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Amazon product description: formatting, guidelines and optimization in 2021

01/04/2021 • Reading time: ca. 3 min • by Trutz Fries

Introduction

The Amazon product description is an important part of any Amazon listing. It allows a detailed description of the offered product as free flowing text and is a substitute for the in-store sales pitch. Use the product description to highlight product details that are less relevant than they need to be mentioned in the bullet points (opens new window). Although not all customers read through the product description, those that do have a strong interest in buying. If nothing else, therefore, the product description provides the final opportunity to convince wavering prospects to buy the product.

Amazon Product Description: Example of a good product description
Figure 1: Example of a good product description

On desktop, a customer has to scroll a lot to get to the description because it is placed outside the visible area - below the images (opens new window), bullet points (see Figure 3) and hazard pictograms (opens new window). On mobile devices, on the other hand, the product description is placed very prominently directly after the product images.

Amazon Product Description: Placement of the product description mobile
Figure 2: Placement of the product description mobile
Note
The product description is hidden for sellers when A+ content is available. Nevertheless, it is indexed by Amazon. A hidden product description is displayed again when the variant is changed. It is therefore not suitable for keyword stuffing. For vendors, both the product description and the A+ content are visible.
Amazon Product Description: Example vendor product with product description and A+ content
Figure 3: Example vendor product with product description and A+ content

For the Amazon ranking, the product description plays a subordinate role. There is no reliance on keywords from the text being indexed. Google, on the other hand, indexes the descriptions, but the text should be unique to make it into the Google search results.

What should be included in the Amazon product description?

A good product description (see Figure 1) consists of problems and solutions through your product, not a simple string of features. With a product description, you have the opportunity to build trust with the customer. Use the free space also to store general information about you as a manufacturer or brand. Also create a pictorial presentation of the product, which encourages the customer to buy.

Amazon Amazon Product Description: Example of a bad product description
Figure 4: Example of a bad product description

AWhat Amazon guidelines should you follow when creating a product description?

You have a total of 2000 characters for the product description.

Amazon also has the following requirements for the product description text:

  • no information about awards
  • no information about warranty
  • no promotions (e.g. on special offers)
  • do not include merchant-specific or offer-specific details (e.g. prices or shipping)
  • special HTML formatting is not allowed

How to format your Amazon product description in HTML

As seen above, Amazon expects plain body text in the product description. Formatting is not desired. Sellers nevertheless have the option to format individual elements of the description using selected HTML commands, e.g. to mark individual words in bold, to enable bulleted lists or to insert paragraphs. Note, however, that HTML elements are included in the 2000-character limit. So if you write e.g. <strong>```Hello`` this is already 21 characters and not just five.

A short example of HTML text:

<p> This is a <strong>test</strong>.</p>
<p> This is a new <em>paragraph</em>.</p>

Then, what it looks like in the browser:

This is a test.

This is a new paragraph.

Here is a brief explanation of different HTML commands:

<p>-> defines a paragraph

<strong>-> highlights a passage of text

<em> -> prints a text passage in italics

Conclusion

In summary, the product description has an influence on the customer's purchase decision process that should not be underestimated. This is especially true for products that require explanation. When writing the text, make sure you strike the right balance between being customer-centric and solution-oriented. In addition, the description offers another opportunity to be indexed by Google and thus gain higher visibility.

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