• Yoda Yee

Improve your product titles for higher clickthrough rates (CTR)

A good product alone will not sell itself on Amazon. Getting your click-through rate (CTR) up takes a bit of work on the title, keeping in mind that your listing is one of tens or hundreds that people are browsing through when looking to buy something.

Getting your product in the basket is a combination of product description, pictures, price reviews and comparisons, but none of it matters if the initial click-through isn’t achieved through the product title.

The first step is easy enough: Research shows that nine times out of ten, the best-selling product pages start their titles with the brand name, which also has the compounding effect of building brand recognition and driving future sales.

From there, things get more interesting. For a higher CTR, you need to give a buyer enough information to want to continue without overloading them.

Amazon’s algorithm weights keywords in a title heavier than in the description, meaning vague descriptions are less likely to lead to conversions. If you need some help finding the right keywords, you can conduct a keyword search to look for the most suitable ones for your product. Consider those that have a high search volume and relevance.

What does Amazon say?

Amazon does have four main criteria for product titles, which could result in your product getting suppressed from search results if not followed. These include:

  • Not going over than 200 characters, including spaces

  • Not using promotional phrases like “free shipping”, “discount” or “5-year guarantee”

  • No decorative characters such as ~ ! * $ ? _ ~ { } # < > | * ; ^ ¬ ¦

  • Must have product-identifying information

While only a violation of the above four rules will get your page search-suppressed, Amazon does still have a list of best practices it “strongly encourages”, such as:

  • Not using ALL CAPS

  • Capitalizing the first letter of each word, with the exceptions of prepositions (in, on, over, with), conjunctions (and, or, for), or articles (the, a, an).

  • Use numerals (“5”) instead of spelling numbers out ("five")

  • Not using non-language ASCII characters such as Æ, ©, or ®.

  • Not using subjective commentary, such as "Best Selling”

  • Abbreviate measurements like "cm", "oz", "in", and "kg"

  • Not including include your merchant name in titles

  • Size and color variations should be included in titles for child Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs), not the main title

  • Titles should contain the minimal information needed to identify the item and nothing more

Just because Amazon recommends something, though, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most useful advice.

On those last two points, in particular, Amazon seems to have got the wrong end of the stick. Key attributes like color, number of units, significant features and compatibility should have pride of place in the title.

Take the example of one of the top selling work boots in the UK right now: Blackrock Black Leather Work Safety Chukka Boots With Steel Toe Caps And Midsole (UK7 / EU41).

It’s got the color, the size, and additional detail – not quite the “minimal” description Amazon is looking for, but not too excessive either. And on that point…

How long should the title be?

Amazon’s own recommendation is that titles should be around 80 characters long, a figure that is backed up by research elsewhere.

According to data from Channel Advisor, just over 50% of the best-selling product pages have titles anywhere between 50-100 characters, putting Amazon’s advice in the middle of that range.

Perhaps most importantly, always keep your audience at the front of your mind. Think of what they might type into the search bar and use that as a starting point. Don’t forget that some products can go by multiple names that buyers could input. “Fairy Lights” could be “Hanging Lights” could be “String Lights”, and “USB Sticks” could be “Thumb Drives” – don’t be shy about using multiple aliases in the same title to cover your bases.

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