot of emojis. I’m only seeing that right now. which I wonder how long they’re gonna allow that. I don’t know if they-
– They don’t really allow it in the same. You know, again, like what we were speaking about. There’s a lot of things that you see that you’re not supposed to do, but people get away with. And so they do it because they can, but to me, emojis are one of the things unless you have a really specific product it’s most likely just going to cheapen it. Like I am not if I’m looking for, you know a keyboard or I’m trying to think of some of the things that I’ve purchased recently, like a table and some other things like that. If I saw an emoji there, is that going to speak to quality? Is that gonna speak to reliability? I mean I’m a business owner in my thirties, so I’m just not sure that an emoji is communicating what they may be thinking, it communicates. I think in their minds it’s, “Oh, it’s attention-grabbing, or it’s drawing their eye.” But you don’t want to grab attention just for the sake of grabbing attention. And you really wanna understand that every single choice you have is communicating something about your product and your brand. And you want to make sure that if you’re making those choices, that they are in line with how you want to be perceived by your customers. And so most of the time I would say emojis are not communicating quality and that types of thing.
– Yeah, I agree with that too. I think about it that way. You know, it was the cool thing to do a couple of years ago. ‘Cause it was not a lot of people were doing it but now if you already got the click you already got them to your listing. You do kind of cheap looking and with emojis. So that’s a valid point. I’m going to have to go revisit so much.
– Every product is different. So if you’re selling a product that it makes sense with and you decide that’s a calculated risk that you wanna take, I’m not gonna judge you for that. But I just think that there needs to be thought with any tactic that you’re taking to make sure that it is truly going to ultimately serve your best interest rather than just being something that you heard, on a podcast, like whatever I just said.
– A lot of it is just a good spearing.
– It takes Amazon just making a change to the code or something. And then the next thing you know your bullets aren’t showing up and you lose indexing and you’re like, “What happened?” Well, maybe because you had the emoji in there or something. I don’t know it could have happened.
– Think about your listing. Your listing is the equivalent of your salesperson, right? And so if you’re thinking about if you have a store or if you have a booth at a trade show when trade shows were a thing. You were probably pretty thoughtful about what your salespeople wore. You know where they gonna wear a suit and a tie or are they gonna wear a branded shirt. But they probably weren’t going to wear their dirty clothes that they wore to the club the night before that reek of cigarette smoke and have a stain from whatever, you know, the neon shot they were taking all night long.
– I wanna go wherever you’re going Emma. First of all, I’m definitely not drinking shots or going to clubs because I hate clubs. I’m really boring in all of those ways, but you know lots of shows are in Las Vegas. And I think people enjoy the nightlife when they’re there. So anyway, my point being is that you want people to be cleanly showered and their hair to be done because all of those little details while they’re not directly impacting how your product performs, they are reflecting your business and how seriously you take your business. How much you respect your business and your customers, and all of those different things. So details do matter. And even if you don’t like that it is just the way that we are as humans. And so it’s worthwhile to really take the time to be thoughtful about the kind of impression that you’re making and working as hard as you can, to make sure that that impression is a positive one that is going to maximize your conversion potential.
– And what do you think about the description? I’m assuming descriptions are kind of just a lost cause. Maybe I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong, but-
– I don’t think they’re a lost cause. First of all, they have indexing potential. And actually, I didn’t know this, but I just saw I need to do a little bit of research into this to see whether other people are showing this, but I just saw something that your product description is actually what search engines are pulling for the meta-description. So like if you’re searching-
– I’m not 100% sure on this. It has not been verified yet but I did see somebody posting about this today. So I would like to do a little bit of digging on it. So your description is definitely not something to be you know thrown aside and forgotten. Also, if you’re not brand registered then your product description is, you know that’s the only other space that you have to really communicate about your product, and rarely can you communicate everything that you need to communicate within the space of the bullets or in the way that’s going to be most comfortable for a customer to see it. Because, you know, let’s say that you have a bunch of technical specifications. Yes, you can put that in a bullet, but it’s really hard to follow in bullet form. Whereas if you can kind of list it out in the description then it’s much easier. Like that’s just how we’re naturally kind of trained to want to receive that kind of information. So the description can be really good for things like that. But also even if you have A+ content, we know that Amazon is weird and it has a mind of its own. What if for whatever reason, your A+ content isn’t visible for a period of time. It’s better to at least have a description there to be a placeholder so that you’re not just having a huge chunk of your listing going empty. So I think there are a few reasons why it is something that you want to be thoughtful about, but obviously, if you are brand registered then you do want to create some kick-butt A+ content.
