As of summer 2021, there has been a new change in the Amazon description HTML rules. Now, the world’s undisputed ruler of eCommerce no longer supports or displays HTML tags on product pages. So, what does this mean for the thousands of sellers on Amazon? Don’t worry—this article has all the information you need. Keep reading for your guide to product listings on Amazon from the experts at Click Fluency, including the recent changes, description policies, how to edit HTML tags, and tips for product listing optimization.
Amazon Description HTML Rules: Basic Information
HTML is an acronym for HyperText Markup Language. Before the ban, sellers would use HTML tags in their product descriptions to neatly structure and format text, improving readability and creating a professional look by adding bulleted lists and line breaks or highlighting the most critical selling points with bold text.
In 2021, Amazon announced it would no longer support, parse, or display HTML tags in product descriptions to improve security. In addition, this new change would improve the user experience for buyers shopping on non-HTML devices.
General Guidelines for Amazon Product Listings
In addition to the HTML tag ban, Amazon requires sellers to comply with the following guidelines:
- The product title must be fewer than 200 characters (including spaces)
- New products may not use existing item listings
- Every product must fall under the correct category
- The images on product pages must follow Amazon’s product image requirements
Are There Exceptions to Amazon’s HTML Ban? What Information Is Allowed in Product Descriptions?
- Text line breaks
- Paragraph text
- Bold text
- Sentence case text
- Important product details, such as size, color, weight, etc.
- The item’s manufacturer or brand, serial or model number, etc.
- Non-text symbols (*, -, =, /, etc.)
What Type of Formatting or Data Does Amazon Prohibit in Product Descriptions?
Amazon also has strict rules regarding what isn’t allowed in a product description. If you want to see the complete list of restrictions, you can access that information in the Help Section on your Seller Central dashboard. However, here’s a general overview of what’s impermissible:
- Promotional material: ads, logos, watermarks, etc.
- Plot details and spoilers for listings of books, movies, etc.
- Links to third-party websites for placing orders or alternative shipping options
- Offensive, pornographic, and obscene content
- Text descriptions in all capital letters
- Contact information: email addresses, web page URLs, phone numbers, etc.
- Information regarding condition, price, or availability dates
If you ignore the Amazon description HTML rules and general guidelines, you risk a suspension or permanent ban of your seller account.
How To Change HTML on Amazon Product Descriptions
Sellers with product listings containing HTML will find it necessary to change their descriptions to comply with the new rules. Otherwise, their text will display the actual code in plain text, which looks unprofessional and makes it difficult for buyers to read. Fortunately, changing the HTML tags via your Seller Central dashboard is relatively simple. Here’s how you do it:
- Step 1: Access your Seller Central dashboard. Select the “Inventory” tab and then click “Manage Inventory.”
- Step 2: Scroll to find the listing you want to change and click “Edit” to access the product page.
- Step 3: Navigate to the description tab and make the desired edits to the HTML tags.
- Step 4: Click the “Save and Finish” button to apply your changes.
How To Edit Amazon Product Listing HTML Tags in Bulk
For sellers with extensive product catalogs, editing the descriptions one by one would be a significant undertaking. Instead, you can edit your product listings in bulk by following these steps:
- Step 1: Access your Seller Central dashboard, select the “Inventory” tab, and click “Add Products Via Upload.”
- Step 2: Select “Download an Inventory File,” then choose your category to download the matching flat file.
- Step 3: Head back to the “Inventory” tab and select “Inventory Reports.”
- Step 4: Open the “Select Report Type” box and click “Inventory Report,” then proceed with the file download.
- Step 5: After downloading the file, open it and select the SKUs you’d like to edit, then copy and transfer them into the flat file.
- Step 6: Open the flat file and select the “Template” tab. Click in the “Description” column to make the changes you want.
- Step 7: Under the “Update Delete” column, click “Partial Update.”
- Step 8: Finish your bulk editing by saving and uploading the file.
How To Optimize Amazon Product Listings for Higher Rankings
How can you know whether SEO applies to Amazon listings the same way it does to standard websites and blogs? We’ve got the answer right here: The same search engine optimization (SEO) tactics that improve website visibility, ranking, and conversions can also benefit product pages, as Amazon’s algorithm evaluates page content and click-to-sales ratio. Here are a few essential tips you can use to optimize your Amazon product descriptions, which can increase visibility, ranking, clicks, and conversions:
- Understand your target market and develop a buyer persona
- Utilize neatly formatted, easily readable text and avoid large text blocks
- Highlight the advantages a product will provide for the buyer instead of its features
- Never use plagiarized or stolen product descriptions on your page
- Add high-converting keywords in your descriptions
- Never write product descriptions that contain fake, incorrect, or misleading content
Struggling To Stay Afloat on Amazon? Partner With the Experts at Click Fluency!
As the number one eCommerce platform in the world, saying that Amazon is fiercely competitive is a serious understatement. If you’re having trouble learning Amazon description HTML rules or implementing an effective marketing strategy, turn to the professionals at Click Fluency. We are experts in the world of Amazon, and we would love to offer you our skills and expertise. Schedule a call today with our team and take the first step to drive growth and success for your brand.