In the Marketing Words Facebook group, we’ve had some interesting questions pop up lately. I thought you’d appreciate knowing the answers to these Amazon FBA FAQs.
MW asks, “I recently worked on a listing for a client and have been trying my best to write rich copy using the most important keywords. However, there is online debate regarding bullet points as to whether Amazon allows 100 or 200 characters per bullet point now. I opted for 200, but am still concerned that a listing could get penalized for exceeding a 100-character limit per bullet. I’m just curious what your recent experience is if you’re willing to share.”
The character counts vary from category to category. On top of that, Amazon regularly changes their criteria for bullet points so, even though one category might state that it has a 100-character limit in March, by July it could have easily changed to 200 characters or something else. There used to be a few categories that have a hard stop at 80 or 100 characters per bullet, but I think those strict restrictions have been lifted.
Generally speaking, Amazon prefers shorter bullets. That being said, I do not remember any of our clients ever reporting that Amazon delisted their product page or otherwise made them change the length of a bullet.
CP says, “Some of my competitors copied and pasted our bullet points that I wrote following your ‘Amazon Advantage Product Listing Strategies.’ Should I send a “cease and desist” letter? What should I do? Are we protected? BTW, we brand registered, if it makes any difference. Thanks!”
Unless you have a law firm to back up that cease-and-desist letter, it probably won’t do you any good.
However, if I were you, I would send the offending seller a note stating that they have 24 hours from the time of your message to remove the copy they stole from your listing or you will report them to Seller Central.
Then — after 24 hours — if the copy is still there, open a case with Seller Central.
At the very least you can send Seller Central your ASIN and they can look up the date to see that you put the copy up on your listing first.
Then send them the ASIN for the competitor and they can see that this seller put the bullet points on their listing after you did.
Ask the rep to delist the product until your bullet points are removed from the violator’s listing.
If that doesn’t get you anywhere, you may want to pick up the phone and call. Ask specifically for someone on the Catalog Team.
KT wants to know, “Is there anything I need to do with my keywords to make sure they follow all the latest updates?”
Yes! Please, please, please… check your search terms section. Make certain that:
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- Your Search Term field has no more than 249 characters, including spaces. Yes, I know Amazon says 250 without spaces, but testing has proven that (once again) Amazon is wrong!
Some sellers have older listings that have been neglected and still have 5,000 characters in them. If you go over 249 characters, Amazon will ignore everything in the ST field(s).
- Your search terms are up to date. If there are terms that are no longer relevant, contain outdated holidays (Christmas, Father’s Day, etc.), take them out. If you’ve found new ones, add them.
- You are not wasting space by repeating keywords. If a keyword/phrase is in your title, bullets or description it does not need to also be in your ST fields.
- Make sure your #1, gotta-rank-for-it term is within the first 80 characters of your title.
DK asks, “Does it matter which category I choose when creating a product? For some of my products, down the grocery arm there are sub-categories relating to chocolate that are kind of right, but not quite. Then down health and personal care are other sub-categories that are kind of right but not spot on.”
If it’s something like a chewy, chocolate vitamin, chocolate protein powder, chocolate power bar or something along those lines — an item that has any health benefit at all — my opinion is to go with the Health and Personal Care category.
If the product is chocolate that is dessert or snack related, I’d stick with grocery.
MF says, “Wondering if you have advice about implementing a major overhaul on listing copy without adversely impacting ranking and sales? I’d estimate changes are about an 80% re-write. Now, we’re keeping all the high-performing KWs AZ has indexed, adding in a few missing ones, and rewriting for readability. Is there a strategy for change rate? Perhaps change title wk1, bullet #1 wk2, bullet #2 wk 3, etc.? Or are we probably safe doing it all at once?
(Note: Sales are a couple of hundred per month. About 27 product pages.)
I absolutely would •not• roll out any test across 27 listings at one time.
I would do one listing and I would change one thing about the listing and watch for 3 to 5 days to see what Amazon’s response is to that change.
Then make a second change. Wait 3 to 5 days and watch. And so on and so on.
I would complete the cycle on one single listing all the way through, making every change that you want to make before you roll this out across the rest of the listings.
For me, the risk is too high to do it any other way, especially if you have a product that is making steady sales daily.
If you have Amazon FBA questions pertaining to writing listings or doing Amazon keyword research, post them below.