– In that product description, I had a couple of questions. ‘Cause the first time you write a product description and then you go look at it it’s this giant smashed together paragraph. It’s like a hundred words across depending on what format you’re looking at whether on desktop or whatever. So you have to clean up with HTML. How do you, when you do your product descriptions, what sort of HTML are you using and are you doing like bold titles, all caps or italics, or what works the best in order to draw the eye on that product description?
– There seems to be a product theme here. I don’t know why I said product theme of you know, Amazon’s changes. And so more recently they have become sticklers for the type of HTML that you’re able to use. So we have erred on the side of caution and we’re only using line breaks now. And a line break is, what do you call those little arrows? Less than and greater than. Do you have a like a less than? We are and then-
– I hope our development team’s not watching. They would be-
– They’d love it.
– Just gator mouths.
– I feel like my third-grade math teacher would probably be as well. So yeah, that’s all that we’re using. But at first, you know, changes like that were like, man, you know the bolding and the bullets. Those are so important but it really doesn’t make that big of a difference. The line breaks are the most significant. And instead of bullets, you can use dashes just to kind of like offset something as a list rather than just another paragraph. And so while the bolding I think does provide a little bit more visual contrast I don’t think it’s a huge loss and we’d rather provide things in the way that Amazon says it should be. And then if a seller wants to be a little risky and adds in some bolds, then they can do that independently.
– Got it. And I always had this one question that has to do with the listing. It’s about the images. And when you save the image, does it help to add your main keyword as the file name to that image like for indexing, or is it kind of just say-
– I do not know about that. I would say that goes beyond my knowledge but what I do know is for a plus content you do have the ability to provide I don’t remember the exact terminology they used, but kind of just in the SEO, where it’s all image texts. So essentially making images searchable via text so it’s more accessible, but that is a place sort of similar to when you’re thinking of your canonical URL and some other parts of how can you make your product page more searchable off of Amazon too? Because I think a lot of people they’re only considering SEO from within Amazon, but there’s actually great power in thinking about the SEO beyond Amazon as well. And one of the things that I’ve noticed, again just from my own personal shopping, as a lot of times when you go to Google and you search a brand or a product, Amazon is one of the first things that pops up. So, you know, like when they say whatever percentage of searches are now originating on Amazon I would be so interested to know what percentage of searches funnel into Amazon because I am sure there is a big chunk of searches that they’re immediately clicking into Amazon after their initial query. And even really big brands that I’m sure don’t love the fact that the Amazon page is appearing before their website. But that is just the reality of things. And so you can use that to your advantage in making sure that you are thoughtful using all of these different spaces that you were provided.
– That’s good stuff.
– So let’s talk now A+ content. That’s the sort of the next step on your listing. All right, so best practices for A+ content. And what do you think the impact is, I mean over just having the description, if you’re able to make A+ content, you can do it. And while you’re answering it, I’m gonna go close my blinds ’cause the sun is slowly creeping into my eyes. I’ve been rotating slowly over to the right ’cause the sun is blinding All right. So talk about A+.
– It’s a really gloomy day here so I guess the weather’s different in Kansas City.
– It was gloomy all day until just now. So I was unprepared for the sun blast in my window.
