A short history on Ranking on Amazon with Casey Gauss


Casey Gauss joins us to cover his journey to ranking on Amazon and creating Viral Launch, going through the years of Amazon landscape changes that affected Ranking but sticking to the things that work to achieve huge success for 100,000 Amazon Sellers.

  • Is a 26year old and got into the Amazon space in 2014
  • Started Viral Launch and worked with almost 100,000 Amazon Sellers
  • Had 2 x Private Label customers doing £100m on Amazon alone
  • A programmer as a background
  • Now at 68 staff in the business and worked hard to grow in the right way

Ranking on Amazon from 2014

  • Jordan Decker is co-founder and sold in 2015 to Casey but is back
  • Early days sellers were sharing their email list of a couple of 100 Amazon Buyers to send them discounts promotions
  • Casey and Jordan then started using just one list and sold it out to other people
  • Was super-simple at the time
  • Giveaway 100 units in a single day was more than enough to drive really good keyword ranking that would stick
  • Had an email list and send out the email to the list and didn’t have one-time use codes at the time
  • Setup a multi-channel fulfilment order for all but 100 units and reserve the rest of the stock bar the 100 units on the coupon for giveaway
  • Took four hours from the time they cancel the code before it actually stopped working
  • Many sellers cancelled it too soon and buyers took more of their inventory than they planned

Launches worked Super well

  • Launches worked super well because no-one was doing them for ranking on Amazon
  • Ryan Moran did a giveaway with Casey and Jordan at the time – he didn’t expect it to go so well and he sold through 900 units as he didn’t reserve off this stock
  • Was just a straight Amazon URL that they used back then and it was amazing

What stands out from 46,000 Launches?

  • Upto 60% Review rate then down to 40% mid-way through
  • Biggest problem today is you run a giveaway but don’t get reviews which now makes it tough to stick on page one
  • Garlic presses to cell phones cases back then was so easy to launch and stick
  • Was so annoying back then that people were not sure to go with the service

The old Super-URL

  • March 2015 the old super-URL (before the time stamp change) seemed to not be as effective
  • Came up with the two-step URL which is still in use now
  • You could give away less units using the two-step URLs and they worked really well
  • Later in 2015 (Aug 30th) and the Amazon update on prohibited seller activities page
  • Some wording on that page freaked everyone (including Casey) out
  • Seemed that ‘giveaways’ were over…
  • People were trying to get the best-seller badge and using large giveaways to do it
  • A lot of people stopped running giveaways at the time due to the scare from Amazon

Not Great on your 1st Launch?

  • Doing a launch for the first time you’re not going to be really good at it as you’ve not built that skill yet
  • You need to refine your skills
  • THe new kids on the block came into the Seller land and would use the technology to launch and succeed
  • Amazon didn’t want people coming and making fake buys to increase sales
  • If Amazon wanted to stop coupon codes and giveaways they could just block them and stop them dead
  • But back then they set the words pretty broad to trap whatever they wanted

Today – what’s working?

  • Testing constantly with new URLs
  • Still today use the brand-URL two-step that works really well still
  • Not had much reason to change this
  • Hearing that search-find-buy process is working but not something Casey is comfortable to push this approach
  • The brand-URL is working well enough for Viral Launch so sticking with it

PPC – Mixing up marketing

  • Mixing up your marketing techniques
  • Only 8% of Viral Launch revenue comes from giveaways
  • Pretty big on PPC right now on Amazon as much better approach to boosting sales and keyword ranking than giveaways are
  • Focussing on using PPC but not running super-unprofitable 200% ACoS and bidding aggressively – we see now this impacts your ranking
  • Poor clickthrough and conversion rate will push your ranking down in organic results
  • Following the data now and optimising keywords to boost overall ranking via the most efficient sales
  • Finding the keywords we’re more likely to convert on, find some conversion data from PPC, scale up those keywords
  • So even if a long-tail keyword it will help you rank organically for every other keyword

Placement & Bid Modifiers

  • In Jan Amazon released a new report – ‘Placements’
  • Three areas:
    • Top of Search
    • Product pages
    • Rest of Search
  • Looked at $1m in monthly ad spend and placement 84% of traffic was on product pages
  • Clickthrough was 0.25% on product pages and 4-5% on Top of Search
  • Conversion was 7% on Product Pages and 12% on Top of Search
  • For Sellers where product pages were not doing well but top of search is doing well…
  • …you can set bid-modifiers for the different placements
  • Goal is to set bid super-low for product pages so you don’t show up – Set budget to 80c for that keyword and set a modifier for Top of Search upto 900% to multiply your bid
  • This helps ensure you will show up on Top of Search
  • A seven-figure seller Improved overall sales by 30% making a couple of $100k extra per month
  • Work out your numbers before trying this out

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