SEO is an ever-evolving part of the Amazon selling experience. Keeping content updated, engaging, keyword optimized, and compliant can be quite a balancing act. Amazon is always seeking to improve customer experience, and that includes updating content guidelines. Recently, there’s been a change in attitude toward all caps text in bullet points and HTML in product descriptions.
In this post, we’ll break down this recent change and why implementing these recommendations can help improve your listing compliance.
Experiments in Style: Two-Tiered Bullet Points and Amazon SEO Optimization
If you’re a frequent shopper on Amazon, you’ve definitely seen “Two Tiered” bullet points in product listings. “Two-Tiered” bullet points are a popular choice for many sellers and are formatted like so:
Each bullet starts with a hook in ALL CAPS to garner attention, followed by copy in sentence case that expands on the hook.
Tests Indicated Shoppers Like “Two Tier” Formatting
Kaspien has run many tests surrounding the efficacy of two tiered bullet points, but every result was inconclusive. In June of 2019, we surveyed Amazon shoppers to dig in deeper into the “why” behind this formatting practice. We found that 56% of our sample preferred a key feature format that began with ALL CAPS, and then continued in normal sentence case.
Because the majority prefer this style, we deduced that this formatting structure is a positive user experience benefit. The ALL CAPS provides the quick facts, then the trailing sentence gives more details if the shopper desires to continue reading.
The ALL CAPS strategy really started to take off a few years ago, and Amazon SEO leaders latched onto this strategy. Amazon sellers, agencies, and strategists began implementing this format in their listings to better catch buyers’ eyes.
Amazon Bans ALL CAPS
Unfortunately, Amazon changed their outlook on listings that contain all caps in the bullet points, notifying sellers that having all caps in the bullet structure is no longer recommended and can result in listing suppressions.
Updating listings to reflect this change will ensure that the listings are not removed from the site for non-compliance. We believe Amazon changed their policy to present a more uniform content experience for consumers. Per Amazon’s advice, Kaspien is updating bullet points to remove any all-caps text to ensure that we meet compliance standards.
Product Description Breakdown: New HTML Recommendations for Amazon Listings
Product descriptions on Amazon represent an important piece of SEO territory that can be used to improve SERP (Search Engine Result Placement) for products. A robust description can be the deciding factor in a buyer’s decision, so it’s critical to include as much relevant information as possible while maintaining shopper engagement.
Amazon product descriptions appear on the site as a plain block text that’s tucked below the fold and above the product detail section, making it easy to miss. Many Amazon content creators use HTML in their description text to help break up text blocks. Common examples of HTML formatting include creating lists and adding bold and italic text to differentiate the content.
Amazon is now notifying sellers to remove all HTML text from the product description except for simple line breaks: “<br>”. Line breaks are arguably the most important HTML formatting in the product description. You can still create lists with line breaks – and of course, paragraph breaks help make lengthy text more digestible.
We believe Amazon made this change to alleviate some of the pressure on their servers when loading a listing detail page and – similar to the changes with bullet points – promote consistent formatting to shoppers.
Moving forward, Kaspien is implementing these content updates across product listings to ensure that we meet all style and compliance guidelines. We recommend that sellers start removing HTML from product descriptions and update their bullet points to reflect Amazon’s change in listing content strategy.
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