– Best practices. First of all, I’m just gonna go with some of the biggest mistakes that I see ’cause I think they align really well. I see people doing almost always one of two things either like a vomit of text. So there’s just you know, they’re maxing out every single space that they have, and you know they have an image, and then it’s a block this big of everything and it’s just a lot and hard to navigate. And then on the other side, you see people that have almost no text at all. And so it’s a bunch of pretty pictures but it is really not helping you to understand the product or the brand at all. And so I think the first thing, just like every other part of your listing is to really think about how can you use this part of your listing to make your product and your brand shine. And you notice that I’m saying brand more here because your A+ content is also where you can communicate more about not just the product but what makes your brand special. And some of the best examples that I see of A+ content actually speak very minimally about the product and really use that space to develop a relationship with their customers and to not just differentiate themselves as a company, but even help to cross-promote other products if that makes sense. And if you have a product catalog that lends itself to that. And so it can be a really powerful tool, not just for conversions of that product, but also to cross-promote other products in your line to make some upsells or even to help clarify what product is the right fit for a customer because maybe you sell products and you have a more entry-level and a more mid-range and then a professional level product. And it can be difficult if you’re just looking at a listing side by side to understand what product is the best fit for your needs. But with a standard comparison chart module, you are able to link to all three of those products and you can have a really easy-to-follow chart so that customers can say, “Oh, okay, well this is that. Yep. Yep. Okay, this one is the one that I need.” And then you help match people with the correct product right out of the gates. So branding, I think is really important, again if it makes sense, maybe you haven’t really invested that much in developing who your brand is. You don’t wanna just put up a bunch of made-up garbage because people will see right through that. So being thoughtful about what makes sense and what is honest about your business, but also thinking about A+ is where you can have text and images work together. And you don’t really have any other place. You know product images are sort of like that but any text you’re using needs to be really minimal so that it’s not too complicated to read without zooming in. Like your A+ content is where you are able to really weave those two tools together. And so thinking about what is best communicated through the combination of these two things because sometimes a picture is really good at showing this type of stuff. And texts is really good at saying these types of things, but when you combine them together then you can have a really full easy understanding of things. So whether that’s wanting to highlight some of your key ingredients in your pictures of the different raw materials of the product. And then an explanation of why you chose lavender and calendula and whatever other products are in your bomb. Or you have a really like specific manufacturing process, it’s really important to people, like okay, coffee. You know there’s a million different ways that you can roast coffee. So you have a specific way of roasting your coffee. And that helps to really lower the acidity. So it’s a coffee that’s really good for people that have sensitive stomachs. So in that case, they would probably be interested to know about your roasting processes because that would help them to be more informed consumers. I know it probably sounds like I’m jumping all over the place, but we’re kind of coming back to the same thing over and over again which is what does your customer want to know? And how can you utilize that space to really tell that story in a way that’s going to resonate with them and be interesting and make sense?
– Yeah, and the A+. I have to soak on A+. I forgot what they call it but-
– So there was A+ and then there was EBC/enhanced brand content. And then I wanna say around a year, year and a half ago they started calling it A+ again but a lot of people still call it EBC. So I feel like I always have to do a slash anytime I wanna refer to it Even on a website, we have a slash because I don’t wanna be current, but also for the people that are looking for an update and aren’t up to date, I don’t wanna make them feel excluded.
– They always change it but it feels like it’s becoming more and more prominent on the listing. Like, I don’t know if I saw recently but they’re moving it up the page on mobile at least like it’s up the page a little bit more. So when people are scrolling through now they’re gonna see your images below the fold a little bit and then they’re gonna see your A+ content. And that’s really where, like you mentioned, tell the story. Like, tell the story of your brand. Like, give people reasons to buy. Get emotional with them so they can make that conversion. I like that thought
– I like to think of your A+ content as a landing page. So if you were putting together a landing page off Amazon where you are sending people from Facebook or wherever, and that was the only page they were going to, they weren’t gonna be clicking around to a bunch of other pages. What would they need to know in order at the end to either wanna give you their email or click add to cart or whatever it might be? So if you’re only talking product that will probably work for some people, but a lot of other people want that brand information as well largely because that’s where that trust factor comes in. And trust is very important in any relationship. And Amazon, unfortunately, is no longer considered to be as trustworthy as it used to be. Like, I don’t know if you guys have noticed but with a lot of Amazon’s advertising around the holidays and even now it was all about talking about what an altruistic company they are and all these different initiatives that they were invested in. And it was so clear to me that the people in their marketing and PR were like, people hate you. You need to clean up your act because we have Walmart. And we have, you know, these other companies that are like trying to get in the game. And we want people to continue to like us, instead of thinking that we’re a terrible evil corporation that’s trying to rule the world. And so if Amazon is thoughtful about how their brand image is being perceived then it makes sense that it’s also important to them that the sellers are equally investing in that piece as well. And I think that’s why you’re seeing that there are more and more privileges for people that are brand registered and why you know the storefronts are becoming more sophisticated and have more functionality of different data that you can get. And they’ve even been beta testing the eighth module for the A+ content that’s called the brand story module that is essentially one module that would appear on all of your listings that would tell why you do what you do and how you got there. So those are indications from Amazon that they’re saying, “Like, we care about the brand and you need to care about a brand also. And we’re going to reward you if you’re investing in this piece as well.” You know, even like packaging, like if just to thinking about the customer experience if you get a plain brown box versus one that’s nicely designed instantly as a customer you’re going to have more trust and higher expectations for the performance of the product that came in a nicely designed box versus a brown paper box. And so the same thing, oh yeah-
– No, no. Keep going you’re right.
