Visibility in organic search rankings is incredibly valuable for Amazon sellers. Organic search is the reason most choose to sell on Amazon. It’s the promise of shoppers, attracted by the name value Amazon carries, finding your product and buying without any ad spend on your part. Ask any business, and they’ll agree that this customer acquisition strategy is a winner.
Growing your rankings is easier said than done, though. After all, it’s the goal of every Amazon seller, so if you’re trying to rank for a keyword with significant search volume, you’ll be up against some competition.
In this post, we’ll introduce the key considerations for you to rank higher on Amazon, as well as the secret weapon in your fight for organic search dominance.
How Amazon Search Works – Two Key Ranking Factors
To master Amazon search, it’s best to know the theory behind it.
Amazon’s search algorithm (as well as any of their policies), is designed with their customers in mind. Amazon wants to provide the best shopping experience for their customers, so these shoppers are motivated to keep coming back whenever they want to buy something online.
With this in mind, there are two major factors that decide which products show up at the top of the search rankings.
- Relevance: the products shown in the search results should be relevant to the search query. It’s a bad experience for the customer if they search for something, and the search engine returns a bunch of results that are not what they’re looking for.
- Popularity: Amazon wants to be known for best-sellers, not cheap knockoffs. It makes sense for Amazon to promote popular, well-loved products, as these are the products that make the most money for them, and reflect well on the Amazon brand.
These two factors should be the basis for everything you do to boost your rankings on Amazon. For any given search term, ask yourself two things.
Is my product clearly relevant for this search term?
Is my product one of the best-sellings products on Amazon for this search term?
If you can satisfy both of these questions (better than your competition can), you’ve got a great chance of ranking high and raking in organic sales.
The Usual Suspects: How 99% of Sellers Optimize for Search Rankings
There is some low-hanging fruit to be aware of before you start reaching for any secret weapon.
The way most sellers rank their products is fairly simple. First step is to optimize your listing copy for keywords. This is the easiest, and most basic way to show Amazon that your product is relevant for any search term. Their software algorithm crawls all the pages on Amazon, analyzing the text written on your detail page to decide what your product is about.
If you want to show up when someone searches for “5 speed food processor”, but this isn’t written anywhere on your listing, how will Amazon know that your product is relevant?
The most prominent part of your listing for keywords is your title. Use this space for the most important keywords, since this is what Amazon will attribute the most power to. After that, ensure any keywords you want to rank for are shown somewhere in your listing copy, such as your product description, or your backend keywords field.
After you’ve optimized your listing for relevant keywords, the next low-hanging fruit is Amazon PPC. This is a great way to start generating the sales velocity needed to show your product is popular. Without this, no one will see your product (since it’s not ranking yet), thus no one will buy it, and Amazon has no reason to believe your product is going to be a hit.
Like we said, 99% of sellers are doing these two things (keyword optimization & PPC) to boost their rankings – and you should too. This is the low-hanging fruit that shouldn’t be ignored.
However, there’s a secret weapon we promised you, that can help you get a leg up over the competition
How External Traffic Gives You An Edge
Driving your own traffic, from sources outside Amazon, is a proactive and super effective way to boost your search rankings. And since a large majority of Amazon sellers never drive their own traffic, it’s a great differentiator between you and the competition.
When we say external traffic, most commonly we’re talking about Facebook Ads and Google Ads. These are the two most common, most widely used paid traffic sources. They bring sophisticated targeting tools, as well as a huge audience of potential customers.
There are alternative traffic sources that may also prove worthwhile, such as Instagram, Pinterest, organic Facebook groups, or email. However more people starting out with external traffic will look to ad campaigns on Facebook or Google.
Here is how you can get an edge in the battle for search ranking supremacy, by using external traffic.
Boosting sales velocity
Showing popularity to Amazon is a tricky thing. There’s a flywheel effect – to get more sales, you need to rank high. But to rank high, you need to make a lot of sales.
Getting proactive and driving your own traffic is a way to circumvent this flywheel. You can “jump the queue”, so to speak, but going and getting in front of potential buyers yourself. And with billions of users on Facebook and Google, there’s no shortage of people you can reach.
Even if you are getting organic search traffic, driving your own traffic is a great supplement to your on-Amazon sales. A lot of these people are not actively searching for something on Amazon, so getting in front of them will significantly increase your pool of prospective buyers.
Tied into the previous heading, when you get your products out on social media, you get the chance to go “viral”, and have people re-share your ads or posts outside your original audience.
If this happens, you could see a huge spike in sales, which is a massive sign of popularity to Amazon. It’s hard not to see a rankings boost along with a flood of viral sales.
The best chance to go viral is if you have a great deal, or a really witty or engaging ad/post. There’s no recipe to creating a viral post, though, so don’t chase this. It’s just something that can happen once you get your product out there.
Filtering traffic to increase conversion rate
Conversion rate is an extremely important metric for your rankings. It shows relevance (in that people decide to make a purchase after clicking through from the search results), and popularity.
So how does driving your own traffic increase your conversion rate? The key is creating a sales funnel that filters your traffic, only sending people to your listing if they have high purchase intent. That way, an abnormally high percentage of people who land on your product listing from external traffic channels will convert. Any rate above your average conversion rate (generally around 13% on Amazon), will give you a boost.
You’ll do this by setting up a simple sales funnel. Instead of linking your ad or post straight to your Amazon listing, link to a landing page instead.
On this landing page, give the viewer everything they need to make a buying decision – all the images, copy, pricing details on your Amazon page. Along with this, an email opt-in for a discount helps qualify buyer intent, gives an incentive to convert, and lets you start building an email list.
If you set it up correctly, people who aren’t interested (or aren’t looking to buy right now) bounce from your landing page, keeping your Amazon conversion rate intact.
Getting more reviews
One more thing that makes external traffic a powerful tool is the ability to reach out directly to customers to ask for reviews. When you get in touch with people outside Amazon, you’re free to capture contact info, like Messenger or email contacts (which you do with our sales funnel above).
You can then ask these people for reviews through their personal contact channels, instead of through Amazon’s messaging system. This is more personal, more engaging, and gives you more freedom through what you can write.
Reviews are another huge popularity factor. To get to the top of the rankings for competitive search terms, you’re going to need a lot of positive reviews. Anything you can do to slightly increase your review rate will help massively.
It’s not easy to rank on Amazon these days. At least not like it was several years ago. The competition is too high to make headway in many competitive search categories, which is why you need this secret weapon.
It costs money to run paid ads on Facebook and Google, sure. You may break even or even make a loss on some campaigns, after taking away ad spend and the cost of offering discount incentives. But if you’re able to get one of the top spots in a competitive and high-volume SERP, that’s 100% worth it.
The key to getting the biggest ranking boost from your external traffic campaigns is setting up a landing page sales funnel. A software tool like LandingCube makes it easy for you to set up the landing page part of your funnel. The rest is quite straightforward.
Implement this strategy for your Amazon business and you’ll have a competitive advantage over 99% of other sellers in your niche.
Michael Zagare is a serial entrepreneur, a recovering physical therapist, and the founder of PPC Entourage.
Mike has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in all things Amazon, and loves sharing that knowledge with other sellers to help them take steps towards personal and financial freedom.
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