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Powering Sales with a Great Title – Amazon Title Guidelines Decoded


A rose, going by any other name, would still smell as sweet, said Juliet to Romeo. That may well be true for the legendary tales of love and passion. However, when it comes to dealing with the more pragmatic matters, a lot – really, a whole lot – lies in the name. Billions of dollars wouldn’t otherwise be spent by top companies on branding and regular re-branding. For every seller who wants to boost their Amazon sales, the journey begins with a great Amazon product page. That page itself should start with an eye-catching, collar-grabbing, ‘buy me’-screaming title. But there’s a catch – this title needs to work with Amazon title guidelines!

Amazon, being the largest e-tailer in America by some distance, provides ample opportunities for manufacturers, distributors and sellers to grab every last share of the consumer market. So, if you’ve decided to make the most of these opportunities by selling products you believe in, you are on the right track for success.

But how does a buyer know that your product is great?

How can they figure out that what you’re selling is better than ten other similar products?

How do they even know your product exists?

That’s where a well-written, craftily worded and cleanly formatted title compliant with the Amazon title guidelines comes to your rescue.

How Important is the Amazon Product Title, Anyway?

It’s easier to argue that a great Amazon product title paves way for improved sales. But how important is it really to put a lot of efforts in keeping an eye on ever-shifting Amazon title guidelines?

Let’s break it down a little.

  • Over 650,000 brands are registered with Amazon Brand Registry
  • Amazon fulfils over 12,000,000 different products in multiple quantities each year.
  • Including seller-fulfilled products, the total shelf size of Amazon exceeds a mind-boggling number north of 350,000,000.

Numbers as of 2016, across North America. Source – Business Wire

It’s quite clear that the competition is rife, in-fact, more so than ever before! Going further, if your product falls under some of the top categories like ‘Electronics’ or ‘Home & Kitchen’, it becomes even more likely that people will never actually end up looking at your product, if the product title isn’t worth the trouble for Amazon’s crawlers (bots who scrape the database regularly and display search results based on your search history, purchase patterns, recommendations, reviews, ads and so on).

Your sales are only as strong as the number of people who get to look at your product. The Amazon product title, being the only gateway to your product, is perhaps the most important bit in that regard.

Understanding the Amazon Title Guidelines

It gets quite interesting at this point.

It wasn’t too long ago that most Amazon sellers would construct their product pages with whatever understanding they had of how SEO and SERPs work. A common strategy that hails back from the heyday of eBay was to stuff the copy with as many keywords, key terms and long tail key phrases as possible.

Back then, a standard copy for a product like ‘Micro-USB Adapter’ was likely to be titled as: “Micro USB Power Adapter Android Phone Samsung Tablet Power Adapter Power Charging Car Adapter for Samsung Wall Charger”.

This obviously doesn’t read well. But somehow, back in those days, it really worked. Thankfully, we are long past those days. Amazon, more today than ever, prioritizes better user experience than keyword stuffing. That reflects in the latest Amazon title guidelines.

Here are some of the key points that make for a good product title on Amazon:

· Amazon Title Character Limit

Amazon title character limit has been a bone of contention between Amazon and sellers for a long time. Right up to 2016, there used to be in place differing character limits for products in different categories. For example, an electronics product would have the luxury of using 250 characters in its title. On the other hand, a cosmetics product would have to make do with only 80.

This has drastically changed from the SERP updates of 2016. Today, products in all categories (barring some unique exceptions) are allowed the use of 200 characters in the title field.

· Order of Specs

This is a very important part of the Amazon title guidelines – albeit, one overlooked by most sellers. Order of specs dictates the whats of the product rather than the hows.

A commonly accepted order of specs goes like this:

[Brand name] [Model identifier] [Model name] [Product name] [Inherent features] [Color] [Quantity]

This order, unlike the Amazon title character limit, is only an advisory directive. It can vary according to product categories and is generally thought to be loosely flexible. You can find the recommended order of specs across categories here.

Example of good order of specs:

Amazon title guidelines – Amazon title character limit – Amazon SEO – Amazon listing style guide – OptimizeMyAmazonListing.com

  • Accurate description
  • Includes important keywords
  • Follows the order of specs to a good degree

Example of not-so-good order of specs:

Amazon title guidelines – Amazon title character limit – Amazon SEO – Amazon listing style guide – OptimizeMyAmazonListing.com

  • Doesn’t use the permissible character limit fully well
  • Generic description of important features
  • Doesn’t specify the product size or available colors
  • Doesn’t follow Amazon title guidelines (order of specs)

· Formatting as per the Amazon Title Guidelines

Again, this looks like a minor detail to worry about, but if we have learnt anything from having drafted hundreds of successful Amazon SEO projects at OptimizeMyAmazonListing.com, it’s that the formatting of the title (and the rest of the copy, for that matter) can make a huge difference to sales, if not for the visibility or searchability.

Amazon title guidelines dictate some cornerstone formatting rules such as:

  • Capitalize the first letter of each word in the Amazon product title. Conjunctions and prepositions that are shorter than five characters are exempt. For example, of, for, and, to
  • Omit irrelevant details. For example, if the product comes in only one color, the title can afford to not mention the color. However, many sellers prefer to have the color mentioned in the title for the sake of clarity.
  • Numbers should be mentioned as numerals, and not as words. For example, use ‘3’ in place of ‘three’.
  • Units of measurement should be clearly spelt out, instead of being denoted with SI symbols. For example, ‘grams’ is preferred over ‘gm’. This, again, is just a norm, and not a must-abide-by rule.

· The “Don’ts” of the Amazon Title Guidelines

So far, we have seen what needs to be included in the product title in order to keep by the Amazon title guidelines. But that’s not all – there’s a list of ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind, too! This is where Amazon gets really stringent. Mentioning the following details in the product title may well result into Amazon taking your listing down.

  • Don’t ever include the price of your product in the title. Going further, don’t ever use any currency symbol in the title at all.
  • The use of all caps – aka digital screaming – must be avoided.
  • Avoid comparing your product with other competing products. For example, ‘longer battery life than brand XYZ’.
  • Avoid the use of any sort of suggestive language. For example, ‘Top ranked in 2017’, ‘#1 Bestseller’, ‘Voted #1’, etc.

Using Amazon Title Guidelines with Backend Keywords

The keywords used in the title should absolutely be your prime, best-results-yielding, top-volume selections. Of course, you can’t really use more than three or four of such keywords in the title. That said, you can still incorporate other important (but relatively lower volume) keywords in your copy as ‘hidden keywords’.

This tool is available for sellers in their Seller Central upload manager. The basic idea is to route the relevant traffic to your product page. The present character limit for these backend keywords is around 250. These keywords are only visible to you and the Amazon crawlers. The buyers themselves will never see them.

Here’s a representative example of how Amazon hidden keywords feature can help your product rank for hidden keywords:

If you’re selling a ‘wireless USB mouse’, you’ll likely use keywords like ‘wireless optical mouse’ in the title and the rest of the page. However, you can still use relevant – but not directly related – keywords such as ‘wired USB mouse’, as hidden keywords. This will help you tap into traffic that is quite likely to convert into sales.

It’s Never Too Late to Turn Your Amazon Sales Around!

Your product can fail to turn up at the top of search results for a number of reasons. Moreover, there are even more reasons for not clocking enough conversions. A fully optimized product page can, in most cases, address a lot of these reasons.

We’ve already given some important tips about writing a great Amazon product title while not crossing the Amazon title guidelines. But that’s not all – there are tons of other things that go into writing a sure-fire bestseller Amazon listing. If you’d like to know more, feel free to Contact Us and we will get back to you right away!