– Anything applies to your listing. And so if you are, you know just kind of treating your A+ content as an afterthought or not really using the greatest images or having really vague information or overly utilizing the text boxes, all of those things are again showing a certain sloppiness or a lack of attention to detail and care that is ultimately going to hurt your performance as a seller.
– And sorry to cut you off a bit off there, but when you’re talking about that packaging, like all of us or some of us that have iPhones, we saved the box. Like what are we saving the box for? You know what I mean like-
– I just got a new laptop from Apple and I realized saying that I’m an Apple fan as you know, a divisive thing to say. I got a laptop and I ordered it online and it arrived and even the brown cardboard box that it came in it had these two flaps on the side that you kind of like lifted up and it just raised the box like the actual computer box out, ever so slightly in this way that like new lights are going, it was like that kind of moment. And it sounds silly, right. But like, you were totally spot on. And like they do sorry, I’m being too excited. They do that. And then like the texture of their packaging and even the way they have the plastic, like cellophane seal. It has this little tab that you can pull. And then it, you know, easily open, like every single moment of that is so thoughtfully engineered. Obviously, we’re not all Apple. And that’s like the pinnacle of packaging design and customer experience, but it is showing how every single aspect can really have a profound impact on your customers. And if you can be a little bit more thoughtful, I say I got a new computer. I got it a month ago but I’m still excited to tell you about that even though it’s not really new to me anymore. That’s really powerful.
– Oh yeah. When you do that, you feel good that you just bought a laptop for $1,200 when you could have got one for 300, But you’re right. You’re instantly justified. You’re like I made the right decision. This is so fun opening up this computer. I like what you’re saying. You treat the listing the same way. Everything that Amazon gives you the opportunity to do you should do it the best you can. It’s going to sell your product.
– It’s not something that should be an afterthought. You know, Dustin, you started off this conversation saying what you write matters. And I think that people are shooting themselves in their foot by trying to convince themselves that it doesn’t matter because while it’s true that some people are going to click into your listing look at a few pictures, read a few reviews and add to the cart. There are also other people that are more discerning that are going to be, you know whether they have really specific needs or they’re that kind of shopper, or they just like, you know really analyzing products against each other. They are going to be looking a little bit more. And so why would you want to close yourself off to winning over those customers who are also the customers that are more likely to leave a positive review if you excite them and are more likely to be engaged with you in other ways if they’re that kind of shopper that’s really investing in the products that they’re buying rather than just sort of clicking and buying the cheapest and then like throwing it away. And you know, when somebody asks you, “Hey where did you get that?” You say, “Oh, I got off Amazon.” You don’t wanna be that thing they got off Amazon. You wanna be, this is the Apple computer that obviously everybody knows Apple but just imagine. You wanna be associated as something that people wanna tell their friends. Yeah, buy this one. Not go on Amazon and search keyboard.
– Right. That’s great stuff. I bought something for my wife the other day. I cannot think of the name of the product now. It’s so big because the branding was so good. Now, here I am telling, I can’t think of the name of it. But it was infused hot sauce with what’s the rage right now. What’s the mushroom- No I’m totally drawing a blank. Anyway, this is a bad analogy for me talking about how well they did on branding and I can’t even remember the name. It was truffle-infused hot sauce. And it was called Truff, T-R-U-F-F. And everything about their listings was unbelievable. And their hot sauce is great. And the bottle was really cool design. And they like Apple-like packaging for it. And it was wildly expensive hot sauce. But it was a great gift to give because it had all aspects of it. So it hits to your point that all that stuff really matters. I’m on your website right now. And you have, which is marketingbyemma.com. And you have a free listing analysis that you do. Talk about that and how that would be beneficial for people out there listening.
– Sure. So what that is, it’s a simple form on our website. You put in a link to your listing or if it’s not live yet and you wanna drop in a document, you can do that as well. And our team will take a look at it and give you some feedback about things that you may not have considered doing that you can do yourself if you want to or if you’d like our help doing it, to really make sure that you are giving your product the best chance it can possibly have at succeeding. So looking at things like, are your bullets too long or too short? Are you communicating those key details but also are you clearly and compellingly communicating the key benefits of your product? That’s not really something that we spoke about today but it is so important with any type of marketing that you’re doing is to really understand the deeper motivators behind why somebody once a product that you’re selling, you know what is driving them to go onto Amazon to search for that particular product like in the case of this hot sauce, it could be a number of things. You could be just scratching your head, you know trying to find a good gift, but you’re stressed ’cause you know your wife is hard to gift and you really wanna give her something special that’s going to be a reflection of how much you love her. So it’s deeper than just giving a gift. And it’s a reflection of how important, you know, your relationship is. And it’s not just about how much it is. It’s about really signifying that you know, somebody. So just saying it’s a perfect gift is actually probably not the most effective way of selling it. Because if you look at that product page and you were thinking about what to buy your wife you probably know it’s a great gift for her without somebody saying great gift for mother’s day, father’s day, Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s. That’s not what communicates whether something is a good gift. So being clear about, even if you don’t directly say that, like, even if you don’t say, “Show the person you care about how much you know and love them.” Being aware of those deeper things is going to make the writing that you have more effective. And a lot of times it is kind of buried. And so you’re going to need to ask why a few times before you really get to the heart of what it is.
– I’m gonna definitely fill it out. I mean I have the full pull. I’m definitely gonna put my listing in there. ‘Cause I’m curious to see where my listing lacks.
– And I must say sometimes listings are great. So if it looks good we’re not going to say it’s garbage just for the sake of saying that. So if it’s good and your time would be spent elsewhere, then at least you get the Emma seal of approval. Although we don’t use that often, I must be honest.
– I know where I need to make a few edits. It’s a great father’s day gift is coming off my listing.
– From the keyword perspective, there is validity if you want to do that but also if you’re going to go that route then be aware of the time of year and at least have really relevant words that makes sense. Like I hate those catch-all bullets where they will list every holiday. But also you wanna be careful with something like a father’s day gift is are you falling into gender roles that may not necessarily be you know suitable for 2021. So there’s typically male or female products. You could be potentially, putting customers off by suggesting that a product is only for men or women.
– That’s a great point. That’s a great point.
– And same with kids. Oh my gosh. All the time I see toys that are like toys for boys or toys for girls. A lot of keywords are going to be those types of keywords but don’t let your keywords drive the content. And only say for boys, if you’re selling a train set or something like that because little girls can and do like to play with train sets. If you’re going to make yourself look like I’m maybe not the kind of company that you wanna look like to potential customers.
– That is an absolutely great point. This has been fun. I’ve learned a lot and I know this we’re getting comments from YouTube and Facebook right now just saying that people are really loving this content and enjoying the talk, learning a lot. So I’ve learned a lot. I mean, you’ve really broken this down. I’ve talked to a lot of people that are in this, you know listing optimization space. And you know, Chris and I talked to you all the time in the Amazon space in general but you really broke it down in a really unique way. Just the importance of how your listing looks. And I think it makes a lot of sense the way that you outline it. And yeah I’m gonna be putting my listing analyst is same to you as well. And everybody listening, I mean, you just listened to an hour of unbelievable advice and it’s counter to a lot of what you learn in courses about just stuffing your keywords in there. And in writing these run-on sentences, I mean it’s really valuable. We really encourage you to go and seek out marketing by Emma and let them help you out. Emma, how can they get it, if someone wants to work with you right now, what do they need to do?
– So you can go to our website, marketingbyemma.com. We have everything that you need to learn about the different services that we offer. But if you would like to engage with somebody you can also email us at hello@marketingbyemma, hello@marketingbyemmacom. We’re on Facebook at Marketing by Emma. I would say those are the main platforms. If you like this kind of dialogue I am recently on Clubhouse and I’m officially an addict. So my handle there is MXEM. So if you wanna join some rooms you may see me in all sorts of different topics because as a very curious person it is a very dangerous place to just learn up on all the information that you didn’t know you needed.
– It’s so fun. Yeah, we’re happy to help. We want people to be successful and to be able to grow their businesses. And we’re happy to help in any way we can.
– Well, this was great. Thanks so much for coming on Emma. It’s been a blast. We’ll have to get you back. There’s so many segments we could dive down into in more detail. So we’ll have to get you back on and we’ll go a little more niche, specific on the topic when we bring you back on. But great stuff that you’re doing thanks so much for the interview today. And the conversation. It’s been fantastic. And everybody listening, if you want more content like this you can follow us on our Facebook page. The Sellozo page on Facebook. Sellozo on LinkedIn. Sellozo on YouTube. And please subscribe to our podcast and leave a review if you like what you’re hearing. Emma, thanks so much. And we’ll do this again soon.
– Awesome Thank you both. This was a lot of fun.